What is a bachelor essay

Successfully write the bachelor thesis

Table of Contents

Basics

As soon as you have taken all the other required modules of your studies and have collected enough credit points, you can register for your bachelor thesis. The bachelor thesis or bachelor thesis is the last module that separates you from the academic degree of the bachelor’s degree.

In this way, you prove that you can work on a scientific question independently. Thorough literature research and sensible time management will make your paperwork easier for you. Depending on the examination regulations, the grade of your bachelor thesis is included in the final grade of your bachelor's degree with up to 20%.

Popular Bachelor courses

Here you can request free information material from your chosen university:

Finding a topic

The first and most important step is finding a topic. A look at the respective examination regulations first provides information about how free you are in choosing a topic. As a rule, however, you can choose a question. You should definitely choose a topic that will interest you over a longer period of time so that you will find it easier to write. On the other hand, you can use the bachelor thesis to specialize with a view to a subsequent job.

A current topic is exciting, but usually offers little literature. A question that is too broad is difficult to work on because the scope of the bachelor thesis is often insufficient. The more precisely your topic is defined, the easier it will be for you to process it later.

Once you have found a topic, you create a first rough outline that you can present to your potential supervisor and that serves as the first basis for processing the question. You should maintain exchanges and discussions with the supervisor during the entire processing process.

Find the right supervisor

The following points are particularly important when choosing a supervisor:

  • Does the lecturer specialize in the subject of the desired topic?
  • What reputation does the lecturer have among fellow students and graduates?
  • Does the supervisor take time for the students?

If a possible supervisor has been found, he or she must agree to the topic so that you can register the bachelor thesis with the examination office. The supervisor will give you helpful tips on how to proceed and important literature recommendations. He is at your side during the processing phase with words and deeds and checks your bachelor thesis as the first corrector.

Registration and scope

Once you have collected all of the required performance records and credit points and the topic and supervisor of the bachelor thesis have been determined, you can register for the bachelor thesis at the respective examination office. When you register, you will also find out the exact deadline for the thesis. The processing period for bachelor theses is between 2 and 4 months, depending on the university. The length of the thesis is usually 20 to 40 pages.

The alpha and omega of a successful bachelor thesis is good time management so that there is no unnecessary time pressure in the final phase and detailed corrections are not neglected. Therefore, you should create a detailed schedule immediately after registering your bachelor thesis.

Literature research

During the search for a topic, you already looked at the necessary literature in order to get an overview and to check whether the desired topic offers enough material. After registering the bachelor thesis, you can now start a more intensive literature search. There are many ways to get suitable literature:

  • Libraries
  • Current journals
  • Subject-specific databases
  • Bibliography
  • Internet
  • Bookstores

You should plan a lot of time for the literature research. It is quite possible that important books are on loan or that a book has to be ordered via interlibrary loan. A basic distinction is made between primary and secondary literature.

The primary literature includes:

  • Original sources
  • Source editions
  • Text output
  • Thematic source collections

Secondary literature includes:

  • Monographs
  • Collective works
  • Rows and series
  • Periodicals
  • University theses
  • Encyclopedias
  • Lexicons
  • Articles from trade journals

You don't have to read every book in full. In order to check whether a book is useful for the work or not, it is often enough to read across the table of contents, the introduction and the conclusion.

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Structure and structure of the bachelor thesis

The bachelor thesis is a scientific work and therefore follows a certain structure. This consists of the following elements:

  • cover sheet
  • Table of Contents
  • introduction
  • Bulk
  • Final part
  • bibliography
  • attachment
  • Explanation

cover sheet

Which specific information should be on the cover sheet of the thesis can be found in the registration documents of the examination office. As a rule, the cover sheet should contain the name of the university and the department, the topic and personal information.

Table of Contents

The structure of your bachelor thesis can be found here. It is important that you transfer the scheme of your table of contents to the entire work and not suddenly use different headings or bullet points in the main part.

This gives your work a logical structure and builds it up in a meaningful way. In order to guarantee clarity, you should not divide your bachelor thesis into too many sub-chapters.

introduction

The introduction introduces the topic and, together with the conclusion, forms the framework of the bachelor thesis. The focus is on the presentation of the topic of the work and the exact question. You classify your topic in the current state of research and prove the relevance of the question. In addition, in the introduction you explain your later approach in the main part.

Bulk

In the main part, the actual examination of your question follows. You should support and substantiate your statements with the literature consulted. Make sure you take logical, understandable steps.

Final part

In the final part of your bachelor thesis, you summarize the results from the main part and present them. You have to answer the question formulated in the introduction explicitly and substantiate it on the basis of the literature you have used. If necessary, you offer an outlook on interesting questions that arise from your work.

bibliography

After the final part, you will prepare an extensive bibliography in which all literature that you have used is listed. The bibliography should be sorted alphabetically and by text type. It is also important to use a uniform citation style throughout. You have different options:

  • Monographs:
    Last name, first name: Title. Subtitle. Place of publication, year of publication.
  • Edited volumes:
    Last name, first name (ed.): Title. Subtitle. Place of publication, year of publication.
  • Articles from magazines:
    Last name, first name: Title. Subtitle. In: title of the journal, volume and issue number, page numbers.
  • Articles from anthologies:
    Last name, first name: Title. Subtitle. In: Editor's last name, first name (ed.): Title. Subtitle. Place of publication, year of publication, page numbers.
  • With two authors / editors:
    Last name, first name / last name, first name: Title. Subtitle. In: surname, first name / surname, first name (publisher): title. Subtitle. Place of publication, year of publication, page numbers.
  • If there are more than two authors / editors:
    Last name, first name, etc.: Title. Subtitle. In: Surname, first name, etc. (Ed.): Title. Subtitle. Place of publication, year of publication, page numbers.

attachment

Graphics, tables or pictures belong in the appendix of the bachelor thesis, as far as they are not important for a direct understanding of the text. Then you can also put them in the appropriate place in the text. Otherwise, simply refer to the graphic or table in the appendix in the text.

Correct citation

Scientific work requires that you substantiate your theses on the basis of the literature used and identify foreign ideas. Direct and indirect quotations are different:

  • You take direct quotations literally from one source. You put the direct quote in quotation marks in the text. After that you name the source used.
  • Indirect quotations are analogous and not literal quotations. You do not put these in quotation marks, but here you also mark the text passage.

The department often tells you which citation method you have to use. Your supervisor can give you information here. There are basically two different citation options:

  • The German way of quoting (with footnotes)
  • The American way of citing (Harvard system with reference to the source in the text)

Important formal rules

You should absolutely adhere to the given formalities, as errors in the design can influence your final grade. Therefore, it is essential to inquire with your department which formal requirements are required for the bachelor thesis. As a rule, you have to adhere to the following formalities:

writing style

  • Scientific, clear, precise style of speech
  • Appropriate use of technical terms and foreign words
  • Understandable, not unnecessarily complex sentence structure

Formal features

  • Page Numbers: Centered Bottom or Bottom Right. The cover page is page 1, but the page number does not appear on the page.
  • Font size and type in the running text: 12 pt Arial or Times New Roman, justified.
  • Line spacing: 1.5 lines.
  • Chapter headings: 14 pt bold, then two lines apart.
  • Sub-chapter headings: 12 pt bold, followed by one line spacing.
  • Footnote text: 10 pt justified, 1.0 line, the footnotes themselves are in superscript.
  • Emphasis: put in italics.
  • Quotations: you put short quotations in quotation marks, longer quotations for clarity in justified, 1.0-line, approx. 1 cm indentation on the right.
  • Use typographical (-) and no hyphens (-) for dashes.
  • Use new spelling.
  • If there are more than 3-digit numbers, points in steps of three from the right (for example 1,000).

Correction and submission

Once you have completed your bachelor thesis and proofread it yourself a few times, you should then have it corrected by two to three other people. These can be friends, relatives and fellow students, or you can commission a scientific proofreading. This offers a professional and quick check, for students usually reduced prices apply.

It is also worthwhile for you to subject your text to a plagiarism check to be on the safe side. You should plan at least a week for the entire correction process. Once the bachelor thesis has been corrected in terms of language, content and form, you can print it out on high-quality paper and have it bound.

As a rule, you hand in two to three copies of the thesis at the examination office. Sometimes you also have to enclose a digital copy on CD or USB stick. Your supervisor will then check your bachelor thesis as the first corrector and another second corrector. If the grades of the two differ by more than one grade, a third-party corrector will also check the grading of your bachelor thesis.

Tips and tricks for writing

Time problems

Especially in the initial phase of the bachelor thesis, your "weaker self" is often in your way. A precise schedule can help here. Do not register the bachelor thesis before you have thought exactly about the topic and at least have an initial overview of the literature. You should also plan sufficient breaks and free time during the processing time. It often also helps to work in the library instead of on your home PC - you won't be distracted so easily there.

Overwhelming

If you feel overwhelmed by the scope of your topic, it is beneficial to set goals. Small successes motivate, so you shouldn't plan too much for each stage. If nothing works, you can contact your supervisor or fellow students.

Lack of motivation

Rewards for completed work steps are important. This can be an episode of your favorite series or you meet up with friends for an ice cream. Then you start the next stage of the bachelor thesis with new motivation.