In the course "Academic Coaching", the asynchronous course accompanying the bachelor thesis, students receive important information and support exactly when it is relevant for their own bachelor thesis. In this context, the question arose what tips the lecturers have for writing a scientific thesis. Christiane Aufschnaiter, Martin Dinter, and Julia Waldegger not only draw on their experience in supervising theses, but also on the "lessons learned" from their own academic projects.
Tip 1: Familiarize yourself with the requirements and assessment criteria.
Make sure you know what is required from you. For your bachelor thesis, the department will give you a certain framework: from the thematic focus, the scope of the thesis, requirements for the empirical part to formal aspects such as the use of the appropriate citation style. The same applies if you want to submit an article to a scientific journal. There, too, it is necessary to adhere to certain requirements such as thematic focus, length or citation style. For your thesis, we also inform you right from the start about the exact evaluation criteria (we often call these Rubric). From this you can also understand to what you should pay special attention. This tip does not only refer to the writing of the bachelor thesis, but can also be applied to many other tasks.
Tip 2: Divide the project into smaller work stages.
Writing a thesis is probably one of the biggest projects you will have to complete during your studies. You first have to find a topic and develop a research question, research scientific literature on it, think about and then conduct data collection and analysis, and then put it all down on paper in a way that makes sense. The size of the project may cause you to not even know where to begin in a meaningful way. This is why some people put the bachelor thesis on the back burner. This is the wrong strategy! Instead, we recommend that you divide the project into smaller steps and come up with a schedule for them. Also, start right away with the first step - even if that is preparatory reading for the topic search first.
Tip 3: Stay in contact with your supervisor.
For many of you, the bachelor thesis is probably the first scientific project you will work on independently. In order to ensure that you do not have to master this task alone, in addition to the course "Academic Coaching" and the exchange with your fellow students, your supervisor will also accompany you during this process. You are indeed responsible for your bachelor thesis and make all decisions as you think fit. Nevertheless, we would encourage you to involve your supervisor in the processing of your scientific project. You can draw on the valuable experience of the supervisor and thus avoid mistakes at an early stage. This can save you a lot of extra work. To make meetings with your supervisor as efficient as possible for you, it is best to prepare yourself with concrete questions.
Good luck with the writing of your academic paper!
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Alongside the final exam, writing the final thesis is one of the most important final steps in studying at MCI. Photo: Canva