So you’re about to write a Bachelor’s thesis. Congratulations! Writing a bachelor thesis is an exciting and important step for students toward their graduation. This project is what we call “Bachelor thesis” or “bachelors thesis,” but whether you spell it with a space or not, the most important thing to remember is that it’s your big chance to showcase your hard work over the past four years (or more).
And what better way to do so than through excellent writing? There are many approaches and strategies you can use when writing your paper. We have compiled some helpful tips to make this process easier on yourself—and get those creative juices flowing.
Read also: What is a College Thesis and Why You Should Write It
What Makes a Bachelor Thesis Important?
Why is the bachelor’s thesis important?
It is an academic paper and an important part of your academic career. A bachelor thesis shows that you can work independently, research a topic, analyze information, and evaluate it critically. The understanding you gain through this process will prepare you for your future career. Writing a bachelor’s thesis can be fun since it allows you to specialize in what you enjoy most.
Bachelor Thesis Structure and Components
The basic components of a flourishing bachelor thesis contain the following:
- Title page (more information on title pages below)
- Abstract/Table of contents/List of figures and tables
- Theoretical background (sometimes this is part of the introduction or can be its chapter)
- Literature review (this can also be its chapter, or it can be part of the introduction)
- Methodology section and chapter(s) outlining your results, discussion, and conclusion.
How to Pick a Cool Thesis Topic?
The purpose of your thesis is to uncover new insights.
The most important thing you can do when picking a thesis topic is select something that will help you uncover new insights (the point of your thesis). Your research should be guided by a question you want to answer or a hypothesis you wish to test. If possible, pick a topic that feels interesting and relevant to you and other readers. This way, the research process will be significantly easier and more fun for you, which will result in higher quality work.
If this seems difficult, don’t worry. Choosing a topic is as hard as writing it down – if not harder! However, there are some tips and tools at our disposal for narrowing down your options until we find something awesome:
Start with an area of interest within your field of study (e.g., marketing)
Define the scope (e.g., how marketing in the 21st century has evolved)
Add any subcategories within this scope (e.g., social media marketing)
Include any additional subcategories within these subcategories (e.g., specific platforms like Instagram). Here are some points for your evaluation when choosing a topic:
Your first step is to list your interests related to the topic.
You may have started with a broad overview, but now you need to narrow down the focus of your paper. As we said before, it would help if you didn’t try to cover too many areas in your paper. Focus on what you know best and what interests you most.
Please make a list of all the topics that interest you, then look at them closely and cross out those that are not focused enough or don’t spark your interest anymore. You should be left with a shortlist of topics that you can develop into thesis questions later.
2. Go through your past successful academic assignments
Begin by going through all of your past successful academic assignments. Review your essays, term papers, and other completed projects. You’ll be looking for the following in your previous work:
- Topics you enjoyed writing about
- Topics that were easy for you to write about
- Something that you want to know more about or write more about
Next, you’ll want to check the current state of research and identify any potential gaps. You can do this by conducting an in-depth analysis of your field’s most important studies and articles. Be sure to focus on articles that are at least five years old. If you’re working with more theoretical or philosophical approaches, books and articles, at least you should use five years old.
4. Eliminate topics that don’t promise avenues for new research
Once you have a list of potential topics, it’s time to find out which ones are most promising. The best way to do this is by checking the existing literature.
If you can’t find anything related to your topic, or if you see that there are gaps in the research, that’s a good sign that you have a viable topic.
On the other hand, if your topic has already been thoroughly discussed in the literature (or even better, if there are some conflicting studies), you can be reasonably sure that there’s room for new research on this subject.
5. Do preliminary research to estimate the scope of literature you can use as the source of information.
While you are still mulling over the topic, try to do preliminary research. At this point, it is important to understand how much information you can use as the source of your work. The scope of literature and the actual amount of information may seem quite limited at first but remember that several publications (books, articles, etc.) may be devoted exclusively to one aspect or even a single idea.
When you have an approximate understanding of how many sources you will use in your paper and what exactly they are going to be about, it is easier for you not only to come up with a good title but also to pick a thesis statement that will reflect the scope of literature used.
How do I determine the scope? Before starting any research process, make sure you have already registered on Google Scholar (a database with more than 150 million scientific papers). Explore various papers from other authors and see what was covered by them. For example, if your thesis is about risk management in financial institutions, there will probably not be one book where all aspects are fully disclosed.
However, several books may be dedicated solely to risk management in banks or credit institutions; likewise, there can be various articles on risks specific to insurance companies or stock markets. Thus, before writing a paper itself, you need to know what it will cover – whether this is just a general overview of certain aspects of an analysis relating specifically only some part of the issue.
How to Write a Successful Bachelor Thesis
Yours is a large and important project, so let’s break down the process into manageable steps you can follow to ensure a good outcome.
Step 1: Research the topic
The first step is to conduct preliminary research on the topic. This step aims to get a better understanding of the topic and identify important issues.
Create a list of questions that you want to answer with your research. Please share this list with your advisor and discuss it with them. This may lead to some changes in the list of questions that you need to answer with your research.
Find out which theoretical models are relevant for your research problem and why they are relevant (if necessary). If something doesn’t make sense, ask your advisor or a classmate for help!
Learn how these theories can be used in practice through real-life examples or case studies (if possible). Write down notes about these examples as they will be useful later when writing the thesis statement, introduction, and related literature chapters.
- Define the Research Problem
Your second task is to define the main problem you want to solve with your research using relevant theoretical models and concepts from previous research studies or case studies (this may take several months!). Identify the strengths and weaknesses of earlier studies on this issue to identify what needs further investigation (e.g., an overlooked problem or unexplored solution).
Step 2: Independent literature research.
Your research aims to understand how others have tackled your topic in the past. Much information, especially on scientific topics, can be found online. However, it is important to note here that not all sources are equally valuable and that you should always check for reliability and accuracy.
As a rule, scientific articles are the best place to start looking for information, as other scientists have reviewed them and therefore have reliable content. If you do not know where to look or how to search academic databases with relevant information on your topic, we recommend you ask your supervisor at this point!
So what exactly should you be looking for? Information that has already been published can help you get started with your research. It will tell you what has already been done and how it has been done, which methodologies have proven successful and which ones have not, what is missing, and what needs to be improved or developed further.
Step 3: Reading and understanding scientific literature (skimming and scanning).
In the third step, you will read and understand scientific literature.
Reading and understanding scientific literature is a skill that every student must learn. It is not easy, but four techniques will make it easier: skimming, scanning, reading abstracts, and reading conclusions.
Skimming means quickly reading the text without looking for details and paying attention to unfamiliar words. Skimming helps you get an overview of the content of a text or – in our case – a scientific paper. To skim-read is simply moving your eyes over the text as fast as possible while trying to grasp the main message at all costs. Skimming saves time because it allows you to instantly eliminate irrelevant papers from your search result list[^8].
Scanning means looking for specific information in a text (names or special terms). While skimming reads through a whole text, scanning reads only selected parts of it (e.g., headings or keywords). Scanning saves you time searching for specific information in a paper[^8].
For example, if you are writing about cognitive biases, you can take several papers on cognitive biases as a starting point for your thesis. You can now use skimming and scanning techniques to detect where these papers overlap with your other working areas (e.g., decision making) or how they differ from them.[^9]
Step 4: Create convincing content for the bachelor thesis – literature review.
The literature review is the foundation of your bachelor thesis. This chapter shows that you are familiar with the theoretical basics. Therefore, it is essential to prepare promptly and in good time for this chapter. The following four steps will help you write your literature review:
- Define what has already been done in your field of research:
- Find out which research questions have already been dealt with and which have remained unanswered:
- Identify gaps in the existing literature on your topic:
- Compile all this information into an overview or hypothesis – depending on the type of thesis
Step 5: Select the method for empirical analysis.
Now that you know what exactly the empirical analysis is, it’s time to select the method for empirical analysis.
The data collection and analysis method may vary depending on the research question and methodology. As mentioned above, quantitative research involves statistical methods and mathematical calculations, while qualitative research mainly relies on non-numerical methods such as focus groups, interviews, etc.
- The experimental approach – consists of changing some pre-set variables in a controlled environment so that you can observe their impact.
- Correlational approach – this method establishes a relationship between two variables using numerical data (e.g., casual relationships).
- Survey approach – surveys are often used in social sciences to gather information from large sample populations (from individuals or households) or smaller populations (from experts in an area) via questionnaires or structured interviews.
Interviewing: It is also known as one-on-one interviews, which involve interviewing different people individually to gather information about their opinions, experiences, perceptions, and behaviors. There are several types of interviews, such as open-ended, semi-structured, standardized, etc. A single interview might last anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on your requirements.
Focus Groups: Focus groups are very similar to interviews except that they consist of more than one person discussing their perspectives regarding a product or service with each other instead of answering specific questions asked by a researcher.
Observations: A researcher observes subjects’ behavior at work or in another natural setting but does not intervene with them during the process.
Step 6: Analyze the empirical data statistically.
Statistics is an essential part of a bachelor’s thesis. If you conduct empirical research, you have to collect and analyze data. For this purpose, you cannot avoid statistics. While you may use online software or Excel for certain statistical methods, others require different programs like SPSS or SAS. Your choice will depend on the statistical method you choose and on your personal preferences:
When choosing a statistical method, make sure that it is suitable for the data you collected in your study. Some of the most common statistical methods are:
- Descriptive statistics include measures of central tendency (mean, median) and dispersion (standard deviation). You can also use them to calculate standard error and confidence intervals.
- Correlation studies are based on Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) to show if two variables are related to each other. The result can be significant or insignificant at a certain confidence level (e.g., 95%). There are different types of correlations:
- Positive correlation occurs when two variables increase together;
- A negative correlation happens when one variable goes up while another one goes down;
- Weak correlation is typical for relationships where no clear pattern between variables can be seen;
- A strong correlation is usually positive or negative but with very stable values between two variables.
Step 7: Write the theoretical part of your bachelor thesis.
Before you sit down to write your bachelor thesis, it’s important to know what makes up the theoretical part of your paper. The theoretical section of a thesis is where you discuss and evaluate existing research on your topic to establish the theoretical background for your research. This section contains all of the relevant literature that you will use to justify the theory and methodology used in your study.
To successfully write the theoretical part of your bachelor thesis, make sure that you:
- Discuss how the theories you’ve selected relate to each other and how they motivate your work
- Analyze any theories that are necessary for understanding how you reached a solution or how you collected data
- Demonstrate how well-established theories were used or challenged through experimentation
- Provide examples from previous studies related to yours for context
Step 8: Write the empirical part of your bachelor thesis.
The empirical part of your bachelor thesis is based on your research and is the most important part of the paper. It is all about the research findings.
In this part, you should coherently describe your research findings and be aware of the structure of the paper. You should follow a clear path from one argument to another and from one topic to another. In addition, you should always keep in mind that it is not only about describing your findings but also about interestingly showing them.
If you did a quantitative study, for example, then you have to analyze and interpret all data clearly and stick to your hypothesis (or refute it). For example, if you did a qualitative study, then show how well-thought-out interviews led to new insights (or refute them).
Step 9: Write the conclusion of your work and summarize your findings.
The conclusion to your thesis should wrap up the paper. It should not introduce any new ideas, but it should always restate the main points covered in the paper. The conclusion will leave the reader with a lasting impression of your work, so make sure it is well written and logically sound.
In your conclusion, you must:
- Summarize the meaning of your findings and highlight their significance.
- Explain why your findings are important – link them to similar research or work that has influenced you. Be sure to give evidence for all claims made about previous research in this thesis section.
- Explain any limitations encountered during your study or any potential bias in your results – this is an opportunity to explain what could be done differently in future studies on the topic.
- Suggest areas for future research if appropriate – these suggestions can be used as part of the concluding paragraph or may appear as a separate section within its right before you finish writing up your study.
Step 10: Proofread and edit your text – grammar, spelling, and style.
You have developed an outline for your thesis paper, written the first draft, and revised it. The last step is to proofread and edit your text—in general; it’s best to start with the most superficial aspects and move on to the more complex problems.
Read the whole text aloud—or at least certain parts of it. This will help you identify particularly awkward sentences or sections that are hard to read.
Use a spell checker (in Word) that points out spelling mistakes as you type. However, do not rely completely on this function: spell checkers won’t find every spelling mistake (and they also don’t check grammar). Also, keep in mind that sometimes spell checkers will suggest words that you didn’t mean—make sure not to click “Change all.”
Ask someone else who is proficient in the English language to proofread your text for grammar and spelling mistakes and awkward sentences or phrases. Depending on your situation, you may want to ask one of your professors or a native speaker of English whom you know through friends or family members.—I can vouch for this tip: I had my sister-in-law read over my Bachelor’s Thesis, and she found several mistakes!
If there are no style guides available at your university or department, use the APA Style Guide as a reference when checking how journal articles, etc. cite sources and how they format reference lists.
Writing a bachelor thesis can be quite difficult for many students who don’t know how to start. The whole process has to be carefully planned, and it is important to follow each step from the first brainstorming session until the final draft.
Making an outline and content plan should be your priorities. Then, you should do thorough research on your topic and write an introduction that will hook your reader. In the body chapters, you need to present all your arguments in a logical sequence and use evidence to support them, while the conclusion is where you summarize what you have learned in the thesis paper.
After finishing the draft, make sure to proofread it carefully, edit it more than once if necessary, and format it according to the requirements of your educational institution or publication before submitting it.
Get Help from our Experts with your Bachelor Thesis Paper
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Don’t forget to check out our list of useful tips!