When the bachelor’s thesis is due, panic breaks out in many students’ minds. After all, the bachelor’s thesis is important and an important milestone in the life of a student. Writer’s block and a lot of unexplained questions are the last thing students need at this moment. How is a bachelor’s thesis structured? What belongs in the introduction? How do you create a bibliography? What is the right way to include quotes? How do you find the right topic? These questions and many more can inducee chaos in a student’s mind. There are a few tips that will help students successfully master this important part of their lives so that the thesis doesn’t turn into some sort of nightmare.
Planning the working phases of the bachelor’s thesis
The first tip is to keep calm! Take a deep breath and just start! It doesn’t help a student to be hesitant about this task and to postpone it. Writing a successful bachelor’s thesis means continually dealing with it and working on it day after day. In this way, certain questions are answered automatically in a student’s head. Through a continuous examination of the topic, students become intensively acquainted with the topic and familiarise themselves with it. It’s especially important to carry a small notebook with you so as not to lose and ideas that may come up here and there.
But let’s talk about choosing a topic! First, you have to settle on one. And a second tip: the topic should personally interest the student! Many things are easier to do when you feel enthusuastuc about them, and naturally this also applies to writing a bachelor’s thesis. If this is written on a topic that you are interested in, doing the work on the bachelor’s thesis can be really fun. The choice of subject concerns not only students, but also the potential supervisor, which leads us to the third tip, namely, picking the perfect supervisor. He or she should really well acquainted with the subject, work well with students, and always be willing to lend an ear for student’s questions.
If there is one thing a student should have learned in the course of his or her studies, it is that one needs to organise one’s time effectively. This optimal time management must also be applied during the work on the bachelor’s thesis. Hence the fourth tip: timing is everything. The phases of writing and research should be balanced and coordinated. Students should also make sure that they have enough time for fine-tuning the text afterwards, for, ultimately, the bachelor’s thesis also needs to look good! For this purpose, a cover sheet must be created, the work formatted and, of course, corrected or proofread. Also rest periods should be planned and strictly adhered to. It is extremely important that students themselves pay close attention to what they are doing during this time. Sufficient sleep, enough exercise and healthy eating are important. As Friedrich Schiller said: A healthy mind in a healthy body! In order to optimally manage time, students should first create an outline structure of the bachelor’s thesis. The draft of a rough outline serves as a table of contents and structures the work. In this way, students can move from section to section and chapter to chapter, always keeping an overview.
Schedule breaks as well
This leads us to our fifth tip: taking breaks helps against writer’s blocks!
Many students consider writer’s blocks to be a worst-case scenario. That’s absolute nonsense. On the contrary, they are actually the best friend of every student. It shows him his limits and reminds him that at a certain point he can’t go on and that slowing down is a good idea. This is then a good time to rest and do something completely different. Going for a walk, playing sport and meeting up with friends for a cup of coffee is a godsend. Students, therefore, needn’t panic about writer’s block; it even happens to the best of them. No one in the world can spend hours on the same subject and sit in front of books or computers for days.
Speaking of books, that leads us to the sixth tip: the right literature is the be-all and end-all underpinning a good thesis. Whether in monographs, anthologies or periodicals – sometimes a lot has already been written about a specific topic. Students then look at themselves in the mirror and ask: “How will I actually manage to do all this in such a short time?” But they don’t have to! On the one hand, there are certain guidelines for how much secondary literature is to be used from university to university and from faculty to faculty. Secondly, students must learn to separate what’s important from what’s not. To do so, they should work close to the topic and focus on the information relevant to their topic and research question. Thus it’s essential for students to really focus on what’s essential and to make sure that everything else becomes secondary until the thesis is done.