Probably the biggest hurdle before the well-deserved graduation is for many students writing an empirical bachelor thesis. With a few tips and tricks the way there is not so difficult, and one thing can already be anticipated: A good planning is half the life!
What is an empirical bachelor thesis?
An empirical bachelor thesis focuses on the procurement and evaluation of own data. On the basis of these findings, the chosen question is answered. Here, empirical methods – such as interviews, questionnaires, experiments and the like – are in focus.
An empirical bachelor thesis goes beyond a purely theoretical bachelor thesis with regard to its requirements. In this case, existing knowledge is newly linked to answer a question. In the case of an empirical bachelor thesis, however, this framework will be extended to include one’s own research work. It follows that more organizational work has to be done.
Research question and literature search for the empirical bachelor thesis
In many cases, only a limited amount of time is available to write a bachelor thesis. Scarcely calculated deadlines in combination with lectures, hobbies and friends can make your life really stressful. It is all the more important to divide up the time until then.
The first steps you’ll take include: pinpointing the research question, setting the theoretical framework, and searching for literature. These three steps are usually not consecutive. Rather, these happen in parallel, because they condition each other.
One of the most common mistakes made in this phase of work is a too broad or inaccurately formulated research question. Both result in the fact that the workload is too large. On the other hand, it leads to a difficult answer becoming difficult. Therefore, when formulating the question, think about which topics are relevant for the answer and limit them if necessary.
Too broad a topic can make the literature search endless. But even with a clearly defined topic, it is possible that you lose yourself in the literature. Take notes on which publications are important and sort out unimportant ones. In addition, you should immediately note the location of important statements for your topic.
It is also helpful to set a schedule. Until when must which step be completed? In addition, you can also structure the time to submission by writing an Exposé.
Empirical work: study design, organization and evaluation
Have you got an overview of the chosen topic, it means to prepare the study design. This step takes a lot of time because the chosen method should yield really useful data for the empirical bachelor thesis.
The study design must be completely reinvented in the fewest cases. It is helpful to look for similar studies and be inspired by the chosen methods. The experimental set-up, the variables or the test persons can usually be adjusted well in order to be able to pursue their own goals.
An essential element on the way to a meaningful investigation are pre-tests – also known as pretests in many disciplines – which offer the opportunity to recognize errors in the conception in good time. This allows you to correct the study design and the data obtained later will be more meaningful. Failures detected too late or too late can ruin the entire empirical bachelor thesis.
With a lot of empirical bachelor theses you have to go looking for suitable subjects for your data collection. Think in advance of where to find suitable subjects, how to organize appointments and above all how to animate the chosen ones to join in!
Last but not least, you are dealing with the data analysis before you jump into the action. Important questions in this regard are: Which method best fits your data and your goal? Do you have the necessary knowledge and resources or do you need help – eg. B. a statistics tutoring – take advantage?
Writing phase and final work
After you have made all the preparations and completed the data collection, you start writing. To avoid getting lost in the jungle of your notes, data and insights, a structured approach is also recommended here.
Outline and argumentation of the empirical bachelor thesis
Like any other scientific paper, an empirical bachelor thesis must also have a clear structure. Take note of your supervisor’s requirements and conventions of your specialty. In addition, make sure that the length of each chapter is balanced. Using a well-structured structure makes writing much easier.
Another tool for not losing the thread is logical reasoning. After each train of thought, consider whether it is a logical result of the preceding one. Also always keep the research question in perspective so as not to digress from the topic.
Scientific work: Correcting and formatting
Finally, you pay attention to some final work:
Spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and other linguistic mishaps are a scientific no-go. If you correct the text yourself, you should allow several days between writing and correcting. That way, you’ll see your mistakes better. The best results, however, you achieve with a professional editing for a bachelor thesis.
The same care should be taken when formatting. Follow the formal guidelines of your institute and design your text in this regard.
With a structured approach, many obstacles can be mastered when writing an empirical bachelor thesis. Even if it seems difficult at first glance: Let your research spirit prevail and plunge into the adventure – it’s worth it!