BACHELOR THESIS RULES
“I hereby declare:
In the acknowledgement of an XXXXX Thesis, we thank all the people who helped our research. For example:
“First of all I thank xxx, for xxx throughout my research period.”
Declaration of Authorship 3
Acknowledgements (if any) 4
Table of Content 5
Chapter 1: Introduction 7
Chapter 2: Summary of Literature Review 8
Chapter 3: Body of Thesis 9
Chapter 4: Findings 10
Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations 11
Your summary should be no more than 500 words. It should briefly:
Make sure that you are clear at this stage about which of the 3 available approaches you are pursuing in your work:
● Original research
● Business plan
● Management report
Justify why your topic area is worth investigating in the first place; outline the main issues and summaries the contents of the chapters which are to follow, explaining the rationale of their content. By the time the reader gets to the end of the introduction, they should have a clear idea of what the study is all about, why it is relevant, and what to expect in the ensuing chapters.
This section should be around 1000 words. Be very clear about which of the three approaches you are planning to pursue: original research, business plan or management report. Please note that all three approaches involve the need to do original research.
The literature review establishes that the research is rigorously and comprehensively grounded, and is based on a body of existing published information, theoretical and empirical, relevant to the study. The literature review:
Organize the literature review around a set of ideas relevant to the issue you are exploring. Headings and subheadings should be used that relate to the areas of study:
Students who are writing a thesis based on original research (Option A) should ensure that their literature review is drawn from current sources, ideally within the last 5 years, and that their research plan and methodology follows the standards set in the literature included in the review.
Students who are writing a thesis based on the development of a business plan (Option B) should ensure that the literature review relates to the wider context or industry in which the proposed business will be located. This will involve the student in conducting some original research to explore whether not and/or to what extent the new business will be viable.
Students who are writing the management report thesis (Option C) should ensure that the literature review explores current thinking on the management problem being explored and should include original research that clarifies the problem itself and explores the viability of different potential solutions.
This section should be around 2500 words:
The body of thesis section for those writing an thesis based fully on original research (Option A) describes the investigation in sufficient detail to assess the research process and, ideally, to replicate it.
Students who are writing a business plan thesis (Option B) will present the business plan at this point, based on the findings of the literature review section and the original research undertaken.
Students who are writing a management report (Option C) will explore the problem(s) they are trying to solve and the results of the original research they undertook to clarify the problem(s) and find potential solutions.
Firstly, you need to describe the current, existing situation in which you find your topic and lay out explicit outlines that inform the research process.
To begin with, you need to elaborate how you have implemented your research strategy and research setting in relation to the current situation.
You should also need to reason why your chosen strategy is suitable for your particular thesis and the relevance of data collection methods and the sources used. Your writing here will be subject to your choice of approach from the 3 options available.
Remember this is a small-scale study, designed to demonstrate your mastery of identifying a question or problem and systematically using established scientific research and other appropriate techniques to answer the question or solve the problem.
Secondly, you need to present your own model for the original research. In this section you should start with the simplest model you can think of. You can complicate things later if you need to, for example, if you find that you cannot make any of the predictions you would like to test. Remember that the research you undertake, must be relevant to your topic and answer the questions you are exploring.
Thirdly, you need to present your own data, sources, and modifications. You should simply describe the name and sources of the data you are using and the period it covers. For example, how you got the data and are they primary or secondary sources? Describe whether you have a panel, cross section or time series, what the unit of observation is and how many observations you have. Discuss limitations of the data such as missing variables, missing observations, survey response, small number of observations, etc.
This section should be around 4500 words.
The findings section presents the outcomes of the research. Develop a strategy for presenting the results; often this can be accomplished by responding to each research question.
Summarize the findings in the text, to connect the words and data and to the questions being researched. Discuss any evident patterns or relationships that emerge, and any surprises or anomalies in the data.
Place complete results, such as extensive data tables, at the end of the section or in an appendix, particularly if the volume of this information interrupts the flow of the text. Develop the findings from the data; however, reserve the interpretations of the data for the next chapter.
The format appropriate for reporting research findings differ, according to the research design used and whether you are doing and the thesis style option you have chosen.
This section should be around 1000 words.
The final chapter places the research findings in context.
For studies based fully on original research, students should interpret and summarize the results with regard to the objectives and the intentions of the research. Contrast and compare the findings with those of previous research and literature considered earlier in the thesis, and seek reasons to explain the similarities or differences. This summary leads to the conclusions for the study, which flow from and are consistent with the interpretation of the findings.
For a business plan thesis, students should offer conclusions and recommendations that follow the development of the plan itself. The focus here should be on implementation of the plan and key points to consider for the development of the business to ensure or enhance its viability.
For a management report thesis, students should reflect on the question or problem that drove the investigation, what the literature had to say about it, what their original research offers and then offer a series of conclusions and recommendations for the way forward.
Based upon the conclusions, formulate the recommendations. The recommendations may appear as a list beginning with the principal points and addressing policy and practice, as appropriate.
This section should be around 1000 words.
Poor referencing will be marked down; hence you should give full details of all books, articles, reports, etc., cited as references in your study.
The reference list includes all those materials cited in the thesis and should also include any published source of information that was consulted during the process of thesis completion. The APA (American Psychological Association) format is required.
The appendices include information needed to comprehend, support, and evaluate the thesis. Information is placed in the appendices because it is a distraction to the narrative flow of the text.
These should only include material that has been referred to in the study, but which for reasons of style you do not wish to include in the main body of your work. Raw data, reference tables, regulations, copy questionnaires, list of interviewees etc. should all be in an appendix. This material should support the main findings. If it is not referenced in the body then it should not be treated as merely an opportunity to add an impressive thickness to your study in an attempt to compensate for lack of authentic depth in the text!!
Here are some helpful resources that you can consult to help clarify some of the key steps in writing a thesis.
Rowley, J., & Slack, F. (2004). Conducting a literature review. Management Research News, 27(6), 31-39.
Remember also that you can access the GBS online library via your extranet account. Remember also to consult your supervisor regularly. Their job is to keep you on track to help ensure a positive outcome for you.
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