Guide to Writing Your Bachelors’ Thesis & Its Main Components

The bachelor’s, master’s, or simply: thesis – is the last big hurdle to finish your own studies. Quite a few students are afraid of it. Writing a thesis like this not only takes a lot of time and a lot of work – it simply lacks the practice and routine to deal with a topic so intensively over such a long period of time.

Writing A Thesis: How Do I Find the Right Topic?

A thesis does not mean an effort that should not be underestimated: a topic has to be found, the appropriate supervisor has to be convinced and an outline has to be drawn up. The choice of topic is not entirely unimportant for your later career entry. With your thesis, you not only show that you can work systematically, structured and scientifically, but also deepen your theoretical knowledge in a certain area.

Some may collect empirical new data and facts that are not uninteresting for employers. The more relevant the topic is for potential employers and the deeper the analysis, the more convincing the thesis will be later when applying.

Structured Questions For Choosing A Topic

The choice of topic should not be a snapshot. Proceed systematically and narrow down the thesis topic with the help of structured questions (and the supervisor). That’s how it’s done:

  • Determine Interest

Select a topic for the thesis that interests you. Without a positive attitude and sheer agony, you will hardly find inspiration. The topic should have a technical relation to your course of study and be as current as possible. But not too topical either: fashion topics in particular often have the disadvantage that there is hardly any secondary literature on them. This increases the research effort significantly.

  • Creating A Hypothesis

What do I even want to find out, research? In the best-case scenario, the thesis should provide a gain in knowledge and not just rearrange known research results. So think about how you can differentiate yourself from other research work.

  • Determine The Initial Situation

What findings are already available? What is the acute problem in science? Take some time to research the materials and look around in the specialist literature to see which theories, solutions, methods, and data are already known. Also in comparison to the second point – your hypothesis.

  • Check Feasibility

How extensive is the research required for the topic? No question about it: there are very exciting topics for theses. However, the scientific effort for this is clearly beyond the scope. Even a doctoral thesis would be too scarce for that. In that case, only the next point helps.

  • Narrowing Down The Topic

Quite a few students and future graduates formulate and define their topic too broadly. Effect: It can no longer be done in the given time. Therefore, it is better to look for a (still exciting) partial aspect of the main topic and specify it until you believe that you can work it out on 40 to 100 pages. The obsession with completeness is counterproductive here. Because the work has to keep what the title promises.

  • Identify Target Group

For whom could the topic of your bachelor or master thesis be of interest? It is by no means reprehensible to think about starting your career when choosing a topic and to choose the topic in such a way that you arouse interest among employers.

This Is How You Write The Foreword Of Your Bachelor Thesis

In the foreword, you provide information about your personal reason for choosing a topic for your thesis as well as about experiences you have made while writing and thank the people who have supported you.

The foreword is an optional part of your bachelor thesis and should not be confused with the introduction or abstract. It is a maximum of 1-page long.

Write The Preface

In the foreword, you have the opportunity to tell more about the personal background behind the choice of your topic and how you found the writing process.

The foreword is no longer than one page and comes before the table of contents. It is mainly characterized by its personal character.

You can also express your thankfulness to the most important people for their support.

The preface includes:

  • Your personal background,
  • Your personal experiences while writing – but stay professional,
  • The circumstances that led to the choice of the topic of your thesis,
  • The distribution of work if several people have taken notes,
  • Thanks to essential persons (with first and last name) and institutions,
  • Place and date.

Quote In The Foreword

It is not forbidden to quote from your literature in the foreword, but it is unusual due to its personal nature.

If you decide to quote in the foreword, you must use references in the text and list all of your sources in full in the bibliography at the end of your paper.

Example Formulations For The Foreword

So that you can get an impression of how you can formulate the foreword, we have created a few examples for you.

  • Example Formulation: The Personal Background Of Your Topic

The idea for my topic came during my internship at company X, where I dealt with various aspects as part of project Y. So I was able to carry out and prepare a large part of the research there.

  • Example Formulation: Distribution of Work

This bachelor thesis was written in collaboration with three of my fellow students. Andrea Meier was responsible for developing the theoretical framework, while Sarah Muller and I conducted the expert interviews and wrote the methodological part.

  • Example Formulation: Thanksgiving

I would like to thank my companions, especially my supervisor Lukas, for their good guidance and support during this process. I would also like to thank all of the respondents who participated in this study. Without their support, I would not have been able to complete them.

Difference Between Foreword, Introduction, and Abstract

Since the foreword is right at the beginning of your bachelor thesis or master thesis, it is easily confused with the abstract or the introduction.

We have compiled the main differences:

  • Preface
    • Page number, but no chapter number
    • Extent: max. One A4 page
    • A personal description of the writing process
    • An optional part of the text
    • Tense: present tense, past events in the perfect or simple past (no strict requirement)
    • I or we-form allowed
  • Abstract       
    • Page number, but no chapter number          
    • Extent: max. One A4 page     
    • A compact summary of central theses and results    
    • An optional part of the text   
    • Tense: present tense, past events in the perfect tense         
    • Personal pronouns are rather unusual          
  • Introduction
    • Page number and own chapter number
    • No fixed scope, usually 5-10% of your work
    • Research questions and hypotheses are drawn up
    • The fixed part of the text
    • Tense: present tense, background information in the past tense
    • Personal pronouns are rather unusual

Literature Research For Scientific Papers

Depending on the type of your thesis, the literature research and processing takes up a large part. You should also take this into account when choosing a topic: In the case of very special topics, the literature may be so poor that you will have to come up with relevant research results on your part. As a rule, a bachelor thesis cannot do this. How do you get literature? The following tips:

  • Reference Library Literature

It is often arranged thematically so that you only have to look left and right on the shelf in your subject area to come across potentially important works.

  • Library Catalog

You can search more systematically with the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). Here you have the choice between various search options, for example, keyword search or author search. You can also search with Boolean operators (PDF).

  • Directory of Journals

Most universities have an electronic directory of journals. Here you can search for articles in specialist journals. This is useful to include current research developments. The same applies to ongoing bibliographies that list the latest publications on a particular topic.

  • Google Scholar And Google Books

You can use them to find academic literature that your library does not offer.

Effective Tips For Writing

Finally, to avoid the most common mistakes and problems, here are three tips to keep in mind:

  • Structure Your Sources Right From The Start

A chaotic source collection costs a lot of strength and sleeps in the days before handing it in. Save yourself that and archive your sources in a structured manner right from the start. The effort is worth it – especially for the bibliography.

  • Work With Styles

Even if style sheets make more work at first: Microsoft Word, Open Office – no matter which word processing program you use – all of them already offer style sheets. And these allow you to make important layout changes quickly and easily later – for example because you have not yet complied with the university’s specifications (font size, margins, spacing,).

  • Plan In Time Buffers

Make sure you plan enough time for your thesis – ideally even for each individual work phase. It starts with finding a topic and structuring it, continues with literature research for the survey, and finally with writing and formatting. Not to forget the correction phase before submission. Not to mention the regular coordination with the supervisor. All of this takes time. Our tip: Hang up a large annual calendar and use colorful highlighters to mark the respective phases – and stick to them as much as possible.


If you feel overwhelmed in the meantime: This is completely normal and is due to the fact that you have probably never created and structured such a long text –especially if you are working on a doctorate or nursing thesis. In time, however, you will get into a routine, and the relief grows with each completed page. It is all the more important that you take breaks in between and reward yourself for successes in stages. This is the only way to keep the motivation you need to write your thesis. Or otherwise, you can take help from the services offering nursing dissertation help.