BA Thesis Seminar

Course Description

Students demonstrate with their bachelor thesis that they are able to address a scientific problem under the supervision of an academic advisor in a prescribed period of time.

The bachelor thesis is a written homework assignment. It usually entails conceptualizing, carrying out, and evaluating a project that relates to the students’ study goals and subject matter.

Students are encouraged to suggest a topic and research question of their own for their thesis. With the agreement of the examination board, the thesis may be undertaken at a company or institution outside of the college if comparable supervision is possible there. The thesis topic is assigned by the examination board.

The topic assigment is conditional on the submission of the BA thesis form on the due date and the supervisor’s approval.

Details are regulated by the Studien‐, Prüfungs‐ und Zulassungsordnung für den englischsprachigen Bachelorstudiengang Management, section V.

Course Objectives

Every student is supervised by an academic advisor. The BA thesis seminar provides students with additional, structured supervision, peer feedback, and the opportunity to reflect on and discuss own approaches, problems, and progress.

Course Materials

Required:

Turabian, K.L., 2018. A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago style for students and researchers, 9th ed.. University of Chicago Press.
Available at bookdepository and amazon

Further recommendations:

  • Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. Fitzgerald, 2016. The craft of research. 4th ed.. University of Chicago Press.
    More in-depth than the Turabian, the relevant parts are by the same authors. The recommended chapters are listed below as “CR: chapter”.
    Available at bookdepository and amazon.

  • Miller, J.E., 2015. The Chicago guide to writing about numbers. 2nd ed.. University of Chicago Press.
    Helpful guide for presenting quantitative information effectively.
    Available at bookdepository and amazon.

On Reading

Rhetoric / Arguments

How to structure your paper

Writing with Style

Standard Reference Work

Software Tools I Use

Back-up your data!

  • Free online storage space: Dropbox automatically syncs a folder on (all) your computer(s)

Use a reference manager!

  • JabRef, free, intended for use with LaTeX, supports also MS Word and LibreOffice
  • Paperpile, subscription service, for use with google docs & Chrome

Keep track of your tasks!

  • Project management and (collaborative) To-Do lists: Trello, free, web & mobile apps
  • Personal to-do lists: Any.do, free, app for mobile and for Chrome

Take notes (and organize them well)!

  • Evernote for easy note taking on your mobile and when you surf the web

Create a distraction free writing environment.

  • While writing do not care about formatting: Google docs in full-screen modus, or Draft offer a clean interface for writing.

Course Requirements:

Only those students who have successfully concluded the examinations foreseen for completion by the end of the fifth semester, successfully finished the internship, and registered for examinations still outstanding, may be permitted to begin a bachelor thesis.

Students must be present at all sessions, submit their thesis proposal, thesis draft, and final thesis on time, and perform their duties as peer reviewer.

Instructor Information:

Prof. Dr. Dennis A. V. Dittrich
dennis.dittrich@touroberlin.de
http://economicscience.net

You can always reach me via email. Appointments for meetings can be arranged through my webpage at: http://economicscience.net/content/book-appointment. For asking for a meeting outside my normal office hours and off-campus please use http://doodle.com/davdittrich.

Updated information, links to the literature, additional materials, etc. can be found on my webpage as well.

Grading Guidelines:

Grading ComponentWeight
BA Thesis2/3
Defense1/3

You need to pass both grading components.

The thesis proposal defense is not part of the grading. Failing the proposal defense may, however, lead to the postponement of the thesis project to the next semester.

Workload

360 hours.

ActivityTime
Class Time15 hours
Thesis & Peer Review & Preparation Thesis Defense345 hours

Class Meeting Topics and Assignments

Class Session 1: 1st week

  • Preliminaries
    What is your topic?
    Reading
    • required: Chapters 1 and 2
    • recommended: CR: 1–3

slides

Class Session 2: 2nd week

  • What is your Research Question?
    How do you want to answer your Research Question?
    Who is your supervisor?
    Reading
    • required: Chapters 2 and 3
    • recommended: CR: 4 and 5

slides

Deadline: Monday, 17.09. (about noon)

  • Submission of Thesis Proposal / Outline
    Please send your thesis proposal to all students in the thesis seminar.
    Reading
    • required: Chapters 4–6
    • recommended: CR: 6, 7, 12, Part V “The Ethics of Research”

Class Session 3: Week 4

  • Deadline submission of BA thesis form.
    Your BA thesis from needs to be signed by your supervisor before you can submit it.
  • Presentation and Peer Review of Thesis Proposal & Outline

Class Session 4: 1st or 2nd week of October

  • Thesis Proposal Defense

Deadline: Friday 30.11. (about noon)

  • Submission Thesis Draft
    Elicitation of Peer Reviews
    Reading
    • required: Chapters 7–10
    • recommended: CR: 8–11, and 13–16

Class Session 5: 1st week of December

  • Presentation and Discussion of Peer Reviews
    Reading
    • required: Chapters 11 and 12
    • recommended: CR: 17

Deadline: 29.12. Noon, exactly 12:00!

  • Submission of Final Thesis

Class Session 6: 1st or 2nd week of January 2019

  • Thesis Defense
    Reading
    • required: Chapter 13