BA Thesis Seminar

subject to changes

Course Description

Students demonstrate with their bachelor thesis that they are able to address a scientific problem under the supervision of an academic adviser 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.

Course Objectives

Every student is supervised by an academic adviser. 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


Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. Fitzgerald. The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. [CoR]
Available at bookdepository and amazon.

Further recommendations:

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:, 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

You can always reach me via email. For meetings in my office appointments can be arranged through my webpage at: For asking for a meeting outside my normal office hours and off-campus please use

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

Grading Guidelines:

Grading ComponentWeight
BA Thesis2/3


360 hours.

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

Class Meeting Topics and Assignments

Class Session 1: 17.02.


What is your topic?

Reading: Chapter 3, CoR


Class Session 2: 3.03.

What is your Research Question?
How do you want to answer your Research Question?
Who is your supervisor?

Reading: Chapters 4 and 5, CoR


Deadline: 16.03.

Submission of Thesis Proposal / Outline

Reading: Prologue Part IV and Chapter 12, CoR

Class Session 3: Thursday, 23.03. 12:30

Presentation and Peer Review of Thesis Proposal & Outline

Reading: Chapter 7 and 8, Part V “The Ethics of Research”, CoR

Deadline submission of BA thesis form.

Class Session 4: Friday, 31.03. 12:30

Thesis Proposal Defense

Deadline: 11.05.

Submission Thesis Draft
Elicitation of Peer Reviews

Reading: Chapters 6, 9 – 11, and 13, CoR

Class Session 5: Thursday, 18.05. 12:30

Presentation of Peer Reviews

Deadline: 2.06. Noon

Submission of Final Thesis

Reading: Chapters 14 – 17, CoR

Class Session 6: Friday 16.06.

Thesis Defense

2nd Schedule for postponement due to sickness etc.

Deadline: 29.05.

Submission Thesis Draft
Elicitation of Peer Reviews

Class Session 5b: Friday, 02.06. 12:30

Presentation of Peer Reviews

Deadline: 16.06. Noon

Submission of Final Thesis

Class Session 6b: Friday 23.06.

Thesis Defense