By writing a bachelor thesis or another thesis, students should prove their abilities during their studies. It’s about showing that you can work according to scientific methods. Students should also demonstrate their skills in observing and documenting scientific phenomena. It is a matter of demonstrating that one is able to abstract from one’s own results and to search for the underlying laws. While other theses have the additional function of informing the colleagues about the results of the conducted research, this function is not included in a bachelor thesis.
This must be considered when writing the thesis
Decisive for the success of theses is not only the content, but also the structuring of it as well as the adherence to the correct form. In addition, work on completing a degree course requires accuracy and originality. In the end, this means nothing else than that the data from the bachelor thesis must be complete and genuine. No data may be arbitrarily supplemented, omitted or even invented. In addition, the thesis designated as a student by it must come from its source: All other components of the work such as drawings, diagrams, etc. must be assigned to the author and cited correctly.
How, does my bachelor thesis have to be in English?
Sounds so far everything plausible, right? But what if the bachelor thesis or another thesis does not have to be written in German but in English? Many students feel sick in the stomach at this thought. This is completely normal, because very few have previously done a housework or similar. written in English. Thoughts that orbit students are:
- Are my language skills sufficient to express myself as well as in German?
- Can I manage to keep the correct sentence structure?
- Is my vocabulary big enough?
- Is it even enough time to write everything in a different language?
- Why should I even write the thesis in another language?
Advantages of an English-language thesis
In most cases, the bachelor thesis does not have to be written in a foreign language, but in German. However, there are certainly a few advantages to writing the bachelor thesis in English. These include u.a. the following:
- Coping with the task promotes self-confidence
- The own profile for foreign applications is sharpened
- Even when applying at home, writing the bachelor thesis in a foreign language is proof of courage and expertise
- Examining the topic in a foreign language proves that the person is able to familiarize himself with complex issues even under difficult conditions
Hints for writing an English-language scientific paper
Below you will find useful hints on how to write your bachelor thesis or another thesis in English. One thing is anticipated: It makes little sense to dictate the work in German and then simply translate the whole thing with a dictionary! Firstly, one does not have the necessary time for this and, secondly, this leads to conceptual confusion and to translation errors, which ultimately suffers from the quality of the thesis. Of course, you can still put a dictionary next to you and use it to look up a term. The help is also available from these experts.
The English language prefers the verb
First of all, you must be aware that the English language, unlike the German language, “prefers” the verb rather than the nominal style. For example, while the talk in German is of “service delivery,” “profit maximization,” etc., it’s about providing services, maximizing profits, and so on. Using verbs makes your text more dynamic and easier to read ,
Write as “active” as possible
An active style also has a dynamic effect. English texts are as active as possible! Forget, if you were taught at school, that in scientific papers the passive writing style was to be used.
Simple sentences prove that you are familiar with the subject
The abbreviation “KISS” stands for “Keep It Short and Simple”. Means keep the structure of your bachelor thesis as simple as possible despite many technical terms. Certainly not aspects should be linguistically embellished or beautified. Contrary to popular belief, clear, simple sentences are not a sign of poor English skills, but of making it easier for readers to read. The clarity of the sentences shows that you are familiar with the subject.
The English language is “sexually correct”
Until recently, it was common in German to speak of “students”. This term covers both female and male students. Today one uses the gender-equitable term “students”. Or one speaks explicitly of “students”. In English, such rules have been around for some time. An example of this is the “singular they”.
Awaken the reader’s interest
Wake up the interest of the reader at the beginning of your work. Only if you can do that will the reader keep reading. Explain why your topic is important and underpin it with an interesting style. Example: The topic of your work is the Terracotta Army in China. Do not just mention it that way, but add something like, “The Terracotta Army is one of the most emblematic archaelogical sites in the world.”
This is how you write the abstract
The most written type of text in the study is the abstract. The elements of your thesis that are part of this important summary can be counted on one hand:
- What is the main topic of the bachelor thesis? What makes this topic (currently) so important?
- What are you focusing on, ie: what aspect of the main topic you are addressing – what is your research question?
- What is your method? What did you do and which theories were relevant to your work?
- What are your key findings or results?
- What do these results mean and what relevance do they have? What conclusions can be drawn from them?
One to two sentences for each of these points suffice for a scientific abstract.
If you want to write your thesis in English, you should look in advance at other scientific work from English: How do the professionals in a field write and how is it formulated in subject-specific text types? The so-called “reading-for-genre” allows you to develop a specific language and to integrate it confidently into your own text. Unlike usual, you do not read this mainly because of the content, but because of the form. It is about developing specialist terminology, technical terms and a subject-specific writing style. Reading through the theses of friends or the respective professor can also be helpful. Keep the following questions in mind when reading for genre:
- How are the specific texts structured?
- What are the scope, citation, and other structural elements?
- What do the phrases look like (active or passive, “simple” or complex, etc.)?
- Do you find any building blocks that you can use for your text (eg “The chief questions I want to investigate are …”)
- By and large, this is about getting an overview of what scientific English looks like in practice. Such preparatory measures will make writing much easier!