How to Write a Thesis

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Next Kickoff

Fri 29.10.21, 17:00-18:00, Room: TC.2.03 

General Hints

Study carefully the guidelines summarized on . Furthermore, we expect that you to:

  • Proactively manage the research and writing process and

  • Provide your supervisor meeting minutes after consultations via email on the same day.


The same formatting rules apply for the thesis, which are also used for the research seminar of the SBWL Process & Knowledge Management:


The candidate is expected to be familiar with the general rules of writing a scientific paper and with the contents of the Research Seminar as part of the SBWL Informationswirtschaft. These rules are, for instance, presented in the lecture “Forschungsmethoden in der Wirtschaftsinformatik und im Operations Management” and further summarized in the following readings:


The grading of the thesis takes various criteria into account, relating both to the thesis as a product and the process of establishing its content. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Correctness of spelling and grammar

  • Aesthetic appeal of document and figures

  • Compliance with formal rules

  • Appropriateness of thesis structure

  • Coverage of relevant literature

  • Appropriateness of research question and method

  • Diligence of own research work

  • Significance of research results

  • Punctuality of work progress

  • Proactiveness of handling research progress

Steps of Writing a Thesis

Overview- please scroll down for details

StepSummer SemesterWinter Semester
1)      Institute announces topics25 March, 5pm12 October
2)      Students express interest in specific topic12 April, 12:0024 October
3)      Kickoff workshop, students are assigned to topics and supervisors19 AprilLast week of October
4)      Submission of research proposal via email to supervisor16 May30 November
5)      If proposal is graded as „passed“, students are invited to consultation with supervisorEnd of MayFirst week of December
6)      Student sends email update on work progressMid JulyMid January
7)      Student sends email update on work progressMid AugustMid February
8)      Student presents results to supervisorLast week of SeptemberLast week of March
9)      Student submits the thesis via Plagiarism Check on the Learn system.15 October15 April
10)      Supervisor enters grade in LPIS system30 October30 April

Details on steps:

Step 1)

It is possible that students propose topics themselves before the deadline. Such proposals should be made before the deadline for topic announcements and  can be accepted if

  • a clear research question can be formulated for the topic and it is feasible to apply a suitable research method.

  • the student shall

    • name potential supervisors in the institute as well as

    • provide a justification in terms of either completed courses from one of our institute's specialisations or concrete research projects at the institute that the proposed topic relates to (i.e., we strongly recommend to align such proposals with the proposed supervisor upfront in order to be accepted).

The student is notified of acceptance or rejection.

Step 2)
Express your interest by sending an email to mentioning the topics you are interested in plus a paragraph explaining what potentially qualifies you for this topic. As attachment, include a single PDF file with the file name
„<student-ID>_<family-name>_<topic-no>.PDF“, which contains both a CV and recent Sammelzeugnis.

Note that it is allowed to express interest for more than one topic (as a list ordered by preference), but in such cases a separate motivation paragraph for each topic needs to be provided.

Step 3)

At the kickoff, students who submitted expressions of interest will be assigned to topics based on both their interest and their prior knowledge in relevant areas.

Note: If you cannot attend the kickoff for good reasons (e.g. exam, sickness), please let us know upfront, otherwise your application cannot be considered, plus in case of several interesting candidates fo the same topic, priority for assignments will be given to the students present at the kickoff.

Step 4)
The research proposal is a 10 page document formatted according to thesis template which includes the following parts:

1)      Working title,

2)      Motivation of research problem and research question,

3)      Summary of background literature and state of the art solutions,

4)      Proposed research method,

5)      Outline of thesis,

6)      Preliminary literature list,

7)      Work plan including milestones.

Students have to pass the research proposal evaluation in order to be further supervised.

Step 5)
If the evaluation of the research proposal is positive, the student is invited for consultations. The student will receive feedback on the background section and research question, on the work progress and further expectations, and on the definition of further objectives. Further intermediate meetings with the supervisor may be agreed upon in these consultations, depending on the milestones and work plan.

Step 6)

Student sends email update on work progress

Step 7)

Student sends email update on work progress

Step 8)
The student prepares a presentation of 20 minutes and agrees with the supervisor on an appointment where the presentation is shown and discussed. The student will receive final feedback.

Step 9)

The student submits the thesis:

a) via Plagiarism Check on the Learn@WU system

b) via mail to the supervisor in a single zip file, including the LaTeX sources files.

c) if programme code was developed during the thesis, make it available as well along with a small README file explaining how to run the code as well as system requirements.

Step 10) The supervisor will grade the thesis within two weeks time and enter the grade in the LPIS system.

Note that students who have successfully completed Step 4) are allowed to complete/submit any of the following Steps before the deadline (upon individual agreement with the Supervisor); however, if the deadlines after Step 4) are missed, we reserve the right to re-assign the topic to another student.


Each semester, we will announce a best bachelor and best master thesis award. We will nominate this thesis for the TALENTA award candidates of our department.