Bachelor Thesis Guidelines
The final thesis process from the initial contact to the final feedback:
Who can write a final thesis with us?
Students of marketing SBWLs
Generally, all students with a specialization (SBWL) in marketing are invited to write their Bachelor thesis with us, the Institute for Interactive Marketing & Social Media (IMSM). However, please note that because the number of applications might exceed our supervising capacities, we cannot guarantee the opportunity to write the final theses at IMSM to any student. Therefore, to ensure an adequate level of support to our students, we reserve the right to select students based on relevant selection criteria, such as grades in relevant courses, existence of relevant research and/or practical experience, as well as the degree of fit with the requirements for a given topic.
Students of other SBWLs
As you will typically deepen and apply the knowledge that you gained in one of your SBWLs during your thesis, it is reasonable to write your Bachelor thesis with us if you have selected one of the marketing SBWLs as your specialization. We will, however, consider supervising your thesis if you have good reasons (e.g., a quantitative background, interest in empirical bachelor theses, interest in digital marketing as demonstrated by internships) to write your thesis with us even though you have not selected one of the marketing SBWLs as your specialization. In these cases, you will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge to write a thesis in the area of Interactive Marketing & Social Media.
What do we offer?
We offer you the opportunity to gain insights into current research in the field of Interactive Marketing & Social Media. This often includes the application of quantitative methods to derive insights from data. Our aim is to offer topics with a high degree of practical relevance, which may include a cooperation with one of our many industry partners. You will receive intensive coaching during the time of your thesis and the opportunity to actively participate in conducting State-of-the-Art research in a young and interdisciplinary team.
Finding a topic that best matches your preferences
Before you apply
Please carefully study the official WU guidelines of writing a final thesis as part of the Business, Economics and Social Sciences bachelor program. Before you apply, please be aware that, at our Institute, we expect you to proactively manage the research and writing process (e.g., by scheduling meetings with your supervisor in appropriate intervals).
You are expected to be familiar with the general rules of writing a scientific paper as, for example, covered by the WU-course “Grundlagen des wissenschaftlichen Arbeitens” (GWA). To ensure that you are familiar with the peculiarities of writing a thesis in marketing, we provide you with a summary of the most important aspects you will need to consider when writing your thesis with us. However, you will still have to proactively acquire relevant knowledge before you start writing your thesis. These contents are, for instance, summarized in the following readings:
Stickel-Wolf, C. and Wolf, J. (2006): Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten und Lerntechniken, 4. Aufl., Wiesbaden. (German)
Turabian, K.L. (2013): A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago Style for Students and Researchers), 8th ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago. (English)
Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G., & Williams, J.M. (2008): The Craft of Research, 3rd ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago. (English)
How to apply for a topic
Consult the list of currently available topics to find out if one of the open topics matches your preferences. Please note that you have to indicate 3-5 topics that you are interested in giving a ranking according to your preferences. In most cases, this will be the appropriate way of finding a topic. We cannot guarantee that you will get your first choice, however we do our best to take your preferences into account.
Please apply for the respective topic by providing the supervisor of your chosen topic with:
A short CV (including potentially relevant experience related to the topic)
A summary of your grades (“transcript of records”)
A short motivation letter outlining why you are interested in the topic.
Your potential supervisor will contact you after assessing your application and invite you to our Institute in order to explain the topic in more detail. Shortly after the interview, the supervisor provides you with feedback. If the feedback from our side is positive and you are still interested in the topic you need to make your final decision to accept the topic within one week.
Note that we do not allow for a topic to be reserved by a student for a very long time.
Writing your Thesis
Once you have the supervision confirmation from us, your thesis will be officially registered at our Institute.
Do not postpone writing your thesis as you don’t have more than 12 weeks in total (computer crashed or “dog-ate-my-thesis” are no valid excuses and do not lead to an extension).
During the writing process, please report to your supervisor on the progress of your work at least every 2 to 3 weeks. Note that you have to proactively arrange the meetings with your supervisor to receive feedback and check on the agreed milestones. Furthermore, we expect you to provide your supervisor with meeting minutes after consultations via email on the same day.
It is important that you strictly adhere to the formatting and writing guidelines as summarized in our instruction sheet for conducting scientific work. In addition, we provide you with a template for your theses here.
Writing an exposé
Your first important task is to write an exposé to clarify the topic of your thesis and the way you plan to approach the research problem. The exposé is also intended to help you structure your thesis and should cover the following:
Working title of your thesis
Motivation of the research problem and identification of the “research gap”
Approach to solve the problem and proposed research method
Short outline of the thesis
Preliminary literature list
A plan of your work stages including biweekly milestones.
We will provide you with two examples of exposés written by former students of ours to help you understand the requirements for a very good exposé. Please note that drafting the exposé is an iterative process, which may require some time. Overall, your supervisor will provide feedback on three different versions of your exposé. After each round you will have the opportunity to revise the exposé. Additionally, Nadine Schröder will review the second version of your exposé to make sure that you can make the best out of your thesis. We expect you to submit your exposé within four weeks.
Handing in your thesis
You must submit your thesis no later than 12 weeks after having received your topic. The submission process includes the following steps:
Submit your thesis electronically via Learn@WU and send your supervisor a copy of the thesis via email. Please fill out the cover electronically and place it at the beginning of your thesis.
Besides your written thesis, you have to hand in a short presentation of your results. Please send this presentation to your supervisor by email. (not mandatory, only if needed)
If you are working on an empirical topic, you also have to provide the raw data, which you used for estimation (e.g., on CD or USB). In this case, all steps of your analyses have to be transparent (e.g., by providing the code that you have used) so that your supervisor is able to replicate your results.
Once you have submitted your thesis, it will be checked for plagiarism.
Generally, we will try to correct and grade your thesis as fast as possible. However, you should plan in 4 weeks after submission (uploading the thesis to Learn@WU) for the correction time on our side in case you need the grade on your student record by a specific date (e.g., for job applications).
Your thesis will be graded according to a standardized grading scheme, which you can download here. Note that the weights of the different grading components depend on the type of your thesis (i.e., empirical vs. non-empirical).
Once your thesis has been graded, you will receive a written grading report from us that details the reasons for your grade.
Finally, we will grade you electronically via Bach and also send you a written reviewer report via email which details the reasons for your grade.
Note that your final grade can only be entered into the system if you provide your supervisor with the filled out documents according to the guidelines described here
Please also note the prerequisites for the entry of your grade in LPIS!
Links + Downloads
In case you have any questions please contact Christina Uhl.