The design of a bachelor thesis should not be underestimated. Undoubtedly, choice of topic, research and structured elaboration are important factors for a good Bachelor’s thesis or Master’s thesis. However, scientific work is also subject to certain specifications for typography. In some cases, universities impose special guidelines, which should be consulted before they are written. As a rule, however, uniform rules apply to every type of student work. So that the good grade is not in the end a faulty design in the way, there is an overview of the criteria that should be considered.
General information about the design of the bachelor thesis
Some aspects of the thesis can be decided by the writer himself. Does one speak of oneself as “author” or “author”, as distanced “one” or in the personal ego form? Should statements about the past be expressed by the past tense or the perfect? Which tense is correct? Does the creation of graphics and tables support the theses of the bachelor thesis or master thesis?
In any case, one must try to preserve the unity. Once made decisions must be maintained and not overturned within the work. The same applies to the formatting and the typography, the formal, external design of a bachelor thesis.
The first impression: make the cover sheet
The first thing Prof sees as a supervisor of a work is the cover page. The power of first impressions should not be underestimated. It should be clear and contain all the important information. These include the name of the university, the title and type of work, the name and title of the 1st and 2nd supervisor / examiner, the first and last name, as well as the matriculation number of the student and the deadline. Also the department or the chair can often be found on the cover page. The examiner should be able to find the phone number and e-mail address so that the examiner can get in touch with inquiries or important information.
When designing the cover sheet, the writer has relative freedom. The font should be the same as the text. Title and type of thesis (bachelor thesis or master thesis) are written larger than the rest of the information, similar to a book title. The information about the supervisor and the students are in the lower third. Creative people can also insert a picture to add a personal touch to their work – in moderation, this is a positive thing for many Profs.
Page design and font
However, the opportunity for creativity already ends in the page design and the choice of typography. So there are strict guidelines for the margins: Above and below the edge should be 1.5 cm wide. On the right, leave 2.5 cm space between the text and the footer. The left edge is 3.5 cm wide, so that the work is still legible even after binding.
The justification is always recommended if text should have a flush design. This results in a round overall picture. However, it is important to enable the automatic word separation, as otherwise there may be very long distances between the words.
The binding should also be considered in the page numbers. If the numbers are at the bottom center, they can not be obscured even with double-sided printing. Most writing programs automatically create the page numbers. So they have the same font as the text and are slightly smaller than the rest of the font.
But you have to make sure that no page number is specified on the cover page. Nevertheless, it is counted. Therefore, the first page after the cover page begins with a Roman II. Until the content part, so to the first page of the introduction, the page numbering is given in Roman numerals. The content part then starts with the Arabic 1.
The guidelines of typography for scientific work state that the font size is 12 pt and the line spacing is 1.5. The font should be Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. These are commonplace and experiments with fancy fonts are not welcome.
Design of headings and footnotes
Headings must stand out from the text. Karmasin and Riding give detailed instructions in “The Design of Scientific Works”:
“We recommend a font size of 16pt and bold. As a format we recommend (as with all other formats for headings) alignment left (not block!), A distance after the paragraph of 18 pt, line spacing 1.5 lines.
Footnotes may contain references or explanations of terms. For this purpose, the footnote number is set directly to the word to be assigned or explained. If complete sentences or paragraphs are to be given a footnote, the footnotes will be immediately after the final punctuation mark. The font of the footnotes is 10 pt in size and is also aligned in the block sentence. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively throughout the work, otherwise confusion may occur.
If a footnote goes over one page, you need to expand the footer. The text in the footnote should end on the page to which it refers.
Quotations and references in the bachelor thesis
A direct quote or an indirect quote must necessarily be labeled, so that you visually separate them from your own thoughts. After all, nobody wants to be accused of plagiarism after plagiarism! Direct quotations can either be taken within the text or by footnotes. The quote itself is in quotation marks. The author, the year of publication of the work from which the citation originates, and the page number are placed in parentheses after the citation. This method is called the Harvard method or the APA style – depending on the concrete implementation.
The same information can also be found in the footnote and are then called German citation. This variant ensures that you can read the text more fluently.
Indirect citations refer to sections that reflect what others have written. This is marked by “Comp.” (= Comparisons). Fittingly, the different ways of citation can be read in Lehmann, therefore.
The correct typography and design of the bachelor thesis is not negligible for the grade of a bachelor thesis. Therefore, one should also pay attention to the form of the work. Many students neglect this aspect because they focus entirely on literature research, argumentation, and formulation of the work.
Often a view from the outside helps to examine the design exactly. In the heat of battle, or better: writing, it can happen that you forget an important information on the cover sheet, the wrong font size selects or the citation form changes within the work. Outsiders usually see these intentions immediately, while one is still too much “at work”. This is the reason why an editing of a bachelor thesis and bachelor thesis is always worthwhile for the linguistic revision.