Check formal requirements before you start writing your thesis.
- Check Study and Exam Regulation.
- Go through the CUB’s Code of Ethics, concentrate on plagiarism, text similarity checker chapters.
- Check former theses to get an insight of formal requirements.
- Consult with students from higher classes.
- Do you need more help? Turn to your supervisor and come to thesis writing training and consultation sessions offered by the library.
Manage your time
Writing your thesis proves, that you have successfully finished your basic education, you are able to understand and analyze scholarly works and you became a critical, logical thinker. Take into consideration your efficiency, your daily routine when you calculate the time of writing, in order to:
- enjoy writing, avoid stress
- find your topic’s expert authors, find high-level scholarly works and unanswered questions
- not just shuffle through this task but create a thesis you can be proud of, you could use it for future reference
- let enough time to check it, to correct mistakes and to inbuild new ideas.
How much time do you need to write a thesis?
Writing period in itself is not so long, but preparing (collecting literature, research, consultations) might take months. To complete a thesis you might need less time (some weeks), but:
- it depends on your topic and science area,
- your notes, documents have to be well-organized, easily accessible,
- you need to know your topic keywords and experts of the field, need to have a global insight of your topic’s literature and as a start, you have to create a well-structured draft,
- you have to be aware of formal requirements,
- you need experience in writing professional texts. It is fine if you rewrite the first version several times to clarify and refine it.
- To write a succesful thesis you need to choose a topic carefully since you need to work on it for months. Think about which subject you liked most during your study, your reading or lecture notes can also help.
- Ideally, you will find a topic from the recommendation list offered by your department. If not, you need to find a supervisor for your individual topic – it will work, do not worry.
- Avoid topics which have already been written by others. Check Corvinus’ Theses Repository, which can be useful not just at thesis writing but also in other cases; bibliography of similar student works can be used as a starting point of finding scholarly works.
- It is important to choose a topic that has some literature. Make a trial search in advance, connect some keywords for pre-checking documents.
- Be a critical reader, make questions. If you find unanswered, unclarified questions you are on a good track.
- Create a topic sentence with 5-6 keywords, if you can do it, you have crossed the line. As a next step create a mindmap, list all key concepts, organize them. It helps you to decide whether your topic is focused and using it you can make the draft of your thesis.
- A good draft is similar to a guide. It helps you not to be lost when reviewing literature, not to miss relevant points, stay focused on your topic. However, feel free to narrow or broaden your topic as relevant literature is being processed.
It is a crucial point which documents you use. You may know that sources offered by the library assures that you find qualified documents quickly and efficiently. Reading a good article takes as much time as reading a low-level one.
- Search scholarly works: books, articles, dissertations. The most recent information is in articles.
- As a starting point, check references of similar theses at CUB repository.
- You might have experienced that the easiest way to find peer-reviewed documents is, if you use SuperSearch. It works also from remote, using VPN, or in some cases also EduID. SuperSearch is a search engine that searches simultaneously in several subscribed and free scholarly sources.
- Did you know? Using AND narrows your search, it finds those documents where all keywords appear. OR is used for synonyms, helps you to broaden your search.
Other possible ways to broaden your search:
Hints, if a document is not available from our sources:
Read and take notes
- Read a lot. It is essential not just to review literature but also to form your topic, to define your hypothesis or research question, to find experts in your field, to create concept clusters.
- Focus on your topic, concentrate on relevant literature only.
- Be a critical thinker, evaluate sources (CRAAP-test), interpret what you have read, find coherence and inconsequence.
- Take notes. Form your own notetaking style, method: colouring, underlying but never do it in library documents!
- Systemize how you store your notes, abbreviations, questions and references. If you do so, it helps you to create paraphrases (telling someone’s thoughts with your own words), it also expands the text of your thesis. Do not forget that you need to use references also if you paraphrase!
- If you are fond of apps, try EverNote.
- Use a reference manager software e.g. Zotero, Mendeley, Endnote, etc. They automatically download metadata and, in most cases, full-texts of documents, webpages. Reference managers help you to create your bibliography in the style defined at the University. Collected documents can be shared with others and notes can also be added.
- You do not need to start writing with the introduction-chapter, if you feel like, start it with another. Don’t worry, you will get the hang of it you will write more and more easily.
- Put only those ideas into your thesis that fit the mainstream of your work. All other information should go to the Appendix or footnote.
- Take care of the writing style, use concepts in a consistent and accurate way. Try to write briefly, use simple sentence structures. The whole text should be logical and traceable.
- When you are ready, read and check your thesis. Compare table of contents and page numbering.
- Should you have written complicated sentences, simplify them. Ask your friend to read it, build in some of his/her remarks if you find them useful.
- Correct referencing is very important. Use references in the text (verbatim and paraphrase) and put all of them into the reference list at the end of your thesis. Check rules to avoid plagiarism.
- Register for a Thesis Writing Training or Consultation session.
Referencing for anti-plagiarism
Using references in a text, verbatim or as a paraphrase, is very important, because:
- it makes your thesis authentic
- proves that you have found the most important sources, authors
- helps other to locate the original works
- a reference list mirrors the value of your thesis. Although, this part is usually at the end of your thesis, supervisors start reading here. It is also important to create your reference list according to the predefined standard (e.g. APA, Harvard). For this purpose we warmly recommend that you use a reference manager software (Zotero, Mendeley).
- If you use references, you can avoid ethical crimes. At references put author’s surname and publishing year in brackets, at verbatim references present also page number. You need to clarify which thought is yours and which is from someone else. More information about this topic.
If you are in doubt, check this FAQ.
As it is stated in CUB’s Code of Ethics: „Plagiarism is committed by anyone who uses external sources in his/her work while failing to comply with professional expectations and rules or to use correct references.” (CUB, Code of Ethics, 2011)
At Corvinus, the Turnitin text similarity checker is used.
As a result of checking, it shows the percentage of texts which can be found also in other sources and it also specifies them. If this number is relatively high, it does not mean automatically plagiarism, your supervisor will decide about it.
Before the final submission you have the possibility to upload your thesis unlimited times to test it. Here is a short description how to analyze your result.
CUB’s anti-plagiarism regulation is available here.