This page provides detailed information on preparing your final thesis at our institute. In addition, you find two LaTeX templates that you could use in writing your thesis.
Guidelines for final theses
The choice of topic for your final thesis depends on your previous knowledge in international economics. We will take into account your course history at our institute as well as individual interests. We welcome your personal suggestions on specific topics for the thesis (if you have any). However, these suggestions will have to be coordinated with your supervisor, who also makes the final decision in selecting the topic.
Mentoring of your thesis
Your final thesis will be mentored by Professor Kempa and his staff. The assignment of a mentor is generally decided by the choice of topic.
If you have decided to write your final thesis at our institute and also notified the examination office about the corresponding period of writing, please contact Florian Hüpper.
In a first meeting with your mentor you will discuss possible topics for your thesis. After a first screening of literature you select a topic with your supervisor and register this topic at the examination office. For the official registration of your thesis at the examiniation office please bring two copies of the so-called "Leitkarte"(Bachelor/Master) and the consent form for the use of plagiarism detection software on your thesis (Bachelor/Master). At this moment, the topic for your final thesis is binding. If you wish to extend the time limit to finish your bachelor thesis due to additional course-related work, please bring the appropriate request form. Your mentor will assist you with the registration at the examination office and also discuss the subsequent research and writing process of your thesis. Thereafter, you are asked to work largely on your own. In regular intervals you will have the opportunity to talk to your mentor about the progress you make with your thesis. In the case of severe problems or difficult questions, you are encouraged to consult your mentor at any time. However, please bear in mind that the need of excessive mentoring may have a negative impact on your final grade.
At the end of the writing period, you are required to hand in two bounded versions of your thesis at our institute. In addition, you have to supply a digital copy of your thesis (e.g., as PDF or Word document), along with a digital copy of your references, and possibly any datasets or programs that were used to conduct your analyses.
Requirements with regards to content
In a Bachelor's thesis you should prove your ability to understand (moderately complex) scientific papers and to lay out and explain their content. In a Master's thesis you may either review the academic literature on a more complex economic issue, and/or to conduct your own econometric analyses on a narrow research question.
Structure and layout
You are free in your choice of writing software (e.g. MS Word or LaTeX). As typeface you should use either Times New Roman (12pt) or Arial (11pt). General information on the formalities are given in the guidelines of the faculty (available only in German). Notwithstanding these guidelines, please define page margins of 2.5cm (left) and 4cm (right). At the bottom of this page you will find LaTeX templates that may be used to write your final thesis.
The table of content of your thesis will be discussed individually with your mentor. The structure below should serve as a general guideline for your thesis:
- Title page: Thesis' title, name, matriculation number, address, degree, university, supervisor, hand in-date
- Abstract: Maximum half a page
- Table of content: Sections, subsections and where appropriate sub-subsections
- Introduction: Motivation of your topic, brief background, short summary of the content of your thesis (including methodology and results) and finally an outlook on the structure of your thesis
- (Literature: An overview of all relevant literature for your topic. This part is not necessary if the main scope of your thesis is a literature overview. For empirical theses, a literature section can be appropriate.)
- Main part: This part should reflect your table of content and always depends on your individual topic. You should cover any theoretical model or empirical methodology that you use in detail as well as report and discuss the most important features or results.
- Conclusions: A brief summary of your thesis with respect to your research question, the theory or empirical mode, and your results. In some cases, you may discuss unsolved questions or points for future research.
- List of references: Must contain all sources cited (and only the ones you cited) in your thesis. The references should be presented in a standard scientific format.
- Appendix: Any tables, figures or program codes that are not directly necessary for understanding your thesis should be relegated to an appendix.
Every cited article in your thesis should be listed in your references. Please note that falsely cited articles or forgotten citations as well as excessive spelling or grammar mistakes affect your final grade negatively. You may choose to write your thesis in German or English.
At the end of your thesis insert a declaration stating the independence and authenticity of your writing ("Selbstständigkeitserklärung") as well as the consent form for the use of plagiarism detection software on your thesis.