How are theses evaluated?
It is the work of many weeks – the final thesis in the form of a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis. Rarely a bachelor thesis or master thesis are written in a “slip”, but are the result of intensive research and paperwork – in short, many tedious hours. In the process, it is often necessary to overcome motivational valleys and frustration when writing off a dead end or because of methodological problems, for example because the evaluation of the statistical data simply does not fit the established hypotheses.
Evaluation criteria of a thesis
It is therefore all the more important to know the criteria from the outset, which leads to a good evaluation and grading of the thesis. After all, a bachelor’s thesis or master’s thesis is not only intended as a “scientific contribution”, but is also a separate examination performance: “On the one hand, it is still an important part of learning, but on the other hand it is also a result of learning to be graded.”
Of course, these criteria differ from chair to chair or university to university, such as university. following figure shows.
Nonetheless, certain universally applicable standards of evaluation apply in all fields. In case of doubt, the tutor or lecturer should be asked whether they exist in writing and are visible, so that the necessary transparency is already given during the processing phase of the thesis.
These generally valid evaluation criteria can be classified according to content and formal criteria, which will be considered in more detail below:
Is the topic understood and rigorously worked on?
In terms of content, the initial task is to make it clear that a concrete topic has been dealt with clearly and rigorously, taking into account the current state of research. A concrete and well-founded limitation of the topic is a prerequisite for this. The arbitrary omission of certain aspects or an incomplete argumentation are regarded as serious scientific defects (see Lorenzen, 2002, p. The sole descriptive description of researched sources is not sufficient. Rather, a contextualization and classification of the evaluated sources must be done in order to classify the own scientific work accordingly.
What own contribution is provided and how does it fit into the state of research?
In-house performance is expected especially at the master level, at least rather than at bachelor’s theses, which usually only cover the methodological competence. In any case, an own contribution of the student must be clearly recognizable, which is characterized above all by the fact that the set up research question is answered and the gained insights are put in connection with the state of the research. In this regard, the results of one’s own work should be critically evaluated or an outlook on further research needs should be given.
Which scientific methods are used and are they suitable for the question of the work?
An important evaluation criterion for each thesis is the ratio of execution and difficulty level. This is not always about, e.g. to apply the most complex method of data evaluation, but to adapt the methodology to the topic. Different methods can also be discussed and compared with each other in order to finally make a reasoned decision for a certain method. The rule of thumb is: the simpler the topic, the more likely it is that the method will be mastered. The more complex the topic, the sooner slight methodological weaknesses can be forgiven.
Which linguistic competence and which style are expressed in the work?
This evaluation criterion can be assigned more to the formal aspect, but of course also concerns content-related aspects. A good content is “devalued” by a lack of linguistic competence. A common shortcoming here is too diffuse and too colloquial style and expression, which is naturally reluctant to be seen in scientific texts or even leads to significant deductions in the assessment. Therefore, an auditor will pay attention to how the thought process is linguistically and logically comprehensible, whether the (scientific) terminology is used correctly and whether the comprehensibility of the text is supported by meaningful examples and graphic graphics, tables, etc. Likewise, sentence construction, spelling and punctuation must fit. Of course, a strict adherence to the prescribed formalities such as citation, font size, margins, paragraphs, etc. should be noted.
In assessing the scientific work available to him, the examiner will ultimately make an overall assessment, incorporating the mentioned but also further criteria, e.g. whether the student has chosen his own topic or how much the support effort was during the completion of the thesis.
If you are not sure whether your bachelor thesis or master thesis meets the respective criteria of a good rating, please do not hesitate to contact us. We examine these in detail and provide a corresponding report, which you can use to make a targeted correction before submitting your thesis.