With the literature research a large part of the bachelor thesis stands and falls. We would like to introduce you to some tips and tricks for a promising literature search in this article.
Good and detailed planning of the text based on read literature is the basic building block of a good thesis and the best insurance against falling through with a plagiarism check. An initial overview of the literature helps you to organize and structure the work at the beginning. Through literature, you can acquire enormous knowledge about your topic, which you need for the development of your own arguments and solutions – building on already known knowledge.
Many topics of a bachelor thesis are interdisciplinary and have backgrounds in business administration, in engineering, or in social and political issues. Therefore, it is essential for the literature search that you look for the literature from many different sources. For the literature search to be structured, you can stick to simple procedure patterns.
The procedure in the literature search – from the general to the specific
The goal of an initial literature search shortly after the choice of topic is to develop initial questions and the outline of the Bachelor thesis. Many students then ask themselves the same question: “Where do I start? In the large university library, the Internet databases and the journals I lose the overview. “In the first step, you can ask this your supervisor. He has also worked in this or a related topic in the past and can recommend you as an expert usually standard literature that provides an overview. This literature can often be sufficient as a great help to set up your own rough outline.
Starting from the standard literature, often in the form of books, you can now penetrate deeper into the topic. It makes sense to analyze the bibliography of the already read literature and to sift through. Then you can research the latest developments in journals and essays – often in English. Papers in online databases mostly provide the latest research. But to be able to search specifically here and not get lost in the masses, you should start with the standard literature. Through this approach – from the general to the specific – your literature research gets an efficient structure. That way you avoid looking for the Ponzi scheme, just go ahead and read a lot of superfluous things.
Tips & Tricks for the literature search
The literature search is the foundation of your bachelor thesis. It is best to plan between 2-3 weeks in your time management for the literature search. So that you use this time effectively and do not have to jump back into the phase of literature research in the later stages of your writing phase, there are some tips & tricks that will help you during the research.
Make keywords: If your topic is fixed, think about keywords / keywords that are relevant to the topic. Create upper and lower terms and synonyms with which you can search the literature and in particular the online databases.
Skim-Reading: Especially in extensive books, it is advisable first of all to take a close and critical look at the table of contents and only to read the chapters that are relevant to your own research question. And here too, every word does not have to be understood when first reading. Try to get an overview of the main statements by scanning the text for keywords, and only reading these sections carefully.
Summarize with System: With a systematic literature search you avoid chaos and can better recall the main statements of different texts. Also at the first Skim-Reading Stichpunkte are recommended. So you can assign important text passages again suitable.
Use bibliographic management tools: Allows you to quickly and easily organize your read literature, and you will not lose any of the bullet points made.
Make copies: This is particularly important if the deadline of borrowing your literature is still in your writing phase. It will happen again and again, that you have to look in spite of notes again briefly in the literature. Key points that can no longer be assigned are therefore not meaningful. In contrast, copies during the literature search control.
Pay attention to release date: Current literature is usually better. If there is a wide variety of literature on your subject, choose the literature with the latest release date.
Time management in the literature search
A time limitation of the literature search is a very important part of the time management of the bachelor thesis. This milestone should be respected in any case after 2-3 weeks in order to be able to start structured in the writing phase. Of course, it may happen that you have to look up again in the literature, if possibly the supervisor still new input is required. But you should not be here anymore
have to start from scratch. An orderly literature search at the beginning of the editing phase of the bachelor thesis helps you to refer to this literature collection while looking through it and to always keep track of it. In addition, it is important to schedule any delays in inter-library loan lending and, if possible, to order this literature as soon as possible. If you immediately mark borrowed literature in the library, it also increases the chance that you have the appropriate books not only during the literature review, but also in the writing process still available.
The following applies: In the literature research, a lot of time can be lost due to superfluous duplication or unstructured reading. With these tips & tricks we hope to give you ideas to spare you and to complete your bachelor thesis with less stress.