Bachelor thesis: scholarly argument

Through cleverly worded statements, your reasoning is at a scientific level. Here you follow a basic structure that derives from the question of your Bachelor thesis. Build your arguments on each other, justify your hypotheses and convince the reader from your point of view.

Skillfully argue scientifically
While the red thread in your bachelor thesis ensures that all parts are logically based on each other, the nature of the argumentation describes the exact combination and linking of statements. In a scientific paper you support your point of view with logical arguments, but also include opposite views. Important is:

  • with a careful choice of materials, writing is easier
  • Do not conceal counterarguments, but do away with them in your argument
  • Avoid long and complicated sentences – your arguments should be easy to understand
  • Select materials

In scientific reasoning you use certain materials. These are empirical data that you collect in your bachelor thesis or information from the literature. In principle, material can be anything that helps you answer the research question. In the law or German studies, for example, you evaluate literature to answer the research question. In physics, you do experiments, and in medicine, you may use surveys or observations. Which materials are appropriate, you talk to your supervisor.

More about the preparation

Scope the scope of the materials scientifically
The material search and evaluation is a very important phase, which contributes significantly to the success of your work. With good preparation you save time and unnecessary grief. Allow enough time for data collection and literature searches. Choose materials that are directly related to your hypotheses. Finally, you raise a claim to validity with the hypotheses postulated. Here’s an example:

  • Research question: Are elementary school children with more pocket money happier?
  • Hypothesis: Primary school children who receive more pocket money are happier.
  • Material: Information from a survey of primary school children
  • Scope: You assume that your hypothesis is confirmed by the information collected
  • General: Statements that you make on the basis of the information collected apply only to primary school children
  • As you can see from this example, the selection of materials also limits the generalisability of the results scientifically. Because if you Only primary school children have studied, you can not say anything about the relationships among preschoolers or older children. Of course you could accept further literature and find in these arguments that the found relationships also show up in other age groups. These are aspects that you can attach in the discussion section of your bachelor thesis.

Methods in scientific reasoning

After selecting the material, you commit yourself to a method of reasoning. So how do you want to use the collected data or found literature documents to answer your research question? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • In which direction do you want to argue?
  • How do you want to analyze the material?
  • How do you go about analyzing and why?
  • By what kind of analysis can you prove your hypotheses?
  • No matter what data has been collected – it must always be clear from your descriptions of how you analyze the materials. For example, describe how you use data for calculations, which calculation methods you choose, or which literature references you include, and what was not or what was the basis of those decisions.

The role of the hypotheses
The hypotheses of your bachelor thesis show scientifically what results you expect. They are derived from the research question and should be answered by your reasoning.

  • Which results do you think will show?
  • formulate statements that could answer the research question
  • the statements formulated in the hypotheses must be general, referring to a larger group
  • the statements should also be refutable
  • The purpose of your work is to confirm the hypotheses
  • formulate hypotheses as if-then sentences (e.g., if primary school children receive more pocket money, they are happier “)
  • Hypotheses must be refutable
  • What does it actually mean that a hypothesis can be scientifically refuted or is falsifiable? What this means is that it is possible to examine the hypothesis and determine that it is not true. An undeniable hypothesis would be “There are no elementary school children with little pocket money who are happy”. This hypothesis can not be refuted, because you would have to study all the primary school children in the world. Moreover, the hypothesis is not specific enough, since “little pocket money” is a very elastic term.

Your hypotheses in the bachelor thesis prove

In your argument, you collect evidence for the hypotheses. To substantiate the hypotheses, you use data, cited studies, text examples, observations, and other materials. Analogies may also be used, such as when a physician concludes animal results on humans. In many cases, sources are relevant, which you incorporate scientifically into your argumentation.

But how does that work? Include not only sources that support your assumptions, but also counter-arguments. This shows that you can reproduce different opinions. Do not put the counter-opinions under the carpet, but show in your bachelor thesis that the topic is scientifically controversial. Different sources seem more convincing than a few. In the argumentation of your bachelor thesis you can disprove the counter arguments.

Conclusion – skillfully argue in the bachelor thesis scientifically

For your reasoning, you use carefully selected materials whose use and analysis you describe. With these materials, you support the hypotheses of your work that you derive from the research question. Also offer counter arguments, which you then refute and thus show that you can conduct a discourse scientifically.

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