If you want to build a ship,
do not drum up men to gather wood,   give orders and divide the work, but teach them    to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
(1900 - 1944, French writer and aviator)

Guidelines on How to Write a Diploma Thesis

You may freely choose the topic of your thesis. You will coordinate your choice with the institute.

A good choice of topic would, for example, be one that you are currently dealing with in your work environment. We recommend the following structure: in Part One one you should give a precise description of the situation, Part Two should comprise an analysis of the corresponding theory and in Part Three this theory should be applied to the concrete issue at hand.

Please note that in the context of a diploma thesis a topic should not be reduced to a mere description of the situation at hand. Knowledge must be gained in the process. A diploma thesis should always aim to enlighten the reader about the topic discussed and should not stop at merely describing the situation.

We also attach great importance to basic theoretical work. In the context of writing a diploma thesis you should research and present the corresponding theory related to the topic so that you are able to draw your own conclusions and gain knowledge based on the research you have conducted.

Your paper should comprise about 40 pages.

Cover Page
On the cover page of your paper you must give the following information:
  • Topic
  • Presented to the Betriebswirtschaftliches Institut und Seminar Basel AG
  • Date
  • Your Name
  • Your Full Address

Introduction You will introduce the reader to the topic. First familiarise the reader with the topic.
Why do you think this topic is worthwhile dealing with?
To what degree is this topic up-to-date?
What is the central issue of the paper?
Which purpose do you pursue with your paper?

Main Part In the various chapters of the main part you will guide your reader towards the central aspect of your work, which you will develop, discuss and then sum up in a final sentence.
You should neither digress nor should your wording be too brief.
Smoothly link the various chapters, i.e., at the end of each chapter add an introductory sentence to the following chapter.

The wording of the research topic determines the contents of your diploma thesis. After all, your diploma thesis is about answering the questions or theses raised in the topic. Please be careful to actually address all of the questions and theses raised.

Conclusion In your conclusion you should once again state your thesis and briefly outline the most important arguments in support of your thesis or against it. Formulate recommendations based on the new knowledge you have gained here. Ascertain which questions remain unanswered and draw conclusions.
Which questions remain unanswered and why?
Which new knowledge has been gained with your work?
Which new perspectives and questions present themselves as a result?

Presentation of Quotations
The correct presentation of quotations is of great importance when writing a scientific paper.

Use quotation marks for direct quotations (both at the beginning and at the end of the information quoted). At the end of the quotation state the name of the author, the date of the work and the page number(s) in parentheses.

When stating the contents of a quotation but not the actual wording do not place any quotation marks. You must still state the name of the author, the date of the work and the page number(s) in parentheses at the end of the quotation.

List of Works and Sources Cited: use footnotes or endnotes to list the sources cited giving the name of the author, the date of the work and the page number(s)

List all the sources used in the text. Sources which you have read but which you have not mentioned do not need to be included here. Contributions with no known author are marked as such. Sources should be listed in adherence to the following formats:
Books: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name: Title of Book. Place of Publication. Publisher Year of Publication.
Articles in Periodicals/Newspapers: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name: Title of Article. In: Title of Newspaper/Periodical, Year of Publication, Number of Edition, Page Number(s).
Contributions in Anthologies: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name: Title of Contribution. In: Editor's Last Name, Editor's First Name: Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication, Page Number(s)
Articles on the Internet: Author's Last Name, Author's First Name: Title of Website, URL, Date.

Other Listings
You must also include the following information:
- Contents
- Listing of Images
- List of Abbreviations

Common Mistakes
- The relevance of the question topic of the paper is not clear
- Questions asked remain unanswered
- Important literature is not discussed or referred to
- Listings of sources or biobliography are missing

Assessment Factors
  • Structure and organisation of the work (excellent to deficient)
  • Depth and extent of grasping the topic (excellent topic weighting to wrong topic weighting )
  • Contents (extremely comprehensive to of very little substance)
  • Novelty Factor (high novelty factor to no novelty factor )
  • Evaluation, interpretation and incorporation of literature(comprehensive to insufficient)
  • Language: comprehensibility, style, legibility (good to poor)
  • Formal Design: formal presentation, quotation style, neatness (good to poor)