Notes for theses
Here you can find a collection of hints for written papers (seminar papers, bachelor and master theses) for students of our department.
Detailed information on the procedure of final theses can be found in the examination regulations valid for your study program. In general, the procedure for final theses at the Chair of Legal Informatics is as follows:
- In a first meeting, the topic of the bachelor's or master's thesis is discussed in its main features.
- In a familiarization phase, which should last about 4 weeks, you will read up on the topic, discuss your findings with the supervisor, and together with the supervisor concretize the task of the thesis.
- During the familiarization phase, you will present a scientific paper that you came across during the familiarization period in a 20-minute lecture in the Bachelor's/Master's seminar.
- At the end of the familiarization period, you are required to deliver an assignment (also referred to as an exposé or proposal) formulated by you and accepted by your supervisor. The assignment, which must be no more than 15 pages (20 pages for Master's theses), must include:
- background and motivation
- state of the art of research
- intended methodology
- time schedule
- To be described as concretely and concisely as possible. In particular, the specific formulation of the task should enable the examiner to check during the review whether or not the objectives set in each case have been achieved.
- Should it become apparent during the execution of the project that the original objectives cannot be achieved (for example, because they turn out to be more demanding than originally assumed), this must be discussed immediately with the supervisor in order to examine the possibility of changing the objectives. This is not an unusual occurrence, as research cannot always be planned in all its details.
- At the beginning of the processing period, the student gives an inaugural talk. The presentation should not exceed a duration of 15 minutes (Bachelor's theses) or 20 minutes (Master's theses).
- The registration of the thesis takes place directly after the inaugural lecture and according to the instructions of the examination office.
- The thesis has to be handed in on time according to the instructions of the examination office on turning in a thesis.
- Furthermore, a compulsory final lecture is planned, which must be held after the submission of the paper. For the presentation, 20 minutes are available for Bachelor's thesis presentations and 25 minutes for Master's thesis presentations.
A strict time restriction applies to all presentations, i.e. significant overruns can have a negative effect on the grade and lead to the premature termination of the presentation. Delays caused by any interposed questions are excluded from this rule.
The overall grade is composed of the following individual grades:
- Participation in the corresponding seminar
- Technical lecture
- Final thesis
- Final presentation
The inaugural presentation is only intended to provide feedback on the planned thesis and is therefore not graded.
For the style of theses, this guidebook of the University of Kassel is recommended. In a few points our recommendations deviate from it; this is noted here:
Formulation of the written work
- We strongly recommend the use of LaTeX for the preparation of all papers.
- The abstract is a short and concise statement of contents and should be understandable independently of the text. Conversely, the actual text should not assume that the reader has also read the abstract.
- Two headings directly following each other with no intervening text should be avoided (this occasionally occurs with headings of different levels). A useful tip here is to briefly describe what the following subchapters are generally about.
- It is advisable (usually after the motivation of the topic or towards the end of the introduction) to give an overview of the structure of the paper.
- Note on spelling:
Compounds of German words and foreign words are not treated differently with respect to spelling than pure German word compounds, e.g. brute force attack (with hyphens) or hash function or hash function (both variants possible).
- Your work will make a better impression if you also remember some basic typographical rules. For this we recommend e.g. the reading of https://www2.informatik.hu-berlin.de/sv/lehre/typographie.pdf.
- The respective own contribution to the work must be made clear.
- Care should be taken that in evaluations the results are also interpreted and analyzed, and not only that which is obvious from the figures/graphs is written down again in prose.
- Plagiarism will result in the paper being graded as "failed". This also applies to interim submissions, e.g. of seminar papers, where we otherwise only point out errors - but attempts at cheating are not acceptable at any stage.
- Acknowledgements to the supervisor or corrector are neither necessary nor usual. Supervising theses is part of our job. Besides, at the time of submission, you do not know whether you will still be grateful to us after receiving the grade.