This chapter is devoted to approximation of basic information about diploma theses. This type of work is the culmination of every degree of philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy of the UPJPII. Depending on the degree, the requirements for these works change.
More information about the requirements and the way of writing these works go beyond the framework of the course “Methodology of scientific work and computer use” in the first year of first-cycle studies. This knowledge should be obtained during consultations with the supervisor (applies to bachelor’s theses) or during participation in the scientific seminar (second and third degree studies). The graduate work is devoted to rich literature, unfortunately it often takes into account requirements specific to exact sciences (see bibliography).
Choosing the subject of work and promoter
The topics of work and promoter of work are usually closely related.
The choice of subject should be a process related to the whole period of studies. Getting to know different sections of philosophy, it is worth examining your philosophical interests from the first year of studies. While at the beginning of the studies it is natural that we do not know which department interests us, at the end of the second year such a situation is a sign of problems. Of course, the point is not that the student should have a ready subject at that time, but he should be aware of his talents and philosophical preferences.
The choice of the promoter is a bit different. The promoter is to be our guide – he will lead the development of work-related research, he will also help. When we have certain philosophical interests, the choice of the promoter should be guided by the competencies of a given scientist. It is worth to figure out what classes he is doing, read his chosen works and even go to consultations.
The choice should not be guided by rumors, sympathies or even assessments of other students (own assessments may be extremely different). It is worth remembering that the choice of the promoter will have a significant impact on the nature of the work. The success of cooperation with the promoter depends on both sides, but certainly without your own involvement, you will not get results – the promoter can not prepare work for the student!
At first level studies, the promoter is chosen at the beginning of the third year (until the end of October).
Composition of thesis
The diploma thesis is a scientific work. This is often the first work of this kind in our lives, so it’s worth getting to know its specificity.
Subject and title of the work
Setting the topic of work is one of the key stages in creating a thesis. It means that the stage of searching for a problem has been completed. From that moment the preparation stage begins: collecting literature and studying it. The culmination of this stage is the formulation of the first version of the topic of the work.
What is worth knowing about?
The topic of work can not be too wide – the work that would develop it would have to be too big. This is a common problem for beginning scientists, but such surprises happen even to experienced researchers when they discover unexpected research perspectives. A wide topic may postpone the deadline for writing a job into an uncertain future.
The topic of work should address one issue (as far as specific) – it is better to analyze one problem (even a rather modest one) than to misinterpret a lot of issues. This problem is related to humbleness, a necessary feature of every researcher.
The topic should be clear and communicative, and its scope must exactly match the scope of work. So let us avoid beautiful poetic titles in favor of perhaps less lofty, but as precise as possible. It should be borne in mind that the primary question of the reviewer is the question about the compliance of the work with the topic – if he misinterprets the “embellished” title, the deserved work can even get a negative rating! The author’s duty is to ensure that such mistakes do not occur.
In practice, in philosophical works (undergraduate and graduate) it is good to concentrate around the views of the chosen thinker (or their small group) – it allows to formulate an interesting and good topic, which with the appropriate help of the promoter will not be too wide.
According to the current editorial habits of the titles of works, chapters, sub-chapters, we do not end with a full stop. The dot can, however, separate the title from the subtitle if it is not graphically separated.
Collection of materials
The key issue in the preparation of the work is the collection of materials. Start with a bibliographic query.
It is important to organize work:
We make notes of works and articles – on separate pages written unilaterally (preferably when the description takes one page). If a note is very short from a given work, it is worth sacrificing her card anyway. In the future, it will be easier to arrange the notes properly when we start to create a work plan and divide into chapters. It is necessary to save bibliographic information about work (later it is difficult to find them!).
We make extracts – it is worth to note important quotes for us. From the technical side, we behave like in the case of notes. We need to save accurate bibliographic information (it is difficult to find them later!).
We collect photocopies – on the first page you should always immediately save the details of the bibliographic description. Trips to the reading room as you type, only to supplement the bibliographic description, can be extremely annoying! It is worth marking selected fragments on photocopies, you can also note comments and questions in the margins. However, you must not list in borrowed books!
Work structure and plan
The construction of the diploma thesis is basically an extension of the construction of the final works. The main topic should be divided into smaller problems, which we include in chapters. In diploma theses (lic. And MA) one of the chapters is usually devoted to the review of the issues. The student demonstrates this knowledge of the problem, and a well-designed review of the problem is of great value.
Due to the fact that the diploma theses are larger pieces, you should always prepare a plan. The titles of chapters (and subchaptions) should meet the same requirements as the title of the work. The work plan should be the result of cooperation with the promoter – it is good to discuss the plan and discuss it during the seminar. Do not be afraid of changing your work plan while formulating the issue, but be more cautious when dealing with changes after starting to write.
The construction of chapters
The separation of work is an autonomous whole. Okay so when it starts with a short introduction. In the introduction to the chapter you can put a short summary of the content of the chapter, which will allow the reader to better understand the author’s intentions. At the end of the chapter, it is worth summarizing the content of the chapter. It is also a good place for applications.
Particular chapters are Introduction and Ending. As a rule, we do not number them, even if other chapters have numbering.
The ending is to summarize the whole work. This is a place to assess the main thesis, conclusions and possibly outline future research problems.
The introduction is intended as an introduction to the issues raised at work. Often, the introduction includes explanations as to why the topic of the work should be elaborated and explain the decisions adopted. Introduction – for practical reasons – it is written last. This makes it easier to check if announcements from the introduction have been made.
Footnotes belong to the obligatory elements of work – they are supposed to document the origin of quotes and discussions.
Before you start writing a thesis, you should consult with the promoter what style of footnotes should be used at work. There is no one style accepted by all scientists. When writing a job, it is a good idea to enter all bibliographic information into the text.
This is a mandatory chapter of the diploma thesis. The list lists all quoted works (we do not place unquoted works).
We place the bibliography at work after completion.
The bibliography shows the works used by us. It should group them according to the assumed key (you have to establish it with the promoter). In philosophical works, the division into source works and studies is usually accepted, and two categories are divided if necessary.
Regardless of the key chosen, the bibliography must be ordered (e.g. alphabetically) and unified (each entry in the same format).
It is worth paying attention to the refinement of the bibliography. Often, a glance from a skilled reviewer will let you see if the list has been well-designed. Very often it is the first impression of contact with work – it is worth making sure that it is the best.
Table of Contents
The diploma thesis should have a table of contents (formal requirement). This list contains an ordered list of chapter titles, sub-chapters (sometimes a more complex structure is created) with an indication of the page’s starting number.
We place the table of contents at the beginning of the work (on the required pages) or at the very end (after the bibliography).
How to develop a table of contents?
Many people prepare a table of contents manually, but the disadvantage of this solution is that there are often discrepancies between the census and the content of the work. This is a serious drawback of the census!
It is recommended to create a table of contents automatically, which is relatively easy. What’s more, such a table of contents is automatically updated before each printout of the work, so there are no problems with discrepancies (sometimes there may be problems with formatting).
When writing a thesis, the appropriate styles should be applied to the titles of chapters and subsections: “Heading 1”, “Header 2”, etc. (these names may slightly differ in practice). It is important that the hierarchical structure of text division is reflected in the styles of titles.
How are diploma theses assessed?
The way of evaluating the diploma theses depends on the level of study:
first-cycle studies – the work is assessed by the supervisor (job supervisor). Positive evaluation is the basis for taking the diploma exam.
second-degree studies – the work is evaluated by the supervisor and reviewer (the grade from the thesis is the average of the two grades); prepare written reviews; both grades must be positive in order to be allowed to defend the job.
3rd degree studies – at the request of the doctoral student, the Faculty Council opens the doctoral thesis formally (the subject of the thesis and the promoter chosen is then approved). After submitting the dissertation (along with the required documentation), the Faculty Council appoints two work reviewers (at least one of them must be employed at another university). If reviewers give positive reviews of the work and the doctoral student passes the doctoral examinations, he is admitted to the last stage – public defense of work. In the case of a positive defense result, the examination committee decides to apply to the Faculty Council for granting the doctor’s degree. After the Faculty Council has granted the title of doctor, it is necessary to publish the dissertation (it is possible to publish a part of it) in order to receive a doctor’s degree during ceremonial promotions.