Writing a thesis

Report
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Writing your thesis: The process and problems
Thesis information meeting,
Department of Business Communication
Marts 2014
Sophie Esmann Andersen
Associate Professor, PhD
pReSEN
TATION
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Agenda
› What is a thesis?
› How to get started
› The thesis process
› Thesis supervision: roles and
expectations
› Links and pieces of good advice
2
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
3
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
According to the study guide the purpose of the thesis is to
enable students:
› to carry out extensive scientific research
› of a problem which is relevant to the study programme
› by applying scientific theories and methods
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
What is your overall contribution?
Empirical thesis: raises questions regarding
phenomena that may be observed or
experienced. Argues and answers through
data  reflects on theoretical consequences.
Theoretical thesis: raises questions regarding existing
theory/theories, compares, combine and discuss
Both types may provide recommendations for future actions.
Remember that your thesis is an academic paper and not a consultant’s
report!
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
From a consultant’s report to an academic thesis:
“The purpose of this thesis is to develop a brand and CSR strategy for the
English fashion brand ETC. In order to accomplish this, the project will
focus on three question:
› What characterizes the fashion market and the market for CSR products?
› How can ETC authentically integrate CSR messages in the brand?
› How can the strategy be implemented among ETC employees
What is the problem?
Why is this a problem?
What does the literature tell us about such problem – or is there a gap?
What is the contribution?
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
Defining the scientific genre:
›
›
›
›
›
›
›
a documentation
of the study
of a problem which is relevant to the professional field
by the use of the terms, concepts, theories and methods
with the purpose of convincing
a professional peer
about the scientific quality and accuracy of the study’s results and
conclusions
› in a presentation which is acceptable for the professional community
(translated from: Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2010)
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
What does the scientific genre imply?
› accounts for the chosen and applied method
› meta communicates, i.e. explicitly accounts for the structure, progression
and argumentation of the thesis
› does not make use of incompetent or unqualified arbiters of taste [dansk:
smagsdommere]
› applies a consistent and explicit use of source references
› motivates and argues for viewpoints
› uses standard principles for academic writing
› uses a clear typographic marking of the different levels in the thesis

Systematic, consistent and factual
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
The scientific character of your thesis is not just an appendix that you can
copy/paste from a previous paper, e.g.:
“I am a social constructionist because I believe that the world is socially
constructed through social interactions and discourses. Knowledge is also
socially constructed. Knowledge is subjective and thus cannot be generalised.
Consequently, this thesis merely reflects my subjective conclusions”.
To be a social constructionist does not mean that you can disclaim any
scientific position. In order to produce scientific knowledge, you must
continuously reflect on your choices and actions as well as their
consequences:
 What are the consequences of my beliefs and assumptions?
Theoretically? Methodologically? Concepts? Process?
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is a thesis?
Different levels of your study (and thesis):
›
›
›
›
Meta theory (or philosophy of science)
Theory
Method
Data (empirical or theoretical)
Consistency,
and coherence
Additional (transversal) dimensions:
› Scientific rhetoric (refers to academic writing, e.g. argumentation, genre,
rhetorical strategies, styles etc.)
› Scientific or research ethic (refers to the research process, e.g. code of
conducts in interviews etc.)
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
The aim of your thesis is to produce
quality scientific knowledge
How do you produce knowledge in your thesis?
What are your beliefs and assumptions about
the world and knowledge production?
What is knowledge in your thesis?
How do you ensure quality?
ETC…
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
How to get started
12
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
How to get started?
How do you find and choose a topic?
› Use a previous assignment or project as a starting point
› Inspiration from specific courses or profiles
› Inspiration from scientific or professional journals or magazines
› Current or topical issues in the media
› Observation or experiences of a certain phenomena
› Etc…
 Remember that you are to study the topic for a looong time
INTERESTING, EXCITING, CATCHING
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
How to get started?
Key questions to get you started:
› What is the problem that you want to discuss/explain/explore?
› Why is this relevant? And to whom?
› What do we already know about the problem (or its related fields)? From
where do we know this?
› How can you contribute to further qualify our knowledge about this?
› Which data do you need to discuss/explain/explore/solve the problem?
› Which theories, concepts, models and methods do you need to
answer/discuss/explain/explore the problem?
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
How to get started?
The Pentagon can help
you to create an overview
and ensure coherence
and progression in your
thesis
Problem statement
Background and
motivation
Procedure
Theory, Concepts and Methods
Data
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(Rienicker & Stray Jørgensen 2010/2013)
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Is there a common thread in the questions you ask?
Is the connection between your problem statement, the
theories you use, the data and the methods you use to
analyze your data coherent and consistent?
Are you capable of answering your problem statement on the
basis of your choices?
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Examples for inspiration…
› Employer branding og identitet: Et speciale om
hvordan en employer-branding strategi kan påvirker
medarbejdernes identitet
› Den usynlige kemi: en kampagnestrategi for
Forbrugerrådet om parfume og hormonforstyrrende
stoffer i plejeprodukter og kosmetik
› The Online Bank’s Nightmare: Crisis communication through social media
› The Novo Nordisk way: Considering the fit between business strategy and
cultural values
› Efterredigering af maskinoversatte tekster: En empirisk analyse af udvalgte dele
af eksisterende revisionsteori anvendt på artikler oversat med Google Translate.
› Det sociale brand: Corporate branding på de sociale medier i Spanien
› Selvrettelser i simultantolkning – en empirisk analyse af selvrettelser anvendt I
simultantolkning mellem dansk og spansk
› Eksport af Ny Nordisk Mad: en undersøgelse af Ny Nordisk Mads image i
Tyskland
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
The thesis process
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What to do?
Consider topics, issues, challenges,
problems
 Tentative project proposal
(Registration form: allocation of
supervisor)
 Together with your supervisor you make a
thesis synopsis, including a plan for the
thesis process
 Thesis registration
(Registration form Master Thesis)
 Ongoing supervision and discussion:
stops when you have handed in
(registration form: form for handing in
the master thesis)
 Oral defense and feed back
MY MA THESIS:
BLOOD, SWEAT
AND TEARS
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
The thesis roller coaster
Psychological dimensions of the
process
The psychological phases:
The thesis roller coaster
Enthusiasm
Persistence
Self-generation and -motivation
Isolation
Growing interest in the study
Increasing independence of supervisor
Immersion
Distancing
Boredom and frustration
Wrapping up
Euphoria  Emptiness
Inspired by: Andersen & Hein 2002
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Your thesis process
Myths and realities
› There is no ”one size fits all”-way of writing your thesis
› It is okay to have off-days – enjoy them and use them to recharge your
thesis batteries
› Writing a thesis can be a lonely process – be aware not to be shut up in
your own ivory tower far away from realities and social relation
› Social relations are crucial; fellow students, thesis writing communities
and supervisor – and don’t leave friends and family behind
› The tough goals of writing a thesis: immersion in the topic vs. deadlines
and project management
› Criteria for success when writing a thesis: Ambitions or self-worth!
Inspired by: Andersen & Hein 2002
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
The process
of supervision
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Allocation of supervisor
Different procedures and forms depending on your study programme!
Allocation of supervisor is based on your tentative project proposal and
problem statement.
You’ll find all information and forms on the study portal at au.dk
Language and EUS
Communication
Communication
Language and EUS
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Allocation of supervisor
Language and EUS study programmes:
You may suggest a supervisor for your project. But please be aware that
though we try, we are not always able to honor your wish. You’ll find lists
of supervisors and their research areas as well as the form for allocation of
academic supervisor on the study portal.
Communication programmes:
We have given the process of focusing your project and formulating the
problem statement greater priority and developed an alternative form for
allocation of academic supervisor on the study portal.
NB! Supervisors are allocated by the study coordinators, NOT the
individual supervisors: It is NOT a matter of first come, first served and
“who asks the supervisor first, gets the deal sealed”…
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Marts 2014
What is supervision?
”In this context supervision means to help students to write an assignment
as part of their education. Most supervision is practiced within the
perspective that the supervisor must also evaluate and grade the
assignment. Consequently, supervision includes the possibility of
teaching, controlling and evaluation.”
(translated from: Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2010: 23)
Supervision vs. Control
Guidance/coaching vs. teaching/ordering
Emotions vs. intellect
Good advice vs. Evaluation
As a thesis writer you constantly navigate within these
dilemmas and shifting roles and positions!
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is supervision?
Students often expect the supervisor to be present in all aspects of the
thesis process and to continuously offer guidance, coaching and
supervision. This includes supervision regarding:
›
›
›
›
›
›
›
Theories, concepts and models
Research design, scientific method and methodologies
Overall research process, argumentation and approach
Writing process
Proof reading
Personal problems
Etc.
Different supervisor roles are brought into play
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
What is supervision?
Examples of the supervisor’s different roles in the process:
›
›
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›
›
›
Administrative function
Content supporter
Technical supporter
Proof reader
Intellectual supporter
Project planner and controller
Overall oracle
Personal coach
Can you expect the supervisor to perform all these roles?
Always remember to match your expectations
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Links and pieces of
good advice
(you’ll find the links in the pictures)
28
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Remember to…
›
›
›
›
›
›
Keep track of your study guide and the exam description for the thesis
Remember the deadlines
Choose an issue that interests and inspires you – on a long-term basis
Prioritize working on and improving your problem statement
Align expectations with your supervisor
Keep appointments with your supervisor, be prepared, set the agenda
and be active
› Write and send drafts to your supervisor on a regular basis/as agreed
upon
› Keep within your time schedule – or inform your supervisor if it isn’t
possible
› Enjoy!
29
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Study Portal at au.dk
Here you find:
Practical advices
Registration forms
FAQ
Deadlines
Guidelines
Etc.
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Marts 2014
Study Portal at au.dk
Important dates for registration and submitting your thesis
Deadline for
handing in the
registration
form for
allocation of
supervisor
Registratio
n day
Deadline for
submitting
your thesis
1 December
1 January
1 June
1 February
1 March
1 August
1 March
1 April
1 September
1 May
1 June
1 November
15. June
1 August
1 January
1 September
1 October
1 March
NB! If the date stated is a Saturday,
Sunday or holiday, the deadline is
the first working day after the
deadline.
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AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Study Portal at au.dk
32
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
www.scribo.dk
33
(Cf. Rienicker & Stray Jørgensen 2010/2013)
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Study Metro at au.dk
34
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
Enjoy writing your thesis!
Sophie Esmann Andersen
[email protected]
35
AARHUS UNIVERSITY
BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION
Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis
Marts 2014
References
› Andersen, H.L. & Tofteskov, J. (2008) Eksamen og eksamensformer.
Betydning og bedømmelse, Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
› Andersson, J.E. & Hein, H.H. (2002) Ph.d.-processen, Frederiksberg:
Samfundslitteratur.
› Rienecker, L. & Stray Jørgensen, P. (2013) The good paper,
Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur
› Rienecker, L. & Stray Jørgensen, P. (2010) Den gode opgave,
Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
› Stray Jørgensen, P. & Rienecker, L. (2006) Specielt om specialer,
Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur.
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