Dr. Anna Kreikemeyer – Dr.

Patricia Schneider Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg, Germany Tel.: 040 – 866077 -67 (AK) / -20 (PS) E-Mail: annakreikemeyer@gmx.de / schneider@ifsh.de Homepage: www.ifsh.de/IFSH/studium/mps.htm

How Do I Successfully Write a Masters Thesis? A practical guide for peace- and conflictresearchers and other social scientists

October 2007 (english Version) (2., revised edition, January 2008)

For Consultation (also Workshops): ACADEMIC COACHING Dr. Anna Kreikemeyer, Tel. 040-39904180, E-Mail: annakreikemeyer@gmx.de Recommended Literature (including stages of the writing process and crisis management): Stock, Steffen; Schneider, Patricia; Peper, Elisabeth; Molitor, Eva (Eds.): Erfolgreich promovieren. Ein Ratgeber von Promovierten für Promovierende. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 2006 – www.promotionsratgeber.de

Table of Contents
Page I. It’s Your Thesis – an Introduction II. Work Stages 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Thinking Academically Finding a Topic Finding an Advisor Organising Support Time Management – Structuring Your Work Time Obtaining Information Structuring Your Material Constructing a Framework Outlining Preliminary Considerations/Drafting a Synopsis Tackling Formal Requirements …last, but not least 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 10 11 11 12 13

III. Further Literature IV. Appendices 1. Details on writing a Masters Thesis for the postgraduate programme “Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik” (M.P.S.) 2. Sample Cover Sheet 3. Sample Table of Contents 4. Sample Citation Formats 5. Sample Bibliography 6. Sample Honor Statement 7. Criteria for the evaluation of work written for the M.P.S. programme

13 15 16 17 20 21 22


these qualities were often missing. You might be amazed by your own level of knowledge. 3 . Finally. and support from colleagues are hence the things we would like you to take to heart regarding your academic writing. Motivation can also be nurtured if. motivation. we began writing earlier in the morning. It’s Your Thesis – An Introduction “Writing can bring even the best author to her knees” a colleague said to me. Motivation is more difficult to inspire. you give yourself a reward and them a place of honor on your desk.” Courage. and which willing to read through your text? Who can you call when you need to let off some steam? This guide is deliberately kept short and simple. and support from colleagues. for example beginning by simply writing “straight out” without consulting ten books first. and besides. for any pages you write. Commitment is the easiest to achieve. Plan work time and free time. chuckling. we have discovered three additional. rather better for bolstering courage: “Practically all students make the same mistake. you are (of course) also responsible for structuring your work day such that something of your own can come out of it and the hours spent at your desk do not become torture. luckily. Support from Colleagues should not be left to chance. On the title page we have provided a note on the possibilities for further consultation (and workshops) as well as literature recommendations. It is most important that in every phase of text preparation you consistently dare to trust yourself. His words did make me feel briefly better. When you have a choice about the topic or central question of your work. we have realized just how beneficial conversations or teamwork with colleagues can be. academia regards cooperation quite highly! Commitment. scholarly writing project. it is true. secondary literature is not an end in itself. but this really ordeal should not happen to me – someone who advises other social scientists! Another phrase from another colleague was. But in the course of our experiences with our own texts. Whenever we had a personal commitment to the topic we were writing about. writing a scholarly work can sometimes even be fun! In counselling sessions with students planning their theses it struck us that. can be a good companion on the journey to one’s own scholarly manuscript. much better escorts: commitment. ask yourself which topic. It has much to do with self-determination. of beginning their own writing too late. in the process of writing. To the degree that these factors work together. a good idea suddenly hit us (which they often only do while we are actually writing). And when. Which colleagues might be happy to make themselves available for discussions on methodological framework. They lose themselves in the flood of literature. worked with more dedication. the letters practically flew onto the paper. but organised. in connection with such academic writing.I. especially in scholarly work – and. unfortunately. motivation. Furthermore. with knowing and understanding your own character and work habits. and sat longer at our desks in the evening. as I morosely told him about my work on a long. which question really interests you – what gets you excited. as well as specific highlights that you can look forward to.

New insights are balanced against established facts. Work Stages 1. historical. criteria.II.e. etc. if you have arrived at your hypothesis as a result of your recent research trip to Polynesia then you would want to work inductively on the basis of your empirically-obtained data. However. It features planned procedures.. in which the available scholarly literature takes a primary role and the author remains in the background. on the basis of facts you have compiled yourself. you must check your findings against the available literature before you make general statements and apply for the Nobel Peace Prize. you can derive your findings from the (fundamental) theories developed by others or you can conduct research empirically.. cited according to official guidelines) Clearly make connections between different assertions Eliminate inconsistencies. in which one’s own ideas stand in the foreground and the literature is used for support. deductively following the prescriptions of this theory. Academic reasoning differentiates between author-oriented approaches. In other words. supporting your ideas through a case study. Academic information and findings are systematically obtained and developed. Thinking Academically Academic reasoning aims for an objectifiable connection with reality (that is. Example: When you analyse the causes of inter-ethnic conflict. you could use an author-oriented approach to develop your own theory. precisely and logically justify assertions Support assertions with appropriately cited quotations and data (i. Political science writing has a number of characteristics in common with that of the other social sciences. namely that every work should:       Define central. You might support your hypothesis with a “Theory on the Significance of Transnational Relations in the Age of Globalisation”. you will have to consider an array of economic. strategies and language. and especially new. and literature-oriented approaches. In comparison. You can work deductively using either approach. you can also choose a literature-oriented approach and analytically review all the available works dealing with your thesis. and Separate personal analysis from factual statements  Check ✔ Look over a scholarly article written by your professor to get an idea of his/her approaches. a connection that outsiders can identify and understand). distinctive thinking strategies and a specific language style. If you come to the conclusion that transnational actors played a key role in your case study. concepts Systematically. 4 . Example: If you hold the view that transnational actors play a key role in inter-ethnic conflict. political.

a theory. Nevertheless much has already been written about this conflict. will you move forward by means of a selected (existing) theory. 5. What really interests you? What do you want to learn? Do not underestimate this question. so that you are not at a total loss that night in front of the stove? When choosing your topic. a possible subject of investigation would be the conflict between the pro-secession Autonomous Republic of Chechnya and the Russian Federation. without a pre-determined menu. students may now choose their own questions—something much more easily said than done. even if one party to the conflict has written far more than the other. If you elect to use this theory. This has awoken your interest in finding out why this conflict is so difficult to solve and why your acquaintance cannot live safely in his homeland. What is your object of investigation: an object. Finding a Topic Less and less often are today’s students given a concrete question as a thesis topic. 4.2. until the year 2005 as your time frame for investigation. What in the world should you consider while shopping. it would be important to verify and substantiate these interests in the conflict. belongs to the Chechnyan diaspora. is there at least enough literature for you to draw on? How wide is the range of available material? Does it suffice as an empirical basis from which you can draw generaliseable conclusions? Is it anywhere near the right size for you to work with in the time given? In the case of the conflict between the pro-secession Autonomous Republic of Chechnya and the Russian Federation. for example. In the theoretical realm. that many actors involved in a conflict have developed an economic interest in the continuation of the conflict. it will be difficult if not impossible to work with empirical data. you can draw on not only theories of minority conflict but also more general theories from conflict research. You could thus use the period from 1991. when the first Chechen War broke out. In terms of methodology. Are there already research findings on your topic? Are there any general theories that try to answer the questions relating to your theme? Political science research on the conflict between the Autonomous Republic of Chechnya and the Russian Federation is still limited. a text or a problem? And closely related: On which period of time will you base your work? In terms of the above example. whom you regard highly. or do you have to devise a methodological approach yourself ? The theory on the development of war economies says. Choosing your own topic and question is roughly comparable to being sent to the market to do the shopping for a multiple-course meal. Is there any empirical material on which you can base your planned analysis? If not. consider the following steps: 1. 2. What would be an appropriate question? “What factors contribute to a perpetuation of conflict?” Or “How do various sources of conflict combine to perpetuate a conflict?” 6. because it is you who will have to sit for weeks at your computer. such as those regarding war economies. Instead. struggling to create something unique. Example: One of your acquaintances. 3. as many sources are inaccessible. He has already told you a little about his home. 5 .

Being alone can sometimes be beneficial. or does he/she seem overworked? Will he/she generally be available (upon appointment) to talk with you? Will he/she help you obtain information (materials. of feeling empty and cut off from the world. but scholarly work in particular gives rise to the danger of becoming lonely – that is. have regarding meetings and contact during your work? Will he/she take enough time to talk to you? Will he/she take an interest in advising you. Arrange to have a partner who will nicely but firmly remind you of your time schedule. you should make your choice responsibly. To prevent this situation.  Check ✔ ✔ ✔ Do you have someone with whom you can discuss your topic. Finding an Advisor If you are free to choose your own advisor. it will be necessary for you to independently and targetedly concentrate on one concrete topic (the “readthink-write” game). question and approach? Do you have someone who will read through and comment on your manuscript (or parts thereof)? Do you have someone to talk to when you are frustrated? 5. 3. theories) and develop your methods? Is he/she willing to look over a preliminary draft? What does he/she look for when evaluating a thesis? 4. Time Management – Structuring Your Work Time Slight pressure can be helpful in tackling your work. but a serious time crunch can be destructive. preferably from classmates working on similar tasks. a time frame of three to six months or longer. Organising Support Writing a masters thesis implies. In this time. When you do have the opportunity to choose. Even if you are assigned to a specific advisor. Small work groups can also be helpful in staving off loneliness. Try to stick to your schedule.  Check ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Is your advisor competent in your topic field? What expectations does he/she. Plan realistic work hours that you can stick to! Also schedule free days for recovery. the following checklist may be useful in your preliminary talks with possible advisors. There will also be little respite from your work. knowing clearly what your expectations are. this list may help you address critical issues in preparation for your first meeting. and what expectations do you. as a rule. Start writing parts of your text as early as possible. Check ✔ Work through points 1-6 for your chosen topic.  Check ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Plan your work steps from the due date backwards. The following checklist may help you keep deadline problems from emerging. 6 . you should organise specific contact and support.

✔ Write out as much as possible during this rough stage. ✔ Assess the information based on your defined needs. “copy and paste” has not done a bit of good for the originality of scholarly analysis. Concisely explain the key message of the text. ✔ Locate missing details and integrate them into the texts you already have. summarising and choosing. Organise it by posing questions to yourself (What do I want? How do I want to proceed? What do I already know? What assets do I already have? How much do I want to know? etc. ✔ Consult articles from the specialist literature which broadly relate to your central ideas. Which aspects do you want to/ can you use. range of topics. Construct your own Info-Map (for example with the Mind Mapping technique) on a blank sheet of paper. ✔ Compile a bibliography (from Google. Also set limits on the extent of your analysis. Clarify the central concepts of the text. gaining access to documents. Quote or paraphrase important passages. ✔ Make sure that your planned approach can be adhered to. Finally you reach the Detailed Information Phase: ✔ Specifically define your needs for detailed information (empirical data. interviews. Categorise the text into the relevant field of knowledge.). theses. documents. Finally.  Check ✔ You yourself already know quite a lot. Obtaining Information The “Google Era” has greatly altered methods of obtaining information. certain tasks have become quite easy – for example. specialised journals. You are responsible for determining the quantity and quality of the information you collect. On the other.). This work primarily includes reducing. Characterise the text’s style. there is an everincreasing risk of losing sight of one’s own priorities in the jungle of abundant information.6. databanks. keyword catalogues. Therefore it can be helpful to excerpt important texts and make excerpt-like notes of less important ones.). and central questions. etc. 7. On one hand. etc. in your own words and in terms of your own central research questions. Make sure you have a clear idea of your own knowledge pool before you dive into the information jungle. outline. ✔ Construct a “to-do” list of sources to look through. A good excerpt should:  Check ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Have a maximum length of 10% of the whole text Summarize the fundamentals of the text. and compare their views with the steps you have made thus far. Structuring Your Material Now it is time to work with the texts you have gathered. A Specific Information Phase follows: ✔ Now more exactly define what information you will need for your specific keywords. and which not? ✔ Does this information change your heretofore chosen approach? ✔ Start compiling a bibliography from the outset (source and literature databanks). 7 . Next comes a Rough Information Phase: ✔ Analyse your topic options according to information fields. Next. write out as much as possible without using literature: central questions. topical books. etc.

8 . Constructing a Framework After completing the above preparatory steps it will be time to. hypotheses. make a contribution to research on the value of both universalist and particularist concepts. The work should. The work should. of course (How)? OR What is necessary to solve practical problems. The work should. and/or political goals does your work aim for? Example Using examples. The central components of your scaffolding should include your research interests. Example How are democratisation concepts being developed? What tools are being employed? Who takes decisions about democratisation policy? Etc.  Check Research Interests: What about this topic motivates you personally? Here we choose as an example the OSCE’s democratisation policy in Central Asia: Showing that democracy is the best form of governance. In order to construct a stable scaffolding. Goals What scholarly (theoretical. methods. questions (including general guiding questions. you will need to consider the following questions. metaphorically speaking. and recommendations for policies/actions (if existent). etc.✔ ✔ Examine your own topic focus in relation to the text. material. on the theoretical level. or make improvements (What)? OR What in your research field is unclear. empirical material/case studies. the work should depict democratisation policy. Clearly point out the text’s limitations. study the implementation of selected OSCE projects. empirical). build the scaffolding for your paper. goals. conclusions. on the empirical level. In preparation for writing your thesis. contribute to the discussion of the OSCE’s democratisation policy. it can also be helpful to schematically note the references and connections between various texts. 8. incomprehensible or confusing (Why)? OR Which time period will you study (When)? Example What possibilities exist for the OSCE’s democratisation policies in countries without democratic traditions? Guiding Questions You can break down your central question into a number of smaller inquiries that answer specific parts of the main question. if existent). take decisions. Central Questions/ Research Focus: Questions to ask (tip: the 5 W’s: Who? What? When? Where? Why? (and How?)) ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ What central academic question does your work hope to answer (What)? OR How does your work contribute to answering a specific problem – a problem closely tied to your research focus. problematic. on the political level. research progress.

and are forced to abandon them and build new theories based on your own analysis. This 9 . it is necessary to see: What has already been written on your topic. from the project conceptualisation (external political level) to the project implementation (domestic political level). The following factors play a role: ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ On what level does your research begin? What is its scope/reach? What makes up your research material? (Books. near the end of your work you will have to reflect on what impacts your findings have had on your original assumptions. your own or others’ surveys. most methods in political science have either empirical-analytical or theoretical approaches (or a combination of the two). where does a demand for research exist? Example On the topic of OSCE democratisation policy in countries without democratic traditions. you can (in accordance with the focus of your central questions) bring in existing studies on the democratisation policies of external actors. audio/video documents. One possible solution is to comparatively analyse a few different case studies. not created out of thin air. Method Your method is the academic foundation of your analysis. The…the…). your ability to make well-supported conclusions will also be constricted. are as different as possible. check transformation theories for their explanatory value. while conforming to your chosen research criterion. not general statements. The hypotheses should be well grounded in the current knowledge-base surrounding your topic. etc. consist of describing the development of concrete democratisation projects (Material: surveys of participants) in selected countries (case studies). Example: The more ‘civilised’ a state (rule of law. or do you need to further specify your topic? According to what criteria will you conduct your study of the material/case studies? Your criteria should be based on the current state of research in your field. See below. politicians’ statements. your own observations. If so. Thus you could verify a hypothesis that postulates a connection between the participation of local actors in the conceptualisation of programmes and these programmes’ acceptance within the local community (e. You will see a much stronger advance in your knowledge if you start with hypotheses that turn out to be incorrect. for example. it is possible that the case studies will be extremely limited and fragmented. formulate the assumptions/hypotheses you will analyse in the course of your work. Do not compose your hypotheses at the end of your work! Such a strategy is boring and unscientific. Do you have sufficient access to literature and sources? Can these sources satisfactorily answer your research questions. This approach will make it possible for you to determine whether your criterion is central to your question or can be disregarded.g. You may also derive them from existing theories. or incorporate theories and studies about political change in non-democratic political systems. Justification: It is predicted that democratic states are more compliant than non-democratic ones. interviews. Will you verify hypotheses (postulated connections between criteria)? Practically speaking. Hypotheses First.). democracy). If you choose this option make sure that the cases. Example The method could. political cartoons. essays. Finally. documents/special archives. how will your research proceed (approach)? In general. Even if you invest a significant amount of time and energy in such a masters thesis.Research Progress At this point. Furthermore. and in which research disciplines/areas? What is the current state of research? Which (if any) theories can contribute something to your analysis? And finally. the more prepared it is to comply with international legal regimes. construct hypotheses that are as concrete as possible. journal articles. magazines.. statistics.

technical equipment). An outline can also be quite helpful in clarifying your own intentions. is generally required for scholarship applications. 9. update your project outline through systematic preliminary studies. They should also address your general problem and – as much as possible – try to answer your central question. 1 page)  Introductory outline of the problem  Research focus  Problem/research interests  Question(s)  Goals  (Academic) relevance  Current state of research  Theoretical underpinnings  Theoretical framework  Methodological approach  Central concepts.g. which explicitly focuses on inner-societal variables and their international implications.. if one of your goals is to make policy or action recommendations to political actors. Later finding: …On this empirical basis one could reasonably judge that the part of (Democratic) Liberal Theory which says that democracies act differently from non-democracies cannot be upheld in the context of international jurisdiction. Furthermore. required funds (if existent. Outlining Preliminary Considerations/Drafting a Synopsis Some advisors require an outline of preliminary ideas for a masters thesis. e. you should do so here. materials.g. including time schedule. explain them in detail)  Time schedule (plan from the due date backwards) Synopsis (Length 10-20 pages)  Short description of the planned work (abstract. variables. 1-5 pages)  Thesis title (main and secondary titles)  Problem/Research interests  Question(s)  Theory base  Method  Material  Preliminary work progress  Special problems (if you have special problems. meanwhile. case studies  Outline of your framework  Organisation of your work. and solidify your knowledge of the relevant literature and sources Outline of Preliminary Considerations (Length ca. literature. to what extent your hypotheses had to be abandoned or revised). A much more comprehensive and detailed synopsis. because national differences in political system do not appear in this area of the international system. Finally. max. for travel. A synopsis helps you present your ideas. you should also highlight the possibilities for further research based on your findings. cooperation partners  Bibliography  Attachments (if existent) such as your own academic CV with contact details (1 page) 10 . Final Conclusions and Recommendations (if existent) Final conclusions should bring together all of your findings (e. hypotheses.phenomenon is attributable to (Democratic) Liberalism.

These samples should help you get oriented. in which case it would behove you to have obeyed the requirements. or ask directly about his/her requirements and preferences. last but not least Allow yourself enough time to rework your text if necessary. adherence to the required formatting (including citation and bibliography format. 11 . enable (among other things) evaluators to see if the author has adhered to the length limits. Eliminate redundancy. One ground rule: Be consistent. You certainly do not want the grader to be displeased from the moment he/she begins to read! In addition. the formatting could be checked by the registrar’s office or a similar overseeing body. Final Correction with Outside Help Find a competent acquaintance/classmate/friend who will take the time to read through your text and discuss his/her findings. at least 2-3 people should read your paper in its entirety before you turn it in. Tackling Formal Requirements In terms of formal requirements. there are always a variety of possibilities. (By ‘outside help’ we do NOT mean ghost-writing!) Plan enough time to incorporate the recommended changes. Furthermore. be concise.10. your argument logically consistent. .) demonstrates you have mastered the basic scholarly methods – an absolute precondition for a postgraduate academic degree. These requirements must be strictly observed. etc. for example in a thesis.. Editing is more than just “reading it through again. Ideally. and your writing style in accordance with scholarly aims. and someone good at writing to edit the language (a native speaker who is a good editor of spelling and grammar).. You will find samples of the following format in the appendix. be systematic! You may want to take a look at how your advisor publishes his/her own works. We also suggest that you ask someone unfamiliar with your field of research to read your paper for comprehensibility. Make sure to allow enough time for the reader to examine your paper carefully and thoroughly.” There are two central steps involved here: Self-Editing Make sure your threads of thought are visible. Requirements for consistent formatting. Cover Page Table of Contents Citation method Direct/indirect citation Abbreviations Footnote system Ellipses Grammatical Adjustments Handling foreign-language texts Handling confidential information Source and Literature Indices/ Bibliography Personal Statement 11.

Uwe/Lang. Otto: Keine Angst vor dem Leeren Blatt. München: Verlag Vahlen. 2003 (online available www. Schreibtechniken (writing techniques). Schlichte. Manuel René: Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten. Literaturverwaltung (literature management). Laurie G.mla. London: Chicago University Press. Drew. 2007. 2006./Colomb. 2000. San Diego. Stefan/Kranenpohl. New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers. 2005. Wayne C. Eva (Hrsg. Rüdiger/Stern. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag. Cambridge: Gower Publishing.) Theisen. Fort Worth Philadelphia. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. Ein Ratgeber von Promovierten für Promovierende.: The Craft of Research. Jürgen/Straßner. Second Edition. 2. Gregory G. Further Literature Booth. 2. Kruse. 13. Ondřej/Köppl. Kretschmer. 2006. 2003. (See especially the sections on Projektmanagement (project management). New York: Modern Language Association of America. Literaturrecherche (literature research). Elisabeth/Molitor. Alexander : Grundkurs Politikwissenschaft. Chicago. Berlin: Cornelsen Scriptor. Datensicherung (data security). Cornwall: Gower Publishing. Krisenbewältigung (handling crises).III. Kirszner. Franck. Second Edition. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. 12. Norbert: Handbuch Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten./Williams. Steffen/Schneider. 1995. Stephen R.): The Student Skills Guide. Sixth Edition. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag. Zeitmanagement (time management). Joseph M. Sarah: Effective Literature Searching for Research. Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag.org).): Erfolgreich promovieren. Eine Arbeitshilfe. Patricia/Peper. Gibaldi. vollständig neu bearbeitete Auflage. 2001. Einführung ins wissenschaftliche Arbeiten. 2007. Joachim: Umgang mit wissenschaftlicher Literatur. Joseph: MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Ohne Schreibblockaden durchs Studium. Kalina. Auflage. Auflage. Stock. Auflage. Berlin. 2001. 2007. Sue/Rosie Bringham (Hrsg. 12 . Exposé (synopsis). Klaus: Einführung in die Arbeitstechniken der Politikwissenschaft. Textverarbeitungsprogramme (programme for working with texts). Horst/Stary.. Gash. Maudell: The Holt Handbook.

etc. each with its own sub-heading. Oxford. in the format described below (excluding title page. The general due date is 15 July (for the exact date. If in doubt. see the M.). If you conduct interviews for your research. Charts. attach a short personal statement (academic CV. From then on you may use the abbreviation. are welcome.” should not be included in a list of abbreviations. You must include a written honour statement with your masters thesis. list of abbreviations. degree programme. and MLA.P. Harvard. consult a book or other work – one that is relevant to your topic and has a list of abbreviations – as an example of what to include and how to structure your list. One copy will go to each grader. If you include a list of abbreviations. it should directly follow the table of contents. tables. and grader’s name(s) (see sample page). the first time an abbreviation appears in your paper you should write out the entire name. table of contents. You should turn in three copies of your masters thesis (preferably bound).S. All sections should be numbered. A list of abbreviations is not always necessary. The cover page should contain the exact title of the work. as well as the date and location of the interview. you should include (as an appendix) a list with the name. The entire thesis should be contained in one file. Appendices 1. then put the abbreviation in parentheses just after the official (long) name. date.). The information should be consistent for all titles used (see sample).S. All available information on your data should be listed in the bibliography (including author(s)’ first name(s).P.P. As additional information for the graders. and the third will be made publicly available in the IFSH library upon successful completion of the M. Details on writing a Masters Thesis for the postgraduate programme “Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik” (M. organisation. Some English-language citation systems are Chicago.and end-page numbers of journal articles.P. The table of contents should be clearly laid out and list the paper’s elements in the correct order (see sample page) The paper should be divided into sub-sections. one page) to the end of your paper. Generally speaking. etc. The paper should have the following layout: 13 . Common abbreviations such as “etc. author’s place of birth. location and name of the publishing company.)                The paper should be ca.” and “e.g.. Use your best judgement. author’s name.S. schedule for the appropriate year). The citation format may be either English or American. You must also provide one electronic copy of your thesis along with the printed versions. It is extremely important that we receive a Word version of your paper so that we can check for plagiarism. list of interviewees. but you must strictly and consistently adhere to a single citation system throughout the paper (see below). regulations (see sample page). 40-50 pages in length. An additional PDF version is also desirable. in accordance with M. etc.IV. The electronic copy may be either on a CD included with your printed copies or in an email file sent in advance of the deadline. start. They not only illustrate your point but also provide some optical relief to blocks of text. and function of each interviewee.S.

justified. 14 .5-space. book title in italics Lower right corner Page Numbers Page Margins      You may use footnotes. justified 1-space. but not endnotes.Layout Chapter Headings Section and Sub-section Headings Body Text Footnote Text Bibliography Times New Roman Times New Roman Times New Roman Times New Roman Times New Roman Times New Roman top 2. obey the new orthography rules).5 cm bottom 2 cm left 2. Spelling and grammatical errors should be kept to an absolute minimum. justified 1-space. Insert two blank lines before and one after each heading (including section headings). Insert one blank line between paragraphs.5 cm right 4 cm 12 pt 12 pt 12 pt 10 pt 12 pt 12 pt bold italics 1. You may write your thesis in German or English (in German.

15 .P.2.) by Claudia Sample Sample City. .. Dr. ... Sample Cover Page Main Title Sub-title A Masters Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree “Master of Peace and Security Policy Studies/ Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik” (M.S. Sample Country Hamburg.. July 200X Graders: Dr.

..........................1 Section 1........................................................................................................................................ Chapter 2............................X 1...... Chapter 1 (and so on)............2 Section 2................................... Introduction......................................4 Method of Inquiry and Structure of the Work......2 Section 2..........................................................................................3 Summary......................X Written Honor Statement............................................. Chapter 1....X 2........................................................….............X 2....X 1..................................................................X … X...... Conclusion: Empirical findings.......................................... Chapter 2............................................................................................. possibilities for reform...X 3.......................................................................................................................................................................................................X 3......X 1......3............................................ theoretical insights.........................................................1 Starting Point: Problem Diagnosis..X 3....................................................... Research Goals............3 Summary......X Bibliography of Sources and Literature..................................X 16 ............................………………….........................................................................................X 3.....................................................................................................................................................................…………………………………………..........2 Political and Scholarly Relevance of the Work..X 1.......6 Sources and Literature/State of Current Research................................. Sample Table of Contents Table of Contents List of Abbreviations....X 1......................….........X 1................... Chapter 2 (and so on)....................................................................................................X 2...1 Section 1....X 2........................X 1.......................…....................................X List of Interviewees (or similar) (optional)...X List of Charts and Tables (optional)...........................X Personal Statement (academic CV)..... Hypotheses.....5 Theories and Methods..…................................. Chapter 1......................................3 Central/Guiding Questions............................................................................

but specifically asks that it be “off the record” (confidential). 1965). non-confidential. 37. Cf. the Footnote Pope turned on. write: Personal conversation at the United Nations. 37.4. Direct Quotes (Chicago humanities style) According to Sprachschön.2 Unlike in German. 5.” (Ellipses are only necessary in direct quotes). In in-text format: (Source: Interviews. non-confidential. You may only use this information indirectly.xxxx). Political science texts also often include quotes written in English without translation. Handling Confidential Information A UN employee gives you an interview and permission to freely incorporate any useful information from these discussions into your thesis. to develop your own thoughts and ideas. A UN employee gives you a confidential document. You may only use it for background information. A UN employee gives you an interview. You may not refer to the interview in your text at all..abbreviation.. Ästhetik in Abschlussarbeiten (Buxtehude. How should you deal with it? You should deal with confidential documents in the same manner as confidential interviews.xx.” In-Text Citation System/ American Format (Chicago sciences style) Productive writing primarily depends on having field experience (Sprachschön 1965.xxxx.. from which you may develop your own ideas. xx. UN. However. 17 . Handling Foreign-Language Texts Studyskill is correct in his assessment that “successful writing must follow clear rules” (Studyskill 1987. sources. It is used to give the reader one example of a general trend you are mentioning. Any arguments or statements that you make in your text must be supported by other. the Footnote Pope turned on. then cite that source directly without using “Cf. If you quote or paraphrase a certain author. he specifically asks that his name not be mentioned. Ästhetik in Abschlussarbeiten (Buxtehude. but any arguments made in your text must be supported by other. You should include a list of all interview partners in an appendix. Ellipses “In his sermon. the English “Cf. 37). 1 2 Elvira Sprachschön. 1965). sources. [because it leads to] an unacceptable simplification of the high art of footnote construction. use square brackets rather than parentheses when you make grammatical adjustments within quotes.”1 Footnote System/European Format. Sample Citation Formats Footnote System/European Format.xx. In the footnote. xx.. author’s translation from the German).” To distinguish your own additions from the author’s parenthetical comments. You may not use the document directly in your work. or if the information you give was taken from one specific source.”) is used only when the information you are using did not come from one specific source.” (the equivalent of “Vgl. Indirect Quotes (Chicago humanities style) According to some authorities. “Writing is fundamentally more productive when based on experience in the field.abbreviation as an unacceptable simplification of the high art of footnote construction. Grammatical Adjustments “In his sermon. Elvira Sprachschön. productive writing primarily depends on having field experience.

American Citation Style Kimminich (1980:218) points out: “The international legal renunciation of force alone can achieve neither peace nor justice. footnote). Civil society after the first transition: Dilemmas of post-communist democratization in Poland and beyond. Article 24.  M. (Turabian style. “S. attentively working with sources. Institutional structures must be set up to help enable adherence to the renunciation of violence. Note that footnotes and bibliographies are formatted slightly differently. “p. in the view of many experts.Variations on Citations (Footnotes and in-text)  Michael Bernhard. “Civil society after the first transition: Dilemmas of post-communist democratization in Poland and beyond. publishers. etc.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 29. Either present all information in German (“Hrsg. no. “u. it is expected that you always make precise statements. One of these consequences must be the accession to an obligatory system of arbitration and jurisdiction. Make sure to check that you are formatting your citations consistently and that they correspond with the correct bibliography format.”. Bernhard. the obligation to accede to an international arbitration court. for all intents and purposes this clause makes it legitimate – when not specifically forbidden – for Germany to assume a role as a “pace-setter” in the institutionalisation of obligatory jurisdictional courts (Lutz 1998:71). (Chicago humanities style. footnote). Communist and Post-Communist Studies: 29(3): Fall 1996: 315. This is also true for the language you choose. The reduction of violence in international politics must be synchronised with the construction of non-violent mediation and conflict resolution mechanisms. “Civil society after the first transition: Dilemmas of post-communist democratization in Poland and beyond. Hence. of any civilised conflict resolution process” (Lutz 1995:252).). “inter alia”. It is not for no reason that all degree-seeking students at the University are required to turn in a written honour statement with their theses. no matter which order you choose for the information in your bibliography. ruins your career (it is a violation of ethical scholarship) and can bring serious penalties.  Michael Bernhard. if not the most important point.”) or English (“Eds. (Oxford style. it is imperative that you are absolutely consistent in using the same system throughout.3 (Fall 1996): 315.—a task which otherwise must be done by hand. Flawlessly quoting not only demonstrates methodical competence but also protects you from accusations of plagiarism. 3 Footnotes can be used for additional commentary or examples that do not fit into the text 18 . 315) (MLA and Chicago sciences styles.” This badly needed violence prevention requires the development of efficient policies for the judicial settlement of international conflicts: “Anyone who hopes to categorically exclude violence as a tool of international politics must not be satisfied with a simple ban on violence and war.”. In other words.” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 29(3) (1996) 315. As a rule.”. Paragraph 3 of the Federal Republic of Germany’s Basic Law3 even imposes. etc. Note: Modern data bank search programmes make it much easier to conform your citation style and bibliography to the demands of journals.  (Bernhard 1996. in-text citation). footnote). This consequence is a lynchpin. Writing the year number directly after the author’s name lends itself well to the American style in-text citation system (see above).”. Plagiarism endangers the successful completion of your degree.a. Note: A basic scholarly skill is carefully.

(3) In subsequent citations of the same source.” when your information does not come from one specific source. This kind of military tribunal is closed to the public. Der Internationale Menschenrechtsschutz. 7. 307-331. clearly identifies the new strengthening of laws and limitations on freedom. 20. (2) Only use “Cf.12. Erwin Müller. He recommends the creation of not only a catalogue of rights and responsibilities but also a governmental Peace Office and. write out the citation in full (that is. Therefore. ed.4 Johann Galtung states that human rights derive not from the logic of a religious or philosophical system. freedom and identity.” when your information does not come from a specific work. short title. Jana Hasse. Frieden 137.M. intercultural exchanges between Islamic and Western cultural circles should be furthered. European Citation Style In her 2002 article. Gabriele Kuhn-Zuber enriches the discussion of human rights concepts regarding the relationship between Islam and human rights. a central global government heading a worldwide democracy. “Menschenrechte für das nächste Jahrhundert.” die tageszeitung. the Presidential decision to re-allow intelligence officials to kill. permits evidence gained from confidential sources.” die tageszeitung. and Patricia Schneider (Demokratie. All short version citations should be consistently formatted (i. or that they be transferred to countries where they can be tortured. 4 5 6 Gabriele Kuhn-Zuber. Sicherheit. Johann Galtung. For further details.2001. 19 . Johan Galtung (Frankfurt a. Kuhn-Zuber recommends analysing repression according to the norms and standards of the given culture itself.12. and does not allow the accused to choose his own attorney. well-being. ed. “Der Islam und die Universalität der Menschenrechte in der Kritik. as a guarantee of security. Verständigung zwischen den Kulturen. the danger that Bush will establish military law without the legal protection mechanisms required by international law. “US-Amerikaner sehen sich nicht gern als blutrünstig.e. See also “Das ist nicht mehr Amerika./New York 2000). which can be variously defined depending on how the relevant religious texts are interpreted. Secretary General of Amnesty International USA. William Schulz.Three Ground Rules: (1) If you refer to the author’s name in your text directly before the quote. presented in the same order).” in: Die Zukunft der Menschenrechte-Vision. Otherwise: (2) After a quote (direct or indirect) you must include the author’s last name. they should contain the same information. (3) Only use “Cf. please refer to the relevant texts on scholarly writing. (You may also make your own comments in footnotes).”6 Three Ground Rules: (1) The first time you use a source..2001. and points out that such analysis regularly provides no substantiation for accusations of human rights violations. use the short version (author’s name. the year and the page number in parentheses.” in Menschenrechte. include all bibliographic information). 2002). 04. she argues. 04. and the suggestion by the FBI that suspects be tortured if unwilling to testify. They include “the imprisonment of hundreds of people without charges being brought. you may put only the year and page number in parentheses after the quote.5 A number of measures used in the war on terror since 11 Septermber 2001 have recently come under strong criticism. For example: Eibe Riedel. but instead spring from common basic needs such as survival. Zwölf Thesen. Baden-Baden. and page number). Bilanz und Perspektiven (Frieden durch Recht II).

2003. 2 February 2003. 12. Bibliography (for an English-language thesis. 20 . although this rule and its application vary between disciplines. Department of Public Information. International Monitoring of Plebiscites. 166. The Kyrgyz Republic. no. Maastricht. Beigbeder. 1994. Democratic Prospects in Central Asia. Referenda and National Elections. General Comment No. online available at www.1/Add. Communication from the Commission on EU Election Assistance and Observation. 25: The right to participate in public affairs. no.nsf/0/d0b7f023e8d6d9898025651e004bc0eb?Opendocument (download 14. New York. Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions. etc. International Election Observation Mision. one general bibliography of all sources is fine.5. since to find a given article you must then comb through a number of different sections looking for the author’s last name. GA Res. Constitutional Referendum. divide your bibliography into sections.legislationline. OSCE/ODIHR. 28 February 2005.unhchr. Warsaw. Hrair. 2004. Dordrecht/Boston/London. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Kyrgyz Republic. 1950. OSCE. adopted 6 May 1999. journal articles. MC DEC5/03. SECONDARY LITERATURE Balian. 133-148.7. Reprinted in Yearbook of the United Nations 1948-49. Self-Determination and Transition to Democracy.2005). if desired. OSCE/ODIHR. 12 July 1997. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. This format has a particular disadvantage in the American citation system. Bishkek. Parliamentary Elections. voting rights and the right of equal access to public service (Art. last amended 14 April 2004. for example primary sources. OSCE/ODIHR. COM (2000) 191 final.php?document=60978 (download 14. Blank. however. 217 A (III). Ten Years of International Election Assistance and Observation.12. 3. 197-209.org/view. CCPR/C/21/Rev. Sample Bibliography You may. in: “Helsinki Monitor”. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. If you use this method. online available at www. The Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan On Elections in the Republic of Kazakhstan. OSCE/ODIHR. Eleventh Meeting of the Ministerial Council. adopted 10 December 1948. in “World Affairs”. secondary literature. 2001. pp. vol. alphabetise the entries within each section. 27 February 2005. pp.12.2005). Sample A. internet articles. Yves. As a rule. vol. 5/03. Political Assessment Report. 11 April 2000.ch/tbs/doc. 1 and 2 December 2003. Decision no. 2003. 3. Stephen. Chicago sciences style) DOCUMENTS Commission of the European Communities. 25).

_________________________________ (Signature) 21 . Patricia. 297-319. Comments on a Report to the Prosecutor of the ICTY. BadenBaden: Nomos. (sample edited collection) 5. (sample 1.02.de/www/ de/aussenpolitik/vn/seerecht/isgh_html. a work with multiple volumes published over a series of years) Bothe. Erwin/Schneider.Sample B. Erwin/Schneider. has not been submitted for academic credit in any other capacity. Rudolf (Hrsg. Kai (Hrsg. (Hrsg): Human Rights and Judicial Review. 4-6/2000.).: Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon in 25 Bänden. 1994a: Interim Measures Indicated by International Courts.auswaertiges-amt. Patricia (Hrsg.).. 158-162. and that this Masters Thesis has not yet been published. Auslieferung wegen staatsverstärkter Kriminalität?. S.): Springer. Bibliographisches Institut AG (Hrsg. D.02. 1994b: Human Rights and Judicial Review: The European Court of Human Rights. (sample 1. www.): Sicherheit vs. in: Beatty. Mannheim: Lexikon Verlag. I have not employed any sources or aids other than those listed. Freiheit? Die Europäische Union im Kampf gegen den Terrorismus. in: International Peacekeeping. (sample book) Auswärtiges Amt.2001. one author with multiple works written in the same year) Bernhardt. Berlin (u. I further pledge that I have written this Masters Thesis myself. 1971ff. S. Zugriff am 22.): Kluwer Law International. I have appropriately identified and acknowledged all words and ideas taken from other works. 1999: Der Fall Pinochet(s).).. Heiko/Ambos.. Sample Honor Statement Honor Statement I pledge that this Masters Thesis. 2001: Internationaler Seegerichtshof Hamburg. (sample journal article) Müller. Hamburg. London (u. German-Language Bibliography Quellen.und Literaturverzeichnis Ahlbrecht. Baden-Baden: Nomos. on my own. S. M. in: Müller.a. entitled . 9-27. Rudolf. Michael. (sample internet source) Bernhardt. Stand: 01. the .2002. 2006: Einführung..a. 2000: The Protection of the Civilian Population and NATO Bombing on Yugoslavia.

therefore. the process should be as transparent as possible. The recommended questions/ criteria for judgement listed below should thus serve as a guide for coordination and orientation. especially the specified evaluators and/or graders. for both examiners and students. This postgraduate programme. to oral examinations. Nonetheless. (1) Are the central question and general theme clearly explained? (2) Does the work exhibit sufficient consistency in approach. 22 . more flexibly.P. Criteria for the evaluation of work written for the M. are responsible for the evaluation of your thesis. composition and construction? (3) Does the author demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the current state of research? (4) How well does the author correctly apply his/her chosen methods and demonstrate a mastery of formal work methodology? (5) Does the author present the material comprehensibly? Does he/she exhibit sufficient comfort and competence in using academic language and writing style? (6) Does the work present original findings? To what extent does the author critically reflect on the work’s conclusions in comparison to other (opposing) perspectives? (7) Theory: How well does the author order his/her conclusions within the discipline’s knowledge base and discuss the theory’s generaliseability? (8) Practice: Does the author sufficiently discuss research findings in terms of feasibility and ability to solve the identified problems? Although these criteria primarily apply to the Masters Thesis.S. they can also be applied to other written work and. system of organisation. programme Your professors.7. does not specify binding evaluation criteria.

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