The literature management of the bachelor thesis

What was a relatively easy exercise in a housework – the administration of the associated literature – can easily get out of hand for larger works.

“Where was the appropriate quote again?”, “Which author should be mentioned here yet?” And “Does that even still belong to my subject?” – Such and similar questions arise in a longer and more intensive study of a scientific topic. Often a quick answer depends on the quality and scope of your own literature management. A well-organized overview is based not only on subject-specific and scientific skills but also on technical skills. Students, who use the extensive possibilities of the office programs, profit enormously: For strictly speaking in programs such as Word and Excel all foundations for a well-ordered administration of online and offline texts.

It pays to have a few thoughts about structure and category system: Depending on the topic of the work, the essays can be provided with the relevant keywords, the different theories in a table can be clearly separated from each other. In its source management, Word not only offers the automatic formatting of the bibliography, but also the option of saving the pages used for the search with the date of retrieval, the URL and the comment.

Because of the flood of literature threatens a loss of the overview of the individual authors, their theses and positions, so it makes sense to characterize each essay and each book in a separate, short text or by keywords.

Because literature management, despite general references, remains a highly individual matter, it is important to find the promising methods yourself – as long as possible before the actual research and paperwork begins. Nothing is more annoying than to find out during the writing that the literature administration does not follow a consistent pattern, and much of the past activities were pointless: in this way, not only valuable working time is lost, but possibly an even more important resource: the motivation.

Ghostwriter as a political risk

Politicians who turn to ghostwriters are – so it seems – at high risk: what if, as in the case of Helmut Kohl comes to a lawsuit? What if the ghostwriter suddenly contradicts what he wrote to make the customer look better, as in the case of Donald Trump?

Although few politicians are ever likely to achieve such prominence as the two above, the question is well-founded: What does I expect when I engage with a ghostwriter? Can I be blackmailed for life? Do I have to expect the ghostwriter to chitchat internally or even sabotage my career at some critical point?

Hardly likely. Although absolute security can not be guaranteed – as in all areas of life – politicians can certainly minimize their risk. The following steps help:

  • The choice of a trusted ghostwriter who shares and shares the same beliefs.
  • Securing a contract that meets both sides – the customer agrees to a mention of the ghostwriter as a co-author, so he shows from the beginning that the book.
  • Cooperation between two people. This protects against later “revelations”.

Another part of the contract should be a clause prohibiting the ghostwriter from providing information about his exact job and revealing any internal knowledge he acquires in the course of his job. This can also be proven with a penalty in case of non-compliance.

Those who follow these rules, should be sufficiently secured. However, if the factors money and power come into play, this security could no longer be enough. The examples given here make this clear: The US presidential election campaign is being fought with all means, and the dispute over what may be considered the legacy of Helmuth Kohl has political and financial incentives, jealousies and insults that seem to outweigh the former narrow ones Trusting relationship with the ghostwriter.

Some scientific authors exaggerate it with the footnotes, for example according to the motto “a lot helps a lot”. However, what might have a greater impact on the rating of the content than the mere number of sources used is their quality.

Quote is quote. And in the mean, dry and scientific world, one footnote is hard to distinguish from another: a book is a book after all, right?

Anyone who evaluates scientific papers according to the number of footnotes can just as well pay for scientific texts per kilobyte delivered. For as inconspicuous a reference to literature is – and as little as the quality can be seen directly at the glance in the bibliography – so important is the context knowledge:

Who is the author? Is it a distinguished scientist who is considered a thematic expert or a business consultant of dubious quality who uses only scientific vocabulary to sell his services?

What is the intention of the book? Should knowledge be conveyed, is it product advertising or the dissemination of ideological attitudes? In this assessment, just looking at the publisher is important. Thus, it can be recognized whether science or business is in the foreground of the publishing program or whether it concerns left- or right-wing typefaces.

Although the quality of the sources used plays an important role, what is crucial is the writer’s achievement in dealing with the foreign thoughts and quotations: While a mere rendering, literally or reworded, certainly does not constitute a major scientific achievement, dealing with highly complex theories comes one Great importance: only a few authors are spontaneously able to understand the extremely difficult ideas of great sociologists or historians, in their own words to reproduce and use in the sense of the work. A footnote called Luhmann is usually far more promising than a link to a newspaper article.

Ghostwriters support

The title is quite ambiguous. Because it’s not just the ghostwriters who support.

Also understood as imperative, the title works: Because customers can also help their spirits in many ways – and should also do so, if they want to increase the chances for a comprehensive success of the work.

What the client needs of the mind is clear: a good (accurate, well-articulated, well-sounding, quickly delivered and cost-effective) work. Customers who not only want this work, but also want to actively support it, are well advised to put themselves in the position of the ghostwriter and to take his perspective. Ghostwriters need:

Time: If you, as a customer, need 70 pages of academic text within 2 weeks, you will find providers who (and possibly somehow) keep this promise, but a good job will hardly be achieved this way. So it does not do much to contact the ghostwriters until it becomes apparent that the goal is barely achievable.

Direction: The more precise the customer’s specifications are, the more accurately the mind can write. If only approximate ideas exist, a ghostwriter can make maximum suggestions. He must then be able to rely on the feedback from the customer. On the other hand, those who override the concept several times during the writing process not only drive the mind to despair, but also have to reckon with additional work and thus additional costs.

Literature: In some cases, especially for larger works, it is not enough to write a collection of chapter headings. In order to clarify the train of thought within the work, it makes sense to provide the ghostwriter with a bibliography (ideally also the present literature itself). The work then benefits enormously because the writer can then use his working time completely for the evaluation, rather than for the literature search and procurement.

Feedback: It does not matter whether a section of the text written by the ghost hits the bull’s eye or needs improvement – feedback in this regard never hurts. Because on this basis, the next parts of the text can be better adapted.

Anyone who supports his ghostwriter in this way has already laid the foundation for a work that is very close to his ideas.

Ghostwriting: The job to the agency

Customers who need a text are often not only under time pressure, but must also choose from a variety of providers. Who does his “homework” is clearly in the advantage.

What is worthwhile in any case is a comparison of the different agencies – not only on the websites that advertise with numerous articles, hints or more or less credible quality features, but also through direct contact, such as a telephone conversation. Because only then does a real picture of the other person emerge, only then can a basis of trust emerge, as it is the basis of every business activity.

Anyone who hires an agency should have informed themselves beforehand, for example about the expected prices. It is true that low-cost providers who promise academic texts for a price per page of less than 40 euros, can often not afford to invest sufficient time in their work. The consequences can be in missing supplies, poor lines of argument or plagiarism, which can be detected with a few online searches.

Keeping in mind how much effort and time must be invested in a text from the level of a master’s thesis or even a dissertation – of library searches, literature searches and procurement of texts – it becomes clear that low-cost providers can only deliver if they all minimize these costs and all their effort.

High-quality agencies know what their work is worth and will barely get involved in lengthy price negotiations. It makes more sense to use the telephone conversation to get to know the background of the agency, to determine the exact contents of the work and to agree the conditions for the text deliveries.

Anyone who thinks that he can threaten with statements like “I’m going somewhere else”, should not be successful: The agency operators know only too well reports, according to which customers have lost money at cheaper competitors and return to a trusted agency after this experience.

Such bitter experiences can be avoided if some time is invested in the search and preparation: this is especially necessary in a market that has a high fluctuation. Only then, if an agency has existed for a long time, it can be assumed that it is also an entrepreneurial success, which is not based on “rip off”, but on honest work and satisfied customers.

Eating, sleeping, exercising – and writing scientifically

At first glance, these are three completely separate things. On closer inspection, however, many relationships are apparent.

Students who write longer scientific papers for the first time often complain about the heavy burden. Especially when writing is started during the lecture period, problems arise.

Part of this problem is certainly due to the novelty of the task, because there is no background knowledge and there is no routine in writing. Other problems have very common causes. Certainly, a night spent – be it due to a party or a deadline – hardly a young person from the train. It is different when the lack of sleep becomes the rule.

That healthy diet and exercise also contribute to mental performance is well known, but is often ignored or driven to the extreme according to the rule “much helps a lot” – without suspecting that the popular sporting “auspowern” can also adversely affect: Who running to total exhaustion, riding a bicycle, lifting weights or climbing mountains will hardly be able to work in a direct line. Also on too lush meals immediately before writing should be waived.

As with many things in life, scientific writing also depends on the right mixture, which depends on many factors: the right time of day (according to the biorhythm), a calm environment, the current motivation and ability to concentrate.

Students who are working on science for the first time should take enough time to explore their individual work preferences and thus create the optimal conditions to work undisturbed and purposefully. Neither is the bar of chocolate, which is nibbled on the side, a taboo, nor the coffee, tea or cocoa. Do not hesitate to experiment with different times: So it is for some early risers in fact the proverbial Morgenstund ‘, which has gold in the mouth and in which, apart from occasional chirping, work well. Others swear by long afternoons in which they achieve their scientific excellence.

Some need the seclusion of the library, whose quiet is broken only gently by the clear hawking or scraping of sharp pencils, others like to gather their ideas in the open air, in the city park, by the pond or in a cafe.

And so one comes to ponder whether everything is allowed not only in love and in war, but also in writing.