Topics for Bachelor, Master and Diploma theses

Please register your bachelor thesis at the examination office. A registration of any master thesis must first be coordinated with the Chair. In exceptional cases and should available capacities permit, we will supervise theses which have not been registered via the QIS as long as the topic is pertinent to the Chair and has evoked the supervisor's interest.

An incomplete list of past final theses:

The following list gives an impression of some of the topics with which Diploma and Bachelor candidates at the Chair of Economic Theory have wrestled.

- Bachelor theses

- Master and Diploma theses

Formal requirements for final theses

1. General

These are the chair's current requirements for writing academic texts (i.e. term papers, bachelor and master theses). The requirements are binding; adherence to them is therefore mandatory and constitutes a part of the final grade. Inasmuch as they are applicable, the department's official examination regulations for the respective course of studies take precedence over aforementioned requirements.

All final theses may be written in either German or English. The choice of language is to be agreed upon by the thesis supervisor.

Requirements pertaining to seminar theses can be found on the respective seminar's page.

2. Formal Requirements

  • The number of text pages depends on the topic of the thesis and the degree pursued. A general orientation will be given by the supervisor. The number of text pages pertains to the actual work excluding lists of references, indices and other registers, or appendices (i.e. beginning with the first page of the introduction and ending with the last page of the conclusion).
  • The font must be Times New Roman. The font size of the main text is 12 pt, and 10 pt for footnotes. The text must be centered (center alignment); hyphenation is recommended.
  • Within the text, line spacing must be 1.5, while it is 1.0 within footnotes. 
  • The following margins are to be applied - left margin: 3 cm, right margin: 4 cm, top margin: 3 cm, and bottom margin: 2 cm (page numbers may be placed lower/higher than that). Before printing, please mind front and back pages ([custom] margins setting: mirrored).
  • The pages containing the table of contents, the list of figures/tables/symbols/abbreviations/appendices are to be continuously paginated with Roman numerals, whereas the table of contents should begin with II. Pagination with Arabic numerals begins with the first page of text. 
  • Figures and tables are to be placed at the top or bottom of the text but not in the middle of the text.

3. Structure and Content

The following order is to be maintained in structuring the components of an academic work:

  1. Table of contents with page numbers
  2. If applicable: list of figures and list of tables
  3. If applicable: list of abbreviations and list of symbols
  4. If applicable: list of appendices
  5. Main text body including introduction and summary/conclusion
  6. If applicable: appendices
  7. List of references
  8. Signed Statutory Declaration

3.1 Title Page

The complete title page of an academic work should contain the following, insofar as the official examination regulations do not stipulate something else:

  • The topic/title of the work
  • Author: name and surname, date of birth, current address, email, phone number, matriculation number, degree programme, current semester, university
  • Name of supervisor
  • Date of submission

3.2 Introduction

The introduction is an integral part of the text. After a brief presentation of the topic follows a comment on the motivation behind the work. Then the problem statement and the central goal of the thesis are delineated. Here, the research question is of great importance: it serves as a summary of the more detailed task in one precisely formulated sentence. Only answers pertaining to this question belong in the thesis. Hereupon the problem statement is contextualized within the existing literature, and the work's findings are summarized. The introduction ends with an account of the course of the analysis. It is important to note that no definitions, assumptions, tables, figures, or formulas should be used in this part of the thesis. 

3.3 Summary and Conclusion

In the last part, the work is summarized once more and a conclusion is drawn. For that matter, the main arguments should be recapitulated, essential interrelations illustrated and the findings recounted (if possible, an attempt should be made at addressing the relevance of these findings). The final part possibly involves room for a critical appraisal and/or a well-founded outlook toward further research. 

3.4 Appendices

Materials which would impair the course of argumentation or the reading fluency - while being essential for understanding - should be included in the appendix. All appendices are to be paginated with Roman numerals and given a meaningful title. Furthermore, a separate list of appendices is to be included (cf. 3.).

3.5 List of References and Citations

All referred to sources must be listed in a separate bibliography and sorted in alphabetical order according to the (first) author's last name. Multiple publications by the same author(s) are sorted chronologically in ascending order. 

If authorship of a specific source is unknown, it must be included in the alphabetical list of references under the name of the publishing body.

Unpublished sources such as final theses etc., are to be annotated accordingly (e.g. "unpublished master thesis, Goethe University Frankfurt, summer term 2015").

Online sources (digital sources) must be specified by their complete web address as well as the date and time of last access (and, if applicable, the version number).

If the work involves self-provided graphics and analyses, the pertaining data sources must be listed in the bibliography in their entirety (or, if applicable, in a separate directory). In case of an online source, the complete web address as well as date and time of last access (and, if applicable, the version number) must also be specified.

The method of citation and the style of reference (bibliography and additional lists) may be chosen freely, but should remain consistent throughout the work.

A citation is understood as a statement that is taken - either verbatim or analogously - from another author. In principle, any source that can be comprehended and validated by the reader is suitable for being cited. Books and articles/essays are generally suitable for citation. Unpublished materials are suitable for citation insofar as they are included in the appendix. Prior to any usage of a source, permission by the author (or any other owner of the intellectual property rights) must be acquired. Online sources are suitable for citation only in exceptional cases. Oral statements are suitable for citation insofar as they are traceable on the basis of a transcript, which must be added to the appendix and specified in the bibliography. Lecture slides and scripts generally constitute no basis for citation.

Preferably, all arguments should be underlaid with citations. References pertaining to both direct and indirect quotes should be made as precisely as possible (including page numbers). This excludes fundamental statements of certain academic contributions (articles/essays).

3.6 Statutory Declaration

A signed statutory declaration must be attached to the end of the thesis. It should not be listed in the table of contents. The official examination regulations are authoritative as to the specific content of the statutory declaration.

4. Further Requirements for Content

  • The relevance of each chapter should be outlined in the beginning of the respective chapter. It should be mentioned what will be discussed and why it will be discussed.
  • The author has to refer to each figure and table in the text.
  • Data sets have to be explained in the text. The author has to name the origin and the circumstances of the survey. Moreover, the author has to include the area and period of the survey, as well as the type and number of observations (z.B. Hessen, 2000-2010, number of households).
  • Every term has to be defined within the text, except for terms, which are used regularly in the studies. In case there are questions, students should contact their supervisors. 

5. Submission

The required number of copies of bachelor- and master theses is to be submitted to the examination office in bound form and by the final deadline. Any academic work must also be sent to the supervisor in digital form via email and in due time (.pdf file as well as the source file, which is usually a Word- or LaTeX document). 

In the case of self-provided diagrams or analyses, the pertaining data, codes, outputs, charts, and speadsheets must be submitted to the chair via email and in form of a .zip file.