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TATION AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION pReSEN Writing your thesis: The process and problems Thesis information.

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Presentation on theme: "TATION AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION pReSEN Writing your thesis: The process and problems Thesis information."— Presentation transcript:

1 TATION AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION pReSEN Writing your thesis: The process and problems Thesis information meeting, Department of Business Communication Marts 2014 Sophie Esmann Andersen Associate Professor, PhD challenges

2 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Agenda ›What is a thesis? ›How to get started ›The thesis process ›Thesis supervision: roles and expectations ›Links and pieces of good advice 2

3 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 3 What is a thesis?

4 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 4

5 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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! 5

6 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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? 6

7 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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) 7

8 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 8

9 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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? 9

10 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION What is a thesis? Different levels of your study (and thesis): ›Meta theory (or philosophy of science) ›Theory ›Method ›Data (empirical or theoretical) 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.) 10 Consistency, and coherence

11 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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… 11

12 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 12 How to get started

13 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 13

14 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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? 14

15 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION How to get started? Background and motivation Problem statement DataTheory, Concepts and Methods 15 Procedure The Pentagon can help you to create an overview and ensure coherence and progression in your thesis (Rienicker & Stray Jørgensen 2010/2013)

16 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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? 16

17 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 17 ›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

18 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 18 The thesis process

19 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 19 MY MA THESIS: BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS

20 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION The thesis roller coaster Psychological dimensions of the process The psychological phases: The thesis roller coaster Persistence Self-generation and -motivation Immersion Distancing Enthusiasm Isolation Growing interest in the study Increasing independence of supervisor Boredom and frustration Wrapping up Euphoria  Emptiness 20 Inspired by: Andersen & Hein 2002

21 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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! 21 Inspired by: Andersen & Hein 2002

22 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 22 The process of supervision

23 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 23 Language and EUS Communication Language and EUS Communication

24 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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”… 24

25 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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! 25

26 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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 26

27 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION What is supervision? Examples of the supervisor’s different roles in the process: ›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 27

28 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 28 Links and pieces of good advice (you’ll find the links in the pictures)

29 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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

30 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Study Portal at au.dk 30 Here you find: Practical advices Registration forms FAQ Deadlines Guidelines Etc.

31 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Study Portal at au.dk 31 Important dates for registration and submitting your thesis NB! If the date stated is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the deadline is the first working day after the deadline. Deadline for handing in the registration form for allocation of supervisor Registratio n day Deadline for submitting your thesis 1 December1 January1 June 1 February1 March1 August 1 March1 April1 September 1 May1 June1 November 15. June1 August1 January 1 September1 October1 March

32 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Study Portal at au.dk 32

33 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 33 (Cf. Rienicker & Stray Jørgensen 2010/2013)

34 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Study Metro at au.dk 34

35 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION Enjoy writing your thesis! Sophie Esmann Andersen 35

36 Sophie Esmann Andersen: Writing your thesis Marts 2014 AARHUS UNIVERSITY BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES CENTRE FOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATION 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. 36


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