We explain how the structure and numbering work and what constitutes a good table of contents.

The table of contents of your bachelor thesis comes directly after the cover sheet and gives the examiner a first insight into the structure of your procedure. With it you give the reader a red thread in the hand, how you answer the posed question of your bachelor thesis step by step. In addition, it helps you to structure your thoughts and work systematically. That’s why all chapters and subchapters of your thesis are listed in the Bachelor Thesis Table of Contents. In order to create a successful table of contents, you must also observe a number of formal criteria. Here you will find out what they are and how to write the perfect table of contents for your bachelor thesis.

Bachelor thesis: the table of contents is at the beginning

The table of contents is at the very top in Germany – just behind the cover page and even before the introduction of your bachelor thesis. In other countries, the table of contents of the bachelor thesis may also come to an end. If you do not write your work in Germany, you should contact the examination office or your supervisor.

The content of the bachelor thesis allows you to work systematically and according to a well-structured plan. While writing it avoids mental drifting and therefore should be created after topic finding and material evaluation. However, before you start writing, you should consult your supervisor again. So you know that your work is going in the right direction.

Important: With the help of the table of contents, your reviewers can already see whether your entire bachelor thesis has a logical structure. In addition, the table of contents also shows whether you have considered the formal requirements and subtleties accordingly and how clean and organized you work overall. Here is usually already a first decision, in which note region your work is classified.

Full table of contents: all chapters are pure

In the Bachelor Thesis Table of Contents, all chapters and subchapters of your work are listed without gaps. The numbering of the chapters is carried out continuously and is taken up accordingly in the running text. This will give your reader a clear structure.

Example of a good table of contents for the bachelor thesis

Each bachelor thesis consists of the following basic structure: introduction, main part, conclusion. However, in the table of contents these terms have no place to go, because they have a purely formal character. Even neutral terms such as “Introduction” or “Outlook” etc. are too unspecific and should be replaced by the most concrete possible statements on your topic. In which topic do you want to go? exactly initiate? What exactly do you give an outlook on?

Your table of contents also reflects the nature of your scientific work. In empirical data surveys, the structure of the table of contents is almost self-evident:

  • Theoretical background: research situation on your topic, theoretical explanatory models
  • Practical application: own study / data collection
  • Conclusion: results, insight and conclusions

Of course, a bachelor’s thesis can also be written as a theoretical thesis. Then arise depending on the theme of various other approaches to your table of contents, z. B .:

  • chronological: structure according to chronological order, eg B. according to developments, periods and epochs, z. B. “The German USA Policy of 1968-92”
  • deductive: division from the general to the specific, eg. Eg “opportunities and risks of the EU”; Preparation of hypotheses on opportunities and risks of the EU and explanation using concrete examples
  • Inductive: Outline from the particular to the general, eg. B. Development of a new thinking model based on a single sample
  • causally: structure according to causes and effects, eg. B. Effect of outsourcing of production sites to the German labor market

Dialectical: Outline according to thesis, antithesis and synthesis, here advantages and disadvantages are weighed to find a compromise solution z. B. “Advantages and Disadvantages of EU Enlargement”

Comparative: Outline according to comparison criteria (objects of examination are compared with each other), eg. B. Canada (population, urban growth, etc.) versus US (population, urban growth, etc.)

You should think carefully in advance and agree with your lecturer, which outline pattern is most suitable for your Bachelor thesis. But no matter how you articulate, the goal is always to make the structure and context as clear and transparent as possible for the reader.

Example of a successful structure of an empirical work

  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 theoretical explanatory models
  • 2.1 Definitions
  • 2.2 Theoretical models
  • 2.2.1 Model 1
  • 2.2.2 Model 2
  • 2.3 Theoretical concepts
  • 2.3.1 Concept 1
  • 2.3.2 Concept 2
  • 2.4 Summary
  • 3 Empirical part
  • Conclusion of your bachelor thesis
  • Bibliography of your Bachelor thesis
  • Attachment to your bachelor thesis

Of course, the above example is just a neutral framework, which must be concretized and adapted depending on the topic. It only reflects the formal structure of your bachelor thesis

Additional tips for a successful table of contents

Compose the first version of your table of contents before starting the actual writing process. So it can serve as a guide and make sure that you do not mess up while writing.

Always write the bachelor thesis table of contents independently. If it is based on your own thinking structures, the writing process will be much easier afterwards!

As soon as your preliminary table of contents is available, you should coordinate this with your professor or supervisor! In discussions, it quickly becomes clear where gaps still exist.