Writing Academic Papers and Thesis Information

Here you can find all the information you need when writing a paper or your thesis:

  • General Information: Format requirements, Manual for Writing Papers, Plagarism, Submitting Admissions, Supervisors for Thesis
  • Seminar Papers
  • BA Thesis: Registration process and deadlines, format requirements
  • MA Thesis: Registration process and deadlines, format requirements
  • Thesis submission: Format requirements
  • Applying for your Diploma

All papers must be handed in together with the Submission sheet (PDF, 151KB). All papers must also have:

  • a title page containing the following information: University of Bern, Department of English; title of the paper; name of the supervisor; type of paper (BA/MA, seminar paper, etc.); author’s full name, address, email and matriculation number; and the date;
  • a Table of Contents;
  • a References / Works Cited section.

Manual for Writing Papers

Please also consult the department’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers (PDF, 403KB), which helps you with issues of structure, planning and other technical matters.

Plagarism

Plagiarism is one of the most flagrant violations of academic standards. The consequences of plagiarism are accordingly drastic. Please read about plagiarism and its consequences in the document What is Plagiarism? (PDF, 161KB).

"What is Plagiarism" includes the plagiarism statement you must sign and turn in with every paper. The plagiarism declaration is part of the Submission sheet (PDF, 149KB) to be handed in with all assessed work.

Submitting admissions

Fill in this form, sign the plagiarism declaration and submit the form along with all assessed work in electronic form or in print:

Submission sheet (PDF, 149KB)

With handing in the submission sheet you confirm that you have read the What is Plagiarism (PDF, 161KB) document and have not committed plagiarism. Please make sure you have read the document before you sign the submission sheet.

Supervisors for Thesis

Are you looking for a supervisor for your thesis? The Literature and Language & Linguistics sections have lists of possible supervisors for theses.

Supervisors for Literature (PDF, 126KB)

Supervisors for theses in Language and Linguistics (PDF, 90KB)

 

Papers in Literary Studies

Students are asked to use the Style Sheet for Literature (PDF, 101KB) as well as the guidelines provided by the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, which are available online at the Purdue OWL/MLA and to discuss particular style issues with their respective supervisor.

Papers in Language and Linguistics

Students are asked to use the Style Sheet for Language and Linguistics (PDF, 180KB) and to discuss particular style issues with their respective supervisor.

 

Please consult the Manual for Writing Papers (see "General Information") for further information and guidelines.

Registration for the BA Thesis

Deadlines

Submission in autumn 2018
First step: Supervisor deadline 30 April
Second step: Study counsellor and secretariat deadline 30 September
Submission deadline 21 December
Submission in spring 2019
First step: Supervisor deadline 15 November
Second step: Study counsellor and secretariat deadline 1 March
Submission deadline 31 May
Submission in autumn 2019
First step: Supervisor deadline 30 April
Second step: Study counsellor and secretariat deadline 30 September
Submission deadline 20 December
Submission in spring 2020
First step: Supervisor deadline 15 November
Second step:  Study counsellor and secretariat deadline 1 March 
Submission deadline 29 May

 

The registration for the BA thesis is a two-step process. First, you register your thesis with your supervisor, then you get the ok from your study counsellor and hand in the BA thesis registration form to the secretariat.

Use this BA thesis registration form (PDF, 108KB) to register your thesis. You do NOT have to sign up on KSL for your BA thesis as the grade will be entered manually after you have handed it in.

Withdrawal from the BA thesis registration is possible only until 15 April / 15 November. Thereafter, a withdrawal is only granted on the basis of substantial and documented reasons (e.g. doctor’s certificate), and failure to provide such will result in an insufficient mark.

Format Requirements

The BA thesis is about 15,000 words long and has to be completed within three months of registration. The thesis word count includes everything except appendices and cover page (i.e. references, table of contents, etc. are included).

For further information and guidelines please consult the Manual for Writing Papers (see "General Information" above).

Ready to submit? Please see "Thesis submission" (below) for further information.

Prolonging your thesis

At the supervisor's discretion, short extensions may be granted: maximum two weeks for the BA thesis. Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness) may the thesis be extended into another semester; in which case, students may be deregistered from the final colloquium and required to repeat it.   

Registration for the MA Thesis

Deadlines

Graduation in spring 2019
Department registration deadline 31 May 2018
Dean's Office registration deadline 31 May 2018
Submission deadline 3 December 2018

Graduation in autumn 2019

Department registration deadline 6 December 2018
Dean's Office registration deadline 6 December 2018
Submission deadline 11 June 2019

Graduation in spring 2020

Department registration deadline 3 June 2019
Dean's Office registration deadline 3 June 2019
Submission deadline 2 December 2019

Graduation in autumn 2020

Department registration deadline 5 December 2019
Dean's Office registration deadline 5 December 2019
Submission deadline 8 June 2020

 

MA theses need to be registered with the Department of English as well as with the Dean’s Office. Please consult the website of the Dean’s Office for information about how to register your MA thesis at the Dean's Office. To register your MA thesis with the department you must complete the MA thesis registration form and include your supervisor’s and study counsellor’s signatures before handing in the form to the secretariat.

In order to register for the thesis you must have completed all other compulsory modules with the exception of the MA Colloquium. You cannot miss more than 10 ungraded ECTS (excluding the final MA colloquium) when registering your thesis.

Use this MA thesis registration form (PDF, 87KB) to register your thesis.You do NOT have to sign up on KSL for your MA thesis as the grade will be entered manually by the Dekanat.

Format Requirements

The MA thesis is 30’000-40’000 words long. The thesis word count includes everything except appendices and cover page (i.e. references, table of contents, etc. are included).

For further information and guidelines please consult the Manual for Writing Papers (see "General Information" above).

Ready to submit? Please see "Thesis submission" (below) for further information.

Prolonging your thesis

At the supervisor's discretion, short extensions may be granted: one month for the MA thesis, via the Dean's Office. Only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illness) may the thesis be extended into another semester; in which case, students may be deregistered from the final colloquium and required to repeat it.   

If you want to prolong your thesis you will have to adhere to the deadlines from the Dean's office. You will have to fill in the form you can find at the Dean's office (here) and have it signed by your supervisor who has to agree. Your options are the following:

  • Extending for one month: You have to get permission and a signature from your supervisor on the form above. Please make sure you hand in your form at the Dekanat at least 1 week before the official deadline!
  • Extending for one semester: You have to get permission and a signature from your supervisor on the form above. Please make sure you hand in your form at the Dekanat at least 1 week before the official deadline!
  • Second extension for one semester: If you need a second semester-long extension, the Collegium Decanale will need to approve this. Write a short letter (signed by the supervisor of your thesis), submit it to the Dean's Office (for the attention of Collegium Decanale), explain the reasons for the further delay in writing and enclose any employment or medical certificates as applicable.

 

Please submit your thesis in the following format:

  • hard copy (ask your supervisor whether they would like to have an electronic copy additionally)
  • glue binding or ring binding
  • can be printed back-to-back and in black-and-white

 

BA Thesis Submissions

Please note that for the BA Thesis you will have to hand in the Submission sheet (PDF, 151KB). Hand your thesis in either directly to your supervisor or at the main office (use the wooden mail box if the main office is closed).

MA Thesis Submissions

Two hard copies will be required, one for your supervisor and one for the Dean's office. You will also need two different submission sheets:

Copy for supervisor: You will have to hand in the Submission sheet (PDF, 151KB) with the copy for your supervisor. Hand your thesis in either directly to your supervisor or at the main office (use the wooden mail box if the main office is closed).

Copy for Dean's office: Additionally, you will also have to hand in a seperate declaration for your copy for the Dean's office. You can find the form here (at the bottom: "Erklärung zur Masterarbeit"/"Declaration of the master thesis").

Once you have completed all requirements of your study programme you can apply for your diploma.

For BA students, everything has to be in KSL, including the thesis, before the Studienleitung can finalise your planning view. For MA students you will have to contact the Studienleitung even before your MA thesis has been entered (the grade and ECTS for that are later entered by the Dean's Office).

Important: This process takes some time, so get all your paperwork in order as early as you can.

You have two options, apply online or in person.

In order to do so you need to:

  1. Check on KSL whether your file is in order (Planungssicht). If necessary, shift courses into the correct slots.
  2. Once you have done so, or if you have problems with this, contact the department’s Studienleitung (can be found in the Who to Ask section of the website) and ask him or her to check your file on KSL.
  3. You can either ask the Studienleitung to sign the Bescheinigung BA/MA-Abschluss in person or send them an email asking them to set your Major and Minor to "Fachanforderung erfüllt" on KSL. Once your file has been checked and approved by both your Major and your Minor department you will be able to get your diploma issued.
  4. In order to apply for it at the Dean’s Office you will need to complete the application process detailed on the Dean’s Office website. Furthermore, you will need the confirmation form (Bescheinigung BA/MA-Abschluss) from both your Major and your Minor departments signed by the Studienleitung of the respective department.

Important: Please be aware that you cannot click the button requesting your diploma on KSL. You do have to directly contact your study counsellor.

For further information on the registration for theses and application for diplomas, please go to the website of the Dean’s Office and consult the guide below.

Documents:

Bescheinigung BA-Abschluss (PDF, 445KB)

Bescheinigung MA-Abschluss (PDF, 617KB)