Writing the main part – the guide for your term paper& bachelor thesis

Writing the main part

Who doesn’t know this: after you have finally found a good sentence for the beginning of the paper and written an exciting introduction, you come to the next, no less difficult part – because now you have to write the main part. In the main part, all relevant details, the promises of the introduction and the result, will now be extensively highlighted.

Frequently asked questions

How to write a main part?

Besides the Introduction and the Conclusion , the main part is the largest component of a scientific paper. In the main body, one shows in detail what was necessary to answer the research question and what results came out of it.

In our post, you’ll find, among other things, a step-by-step approach and more information on writing the main body.

What goes into the main body?

At the beginning of the main part of your paper, you should state the current state of the research you are dealing with. Followed by further components like a method chapter, the result part and finally you should bring these components together.

Tip: In our field of scientific writing there are other valuable information!

Writing the main part of homework

At the beginning with the main part write Discuss the state of research, show how it fits into the scientific context, clarify concepts
Middle – conclusion of the main part Methodology, sample description, implementation, results
Important when writing the main part Red thread must be recognizable – logically comprehensible and systematic processing
Writing strategy in the main section "From the general to the specific"

Also useful: Create a table of contents in Word

Writing the basics of the main section

A scientific paper has three important content building blocks: an introduction, a main body and a conclusion or. a conclusion. The Introduction leads the reader to the topic, prepares him, discusses relevance, literature and the related research question.

Like building blocks, one part builds on the next. The conclusion or. the Conclusion of the bachelor thesis answers again clearly the Research question , Draws a final conclusion and possibly offers another outlook for further research opportunities or discusses, as appropriate. the purpose of this paper.

The heart of the whole, virtually the climax of the work, is the main body, between the introduction and conclusion. When writing the main part, you combine the introduction and the conclusion by detailing what was necessary to answer the research question, how this was done, what results came to light and also define necessary theoretical aspects (Karmasin& Ribing 2014: 29).

As a result, the main section takes up most of the space in quantitative terms and thus provides enough room for scientific examination of a topic and the specific issue. When writing the main part of the paper, it is important to remember that the main part of the paper is not identified by its name, but by its content: You should include everything relevant to the research question when writing the main part.

Main part example

The correct procedure

When writing the main part, the necessary content should be clarified at the beginning, which means that, for example, terms should be discussed and thus, a theoretical framework for the following is created. Explanations of terms should indicate what the particular term means to the author of the paper and in relation to the research question (Franck& Stary 2009:148). An objective comparison of various positions in the literature and previous studies is therefore recommended when writing the main section.

In the table you can find a possible strategy for the approach of writing the main part.

Step Procedure for writing the main part
One At the beginning of writing the main part, clarify the necessary content& create a theoretical framework. Example: Explanations of terms should show what the respective term means to the author of the paper and in connection with the research question (Franck& Stary 2009:148).
Two Objective comparison of various positions from literature and previous studies is recommended here
Three Processing of the current state of research (can be done in conjunction with the clarification of terms or can be done as an embedding of the research question in the existing scientific context)
Four Details on study design, implementation, sample description, results, etc.

This excerpt illustrates that the basic ideas for writing the main section create the common thread. In addition, this figure illustrates the different steps involved in developing empirical and theoretical Bachelor theses or housework are necessary (Karmasin& Ribing 2014: 32).

Overview Writing the main part

So the author can also check if he is following his red thread remains true to the main part of the paper. Again and again, when writing the main part, one should remember the connection of the three central building blocks of a thesis: The introduction forms the basis, the main body builds in detail the Argumentation from and the conclusion leads finally to the result and if necessary. an outlook.

Systematically, in the chapters of the main part, as well as in the rest of the paper, the sequence of thoughts should be designed comprehensibly for the reader (Theisen 2013: 152). One stone on top of the other, so to speak. A logical connection is indispensable here (the red thread, there it is again!), on the one hand, to avoid overlap and repetition. On the other hand, to remedy a rigid sequence of arguments (Theisen 2013: 153). Sensibly is with the main part writing likewise to create suitable transitions of the individual chapters.

Useful W-questions for writing the main part can be found in this table, which can help the author to cover all the important details – on a large scale (outlining the whole main part) and on a small scale (outlining the individual points) (Franck& Stary 2009: 159).

Questions Writing the main part

Notice:

  • Create a framework for detailed explanations in the main part
  • Include relevant literature for research status, any clarifications of terms, embedding in scientific context (ex. Ex.: What gap should this paper fill?), etc.
  • Systematically show the necessary steps to answer the research question (Why? What? Where? Who? As? What for?)

Writing methodology in the main body

The division of the main part can be quite different. A red thread should be the basis for this, depending on the research question and the assignment. A key distinction in writing the main body is whether the scientific paper is empirical research or a theoretical work, because: Aims and questions of a thesis can be very different.

Nevertheless, there are some requirements that are common to all and should be considered when writing the main body of the paper. The main part contains the elaboration of the topic of the term paper, bachelor thesis or Master thesis . This comprises a continuous text divided into chapters, which is structured by paragraphs and sense sections for better readability.

In the main body, contextualize the respective analytical steps to answer the research question. In addition, using a clear outline, explain and discuss the hypotheses relevant to the topic. The central question should always be kept in mind when writing the main part and ideally should run like a red thread through the elaboration (Plumper 2008: 81).

Notice:

  • Red thread in the main part
  • Clear outline of the main part
  • Establish connections between the individual points when writing the main part

Kornmeier offers a baking recipe for writing a main section (Gugelhupf…mmh, delicious!). Just like baking, you need to make preparations when writing the main body of the paper. Then it is just as much fun as baking (or eating!). (Kornmeier 2008: 122). When writing the main body, these look like the following:

Writing the main body useful questions

Empirical research vs. theoretical research

When writing a main part there are big differences, because the preparation of empirical research require different elaboration compared to theory-based papers.

Methodology of writing the main part Empirical research Theory-based work
Implementation Field research Literature research
Decisions in the work process Analysis of own data evaluate literature
answering the research question in the main part Results from field research Results from theoretical findings (mostly from other authors)

Writing relevant things in the main part

Fundamental for all (empirical) bachelor theses and Term papers can be said, when writing the main part, one should always include a theory part as well. Also relevant to writing a main body of all scientific papers is how one arrived at the results and what they are, d. h. this should also be written in the main part.

However, for literature papers, the main body is limited to the theories or literature needed to answer the research question.

The description of the methodology must be included in theoretical Bachelor theses The main section does not necessarily have to be written in a separate chapter, but can also be written directly after the introduction, according to Esselborn-Krummbiegel (2010: 113).

The description and justification of the methodology is usually much shorter in main body writing on a theoretical basis than in empirical work.

In a theory paper, the knowledge from the already existing literature, i.e. the current state of research and the history, is also elaborated in more detail when writing the main part. This means that theoretical and empirical findings of others are considered in depth here (Kornmeier 2016: 114). Hypotheses are also included here in the main part of the paper.

When working with theories as a basis in the paper, outline, in case of known theories, only the main features of them (Esselborn-Krummbiegel 2010: 114). In case of unknown theories, you should definitely explain them in more detail when writing the main part and, if possible, show them with an example.

In case of an adaptation of theories, i.e. a further development of them, it is advisable to write in the main part exactly what has been changed or further developed. Questions that answer a further development of a theory can also be discussed in the main part (Esselborn-Krummbiegel 2010: 116).

Avoid this when writing the main part

Not recommended when building the main part is the strategy "from the specific to the general", because this hardly avoids ambiguities (Karmasin& Ribing 2014: 29). Specifically, when writing the main section, the methodology is also explained and justified, the implementation as well as, if necessary. Sample described, results presented and discussed.

Here, all aspects that were necessary to answer one or more research questions should be pointed out in detail when writing the main part (Nitsch& Hackfort 1994: 215ff.).

Notice:

  • Avoid the following strategy: "from the specific to the general"
  • Describing in detail and, above all, logically, what led to what result, forthe reader wants to know what background led to which result!

Conclusion

  • Writing a main body is not difficult!
  • Create a framework at the beginning when writing the main part: current state of research, explanations of terms and embedding in the scientific context
  • Middle: all details (methodology, implementation, sample, etc).)
  • write systematically and logically comprehensible – the reader does not know your data nor your procedure

References

Esselborn-Krumbiegel, H. (2010). Proper scientific writing. Scientific language in rules and exercises. Ferdinand Schoningh: Paderborn.

Franck, N. & Stary, J. (2009). The technique of scientific work. 15. revised edition. Ferdinand Schoningh Gmbh: Paderborn.

Herschleb, E. (2017). Master thesis: Inclusive pedagogy at day care centers in Thuringia: The implementation of the Sprach-Kitas program in Thuringia. University of Erfurt.

Karmasin, M. & Ribings, R. (2014). The design of scientific papers. 8., updated edition. Facultas Verlags- und Buchhandels AG: Vienna.

Kornmeier, M. (2008). Scientific writing made easy. For bachelor, master and dissertation. 7., updated and supplemented edition. Haupt publishing house: Bern.

Nitsch, J. & Hackfort, D. (Ed.), 1994. The red thread. An introduction to the technique of scientific work. bps-publishing house: Cologne.

Plumper, T. (2008). Writing Efficiently. Guide to writing qualification papers and scientific texts. 2., completely revised and extended edition. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag: Munich.

Theisen, R. M. (2013). Scientific work. Successful in bachelor and master thesis. 16., completely revised edition. Franz Vahlen GmbH: Munich.

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Elisa Herschleb

Elisa Herschleb holds a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and a Bachelor’s degree in Translation. She is a trained translator for English – German and can therefore draw on versatile experience in writing translations. With her master’s thesis on language education in Thuringian kindergartens and her work at the professorship for language acquisition and multilingualism, she has gained a good insight into the world of scientific work.

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