The bachelor’s thesis is a written dissertation to be written independently by the student on a topic agreed upon with a member of the Department of Computational Linguistics. This may be a professor, lecturer or doctoral student at the department. Group work is not allowed. One semester is allocated for the bachelor’s thesis, which is graded and is worth a total of 9 ECTS credits.
In order to do a bachelor’s thesis, there is a special one-semester compulsory module that is normally booked by the student. This can only be booked once all compulsory modules have been successfully completed, and it should only be booked for a semester when it is certain that completion is possible. Before booking the module, the topic and the date of submission must be agreed upon with the supervisor of the thesis. Time for a possible revision period of the thesis is also to be considered in the planning. Consequently, the topic and the deadline should be agreed upon in the previous semester.
The legal framework for writing a bachelor’s theses is laid down in the "Framework for the Study of Bachelor and Master Degree Programs at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich" of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the University of Zurich.
If the bachelor’s thesis is not passed within the set deadlines, the module must be booked again. The module can only be repeated once, as is the case for all compulsory modules.
Topic and aim
The topic of the bachelor's thesis must be agreed with and approved by one of the representatives (professors) of computational linguistics. The agreed and approved topic will be recorded on the topic sheet (see below). The representative of the department can delegate this task to a member of middle management. Both theoretically oriented work and technical programming are possible.
In the bachelor's thesis, the student should prove that he/she can process a scientifically relevant question from the field of computational linguistics or language technology in a methodically clean way and present it adequately. The "state of the art" is to be reprocessed in relation to the chosen question, i.e. no new scientific knowledge is required (but this is not prohibited). The formal rules of the discipline (e.g. regarding references) must be taken into account.
As a rule, an employee of the department (assistant, research associate, professor) supervises the work. However, there is no entitlement to supervision. The evaluation is carried out by the representative of the department, who can delegate this task to a middle-level employee.
Scope and design
As a rule, the bachelor’s thesis should consist of 20-30 pages for programming-oriented papers and 40-50 pages for theoretically oriented papers. The exact conditions are determined by the supervising lecturer. Extensive data, which is only suitable for further processing by machine (program code, corpora, etc.) should also be printed only in an appendix as excerpts.
The work must be submitted to the supervisor in electronic form. The supervisor may also request that a printed copy be submitted. A signed self-declaration must be submitted to the supervisor at the same time.
The following conditions must be met:
1. Font types other than the freely available Type-1 fonts (Helvetica, Times New Roman, etc.) must be included in the PDF document. This must be specified as an option when converting to PDF format.
2. The sheet size must not exceed 210 x 297mm (DIN A4).
3. Graphics in the text are to be scaled to a reasonable resolution. 300 dpi is enough for graphics.
4. Colour graphics should be reduced to 256 colours in order to maintain smaller file sizes.
5. The file with the complete content of the work must not be write-protected.
Program code, corpora and other data, which are suitable for further processing by machine, should be handed over to the supervisor in electronic form in separate files, which should be named in a self-explanatorily manner. Information required to process it on the computer must be explicit in order to allow for efficient testing.
Here is a LaTeX template for a bachelor’s thesis:
Once the topic of the bachelor's thesis is approved by a representative of the department, he/she establishes an official topic sheet for the particular thesis (with title and task description). This topic sheet is signed by the student and the representative In order to ensure:
- On the one hand, the topic is reserved for you, and
- On the other hand, you agree to write the work within the prescribed period
Please give the signed topic sheet to the study advisor.
Copyright and rights of use
Under current law, the copyright for the bachelor's thesis lies with the student. However, the student must grant the University of Zurich, represented by the Department of Computational Linguistics, a free, non-permanent, non-exclusive right to use the bachelor's thesis (especially for publication on the Web) as well as all products (especially software) created during the work. A declaration must be signed by the student at the beginning of the thesis. In exceptional cases, this rule may not apply if mutually agreed upon.
Rules of Academic Honesty
The easy availability of texts in digital form (especially on the Internet) has given the general public, and thus also students, the impression that everything that has been published so far is somehow in the "public domain" and therefore can be freely inserted in own works. This impression is wrong. Especially in assessed work, such as seminar papers, programming projects, term papers, licentiate and master's theses, adopted formulations, ideas and other intellectual achievements, and wherever these services were published must be meticulously documented - everything else is Plagiarism. The university has significantly tightened sanctions against students who plagiarise because of the proliferation of plagiarism. Have a look at the official information of the University of Zurich about plagiarism.