Final thesis report
Start in time
The report is not something you do at the end of our thesis work. To produce a good report it is important that you start writing already in the earlier stages of your work although you will update this later on. The current status of the report should be used for the mid project presentation.
The Report is public
A thesis report at Chalmers or the University of Gothenburg is always public, it can never be confidential – if someone asks for the report we must hand it out. You can keep specific attachments confidential but these should not be of essence to the understanding of the report. The report without these attachments should be a complete document without gaps.
How to write the master’s thesis report
All research should be carried out using a scientific method and this should be reflected in your report and a certain scientific level will be required. This should include and extended version of the scientific problem definition and references to knowledge within the area given in the thesis proposal
- The report is to be written in English.
- The report must describe your own results but not only that. A part of your report should present related work and you should relate to high quality literature in the area. You should explain how your project contributes to and improve the existing knowledge with respect to the report´s literature review. The report should also describe how you have reached these results but it should not be a history of how you handled your work. You must describe your scientific research method. The method and the results should be presented in separate sections of the report. Include statements of the scientific challenges and engineering problems that you have addressed in your work. How were the problems solved? Did you bypass them or did you not reach a solution? This information makes it possible to understand why you did, or did not choose a certain method. In many cases the reader of the report can learn just as much from your sidetracks and mistakes as from your success.
- Experiments should be carried out and described in a way that makes it possible to reproduce them.
- Relate your work to high quality reference literature and to scientific knowledge in the area.
- Statements that are not obvious should be clarified. Motivate and argue for your statements. If needed, refer to other sources.
- Make sure that you separate actual facts from your interpretations of these facts.
- There must be a source reference to all information that you get from elsewhere. In particular, this is easy to forget when pictures and other figures are used.
- Do not use figures and pictures for which you do not have copyright.
- It is important that the text in your report is your own. Separate carefully between your own material and quoted material. Quotations and direct references to other literature should be sparse and clearly marked. Read more on the handling of sources at Academic Integrity and Honesty at Chalmers.
- Plagiarism is prohibited. Your master’s thesis report will be checked for plagiarism. This is done using the automated computer tool Urkund. More on this in the section on Urkund below.
- The report should be finished and might just lack some textual polishing when it is delivered to the examiner.
You may find it hard to get started with writing your report, so we have collected a page with (hopefully) useful information. You will also get support for the writing process in the mandatory lectures.
Cover Page and template
Your report should have a common frontpage where both Chalmers and University of Gothenburg are stated, regardless of which university you are studying at. A template for this can be found under Forms and templates.
In some cases the company where you do your thesis work will want their own cover page. In these cases this cover page should be placed behind the common cover page and not replace it.
The Final Report
The report should be handed in to your examiner as a PDF file including the appropriate cover page.
Your master’s thesis report should pass through Urkund without being flagged. Urkund is a web based service to check documents for plagiarism, i.e. to check if parts of the material has been taken from other sources. Your text will be checked against three sources:
- The internet. The Internet contains billions of pages with varying content, from material published by universities and colleges to government material, newspaper articles, books and more. Urkund covers a huge number of internet pages with particular focus on sites with educational material.
- Published material. This area is made up of hundreds of millions of books, encyclopedias, scientific articles, etc.
- Student produced documents. Student documents sent via Urkund are archived to be used as source material for future checks. The great number of documents sent through the system creates a vast and ever growing source area which aims to make it impossible for students to plagiarize other student’s material.
Your examiner will send your report to Urkund for checking, or he/she will give you an address where to send the report for checking. You should submit a PDF document for analysis. The result of the analysis will be sent to your examiner and he/she will evaluate if the document has passed the check or not. In most cases it is unavoidable that some part of the report will have strong similarities to some text that is used in the comparison. It is for the examiner to decide the relevance of this similarity.
Read more on Urkund’s website.