Toukiden like many chapters

13 common mistakes in the structure of the bachelor thesis or master thesis

A good outline is half the battle. Then you can write specifically and have less time pressure. You are also more motivated because you see pages written faster and thus have a sense of achievement. Therefore, beware of the following mistakes in structuring.

1. More than seven sub-chapters in one chapter (even five is a lot)

Such a chapter is just a string of terms, some of which can certainly be grouped together or clustered.

2. Chapter 2.1 without 2.2 in the structure

That is not how it works. Whoever says 1 must also say 2. The supervisor will immediately complain about this mistake and deduct points.

3. More than eight chapters on 60 pages

There is no fixed rule as to how many chapters there can be in a bachelor thesis. But the more chapters there are per fixed page number, the more unbalanced the chapters are likely to be. Five to six chapters on 60 pages are good.

For dissertations, there should not be more than ten chapters on 200 pages. The typical bachelor or master thesis has six chapters.

4. One-word headings in the structure

Such headings do not reveal what exactly is in the chapter. The appraiser wants to know this beforehand. The chapter heading "Theory" shows that you did not try too hard.

5. Headings longer than two lines are too long

The title does not have to contain the entire message of the chapter! Try a maximum of two lines. That also makes the table of contents more balanced.

6. Only formal words as headings in the outline

Formal words are e.g. theory part, empirical part, survey, definitions, evaluation, concluding part, and the like.

Headings should always contain content-related elements such as the theory of customer loyalty or a questionnaire on experiences with Concept A. In addition, the final part sounds like: am I happy that it's over ... I have run out of energy and can no longer think clearly. So that that doesn't happen, you should definitely do the outline at the beginning.

7. Write only 0.5 pages or less for a chapter

A heading should structure the text and not shred it into the smallest parts ... If it is less than 0.5 pages, you should only insert a bold subheading instead of a chapter heading.

8. Questions in chapter headings of the structure

Questions are often rhetorical and suggestive. In addition, someone may understand the question differently than it was intended. So better rephrase the question to an open phrase.


Not good: What are the characteristics of milk chocolate?
Better: Features of milk chocolate

9. Verbs in headings of the outline

The heading describes the content of the chapter factually. The content is static, so action using verbs is superfluous. So do not write "Derive procedure", but rather "Procedure for the analysis".

10. Only in one of six chapters a 4th or even 5th level, if other chapters of the structure only have two levels

Basically there is nothing wrong with that. But it looks unbalanced. Therefore, it is better to summarize the content in the lower levels. Bold subheadings without a chapter number are also an option.

11. Four or even more levels in the outline with only 20 pages

You can't write that much about a sub-chapter. With 20 pages it should not be more than two levels.

12. One chapter has 40 pages and the remaining four chapters only 20 pages

In principle, that is not wrong either. But it looks unbalanced. So better avoid it. An outline must have a certain internal structure. Therefore, the chapters should also have certain proportions on the pages.

13. Designate headings with A and B and 1 and 2 and I and II and ...

i and ii and a) and b) - everything mixed up (except in Jura! That's normal!). This type of structure has a number of disadvantages:

  • automatic numbering is difficult,
  • Table of contents looks bad, messed up ...
  • this structure suggests a dubious hierarchy,
  • often there are only formal points such as introduction, theory, empiricism, conclusion.

Such a division does not help. Better take 1 and then 2 with 1.1 and 1.2 and 2.2. and 2.2.1 etc.


As soon as the supervisor makes specifications for the structure of your bachelor thesis or master thesis, you must of course observe these instructions. Of course, the chair requirements have priority!

With these tips you will also cast a spell over your supervisor with your work.

We wish you good luck with your bachelor's or master's thesis

Silvio and the Aristolo team