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Lesson Navigation IconOnline Guidelines for Academic Research and Writing

Unit Navigation IconThe academic research process

Unit Navigation IconOrganization and project management

LO Navigation IconBasic principles of projects

LO Navigation IconThe concept of phases

LO Navigation IconTime management

Unit Navigation IconLiterature research and application

Unit Navigation IconWriting an academic paper

Unit Navigation IconHow do I create a good poster?

Unit Navigation IconPresentation skills

Unit Navigation IconLearning techniques and exam preparation

Unit Navigation IconBibliography

Unit Navigation IconMetadata

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Basic principles of projects

When planning a project it is advisable to consider the following basic principles (vgl. Witschi 1999: 3):

Partition project in stages: The purpose of outlining a project in stages is to present a clear step by step development of the solution to a problem stated. The risk of failure can be minimized by dividing the task into processes of planning, determining, and concretizing before including predefined milestones (e.g. meetings and discussions before important decisions).

From general to detail: It is advisable to begin with a broad perspective before narrowing it step by step. Especially when dealing with novel topics or re-conceptualizations, it is often more convenient to have a master plan first, since its frame will then serve as a guideline for further sub-steps.


Planning a seminar paper or master thesis as a project will make things easier.

See project management as a sequence of processes: It is not possible to schedule projects from A to Z. Many sub-processes cannot be determined right from the start since external influences are hardly predictable. In addition, you should leave room for new insights, findings, and even surprises when planning a project.

Consider alternative solutions: Project management should be flexible and take alternatives as well as discrepancies into account. Especially when writing a master's thesis where empirical work faces uncertainties, to develop a plan B can be helpful.

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