For students

Thesis writing guidelines

In order to get a better understanding, how master’s theses or PhD theses are generally written, you might want to have a look at existing theses. Finished theses can be found in the online catalogue of the university library (Vienna University of Technology) or the search engine for electronic documents of the Austrian library association.

Resources on how to write a master / PhD thesis or scientific paper

Writing a thesis is not the same as writing a scientific paper. In a thesis, you have more space to elaborate your ideas while the content of a scientific paper is much more condensed and focused. However, guidelines on how to write and how to structure content usually apply to both kinds of works. Therefore, I summarize writing resources for both of them within this section.

Document processing

If you decide to write your thesis with LaTeX but have never used it before, you should have a look at my short page on Getting started with LaTeX. You may also find my LaTeX notes useful.

If you (have to?) use Microsoft Word but usually use BibTex for your references, you may be interested in bibtex4word. This allows you to cite BibTex references in Microsoft Word documents using almost any style available for BibTex. The references can even be clickable (cross references by using the “/h” option for the bibtex style, e.g., “alpha/h”), which is quite useful when reading documents. I recommend to use “/hud”, which means that references are clickable and URLs and DOIs are hyperlinks in Word.

Writing in English

If you are writing in English, the following resources might be interesting to you:

Searching scientific publications

Developing software

While performing your thesis in cooperation with us, you will be developing software. Please follow the respective coding conventions to produce better readable code as you might cooperate with other people or other people will continue to work upon your results.

We also have written a short introduction to using Subversion in case you are working with our source-code repository.

Further resources regarding Java and Enterprise JavaBeans

Finishing your study

When approaching the the end of your study, familiarize yourself with the guidelines and required documents in time. Relevant sources are:

A short note on the master’s thesis poster

A poster is not a “text document”. It should be appealing and interesting to the viewer and address the major issues of the whole thesis with good and illustrating figures. The poster should especially address the following items:

  • Thesis context
  • Specific question(s) addressed – the “goal”
  • Solution approach(es) and implementation
  • Results

When you design your poster, please consider that the viewers probably have not much time. You must catch the viewer’s interest in the first few seconds and the core message of your thesis should be understandable in up to about 30 seconds. Only if you succeed with this, the viewer might be interested in reading the details.

You can find examples of previous posters at – see “PreisträgerInnen und Veranstaltungsfotos” of the epilog events. However, these posters are only examples and the content of your thesis might require its own format or structure.

Research lists

If you are interested in getting notifications about scientific conferences, workshops, job announcements, etc., you may want to join some of the following research lists (not relevant for undergraduates):


If you plan to or are already working towards a PhD, the PhD Comics will most probably address your situation quite well.

You may also be interested in the Dilbert Comics.