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Centria Guide for Thesis and Academic Writing

Guidance for the final thesis writing at Centria


The thesis seminar procedures may vary slightly between different degree programmes. In this chapter the basics of seminar work and the guidance process are presented briefly.

Most degree programmes organize seminars where the progress of the report is presented and general issues involved in writing a thesis are covered. During the seminars, students have the possibility to ask questions and solve possible problems in their work. The students’ implementation plans, research plans and interim reports are also discussed. In the seminars, students peer-review each other´s reports and the supervisor comments.

Before a seminar meeting, the per-reviewing opponents study each other’s thesis report and assess and give constructive feedback, both in writing and orally. In the actual seminar, the group gives feedback on the topic, topicality, approach to research problem, methods and results and also presents questions to the author.

The seminar is an interactive session and all members should participate actively, not just the nominated opponents. The author should be able to give answers and present arguments for the decisions made.

More information on the seminar procedures are given from the thesis supervisor.

1. Arrange a kick-off meeting where the thesis contract is drawn up. In the meeting, define the research question(s), aims, topic and schedule, as well as a potential working-life instructor. Set a time for the next meeting.

2. Ensure your methodological expertise for guiding the thesis work. More information for example from the following work:

  • Hakala, J. T. 2004. Opinnäyteopas ammattikorkeakouluille. 2. p. Helsinki: Gaudeamus.
  • Kananen, J. 2016. Opinnäytetyön ja pro gradun ohjaajan opas. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu.
  • Vilkka, H. & Airaksinen, T. 2004. Toiminnallisen opinnäytetyön ohjaajan käsikirja. Helsinki: Tammi.
  • Hakala, J. T., Hughes, G., Hughes, L. & Hakala, J. T. 2000. Creative thesis writing: A guide to development and research work. Helsinki: Gaudeamus.
  • Kananen, J. 2013. Design research (applied action research) as thesis research: A practical guide for thesis research. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu.
  • Paltridge, B. & Starfield, S. 2007. Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language: A handbook for supervisors. London: Routledge.

3.  Familiarize yourself with copyright guidelines (for example regarding use of pictures):

Tekijänoikeuden ABC 
The Abc of copyright

Aalto yliopisto: Kuvien sallitut käyttötavat opinnäytetöissä

Aalto university: How to use images 

4. Familiarize yourself with the ethical guidelines and Responsible Conduct of Research for example on the pages of Arene, the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (link On page 15 you find the supervisor’s checklist in Finnish).

5. Familiarize yourself with the Guide for Thesis and Academic Writing and the Word template.

6. Meet the thesis student regularly during the process and stay in touch using for example e-mail. Remember still to use the resources of 15h per thesis report so that there is time for the feedback, review, seminars and maturity test in the final stages. The supervisor of the thesis content reviews the reliability of the used sources and the equivalence of references in the report.

7.  Maturity test: Familiarize yourself with the maturity test guidelines. Arrange a test appointment with the student and draw up the headings. When the text is written, send the maturity test to the English teacher for review. Notice if there are Finnish students in the international degree programmes they must still write the maturity test in their language of schooling (Finnish/ Swedish, see chapter 12).

8.  Send in the thesis report for language review. If needed, text support from the English teacher can be accessed also at an earlier stage and that guidance does not yet affect the assessment of the thesis.

9. Assessment: Base your assessment on the assessment criteria. In practice-based work notice that the work is assessed as a whole, the product of the work is only one part of the thesis work and is also examined only as one part. The language teacher assesses the written presentation. 

Hakala, J. T. 2004. Opinnäyteopas ammattikorkeakouluille. 2. p. Helsinki: Gaudeamus.