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The Lecture Series of "Supervising and Writing of Master's Thesis" Session 9: Approaching Thesis Writing and Defense with a Mission

On June 10, 2022, the China-EU School of Law (CESL) Lecture Series on “Supervising and Writing of Master's Thesis” was successfully held online. Professor WANG Zhiyuan, who is from the School of Criminal Justice gave the speech, and all CESL double master’s students from the 2021 intake participated in the lecture.

At the beginning of the lecture, Prof. WANG said that thesis writing is a task to solve real problems with a mission. That is, good theses always arise from a mission to solve problems and serve society. Students should write and research from their own experience to solve the real-life problem of "how to make citizens obey the law".

Afterwards, Prof. WANG provided guidance on five aspects: problem awareness, literature review, methodological application, presentation, and oral expression.

For "Problem Awareness", students should pay attention to the following four issues when choosing a topic. First, distinguish the domains of a theoretical problem from a practical problem. Do not take the problem domain as the problem, but students should explore the specific problem and take it as the topic of the thesis. Secondly, combine practical frontier issues with traditional theories. They should not decouple from traditional theories while studying frontier issues. Third, the thesis writing needs to follow Occam's razor and not add additional problems if they are not necessary. Fourth, it is important to clarify the perspective of the problem, not to confuse the field of view, but to clarify the field of view in which the research is based, and to write from a unique field of view. In summary, students should choose a topic that is necessary, in dialogue with traditional theories, and with a clear core perspective.

For the "Literature Review", students need to be fully aware of the views, arguments, and value positions of their predecessors, and to make their own assessment based on them.

For the "Methodology", the paper should be written in such a way that the research methods used are not too numerous but useful, and the focus should be on ensuring that the methods are convincing. Students should also distinguish between evidential and refutational methods. Choose the applicable methods according to their needs and flexibly use methods such as normative logic analysis, normative purpose analysis, value analysis, premise criticism, and empirical research.

For the "Presentation", the exposition should be logical, and the argument should be clear and justified from the table of contents. On this basis, the articulation should be based on the logic of cascading topics and a natural transition of paragraphs. The expressions should not be redundant, but should be as concise and clear as the logic by means of a reasonable arrangement of central sentences. The abstract should reflect the most colorful part of the argument in the paper. A postscript should also be taken seriously, and a future outlook can be added to the acknowledgement.

For the "Oral Presentation" of the defense, students should express their ideas in the most concise language, using examples to make them quickly understood by the teachers.

Finally, Prof. WANG summarized the content of his lecture, hoping that the students would explore the necessary issues as their chosen topics and stand on the shoulders of their predecessors to achieve the goal of making a work for the earth, through effective evidence and rebuttal from the crowd, using clear expression and confident presentation.

Written by: LI Wenyi, CESL double master from 2021 intake
Photographed by: WANG Dazhong, CESL double master from 2021 intake
Translated by: WANG Yingqi, CESL double master from 2021 intake