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Instructions for Master's Thesis

Writing of the Thesis

The Master’s Thesis is about the development, deepening and expansion of the student’s expertise, as well as the showcasing of their expertise. When writing the thesis, the student must pay attention to both its content and structure. The background, methods, results and conclusions of the thesis must be structured into a logically proceeding and substantiated whole. For a model of the structure of the final report, see Appendix 7.

The thesis is written in the language of the degree programme. For a justified reason, the thesis can be written in a language other than that of the degree programme. The decision on this matter is made by the Head of Degree Programme.

The ability to express oneself is an important part of expertise; for this, also the language and layout of the text needs to be paid attention to from the very beginning.  The presentation must constitute a consistent and coherent whole. The language must be universally applicable and unambiguous.

Search of Information

It is also important to assess the quality of the sources of information used in the thesis. Thesis sources include primary sources and the most recent national and international professional and scientific articles related to the field of research. Information acquisition skills are one of an expert’s tools and part of research and development competencies. The sources used demonstrate how well the author masters the key sources of their own field and how deeply acquainted with the topic they are. 

The Library of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences has a wide collection of material needed for writing the thesis, in both printed and online formats. The SeAMK-Finna search service of the Library is an appropriate starting point for data acquisition. In addition to the Library’s own database, SeAMK-Finna provides access to other databases and content. The online services of the Library (E-Library) provide access to even more databases, e-books and e-magazines, as well as special material. The online services are available through the network of SeAMK and, through the remote access service, also outside the network, e.g., by a home computer.   You can learn about the opportunities of data acquisition on related courses, independently through the website of the Library, and asking the Library staff for advice.

Use of Information

Honesty and transparency are required from all scientific research, including the theses of the universities of applied sciences. In-text citations show the reader when the text is about its author’s own thinking and when it refers to knowledge retrieved from other sources. Throughout the text, it must be made obvious to the reader which sections are composed of the author’s own text and which sections are based on the information sources used. SeAMK has policies on the use of artificial intelligence in studies (link). An AI may not write a thesis on a student’s behalf. 

The use of AI is reported in the last subsection or chapter of the introduction. There are many AI applications, the language model can be used in a very wide range of applications and the use of AI is also developing very rapidly, therefore the level and scope of AI use and the AI applications used should be reported as specifically as possible.

In this thesis, the ChatGPT language model has been used for text ideation and verification. All sources used in this thesis are those retrieved by the author of this thesis, not those generated by the AI. Where the AI application has generated new ideas for the text, originality of those ideas has been checked using the original sources. They have also been properly referenced. The English-language abstract has been written using DeepL Translator for translation and Grammarly for grammar checking.

Plagiarism and failing to indicate sources is a copyright breach. In the use of sources, one must always remember that sources are not quoted directly but the things and ideas included in them are presented in the author’s own words.    Anyone must be able to check the methods used in the collection and analysis of data as well as the use of sources. Healthy criticism of sources and checking the reliability of the knowledge is the thesis writer’s moral responsibility.

The digital copying and reuse of both printed and online material is restricted by regulations related to the law of copyright. Drawings and photographs may be used in online documents, if their author has given their permission for that or if you have copyright to the material used (e.g., your own photos and drawings). 

Material can be freely retrieved form sources which clearly state that it is free of copyright.  However, the source must always be mentioned. If the material includes the mention that it was published with the Creative Commons license, it usually can be used. The bibliography of the present Instructions includes some exhaustive online sources e.g. about the copyrights of figures, pictures, and collages (Art University Copyright Advice, 2012; IPR University Center, n.d.; Toikkanen, 2012). 

SeAMK’s Instructions for Written Work are observed in the writing of the thesis, in the use of sources, and in the writing of in-text citations and bibliographic references.

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