Supervisors' Suggestions

Question mark imageGetting a Good Mark for your BE Thesis
(Pointers from Dr Robin Ford*)

Your three interlinked objectives

  1. Pass the course and get a good mark
  2. Have something to be proud of on your bookshelf (make it look good)
  3. Document your work for people who follow

Tell the story in an easy-to-read way

  1. Work out the logical order for your story
  2. Highlight what you did yourself (it's what everyone wants to know)
  3. Tell the story as directly and simply as possible
  4. Make it easy to follow: e.g. put figures and tables where the reader can easily find them
  5. Write in a formal but not pompous way

Make clear what you did yourself


If you don’t reference your sources, we might think that you are claiming someone else’s work as your own. This is plagiarism.

Markers need to know:

  1. What you got from books, journals and notes
  2. What you did yourself

Make this as clear as you possibly can. The main way to do this is to reference clearly other people’s work. This way your own work will stand out.

Next year's students will also value your references, so they can follow them up when they carry on the work.


* Dr Robin Ford retired in 2007 after a long and distinguished research and teaching career in the field of mechanical engineering. In addition to his numerous awards for excellence in teaching, Robin is a veteran marker of inumerable 4th year engineering theses. We thank Robin for sharing his pearls of wisdom on getting a good mark for the BENG thesis.

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