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Das Doktorandenseminar bei Prof. Hobe findet jeweils einmal im Sommersemster und im Wintersemester statt. Professor Hobes Doktoranden werden dazu explizit eingeladen.


Leitfaden für Doktoranten

Dear doctoral students,

as many of you have requested, I will put my specific guidelines for writing a doctoral thesis under my supervision and getting it through from the perspective of administration, down and on the homepage, so that everybody has no excuse any more, but has the duty to assure him or herself for being in accordance with these guidelines.

1. As may be known, an admission to write a doctoral dissertation is made by the doctoral bureau, Ms. Dr. Tatjana Chekushina. It can be a straight admission or it can be the admission under the condition to follow a seminar with one of my colleagues. You should carefully look into your admission certificate where this is listed. In case of your duty to write a second seminar paper (the first one will be the one for the presentation in my doctoral seminar) I can give you advise as to a possible colleague.

2. The bureaucratic requirements for submitting the dissertation are available at the doctoral office, Dr. Chekushina. Please inform yourself, because there is a lot more to do than just submitting the dissertation.

3. It is important when writing a thesis that you have formulated a strong hypothesis at the beginning. During the introduction you should make it very clear what your interest in writing the thesis is. Of course, it is the general interest of any dissertation to forward science. In this sense you should formulate in your introduction what this interest is, depending on your specific topic. Then you may continue to develop the interest in the following chapters.

4. As to the structure of a thesis it should be stressed that all theses should have the following structure:


 Chapter 1

 Chapter 2

 Chapter 3

 Chapter xyz

 Summary/Resumé/Conclusion (whatever denomination you prefer).

5. The bibliography should not divide into books and articles. It should only cover read material be it books or articles. Later on, these books and articles are listed in alphabetic order. The alphabetic order depends on the last name of the author or editor of a book or an article.

6. Generally it should be said that a legal dissertation should not have less than 100 pages but not more than 250 pages. From these, 90 % is more or less the summary of existing opinions. Of course, it is important that you illustrate and design this summary in a nice way. Only 5 to 10 % of any doctoral dissertation contain the new idea that you may bring forward with your dissertation.

7. As to the doctoral seminar you may as often as you wish present your work. It is not necessary that you present the entire thesis, but you can present specific chapters where you find it neécessary. Since it is absolutely possible to agree on a non-marking of a presentation it can be helpful to present ideas of the dissertation several times. The discussion with other doctoral students and some of my critical remarks may help you to overcome some stumbling blocks that you may have.

8. There is a duty to publish the dissertation indeed. As regards my dissertation Series on Air and Space Law (Schriften zum Luft- und Weltraumrecht) only dissertations with a minimum of magna cum laude (or summa cum laude) are taken in the series. But this does not matter so much: there is always the possibility to electronically publish your dissertation. And a printout of what you have published electronically doesn’t make a serious difference to any published work that is been published by a publisher.

I hope that these hints may help you to be successful and wish you any success with your dissertation.

Best regards

Stephan Hobe