Take the next step toward realizing your academic & professional aspirations!



 1)    Explore your research interests 
o   Begin by exploring topics that interest you within your field of study 
o   Conduct preliminary research to identify existing studies and literature relevant to those interests
2)    Refine your research interests to narrow down your focus 
o   Identify specific areas or aspects that you find most compelling
o   Narrow down your focus by selecting a specific research question or thesis topic that aligns with your refined interests


 1)    Conduct a systematic literature review to identify a problem (a gap or a niche) in the literature related to your research interests
o   A systematic literature review involves a comprehensive search of relevant literature using specific criteria, , utilizing the following databases to begin with: Thesis Center (Ulusal Tez Merkezi), DergiParkPROQUEST and EBSCOHOST.
o   Analyze and synthesise the findings from your literature review to further clarify/confirm the gap/niche in the existing research
2)    Note down why the identified problem would be of value and explain the significance of your research
o   Clearly express the importance and value of addressing the identified research gap. 
o   Explain how filling the gap or niche will contribute to the field, theory, practice and/or policy
3)    Specifying a thesis topic that reflects your research interests and the identified gap/niche in the literature, leasing with your advisor
o   Share your ideas and the identified gap/niche in the literature with your advisor to refine and finalize your thesis topic
o   Work collaboratively with your advisor to develop a thesis topic, considering the feasibility, resources, and timeline required for the chosen topic and methodology


1)    Develop a detailed research proposal, leasing with your advisor: The research proposal serves as a roadmap for your study, and provides a clear plan for conducting your research.
2)    Seek ethical approval, if applicable, from relevant ethics committees, and institutional boards if necessary. 
3)    Submit your proposal for approval/permission (Application for Bilkent Ethics Committee Approval). If you intend to conduct research in K-12 schools, click this link. N.B. If the study is conducted in another higher education institution, Bilkent’s Ethics Committee Approval could still be useful; however, please note that higher education institutions have their own such procedures, and  you are required to follow them. 
4)    Present your proposal to your advisor/relevant parties, seek feedback, and obtain approval.


1)   Data Collection & Analysis
o   Upon approval, begin collecting the necessary data for your study using the research methods and techniques specified in your proposal, while adhering to ethical considerations.
o   Analyze the collected data using appropriate statistical and/or qualitative analysis methods to draw meaningful conclusions. 
2)   Complete all chapters of your thesis. In a nutshell, 
o   Write each chapter of your thesis, following a logical and organized structure, and adhering to the formatting requirements.
                                           I.         Introduction: Introduce the background to the study, providing an overview of the research problem, purpose, research questions and the significance of the study. 
                                          II.         Literature Review:  Introduce the theoretical/conceptual framework, and critically evaluates and synthesize existing research relevant to your key variables/concepts. Highlight the gaps in the current knowledge that your study aims to address.
                                         III.         Methodology: Explain, and justify your research design, sampling strategy, data collection tools, data collection procedures and techniques, and data analysis procedures and techniques. Address any limitations or potential biases in the research design and data collection process.
                                        IV.         Results: Present and interpret your results in a clear and organized manner. Utilize tables and figures where appropriate to enhance data presentation.
                                         V.         Discussion: Summarize the main findings of your study, restate your research questions, and discuss the overall contributions of your research to the field. Provide an in-depth discussion of the findings from your study, relating them to existing literature. Address any unexpected or contradictory findings and discuss their implication for research and practice. Suggest future research direction based on your findings.


1)Submit your completed thesis to your advisor for review
o   Ensure that your thesis is well-formatted, proofread, and free of any typographical errors before submission.
2)    Check with your advisor to confirm how to get prepared and what to expect before, during and after your oral defense. 
o   Create a 15-min presentation that effectively communicates the key aspects of your study.
o   Anticipate and prepare for potential questions that may arise during the oral defense.
o   Rehearse your presentation multiple times to become comfortable with the content and flow of your defense. 
3)    Defend your thesis before a Thesis Examination Committee
4)    Address questions and critiques from the oral defense committee with clarity and confidence, drawing upon your knowledge of the research
5)    After the defense, carefully review the feedback provided by the committee members. Make necessary revisions to your thesis to address the feedback and suggestions, improving the overall quality and coherence of your work.


Format your thesis adhering to the formatting guidelines provided by the Graduate School of Education. 
1)    Make any required changes indicated by your advisor and the committee members.
2)    Submit your thesis to the Office of the Graduate School of Education (GSE) for approval in a timely manner within three weeks after your oral defense at the latest. 


1)    Make sure the Approval Pages are signed in blue ink by the committee members. Check with the Office of the GSE to confirm how many extra copies you need to have. 
2)    Go to the Council of Higher Education’s Thesis Center (Ulusal Tez Merkezi) website to complete the Thesis/Dissertation Data Entry Form (Sample Form) following the guidelines given. Download and take at least three copies of the completed form to the Office of the GSE. 
3)    Prepare 3 CDs, making sure that each of which includes your thesis/dissertation saved as the reference number (i.e. referencenogiven.pdf) given by the Thesis Center, and each of which is labeled as the reference number given. 
4)    Take at least three bound copies of your thesis/dissertation to the Office of GSE for getting the approval, and signature, of the Director of the Graduate School of Education. Leave a copy with the Office of the GSE.
5)    Take a signed and approved bound copy to the Bilkent University Library  together with a Thesis/Dissertation Database Submission and Permission Form together with one of the CDs. Remember to leave the other two CDs with the Office of the GSE. 
6)    Fill in the Graduate Thesis/Dissertation Access Postponement Request Form, and take it to the Library (optional). N.B. note that the GSE Executive Board approval is to be obtained well in advance. 
7)    Complete the termination of enrolment form (İlişik Kesme Formu)


Bilkent University Graduation Ceremony is usually held in June. Please check the university’s Academic Calendar to confirm the date and time.   


Department of English Language Teaching