An effect analysis is the analysis and description of changes to or in an object (target object) due to another object (factor).

In an analysis for a research project or a bachelor’s or master’s thesis, a certain object is defined, actually or mentally dissected and its components (elements) and features (attributes) are described precisely and in detail. The effect analysis then describes the condition before and after comparing them.

An example topic will help you understand the abstract concept:

Effects of chocolate consumption on students' motivation to learn - a systematic analysis

How do I proceed in an effect analysis?

The procedure for the effect analysis is as follows:

  • First define all terms. These are all the important elements of the object or system.
  • Describe the terms with the help of textbooks and studies listing the features known thus far. Design an overview of all relevant features. This is ultimately a model of the one object (learning motivation of students).
  • Then do the same for the second object, the factor (chocolate consumption).
  • Define the necessary data to describe the changes = effects (weight, level of happiness, etc.).
  • Identify the possible data sources (literature or empirical sources).
  • Evaluate the data sources and select the best ones.
  • Design a procedure for obtaining the data.
  • Collect the data, from literature or empirically.
  • Analyze the data and draw conclusions.
  • Describe the observed changes.
  • Make references to the changes that are less researched.

Why do I need to know how an effect analysis works? How does it help me?

It helps you with your thesis and in everyday life! You can use it to find an easy to work on topic instead of trying many topics, losing time and patience and resulting in starting off on the wrong foot...

  • Formulate the research question and the goal clearly instead of just roughly.
  • Build the model for the investigation instead of simply listing content from many sources in the text, without a storyline.
  • Determine your research design with data, data sources, methods, etc. instead of starting at the beginning and then muddling through.
  • Structure your entire research process according to the approach of an effect analysis instead of stumbling along.
  • Quickly identify the sources for data collection instead of searching for hours on end
  • Perform your evaluation following the analysis model.
  • Make sure your writing flows and includes intelligent questions instead of puzzling ideas and hoping that somehow your audience will understand.

And in life? Every painful change in your life requires analysis, so it doesn't cause you pain again.

What are the research questions and the goal of effect analyzes?

In general, the research question of effect analysis is:

What changes does Object Alpha show AFTER Object Beta has been applied?

Example: What changes occur in the characteristics of students' learning motivation after the consumption of XY chocolate (for breakfast)?

The goal is to gain knowledge about the changes of object Alpha because of Beta.

Is this type of effect analysis a literature thesis or empirical project?

This type of analysis is suitable for both. You can gather knowledge scattered in literature sources, which would make it a literature thesis or theory project. But you can also collect and evaluate data yourself and close the gap, which would make it an empirical work. An empirical work is more valuable, but this does mean that it’s more difficult than a literature thesis. It can only seem more complicated because gathering the findings from sources can be more complex than a survey.

What kind of tools and materials are the most useful for an effect analysis?

It depends on the nature of your work, whether it is a theory or empirical thesis. When composing a literature thesis, you need a very good method to find the applicable sources based on their contents and arguments to properly evaluate the sources. The method of a literature review is best suited for this purpose. You are looking for scientific studies according to a tried and tested scheme. These studies are your material, the previous knowledge functions as input for your text.

For the collection of data sources, an instrument of source evaluation is required. You can reliably evaluate data and data sources using our catalog of questions, so you know to what extent they are helping you write the paper. The rating works like a sieve. For an empirical thesis, the methods for the literature thesis mentioned above are necessary  as well as a few more methods and instruments. You need data sources and instruments to collect data such as questionnaires, survey forms or interview guidelines. There are standards for the contents, outline, type of data documentation etc.

But the most important thing in academic writing is the questions! In all possible variations. There is one big research question, then there are detailed questions that break down the big research question. If you conduct interviews, you will need to think of interview questions. The questionnaire is made up of questions with predefined answers. As a crowning conclusion, there are still micro questions within the chapters. By the way, you can write five pages of text a day if you follow our module.

What are the biggest challenges when writing an effect analysis for the bachelor’s or master’s thesis?

You must first find the gap, the unknown or little known changes. Remember the chocolate scenario. You could also examine teachers or schoolchildren. You must find out what we know and what we don't know but WANT to know. Then you still have to see if we CAN find out what we want to know if that information is obtainable at all.

You must clearly define the subject of the investigation and thus delimit it. For example, it is not just about students rather there are those who study sports or business studies etc. You don't build a model every day either. And don’t forget about the seemingly trying task of finding and evaluating the data and drawing clever conclusions. This sounds worse than it is but with a large excavator you can remove a significant pile of earth in one day! The same applies to the appropriate methods of analysis.

What's the best place to start?

Start with clean definitions of your terms and use only scientific sources, i.e. no online sources, no lexicons.

Example: Sustainable tourism should be defined by a reference book on the subject not by an online source. You will find much more on the subject in a textbook. You should also find descriptions and representations of the objects. Using chocolate as an example, you would find the ingredients, a description of the different specialities and product variations like pralines etc.

This is followed by the formulation of the research gap and research question, the aim of the work, the selection of methods, the source evaluation, the acquisition and analysis of data and then the actual writing of the text. It's all fun when you see the end clearly in front of you. The end, by the way, is clear from the beginning with the aim of the work, namely a precise description of the characteristics sought. Sounds doable, right?

How does the Aristolo Thesis Guide help me make an effect analysis for the bachelor’s or master’s thesis?

The Aristolo Thesis Guide provides a detailed guide for an effect analysis with all the steps, instructions, checklists, tools and examples. It will save you a lot of time, your results will be much better, your findings will be real, and you will receive a great grade!

All the best for writing your text!

Silvio and the Aristolo Team

PS: Check out the Thesis-ABC and the Thesis Guide for writing a bachelor or master thesis in 31 days.