Research/term papers

Guidelines, how to use quotations, plagiarism

Before starting your term paper, see me for an obligatory consultation during my office hours. This will allow us to discuss
(1) your working title,
(2) a one to two-page abstract,
(3) the proposed structure (with allocated word-count), and
(4) your working bibliography.

When writing your term paper, make certain that you adhere to the information set out in the below sections “Guidelines” and “How to use quotations”.

• Obtain my “evaluation sheet” in class; it indicates which aspects of your paper will be graded.
• Set out references and the bibliography in MLA style.
• Leave ample margins (at least 5cm on the right & at least 2.5 cm all other sides)
Line spacing: double space or 1.5 (but single space for indented quotations only)
• Attach the note about "Plagiierte Hausarbeiten" to your paper (see Plagiarism below).


As a rule, I return term papers during my office hours only. In this way, I can give you feedback while you have a chance of raising questions about your essay and any further work.
Please choose an office hour that is convenient for you, put down your name, and clearly indicate why you are attending (e.g. "Abholung Hausarbeit"). At this point I'll read and grade your work in time for the slot you've selected. Please note that you need to give me one or two weeks notice.

  • Guidelines

    Internal Guidelines

    General information concerning some formal aspects of research papers:

    • Length:
      Term papers:
      B.A. courses: 3,000 - 3,500 words
      M.A. courses: 5,000 - 6,000 words

      Final papers:
      B.A. theses: 12,000 words
      M.A. theses: 15,000 - 16,000 words

      For students who started their B.A. in WS 2011/12 or later, the length of papers has been included in the module description. Please check your module descriptions for relevant word numbers.
    • Deadline for term papers: generally, four weeks after the teaching period ends; the details will be communicated in class and in many case uploaded to Learnweb. Detailed information here
    • Extensions
      Please note that there can be no individual extensions to the deadline for your term paper unless you provide a sick note from your doctor. In case you miss the first deadline and thereby fail your first attempt, you will have two more opportunities to submit your paper on the same topic (or another one) in the context of the same seminar. The second deadline (near the beginning of the subsequent semester) will be communicated to QISPOS-registered participants who did not pass their first attempt.
    • Please pay particular attention to the leaflets "How to write a Hausarbeit - some guidelines" and "Information concerning the MLA stylesheet" (see below)

    How to write a Hausarbeit - some guidelines

    PDF (German)
    PDF (English)

    Information concerning the MLA stylesheet, download this  PDF, and follow this link.


    External Guidelines


    1. External guidelines to academic writing
    Guidelines/training centre for papers (in German)

    2. Online dictionaries

    Oxford English Dictionary
    Comprehensive historical dictionary of the English language

    Merriam Webster Online Dictionary
    Comprehensive dictionary of American English

  • How to use quotations

    For a guideline please download one of the following documents:

    PDF (slightly more detailed version in German)
    PDF (shorter version in English)


  • Plagiarism

    Wissenschaftliches Fehlverhalten in Pro- und Hauptseminaren: Das Plagiat

    Plagiat ist eine Form des geistigen Diebstahls und führt zu ernsthaften Sanktionen. Das Wesen des Plagiats besteht darin, wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse, Hypothesen, Ideen oder Formulierungen Anderer als eigene auszugeben. Eine unbefugte Verwertung unter Anmaßung der Autorschaft besteht dann, wenn die jeweilige Quellenangabe (Name des Autors / der Autorin und weiterer sachbezogener Informationen wie Titel der Arbeit, Erscheinungsort und -datum, Seitenzahl) unterbleibt.

    Download form to be attached to written assignments