Term Paper Auf Deutsch

Practical Guidelines for Writing a Paper in Linguistics

Rev. ed., September 2010

Original authors: Karsten Schmidtke-Bode, Holger Diessel (FSU Jena)

Modified and enhanced by: Timo Lothmann (RWTH Aachen), August 2014

This document is meant as a reference guide for writing papers in linguistics at our department. The general guidelines for issues of content and style are applicable to all levels of our programmes (i.e. Staatsexamen, B.A. and M.A., including final theses). While individual instructors and seminars may differ with regard to the particular expectations for term papers (especially in terms of topic areas, approaches, etc.), the guidelines presented here are widely agreed upon by the staff members of the English Linguistics department. Note that there are similar guidelines for writing term papers in literary studies. To your relief, the general conception of what you are supposed to do in term papers is pretty much overlapping in both areas, the specifics simply being adapted to the object of investigation and to the conventions of the respective academic discourse community.

Further, this document is open to suggestions by students and colleagues in order to tackle FAQs that have come up during seminars or to catch up on recent developments in academia.

This reference guide covers the following:

  • How to write a paper in linguistics
  • Style sheet – style, formatting, and citation conventions
  • Appendix 1: The structure of an empirical investigation
  • Appendix 2: How to find and read academic literature
  • Appendix 3: Recurrent practical language mistakes in term papers

1. How to write a paper in linguistics

1.1. What are you supposed to do in a term paper?

In general, the successful composition of a term paper is an important qualification you are supposed to achieve in linguistics seminars at our department. It demonstrates the following:

  • You have acquired a certain amount of expertise in a particular subfield of linguistics, so that you know your way around basic concepts, research interests and debates in the field
  • You can collect relevant academic literature on a particular topic in this field in a sophisticated and independent manner
  • You can identify (for your particular topic area) a problem or question worth researching
  • You can read and understand previous research on this question conducted by professional linguists
  • You can write a coherent piece of text in which you discuss a manageable selection of this research from a particular perspective (i.e. with a certain goal in mind that you pursue systematically and consistently throughout the paper)
  • Your writing adheres to certain formal standards of academic discourse (i.e. clear and register-adequate English, text formatting, conventional ways of citation and referencing, sensible structuring of the paper, and a reader-directed way of making your goals, methodology, analyses and results transparent)

1.2. From a research question to the structure of the paper

You can never cover an entire topic area in your paper. You always need to narrow a potential topic down to a very specific research question, i.e. a particular problem within the topic area that you deal with. Therefore, probably the most important conceptual step in the planning of your paper is to distinguish between a topic area that you are interested in, and a very specific goal that you pursue in your paper. It is one of the most common mistakes to confuse those two things, leading to students writing about a certain topic (area) without having a precise goal in mind. Thus, always set out to answer a specific question! Prior to writing your paper, you should always consult your instructor for confirming the suitability of your specific topic, goal, and overall strategic focus.

Once you have identified a research question, i.e. a particular problem, hypothesis or general goal, the following points are worth noting:

  • Deal with the topic in an objective and reliable way, adhering to the general principles of academic work. Remember that a term paper is not a personal report; we are neither interested in your intuition nor in a personal narrative or review. Throughout the writing process, take the academic literature you read on your topic as an example of good scientific practice, i.e. as a role model for the general approach, procedure, structure, style, idiomaticity, etc.
  • Never lose sight of your specific goal in the paper. Sometimes students get lost in the literature on the topic or in specific aspects of the topic (area) that are not immediately relevant to their own investigation. Therefore, it is crucial that every part of the paper is immediately relevant to your hypothesis, i.e. at any stage of your analysis it is clear to the reader why this paragraph is important for achieving your goal. If you cannot justify this, cut it out!
  • The structure of the paper reflects your particular way of dealing with the topic, specifically your line of argumentation. Therefore, structure your paper in a sensible way, and remember that the internal structure of larger sections reflects how the different aspects of the research question are weighed by you.

1.3. Typical structure of a paper

Every academic paper is framed by an introduction and a conclusion section. The ‘main body’ in-between is then structured according to your own preferences. It is generally neither advisable to have only one ‘mega-section’ between the introduction and the conclusion nor to have a fragmentation into a dozen of itsy-bitsy chapters. Rather, your argumentation stretches over several, relatively equally weighed sections. The particular focus of your paper should also show in relative page quantity. Here is an example:

English Linguistics

Imagine a term paper written in a B.A. Hauptseminar/Vertiefungsmodul on Second Language Acquisition. It deals with the factors that affect the degree of foreign accent in L2 learners. The following table of contents is adapted from a suppositious student paper dealing with this topic.
(Do not worry about the terms. It is the outline that is of interest here.)

This outline shows you that the topic is first contextualized (2.), i.e. embedded in its theoretical context. It is here that the topic is properly introduced and defined, and that relevant theoretical literature is surveyed. The author then narrows down the scope of the paper (3.) to the three factors that she sets out to investigate in particular, i.e. her specific goal in this paper is to argue for the importance of precisely those three factors. After providing some important information on these factors (3.1-3.3), the author then analyses, discusses and compares selected empirical evidence on which her hypothesis is based, namely two case studies dealing with the specific factors she is interested in (4.). (The discussion of empirical research was a required aspect of this paper.) Finally, a conclusion section rounds off the paper, followed by a bibliography.

On the basis of this example, some common misconceptions deserve to be mentioned:

  • On the one hand, it is mandatory that your own discussion be embedded into previous research and proceed from a presentation (and precise definition) of the concepts relevant to your specific goal. That is, never start your discussion of a topic in a theoretical vacuum, as if you had never attended a course in this area and never bothered to read the foundational literature on the topic. This may seem self-evident, but many papers read just like that.
  • On the other hand, it is not true that your paper has to be split up fairly evenly into a ‘theoretical’ and an ‘analytical’ section. The length of the theoretical embedding of the topic depends entirely on the specific goal you pursue in the paper. In other words, do not summarise and discuss unnecessary aspects of the literature in order to fill pages.
  • Although we sometimes speak of a ‘main body’ (as a term that neatly captures everything but the introduction and conclusion of your paper), never actually call any section in the paper ‘main body’! The substantial part of your paper is rather divided into several sections, each of which receives its own meaningful title, just as in the example above.
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The association's project "Digital
Model" displays the historic façades of the Bauakademie and was developed in
[...] the context of a year-spanningterm paper.
Das Projekt des Fördervereins das "Digitale
Modell" für die historischen Fassaden der Bauakademie wurde im Rahmen einer
[...] jahresübergreifenden Seminararbeit entwickelt.
In the course ofaterm paperthe students compiled [...]
representative basic data and conducted many interviews with printing company executives.
Im Rahmen einer Semesterarbeit erhoben die Studenten [...]
repräsentative Basisdaten und führten viele Interviews mit Druckunternehmern.
In the bond business, the rise in interest rates
continuing since late 2005 caused many investors to park
[...] their capital in short-term paperand money market investments.
Im Rentengeschäft veranlasste der
seit Ende 2005 anhaltende Zinsanstieg viele Anleger,
[...] ihr Kapital in kurzfristigen Papieren und Geldmarktanlagen [...]
[...] mainly the result of long-term paperpurchasing agreements.
Die Verpflichtungen resultierten im
[...] Wesentlichen aus langfristigen Papiereinkaufskontrakten.
Instead, the report quite correctly identifies as a potential model, the Chilean deposit system, which introduces an incentive for investors to invest
long-term in an emerging market rather
[...] than going for shortterm paperbecause that involves [...]
a longer-term investment for depositors.
Stattdessen wird im Bericht als potenzielles Modell sehr zutreffend das chilenische System genannt, das einen Anreiz für Anleger einführt, eher
langfristig in einen aufstrebenden
[...] Markt als in kurzfristige Papiere zu investieren, weil [...]
das für die Einleger eine längerfristige Investition bedeutet.
In addition to the instruments included in M3H, this broader concept consists of those liabilities of the non-financial sector which
are highly substitutable for the components
[...] of M3H (mainly Government short-term paperand corporate commercial paper).
Neben den in M3H enthaltenen Geldkomponenten schließt dieeer erweiterte Geldmengenbegriff noch diejenigen Verbindlichkeiten des Nichtbankensektors ein, die die in M3H enthaltenen
Geldkomponenten weitgehend ersetzen können
[...] (hauptsächlich kurzfristige Staatspapiere und Commercial Paper von Unternehmen).
Project groups are meant for collaborative work outside a course context, e.g. when writingaterm paperin groups, when preparing a presentation, when working jointly on some academic publication, or when planning to communicate with other group members via forum or chat.
Arbeitsgruppen werden ausserhalb des Kurskontextes zur kollaborativen Arbeit verwendet, also wenn Sie beispielsweise eine Semesterarbeit in Gruppen verfassen, mit anderen wissenschaftlichen Mitarbeitern an einer Publikation arbeiten, Referate vorbereiten oder mit anderen Gruppenmitgliedern in einem Forum oder im Chat kommunizieren wollen.
Content of theterm paper"Conception and [...]
realization of an automatic verification methodology of space craft models in
thermal analysis" is the discussion of convenient verification mechanisms for automatic testing of consistency of thermal spacecraft models in orbit.
In der Semesterarbeit Konzeption und Umsetzung [...]
einer automatisierten Methodik zur Verifikation von Satellitenmodellen in
der Thermalanalyse" werden Verifikationsmechanismen erörtert, die geeignet zur automatisierten Konsistenzüberprüfung von Thermalmodellen orbitaler Raumfahrzeuge sind.
Depending on interest-rate movements, the duration
of a portfolio managed in this way lies between that of long-term bonds and the near-zero
[...] duration of short-term paper.
Je nach Entwicklung der Zinssätze liegt die Duration eines nach
diesem Ansatz verwalteten Portfolios zwischen der Duration der Langläufer und der Duration
[...] der Kurzläufer (nahe bei Null).
Thisterm paperconcerns itself with the [...]
conversation of the electrical data interfaces in the space segment and the decoding
of the received data in the ground segment.
Diese Semesterarbeit beschäftigt sich [...]
mit der Umsetzung der elektrischen Datenschnittstellen im Raumsegment des Experiments
sowie mit dem Auslesen der am Boden empfangenen Daten.
With theirterm paperon »Modelling of a Catalog of Requirements, and Design of an Intralogistics System and Software, with UML2« Thorsten Keller and Erik Neurohr were ahead of the competition.
Mit dem Thema »Modellierung von Anforderungskatalog und Design einer Intralogistikanlage und Software mit UML2« hatten die Studierenden der FH Kaiserslautern Thorsten Keller und Erik Neurohr die Nase vorn.
From the monetary standpoint, public debt
[...] ought to have been converted from fairly long-term to shorter-term paper,choosing marketable and/or rediscountable types as far as [...]
possible and endeavouring
to place them with private households to the greatest possible extent.
Aus geldwirtschaftlicher Sicht wäre es erforderlich gewesen, eine Umstrukturierung der
[...] [...] längerfristigen zu eher kurzfristigen Papieren vorzunehmen, dabei möglichst marktfähige und/oder zentralbankfähige Papiere zu hlen und [...]
eine Platzierung möglichst
bei privaten Haushalten anzustreben.
[...] short- or meduim-term paperand own-debt securities [...]
repurchased for servicing ECSC borrowings.
Es handelt sich dabei hauptsächlich um kurz-
[...] und mittelfristige Papiere, die dazu bestimmt [...]
sind, die Bedienung der EGKS-Anleihen zu gewährleisten.
[...] has to submitaterm paperor dissertation, [...]
you can choose the relevant individual work item and then maintain the topic.
[...] Student eine Diplomarbeit oder Dissertation [...]
schreiben muss, können Sie diese individuelle Leistung auswählen und
das Thema der individuellen Leitung pflegen.
[...] September 2007 euro-denominated STEP-labelled securities already accounted for about 30% of all euro-denominated short-term paperplaced by non-government issuers worldwide.
So machten im September 2007 auf Euro lautende Titel mit dem STEP-Siegel bereits 30 % der weltweit von Nicht-Regierungen begebenen kurzfristigen Schuldtitel in Euro aus.
This year, Thorsten Keller and Erik Neurohr, both
[...] [...] students at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, were ahead of the competition with theirterm papertitled »Modelling of a Catalog of Requirements, and Design of an Intralogistics System and Software, [...]
Mit dem Thema »Modellierung von Anforderungskatalog und Design einer Intralogistikanlage und Software mit UML2« hatten die Studierenden der FH Kaiserslautern Thorsten Keller und Erik Neurohr die Nase vorn.
A seminar in the field of
[...] specialisation oraterm paperwhich has not [...]
been passed cannot be repeated.
Ein nicht bestandenes Seminar im Vertiefungsgebiet bzw. eine nicht
[...] bestandene Semesterarbeit kann nicht [...]
The Mundaneum, otherwise known by theterm "PaperInternet", contains vast [...]
collections such as the International Press Museum,
the Universal Iconographic Repertory (posters, postcards, glass plates, photographs), the Universal Documentation Repertory, the papers of Henri La Fontaine and Paul Otlet, feminist and anarchist collections, and the archives of the Friends of the World Palace.
[...] unter der Bezeichnung "Internet auf Papier" bekannt, beherbergt [...]
umfassende Sammlungen wie das Internationale
Pressemuseum, das Allgemeine ikonographische Repertoire (Plakate, Postkarten, Glasplatten, Fotos), das Allgemeine Dokumentationszentrum, die Unterlagen von Henri la Fontaine und Paul Otlet, die Kollektionen Feminismus und Anarchismus und die Archive der Freunde des Palais Mondial.
If the lecturer or instructor has created items
[...] [...] work for a module (representing the differentterm papertopics), the student can choose a topic from [...]
these individual work items.
Wenn der Dozent oder Referent individuelle Leistungen zum
[...] [...] angelegt hat (z.B. Themen für eine Hausarbeit), kann der Student aus diesen Leistungen ein Thema auswählen.
After an internship in China on fuel cells,aterm paperon sea water desalination and an internship on biogas engines he decided to write his diploma thesis "Implementation of a simulation model for a solar power-plant with linear Fresnel-collectors and estimation of economics at 1 MW thermal power" at Fraunhofer ISE.
Nach einem Praktikum in China zum Thema Brennstoffzellen, einer Studienarbeit zur solaren Meerwasserentsalzung und einem Praktikum bei einem Biogasmotorenhersteller entschied er sich für eine Diplomarbeit am Fraunhofer ISE zum Thema: Erstellung eines Kraftwerkssimulationsmodells mit linearen Fresnel-Kollektoren und Abschätzung der Wirtschaftlichkeit bei 1 MW thermischer Leistung.
[...] office is not currently a genuine alternative, as over the longterm paperis still seen as a cheaper and less complicated information and [...]
Ein papierloses Büro stellt zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt keine wirkliche Alternative dar, da über einen längeren Zeitraum gesehen Papier immer noch [...]
ein günstiger und unkomplizierter Informationsbzw.
Should you wish to avail yourself of Sprachschule Satzbau language academy's FirstSemesterAid program, you can stay at Anicca House paying only the local comparable rent and continuing to enjoy our promotion and sponsorship. Every week you will receive a coupon for one free 45
min. lesson "Advice and Support for a
[...] Successful FirstTerm Paper"(regular fee: [...]
20,00 EUR), to be redeemed at Sprachschule Satzbau language academy.
Sollten Sie sich entscheiden, für die ersten Hochschulsemester die StartHilfeStudium der Sprachschule Satzbau in Anspruch zu nehmen, wohnen Sie zur ortsüblichen Vergleichsmiete in Anicca House und werden überdies in Ihrem Studium gefördert: Jede Woche erhalten Sie von uns einen Gutschein über eine Stunde
gratis "Betreuung und Unterstützung beim
[...] Verfassen von Seminararbeiten", einzulösen [...]
bei der Sprachschule Satzbau im Wert von 20,00 EUR!
Theterm paperenables students to [...]
deepen their knowledge of a certain field, to come into closer contact with applications,
and to tackle the problems arising from such applications using computers.
Die Semesterarbeit dient dazu, das [...]
Wissen in einem bestimmten Fachgebiet zu vertiefen sowie in Kontakt mit Anwendungen zu
kommen und Probleme aus solchen Anwendungen rechnergestützt anzugehen.
On the basis of your definition of the problem and
information provided by you, the students
[...] develop theirterm paper-which you will [...]
then receive as a well-founded analysis of your production process.
Anhand Ihrer Problemdefinition und den von Ihnen
bereitgestellten Unterlagen erstellen die
[...] Studenten eine Semesterarbeit - die Sie dann [...]
erhalten: als fundierte Analyse Ihres Produktionsprozesses.
Three modules of six credits each form the actual "heart" of the M.A. programme: (a) in an empirical exploration", abilities to perceive and analyse lived religion (in context) are
trained, while (b) in a so-called
[...] religious-scientific exploration" the historical or systematical analysis is practiced in an extensiveterm paperat the end of a corresponding seminar.
Drei Module mit je sechs Credits bilden das eigentliche Herz" des MA-Studiums: (a) in einer empirischen Exploration" werden die Fähigkeiten zur Wahrnehmung und Analyse gelebter Religion (im Kontext)
[...] [...] in einer sog. religionswissenschaftlichen Exploration" die historische oder systematische Analyse in einer umfangreicheren Hausarbeit im [...]
Anschluss an ein entsprechendes Seminar geübt wird.
If a student chooses to write a Bachelor's thesis in a course in which a major written assignment is required (e.g.term paper),it may be possible to expand this paper to meet the requirements of a thesis.
Erfolgt die Erstellung der Bachelorarbeit im Rahmen einer Lehrveranstaltung, in der ohnehin eine schriftliche Arbeit (z.B. Seminararbeit) zu verfassen ist, besteht eventuell die Möglichkeit der Erweiterung dieser Arbeit zu einer Bachelorabeit.
Search byterm papernumber - If you already know the number of theterm paperyou're looking for, simply type the number of theterm paperin the search box and thatterm paperwill appear immediately.
[...] die Nummer einer Arbeit - Sollten Sie die Nummer der gewünschten Arbeit bereits kennen, dann geben Sie diese Nummer einfach in das Suchfeld ein, und die entsprechende Arbeit wird sofort gefunden.


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