Guidelines student assignments
o title of paper (precisely indicating the topic and focus)
o use Times New Roman or Arial, font size 12
o leave adequate margins for comments
C. Structure & argument
The paper consists of the following parts
o concise specification of topic
o clear research question
o overview of the paper’s structure
b. main part(s):
o definition/s of key terms and concepts based on topical research
o correct and fruitful use of terms of analysis
o statements based on arguments and evidence
o individual and original arguments
o plausible order of and links between arguments
o selection of relevant passages from primary texts
o in-depth interpretation of relevant primary material
o critical discussion of secondary material
c. comprehensive conclusion:
o answer to research question
o comment on consequences and options of further research
o always reference and document all sources that you used, whether you paraphrase them or use them directly: if you plagiarize and omit referencing and documentation, you fail the module!
o if a quote is longer than 3 lines, indent it and indicate the source underneath in brackets. If it is maximally 3 lines long, use quotation marks and insert the quote into the running text. Indicate the source directly behind the quote, e.g., (Aitchison 2003: 36)
o if you paraphrase an author’s thought(s), please indicate this by using “cf.” or “see” (e.g., “cf. Aitchison 2003: 115”)
o never use quotations or a sequence of quotations just to demonstrate that you read the text in question: they always have to be functional, i.e., add to your argument or prove it
- contains about 10 titles you actually used, ordered alphabetically and formatted according to the instructor’s guidelines/handout
o keep your wording clear, precise and sophisticated - do not use colloquial language
o use correct grammar: articles, pronouns, prepositions, adjective/adverb, subject-verb agreement, tense and aspect
o use correct spelling
o use correct punctuation: relative clauses, if-clauses, that-clauses…
o structure your text into logical and coherent sentences and paragraphs
General appreciation and comments:
Information on grading (not to be attached to paper)
A very good grade will be awarded to a paper which clearly specifies the guiding questions related to a theoretically informed approach and correctly defines all terms of analysis. It develops original ideas against relevant secondary material, which it reflects critically. The outstanding paper presents a logical and coherent sequence of arguments, applies terms of analysis fruitfully and reveals a very convincing and individual, in-depth insight into relevant passages, providing evidence for each argument. A comprehensive conclusion rounds off the argumentation. This paper displays a very good command of clear, correct, and sophisticated language, and accurately and completely documents all sources.
A good grade will be given to an essay that employs a theoretically informed approach, briefly defines most terms of analysis and answers questions in a fairly systematic way. The sequence of arguments is mostly logical and coherent, applying terms of analysis fruitfully, presenting evidence and revealing a convincing – but not necessarily original – understanding of many important passages. Relevant secondary material is cited but not necessarily reflected in a critical way. The conclusion concisely summarizes the arguments. A good command of language and an accurate and complete documentation of all sources are needed for a good grade.
A research paper will get an average grade if it presents a guiding question and concepts that are related to a theoretically informed approach. The paper comes up with some good arguments but does not develop a very coherent sequence of arguments. It reveals a fairly good understanding of several, but not most, relevant passages, and does not always provide evidence or references to relevant secondary material. The paper shows an average command of language and a complete if not always accurate documentation of all sources.
A paper will pass if it reveals only basic skills of interpretation, defining the major question but not all of the concepts. The argumentation is not very systematic, at times without a correct use of concepts or evidence, but it develops a limited understanding of a few relevant passages, but may ignore contradictory evidence. Some important secondary material is used, but not systematically or always in a convincing way. The conclusion is rather general. The text is characterised by a basic command of language and presents a complete but incorrect documentation of all sources.
An essay will fail if it does not clearly specify the topic, approach or concepts, does not answer questions or apply terms of analysis in a systematic way. The paper presents assertions rather than arguments, summary rather than analysis, and gives irrelevant and wrong information. The conclusion is superficial or missing. An insufficient command of language is compounded by insufficient research, referencing and documentation or even plagiarism.