Seminar für Englische Philologie

Guidelines for Term Papers

Term papers are one of the most important and fairly difficult types of exam at the Anglophone Literature and Culture division. As part of their degree programmes, students have to learn how to find and discuss a topic academically and using academic terms and methodology. We have drafted a few helpful guidelines:

  • For absolute term paper beginners, we suggest diligently working through the instructions on How to Write a Term Paper. This gives you a step-by-step account how to set about structuring the paper, and what kind of formatting is expected.
  • If you know what a term paper is and how to set about writing it, but are unsure about referencing and quoting, you should use the MLA Style Sheet which contains a brief guide to referencing and drafting a bibliography according to the MLA format.
  • If you have never searched for secondary literature before and have only a hazy idea what this is about, visit the self-study unit on finding literature offered by the University of Göttingen (at present German only, but visit the SUB homepage for an English-language introduction to doing research). You will learn what types of literature there are, how to set about finding them, and what to do with the text once you have identified what you need.
  • All students have to avoid 'stealing' - however unintentionally - from other writers' works. Such theft is called plagiarism, and it is a serious academic offence. What plagiarism is and how to avoid it can be learnt from the Plagiarism website.
  • As part of your term paper, you have to confirm that you have abided by good academic practices (including not plagiarising). For your convenience a blank confirmation form has been drafted.
  • Make sure that your English is appropriate to an academic paper! We expect you to write good English and you should know how to express yourself. Bad English distracts from your argumentation, as does inadequate formatting. If your English is below academic standards, we may strike off points. For further information, please refer to this table.

Please do not forget that instructors are happy to discuss your term papers with you, both while you write them and after they have been graded!