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On this page you will find explanations of the following keywords:

Graduation thesis (final paper, Master’s, diploma thesis)
The graduation thesis is the written part of the final examination at the end of a degree programme. It must be completed within a prescribed period and its purpose is to show that the student is able to accomplish a set task independently using scientific methods, and to present the results in a professional way.

Scientific treatise to earn a doctoral degree. It serves as evidence of independent scientific research and must contain new scientific findings.

A plea is written about a text or presentation. It begins by presenting the central ideas of the author, which are subsequently questioned critically. The writer of the plea frames a number of questions and discussion points from his/her point of view, with which the discussion is opened in the seminar.

At the beginning of every (written) treatise it is important to get an idea of the effort and benefit involved. The synopsis aims to give a realistic overview of the subject, goal and method, subtasks, time schedule and extent of the work involved. It serves as a roadmap for the written treatise, alterations should be possible at any time.

Written examination
Written examinations take place as a part of final examinations or following a seminar attended by the student – generally with a duration of 2-4 hours.

A presentation given in a seminar session is commented on critically by another study group. This comment or “discussion” serves to open a general debate. It should describe the central ideas, point out the strengths and weaknesses of the commented presentation and advance suggestions for discussion to open the general debate.

(Brief) review
Critical discussion of a text or book. The contents are presented in the context of the topic under discussion, reference texts are quoted and the central lines of argument described. An opinion should be given on the questions and problems raised. Length: 1-2 pages.

The purpose of a protocol is to summarize and record the most important results of a discussion. Students unable to be present at individual sessions can use the protocol to keep themselves informed about the state of the debate; for participating students, the protocol serves as an aide-mémoire. Length: 1-2 pages.

The purpose of a presentation/paper is to provide a written description and discussion of a problem or topic, and to practise the ability for independent scientific work. The student needs to learn to present questions, thoughts and arguments in writing in an orderly, systematic form. This requires the formulation of a topic (question, problem or premise). Length: 10-20 pages, depending on whether the task has been set for beginners or for more advanced students.

Theory paper
The theory paper serves as the basis for a seminar debate. Its main purpose is not to provide information but rather to initiate or pre-structure the debate. It should briefly and concisely focus on certain problems, questions or controversial points of view concerning a given topic. Personal views are expressed. Length: app. 2 pages.