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Information on Student Presentations and Term Papers

Student Presentation

The seminar presentation should fulfill the following content criteria:

  • By no means should only the seminar’s reading be presented;
  • The most important questions/problems of political and administrative sciences regarding the topic of the respective session should be discussed;
  • It should be constructed in a problem-oriented way and stimulate the debate afterwards;
  • The presentation should go beyond mere description; 
  • In the presentation, own analytical conclusions should be drawn and controversial positions from the literature should be identified and discussed. 


The seminar presentation should fulfill the following formal criteria:

  • Ca. 20 minute presentation with a subsequent moderation of discussion;
  • The presentation should be supported by a discussion: Preparation (questions/hypotheses/group work) & moderation of debate;
  • Presentation and handout (one A4 page) to be uploaded on Moodle;
  • The sources have to be documented; the bibliography has to go beyond the literature presented in the seminar plan and prove the own research achievements;
  • The talk should preferably be given in a free presentation style.


Modified rules through the lecturers are possible.


Term Paper

Term papers aim at independently occupying oneself with specific substantive issues. This ranges from formulating a research question, conducting an independent literature research, developing an understanding of the problem, conceptualizing, to appropriately stating the problem.


Formal requirements

The topic of the term paper can be identical to the topic of the presentation.

The submission date for term papers in the winter semester is 31.03. and in the summer semester 20.09. (in each case 23:59 PM). Term papers are to be submitted via Moodle (as a PDF document) in the designated Moodle tool . The submission of a printed version is only necessary if explicitly asked by the lecturer.

A term paper in a BA degree comprises 10 pages (line spacing 1,5) without cover page, table of contents, list of abbreviations (if applicable), appendix and bibliography.

A term paper in a MA degree comprises 10 to 15 pages (line spacing 1,5) without cover page, table of contents, list of abbreviations (if applicable), appendix and bibliography. Group works are permitted if the individual contribution of the involved is apparent.

The cover page includes name, matriculation number, contact information, discipline, course, lecturer, semester and submission date. A blank page follows subsequently and then comes the table of contents. Name and matriculation number are in the further course of the paper not mentioned anymore and do not appear in the header or footer. 

Term papers can be written in English.

Furthermore, pay attention to the following points:

Language: written expression (clear, fluent, precise style), orthography, grammar, punctuation – as a matter of fact, a faultless orthography and punctuation is required for a scientific work.

Safe handling of (technical) terms; design: correctness and completeness of the work (e.g. cover page, appendix, etc.) as well as visual overall impression;

Formally correct, consistent citation style and references;

Prove and underline arguments: references, empirical evidence/data basis if applicable



The term paper serves as proof of a personal contribution to a concrete research question. Based on the state of research regarding the respective problem a concrete substantive research question should be formulated and the problem should be investigated and assessed. This process is supported by an independent literature research. Special attention has to be paid to a clear conceptualization.

The following points have to be considered when writing a term paper:

  • Research question: problem and objective clearly defined;
  • Structure: comprehensible structure, logical order;
  • Relevance: thematic classification, importance for the subject/discipline;
  • Clear argumentation: plausibility/logic of the argumentation;
  • Own argumentation: critical opinion, appropriate relation own text – quotes;
  • Relevant research: current and relevant sources


Citation style

There are different possible citation styles. It is important to quote consistently within a term paper. Meanwhile, the most commonly used citation style is the American citation style, where references are included in the continuous text in short form (e.g. Mustermann 2005: 25) and footers are only used for additional remarks. The bibliography at the end of the paper contains detailed information on all sources cited in the text.

We recommend for term papers and theses the citation style of the Politische Vierteljahrsschrift (PVS).

Citation style

A possible template that can be used as for the statement of originality can be downloaded here

Modified rules through the lecturer are possible.