Scientific work: definition, phases, tips

Those who take up a degree can not avoid scientific work. The sooner you learn what is important, the better for future tasks, house and seminar work. However, for freshly baked students, scientific work is usually a completely new, unknown and often unsettling field. Keywords such as quotes, sources, literature, research and plagiarism haunt the freshers’ courses. But most concerns are unfounded: Scientific work can sometimes be exhausting and time-consuming – but it’s not at all impossible. We show you what scientific work is all about and what you should look for to be successful …

What is scientific work?

As a scientific work is called a mode of operation, which is partly taught at the university, but especially expected by students. Thus, at most colleges special courses are offered, which should bring you closer to the scientific work – these can be helpful in the first semester, because it usually takes not much time in the study until you have to work really scientifically for the first time.

Whether you write a term paper, prepare a paper, later write your bachelor’s or even master’s thesis, or create another text in your studies: throughout your studies, you will work scientifically, which will greatly affect your grades.

First of all, this form of work describes the critical and detailed examination of a topic or a question. For this, you will be given a lot of time, so that you can thoroughly familiarize yourself with a topic.

What exactly is required in scientific work depends on both your progress in the study and the specific task. In the beginning, you deal with already existing texts and research results.

You derive which insights and studies can be applied and applied to your specific question and use already existing scientific studies to confirm your theses or even refute aspects.

Later, the challenge is increasingly to bring in your own scientific results and compare them to the current state of research on a topic.

Important factors for scientific work

Of course, you have already written some texts during your schooldays, written exams and probably already did a housework – but you should not be fooled by that because both the work and the requirements for scientific work during your studies are completely different.

One of the points is especially important if you want to work scientifically and achieve a good result:

Logical-systematic construction

Good scientific work depends on the structure and the associated structure. It is not without reason that students are always told to place great value on the structure. Even non-specialist readers must be able to understand the structure, to understand the structure and reasoning and to understand the contents.

Clearly defined definitions

Scientific work involves defining and explaining basic terms and topics in your text. However, it is not enough simply to googling a definition and adopting it. Often there are different views on important topics and correspondingly different definition options. These should be juxtaposed and explained in a meaningful and comprehensible way, why you have chosen the definition that you use in the scientific work.

Clearly marked quotes

It is absolutely normal for you to refer to the statements, results or studies of other researchers in your scientific work. This is often based on your own analysis and you must describe the state of research in order to sort your own findings. It is important, however, to remember to identify foreign ideas and to name the sources from which you have a quotation.

Otherwise, decorate yourself with foreign feathers and parts of your text become a plagiarism – which can have serious consequences until the exmatriculation.

Neutral-objective presentation

As the author of a scientific paper, you are largely committed to objectivity. The focus of the work should be scientifically based and logically based content – so not your personal opinion and opinion, for example, you make for a study. Overall, formulations in the first-person form should be avoided. This should save you for special sections of your text, especially for the conclusion at the end. Here you may affix your personal opinion or critically question aspects.

The typical phases in creating scientific papers

Every scientific work is individual, each topic different and each chair has different requirements. Nevertheless, there are some phases of scientific work that always remain the same and that you always go through:

Topic selection

Before you can really get started, you must first find a suitable topic for your scientific work. This often happens in close consultation with the chair for which you are preparing the work – or in some cases is also directly specified. It is important that you identify an exact question or thesis as an object of your work when finding a topic.


In the second phase, a lot of reading work comes to you, so be prepared to spend a few hours (or even days) in the library. Get an overview of the relevant literature and systematically start from the beginning. It does not matter if you have read 10 books, but do not know what to find in which. Work with understandable, concise notes, references, and tags to organize and retrieve the information that matters to you.


The structure gives the scientific work a structure in which you can orientate yourself and which makes a logical structure possible. Think about what the goal of your text is, what you want to end up with, and which arguments you want to cite in which order. If you are working on the structure, you should also work together with the chair, make an appointment with your professor or supervisor to discuss your structure and receive feedback.


Only now it’s up to the actual writing, for which you should rather plan a little more time just in the beginning. Find phrases and put your own thoughts in meaningful sentences – it usually takes a little while until you get into a rhythm. Even if it is difficult, it is part of the scientific work to formulate as precisely and to the point. Do not digress, but concentrate on the question and the desired goal.

Correction and revision

No matter how many papers you write, the first version is never suitable for submission to the chair. It’s not just typing or typing mistakes that should be eliminated by thorough and multiple proofreading. You should go over your entire work again and pay attention to the most important points: Is the structure consistent and logically comprehensible? Does the text focus on the goal of the work? Is the order of your arguments correct? Did you mark all quotes?

Many students complain about the pain of scientific work, but it’s well worth the effort. Not only for a good grade, but also for later professional life. In this free PDF we have listed 33 advantages that bring scientific work!