Writing Homework: The discussion of the topic

After you have found suitable literature, you should start with a first evaluation and create on this basis a thematic structure of your homework. While this may change during the writing process, it will help you to focus on the items you have listed.

After you have created a first outline, it is advisable to have a consultation with your instructor to talk about it. Your lecturer can give you further hints on this basis or discuss with you which aspect you could put in the foreground. With the meeting, you also make sure that your lecturer agrees with your approach.

Building a housework

To write a successful housework, one must first deal with the basic structure to make sure to deliver a complete work. A housework consists of the following parts:

  • cover sheet
  • contents
  • The text of your housework
  • bibliography
  • Appendix (source texts, maps, statistics …)

The content of the text is structured in introduction, main section and conclusion. Sounds wonderful and simple, but it has quite a lot in itself, because in each part different requirements are placed on you.

Writing house work: the introduction

In the introduction you will introduce the topic that you will deal with on the following pages. They justify why you have decided to tackle this topic. That should be factual and less personal


Reasons, for example, because it is currently controversial or because it has been insufficiently researched. Please also keep in mind that it is not just about introducing the topic, but also raising interest in it. Do not write for a reader who is obligated to read the housework, but for one who you first have to persuade to do that.

After the short introduction follows the question. It is the core of your housework and shows under which aspects you deal with the topic. It prevents you from merely reproducing your knowledge of a particular topic in your housework and ensures that you only deal with the information that is relevant to answering the question.

A typical beginner’s mistake is to forget the wording of a question. For example, many first-semester students begin with the words “The topic of the present work is the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol”. Better would be “Did the German environmental policy change after the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol?” Do you notice the difference?

After your question follows the explanation of your procedure. At this point you describe your scientific method, for example, you evaluate interviews or statistics. Overall, the introduction should be about one page long.

Writing house work: The main part

The main part is to answer the question. Based on the literature or research material you have developed, you will develop a reasoning. The main part presents the situation, for example the historical context, as well as the actors.

It is also possible to describe different theoretical approaches and to check which aspect of the research question they can answer.

Writing housework: The conclusion

The conclusion provides the answer to your question. That’s why it should be tuned to the introduction. Here you summarize again what you found out in the main part. But do not provide new facts and arguments anymore. The purpose of the summary is to briefly and concisely summarize the arguments that led to your answer.

You can complete your work either with an outlook, which other aspects could be explored, or with the formulation of your own position. As a rule of thumb, the conclusion should be about ten percent of the work.

5 Tips for Successfully Writing Homework

Choose a clearly defined question.

The more specific and specific the question, the more targeted you can edit the topic. In the basic study, a term paper has a scope of 10 to 15 pages. Not enough, for example, to discuss the entire course of the Second World War. With a precise questioning, you make sure that you do not expect too much from yourself.

Also formulate your own thoughts.

Doing housework is not just about reproducing what others have said about a topic. It is about weighting and discussing what has been said. Do not hesitate to make an assessment.

Pay attention to stringent reasoning.

Guide the reader through your text. Let arguments follow one another logically, so that at the end of the work your reader can understand how you get to your position.

Read and write alternately.

Then you are not there at the end of the literature review and do not know what to write. Receive a text and ask yourself how it fits in with your work and what arguments it provides. Include these in your text. This results in an overall construct at the end.

Make a note of your sources.

There is nothing worse than discovering in the course of the work that you no longer know from which book you have an argument or a quote or where you found it. Here it helps to create an overview with sources. You can either do this in tabular form or use bibliographic management tools such as Citavi.