Writing homework: Tips for term papers

Writing the first housework is a challenge. For the first time you independently work on a scientific question. Still one moves on unknown territory. The research, the style of speech and the formal requirements – these hurdles must be mastered. Many students struggle with uncertainty and fear. However, homeworking is just as much a part of exams as studying. In humanities studies more homework than written exams. But do not worry – the first housework does not have to be perfect. It is more a way of practicing scientific work. We explain the structure and give tips for writing house and seminar papers …

Writing homework: What you should show with it

Doing housework gives students more abdominal pain in the first few semesters than exam, because you can not learn so directly. While you can learn the contents of an event for weeks before you can be sure of being able to answer all the tasks, a housework is only of minor importance for the reproduction of what you have learned. In the foreground is the intensive examination of a new topic.

You can prove the following skills with a housework:

  • They show that you master the techniques of scientific work from literature research to correct citation.
  • They show that you have acquired the specialized vocabulary and common definitions.
  • They show that you have understood the topic and can present it independently.
  • They show that you can ask a scientific question and answer it based on arguments.

Before you can start writing

However great the motivation may be to finally be able to put the first words on the sheet – or rather on the laptop – and watch your own progress, you still have to slow down for now. Before you can start writing, it is necessary to work out a topic and find the appropriate literature.

Writing homework: finding a topic

Many students find it difficult to find a topic. Often, if the lecturer does not give a topic, you are at a loss and do not know what to write about. If you feel the same way, repeat the content of the seminar:

  • Which topics were discussed?
  • Which questions have been dealt with?
  • What were important discussion points?
  • Which papers were there?

All these questions can be a starting point for further discussion. If you have collected some ideas in this way, these should now be specified:

  • Which aspect do you put into the foreground?
  • Which method do you want to work with?

It is important that you choose a topic in which you are interested. Because you will need between six to eight weeks to complete the process.

Writing a homework: the literature search

Already in the topic search, you should start to look for suitable literature. For what use is an interesting topic if you can not find literature to support your arguments?

However, the initial search is usually not enough and who deals with a topic longer, regularly encounters new questions and problems, for which he needs an answer.

Where can you search?

In the library catalog: This is also called OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). With its help, you can get an overview of the existing literature on a topic. The OPAC offers you various search functions to narrow down the literature. For example, you can search for keywords or authors. Most, however, start with the keyword search.

In the journal directory: Most universities have an electronic journal directory. Here you can search for articles in journals. This is useful to include current research developments.

Google Scholar and Google Books: These services can also be used to find scientific literature. These can help you find literature that your library does not offer.