skip to content

Papers (Hausarbeiten)

Previous Remarks

Each paper on a scientific topic has specific characteristics that are to be research and adequately illustrated as a part of the course of study. It should be obvious that these specific parts are not covered and mentioned in the following. At this point, only the standard requirements for every work, being a presentation, a talk, or a paper, can be mentioned. Complying to this is an important element of study.


First, read the basic literature that is given by the lecturer on the topic (see “Literature Research”). In case you are not sure on the content of the topic yet, please speak to the lecturer immediately. You should go to his/her office hours at least a week before the date of the presentation in order to talk about it.

Please prepare your figures or scan early.

The presentation should not exceed the length that is demanded by the docent (usually around 20-30 min.). Practice your presentation in front of friend first in order to check the length, volume and intonation.

Aim of the presentation is on the one hand to gain insight into the topic, to get to know the literature, to present facts precisely and briefly and on the other hand to question these facts and theses critically. You are meant to learn the methodological tools by which you evaluate facts and theses in order to eventually form your own qualified opinion. The opinion or thesis should be presented in the presentation, the arguments should be evaluated and explained methodologically in a convincing manner.

Literature Research

Usually, you are already given several titles by the docent in order to facilitate the first steps on the topic. This literature is to be understood as the basic literature and is in no way enough for the work on the topic.

You have to find further literature by yourself and read it in order to understand the complexity of the topic. This can be found either by literary citations in the basic literature or by research in literary databases such as “dyabola” and “Zenon” that can be found online under and


Aims of a Paper (Hausarbeit)

A paper is supposed to be the a more elaborate and revised version of the oral presentation. In the paper, problems that could not be deepened in the presentation should be covered more extensively.

It's the aim of a paper to practice scientific writing. This means on the one hand that the used scientific vocabulary has to be acquired and on the other hand that the regulations for citations of German literature have to be used. These regulations are imposed by the German Archaeological Institute and the latest version can be found online For students of Archaeology of the Roman Provinces the publication regulations of the RGK (Romano-Germanic Commission) apply. They are published in Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 71, 1990, 973 ff., which is supplemented by Bericht der Römisch-Germanischen Kommission 73, 1992, 477 ff

Structure of the Paper (Hausarbeit)

A paper is supposed to have an introduction, one or more main parts and a conclusion. In the introduction, the topic and the problem is to be introduced. Content of the main part is the systematic development of your theses.

If there are diverging opinions in research, you should draw these up and explain the basic groundwork as well as your opinion and why you choose to follow it.

Please consider a logical structure of the paper. Always begin with the big picture and move on to smaller issues, from an overview to detail. It is very important to always reference the sources of your knowledge, in other words mention the author whose opinion you are using. In order to formulate your own opinion, other sources should also be read and the fundamentals of the discussions available should be known to you (ancient literary sources, finds, preservation, etc.).

Formal Matters

The paper (Hausarbeit) should usually not exceed 10 pages but please keep the detailed requirement of the docent in mind. The layout is up to you but the pages should be readable, which means at 1.5 line spacing, free margins for corrections, and a font size that is also recognizable for people that wear glasses (ca. 12 pt).

Comments should be put into the footnotes.

The literature index at the end should list the used literature.


Figures or plan are usually not necessary.

Please reread the print text and correct any mistakes.


Criteria for grading of academic final papers (Bachelor-, Master thesis, dissertation)

1. Formal criteria:

a. language

  • choice of words, variation, conciseness
  • Style of language: no colloquial terms    
  • punctuation
  • sentence structure
  • structure of text, reasonable headings, text blocks

b. Citing

  • Consequent use of the DAI regulations
  • Completeness of references with page numbers

c.  Connection with the figure index with the text

  • figure references
  •  Obvious references to figure in the test

2. content-related criteria:

a. Argumentative stringency in each instance

  • Clear explanation of the material
  • concentrated display of the research opinions
  • critical evaluation of the existing opinions

b.    Clarity of the argumentation in general

  • Display of controversies and problems
  • new evaluation of the problem without regard of the research tradition
  • display of methodological strategies, including the connected problems

c. Obvious display of your own results

  •      Description of your own position regarding the research opinions
  •      synthesis of the positions that might differ the prevalent opinion

The catalogue of criteria should only be regarded as a help and for the understanding of the grading, and not as a template for the structure of the paper.