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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 length of the paper is dependent upon the module assignement and is visible via KLIPS. You should check these informations before starting your paper. Depending on the module, a length of 5, 10 or 20 pages is possible. This length refers to pure text pages. Cover sheet, abstract, bibliography, figures and sources are additional pages. You can not fall below these requirements, but also should not overstep them too much. The layout your own responsibility, but in general should be readable, e.g. 1.5 line-pitch, page margins, font size of 12 pt.

Remarks should be put in footnotes. Citations for Classical Archaeology should be done according to the terms of the German Archaeological Insititute from which the Author-Year-System is recommended. For the Archaeology of the Roman Provinces, the terms of the Römisch-Germanischen Kommission are recommend.

THe bibliograph should be put at the end and should list all used citations from the text and the footnotes.

Figures should be put into a separate part at the end of the paper, where every figure should be accomodated with a subline, consisting of a number and short description. In the text (not in the footnotes) you should refer to these figures with a remark like (Fig. 1).

When you are finished with your paper, please re-read it and check for grammar and spelling mistakes.

You should also use the official cover sheet of the Archaeological Insititute: "Formale Deckblatt für Hausarbeiten"

Also be aware of additional information concerning the seminar like title, number, teacher, etc.) and information about yourself (name, university registration number, eMail address, etc.)

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.