Universität Bonn

Institute for Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology

FAQ Written Work

The most frequently asked questions about formal and content-related provisions for writing term papers and theses.

General: Scientific Writing and Working

Any question can be discussed with the supervising lecturer. In addition, the guidelines should not be confused with a legal text. It is more important to select and maintain a consistent format in your own work and to use the guide as an orientation aid.

According to the examination regulations, Bachelor's theses should be between 20,000 and 40,000 characters including spaces and notes, excluding the table of contents, bibliography and appendix. That is approximately 10-20 A4 pages.

According to the examination regulations, 30,000 to 50,000 characters including spaces and notes, excluding table of contents, list of references and sources and appendix are required for the module thesis for Master's students. This is approximately 15-25 pages DIN A4.

The same requirements apply to the Master's thesis, but here the number of characters is 120,000 to 240,000 characters, i.e. 60-120 A4 pages.

As a general rule, all content borrowed from the ideas of others must be explicitly identified. In particular, all adopted terms, text passages or paraphrases must be cited. Secondary citations, i.e. the adoption of quotations from an intervening work, must be avoided. If the original source is not available via interlibrary loan or the libraries, the secondary citation is referred to with the note ‚cited from‘. This also applies if the argumentation and sequence of quotations by other authors is followed, although the original sources are cited. It must then be mentioned in the text that the structure was taken from the secondary literature. In this case, the original source does not necessarily have to be listed in the bibliography.

The deadlines for registering and submitting term papers, project work, internship reports and portfolios as well as for written and oral examinations can be found in the calendar of the Faculty of Arts each semester.

These processing periods apply to term papers and other final module examinations accompanying the course:

Term paper, project work, presentation

2 - 12 weeks from registration for the examination, but no longer than the end of the semester

Presentation, internship report, portfolios

1 - 12 weeks from registration for the examination, but no longer than the end of the semester

The latest submission deadline is the end of the semester: Irrespective of the processing periods to be applied for examinations in accordance with the 2018 and 2020 examination regulations, the latest submission deadline for all assignments and final module examinations accompanying lectures is the end of the semester (30.09./31.03.). However, depending on the registration date, the deadline may be earlier and must be entered individually on the term paper form.

Citation & Bibliography

The department prefers the American citation style. In consultation with the supervisors, the German citation style can be used.

PDF documents are normally paginated by the PDF programmes. Even if the document itself has no page numbers, the page numbers of the PDF document can be used.

Example: Author year: pdf p. X-XX.

If there are no page numbers at all (html view) then, yes, cite "without page" or, if possible, cite paragraphs.

Ex: Author year: without page, paragraph x-xx.

The short citation scheme should contain enough information to be able to find the corresponding interview in the bibliography. E.g.: Interview name/pseudonym Date: Lines and/or page number of the transcription (see Guideline D. II. 5.). The scheme must be adapted according to the type of citation (American/German).

It should be mentioned in the list of sources, but does not have to be included in the appendix?

Perhaps better: If you are quoting from a field diary, the paragraph from which you are quoting must (at least) be listed in the appendix. Either as digital text or, if handwritten, as a photo (see section „C. IV. Appendix“ in the guidelines). Citations must be verifiable!

At best, the field diary should be paginated so that it can be cited. The citation in the body text should correspond to the citation in the bibliography.

Screenshots can be taken and listed in the appendix. The screenshots should be anonymized/censored accordingly and also named anonymously so that reference can be made to them in the text. Important: It must be traceable or verifiable that the blog actually exists.

(See also guidelines for module theses and Master's theses p. 15: 6. Citing from social media and here: http://www.kerstin-hoffmann.de/pr-doktor/wie-zitiere-ich-korrekt-aus-social-media/ (as at 05.02.2019)).

When first mentioned, the first and last names of the authors are given in the continuous text. After that, only the surname is listed. If a source has more than one author, these are separated by a slash and abbreviated as et al. if there are more than three authors. However, all authors should be named once in the bibliography at the latest.

The first edition should be cited if it differs greatly from the subsequent editions, for example if there is a long time gap between them or if the content differs greatly. However, the second edition should always be cited at the latest.

In the citation in the running text (American) and in the bibliography, a, b, c are used alphabetically after the year. In the German citation style, the various short titles are used to distinguish between them.

Data Protection & Anonymisation

In principle, it is advantageous for all participants to always and consistently anonymise - not only, but also because non-anonymised persons could possibly draw conclusions about the specific (surrounding) field and thus also anonymised persons. Despite having given their consent, it can always happen that people change their minds afterwards. With consistent anonymisation, such cases are avoided and both sides are on the safe side. Nevertheless, there may be exceptional/special cases in which anonymisation makes no sense at all, e.g. in the case of experts or public figures. If there are any uncertainties, please discuss them with your supervisors.

In order to completely avoid drawing conclusions, it may also be necessary to anonymise the places of residence, living spaces or workplaces, associations, etc. of the interviewees.

Visualisations & Appendix

There are two options for illustrating what you have written directly and easily (without searching in the digital-only list of illustrations):

a) Direct reference: integration of the figure including caption directly into the body text

b) Indirect reference: Mentioning the figure in the body text in brackets (Fig. 1) and attaching the figure in the list of figures.

Both options have already been implemented in (master's) theses. Option a) is the better option, as the reference is more direct, the list of sources is not ‚artificially‘ inflated (especially if it is only one figure) and finding the figure is not a problem. Depending on the length, the reference can be noted in a footnote or listed in the list of figures. Depending on the length, the source citation can also be placed directly under the image.

Each appendix is subject to the same formal guidelines as the text section: The appendix requires its own structure and its own table of contents with with page numbering, so that in the text part for the analysis of the empirical material reference can be made to the relevant sections of the appendix.

The appendix forms a separate chapter in the table of contents at the end of the paper. In the Appendix, all sources used are listed according to the same scheme as in the sources (see chapter D, point III in these guidelines).

The table of contents of the appendix must be included in the printed version of the paper like any other other lists (bibliography, list of sources, list of figures, etc.).

The appendix as such must only be submitted in digital form. The print version of the version of the thesis must be accompanied by its own table of contents of the appendix (see above). The appendix is sent together with the digital version of the thesis in the form of a PDF file by e-mail to the supervisor of the thesis (for the Master's thesis, the submission is first made to the examination office and then to the supervisors). If the file is larger, please use a file sharing service, e.g. the sharing option in the university cloud Sciebo or WeTransfer.

In general, please consult with your supervisor regarding the size and format of the attachment.

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