Term paper template (adapted from Prof. Hickey’s template for term papers). This is an example of how a term paper should be constructed. Delete this header before using the template for your own paper.
Department of Anglophone Studies
term when the seminar took place
Hauptseminar: Language and Mind
Dozentin: Dr. Nuria Hernández
The stages of
first language acquisition
Proseminar / Modul IV Paper
Hauptseminar / Modul VI / Modul VIII Paper
Reading Course Essay
( delete labels which do not apply )
Lehramt, Sek II und I
Contents List of tables ii
List of figures ii
List of maps iii
[only if you have any tables, figures, maps, or special abbreviations]
1 Introduction 1
2 The early development of the child 3
2.1 Cognitive and linguistic development 3
2.2 Stages in the early years of the child 3
3 Theoretical views of first language acquisition 4
These values refer to full pages using margins of 3 cm on the left and right with a 12 pt font and one-and-a-half-line spacing. Always use justified print (Blocksatz).
! Papers which are shorter than the recommended sizes will not be accepted.
If two students write a paper together, the paper must be twice the size, and the table of contents should show who has written what sections.
If you have your paper printed, for example at the copyshop, always save it as PDF. This way, no undesired alterations will happen if your file is opened in another programme or programme version, e.g. a different version of MS Word.1 Introduction
In the introduction, you introduce the imaginary reader to your topic. You also use this opportunity to briefly describe the main aspects/ideas of your paper including any hypotheses, and to describe your main goal and the methodology used. If your methodology, or the theoretical background knowledge needed to understand the study, is more complex, you may want to put these aspects in separate chapters.
You can specify why you chose this topic and what literature you will be considering (primary as well as secondary sources). You can already hint at the results which you hope to reach by the end of the paper. However, the introduction should not exceed 1 page.
When you are discussing linguistic literature, be careful to quote accurately by stating the name of the author you have consulted followed by the year of the publication and the page number, or the page span, you are referring to. For example:
The field of psycholinguistics incorporates language acquisition because the latter is closely connected with the early cognitive development of the child (cf. Steinberg 1993: 23-7). Use the correct style and typographical conventions right from the start:
Be precise and clear; avoid repeating the same ideas or words.
Use an argumentative matter-of-fact style; it is great to be enthusiastic about your topic, but your emotions (positive or negative) must not reflect in the text.
Quotations from other authors can be incorporated in the running text as long as they do not exceed three full lines, e.g.
The corpus-driven approach is distinguished from the corpus-based approach, the latter availing itself of corpus data “mainly to expand, test or exemplify theories” (Tognini-Bonelli 2001: 65).
For longer quotations, start a new paragraph and indent the paragraph, returning to non-indented text after the quotation, for example:
Tognini-Bonelli has described the corpus-driven approach as follows: In a corpus-driven approach, the commitment of the linguist is to the integrity of the data as a whole, and descriptions aim to be comprehensive with respect to corpus evidence. The corpus, therefore, is seen as more than a repository of examples to back pre-existing theories or a probabilistic extension to an already well-defined system. (Tognini-Bonelli 2001: 84) In compliance with this definition …
Quotations from a language other than English can be included in the running text in two ways. You either include the foreign-language quote directly and provide a translation in brackets:
Gutzmann defines the meaning of ethic datives as “eine Sprechereinstellung in Form einer unabhängigen Proposition PDE zur Proposition PS des Satzes, in dem er steht.ˮ(‘the speaker’s attitude towards the proposition Ps of the sentence in which it stands’; Gutzmann 2007: 282).
or you translate the foreign-language text, indicate that it is your translation, and provide the original source in a footnote:
Gutzmann defines the meaning of ethic datives as follows: the ethic dative expresses the speaker’s attitude towards the proposition Ps of the sentence in which it stands by an independent proposition PDE (Gutzmann 2007: 282; my translation from German).1
1 “Der Dativus Ethicus drückt eine Sprechereinstellung in Form einer unabhängigen Proposition PDE zur Proposition PS des Satzes, in dem er steht, aus.“
If you include tables in your paper, you must specify where you have got them from
(scanned in from a book or copied from the internet). In both cases author, year and page (for printed sources) must be given.
If you quote passages from some book, or include pieces of literature, it must be
clear why you do so, that is it must be justified by the discussion you are engaged in at that point in your paper. You cannot just include quotations for the purpose of filling pages.
Indent each new paragraph (except the first paragraph of each chapter) to set it apart from the previous paragraph, as seen above.
Use the same spacing before headings of the same text level. For example, use two 14 pt spaces before the headings of chapters 2 and 3; use one 14 pt space before the headings of subsections 2.1 and 2.2.
Use English abbreviations only:
e.g. means ‘for example’ (Latin exempli gratia)
cf. means ‘compare’ (from Latin conferre)
i.e. means ‘that is/ that means’ (Latin id est)
Use English quotation marks: “…”
Examples mention in a sentence should be put in italics, for example:
Sentences such as John is easy to please are initially interpreted as similar in structure to John is eager to please.
Listed examples should be numbered consecutively, with a small indentation:
The following examples cover some of the uses that we have in mind when talking about these forms as ‘invariant tags’:
(1) Yeah but the insurance company are probably gonna pay erm, sue me innit?
(2) In fact you can have two. How about that then eh?
(3) Let me finish, okay?
An example for a listing would be:
Quirk et al. characterize adjectives as follows:
a. They can freely occur in attributive function
b. They can freely occur in predicative function
c. They can be premodified by the intensifier very
Descriptions of meanings and translation should be put in single inverted commas, e.g.: i.e. means ‘that is/ that means’
Example sentences need to be separated from the running text and should be given running numbers, e.g.:
Example (1) shows two subjects, one DAT him, one NOM he; the pronoun hine could be ACC or REFL so that the second part of the sentence could be translated as ‛...and he threw himself to the ground and he heard voices’ or ‛...and it threw him to the ground and he heard voices’. (1) him com færlice to micel leoht, and hine astrehte to eorðan, and he gehyrde stemne
(Ælfric Catholic Homilies i.386.6, quoted in Mitchell 1985)
Use IPA phonetic symbols to reflect pronunciation, for example:
The word fish /fi$/ is initially pronounced as /fis/ by small children. The rejection of the latter pronunciation when offered by adults is called ‘the fis phenomenon’ because although the child cannot pronounce fish as /fi$/ it expects adults to do so.
Notes and footnotes
You do not have to have notes in your paper. But if you do, decide for either end notes (which appear at the end of the paper, before the bibliography) or footnotes (at the bottom of the respective page). I personally prefer footnotes. Use notes to provide additional information which is too long to include in the running text, e.g. further discussions or references that might interest the reader. Do not use notes just to specify the source of a quotation, this can be done in the running text. Both end notes and footnotes must be numbered consecutively.
Subchapters: If you divide a chapter into subchapters (2.1, 2.2, etc.), there must be at least 2 subchapters per chapter
And don’t forget: Spell-check your text when you are finished. If you have been working with Microsoft Word, go to the Tools menu (German: Optionen) and select a language (UK or US English). You can select the entire text with Ctrl-A (Strg-A) and press F7 to begin the spell-checking process.
After the introduction comes the central part of the paper (divided into subsections).
In this part, you offer a comprehensive treatment of the topic announced in the title of your paper. You may include a summary or critical interpretation at the end of this part of the paper, i.e. at the end of each major section (2, 3, etc.). At the very latest this must be included at the end of the paper.
2.1 Cognitive and linguistic development
[use the same spacing after all headings on the same level, e.g. 4 pt]
2.2 Stages in the early years of the child
[use the same spacing after all headings on the same level, e.g. 4 pt]
3 Theoretical views of first language acquisition
[use the same spacing after all headings on each level, e.g. 4 pt]
3.3 Critical interpretation of both theories This section is explicitly identified as containing a critical evaluation. Be sure to use your own words and thoughts here as this will show that you have processed the information mentally for yourself.
When you are reflecting on the data you have described make sure to ask yourself why something is the case, do not just say that it is so. For instance, you might state that language acquisition is quick and thorough for the first language and slower and less perfect for the second language (later in life). Having said this, you must then ask yourself the question: why is this so? Try then and offer a principled explanation in a linguistically acceptable fashion.
4 Conclusion In this section you should try to summarise your major findings in your own words, drawing together the various threads of arguments developed in the paper. A critical evaluation of the material should be offered and you should try and express your own views on what you have read and presented in your own words. The conclusion should be at least half a page long. You can also call this section “Summary” or “Synopsis”.
At the very end of the paper, it is always good to add a so-called “Outlook”. In the outlook you can mention questions which still need to be solved and any interesting issues which could be investigated in the future (these must of course be related to the topic of the paper).
5 References This section must include all references mentioned in the body of the text (not including secondary sources mentioned in quotations from other authors). Do not put books or articles in the references section which you have not quoted in the body of the text.
The reference format must be consistent, i.e. use one format for all books, one format for all articles, etc. Depending on the type of study, you might want to divide the references into primary sources (e.g. primary data, corpora) and secondary sources (linguistic literature).
Depending on your paper you are expected to use at least 5 or 6 references. A Hauptseminar paper would usually require more than this.
References are listed in ascending alphabetical order. The basic scheme for books is as follows: Surname, Firstname. Year. Title. Place: Publisher. Titles of books and journals are given in italics. Titles of articles are put in inverted commas “…”.
books with one author or editor Fromkin, Victoria. 1973. Speech errors as linguistic evidence. The Hague: Mouton.
Ortony, Andrew (ed.). 1994. Metaphor and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Skinner, Burrhus F. 1957. Verbal behavior. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
books with several editions
you should preferably use the latest edition available; mark editions in one of the following ways:
Aitchison, Jean. 2001. Language change: Progress or decay? 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Aitchison, Jean. 20013. Language change: Progress or decay? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
reprints of older works
Jespersen, Otto. 1982 . Growth and Structure of the English Language. Oxford: Blackwell.
books with several authors or editors Allwood, Jens, and Peter Gärdenfors (eds.). 1999. Cognitive semantics. Meaning and cognition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Piaget, Jean, and Bärbel Inhelder. 1968. The psychology of the child. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
books with more than three authors or editors (stick to the format you choose!) Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech and Jan Svartvik. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
Quirk, Randolph, et al. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. London: Longman.
two or more works by the same author Lass, Roger (ed.). 1999a. The Cambridge History of the English Language, Vol. III: 1476–1776. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lass, Roger. 1999b. “Phonology and Morphology.” In: Roger Lass (ed.), 56–186.
For scientific articles always list the page numbers! articles in anthologies or conference proceedings
Andersen, Henning. 1988. “Center and periphery: Adoption, diffusion, and spread.” In: Jacek Fisiak (ed.). Historical Dialectology. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 39-83.
Denison, David. 1999. “Gradience and linguistic change.” In: Laurel Brinton (ed.). Historical Linguistics. Selected papers from the 14th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Vancouver, 9-13 August 1999. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 119-44.
articles in journals Clark, Robin, and Ian Roberts. 1993. “A computational model of language learning and language change.” Linguistic Inquiry 24: 299-345.
two or more articles in the same anthology (the anthology itself must also be listed!) Beal, Joan. 1993. “The Grammar of Tyneside and Northumbrian English.” In: Milroy and Milroy (eds.), 187–213.
Cheshire, Jenny, Viv Edwards and Pamela Whittle. 1993. “Non-Standard English and Dialect Levelling.” In: Milroy and Milroy (eds.), 53–96.
Milroy, James, and Lesley Milroy (eds.). 1993. Real English: The Grammar of English Dialects in the British Isles. London: Longman.
Using the internet as a source of linguistic information You can use internet sources in a term paper, but must specify them as precisely as possible, i.e. include the author or editor, year, title and place of publication.
Make sure that you only use sources which stem from university departments or reputable sources, such as a publisher or a government department or agency. Be sceptical about anything you read in the internet, and try and confirm information you take from it by consulting at least two independent sources. If possible, prefer peer-reviewed encyclopaedias from the university library over Wikipedia.
There are different ways to quote an internet source; you should always include: Surname, Firstname, Year, Title, Web Address, Place, Department. Choose one of the following formats:
Hickey, Raymond. 2003. English Linguistics in Essen. http://www.uni-essen.de/ELE. Essen: Department of Anglophone Studies. [accessed 15 July 2011]
Coyle, Martin. 1996. “Attacking the cult-historicists.” Renaissance Forum [online], 1(1). Available at:
html> [Accessed 16 June 1997]
If you have to cite Wikipedia or other websites that contain multiple contributions, you can use this format. However, as already mentioned, you should always prefer print publications over online publications.
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. http://www.wikipedia. org. [accessed 15 July 2011]
Appendix You do not need to have an appendix. The appendix is not part of the running text, i.e. it does not count towards the total number of pages that you are expected to write.
In this section, you can add information that you consider important but too long to show in the running text, such as longer tables, additional graphs, maps, or even primary data in the form of transcripts, etc. If you need to subdivide your appendix (which will only be the case in extensive papers), use the section title “Appendices” instead, then subdivide into A, B, ...
Versicherung an Eides Statt BEWARE, THIS ISSUE IS TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY! All sources must be specified clearly, not just at the end of your paper in the bibliography, but by a reference in the body of the text. As a rule of thumb you would be expected to have two or three references per page of your text (you may have more if the context demands this). If you are using information you have taken from the internet, or indeed from a printed source, you must specify this at the point in the paper where you use it, normally by quoting the author and year, along with the page number if the source is a book or article.
Bear in mind that using information without acknowledging it is plagiarism. This is a criminal offence and any student found engaging in it will automatically fail the course in question and his/her name will be put in a register of offending students which we maintain in our faculty. At the end of the paper, the following text must therefore be included and signed:
Versicherung an Eides Statt
(Vorname, Name, Anschrift, Matr.-Nr.)
versichere an Eides Statt durch meine Unterschrift, dass ich die vorstehende Arbeit selbständig und ohne fremde Hilfe angefertigt und alle Stellen, die ich wörtlich oder annähernd wörtlich aus Veröffentlichungen entnommen habe, als solche kenntlich gemacht habe, mich auch keiner anderen als der angegebenen Literatur oder sonstiger Hilfsmittel bedient habe.
Ich versichere an Eides Statt, dass ich die vorgenannten Angaben nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen gemacht habe und dass die Angaben der Wahrheit entsprechen und ich nichts verschwiegen habe.
Mir ist bekannt, dass im Falle von Zuwiderhandlungen diese Zuwiderhandlungen aktenkundig gemacht werden, die vorgelegte Arbeit mit 5,0 bewertet wird, ich von der Teilnahme an weiteren Prüfungen des Instituts ausgeschlossen oder exmatrikuliert werden kann, und gem. § 92 Abs. 7 Satz 3 des Hochschulgesetzes NRW eine Geldbuße von bis zu 50,000 € verhängt werden kann.
Ebenfalls ist mir die Strafbarkeit einer falschen eidesstattlichen Versicherung bekannt, namentlich die Strafandrohung gemäß § 156 StGB bis zu drei Jahren Freiheitsstrafe oder Geldstrafe bei vorsätzlicher Begehung der Tat bzw. gemäß § 161 Abs.1 StGB bis zu einem Jahr Freiheitsstrafe oder Geldstrafe bei fahrlässiger Begehung.