BAK3: Einführung in das wissenschaftliche Arbeiten


210008 PS 2023S

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Vortragende der Germanistik:

Please note that due to other teaching and research commitments of the course instructor, one or two units may have to be rescheduled or held online. Such changes will be announced in due time on the Moodle course website.


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

* Aims, contents and method of the course
This course introduces students to the basic principles and research processes of scientific work in political science. Students are required to complete regular assignments on specific topics, which are discussed in class and serve as building blocks for the final essay outline that forms the basis for the term paper.

The broader aim is to equip students with the knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques in the field of social scientific work that are required for the study of political science. This includes in particular the critical use of scientific argumentation, various forms and types of scientific texts as well as the ability to develop and find answers to scientific questions. The textual work, i.e. reading, appropriating, processing, interpreting, discussing and drafting texts, is a key part of social scientific work.Therefore it is aimed to improve reading and analytical skills through the joint discussion of texts on various topics in political science, but also transdisciplinary topics, especially those with a current relevance. This should enable students to engage with more complex questions of political theory and applied research. The themes will include concepts, theories and current issues in the fields of democracy, the state, authority, power and power relations, identity, peace and conflict studies, civil society and social change.

Fundamental scientific techniques – quoting, paraphrasing, structuring and writing – are taught and applied by means of selected texts. Particular attention will be given to addressing the issues of quality standards of scientific research and of plagiarism. Likewise, students will be familiarized with basic strategies and techniques of social science literature review. They will also be introduced to research methods (qualitative, quantitative, comparative and case study research, triangulation). In addition, it is planned to invite international scholars to gain insights into their research practice.

Finally, special emphasis will be placed on the process of writing a brief research outline that provides the basis for a concise independent scientific term paper (final essay). This will follow a typical research flow, including choosing a relevant political science topic, formulating research goals and objectives, research questions and a thesis, as well as indicating the research strategy and research methods.


Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

* Performance Requirements:
- Regular attendance and active participation (20 points)
- Homework assignments (35 points)
- Final essay (based on a research outline): min. 2,000 - max. 2,500 words (45 points)

Additional voluntary activities:
- Group discussion report, attending and reporting on a scientific event (10 extra points)



* Indicative literature:
Grix, Jonathan (2019) The Foundations of Research. 3rd ed. Basingstoke & New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hacker, Diana & Sommers, Nancy (2021) A Pocket Style Manual. 9th ed. Boston, MA & New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

All relevant course material (basic information, learning materials for scientific work, homework assignments, announcements as well as a selection of literature of scientific texts for topical discussions and other materials) will be made available in due course on the Moodle course website.



There will be no written or oral exam in the course.


Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

* Minimum requirements and assessment criteria:
For a positive grade, at least half of the maximum possible points must be achieved in all mandatory areas (see 'Performance Requirements').
Students attending the course must have a very good command of English, since all the lectures, seminar materials and assignments will be exclusively in English.

Grading (points):
1 Very good: 91-100
2 Good: 75-90
3 Satisfactory: 61-74
4 Sufficient/Pass: 50-60
5 Insufficient/Fail: 0-49.