Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do we have to do the Language & Use I exam (and other tests, for that matter) in the middle of the vacation/semester break?

The exam that new students take after the LCII course (which is officially called Language in Use 1) is a "Modultest" and covers aspects from both LCI and II. However, there are still students from the "old" program in the system and they need to take a "Zwischenprüfung." The Modultest and the Zwischenprüfung have some elements in common so have to be on the same day. The Zwischenprüfung takes place in the middle of the vacation because students can only register for it when they have the results of two other tests, Translation and Phonetics/Phonology, which are taken at the end of the teaching period. Once there are no longer students in the "old" system who have to do the Zwischenprüfung (probably two more semesters) we are willing and ready to consider changing the date of the Modultest.

Why are there different style-sheets in use within the English Department? It’s confusing for students.

There are two main style sheets in operation within the department. These are... For literature papers: MLA (Modern Language Association); For linguistics papers: Adapted from the style sheet of the Linguistic Society of America.


Other referencing (or citation) styles used in different disciplines include: Chicago, APA (American Psychological Association), Numbered Note system. Students need to ensure they use the right set of guidelines for the piece of work they are writing. Similarly, academics have to use the right “house style” for the journal they wish to publish in.


Within the main referencing styles there are always small differences. For example, the year of publication might be in brackets or not; ellipsis might be written in square brackets […] or round brackets (…); quotation marks might be written as double “like this” or as single ‘like this’. An academic may send the same article to three different journals and have to use three different style sheets. For this reason it is not possible to talk about “one style sheet” for the whole of the English Department.


The English Department currently has four “Chairs” or professors who head their section. It is the Chair’s responsibility to decide which style sheet should be used. Other lecturers teaching within that field then signpost students to the relevant Chair’s style sheet. Professor Frenk, Professor Fellner and Professor Ghosh-Schellhorn all work within the area of Literature. They all use the MLA style sheet, albeit with small differences. Professor Norrick works within Linguistics and uses the style sheet adapted from the Linguistic Society of America.


The English Department recognizes that this is a potential area of confusion for students, especially in the early stage of their studies. We will write a short explanation for the Your Studies section of the website and also provide links to the different style sheets. We will also ensure that all the style sheets and information sheets in use make clear whether they are referring to the literature or the linguistics requirements.