Student information

Papers (PS & HS)

 As far as matters of style (bibliography, citations, font, etc.) are concerned, strictly follow the style sheet (download it here).

  • All term papers should be 12-15 pages long. Schwerpunkt Hauptseminar papers are 15-20 pages in length - please also check the respective module descriptions. Short papers are 5 pages in length. In all cases, these numbers exclude appendices.

  • All papers must be written in English.
  • The number of books and articles you should read depends on your topic. There is no set number.
  • You can choose a topic different from your presentation.
  • Clear topics well in advance and provide an outline of your paper.
  • The deadline for term papers is the end of the semester (31 March and 30 September, respectively).

Sample Paper

Download a sample paper here.

Exam information

For those of you who are thinking about graduating in English Linguistics, here is how it works:


Please contact your examiner well in advance, as only a limited number of exam candidates can be accepted at any given time.

BA, MA and Staatsexamen (STEX) theses:

If you want to write your thesis in English Linguistics, please check your examination regulations first (there is a list here). For all types of theses, there are detailed requirements as to registration procedure, time and format, and you will need to make sure that there is enough time for the respective procedural steps, in particular in connection to the STEX. The Professorship of English Linguistics will supervise most exam theses in Linguistics; depending on examination regulations other faculty members may also be supervisors. Prof. Dr. Diemer will also supervise selected examination theses; please contact him well in advance.

Come to your supervisor's office hour well in advance so you can talk about potential topics. Supervisors may modify your topic or reject supervising your thesis.

All theses are graded by two examiners; the second examiner will be selected by the thesis supervisor. There are official registration forms for theses on the English Department website. Usually, after discussion of potential topics you will be asked to produce an outline of your project (ca. 400 words), including a first bibliography. After approval and allocation of examiners the thesis can be registered with the official faculty offices (the Prüfungssekretariat der Philosophischen Fakultäten for BA and MA and the ZPL for STEX) and you will receive (usually by mail) an official start and hand-in date. Possible extensions (e.g due to illness) will be handled by the examination office, too. STEX candidates will have to register at the State Examination Office (Prüfungsamt für das Lehramt an Schulen) first, see their website for details. Please allow up to five weeks for registration.

Grading your thesis will take between 6 weeks and 2 months, depending on your course of studies. Please allow sufficient time between hand-in of the thesis and oral exam registration.

Oral exams:

MA and STEX students will have to pass oral exams when finishing their studies. For MA students this is part of the Abschlussmodule Englische Sprachwissenschaft Hauptfach (Ling final HF MA), for STEX candidates this is a separate state exam administered by the State Examination Office. Dates for STEX oral exams are set by the State Examination Office twice a year; make sure you know the respective application procedures. Dates for the MA oral exam will be set by the examiner, who will also select a minute-taker. Please discuss possible presentation topics with the examiner well in advance.
You will need to select two linguistics topic for the STEX oral (2x10 minutes) and for the MA oral exam (usually 30 minutes). The topics can be selected from the following list, which also contains the basic literature recommendations for each topic. You will need to select a combination of a core linguistics topic (1) and an applied linguistics topic (2).

  1. Core linguistics topics are e.g. corpus linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, morphology & word formation, semantics, lexicology, phraseology, cognitive linguistics, writing systems
  2. Applied linguistics topics are e.g. history of the English language, first or second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, varieties of English, English as a world language, forensic linguistics, culinary linguistics, English for special purposes, conversation analysis, psycholinguistics. A full list can be found here:

Before the exam you will need to send an outline of your topics to your examiner, consisting of 10-15 key terms per topic (single terms, general terms such as chapter headings, names, etc., that in your opinion give an overview of the chosen field) not later than four weeks before the exam. The outline should also contain the bibliography you used for the preparation of your exam, including at least one recent article (no more than two years old) for each topic that illustrates current research tendencies.

Please send the outline as PDF in a single document with type and date of exam (if you don't know the date yet, indicate whether it's the summer or winter exam period), your name, matriculation number and email address, following this naming convention: "Outline (name) (first name)". You will receive a confirmation of your outline, including, if necessary, additional suggestions by the examiner.

STEX candidates: Please do not forget to bring along FOUR print copies of your outline on the day of your exam.

Colloquium for exam candidates:

Every semester a colloquium for exam candidates will be offered by the professorship of English Linguistics. The colloquium is intended (and strongly recommended) for exam candidates in English Linguistics (Bachelor, Master, STEX and Magister) who are writing their thesis or taking their oral or written exams in linguistics. In addition, students with an interest in ongoing research and those who are thinking about writing their thesis in linguistics may be allowed attend.