Seminar Hints

Content

1. Basic rules and hints to our seminars

1.1 Rules or: how to get a certificate?

1.2 How to write a seminar paper?

1.2.1 Literature

1.2.2 Seminar papers

1.3 Submission of seminar paper

1.4 How to give a presentation?

2. What else is needed in seminars?

3. Templates for seminar paper and slides






1. Basic rules and hints to our seminars

1.1 Rules or: how to get a certificate?

1.2 How to write a seminar paper?

The seminar paper is to write with a usual word processing system (Word, LaTeX). Use a font size of 12pt, use page numbering. On the front page of the paper you have to provide title of you topic, title of the seminar, current term, your name, your matriculation number, and the name of the supervisor.

The paper is thought to serve all interested students for getting detailed information to your topic. It should be understandable, considering the topic completely, and it should be readable without having further literature! Technical details, not contained in the presentation, can be clarified here. Generally, the paper is structured into four parts. At the beginning there is an introduction which gives a motivation for the topic. Following a chapter has to explain basic terms and concepts needed for the understanding of your topic. The main part has to cover you topic itself in an understandable way. The end of the paper is a conclusion and outlook. More details on writing a seminar paper are described here in an exemplarily seminar work. Reading and considering the guidelines in this exemplarily seminar paper are duty for all seminarists!

Unfortunately, plagiarism is coming up more and more. Thus the most important rule on writing a seminar paper (or later on the master thesis) should be emphasized here: it is forbidden to copy information from other sources! You can cite some core sentences which are important in the seminar paper's context, but in such a case you have to make clear from whom you took this sentence. Copying of whole paragraphs is forbidden - and this also includes copying of paragraphs and doing only small modifications of the text like replacing words or changing structure of sentences. The seminar paper should be your own work, written in own words, supported with own examples. IN case of copied paragraphs in your paper, the supervisor has the right to exclude you from the seminar. If you have copied and not even given a literature source, it is plagiarism, and there could be further consequences (see "Declaration of Compliance"). The same holds for figures: if you are copying a figure, you have to give the source. Anyway, usually figures should be drawn on your own.

1.2.1 Literature

Basic literature is handed out in the introductory meeting. But for working on the topic, you also need additional literature. Thus, the first step is to make a literature study for getting a broad knowledge base for the topic. Later on in a master thesis, literature study is necessary, thus this is kind of training for you: in case of help, the informatics library offers courses on this topic. Just ask them, or ask the supervisor of your seminar.

For getting literature, you can search WWW and the informatics library having lots of journals and many conference proceedings. But: sometimes literature has to be ordered in another library, what can cause up to 6 weeks you have to wait!
The used literature has to be cited correctly in your paper. Citing styles are often different as you will see in different conference or journal papers; adopt one of these styles for your own paper. A example for the most common types of publication you can also find here. In your paper, it must be recognizable which parts are your own ideas and which contents are taken over from other literature. In case of taking over complete sentences, you have also to make visible from which paper the sentence is copied. NOTE: COPYING FROM OTHER SOURCES ONLY IS ALLOWED FOR SOME CORE SENTENCES: IT IS UNACCEPTABLE TO COPY WHOLE PARAGRAPHS OR SECTIONS - THE SEMINAR PAPER HAS TO BE _OWN_ WORK.
The literature study is an important part of the seminar, and by this one criterion for the assessment of your paper!

1.2.2 Seminar papers

The seminar papers are available for all participants during the presentations.

1.3 Submission of seminar paper

The paper has to be submitted in PDF format with our electronically seminar system (EAS). A link to the system is provided on the seminar's web page. Access is possible with your matriculation number and a password - the password is sent to you more or less automatically after the assignment of topics. Please note that it is not sufficient to simply submit a paper - your supervisor has to accept your submission. Thus, before submission you should talk with your supervisor to be sure he agrees with your paper.

Together with the paper, you have to submit an abstract about your topic.

Furthermore, after producing slides for the presentation, those slides have to be submitted with the EAS - in powerpoint or pdf format.

If forgetting the password, your are excluded from the seminar. To avoid this, the seminar coordinator could resend the password for a small fee. ;-)
Alternatively, you also could ask your supervisor for a resubmission.

1.4 How to give a presentation?

In the presentation, the core statements of the assigned topic have to be explained compactly, but nevertheless understandable. It has to be spoken freely, i.e. not reading the text from some paper. Everybody should be able to understand the presentation - not only the presenter and the supervisor, but also the other students, assistants and professors. That means to structure the presentation in a convenient way including an introduction and a conclusion.

It is not easy to estimate the length of a talk in before. Thus, you have to practise at home in before, and additionally you have to give a test presentation with your supervisor (when you have tested for yourself to speak freely).

You should not have too much slides but also not bringing too much content on one slide: use at least a font size of 18pt and avoid writing more than 15 lines of text on a slide. In any case: a picture says more than 1000 words, thus it is better to use pictures and short notes, not full sentences.

2. What else is needed in seminars?

Only for diploma students - learn to speak German and have a look at the German version. ;-)

3. Templates for seminar paper and slides

There are templates you can use for the seminar:

Regarding the slides, there is a Microsoft Powerpoint template. Students using LaTeX for the slides, could use e.g. Prosper.





For questions: Dirk Thißen oder Ralf Wienzek

Letzte Änderung: Juli 2005