How to... (information on different types of exams)
... write an exam?
All lectures are completed with a written exam (90 minutes) or test (<90 minutes). The lecturer decides about his/her specific exam conditions. S/he will explain it at the beginning of the course. The written exam normally consists of questions directly referring to the lecture’s topics. We recommend attending the lectures regularly and always reading the basis texts. If you have understood issues within their contexts, you don’t have to learn by rote at the end of the semester.
… write an essay?
Some lectures prefer three essays instead of a seminar paper. An essay examines a scientific question in a precise and ambitious form (about 5-8 pages). In contrast to a seminar paper, the essay is not a systematic and comprehensive handling of a topic but more a “lax”, but critical reflection. A good essay needs to raise an interesting question that has to be answered plausibly (question, thesis and topic). It also needs an argumentative structure.
The Harvard College Writing Center provides valuable strategies for essay writing.
An oral exam takes about 20-30 minutes. The lecturer will explain his/her conditions at the beginning of the seminar. You either choose two or three topics from the seminar or you prepare a lecture about a topic of your choice and the lecturer will ask some additional questions. A good preparation is to hold a speech about your topic on your own or to your friends.
Information on plagiarism
Sample papers can be found on the Blackboard of the FU Berlin. The selection is meant to give students an orientation in writing their own seminar papers (semesters 1 & 2), research reports (semester 3) and masters thesis (semester 4). Access: Follow the link to Blackboard, log in, go to "Community", search for the organization Master "Sociology - European Societies" (just search for "sociology"), become a member. In this organization, there is a separate area "Sample Papers".