Forms of Assigments

While the kinds of assignments vary according to the course designs, the partner universities have agreed on some basic standards for each kind of assignment to ensure reliability for students and the quality of EMMIR. Below you will find brief information on requirements for assignments that may be used within modules. However, we advise you to contact the designated teacher of a module for details.

You may choose to perform written assignments as teamwork. Make sure to have proper arrangements with your teachers in place before you submit your work. Each individual student’s contribution must be able to be defined based on chapters, numbers of pages or other objective criteria. Potential assignments (in alphabetical order) are:

Bibliography

You will be asked to do individual research on literature, original sources and other material that you intend to use to work on specific topics, and compile relevant information in a list. The bibliography should give an overview of central works on the subject, including most recent publications, as well as specify the sources you plan to work with. Instructors will set a limit to the number of works to be identified.

Book Review

A book review should reflect your ability to critically assess publications that portray your issue from a variety of perspectives or present theoretical approaches to analyse it. You are asked to give a brief description of the book, focussing on the main ideas and themes of the author, and to emphasise the major argument. Identifying the subject and scope of the book should be limited to no more than a quarter of the review. You are required to evaluate the work through interpretation and analysis, especially with the following questions in mind:

  • What is particularly original about the book?
  • Does the book offer a significant contribution to the field?
  • Does the argument contribute to current debates, either in the public or academic sphere?
  • What are the weaknesses/strengths of the argument?
  • Does the author present a consistent account?
  • Are the sources and information given to support the argument reliable?
  • Does the result correspond to the purpose of the book as stated by the author?
  • Does the author reflect on conflicting views?
  • What issues and topics for further discussion does the work raise?
  • Questions of style and format have to be addressed as well.

This assignment might include an oral presentation of the review in class.

Oral Exam

In addition to written assignments, you might be asked to take an oral exam, especially in case you did not demonstrate sufficient oral effort throughout the semester. You will be asked to prove your mastery of material and discussions covered in the module. In addition to a demonstration of your knowledge, oral exams ask you to show your presentation skills and your ability to communicate in an academic setting about a given question or topic.

Students and professors/lecturers agree on the scope of the exam in advance, but specific questions will be chosen dynamically in the course of the exam. Questions might focus on your research or study over the semester. Also, teachers may use open questions to ask for opinions, ideas for future work or aspects of research you did not consider in previous work.

 

Oral Presentation

Asked to give a presentation, for instance based on a book review or a research paper, you should manage to present main arguments of your work in the given time, usually 10 to 15 minutes. Since these presentations are designed to provide an opportunity for you to share your work and results with fellow students and teachers, you should focus on

  • a brief summary of the content/topic,
  • an outline of main arguments,
  • presenting your analysis and/or questions resulting from your study.

 

Poster

The purpose of this assignment is to present your research project visually in a comprehensible manner. You are asked to demonstrate your research question, few main assumptions and the method you applied/plan to apply. The poster should be visually appealing, easy to read and understand, and informative.

 

Portfolio

The portfolio is designed to document all assignments submitted during the semester. You are asked to record course notes and/or comment on tasks, approaches and findings, as well as on results of class discussion. The portfolio is not to be considered an assignment in itself; rather it should help you to organise and structure your work within the given module.

 

Project Report

A project report, assigned for instance within a module on methods or the internship module, is designed to record and to reflect on practical and/or research experience. In particular, students are expected to document the independently developed, designed and conducted research project and its results. You should demonstrate how and to which end you have tried out and applied theoretical, empirical or statistical methods. Problems you faced during your work, changes in your initial work plan/research concept and open questions should be included in the report as well.

 

Response Paper

When assigning specific readings or other work in preparation of a class, instructors will pose questions that you have to respond to. You might be asked to present facts and details, to give your opinion on given statements or arguments, or to come up with your own questions to the author etc. Usually, a response paper does not exceed 2 pages.

 

Final Papers

Final papers are designed to test your ability to apply ideas, theories or concepts that you have studied in the module to a specific question or topic. You are required to submit a written original paper/text in which you synthesise knowledge gained on a topic pertaining to migration studies. The paper should be a collection of evidence that you found in existing literature or material relevant to research, and of your personal insights, i.e. you are asked to present your own ideas that are developed by using expert knowledge. The length of the assigned paper may vary, but is usually between 12 and 15 written pages (400 words/page).

Partners agreed on two types of papers that you might be asked to produce: an analytical paper, or an argumentative paper. Below you will find a brief explanation of both kinds of papers.

 

Analytical paper

Typically, the starting point for an analytical paper is a research question that leads to exploring an unresolved or unfamiliar topic. Your aim is to survey information and views expressed by professional or involved people of various fields, and to evaluate them based on your knowledge. Evidence found in existing literature or other relevant material is used to analyse an issue from one particular or various perspective(s), and to develop conclusions about the topic at hand.

 

Argumentative paper

At the outset of working on an argumentative paper, you will formulate a hypothesis, i.e. you will define your stance on a specific issue that you will prove as true in the paper. You are asked to present your conclusion about a topic or theory within migration studies, connecting evidence, reliable information and reasoning in a logical manner to justify your argument. Your aim is to present your perspective and to convince the reader of your hypothesis.

Thought Paper / Reflection Paper

While reading assigned texts, you should pay attention to major themes and aspects the author presents, his/her arguments and conclusions. You are expected to give a brief summary of the text, name questions that remained open to you and/or were posed for you while reading. You should point out which information presented in the texts is most important to you, as well as name puzzling aspects you consider worth future investigation. The purpose of a thought or reflection paper is to help you to organise your thoughts about readings. This work might also help you to identify topics and/or questions for final papers. Usually, a thought or reflection paper does not exceed 2 pages.

Last update of this section: 17 May 2017

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