Guidelines for term papers

Term papers should be submitted in an electronic version via Email to the office of Professor Guenther: office-guentherprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de Indicate in your Email your name, course title and name of the teacher.


Generally, there is nothing wrong with substantiating your argument through references to other people’s work. If you are quoting the words of someone else make this clear by citing who you quote. Using the words or ideas of someone else without acknowledging is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offence! It is a form of cheating which will be punished heavily. Remember that whoever marks your paper will have excellent knowledge of work published in their area of specialization. Stylistically too it is easy to detect elements in a student’s piece of work which originally belong to someone else’s work. The simple rule is to always acknowledge your sources by quoting them!


Our chair is using a software for detecting plagiarism in every submitted paper!


  • Margins: above / below 2 cm, right / left each 2.5 cm.
  • Main Text Font: Times New Roman 12 point (footnotes 10 points).
  • Line spacing: 1 ½ times the main text (footnotes easy); justified.
  • Figures: numbered with Arabic numbers. Always title your figures precisely. Try to follow this scheme: What? Where? In which years? In which unit? E.g. “FDI inward stock in Central and East European countries 1994 to 2014, in Mio. EUR”
  • Tables: numbered with Arabic numbers.
  • Footnote: in each page, only for additional information and not to quote.
  • Length: unless something different is specified in the particular course (or individually agreed with a supervisor) maximum of 10 pages for a seminar paper (term paper),  35 to 40pages for a Bachelorthesis and 55 to 60 pages for a Masterthesis.. This does not include cover page, table of content, references and appendix. A deviation from these guidelines will negatively affect the evaluation of term paper or thesis, respectively.


Structure of the work

Course title, supervising chair, title of term paper, personal information of the author.


Index of chapters, sections and subsections of the work numbered with Arabic numbers (1, 1.1, 1.1.1, etc.).


List only abbreviations used in text, e.g. “SOE – State owned enterprises”; commonly used abbreviations, such as “etc.” “et. Al.” should not be listed.


List figures and tables with page numbers.


Abstract of 150-180 word plus 3 Keywords and the corresponding JEL-Codes Link:


I. Introduction:


  • Motivation (Why do I write about this topic?)
  • Subject (What is my subject? If necessary: definition with literature reference)
  • Intention, task, research question (What is the particular aspect of the subject I will dealt with? What is the question that I want to answer?)
  • Method“ (How will the subject be treated?) – e.g. that you will start with short literature review about the topic XXX, proceed analyzing reports published by XXX, governmental documents of country XXX, analyze data for XXX for years XXX from database XXX etc.

→ Short and clear description of why, what and how!


II. Theoretical consideration

  • Define all important terms that you will use in the text, e.g. transformation, multinational enterprise, innovation, institutions, etc. based on scientific literature (= initial journal articles on the topic, fundamental books).
  • Write what about your topic tell us previous research, or (if exists) what we have known already from theory about it, based on literature review.


III. Empirical part (if applicable)

  • Present short introductory description about data (e.g. set of countries, companies etc.) you will analyze
  • Analyze your research question based on theoretical introduction you made
  • Analyze your research question based on available data

→ Everything what you write (data, which you present) should bring you and a reader closer to answering you research question


IV. Summary and conclusions

  • Short summary of the above text (What have we learned in the paper?)
  • Clear answer for your research question
  • Reflection of strengths/weaknesses; limitations etc.
  • Outlook for further research (derived from the previous point)

It contains additional material if required. 


In the bibliography list alphabetically all sources, which have been used in the main text. Works of the same author should be arranged chronologically. Several titles by the same author in one year should be distinguished with small letters. 


→ See below information on dealing with sources!

On the last page of your thesis include the following statement:


I hereby affirm that the work I am submitting for this assessment is entirely my own, that I have read and understood what constitutes plagiarism. I also hereby affirm that this work has not been already published or submitted of any other kind of assessment.



Place, Date                                                                                          Signature


Our Chair employs the Harvard Citation method, which is a name and date reference system and is very common in Social Sciences.


Below you can find examples for most widely encountered types of sources in the term papers. For others (e.g. ebooks, chapter in an edited book, conference papers, interviews, newspapers, legal documents etc.), you can find a lot of Harvard referencing guides on the internet. Here are one of them:

In-text citation


(Greene, 2000) and Greene (2000, p. 50) in case of a direct citation



Greene, W.H. (2000) Econometric Analysis. 4th Edition, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

High-quality journal articles is a qualitative characteristic the term paper is also judged upon. Avoid low-quality journals! (see lists here


It is safer to use journals from on-line library catalogues such as

In-text citation

(Temple, 1999) and Temple (1999, 116-120) when referring to a range of pages



Temple, J. (1999). The New Growth Evidence. Journal of Economic Literature, 37, pp. 112-156.

Online database can be very helpful for your empirical part. These include among others:


Use internet sources sparingly! And list separately at the end of the bibliography.

Don’t use Wikipedia!


In-text citaion

(OECD, 2009)


OECD, (2009). OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy: Mexico 2009. Available at: [Access 06.04.2016]


A publication of your work (e.g. via, etc.) is not allowed by the chair.