The goals of a seminar (Master) or proseminar (Bachelor) are to introduce and practice the reading, writing, and presentation of technical and scientific content. This includes, yet is not limited to:
- Independent understanding and production of content based on original literature
- Finding suitable sources based on first hints
- Selecting important content and disregarding less relevant material
- Preparing a writeup (an excellent exercise for later production of Master thesis and similar documents)
- Presenting content to an audience
Seminars and proseminars are structurally very similar; seminars address students in a Master program and hence have slightly higher expectation levels regarding content as well as independence of work.
We typically run seminars as "mini conferences", in a block format. Participants will assumes the roles of "authors" in such a conference as well as those of "reviewers". This will introduce a crucial aspects of the scientific community and its processes; in addition, it will also give participants a broader, more critical understanding of text production and reception.
There are a couple of typical steps:
- Assignment of topics
- VERY short review of assigned literature, identifying a set of sources to work from
- Structure of the writeup
- Writeup in a draft format
- Mutual review of drafts amongst participants
- Final version of writeup
- Draft version of presentation (slides or similar)
- Final version of presentation
- Actual presentation
The grade of a seminar comprises aspects of text production, independence, originality, presentation quality, and discussions during the actual "conference".
Plagiarism is an annoying yet repeating issue in such events. We will extensively discuss what constitutes plagiarism and help to avoid it (an excellent explanation with examples is given here: PDF). But we will also not tolerate any form of plagiarism and strictly follow procedures as specified in the exam regulations.