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Successful project work at the university

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What is a project work?

  • A project work arises from a practical background (a project) and includes a presentation and the preparation of a scientific paper.
  • Individual specific problems are solved as part of project work. Usually this is done in group work.
  • The aim of project work is to train the students' ability to work in a team. If you work in a team, completely different questions arise than if you work individually, and the members of the team inspire each other.
  • In addition, scientific work should be practiced as part of project work, which is why each student has to write a written work.

Project work - what topic?

At the beginning of every project work is the choice of topic. In most cases you can choose the topic of such work from several available topics. The better you already know your subject, the easier it will be for you to choose a topic. In other words: it is advisable to have a good overview of the subject before choosing a topic.

Because other students can also sign up for the same topic, groups of different sizes are created. Your group breaks the topic down into as many individual topics as there are students in your group.

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How do you go about project work?

The individual topics of the project work, which you divided into individual topics at the beginning, are worked on individually by each group member. You are left alone with your sub-topic and now have to manage time and sources.

Your first step: the research. What literature is there already on the subject? So, sort your secondary literature! Researching and reading literature is a lot of work and can take a lot of time. Careful scheduling is therefore essential.

The regular meetings of the group are also a challenge in project work. It is not always easy to reconcile all group members - of course perfectly prepared for the group meeting.

The presentation

Depending on the size of the group, an individual presentation will take at least 5 minutes. In this point, too, the specifications of the individual universities / institutes differ enormously, and last but not least, the topic you choose determines how long a presentation will last.

The form of the written project work

The University of Stuttgart, for example, makes the following recommendations for the design of a project:

  1. Title page
  2. Copy of the assignment sheet
  3. Table of contents (structure)
  4. List of figures, if available
  5. List of tables, if available
  6. List of abbreviations, if any
  7. Symbol directory, if available
  8. Text of the thesis (introduction, main part in consecutive chapters, conclusion and conclusion)
  9. Appendices (tables and drawings for reference)
  10. bibliography

Note: Points 1 to 7 are to be numbered in Roman numerals, points 8-10 in Arabic.

With regard to the formatting - margins, fonts, line spacing, alignment, page numbers, footnotes, etc., please be sure to follow the guidelines of your institute. There are usually deviations within the university, which is why you cannot come up with a uniform formatting strategy for all your subjects or create a reusable template.

The content of a project work - which information belongs in which part?

  • The title page should contain the name, address, matriculation number and name of the topic.
  • The task sheet states which content the respective member of the project group has to work on.
  • The table of contents contains all headings in their complete wording
  • The list of abbreviations explains the meaning of the abbreviations used. The abbreviations are in alphabetical order.
  • A preface can - but does not have to - be inserted before the introduction, which, from the author's point of view, can lead to the topic.
  • The problem is described in the introduction. In addition, neighboring subject areas are delimited. Also describe your approach to project work in the introduction.
  • In the main part you deal with your topic.
  • In the final part, summarize the results obtained in the main part briefly and understandably. You can also give an outlook: Which topics are related to the topic dealt with in this project work?
  • There are different ways of setting up a bibliography. We would like to introduce you to one of them: Depending on the type of work (monograph, dissertation, conference, article, electronic source or patent), there are different ways of naming a book title in the bibliography. At your university you received guidelines on how to quote correctly and how you should design the bibliography. Strictly adhere to these guidelines.

Note: Many lecturers are reluctant to see quotes from the Internet. However, if your project work is based on the Internet, quotations from the Internet cannot be avoided.

What else do you have to pay attention to when working on a project?

  • Are you having problems with your spelling? Word has an autocorrection function, but this is not enough to eliminate all linguistic deficiencies. It is best to have someone skilled in spelling proofread your project work.
  • If you should include the images in your work, be sure to state the source of the image.
  • Make sure to define important terms for your project work. If there are too many definitions, it is advisable to attach a glossary to the academic paper

Where can you learn more about scientific work?

Finally, a book tip that can be of use to you, especially when creating larger scientific papers such as a bachelor's thesis.