Writing support services for doctoral students in German and English
For many doctoral students, working with a long, research-based text is the most challenging aspect of the degree process. The challenge becomes even greater, however, if the text is not written in their native language.
To support them effectively and promote their future success, the Graduate Academy offers individual writing guidance for doctoral students of Heidelberg University.
The programme Wissenschaftliches Schreiben auf Deutsch: Text- und Sprachberatung für Internationale Doktoranden is tailored to non-native German speakers who are writing their dissertations German, usually in the humanities or social sciences. The programme is funded by the STIBET programme, within the DAAD.
Academic Writing Support: Individual Consultation and Tutoring is tailored to doctoral students at Heidelberg University from all disciplines who are writing in English. This offer is a cooperation between the Graduate Academy, the Cluster of Excellence “Asia & Europe in a Global Context,” and the English Department. Because the English academic writing style differs significantly from the German, this service aims to help non-native English speakers produce texts that meet the linguistic and stylistic conventions distinct to Anglophone academic writing.
The purpose of both offers is to improve the writing and language competencies of the doctoral students during the early stages of their doctoral training. Doctoral students may submit their own text passages, which are then revised and commented on by German or English native speakers. Students then attend a follow-up meeting, where the writing consultant will discuss the student’s errors and provide suggestions for improvement.
The feedback provided by the writing consultants is limited to linguistic issues only (i.e. grammar, spelling, punctuation, and conventions of the respective language). The consultation aims to identify typical errors which can be avoided in the later stages of writing. The content, style, and structure of the text will not be discussed, so the completed text passages—be they dissertation chapters or articles—should not be seen as final corrections.
If you are interested in using the service, please note the following information:
When contacting one of our language advisors, please provide him/her with
- The topic of your dissertation
- Your subject of study, supervisor, and department
- Progress/stage of your dissertation
- Your native language and nationality
A writing consultant will arrange a preliminary talk with you, during which your specific needs (i.e. technical terminology or any other concerns that you have) will be discussed. A time-frame for the feedback will also be determined. Please bring a digital copy of your text (MS Word compatible format) to the meeting.
Once your text has been reviewed, we will arrange a follow-up meeting with you at which we will discuss the suggested corrections and any other concerns you may have. Afterwards the commentated version of your text will be sent to you via e-mail, along with a feedback sheet including a list of your most common mistakes and suggestions for improvement.
Please take the following points into account before you submit a passage:
- The submitted text passage/s may not exceed 10 pages or 3000 words.
- Only two different passages from a single text (i.e. up to two sections from a dissertation) may be submitted.
- Please submit all work for consultation in a MS Word compatible format where possible.
- Your text will be archived at the end of the semester and will be deleted from the Graduate Academy’s server after one year.
We look forward to hearing from you!
You may also contact the manager for both services directly:
Dr Claudia Falk
Tel. 06221 / 54 – 24 35
Writing consultations are currently offered by the following native speakers:
Martin Stier studierte von 2007-2013 Geschichte und Latein an der Universität Heidelberg und dem University College London und promoviert derzeit im Fach Geschichte. Nach Abschluss seines Studiums arbeitete er bis 2015 als Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Historischen Seminar der Universität Heidelberg.
Jonathan Griffiths is a British-born short-term student in the Faculty of Classics (Klassische Philologie) in the University of Heidelberg. He completed both his BA and Masters’ degrees in Classics at the University of Oxford, UK. Jonathan has extensive and varied experience in English language tuition and academic English writing support in the UK, China and Germany, he is TEFL-qualified and he also runs a freelance proofreading business based in Heidelberg for both students & professional academics from all disciplinary fields.
Anna Larsson completed her BA in Social Sciences at Washington State University in 2001. She holds a Professional Writing Certificate from WSU and is a certified ESL teacher. Anna has worked as a freelance translator and proofreader of academic texts, specializing in the Humanities and Social Sciences, since 1994.