FAQs


Getting ECTS

(1) For which modules can I use the ECTS that I receive in the Annotating Literature project?

  • B.A. students (all subjects): Schlüsselqualifikationen
  • M.A. students (English Literatures and Cultures): seminar work groups
  • For more information on the specific requirements for receiving 3, 4, or 6 ECTS, see Question 3 below.

(2) I am a B.Ed. student. What can I gain from the project?

Although the different study and exam regulations for B.Ed. students do not include ECTS for our groups, you will nevertheless profit from joining us!

As a teacher, you have to be able to anticipate which aspects of a text will raise problems of understanding for your students. You will have to help them understand the text better and teach them strategies by which they can solve these problems on their own. The “Annotating Literature” project is directly aimed at providing you with these skills.

Furthermore, if you later decide to opt for an M.A. instead of an M.Ed. (or for a ‘double Master’), you will be able to ‘retrospectively’ receive ECTS for the annotations you have written as a B.Ed. student. You can use these for your M.A. work groups.


(3) How many ECTS do I get as a B.A./M.A. student?

  • B.A. students: either 4 or 6 ECTS (depending on how many annotations you write)
  • M.A. students: 3 ECTS for one work group (you can also join the project for both of your seminar work groups)

(4) How many annotations do I have to write in order to get ECTS?

  • B.A. students:
    •  4 ECTS: 2 short, 2 middle, 2 long annotations
    •  6 ECTS: 3 short, 4 middle, 3 long annotations
  • M.A. students: 2 short, 2 middle, 2 long annotations

(5) I’m an M.A. student and have already participated in the project for one of my work groups. Can I also gain the ECTS for my second work group here?

Yes, it is definitely possible to gain the ECTS for both of your M.A. work groups in the “Annotating Literature” project.


(6) How long is an annotation usually?

The length of annotations can vary greatly. Your annotations should contain all the information that readers need to understand and interpret the annotated passage. However, they should not contain any irrelevant information; for every piece of information you include in your annotation, you should be able to explain how exactly it relates to the annotated passage.

Short annotations are no longer than half a page in a word document (Times New Roman, 11pt).

Middle-length annotations are between half a page and a whole page in a word document.

Long annotations span more than one page in a word document.


(7) Does every single category count as one annotation or do the different categories on different levels make up one single annotation?

In accordance with TEASys, an annotation is made up of different levels and categories. The different parts of an annotation do not count as separate annotations. The minimum for a finished annotation is one category on Level 1; the maximum is all categories on all three levels. For more information on TEASys, please see our Style Guide.


(8) Can I get a grade for my annotations?

The annotations are not graded. However, if you need a grade (e.g. if you are an exchange student), you can talk to your group mentor about it.


(9) I won’t be able to write all of the annotations in one semester. Can I also attend the groups for more than one semester?

Yes, you can participate in the project as long as you want to. You can also pause for one semester or longer (e.g. when you are abroad) and then re-join us.


(10) I want to graduate soon and need my ECTS quite urgently. What should I do?

You should talk to your mentors as soon as you know that you want to graduate at the end of this semester and make sure that the pre-final draft of your annotations is finished ca. two months before you need the ECTS. You will only be able to receive ECTS once your annotations have been approved by the project supervisors, Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker. They may ask you to revise your annotations again before you can gain ECTS, so please plan for enough time to conclude this final revision process.


(11) Is there a deadline for handing in my finished annotations?

This depends on when you need your ECTS. If you do not need them urgently and plan to stay in Tübingen for another semester, you can ask your mentor to hand them in to Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker for final revision any time you like. If you need the ECTS by a certain date, the deadline for handing them in to Profs. Bauer and Zirker is two months before you need the ECTS.


Is Annotating Literature the right project for me?

(1) I’m afraid that my English is not good enough to participate. Can I still join?

“Annotating Literature” is a peer-learning project. This means that your mentor and all participants are students; there are no professors present at the group meetings. The peer-groups are pressure-free environments in which you can ask questions and improve your spoken and written English skills.

You absolutely do not have to understand everything that you read in the texts that we are annotating. (If this was the case, annotating these texts would be pointless.) It is absolutely normal that the drafts of your annotations will contain mistakes. The groups are there to help you revise and correct your annotations.


(2) I don’t study English. Can I still participate?

Yes, all students can participate. If you are a B.A. student, you can even gain ECTS for your Schlüsselqualifikationen.


(3) I’m only in my first semester. Does it make sense to already join a group? Will my contributions be good enough?

Yes, you can definitely join us in your first semester. In fact, the sooner you join the better, because thereby you will gain important skills and knowledge from the very beginning (e.g. you will learn how to cite in accordance with MLA 8, how to differentiate reliable from unreliable sources, how to conduct research, how to structure an argument, etc.). And don’t worry about the quality of your contributions – your mentor and your fellow students are there to help you revise and improve them.


(4) I do not have a particular text or poem in mind which I would like to annotate. Can I still participate and how?

You can either contact the group mentors to learn more about the texts that they are annotating or just drop by in one of the meetings. In the poetry group, you can also ask your mentor for advice on which poem you could annotate.


How exactly does the annotating process work? What will I have to do in the groups?

(1) What does usually happen during your group meetings?

During a usual meeting, one or two students will present their annotation drafts and you will discuss them. The student who wrote the annotations can ask questions, present material that has not yet been incorporated in the annotation, or talk about problems that he/she encountered while conducting research. The other group members can comment on the content, style, and grammar of the annotation, and give advice to the student (e.g. about scholarly resources or helpful electronic databases).

All of this means that the group meetings are very interactive and that you are encouraged to ask questions, also those that you might not dare ask during a seminar or lecture. You will be able to benefit from your fellow students’ knowledge. Furthermore, the annotation process will train you to pay close attention to detail (e.g. ‘Is this expression too colloquial?’ or ‘Does the definition in this book even make sense?’), which will definitely improve your writing and arguing skills. 


(2) How do the groups operate during the university shutdown/corona virus?

The “Annotating Literature” groups will continue to meet (online) during the summer term of 2020. The annotations will be shared and commented on in an open word document online. We will look at different annotations each week, so that everyone will receive feedback from his/her peers. The mentors will offer open online office hours for additional feedback.

For more information, see.


(3) What happens to my annotations once I have written them?

Your annotations will undergo several rounds of revision:

  • You present your first drafts in the group and your fellow students suggest improvements.
  • Based on the feedback, you will revise your annotations until you and your group decide that you can hand in the pre-final draft of your annotations.
  • You hand in the pre-final draft to Leonie Kirchhoff and Miriam Lahrsow (PhD students, who also work as project coordinators in the “Annotating Literature” project). They will again suggest improvements, which you will implement in your annotations. They will then either suggest further improvements or hand in your draft to Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker, who are the project supervisors.
  • Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker might also make further suggestions that you can use for your final revisions. Once they decide that your annotations are fine, they will be published and you will receive your ECTS.

(4) I am confused about the different levels/categories. What can I do?

You can have a look at the Style Guide, which is our collection of annotating guidelines. If you cannot find an answer in the Style Guide, you can ask your mentor and fellow students. We will also include the aspect you raised in our next version of the Style Guide – we are always grateful for feedback from the groups!


(5) Can I also write annotations for a different text than the ones you are currently working on?

In the poetry group, you can annotate whichever poem you like. In the other groups, you have to stick to the text that the group is currently annotating. If you are very eager to annotate a different text, you can also ask your mentor whether there is any chance that the text will in the future be part of a regular seminar taught by Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer and/or Prof. Dr. Angelika Zirker.