The 20 most frequent intertextual errors in student papers at Freiburg University of Education

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Published: 13.07.2018
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A total of 82 term papers and final theses at Freiburg University of Education, Freiburg, Germany, were examined 2014 – 2016 in terms of their intertextual quality. Of the 109 distinctions made between different types of intertextual errors that are known to us, 58 were detected in the students’ work. By bundling and condensing these individual types of error, we were able to draw up a list of the 20 types that occur most frequently. Condensing them makes it possible to recognise and name the most important phenomena and to deal with them from a didactic perspective. Types of error are listed in the following section and explained by means of examples.

The list of errors and explaining examples are designed to help teachers (and students):

  • to learn about frequent intertextual problems in student’s writings in higher education. Educational measures and training may be designed to prevent these errors;
  • to have terms to name and address intertextual problems and errors e. g. in order to give precise feedback;
  • to understand, which features may be relevant for high intertextual quality.

The kind and frequency of errors may vary between different universities, subjects, study programmes, and level of writing experience of students as well as the teaching skills and support for both. Look for frequent errors in your student’s papers and typical questions to address them in class.

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