Is there an essay for the 12th grade?

Abitur: How to write a satisfactory German essay - 3 basic rules08.04.2013, 21:13


Of all the Abitur (s) subjects, German is the one that students learn the least - because most of them are unclear as to the criteria according to which their essay will be assessed. Many German teachers do not (only) correct arbitrarily, but have certain ideas about what makes a good Abitur essay. As a student, it is important to satisfy these ideas. With information sheet for printing (PDF).

Original article from 02/27/2009, supplement 04/08/2013

Most of the students believe that you cannot learn to work in German. Either you can write well or you can't. " That's why they quickly repeat the content of the readings, features of the era and the steps of a text discussion for the written Abitur - and that's it. No comparison to what you can learn in math or history.

This (not unjustified) passivity is also due to the fact that many students hardly know any criteria for the quality of German essays (especially interpretative essays) apart from “gushing”. When are there 8 points? When 7? To make matters worse, German work is still considered as that chameleon The following applies to the grading animals: The assessment can be very different depending on the correcting teacher. As a teacher you should make your minimum requirements transparent or give the students good advice on the way before they graduate.

Those who follow this advice should get at least a satisfactory grade. The prerequisite for this, however, is the readability of the essay (= spelling, writing and style should be reasonably correct).

Leaflet: 3 basic rules for an at least satisfactory German essay (pdf)

A (at least satisfactory) Abitur essay in German requires:

1. Clear structure
The work reads much better if it is clearly and comprehensibly structured in terms of form and content. The basic structure is always the introduction, the main part and the conclusion. In the main part, the processing of individual tasks and / or topics must take place in clearly separated blocks, which are connected with transitions if possible. Paragraphs increase clarity. Many teachers (second proofreaders!) Want Notthat you give headings to the paragraphs. If you have difficulties with this, give the paragraphs headings in pencil and then erase them before submitting them.
2. Appropriateness of content & section loyalty
As a teacher you have certain expectations in terms of content:
  • The introduction leads to the topic. In the introduction to the interpretation essay there is information on the author (s) ... (more on the introduction to the interpretation essay), but not the final opinion. It is very popular when the introduction formulates a question / a basic problem that is then answered in the main part.
  • The conclusion somehow draws a conclusion. Thoughts from the main part are taken up. It is very elegant when the question from the introduction can be answered in this way.
  • The teacher also has certain expectations of the blocks of the main part (e.g. can be based on sub-tasks). This is where what has been learned / practiced becomes useful (knowledge of the content / interpretation approaches of a reading, ability to discuss arguments). In any case, it is also important here that there is a clear reference to the respective sub-items. In a section with the (invisible) heading “Is Kohlhaas an antihero?” one will only deal longer with Kleist's concept of justice if it serves to answer the question.
3. No redundancy
Many students believe that you get a better grade in German if you gush a lot. That is not right. You get a good grade if you stick to the above two points. Whenever possible, each sentence should have a meaning for its section. In the section on the disadvantages of forcing brands, a sentence like “A magazine once did an eight-page advertisement for branded clothing some time ago, and the providers have obviously made good profits in recent years.” to look for something only if it somehow refers to the disadvantages of branding.

Leaflet: 3 basic rules for an at least satisfactory German essay (pdf)