Tipps für den „normalen“ Aufsatz (also nicht Interview, Rede etc.) im (bayerischen) Abitur. Falls du deinen Schülern die folgenden Tipps als Handout geben und / oder den Text verändern möchtest, kannst du dir die Datei (doc) herunterladen.
Choosing a topic: Have a look at all the topics and ask yourself the following questions: How much do I know about this subject? Can I give concrete and convincing arguments / facts / details or can I only waffle (schwafeln)? Can I express my ideas appropriately?
Brainstorming: Once you have chosen a topic you should make a brainstorming before you actually start writing. Note all the possible arguments / facts / examples that come to your mind on note-paper. Leave enough space so that you can make additions later on. You may also note ideas for the title, the introduction and the conclusion.
Title: You can create interesting titles with the help of alliterations, puns and variations of / allusions to well-known proverbs / sayings and titles of famous books, songs or films. Make sure that your title fits your composition. At the end of your composition the meaning of a deliberately strange / confusing title must be clear. Here are examples of good titles.
Structure: Your composition must consist of three, clearly distinguishable (unterscheidbar) parts: introduction, main part (“body”) and final paragraph (“conclusion”).
Introduction: Typical elements of good introductions are references to current events, quotes of famous people, (alarming) statistics and personal experiences. The reader does not know the topic, that is why at the end of the introduction a “thesis statement” often presents the topic.
Main part: The main part of a standard composition consists of three separate paragraphs. Arrange your arguments in climactic order, i.e. start with the weakest one and end with the best and most convincing one. Use suitable connectors / phrases to create a coherent text.
Pros and Cons: If you weigh the pros and cons of an issue the main part consists of two paragraphs: one for the pros (“On the one hand …”), the other for the cons (“On the other hand …”). Each paragraph presents only two arguments with examples. Again arrange your material so that the better arguments come last.
Paragraphs: The first sentence, the so-called topic sentence, presents a statement, claim (Behauptung) or idea. The following “supporting” sentences must refer to and illustrate the topic sentence with the help of concrete examples. Each paragraph should consist of at least three sentences. Do not leave blank lines between paragraphs. Do not summarize at the end of the paragraph.
Indents: In handwritten compositions indent the first line of each paragraph (except the first one) by circa 1.5 cm in order to visualize the beginning of a new paragraph.
Conclusion: Your final paragraph should not just repeat what you have already said / written. Do not present new / additional arguments and / or examples in your conclusion.
Number of words: Do NOT count all your words in order to find out how many words you have already written. Choose a typical line, count the words in this line and multiply with the number of lines you have already written.
Dictionary: Your dictionary offers valuable help for your composition. Check all words / collocations / expressions when you are not sure how to use them. Pay attention to meaning, grammatical usage and labels such as formal, poetic, slang, spoken etc. When you still have time, proofread (Korrektur lesen) carefully and revise your text with the help of your dictionary.
Study some of my model compositions.