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The diploma paper has to be about some issue in Linguistics that is worth writing about: e.g.

Semantic and Pragmatic Aspects of Political Discourse. The writer of the paper is expected to study the issue both theoretically and empirically. Theoretically - by commenting on what linguists have said on the relevant issue or in the related area; the writer has to be able to formulate existing approaches; give her/his own point of view and, what is most important, provide arguments for the importance of the issue the writer is intending to write about. A corpus of linguistic data has to be collected in several ways: by excerpting language material from written texts and written conversational exchanges (if necessary); by using recorded and transcribed spontaneously occurring conversations collected by other authors (if necessary); by recording and transcribing such conversations by the author of the paper herself/himself (if necessary); by using questionnaires and by conducting linguistic experiments (if necessary). Different ways of collecting empirical data do not exclude, but only complement one another. Each example, excerpted from a written text (fiction, newspaper, etc.) has to be written on a separate filing card that contains the following information: the name of the author, the title of the book and the page; when the excerpted material is from a newspaper or a magazine, the date and number are taken down as well. Other details of the corpus have to be taken down, too: number of informants, their age, profession and sex: conditions of the linguistic experiment (whenever there is an experiment). The diploma paper has to answer three basic questions what, why and how. It has to be organized as a text in the following way: Introduction, in which the object and aim of study is introduced, as well as the method or methodology used. There has to be a brief description of the collected corpus in terms of statistics: number of filing cards and pages; number of books/magazines and authors; period of time; number of transcribed conversations and number of informants. The corpus has to be representative enough, so that the conclusions will be convincing enough. E.g. at least 500 pages of excerpted material, at least 50 informants, etc. In the introduction you also say very briefly what each of the chapters and the conclusion is about. The simplest structure of the diploma paper as a text consists of the following: an introduction, an overview of some bibliography on the issue, your analysis of your empirically collected language material, a conclusion, bibliography and appendixes if available. In the conclusion you have to mention again the aims that you wanted to achieve, what you have achieved and what you have failed to achieve. Some prognosis for future research in the area is also welcomed. Quotations. A very sharp distinction has to be made between your text and somebody elses. If you present somebodys view, you have to say according to, as so and so says, e.g. According to Austin (1962), giving in round brackets the year the book was published. If more than one work by the same author is quoted, then you have to write; Chomsky (1975; 1980). If more than one author is quoted on the same problem, then you write componential analysis (Leech 1974; Kempson 1977), dividing authors by semicolons. When a direct quotation is used, then the page has also to be given. E.g. We might simply understand languages as I-languages, thus taking a language to be something like a way of speaking the finite means that provide for infinite use in the terms of Wilhelm von Humbolts characterization of language (1836: 122, paragraph 13; 1988: 91; see also Chomsky 1964: 17), also an effort to capture his concept of language as a process of generation rather than a set of generated objects (Chomsky 2000: 73).

What is in the round brackets can also precede the quotation. Smaller size is used for the letters in the quotation. Chomsky has used single inverted commas for terms that somebody else has used. When you quote an author indirectly, through another author (something that has to be avoided), then you write in the text: Peirce (1931/1935, quoted in Sebeok 1995: 5) and in the references after the text you write: Peirce, Charles Sanders (1931/1935) Collected Papers. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, quoted in Sebeok, Thomas A. (1994) An Introduction to Semiotics. London, Pinter Publishers. Titles of books and articles in the References are in italic. References include only authors, quoted in the diploma paper. If the quotation is from a collection of papers, then the pages have to be given, too: Chomsky, Noam (1995) Bare Phrase Structure. In G. Webelhuth, (ed.),Government and Binding Theory and the Minimalist Program. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 383-439. When you are quoting from a journal, then you write: Strawson, Peter (1950) On Referring. Mind 59: 320-344. Where Mind is the journal, 59 is the volume of the journal and then you have the pages. If a later edition of a book is cited, the copyright (found at the back of the title page) has also to be given, e.g.: Searle, John (1969/1987) Speech Acts. An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1987 being the edition used and 1969 the year of the copyright. The cited authors are given after the text alphabetically. What you write is: REFERENCES and then the quoted authors and their works, e.g.: Austin, John (1962) How to do things with words. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Authors in the bibliography are not numbered. The first line in which you give the details of a given author and his/her book is at the beginning of the line, the rest of the lines are further to the right as shown in the examples above. When you have to quote somebodys opinion or ideas you heard in a discussion with that person, then in the text and in the bibliography you write in round brackets: (personal communication). You quote authors in the text using their family name only. First name is given if you quote authors whose family name is the same, e.g. G. Lacoff (husband and wife and scholars at the same time) or if they coincide. If you quote words, phrases and sentences in the text as examples, e.g. John opened the door, you separate them from the rest of the text using italics and not inverted commas.

If you quote too often the same author and book in the text, then you do not have to give full details each time. In the text you write: (ibid.), an abbreviation for the Latin ibidem meaning in the same book, chapter previously quoted. When the book is written by more than o ne author, then in the text you have to write: e.g. Searle et al. (1992) and in the bibliography you give the name of every co-author. References have to be followed by EXCERPTED TEXTS, if any, and by an APPENDIX, if any, including questionnaires, xerox copies of analyzed texts, etc. Formal discourse does not allow colloquial abbreviations like theres. The paper has to be at least 50 pages long. A standard page has 60-62 characters in each line (including spaces between words) and not more than 30 lines. There has to be a final approval of the applicant 20 standard pages o n the topic submitted to and approved by the academic adviser. This is done in order to check the writing skills of the plausible writer. An excellent average grade (5.50) for the subjects taught in English is expected. If the average grade is below 5.50, then you can discuss the possibility of writing a diploma paper with your academic adviser. The writer of the diploma paper submits to the academic adviser portions of the text (or the whole text) if and only if she/he does her/his best after rereading the text and after careful self-correction. The academic adviser is not expected to correct typing, spelling, lexical, grammatical and stylistic errors. The diploma paper has to be written in a way that enables the reader to understand what the writer has meant, i.e. the writer is expected to express his/her thoughts in words adequately and convincingly. The title of the paper has to be given a careful consideration so that the contents do not deviate, but are in line with what is stated in the title. The academic adviser reads portions of the text and the whole text several times and each time the new and the old version of the text (previously corrected by the adviser) are submitted for further correction and suggestion. (This is necessary since the adviser wants to make sure that previously noticed errors and imperfections have been eliminated.) Two copies of the diploma paper are given to the Department secretary two weeks before the State examination. The writer of the diploma paper is given the evaluation of her/his paper 2 days before the State examination. She/he has to tell the members of the examining board and the audience what the paper is about (talking or reading a presentation for not more than 10-15min.), then defend the paper by answering questions raised by the members of the examining board and others present. USEFUL BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR WRITING A DIPLOMA PAPER Wray, Alison, Kate Trott, Aileen Bloomer (1998) Projects in Linguistics. A Practical Guide to Researching Language. London: Arnold. , (1997) . , , 1997. , (1999) . . Good luck! And dont think you can write it in three days or in three months! You need at least half a year! Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dafina Genova