Deutsch 101-326 an der Universität Michigan

German on the Web
Learning Strategies

German Dept.
Max Kade House
German Club

PONS online dict.
L.E.O. online dict.
Wortschatz Deutsch



221/231 Aufsatz 1 Thema

Academic Integrity, Essays and Homework

This course is governed by the prevailing Codes of Student Conduct and of Academic Integrity of the University of Michigan and the College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA). All work submitted must be original student work produced for this course, with proper quotation and citation of the contributions of others. Violations of Academic Integrity will be taken seriously and can in serious cases result in a failing grade for the course and/or referral to the LSA Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education. Click here to see the official LSA pages on Academic Integrity, including a quiz on Academic Integrity.

The four essays you submit for this course are where this policy crucially applies. This means:

  • You may NOT get someone who is proficient in German to proofread your essay. We recognize that you can actually learn a lot from having someone look over your essay with you, but we have to enforce this rule in order to make the grading fair for everyone. It IS OK for you to ask your instructor, an instructor in the German Lab, or some other proficient speaker 3 or 4 specific questions on how to say something. If you do so, please put the relevant text in bold print in your essay and include a note at the end with the name of the instructor or peer who helped you. If the person who helped you is a UofM German instructor and s/he chooses to help you with more than 3 or 4 things, you may cite the additional items in the same way.
  • You may ONLY use an online translator for single words and short phrases. When you do, please underline the relevant word or phrase and note the source you used at the end of your essay. Do this also when you use a paper dictionary. If you used multiple dictionary/translation resources, find a way to cite clearly which ones you used for what word/phrase. Note that online translators often produce noticeably absurd translations. The less you use them, the better your grade is likely to be. The hassle of having to cite every use of such resources in your essay will hopefully serve as an additional disincentive and reminder to keep you from overusing them!
    • It is normal (and good practice!) to look up the genders and plurals of nouns, and the conjugation patterns of verbs you use in your essay. You do NOT need to cite your use of online or paper dictionaries for this purpose!
    • We strongly encourage you to use a German spellchecker for your essays (and for your homework, and also for any spells you cast in German). You do NOT need to cite your use of this resource.
  • If you consult any additional resources not assigned in the course (e.g. wikipedia or other online sources), please cite them at the end of your essay, even if you did not quote from them directly. Put any direct quotes in quotation marks and cite the source with a footnote. Any format for the citation is acceptable if it allows your instructor to find the specific source.
  • If you have no sources to cite (you didn't look anything up in a dictionary, no one helped you, and you consulted no other sources), please write "I did not consult any outside sources for this essay :) " at the end!
  • If in doubt, ASK your instructor before submitting your essay!

Fundamental Advice

Click here for more advice on writing in German without thinking in English, a very good habit to get into! Writing/thinking out an essay in English and then trying to translate it into German is cumbersome and often leads to inaccurate word choices.

Jot down some ideas in simple German. Then use the German you've learned like Legos to connect these ideas and make them more interesting:

  • Connect sentences using conjunctions
  • Vary the word order. Put something other than the subject in position 1 sometimes.
  • See if you can include some of the adjectives, adverbs, and other interesting vocab from the Gateway List.

Click here to see the grading rubrics your instructor will use. This will give you a clearer idea of what to strive for in terms of content and language.


Thema: Aufsatz 1 (250 Wörter - Please DOUBLE SPACE your essay!)


  • Both topics ask you to write about a German website you like. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find a list of useful internet vocabulary.
  • Note this useful phrase: "On the webpage, there is/are..." = Die Webseite gibt Auf der Webseite gibt es... / Auf der Webseite sind...

A. Besuchen Sie die German on the Web Linkseite, finden Sie einen interessanten Link. Find a site about which you really have something to say and will enjoy writing about. Schreiben Sie etwa [=roughly] 125 Wörter über den Inhalt der Webseite, und etwa 125 Wörter über Ihre Meinung (warum Sie die Webseite interessant finden, was vielleicht nicht so gut ist, usw.).


B. For this version of the assignment, you should write your essay from the perspective of one of the people/products the website is about. So, if you're writing about a website about Mozart, then pretend you're Mozart and write what you [i.e. Mozart] think about the website and its content. If you're writing about the Porsche company website, pretend you're an actual Porsche (i.e. one of the cars they produce) and write what you think of the site. If you have an idea but you're not sure if it fits the topic [e.g. if you're writing about a website about German geography, can you pretend to be Berlin? If so, how would you make that work?], ask your instructor whether s/he thinks your idea will work. Use the first 50-100 words to introduce yourself: who (or what) are you, and what are you like? Then use the remaining 150-200 words to write what you (i.e. the person/thing you're pretending to be) think about the website.

  • WICHTIG: Benutzen Sie Ihre eigenen [=own] Worte. If you quote, please use quotation marks.
  • Please remember that even a short essay should have a structure:
    • there should be an introductory paragraph that gets the reader interested
    • there should be 1 - 3 paragraphs in the body of the essay, each of which has a recognizable logic, as opposed to being simply a list of statements about the website.
    • there should be a final paragraph. There are lots of possibilities for this:
      • a polemical or humorous summary of your argument
      • a concise statement of why you liked the website OR how the website could be improved
      • a statement of the differences or similarities between this website and a comparable American website


das Internet internet; World Wide Web
im Internet surfen to surf the internet
die Homepage, die Homepages homepage
die Website, die Websites website
die Webseite, die Webseiten webpage
auf der Website/Webseite on the website/webpage
(eine Website/Webseite) besuchen to visit (a website/webpage)
sich eine Website/Webseite an•schauen to look at a website/webpage
der Link, die Links link
auf (einen Link) klicken; einen Link an•klicken to click on (a link)
ein (neues) Fenster öffnen/schließen, schloss, hat geschlossen to open/close a (new) window
ein (neues) Fenster öffnet sich a new window opens
der Benutzer/die Benutzerin user
die E-Mail, die E-Mails; emailen; die E-Mail-Adresse email (the concept, or a message); to email; email address
die Mail, die Mails; mailen email (a message); to email
chatten, er/sie/es chattet, chattete, hat gechattet to chat
laden, er/sie/es lädt, lud, hat geladen to load
die Seite lädt langsam/schnell the page loads slowly/fast
herunter•laden, er/sie/es lädt herunter, lud herunter, hat heruntergeladen OR just: downloaden to download
drucken/aus•drucken to print/to print out
der Bildschirm screen (for computers or TVs)
der Mausklick/per Mausklick mouseclick/via a mouseclick
eine Taste drücken to press a key
die Tastatur, die Tastaturen keyboard (only for computers and typewriters)
(Text/Daten) ein•geben, er/sie/es gibt ein, gab ein, hat eingegeben to enter (text/data)
die Datei, die Dateien file
(Daten) speichern to store, to save
benutzerfreundlich user-friendly
überarbeiten to update (e.g. a webpage)


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