Deutsch 221/231 Aufsatz 4

Aufsatz 4 (300 Wörter – Make sure to DOUBLE SPACE your essay!)

THEMA 1: (Schreiben Sie über das Buch Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, nicht den Film.)
Stellen Sie sich vor (imagine) Sie sind Micha/ Miriam/ Wuschel/ Mario/ der ABV. Schreiben Sie einen Tagebucheintrag [=diary entry] über einen Tag/ein Erlebnis/eine Rebellion/eine Verabredung [=(romantic) date; appointment] aus dem Buch.

Benutzen Sie in Ihrem Aufsatz mindestens 10 Adjektive, und unterstreichen Sie diese Adjektive! Passen Sie gut auf die Adjektivendungen auf!

THEMA 2: (Schreiben Sie über das Buch Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee, nicht den Film.)
Die DDR war eine Diktatur (Stasi, keine Reisefreiheit, keine Pressefreiheit, nur eine Partei…). Viele Leute haben geglaubt, dass nach der Wiedervereinigung alles besser werden würde, aber das hat nicht gestimmt. Können Sie in dem Buch Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee Beispiele von positiven Aspekten des Lebens in der DDR finden? Ist das Buch blind für die Probleme in der DDR?

Benutzen Sie in Ihrem Aufsatz mindestens 10 Adjektive, und unterstreichen Sie diese Adjektive! Passen Sie gut auf die Adjektivendungen auf!


der Film, e [==> in dem Film / im Film] film, movie
die Handlung plot [of a book or movie]
die Person, -en; die Figur, -en [NOT der Charakter] character [in a book or movie]
Meine Lieblingsszene ist die, in der… [use present tense!] My favorite scene is the one in which…
Meine Lieblingsszene ist, als… [use present tense!] My favorite scene is when…

der/die Deutsche; ein Deutscher/eine Deutsche; plural: die Deutschen: this is an adjectival noun, which means its endings change depending on what case it’s in.

  • the same applies to der/die Ostdeutsche, der/die Westdeutsche
male/female German
die DDR; die BRD  
der Westen; der Osten the West; the East
nach Westen; nach Osten to the West; to the East
der Westler (der Wessi); der Ostler (der Ossi) informal terms for West/East Germans
der Liebesbrief [NOT: der Lieblingsbrief] love letter
das Problem, -e problem
das Tagebuch, ¨-er; Liebes Tagebuch diary; Dear diary
verhaften; ich bin verhaftet worden; X hat mich verhaftet to arrest; I’ve been arrested; X arrested me
Meine Freunde wollen, dass ich… My friends want me to…

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.

Grammar and Usage Advice

Click here to see some more specific grammar and usage advice.