What is a handout?
A handout is distributed to the audience of a presentation and serves to support the presentation and to fix the contents permanently. A distinction can be made between a thesis paper and a handout in the narrower sense. A thesis paper serves more as preparation for a presentation and, in addition to an outline, only contains the key aspects of the presentation in bullet points. A handout is more detailed, offers more depth of content and is intended to enable the audience to take the most important findings of the lecture home with them. In university, handouts in the narrower sense are usually required, which can be used, for example, to work through the topic during exam preparation. A handout is not a printed version of the presentation.
The first section of the handout consists of the outline of the presentation, although depending on the length of the presentation, not all levels of outline should be given. This is followed by the most important aspects of the presentation such as basic terms and their definitions, facts and figures or important connections. The information should be presented as bullet points and not in complete sentences, as this leaves enough space for notes and keeps the main attention of the audience on the presentation. It is also advantageous to keep the handout linguistically simple. Illustrations in the handout can be helpful if they bundle a lot of information and thus make several bullet points superfluous. If the message of the graphic could be formulated in one bullet point, it is usually not worth the scarce space on the handout. Finally, the central insight of the presentation should be emphasised. In the last section, possible questions for discussion in plenary or particularly helpful literature can be cited. Literature and illustration sources form the end of the handout.
Handouts can vary greatly depending on the context, so it is always advisable to ask the teacher's exact expectations if these have not been clearly communicated beforehand. It is advisable to distribute the handout before the presentation so that the audience can write notes and comments on it.
- Header with the following information:
- Title of the event
- Name, e-mail address and (please do not list matriculation number) of author(s)
- Date of the presentation
- Title of the presentation as heading (use boldface)
- Font: Times New Roman size 12 or Arial size 11
- Line spacing: 1.5 lines
- Margins: left 2cm, right 6cm, top and bottom 2.5cm each
- Spacing: spacing after a paragraph is 6 pt. before a paragraph 0 pt.
- Justified print
- Activate hyphenation
- Use gender-sensitive language, if this is not possible use the gender star (e.g. employees)
- Length: Unless otherwise specified: 1 page; double-sided printing possible
- Indication of the most important literature
- Citation is according to the APA guidelines (7th edition). You can find a detailed description in our guidelines for seminar papers in section 3.