The intention of this paper is to present first observations and findings from a study on attributes in academic texts written by students. The present paper analyses the use of genitive attributes in master’s theses written by students of German philology, who are Polish native speakers. The purpose of this study is to identify tendencies in the use of the genitive attribute and its prepositional counterpart in students’ works as well as to indicate some of the potential problems the Polish authors writing in German can have with using these constructions. The analysed collection of data encompasses 250 examples of noun phrases with at least one genitive attribute and 48 examples of phrases with the preposition von gathered from five students’ texts. Because of the limited number of examined texts the results of the analysis should be interpreted with caution and it would be advisable to extend the analysis to more texts in the future. The paper begins by describing the primary syntactic properties of academic texts. Section 3 focuses on the genitive attribute and its counterparts and discusses potential problems these constructions can present to Polish native speakers. The next section presents the results of qualitative analysis of the data. The concluding section 5 sums up the presented study and offers some recommendations for further research.