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Academic Reading and Writing


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.


In the course Academic Reading and Writing students will develop essential (re)search, reading and writing skills necessary in an academic setting. It introduces a foundational understanding of the organisation of ideas in common types of academic texts, as well as the skills needed to communicate effectively to the reader. The course is spread over two semesters. In the first semester students will engage with and understand how to read and process information from sources. They will learn the basics of close reading and learn how to assess reading content in terms of accuracy, authority, and relevance. Proper citation rules will be discussed, as well as basic library and research skills. In the second semester the course will be taught in conjunction with the coursed on History by Area. Students will further develop (re)search and writing skills to prepare for writing an academic style paper. Furthermore, this course will provide space for personal and academic mentoring, focusing on understanding the essence and requirements of university education.

Course objectives

  • Read, analyse, and respond to assigned readings with an understanding of structure and mechanics

  • Employ quotation, paraphrasing, and summary

  • Employ correct CMS citation style.

  • Gather reliable and useful information for writing by conducting effective searches

  • Introduce, position, and integrate source material into the body of an essay

  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of basic essay structure, including introduction, body and conclusion

  • Demonstrate ability to write for an academic audience

  • Improve the organisation and expression of arguments, evidence, and stance in writing

  • Students show intercultural awareness in giving and receiving useful (peer)feedback and offering and receiving constructive criticism.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Tutorials with mentorship element

  • (online) Workshops

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Assignment Task Deadline Percentage of grade
1: Library assignment After tutorial 3 20%
3: Academic skills assignment After tutorial 5 30%
4: Final reading report After tutorial 6 50%

Please note: Attending all tutorial sessions in both semesters is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence.

End Grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:

  • The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of all three (3) assignments.


  • Students must have a passing end grade to pass the course. Additionally, students must have a passing grade for the final assignment (5.50 or higher). If the end grade for the course or the grade for the final assignment is insufficient, students can re-submit the final essay. The deadline for re-submission will be published in the course syllabus.

  • There is no re-sit option for assignments 1 and 2.

Retaking a passing grade

Retaking a passing grade is not possible for this course.
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2021 – 2022.

Exam review and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organised.

Reading list

To be announced.


  • Enrolment through uSis for Tutorials and Lectures is mandatory.

  • Students will be enrolled for Exams by the Administration Office, as long as they have a valid Tutorial enrolment.

  • General information about uSis is available on the website.

The programme’s administration office will register all first year students for the first semester courses in uSis, the registration system of Leiden University.



This course of ten tutorials covers both the first and second semester.

Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence.

Passing this course is an additional requirement for a positive Study Recommendation at the end of the year.