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Academic Writing and Presenting


Admission requirements

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


Academic Writing and Presenting’ is a course in university-level writing and presenting. In the writing component, the course covers the various stages of composition of an academic essay, including close reading of sources, summary, citation and reference, identifying rhetorical aspects in a text or flaws in reasoning, developing a thesis, finding and using textual evidence, organising ideas effectively, signposting an essay, compiling and referencing bibliographic material, avoiding plagiarism, and finally, strategies for revision. In the presenting component, the course covers the many facets of delivering effective presentations, such as organization and structure, modes of delivery, effective linking, choice of terminology, and interaction with an audience.

Course objectives

  1. Students are able to apply and compare knowledge and understanding of at least two themes within Urban Studies.
  2. Students can write a nuanced and critical thesis statement or problem question, and can answer this question in the body of their essay, using a logical structure and clear argumentation.
  3. Students can use both primary and secondary sources critically, and can find their own niche in a discussion.
  4. Students can formulate counter-arguments, and are able to rebut these.
  5. Students are aware of the appropriate academic register used in essay writing, and can use this effectively.
  6. Students are able to apply the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) conventions in their written work.
  7. Students master close reading techniques and develop the skill to analyse and summarize the main argument of a text in a critical and nuanced manner.
  8. Students can conduct library research, gather and assess academic sources, and acknowledge academic work by others by referencing sources in accordance with recognised academic citation protocol.
  9. Students have developed a nuanced view on the workings of rhetoric.
  10. Students can express themselves verbally using the correct register when presenting their research.
  11. Students can deliver a structured and coherent presentation about an academic research topic.
  12. Students can engage and interact with their audience effectively during a presentation.
  13. Students can successfully handle questions from the audience during a presentation.
  14. Students show intercultural awareness in giving meaningful peer-feedback and offering constructive criticism.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Tutorial (compulsory attendance)
    This means that students have to attend every tutorial session of the course. If a student is unable to attend a tutorial or lecture, they should inform the lecturer in advance, providing a valid reason for absence. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If they are absent from a tutorial without a valid reason, they can be excluded from the final exam in the course.

Assessment method


  • Assignment 1: Online Library Tutorial.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 2: Critical reflection of introductory article, including all relevant references in CMS format.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 3: Outline of arguments for essay, including all relevant references in CMS format.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 13, 19, 21-24
    -measured course specific objectives: 2, 4-7

  • Assignment 4: Final Essay.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 4-6, 11, 15, 19-20, 25-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 1-8

  • Assignment 5: Final Presentation.
    -measured programme's general learning outcomes: 1-2, 11-13, 15, 20, 22-26
    -measured course specific objectives: 9-12


Partial grade Weighing
Online Library Tutorial 10%
Assignment 2: Critical Reflection 25%
Assignment 3: Outline of Arguments for Essay 10%
Assignment 4: Final essay 35%
Presentation 20%

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 assessment components.

  • Please note that if the Final Essay is lower than 5.50, you will not pass the course, regardless of the grade for the other assessment components


If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0) there is a possibility of submitting an improved version of the final essay, replacing the previous final essay grade. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay. No resit for the other assignments is possible. Under specific circumstances, a resit for the Critical Reflection and the Presentation is possible, on an individual basis.

If students need to retake any course for a second time, they are required to retake all elements of the course assessment, and may not carry over individual assessment grades from previous years.

Faculty regulations concerning participation in resits are listed in article 4.1 of the Faculty Course and Examination Regulations.

Inspection 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 on Brightspace.


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

General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website.

Registration Exchange

For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Student Affairs Office for BA Urban Studies.


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