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Academic Writing MasterClass


Admission requirements

Only students of the Advanced MSc International Relations and Diplomacy programme can take this course.


This interactive workshop will discuss the main features of your academic writing and how to improve it. Through discussion and exercises you will familiarize yourself with best practices of academic writing and some of the main do’s and don’ts. The course will also focus on bibliographical research skills and the university code of conduct on plagiarism as well as related board of examiners procedures.
This course is intended to enhance your motivation for academic writing and provide you with essentials tools for the improvement of your writing. It will give you guidance on bibliographical skills and the issue of plagiarism.

Course objectives

This course aims to motivate you for your academic writing, hone your writing skills and bibliographic research skills, and improve your understanding of basic questions at the beginning of your essay writing or the start of other research projects. The course also aims to improve your confidence in writing whilst adhering to the universal academic code of conduct on plagiarism.


On the right-hand side of the programme front page of the studyguide you will find a link to the online timetables.

Mode of instruction

The course will be a combination of a lecture by the professor and group exercises based on students’ own experience with best practices in writing, as well as independent online bibliographical research training.

Course load:

Attendance Policy
Attendance is mandatory, subject to course structure (see syllabus for details).

Assessment Method

1 – Online University Library Exercise: The students’ ability to do independent bibliographical research will be tested.

2 – Multiple Choice Assessment: The students’ understanding of plagiarism and the use of AI tools and its consequences will be assessed by means of a multiple-choice assessment.

Students will only be given a pass grade for this course if they pass both assessments.

Reading list

Your are expected to have read and understood the university code of conduct on plagiarism.


The programme will register the students in Usis based on the group division. Use Brightspace for course information.


Prof. Dr. Jan Melissen


You will be more successful in this course if you reflect on your current academic writing experience and training needs before the start of the course.