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Scientific Writing


Admission requirements

MSc Psychology (research) students


When you are not able to write a compelling article, your academic career will be a constant uphill battle — no matter how excellent your ideas and research might be. As a scientist, you need to be able to explain your work to other scientists, and do this clearly, effectively, and convincingly.

Despite the fact that good writing skills are of crucial importance (both inside and outside of academia), very few courses in the Dutch educational system teach proper scientific writing. As a result, students are left to improve their writing skills largely by themselves, through trial and error. This is unfortunate, because anybody’s writing skills can be considerably improved with only a little instruction.
In this course, we will cover the basics of scientific writing by means of weekly plenary sessions, exercises and small-scale feedback sessions. All teaching materials are tailored to the needs of a psychological researcher in action. After completing this course, you will be on your way to becoming a better writer, and, perhaps, a better scientist as well.

Course objectives

To improve your scientific writing skills.


Scientific Writing (2013-2014):

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Work groups

  • Literature study

Assessment method

The assessment is based on take-home assignments

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • J.M. Williams. (2010). Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace (10th edition). ISBN 0-205-74746-9;

  • lecture notes: selected articles.

The book is available via the bookshop of the study association Labyrint on presentation of your membership pass. Otherwise they can be bought from academic booksellers.

Contact information

Prof. dr. S.T. Nieuwenhuis (coordinator)
Room 2B13
Phone 071-5273834