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Afstudeer Seminar (History 2)


Admission requirements

Students must have passed BA3 first semester Cluster Seminar and preferably the Text Seminar (although there is an opportunity to retake that course in semester 2, see bezemklas Teksten Seminar.


This course is designed to assist students in the production of their BA thesis, and to improve students’ related capacities in the reading, analysis, and discussion of Japanese language texts. It is conducted in weekly sessions, with an even distribution of academic content and language portions in terms of time, weight, and assessments. There will in principle be at least one seminar for each content “cluster” (5 in total), with the “content” portion of each taught by an instructor from each respective cluster, and the language portion taught by instructor(s) from the language section. Having already identified a BA thesis topic and conducted preliminary research in the autumn, students are required to complete the bulk of their BA thesis research (including locating and reading at least one Japanese language source) and post an outline of their BA thesis before the first class meeting. The first two meetings (1-2) are “content” sessions devoted to discussion and mutual feedback on these outlines (students are required to post feedback on one another’s work on Blackboard); the subsequent three sessions (3-5) are “language” sessions in which students will read, discuss, analyze short Japanese text related to their thesis, with assessments including Blackboard postings and in-class quizzes; in sessions 6-7 (“content”) they will make work-in-progress presentations and give/receive mutual feedback on draft thesis chapter(s) submitted on Blackboard before session 6, which include a literature review; in sessions 8-10 (“language”) they will make and discuss work-in-progress presentations in Japanese, submitting a written version of their presentation for assessment once completed; the final two sessions (11-12), which take place after the submission of their BA thesis first draft, are devoted to mutual discussion and feedback on these drafts (including Blackboard posts).

Course objectives

Academic Skills
The completion of a successful BA thesis on the basis of instruction on effective writing strategies, discussion and making of outlines, chapters, and a complete thesis rough draft in a logical order, and the giving and receiving of constructive peer feedback.
Japanese Language
By the end of the semester, students should be able to understand the overall construction of the material and predict logical developments while reading the texts written in the field of their speciality. They will also develop the necessary vocabulary for each special fied. They should also be able to understand and offer doubts or an appropriate counterargument while discussing specialited matters.


See timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load: 5EC = 140 hours
Hours spent on course attendance (2 hours x 13 weeks) = 26 hours

Hours for thesis-composition related study: approx. 57 hours comprised of:

  • Thesis outline, chapter, and rough draft preparation/revision = 39 hours

  • Peer review/Blackboard postings = 18 hours

Hours for language study: approx. 57 hours comprised of:

  • Identification and isolation of Japanese-language thesis-related source = 5 hours

  • Preparation of course readings = 18 hours

  • Quiz preparation = 12 hours

  • Blackboard postings = 9 hours

  • In-class presentation preparation = 8 hours

  • Write-up of in-class presentation = 5 hours

Assessment and grading method (in percentages):.

Written Assignments: 50% (incl. thesis outline, draft thesis chapter including literature review, thesis rough draft, Japanese presentation text, webpostings, and vocabulary quizzes)
Participation: 50% (incl. attendance, in-class presentations, in-class participation, and timely submission of webpostings and written assignments)


Active submission of assignments and peer review via Blackboard is an essential aspect of the course.

Reading list

To be announced in class.


By assignment: clusters decide on thesis supervisor/seminar instructor.


For information on standard program-wide course requirements and structure:

For information on specific cluster seminars please contact your seminar instructor.