This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies programme.
Academic Reading and Writing is a course in university-level writing. The course covers the stages of composition of an academic essay, such as 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 with clarity, signposting an essay, compiling and referencing bibliographic material, and finally, strategies for revision.
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.
Students can use both primary and secondary sources critically, and can find their own niche in a discussion.
Students can formulate counter-arguments, and are able to rebut these.
Students are aware of the appropriate academic register used in essay writing, and can use this effectively.
Students are able to use the Chicago-stylesheet when presenting their written work.
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.
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.
Students have developed a nuanced view on the workings of rhetoric.
Students show intercultural awareness in giving useful peer-feedback and offering constructive criticism.
Mode of instruction
This course will begin with one plenary lecture, on “How to study International Studies?” and “Why study International Studies?” These are followed by a series of 9 weekly tutorials and two workshops. At the beginning of the course students will be provided with an introductory text into the field of International Studies. Subsequently, students will be offered a choice from two case studies. Each case is accompanied by two or more texts. These texts offer a basis for students to write an essay on an issue in the field of international studies. For the essay assignment, students will be asked to find and analyse additional sources and submit an argumentative essay. They will be given feedback on their analysis and argumentation by their tutors as well as their peers, enabling them to critically assess their own argumentation. In addition to the texts, study materials include a guide to writing with sources and practical writing skills-oriented materials made available via Brightspace.
Assessment & Weighing
|Assignment||Task Deadline||Percentage of grade|
|1: Online Library Tutorial||By Monday 5 October||10%|
|2: Critical reflection of introductory article, including all relevant references in Chicago format||Hand in during the tutorial in week 41; also to be uploaded via Turnitin||20%|
|3: List of arguments for essay, including all relevant references in Chicago format||Hand in during the tutorial in week 44||20%|
|4: Final essay, also to be uploaded via Turnitin||Hand in during the final tutorial session in week 50||50%|
Please note: 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. Being absent will result in a lowering of the participation grade (determined by the weighted average of assignments 1, 2, and 3) with 0.5 for every absence after the first three (3) times.
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 four (4) assignments.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6.0), or the Final Essay grade is lower than 5.5, you can re-submit an improved version of your Final Essay. Resubmitting the Final Essay will lead to a deduction of 1 point. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the Final Essay.
There is no re-sit option for assignments 1, 2, and 3.
Retaking a passing grade
Retaking a passing grade is not possible for this course.
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2020 – 2021.
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.
Gordon Harvey, Writing with Sources, A Guide for Students, 3rd edition, November 2017, Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
Other reading materials for this course will be made available via Brightspace.
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.
The programme’s administration office will register all first year students for the first semester courses in uSis, the registration system of Leiden University.
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number, and tutorial group number.
Please use your University email-address (uMail) when communicating with any person or department within Leiden University.
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. Being absent will result in a lowering of the participation grade (determined by the weighted average of assignments 1, 2, and 3) with 0.5 for every absence after the first three (3) times.
Passing this course is an additional requirement for a positive Study Recommendation at the end of the year.