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Academic Skills I Pre-Master


Admission requirements

A course for pre-master students of Humanities, focused on academic writing. It is compulsory for students of a number of pre-master programmes, a.o. European Union Studies and Media Studies: Film and Photographic Studies, as well as individual pre-master programmes. Extracurricular master and premaster students who want to improve their writing skills are also welcome if there is room in the groups. (Please contact the lecturer beforehand.)


A hands-on course in academic skills, viz.:

  • Research skills: evaluating sources, plagiarism prevention, argumentation structure;

  • Academic writing techniques: formulating a feasible research question, essay structure, academic writing style, referencing sources, giving and processing feedback.

  • Oral presentation skills: structuring a presentation.

The course is tailored to the needs of pre-master students with relatively little experience in academic research and writing at a Dutch university. A combination of explicit instruction and practical assignments will guide the students in their work on the course essay on the topic of their choice related to their study programme.

Course objectives

The main objective of the course is to prepare students for writing academic papers on the MA-level. On completion the student will be able to:

  • Select sources by means of digital tools (library cataloques, Google Scholar, WorldCat, Web of Science);• Evaluate sources with respect to scholarly quality and reliability, using library databases and internet tools (Ulrich’s, domaintools.com);

  • Recognize and construct various types of argumentation;

  • Formulate a viable and well-defined research question and relevant sub-questions;

  • Structure academic texts and oral presentations;

  • Present research results in a clear and well-argued manner, using an academic (writing) style and adequate referencing systems.


See the information on the EAV website . An overview of all sessions will be placed on Blackboard.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total: 140 hrs (5 EC)

  • attending classes: 22 hours

  • home assignments: 20 hours

  • preparation for the presentation: 6 hours

  • writing the final essay (including reading/research): 92 hours

Assessment method

  • Final essay ( 75 %)

  • Presentation on the topic of the essay ( 5%)

  • Tasks to be completed at home, as preparation for the presentation and the final essay (together 20%)


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the final essay grade must always be sufficient.


  • Final essay ( 100%)

Exam review

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 organized.


Blackboard is used for notifications, general course and schedule information, course material and submission of assignments.

Reading list

Materials will be placed on Blackboard and/or distributed in class.


Via uSis. Students for whom the course is obligatory have priority. Others can participate if there is place left in the groups. Please contact Dr. G.J. Rowicka.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. G.J. Rowicka