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Academic Skills II: The Academic Research Paper


Admission requirements

There are no additional requirements. Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History/Arts, Media and Society.
First-year students are registered and assigned to work groups by the Education Administration Office at the beginning of the year. Higher-year Art History/AMS students who wish to retake the course should contact the education coördinator.


This course provides the basics of how to conduct academic research and present the research outcomes in both verbal and written form. Students will research an art object through a close reading and critical assessment of the secondary literature, which they will find using the heuristic skills acquired during the Academic Skills I course. All relevant steps in doing research are covered: searching secondary literature, processing bibliographic references, writing a Status Quaestionis (current state of research), formulating a scholarly research question or thesis, organizing research materials, presenting the research outcomes verbally and in an academic research paper (including bibliography and footnotes according to the Chicago Manual of Style).

Course Objectives

  • Students acquire the skills for conducting academic research, as required for studying works of art, architecture and design on an academic level.

  • Students learn to write a critical assessment of the secondary literature regarding an art historical case study.

  • Students learn to find secondary literature relevant for their case study and learn to reflect critically on these publications, their use of sources and argumentation in order to answer their research question. Students learn to recognise different types of argumentation.

  • Students learn to formulate a relevant academic research question with regard to their case study and learn to formulate sub-questions.

  • Students learn to present their research before a group of their peers (7-8 min), with effective use of presentation techniques (PowerPoint).

  • Students learn to formulate constructive feedback in response to presentations and writings of fellow students and learn to give constructive comments.

  • Students learn to support an argument in a 2500-word paper (with a 10% margin), not including footnotes and bibliography.

  • Students learn to reference their primary sources and secondary literature according the Chicago Manual of Style.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar
    Important: attendance in seminar sessions and excursions is mandatory! In case of no-show, the tutor should be informed by e-mail about your absence and the reason prior to the actual seminar session. Moreover, this course cannot be successfully completed by students that were absent more than twice. Only in exceptional cases, the Examination Committee may consider the possibility of an additional or substitute assignment. See also the Course and Examination Regulations.

Assessment method


  • Partial exam 1: compiling an annotated bibliography.

  • Partial exam 2: writing assignment status quaestionis (current state of research) + research question with updated bibliography.

  • Partial exam 3: oral presentation.

  • Partial exam 4: academic research paper of 2500 words (with a 10% margin), not including footnotes and bibliography.

  • For some classes there are reading assignments which need to be prepared at home. These count as practical exercises and are compulsory.

  • Partial exams 1 to 3 count as practical exercises and are compulsory.

  • BrightSpace will be used for handing in the writing assignments (annotated bibliography, status quaestionis and academic research paper). Writing assignments handed in too late will not receive feedback and will count as a fail.
    On student request an assignment submitted too late at the first exam deadline may be assessed as a resit. Students are responsible for turning assignments in on time and need to take care they have access to the required systems.


  • Partial exams 1 to 3: pass or fail

  • Partial exam 4 (academic research paper): 100%

Additional requirement: all the partial exams must at least score either a pass or 6.0.


A resit/rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. The deadline for the rewrite for constituent assignment 1 will be after the mid-term exam week and will be announced on Brightspace. As far as applicable all other rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination. An alternative assignment can possibly be formulated as a resit for the oral presentation.

Inspection 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 organized.

Reading List

A reading list will be announced on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website



IMPORTANT NOTE: This course is part of the additional requirements regarding components that have to be completed for the first (positive) binding study advice. This means that the student should have passed this course in order to be able to continue in the programme. See the programme-specific part of the Course and Examination Regulations.
Passing this course is also required for admission to the following BA2 courses:

  • BA2 seminars

  • AMS on Site

Passing this course is also required for admission to the following BA2 courses:

  • BA2 seminars

  • AMS on Site