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Language Acquisition 6: Academic Writing in Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

A pass for Language Acquisition 1 (or an equivalent introductory course on academic writing).


Academic Writing in Theory and Practice builds on the first-year writing and grammar course. In the first half of the course we will deal with topics in academic writing that were not or not fully dealt with in the first year, such as argumentation, clause grammar, cohesion, hedging, and paragraph development. The theory will be applied to short writing and editing assignments, which we will discuss in tutorial. Furthermore, students will be given guidelines on how to review each other’s work.

In the second half of the course, students will further perfect their editing skills. They will also cooperate in pairs to write three short academic papers (1000 words), which are peer-reviewed by two of their fellow students in short oral presentations. The student-authors then use the feed-back obtained from these peer reviews to rewrite one of the papers into a 2000-word academic essay.

Course objectives

  • ability to write academic essays at CEF-level C1

  • ability to edit and peer review academic texts

  • knowledge of theories on academic writing and the ability to apply these theories


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

  • 45-minute lectures until Reading Week

  • 45-minute seminars

  • reading list

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • hours spent on attending lectures and seminars: 9

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 30

  • time to prepare for tutorials/the exam and/or write a paper (including reading/research): 101

Assessment method

  • written test: questions and editing test (30%);

  • oral and written presentations (20%);

  • essay (50%).

  • the essay grade should be sufficient (6.0) in order to be able to complete the course.

If the final grade is 5 or less students may only resit the insufficient course component(s). Students may not resit the participation component.

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

  • Bolt, A. & Bruins, W. (2012). Effective scientific writing: An advanced learner’s guide to better English. Amsterdam: VU University Press.

  • Swan, M. (2005). Practical English usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Language Acquisition 6: Academic writing in theory and practice. [Texts available via Blackboard]


Enrollement trough uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact details

English Language and Culture student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.