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Topics in Linguistics B: Academic Skills for Linguists


Admission requirements

This course is intended for Research Master students in Linguistics who are taking their pre-final (or final) semester. First-year ResMA students who want to take the course may only be admitted after permission by the study-coordinator.


This course provides a training in three skills that every researcher needs:

  • How to write a successful conference abstract,

  • How to write a research proposal (e.g. to apply for a PhD position),

  • How to do an excellent oral presentation.

During the course, we analyze various types of abstracts, research proposals and presentations — both good and bad —, and apply the insights thus gained in practical individual assignments and peer-reviews of each other’s work. The course will be taught by experienced, senior staff members. You will be asked to bring your own research topic to work on; for example the topic of your thesis.

Course outline (may be subject to change)
1. Abstracts: good & bad practices; analyze and comment
2. Proposals: good & bad practices; analyze and comment Bring topic for (thesis) proposal; Hand in Abstract
3. Abstracts: discuss, peer-review, assess
4. Presentations: good & bad practices; analyze and comment Bibliographical references, proper citations, plagiarism Hand in Reseach Proposal
5. Research Proposals: discuss, peer-review, assess
6. 2/3 of the Presentations (5 mins each plus 2 questions); General feedback at end of class
7. 1/3 of the Presentations; Final wrap-up

Course objectives

In this course, students learn to

  • critically evaluate each other’s work as peer-reviewers

  • write a coherent and convincing conference abstract and research proposal

  • prepare and present a clear and attractive oral presentation about their research

  • take into account the philosophy and ethics of linguistic research

  • relate the results of their research to the existing literature

  • formulate clear research questions, hypotheses and proposed analyses in correct English


Linguistics Research

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total time: 140 hours (5 ECTS)
Of which:
Classes: 14h
Preparation of courses; reading compulsory literature: 72h
Preparing abstract: 16h
Preparing research proposal and peer reviews: 50h
Preparing oral presentation: 40 hours

Assessment method

During the course, there are 4 assignments:
1. An Abstract (25%)
2. A Research Proposal (25%)
3. An Oral Presentation (25%)
4. Peer-reviews (25%).

Maximally one of these assignments may be sat again (Dutch ‘herkanst’).


Blackboard will be used for:

  • course information and course documents

Reading list



Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15.
All other students should contact the Coordinator of Studies*

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Prospective students, please check the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply.


Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats:

*Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk