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Language Acquisition 6: Academic Writing in Theory and Practice


Admission requirements

A pass for Language Acquisition 2: From Sratch to Print (or an equivalent introductory course on academic writing).


Language Acquisition 6: 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 two short academic papers (1000 words), which are peer-reviewed by two of their fellow students in short meetings with the instructor. 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 and understanding of theories on academic writing and the ability to apply these theories.


The timetable is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

  • One 45-minute lecture until Reading Week. The evening students follow these lectures online (weblectures).

  • One weekly 45-minute seminar.

  • Reading list.

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours, allocated as follows:

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 20 hours.

  • Studying the compulsory literature: 30 hours.

  • Preparing for tutorials and the test and essay-writing (including reading/research): 90 hours.

Assessment method

  • Written test (closed questions and essay questions) during Reading Week: 30%

  • Essay at the end of the course: 50%

  • Peer-review and course participation: 20%

To pass the course, students need to obtain a 6.0 pass for the essay. Failed components can only be retaken if the final mark is 5.0 or lower. The peer-review and participation component cannot be retaken.

During the course, students have to hand in all assignments in Blackboard on the deadlines. Students who do not meet this requirement are automatically excluded from further participation and should contact the Board of Examiners. Unauthorized absence will mean that students cannot sit the relevant test(s).


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

Reading list

Language Acquisition 6: Academic writing in theory and practice: Reading materials will be available from Blackboard.
Swan, M. (2005). Practical English Usage. Oxford: Oford university press.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. Please note that students other than BA English language and culture studies will have to have permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

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Student administration Van Eyckhof