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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 example (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: 55h
Preparing oral presentation: 35 hours

Assessment method

During the course, there are 4 assignments:

  1. An Abstract & peer reviews of abstracts (30%)
  2. A Research Proposal & peer reviews of proposals (40%)
  3. An Oral Presentation & peer reviews of presentations (30%)
    The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Only insufficient assignments can be sat again; and maximally one of the assignments may be sat again (Dutch ‘herkanst’).

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 will be used to share literature and to submit assignments

Reading list

Readings will be distributed during the course.


This course is only for students of the ResMA Linguistics.

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Prof. dr. M.A.F. Klamer

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk


This course is only for students of the ResMA Linguistics.