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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 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. There is an option for doing joint presentations and hence, those interested in this option should come prepared with a topic they can present jointly with someone else.

Course outline example (may be subject to change)

Class Class topic & Assignments

1 Presentations: good & bad practices; analyze and comment Bibliographical references, proper citations, plagiarism
2 Student presentations
3 Abstracts: good & bad practices; analyze and comment
4 Research Proposals: good & bad practices; analyze and comment * Hand in your Abstract using Turn it in * Bring topic for your (thesis) Proposal to class
5 Abstracts: discuss, peer-review, assess * Hand in peer reviews of the abstracts using Turn it in * Bring peer reviews to class
6 NO CLASS * Hand in your Research Proposal using Turn it in
7 Research Proposals: discuss, peer-review, assess * Hand in peer reviews of the research proposals using Turn it in * Bring peer reviews to class

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 academic English


Linguistics (research) (MA)

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total time: 140 hours (5 ECTS)
Of which:
Classes: 14h
Preparation of classes and reading literature: 72h
Preparing abstract: 16h
Preparing research proposal and peer reviews: 55h
Preparing oral presentation: 35 hours

Assessment method

During the course, there are 3 assignments:
1. An Abstract & Peer reviews of abstracts
2. A Research Proposal & Peer reviews of proposals
3. An Oral Presentation & Peer reviews of presentations

Peer reviews are part of the overall assignment.

The final grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of 3 grades: Abstract (30%), Research Proposal (40%), Oral presentation (30%).

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


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website


Prof. Dr. M.A.F. Klamer

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mailaddress Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies