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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


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

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’).

Reading list



Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


Prof. Dr. M.A.F. Klamer

Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

Coordinator of Studies


not applicable