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JS Afstudeer Seminar (PEIR 2)


Admission requirements

Students must have passed BA3 Cluster Seminar in the first semester.


This course is designed to assist students in the production of their BA thesis, and to improve students’ related capacities in the reading, analysis, and discussion of Japanese language texts. It is conducted in weekly sessions, with an even distribution of academic content and language portions in terms of time, weight, and assessments. There will in principle be at least one seminar for each content “cluster” (LL, MACH, PEIR, SC), with the “content” portion of each taught by an instructor from each respective cluster, and the language portion taught by instructor(s) from the language section. Having already identified a BA thesis topic and conducted preliminary research in the autumn, students are required to complete the bulk of their BA thesis research (including locating and reading at least one Japanese language source) and post an outline of their BA thesis before the first class meeting. The first two meetings (1-2) are “content” sessions devoted to discussion and mutual feedback on these outlines (students are required to post feedback on one another’s work on Blackboard); the subsequent three sessions (3-5) are “language” sessions in which students will work on creating a wiki article related to their thesis; in sessions 6-7 (“content”) they will make work-in-progress presentations and give/receive mutual feedback on draft thesis chapter(s) submitted on Blackboard before session 6, which include a literature review; in sessions 8-10 (“language”) they will conduct a discussion on each wiki article and take part in a vocabulary quiz; the final two sessions (11-12), which take place after the submission of their BA thesis first draft, are devoted to mutual discussion and feedback on these drafts (including Blackboard posts).

Course objectives

  • “Content” Component
    The completion of a successful BA thesis on the basis of instruction on effective writing strategies, discussion and making of outlines, chapters, and a complete thesis rough draft in a logical order, and the giving and receiving of constructive peer feedback.

  • “Language” Component
    1) Learning vocabulary and academic expressions on a topic related to each student’s thesis.
    2) Participating in Q&A activities on academic topics.
    3) Commenting on short academic texts in Japanese.
    4) Writing a summary of thesis in Japanese.


See timetable.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • Total course load: 5EC = 140 hours

  • Hours spent on course attendance (2 hours x 13 weeks) = 26 hours

  • Hours for thesis-composition related study: approx. 57 hours comprised of:

    • Thesis outline, chapter, and rough draft preparation/revision = 39 hours
    • Peer review/Blackboard postings = 18 hours
  • Hours for language study: approx. 57 hours comprised of:

    • Identification and isolation of Japanese-language thesis-related source = 5 hours
    • Preparation of course readings = 10 hours
    • Quiz preparation = 12 hours
    • Writing Wiki articles, comments= 20 hours
    • Preparation of class discussion= 10 hours

Assessment method

Grading in all BA3 afstudeerseminars is divided 50/50 between the “content” component and the “language” component. The final grade is calculated in as ‘weighted average’ (‘gewogen gemiddelde’), and not based on passing all the components. Please, note that the participation rule applies to both components of this course. Student who miss more than 30% of classes without any proof of extenuating circumastances will automaticall fail this seminar.

  • “Content” Component

    • Participation: 50% (incl. attendance, in-class presentations, in-class participation)
    • Written Assignments: 50% (incl. thesis outline, literature review)
  • “Language” Component

    • Wikipedia article 60%
    • Comments on Wikipedia articles 10%
    • Discussion (=participation) 10%
    • Vocabulary Quiz 20%

Students who end up with an average grade of both components which falls lower than 6 can submit an abstract of their thesis in Japanese. This will be counted as a resit of the entire course. It is possible for students to submit this abstract until December 10, which is the deadline of re-submitting their theses (if they failed to meet the June 1 deadline).


Active submission of assignments and peer review via Blackboard is an essential aspect of the course.

Reading list

To be announced in class.


By assignment: clusters decide on thesis supervisor/seminar instructor.


Dr. Saori Shibata