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Seminar: Thesis writing


Admission requirements

compulsory for second year students of the RESMAAS program.


In this course students report their fieldwork experiences and discuss their original project ideas in light of their findings during fieldwork. They systematize the data they have collected and reflect on their research methods. Step by step they are aided to start writing various sections and chapters of their thesis and bring in their draft versions for discussion in class. Comments will be provided both by instructors as well as by fellow students. Specific attention will be given to the structuring of arguments and the development of research questions on the basis of debates on the current state of research. This course does not interfere with the supervisory work of the (two) thesis supervisors, but is strictly complementary.

Course objectives

  • To train the students in academic writing and discussion

  • To engage in peer-reviewing and learn to exchange constructive criticism on each other’s work

  • To teach the students the discipline required for academic writing


African Studies research

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • The course comprises 5 EC and the total course load is thus 140 hrs

  • 28 hours of these will be spent attending class (2 hrs lecture x for 14 weeks)

  • 112 hrs to be spent on preparing sections of the thesis that the students present in class and on reading each other’s piece.

Assessment method

Analytical and writing skills evaluated on the basis of the draft papers, use of literature and level of engagement in the group discussion and in giving feedback.

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.


This course is supported by Blackboard. Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course. Please see:

Reading list



Enrollment through uSis for the course and the examination or paper is mandatory.


Mayke Kaag

Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies: Else van Dijk