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Help with academic writing

Last modified on 31-07-2022
If you want help or advice to improve your academic writing skills, the UvA offers free options to do so in both English and Dutch.
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If you would like to know what academic writing entails, find out more about the criteria that an academic text must meet.

Getting started yourself

Language tips

If you need help writing your Dutch text quickly, visit www.taalwinkel.nlExternal link, where you can find plenty of information on grammar, spelling and style. You can also find information on referencing and plagiarism. For tips on academic writing in English, visit the Purdue Online Writing LabExternal link.

MOOC: Better writing in higher education

The UvA has developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)External link that you can take autonomously to improve your writing skills.

  • Videos, examples and assignments teach you how to write a well-structured text without mistakes in the right style. You can also take individual modules separately.
  • Once you have successfully completed 80% of the modules, you will receive a certificate.
  • The MOOC is only available in Dutch.

Professional support

Individual support

The Writing CentreExternal link offers free individual support with writing a paper, report, essay or thesis. The Writing Centre makes use of writing tutors. These are senior students who can write well and have been trained to give assistance.

  • You will receive one-on-one support from a tutor to help you write a specific piece.
  • Attention will be paid to clear formulation, a proper structure, academic writing style and correct spelling.
  • You can make a maximum of three appointments per writing assignment and hand in about 1,500 words each time.
  • For help with writing in Dutch, visit the SchrijfcentrumExternal link.
    For help with writing in English, visit the Writing CentreExternal link.

Workshops

A workshop from the Writing CentreExternal link will help you improve your general academic writing skills.

  • A workshop will tackle one specific subject, such as spelling.
  • You will not work on writing an essay or report in a workshop. If you specifically want help with this, you should opt for individual support.
  • Workshops are taught online and last 2.5 hours.
  • For help with writing in Dutch, visit the SchrijfcentrumExternal link.
    For workshops on writing in English, visit the Writing CentreExternal link.

Better Writing course

Take the Better Writing courseExternal link to receive intensive support with improving your academic writing skills in all respects.

  • You will learn to optimise the structure of a text, improve your writing style and prevent grammatical mistakes.
  • The course lasts six weeks, with two hours of lessons per week and two hours of self-study.
  • If you are taking a Dutch-language degree programme, visit the SchrijfcentrumExternal link.
    If you are taking an English-language degree programme, go to the Writing CentreExternal link.
  • If you are not a native speaker of Dutch and you want to learn to write better Dutch, take the Better Writing NT2External link course.

Thesis Week

The Writing CentreExternal link regularly organises Thesis WeeksExternal link. It does not matter what phase of your degree programme you are in or whether you want help with starting your research or suggestions to improve your thesis or part of it.

  • A writing tutor will host interactive group meetings every day for a week.
  • You can make individual appointments in the Thesis Week and receive specific goals to work towards.
  • Thesis Weeks are organised throughout the year. Registration will open two weeks before the start of the Thesis Week.
  • If you are writing your thesis in Dutch, visit the SchrijfcentrumExternal link.
    If you are writing your thesis in English, visit the Writing CentreExternal link.