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Key competences of academic writing

Last modified on 10-01-2024 12:48
As a student you often have to write texts. Academic writing is a skill you will develop during the course of your studies.
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Academic texts are subject to different, and generally more stringent, requirements than texts you produced at secondary school. With academic writing, it’s important that readers can always determine where information comes from. In addition, it must always be possible to check if you have used the information you have obtained correctly. This ensures that you avoid plagiarism, which is a serious offence in the academic world.

How to write an academic text?

The requirements for an academic text vary according to the degree programme or discipline. Generally speaking, the requirements can be found on Canvas. Set out below is a point-by-point list of what we expect from you in terms of your writing if you have received instruction in academic writing.

Dealing with feedback

Your written texts will always be assessed by one or more readers. This may be your lecturer, but it could also be a fellow student or an employer. A good text is rarely written in one go, it evolves over time. In other words, the text should be revised several times. Improve your text by incorporating the feedback you have received from others. Don’t take it as a personal insult if you receive critical comments about your text, rather be open to other people’s suggestions. 

Extra help with academic writing

Want help with or advice on writing or improving your academic texts? The UvA provides free opportunities for you to improve your writing skills in Dutch or English. See the page on help with academic writing.

Proficiency in Dutch

If you are having problems with language and/or writing because Dutch is not your mother tongue, for example, or is not the language that you speak at home, you can follow a course to improve your Dutch. Please contact the UvA’s Institute for Dutch Language EducationExternal link for help with this.