Academic Writing: From Scientific Paper to a PhD Thesis


Course level
Master, PhD candidates and professionals from all disciplines
Session 2
11 January to 18 January 2020 
Coordinating lecturer                                      Jaan Kets (PhD candidate VU/ section SBI)
Other lecturers
Thi Thuy An Vo (PhD candidate VU)
Form(s) of instructionLectures and practical programming sessions
Form(s) of assessmentinteractive seminars and workgroups
ECTS2 credits
Contact hours15 hours (5 days, 3 hours)
Tuition fee

€800 - non-VU students and staff

€500 - VU students and staff

This course will run over a course of  5 days. We will have 3-hours interactive seminars in the morning and workgroup sessions in the afternoon. The first seminar covers engagement in academic conversations and the writing process, including different ways of writing targeting varied audiences. Seminar two will cover part 1 of the Graf & Birkenstein book. In seminar three you will learn three different ways to respond to what “they” say and how to distinguish what you say from what they say. The seminar will also reinforce your counter-arguments and generally develop your argumentation skills on a sample piece of writing that you bring with you for practice. Seminar four is dedicated to answer the question: “So what?” and how to write an introduction. In seminar 5 you learn to tie it all together and include the story telling element.

You will do this by actively reading the course material and discussing the provided example papers. During the seminars you will also do different writing exercises of which one is for instance a 10-minute free writing exercise. In the workgroup sessions you will apply what you have learned in the morning to your own written work. This means that you will for instance create your own ‘database’ of favorite academic English phrases, hammer out your argument, outline your own work and write an introduction to your own work.  

Bring your own written work to the seminar and read the Introduction and part 1 of the book by Graf & Birkenstein.
At the end of this course you will
•    Recognize and apply the moves that matter in academic writing
•    Structure a clear line of argumentation
•    Be able to tell your own story
•    Understand the phases in the writing process
•    Write an attractive abstract and introduction
•    Gain useful tips for writing skills.

Graf & Birkenstein, (2018), They say, I say, the moves that matter in academic writing, W. W. Norton & Company; Fourth edition.
Belle Rose Ragins, (2012), Reflections on the craft of clear writing, The Academy of Management Review, 37(4) 493-501
Grant & Pollock, (2011), Setting the hook, The Academy of Management Journal, 54 (5) 873-879
Pollock & Bono (2013), Being Scheherazade: the importance of story telling in academic writing, The Academy of Management Journal, 56 (3): 629-634
Patriotta, G., (2017), Crafting papers for publications: novelty and convention in academic writing, Journal of Management Studies, 54 (5).
Wallwork (2016), English for writing scientific papers

Jaan Kets is a lecturer in International Marketing at the Hanze UAS Groningen and a PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She holds a master degree in French Linguistics and Literature from the University of Groningen and a master degree in Business Administration from the UK. The main focus of her PhD research with the group Science Business & Innovation (VUAmsterdam) involves studies on the development of dynamic capabilities (technological innovation & internationalisation) in innovation eco-systems. Her work has been presented at R&D conferences in Milaan and Paris.

Quote: "There is no better teacher for writing than reading" (Alisa Valdes)

Thi Thuy An Vo is a research assistant at Worms University of Applied Sciences in Germany and a PhD candidate at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She holds her Master degree in Transport Management in Belgium. Her PhD research is about pricing strategy in the air transportation.

Quote: "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" (Alber Einstein)