Minor English: Writing 2

Course code:
Period 2
Language of tuition:
Faculty of Humanities
dr. G.A. Dreschler
dr. G.A. Dreschler
dr. G.A. Dreschler
Teaching method(s):
Lecture, Seminar

Course objective

After successful completion of the course students will feel confident
that they can write a bachelor dissertation in English and embark on a
Master's degree where English is the language of tuition. In terms of
the Common European Framework of Reference [CEFR] you will be at level
B2 for linguistic accuracy and at the high end of B2 for relevant
communicative competence. Specifically, the course aims to help students
• getting more practice in writing formal, academic English;
• developing reading skills which will allow them to note linguistic and
structural features of relevant academic text types in their own
• gaining insight into how specific linguistic structures can contribute
to text coherence and text cohesion;
• acquiring greater knowledge of the stylistic and rhetorical aspects of
written formal texts;
• getting greater insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their
English writing skills, and knowledge of how to further develop
strengths and reduce weaknesses.

Course content

The main aim of this course is to further develop your writing skills in
English. For this course we focus on your position as a writer in the
academic world, i.e. as someone who is engaged in academic discourse.
This means that you need to be aware of appropriate structures at
sentence level as well as at text level, of ways of using language to
refer to other writers, and of ways of using academic language
effectively. The emphasis in this course is on (a) gaining more insight
into the language and style of your own academic discipline, (b)
improving coherence, compactness and readability, and (c) expanding your
grammatical repertoire.

Form of tuition

2 hrs per week lecture; 2 hrs per week seminar.

Type of assessment

There are three assignments for this course: a short comparative essay
(30%), two short papers on linguistic and stylistic features of academic
texts in your own discipline (15% each), plus a paper of 2000 words on a
subject related to your study (40% of the mark). In order to pass the
course, you need a 5.5 minimum for each component

Course reading

Hannay, M. & J.L. Mackenzie (2009). Effective Writing in English. 2nd
edition. Bussum: Coutinho.
Separate materials available via Canvas.

Entry requirements

Students must have either (a) completed an introductory academic English
course earlier in their university studies or (b) already completed
Minor English: Grammar and Writing 1.

Target audience

Bachelor and premaster students across the university who want to
improve their written English in an academic context, with the exception
of students of CIW who are following the specialization in English and
International Communication.


Attendance is obligatory (80% minimum). If you miss more classes, you
may still be allowed to finish the course if you submit an alternative
assignment, but only if you’ve attended 70% of the classes.

© Copyright VU University Amsterdam
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