HIST 6013 PhD Academic Writing Tutorial

Course Description: 

This is an elective course for doctoral candidates intended to foster academic research methods and writing skills that are hoped to enable the participants to actively engage with scholarly life and discourse as professionals. At this stage students are expected to work on developing a clear statement of dissertation topics, research questions, some description of methodology and primary and secondary sources, as well as a carefully prepared and maintained bibliography. Building on their work, whether previously written or currently under construction, the course is designed as a venue for each student to strengthen their academic writing skills by flagging recurring problems, polishing work written so far, and focusing on questions of structure and coherence. Across the six sessions, intensive seminar style classwork will be followed by customized and flexible consultations tailored to the individual needs of the enrolled students.  

The standards and requirements of the course will reflect the goal of communicating one’s research and intellectual work to the international scholarly community in high quality English prose. It is intended that the writing will focus on individual dissertations or works written for publication. Alongside intensive dissertation development, the course also serves as an introduction to professional activities such as writing and presenting conference papers.

This is a one-credit course, with sessions starting in the middle of the Fall Term, depending on the availability of participating students.


  1. From data to conclusions: research methodology, data management
  2. Paragraph power, signposting and structure
  3. Tutorials
Learning Outcomes: 

Learning outcome

Students who complete this course are expected to

  • strengthen their competence in writing, revising, rewriting and editing texts for various academic purposes
  • have a better understanding of or work towards their own epistemology and methodology
  • learn new ways of developing and expressing ideas
  • practice writing efficiently, clearly, and precisely according to the conventions of academic English
  • have improved data management and referencing skills

In addition, students will be encouraged to apply their skills outside the realm of their PhD project and learn to communicate their research and intellectual work to the international scholarly community in high quality English prose. The course, thus, provides an informal setting where students are welcome to share ideas about planning and undertaking professional activities such as writing for publication and presenting conference papers.


As both the classes and the tutorials are dedicated to working with texts already written, there are no written assignments for this course.

Students should be prepared to give a five-minute presentation of their work-in-progress in the first class, with special attention to their proposed methodology. Powerpoint or Prezi are optional.

Following the first seminar, each student is expected to submit a sample bibliography, as well as a piece of writing (already written as part of their thesis work or separate publication), that they wish to concentrate on in the tutorials (Classes 4-6, see course structure below). The written piece is limited to a 2000-2500 words, the bibliography should not exceed 20 items.