Academic Writing for International Relations

Course Description: 


The aim of this course is to help you develop as a writer within the English speaking academic community by raising awareness of, practising, and reflecting upon the conventions of written texts. The course will also address other language skills needed for graduate level work in English.


During the course, you will:

• Become familiar with features of various academic texts

• Learn to use the discourse patterns and conventions of academic English effectively, taking into consideration the expectations of your readership

• Improve your critical reading skills, so you can think and write more clearly and incisively

• Develop your writing process through generating ideas, drafting, peer evaluation and individual writing consultations

• Learn to incorporate the work of other authors into your own writing within the requirements of English academic practice


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

• Identify the typical components and features of various academic and policy genres

• Structure an academic paper and a policy brief at the macro and micro level

• Think and write more clearly and incisively

• Employ effective skills and approaches when writing papers

• Properly incorporate the work of other authors into your own writing, and understand the CEU policy on plagiarism

• Edit and refine your own written work


The course is for Pass/Fail. The first five sessions of the course are mandatory for all MA students. These sessions prepare you to write a short assignment on two related texts, known as a ‘position paper’. All students must submit a position paper (see below) and come for at least one consultation on this assignment.

Those students who have had prior academic writing training and who would like to be exempted from the remaining sessions of the course may request exemption based on the assessment of their position paper. This exemption applies to the next six sessions of the course, but not to the ‘Introduction to the thesis’ session which will be held in December. If exempted from the course, you must attend at least two individual writing consultations (see below) on papers submitted to the department. Those who complete the full course are required to attend at least one consultation on a departmental assignment. All students who complete all required elements of the course or are granted exemption will receive two credits, awarded in the winter semester.