Academic Writing

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

The seminar is intended as training for the preparation of academic texts, i.e. oral and written presentations that are both for the academic and the general public. In a more narrow sense, the course will prepare students for their final student projects - course papers but also their MA thesis. The course will prepare the students for a competent and creative approach toward the conceptualization, realization and dissemination of a text, and for a sensible choice of materials to support their text. The student will be introduced to different approaches to articulating scientific texts with respect to a chosen discipline and to how to navigate among these. The course will offer students concrete tools for preparation of their texts, help them finetune critical reception of academic writing and it will give them the ability to assume a critical viewpoint on academic writing.


No prior knowledge is required. The course draws indirectly on all other courses and specifically on the Research Work course.


In one semester, the course will introduce students to the basics of academic writing. Each included topic will be introduced by a lecture, but at its core, the course consists in student work, that is, in students both preparing their materials (abstracts, papers, talks etc.) and working on assigned materials, as well as discussion of these works and materials. The course covers four overall topics:

-types of scientific text, their form and how to choose from among them;
- conceptualizing a scientific paper (in relation to a discipline);
- conceptualizing of a bigger and individualized project (more concretely, their MA thesis);
- relating scientific writing to the general public.

Within these topics, the students will also be introduced to the choice of the appropriate platform for publication, the choice of the language of the publication, the tools that they can need to prepare their texts (e.g. LaTeX), the choice and formation of the gracic material that they can use and, what is most important, the significance of academic writing.

We will look at a range of tools that facilitate and organize writing: tools that allow a smooth start (free writing, clustering); tools that help to crystallize arguments (outlining, summarizing, progressive condensing); planning tools (outlining, breaking down the task into steps) and tools that allow a smooth and predictable progression (writing in progressive layers, constructive feedback). We will also address questions about writing techniques, style and conventions (disciplinary or domain-specific).

Intended learning outcomes

Students will learn how to prepare (different types) of abstracts for scientific conferences, scientific papers (from finding the sources to organizing the text), the preparation and realization of talks and the choice of an appropriate way of presenting data. Students will start understanding the choice of sources, language and the appropriate platform for publication of their works, the needs of their readers and the adjustment of the presented content to these needs.


  • Aberšek, Boris in Kordigel Aberšek, Metka. 2019. Znanstveno pisanje. Maribor. Univerzitetna založba Univerze. E-version
  • Bailey, Stephen. 2014. Academic writing: A handbook for international students. Routledge.
  • Fang, Zhihui. 2005. Scientific literacy: A systemic functional linguistics perspective. Science education 89.2: 335-347. E-version
  • Badley, Graham Francis. 2020. Why and how academics write. Qualitative Inquiry 26.3-4: 247-256. E-version
  • Mark de Vos, Maxine Schaefer, Ian Siebörger. 2019. A Guide to Academic Writing in Linguistics. Department of English Language and Linguistics, Rhodes University.
  • Macaulay, Monica. 2011. Surviving Linguistics: A Guide for Graduate Students. Cascadilla Press. Catalogue
  • Pinker, Steven. 2014. Why academics stink at writing. The chronicle of higher education 61.5.1–18. E-version
  • Articles from various foreign and domestic journals related to the contents of individual courses; i.e. Jezik in slovstvo Catalogue E-version, Slavistična revija Catalogue E- version, Linguistic Inquiry Catalogue E- version E- version, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory E-version etc.


Homeworks 30 %
Active in-class participation 20 %
Submitting and presenting a written product 50 %
Obligatory attendance (80%)

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rok Žaucer is Lecturer in Linguistics at the School of Humanities and the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Nova Gorica. His main research areas are morphology and syntax, mainly on data from Slovene, but he also occasionally focuses on the interface between language and other cognitive abilities, sociolinguistics and language counselling. At the University of Nova Gorica, he has also taught related subjects for several years, in the Slovenian Language III - Linguistics Seminar course at the first cycle of the Slovenian Studies programme, and in the Seminar Workshop I and Seminar Workshop II courses at the third cycle of the Cognitive Science of Language programme.

Selection of articles:
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok, SAKSIDA, Amanda, SULLIVAN, Jessica, SKORDOS, Dimitrios, WANG, Yiqiao, BARNER, David. Do children derive exact meanings pragmatically? : evidence from a dual morphology language. Cognition 207, [COBISS.SI-ID 42393347],
SCHNEIDER, Rose M., SULLIVAN, Jessica, MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok, BISWAS, Priyanka, MIŠMAŠ, Petra, PLESNIČAR, Vesna, BARNER, David. Do children use language structure to discover the recursive rules of counting?. Cognitive psychology, 117. [COBISS.SI-ID 5520635]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. Investigation of Slovenian copular agreement. V: FRANKS, Steven, TIMBERLAKE, Alan, WIETECKA, Anna W (ur.) Selected proceedings of the 14th meeting of the Slavic linguistics society : in honor of Peter Kosta. Berlin [etc.]: Peter Lang, 2021. Str. 141-170. [COBISS.SI-ID 95704579]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. Dual in Slovenian. V: HOFFHER, Patricia Cabredo (ur.). The Oxford handbook of grammatical number. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Str. 428-444. [COBISS.SI-ID 72925187]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, MIŠMAŠ, Petra, ŽAUCER, Rok. Zakaj velika okrogla rdeča čestitka in ne rdeča velika okrogla čestitka? : poskus razlage nezaznamovane stave pridevnikov. V: KRAJNC IVIČ, Mira (ur.), ŽELE, Andreja (ur.). Pogled v jezik in iz jezika : Adi Vidovič Muha ob jubileju. Maribor: Univerzitetna založba, 2020. Str. 103-115. [COBISS.SI-ID 21145603]