Academic Publication and Presentation in the Social Sciences - 4 ECTS

This course offers advanced instruction in the skills needed to successfully write and present an academic research paper, as well as in professionalization for an academic career more generally. Lessons will address the various stages of paper writing (outlines, abstracts, literature reviews, overall structure, writing style and strategies, submission for publication), conversion of papers into conference presentations; and understanding the academic career and job market. This course will focus specifically on writing in the social sciences and humanities, which have their particular structures and expectations commonly distinct from most natural science fields.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Mon 18 February 2019 until Thu 14 March 2019

Duration Registration deadline: Friday 4 February 2019
Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201
Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN Wageningen


To receive course credit participants should attend at 6 out of the 8 sessions (but can certainly do more). Some sessions are considered mandatory, as designated below, while others are optional.

Session 1 - The Art of the Abstract (Mandatory)

Writing a good abstract for an article or conference presentation is an important yet underappreciated academic skill. In this session we’ll discuss techniques for how to do this well.

Session 2 - Understanding the Publishing Landscape (Mandatory)

Loehle, Craig. 1990. A Guide to Increased Creativity in Research--Inspiration or Perspiration? Bioscience (40)2: 123-129.

Session 3 - The Literature Review (Mandatory)

Taylor, Dena. nd. “The Literature Review: A Few tips on Conducting It.” University of Toronto.

Bernard, H. Russell. 2004. “The Literature Search.” Pp. 96-108 in Research Methods in Anthropology: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 4th Edition. New York: Altamira Press.

Becker, Howard S. 2008. “Terrorized by the Literature.” Pp. 136-149 in Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. 2nd Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Session 4 - Outlining your Article/Dissertation (Optional)

This session will address how to create a detailed outline to guide the writing process of an article as a component of an overall dissertation or thesis project

Session 5 - Writing I; Strategy (Optional)

Becker, Howard S. 2008. “One Right Way.” Pp. 43-67 in Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. 2nd Edition.  Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Emerson, Robert, Fretz, Rachel & Shaw, Linda (2005) Chapter Four: Writing Up Fieldnotes II: Scenes on the Page. Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press. Pp. 66-107.

Session 6 - Writing II; Execution (Optional)

Becker, Howard S. 2008. “Freshman English for Graduate Students” and “Persona and Authority.” Pp. 1-25 and 26-42 in Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. 2nd Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Orwell, George. 1946. “Politics and the English Language.” Reprint.

Session 7 - Presentations (Optional)

This session will offer strategies and tips for effective academic conference presentations

Session 8 - Presentation Boot Camp (Mandatory)

In this final session students will do mock presentations of a research paper for feedback from instructors and peers  


Session 1 18-2-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 2 21-2-2018 13:00-16:00
Session 3 25-2-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 4 28-2-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 5 04-3-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 6 07-3-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 7 11-3-2019 13:00-16:00
Session 8 14-3-2019 13:00-16:00

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course, participants are expected to be able to:

1.     Develop a quality research paper for academic peer review

2.     Deliver a research paper in conference presentation format

3.     Demonstrate command of the academic publishing landscape


-  Mock conference presentation – to assess skill in translating papers into oral delivery

-  Final paper – submission of publication quality research paper   


Target group and min/max number of participants

This course is intended for PhD and advanced research master students; 10 min/25 max participants

Assumed prior knowledge

Msc. Social science; advanced qualitative research methods; having completed a substantial research period and ready to write up results

Course fee 

WASS, PE&RC and WIMEK/SENSE PhDs with TSP € 300
a) All other PhD candidates b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools € 600
All others € 900

NB: for some courses, PhD candidates from other WUR graduate schools with a TSP are also entitled to a reduced fee. Please consult your Education/PhD Programme Coordinator for more information

Cancellation conditions:

The participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course.

The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.