SubjectsSubjects(version: 873)
Course, academic year 2020/2021
Academic Writing - JSM103
Title: Academic Writing
Czech title: Akademické psaní
Guaranteed by: Department of Sociology (23-KS)
Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences
Actual: from 2019
Semester: winter
Points: 6
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: winter s.:written
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/2 MC [hours/week]
Capacity: unknown / 30 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
priority enrollment if the course is part of the study plan
Guarantor: Sean Mark Miller
Teacher(s): Sean Mark Miller
Examination dates   Schedule   Noticeboard   
Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (26.11.2019)
The purpose of this course is to help graduate students develop skills necessary for setting up an effective research design, writing a proposal, and articulate findings in writing. The objectives include both the enhancement of students’ analytical and critical skills and their writing capabilities. This is a hands-on course in which students are expected to put in practice the principles and guidelines they read about in the texts assigned and that we discuss in class.

By the end of the semester students will be able to:

· understand a writing assignment

· draft a literature review

· design research questions

· match research questions to the right method

· design a schedule of research activities

· draft a proposal

· design the outline of research paper

· evaluate peers’ proposals and research papers

The emphasis will be on qualitative research methods which is usually underfunded.
Requirements to the exam
Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (26.11.2019)

Final essay:

2000 words + minimum of 5 scholarly references

Topic: any relevant topic in the social sciences, feasible for a short essay

Course Requirements:

·         Attend all classes

·         Complete all (homework) assignments

·         Complete all readings

·         Participate in class discussion

·         Complete a research proposal or a research paper by the end of the exam period

·         Meet with professor at least once during the semester


Evaluative scheme final papers

1. Introduction and topic choice


- Has an abstract been provided?

- Is the introduction well-written: research question, state-of-the-art, outline paper, new insights, personal views?

- Have the 5 stages been correctly used in the introduction?

- Is the topic relevant for the course; is it a useful topic for further analysis?



2. Argumentation


- Is the argument supported by convincing observations, evidence?

- Is the argument well-structured?

- Is the methodology well-explained?



3. Conclusions


- Do the conclusions reflect the overall argument?

- Are personal views provided?

- What is the social relevance of the argument?



4. References


- Have a sufficient number of relevant scholarly sources (5) been included and used?

- Are the references correct and comprehensive?



5. Language


- Is the paper well-written and readable?

- Is grammar correctly used, does the paper contain typos and similar errors?




>90%: excellent (1)

76 - 89%: very good (2)

62 – 75%: good (3)

< 62%: failed (4)




Last update: doc. Mgr. Martin Hájek, Ph.D. (03.12.2019)



Class 1: Introduction

-          Outline writing course

-          Discussion of objectives and activities

-          What does it mean to write a good quality paper or proposal?



            Ellison, chapter 1.



Class 2: Sociological research paradigms

-          The importance of research questions

-          Research paradigms



Guba, Egon G., and Yvonna S. Lincoln (1994), ‘Competing paradigms in qualitative research’, in: Handbook of qualitative research 2, pp. 163-194.


Reading excerpt:

Fuchs, Dieter, and Hans-Dieter Klingemann. "Eastward enlargement of the European Union and the identity of Europe." West European Politics 25.2 (2002): 19-54.



Class 3: Choosing a project

-          Different types of writings

-          What is a research paper



WFS, chapter 1.


Reading excerpt:

Nash, Kate. "Human rights, movements and law: On not researching legitimacy." Sociology 46.5 (2012): 797-812.


Class 4: Starting to draft

-          Critical reading

-          Problem formulation

-          Drafting an outline

-          How to gather materials



WFS, chapters 2 and 3.


Reading excerpt:

Smith, Joe, Tomáš Kostelecký, and Petr Jehlička (2015), ‘Quietly does it: Questioning assumptions about class, sustainability and consumption’, Geoforum.



Class 5: Types of research

-          Methodologies

-          Hypothesis formulation

-          Matching research questions with methodology



Ellison, chapters 2, 3 and 4.


Reading excerpt:

Castiglione, D. et al. (2008), Handbook of social capital, Oxford University Press; Chapter 13, M. Fennema and J. Tillie, ‘Social Capital in Multicultural Societies’.



Class 6: Writing a good paper I

-          Three elements: clear introduction, argument, conclusions

-          Making a convincing argument



Ellison, chapter 5

WFS, chapter 5.


Reading excerpt:

Favell, Adrian. Eurostars and Eurocities: Free Moving Urban Professionals in an Integrating Europe. (2008), Wiley.



Class 7: Writing a good paper II

-          Revising your paper

-          Submitting the work



Ellison, chapters 6 and 7

WFS, chapter 5.


Reading excerpt:

Crouch, Colin. Post-Democracy Polity (2004).




Class 8: Literature review

-          How to gather literature

-          How to use literature


Reading excerpt:

Delanty, Gerard. "Conceptions of Europe: a review of recent trends." European journal of social theory 6.4 (2003): 471-488.



Class 10: Other people’s work and feedback

-          Your argument and the usage of other people’s argument

-          Using feedback



Ellison, chapter 8



Class 11: Proper citation and plagiarism

-          Avoiding improper usage of other people’s work



WFS, chapter 6.


Reading excerpt:

chapter 'EU Democratic Oversight and Domestic Deviation from the Rule of Law: Sociological Reflections', in: C. Closa and D. Kochenov (eds), Reinforcing the Rule of Law Oversight in the European Union, Cambridge University Press.


Class 12: Summary and presentations

-          Discussion writing process

-          Discussion final drafts






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