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
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: winter s.:written
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:0/2, MC [HT]
Capacity: unknown / 30 (unknown)
Min. number of students: unlimited
4EU+: no
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
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: MA et MA Sean Mark Miller
Teacher(s): MA et MA Sean Mark Miller
Class: Courses for incoming students
Examination dates   WS schedule   Noticeboard   
The purpose of this course is to help graduate students (MA and PhD candidates) develop skills necessary for setting up an effective research design, writing a proposal, and articulating their research 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 (this may be an essay, but generally anticipates discussing your own research)

· design the outline of research paper

· evaluate peers’ proposals and research papers

The emphasis will be on qualitative research methods which is usually underfunded.
Last update: Miller Sean Mark, MA et MA (03.08.2023)

Compulsory literature

Ellison, C. (2010), McGraw-Hill's concise guide to writing research papers, McGraw-Hill.

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

Writing for Sociology (WFS), Department of Sociology, Berkeley.


Recommended literature

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Last update: Miller Sean Mark, MA et MA (03.08.2023)
Requirements to the exam

Final essay:

2500 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: Miller Sean Mark, MA et MA (03.08.2023)

1. Introduction

2. Sociological research paradigms

3. Choosing a project (changes to this are ONLY with teacher's approval, so you should already have an idea at the beginning of the term, based on your own research in the social sciences)

4. Starting to draft

5. Types of research

6. Writing a good paper I

7. Writing a good paper II

8. Literature review

10. Other people’s work and feedback

11. Proper citation and plagiarism

12. Summary and presentations (you present your research to the class in December and then complete the paper in the exam term)


Last update: Miller Sean Mark, MA et MA (03.08.2023)