Course

PhD Critical Writing Skills (Online)

Would you like to learn how to support your arguments more effectively? As an academic researcher, you are increasingly required to engage with peers online and skilfully use language to establish your perspective. This is especially important in the current era where your work is read in multimedia contexts by a diverse intercultural range of fellow researchers all over the world.

For this reason, the Language Centre offers: Critical Writing Online, introduction and advanced level. These courses are conducted entirely online and targeted at PhD and Postdoctoral candidates. They complement the learning processes of the other scientific writing courses by reviewing the basics of effective academic writing. In addition, emphasis is placed on using language more effectively in order to develop your ‘academic voice’ so that you can become a competent commentator in your field of research. 

For available times for the courses below please see the course dates and registration form. The registration form shows the currently available groups.

Quick links:

For Academic Writing Courses go to PhD Writing Skills

For an overview of the English Academic Skills programme go to Communication in Scientific English

Critical Writing Skills Online (Introduction) for PhD and Postdoctoral Candidates

This course (code: PhD-1 Critical) consists of eight, 60-minute, teacher-led weekly webinars conducted synchronously. You will be guided through the process of developing the skills to write more clearly and concisely; importance will be placed on developing awareness of your reader. This course facilitates self-reflection by introducing you to a variety of tools that can be used to evaluate your own writing. You will put theory into practice by submitting your own short texts to an experienced academic writing tutor who will analyse your writing samples and provide you with individual feedback. This is an interactive process: each session includes quizzes based on writing submitted by course participants. This will enable you to develop an understanding of your recurrent errors and become competent at editing your own work.

 

Course content includes:

  • Readability: writing with your target reader in mind
  • Cohesion: using language to create and connect your ideas
  • Structuring your text
  • Essential grammar
  • Writing critically about previous research
  • Making an argument: generalizing and qualifying

Compulsory element

You are kindly requested to submit a short, written description of your own research, such as an abstract or short summary of your work (preferably work-in-progress, maximum 1000 words).

Course requirement

You must attend 6 out of 8 sessions to receive the course certificate upon completion.

Tutor: Christina Markanastasakis

Please register using our online registration form. The registration form shows the actual available groups. Course code: PHD-1 Critical.

‘The reason why I chose the Language Centre was because the course was an online one. Each session contained a variety of activities such as theory, examples and quizzes. It turned out to be a very stimulating and positive experience, not in the least because of the input of an enthusiastic mediator. The course is for different levels of PhD’s, novice as well as more experienced. I am confident this course helps me to further improve my academic writing skills!’

Marlies Schillings | PhD candidate and Teacher Bewegingswetenschappen | Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

Critical Writing Skills Online (Advanced) for PhD and Postdoctoral Candidates

Flexibility is at the forefront in the design of this course (code: PdD-2 Critical). For this reason, we have removed the synchronous nature of teacher-led webinars held at fixed times. This consequently enables you to follow the course at your convenience within a *12-week period. A live webinar is held at the course start to welcome you and explain the course format. Subsequently, you decide when to submit papers to other group members and agree on a convenient time for the peer review session; the tutor facilitates these sessions. The discussion forum provides an interactive online environment for peer review via asynchronous messaging. This means you can receive feedback on your own writing from the other group members, as well as post your own feedback on their writing. The interactive nature of the forum maximizes the feedback opportunities, which enables you to engage more deeply with the writing process. The tutor observes participant interaction throughout, and may provide webinars on any recurrent writing issues that arise during observation. You can arrange two short private consultations with the tutor during the course in order to seek more detailed feedback.

* course duration may vary depending on the number of participants enrolled

Course content includes:

  • 6 writing samples to be graded by tutor
  • Discussion with other participants via the dedicated forum; exchange of papers for peer review
  • Peer review sessions with classmates facilitated by the tutor
  • Welcome webinar
  • Additional webinars (tbc) with theory based on recurrent errors in submissions
  • Opportunity to get individual feedback from the tutor via a private consultation

Admission requirements

To enrol in this course, you need to have successfully completed *Critical Writing Online (Introduction).

*known as PhD-1 Critical

Compulsory element

You are kindly requested to submit a short, written description of your own research such as an abstract or summary of your work (preferably work-in-progress, maximum 1000 words).

Course requirement

You must submit at least 6 writing samples to your tutor and participate in all peer review sessions.

Please register using our online registration form. The registration form shows the actual available groups. Course code: PHD-2 Critical.

Admission requirements and Certificate

The course is open to all PhD candidates at Maastricht University and from other universities.

For PhDs with an UM or azM contract working at one of the FHML departments, and to external PhD candidates registered at FHML with a personnel number, a UM or AZM contract and UM email address.

You should:

  • have a Maastricht University email address (to be able to access the course material);
  • have a good robust internet connection;
  • be motivated to participate fully in the course (presence at every session and submission of homework).

Please note, to enrol in Critical Writing Skills (Advanced), you need to have successfully completed *Critical Writing Online (Introduction).

Certificate

You will receive ECTS and a certificate upon completion of the course. This course (PhD Online-1 and 2) is considered to be worth 1.5 ECTS. To obtain these credits included on your degree certificate, you must submit a request to your Board of Examiners. Whether these credits are granted depends on faculty policy.

Fees

Online course: € 450

For FHML PhD candidates who are registered as PhD candidate at HR and in PhD TRACK of one of the Schools, MaCSBIO, M4I or MERLN and are registered in PhD TRACK, please provide your personnel number (700....) in the subscription form. The costs will be paid by the Faculty. If you are not registered, the Language Centre will send you an invoice directly. Please note that registration is an agreement to pay.