SDP406 Academic writing and publishing

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Timothy Kevin Richardson

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:Maximum 14

Course frequency:Annually in January block or spring semester

Nominal workload:

Five full days of workshops including lectures, seminars, group and individual work (30 hours). One tutorial (1-2 hours). In addition, 94 hrs of preparation, reading and independent work, including course assignments.

Indicative programme:

Requirements before the course:

1. Participants must submit a draft of an article, book or thesis chapter they would like to work on during the course period. The text should be intended to be part of the PhD thesis. The draft should be accompanied by an abstract, and a short statement about the stage the writing has reached, together with details of the name and website for the target journal. The draft paper must be submitted in Canvas one week before the course. It is emphasised that this text can be at any stage of preparation, from earliest drafts to those in the editorial process with academic journals. We will focus on the texts in different ways during the course, analysing, giving feedback, and carrying out exercises to improve them.

Note on language: It is preferred that an English language text is submitted, but if this is not possible then a text in Norwegian can be used as the basis for the course activities. Please contact the course leader, Tim Richardson, if you wish to do this.

2. Preparatory reading: Participants should read all the abstracts submitted for the course. Some background reading is also required, as identified in the course reading list.

3. Participants will be allocated papers to analyse and give feedback to fellow participants, as critical friends.

Main course block

Day 1

Introduction: ourselves as writers

Barriers to writing and good writing practices

Principles of critical reading and self-critical writing

Writing strategies

Day 2

Analysing texts

Giving feedback as critical friends

Writing with style

Day 3

Editing text

Preparing papers for submission

Day 4

What do the editors expect? How do reviewers review?

The peer-reviewed system

Experiences of submitting papers to academic journals

Course reflections

Follow up work

After the first course block, participants are expected to carry out further work developing their paper, and will complete a writing diary during this period, to encourage reflection on their writing experience.

Redrafted papers and writing diaries are submitted before the final session.

Follow up course block: Day 5

Feedback session, to review progress on the papers and discuss reflections on academic writing.

Teaching and exam period:

In 2024, the course will run as a three day teaching block in February and a two day teaching block in March.

Monday 12 February - Wednesday 14 February 2024

Monday 18 March - Tuesday 19 March 2024

Assignments will be carrried out in the two weeks before the first block, in between the two blocks, and after the second block until the final assessment deadline of 28 April 2023.

About this course

Intended audience:

This course is primarily targeted at early stage PhD candidates at LANDSAM, who intend to either publish in peer-reviewed academic journals as part of their PhD, or write a monograph thesis. It may also be relevant for those at later stages in their PhD studies.

Course description:

With a point of departure in a current writing project, the course examines the most challenging aspects of scholarly writing and publishing. The personal and contextual aspects of becoming an academic writer are considered, and effective writing strategies and practices are addressed. Basic principles for critical reading and self-critical writing are introduced. The course uses exercises, presentations, and critical feedback to analyse, discuss, and work to improve the participant´s texts. Processes of academic publishing are introduced, and academics will present and discuss their experiences of submitting papers to journals within the peer-review system. The course is delivered in two blocks, allowing an opportunity for reflection and feedback on further drafts of the papers.

Learning outcome

Participants will develop their competences in academic writing and publishing. They will better understand the nature and challenges of academic writing, and be able to:

  • critically assess the merits of academic texts
  • apply principles of self-critical writing
  • develop effective writing practices
  • navigate the challenges of the peer-review system
  • identify and manage ethical challenges arising in academic writing
  • The course follows an interactive workshop format, with lectures, full group and small group discussions and exercises, working with a partner, self study, and an individual tutorial.
  • Teacher-led seminars. Workshop based supervision and feedback from teachers and fellow students. Individual tutorials will take place between the two course blocks.
  • Enrolled as PhD candidate
  • The course will be assessed based on the following: active participation during the course including completion of assignments; progress on the student's own paper; and the completion of a reflective writing diary.

    Submission date for course assessment: 27 April 2024

  • The external censor will read and assess all submitted course materials.
  • 80 % attendance in the course days, and completion of assignments. Attendance at an individual tutorial with the course leader.
  • PhD candidates enrolled at the Department of Landscape and Society.
  • Complete overlap with ILP406
  • Participants must be part of a PhD programme