Start your writing assignment

After finishing his/her writing assignment the student is capable of independently:

  • Conducting literature research, using scientific secure literature databases (e.g. PubMed).
  • Using scientific literature and insights in a critical manner.
  • Summarizing literature using own words.
  • Integrating results and models of papers read into new models.
  • Formulating hypothesis for future research.

In order to assess whether the student has achieved these learning outcomes or to discuss the specific criteria on beforehand, the Rubric for writing assignments can be used.

Prior agreements
Please make agreements about copyrights (auteursrecht) with your supervisor in the application form when applying for the writing assignment.

Different ways to handle copyrights
Copyrights are always in the hands of the one who wrote the assignment and therefore belong to the student (unless agreed otherwise). When the supervisor or others use part of the data or texts from your work in their own publications, they need to follow the guidelines of scientific fairness. Your contribution may be acknowledged in different ways. Not only does this depend on the amount of data/texts used, but it also depends on the quality of your work and your level of independence during the project. You may be named in the acknowledgments, your report/writing assignment may be used as a literature reference or you may be asked to be a co-author for an article.

Some publishing companies might find your writing assignment online and offer you to publish your work in paperback form. We advise you not to accept this offer, as they will take away your intellectual property and publish your work for a very high price.

Any questions regarding these issues should be addressed to your supervisor or the head of the research group in which you are working.

The study load of a writing assignment is 7.5 EC, which corresponds to five weeks of full-time study. Your writing assignment should be completed within three months, from the first meeting with the supervisor to discuss the assignment until submission of the assignment.

A clear time schedule will help you to finish in timeDuring the first meeting with your supervisor, dates should be set for discussion of the writing plan, discussion of the first draft, and feedback on the final version. Fill out these dates on your application form. 

A writing assignment cannot be extended for more credits.

Exceeding the maximal duration
To request for a new end date, send an e-mail to your research project coordinator (Els van der Vlist for BMS students, Iris Caris - Dentener for students from the faculty of Science) with a document attached that includes:

  • A valid motivation for the delay. If your motivation contains matters of privacy an e-mail from your academic counsellor supporting your request will suffice;
  • A solid plan containing a time schedule and the new end date;
  • The document must be signed by your examiner.

The research project coordinator will inform you about the decision by email. 

Thing to consider before you hand in your writing assignment application:

  • Choose if you want to write a literature review or a research proposal.
  • Choose a writing assignment topic within the scope of your Master’s programme.
  • Choose a topic that is clearly distinct from the topic(s) of the research project(s).
  • Ask for approval from your programme coordinator and the Board of Examiners.

Together with your Master’s programme coordinator the Board of Examiners (BoE) assesses the quality and suitability of your writing assignment. This is done before the start of your the assignment. You can only start with your writing assignment after you have received approval from the BoE. This approval is sent in the form of an email by one of the research project coordinators

  • Use the General application form to ask for approval from the Board of Examiners.
  • Hand in the application form at the Master’s Administration Office at least 20 working days before the start of your writing assignment. 
  • Only typed and printed (so no handwritten) forms will be accepted.

External writing assignments, at non-university institutes or abroad, require signing of an additional contract, the GSLS Internship contract. More information about external writing assignments is available here.

For more information and guidelines:

Furthermore, the UU library offers online backgrounds and trainings about the use of search engines, for instance:

There are also general guidelines for writing a scientific paper: