Writing resources

These resources should be regarded as general advice. Please remember to check with academic regulations, department guidelines and your supervisor.

Short cuts: Do you want to

  • get started on your BA- or Master’s thesis? Try Scribo
  • focus on building a solid academic argument in your text? Read chapter 3 in The Craft of Research
  • get some ideas for manageable writing activities and tasks? Try the activities from The Good Paper
  • read the best material available on how to work your way towards a good research question? Read chapter 2 in The Craft of Research
  • not get stuck when you write? Try the interactive freewriting exercise from Studypedia
  • improve your academic language? Try working with the Six Principles of Clear, Cohesive, and Coherent Writing

The Good Paper

The Good Paper – a handbook for writing papers in higher education

Rienecker, L. & P. S.  Jørgensen, Samfundslitteratur, 2013

A handbook for students writing papers where they need to formulate a research question and find relevant literature on their own (BA- and Master’s theses and other research papers). The book is an adapted version of the Danish book Den Gode Opgave, aimed at international students studying in Denmark. The book contains chapters on finding a research question, locating and using sources, the structure and elements of a paper, argumentation, clear academic language, as well as the writing process. The book contains many examples from real university papers from multiple disciplines.

The publisher’s webpage for the book contains a free downloadable set of activities (pdf), including tools to plan a work schedule for writing a paper (p. 12) and inspiration regarding what parts of your paper you can start writing on the first day (p. 4).

Studypedia

Studypedia

The Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media, Arts, Aarhus University

The Study Metro is a web resource that provides information and tools for writing academic papers. It is structured in lines/themes, and especially relevant for writing papers are the sections on academic papers and writing an academic paper.

It is an English version of the Danish Studypedia and is aimed at international students studying in Denmark (originally in Arts, but students use the site across faculties and universities).

The Craft of Research

The Craft of Research

Booth, W.C., G. G. Colomb, & J. M. Williams.  University of Chicago Press, 2008

This handbook is an international classic on research writing and is suitable for students writing BA- and Master’s theses. The Craft of Research covers all aspects of writing a research paper in a clear, thorough and straightforward manner.

Especially recommended is chapter 2 on what steps to follow to find a good research question, as well as  chapter 3 that explains, in detail, how to build a solid academic argument. The publisher’s website contains the full table of contents of the book.

LSE Tool Kit

LSE Study Tool Kit

Teaching and Learning Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science

This web resource contains a section on “Making convincing arguments in essays” that is relevant when writing an academic paper. It provides guidance on how to develop the ability to engage in critical analysis, a key element in research papers.

Scribo

Scribo - a research question and literature search tool

Rienecker, L. & G. Bay, Samfundslitteratur, 2014

An interactive on-line tool designed to assist students with writing a research paper, focusing on the importance of the research question and the role of finding and using sources. With a dialogue of 28 questions, Scribo offers a step-by-step approach to help you process your initial ideas and work towards structuring your work.  Scribo draws on models known from the textbook The Good Paper (see above) and contains examples of real papers (e.g. from Economics & Business Administration and Financial Planning).

Using Scribo can be a helpful way to prepare for meetings with your supervisor and research librarians. It is especially useful in helping students begin the process of writing a BA- or Master’s thesis.

Stop plagiarism

Stop plagiarism

The Danish Research Library Association's Forum for Library User Education, University of Southern Denmark, University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University & Roskilde University

Many students are concerned about the risk of plagiarizing unintentionally, and do not feel familiar with the rules governing plagiarism and academic integrity. This web tutorial can help students learn how to use sources correctly and provide sufficient documentation in written assignments.

Guidelines for students' collection of data

During the political /social science degree programmes, the students will carry out a large number of studies e.g. in the form of surveys or interviews. A crucial part of the degree programmes is that the students are able to collect their own data. However, it is also important that the need for collecting data is assessed, and that all studies are conducted in accordance with good research practice and comply with the applicable rules in the field. Students are responsible for their own data collection, but these guidelines specify the demands posed by the department in this connection.

1. Proportionality in the data collection. Overall the department’s researchers and students conduct a high number of surveys and other types of data collection. For that reason, it is important that the scope of the proposed studies is proportional with their purpose. Students must also consider the possibility of using existing data material instead of collecting new data. The proportionality assessment must also take into account the amount of time that the respondent group would have to spend in relation to what they would gain from the planned dissemination of the study. The proportionality principle must be interpreted more narrowly in relation to the students’ use of questionnaires. In any case, students should avoid distributing of a high number of questionnaires.

2. Information about the sender. The accompanying text must explicitly state who is conducting the study and in what connection the results will be used. The text must also include the sender’s contact information. It must also be stated that the data is collected for a student assignment. Students may not use the university or department logo when collecting data.

3. Facts about the study. There must be a clear description of the study’s academic purpose. Participants must also be made aware of the overarching question(s) that the study aims to answer. It is important that there is a clear connection between this description and the questions posed.

4. Correct language. As the study will reflect back at the department, the students must use correct and polite language in all written correspondence.

5. Information on data handling. Before the study, students should always consider how to handle the data, and this must be explicitly stated in the invitation. If the study is conducted under complete anonymity, it must under no circumstances be possible to couple the participants’ identity with their answers; not even by the students conducting the study. If you state that the data will be only be used in anonymous form, it must not be possible for anyone (other than those conducting the study) to identify the participants; for example, by linking answers to different questions.

6. Compliance with rules. Naturally, each study must comply with the applicable rules, including the rules on the protection of personal data (GDPR). The students are obligated to familiarise themselves with the website of the Danish Data Protection Agency: https://www.datatilsynet.dk/generelt-om-databeskyttelse/. The students are also obligated to comply with Aarhus University’s guidelines on GDPR for students: studerende.au.dk/it-support/informationssikkerhed/databeskyttelse-gdpr/opgaver/ 

7. The students must discuss all of the relevant considerations for the assignment with their supervisor.