Minor English: Grammar and Writing I

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Minor English: Grammar and Writing I

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Creative Writing, English

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Objective

    After successfully completing this course you will have knowledge of and insight into the language which typifies academic writing in English and into English requirements of text structure, as well as into how these aspects are different from other languages. You have knowledge of and insight into the most important aspects of English grammar, particularly those which typically cause students problems when writing formal English.

    You will also be able to write a well-structured English text in a formal style about a subject related to your own study programme, free of serious lexical and grammatical error which would have an adverse effect on the readability of the text. You will have greater insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your English writing skills, and knowledge of how to further develop your strengths and reduce your weaknesses.

    Course Content

    The course consists of a writing and a grammar component. In the writing component of the course the emphasis is on (a) identifying the paragraph structures, sentence structures and kind of language used across a range of academic texts in all kinds of disciplines, and (b) getting to grips with the basic problems involved in writing good, formal English (e.g. differences between English and Dutch/other languages, the essentials of English punctuation, formal style). The grammar component consists of a practical introduction to basic aspects of the grammar of contemporary English, with special attention for the problems that students typically have when writing formal English.

    Additional Information Teaching Methods

    For the writing component: 1 hr per week lecture; 2 hrs per week seminar.
    For the grammar component: 1 hr per week lecture; 2 hrs per week seminar.

    Method of Assessment

    (i) a series of of writing assignments on a subject related to the student's own discipline (50%); (ii) a multiple choice computer test on grammar (50%).

    In order to pass the course, you need a 5.5 minimum for each component.


    For the writing component: Hannay, M. & J.L. Mackenzie (2017). Effective Writing in English. 3rd edition. Bussum: Coutinho.
    Materials for the grammar component will be announced at a later stage.
    Additional materials will be made available on Canvas.

    Additional Information Target Audience

    Bachelor students across the university who want to improve their written English in an academic context; the course is not open for students who have done academic English in their academic core. The course is part of the Minor Engels/Minor in English but can also be followed separately.

    Additional Information

    Attendance is obligatory (80% minimum). If you miss more classes, you may still be allowed to finish the course if you submit an alternative
    assignment, but only if you’ve attended 70% of the classes.

    Note that this is an English writing course rather than simply a writing skills course. The assumption is that participants have already successfully completed an academic skills course in their first or second year of university study.

    Recommended background knowledge

    At least one year of university study, including experience in writing academic text; premaster students may also follow this course as long as they have completed an academic skills course.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.