Thesis and paper writing
When writing a thesis or paper you must make good use of the insights you have gained during your lectures and studies so far. You should also refer to relevant literature and carry out your own research on the topic.
One of the most important things you will learn during an academic study programme is how to write an interesting piece of work that meets the criteria of scientific quality, whilst also being accesible to the broader public.
Refer to our Study tips pages for more information on academic writing skills.
The criteria of the thesis are outlined in the faculty-wide regulation shown on the right side of this page. For both papers as well as thesis the rules on plagiarism and academic integrity apply.
Request for appointing thesis supervisor
The Board of Examiners is responsible for appointing a supervisor for the master’s thesis and the bachelor’s thesis
Every study programme has its own procedure for appointing supervisors. Please consult the course description of the master’s thesis or bachelor’s thesis in the e-prospectus.
Need help with your writing assignment? Come to the Writing Lab!
Want to discuss your academic writing assignment (final paper, paper or other) with a trained peer tutor? Book a free appointment at the Writing Lab.
Workshops and thesis events
The Writing Lab organises interactive, hands-on (and free!) workshops and thesis events every semester to help you improve your academic writing skills and/or make writing your thesis a success!
The 45-minute individual coaching session allows you to focus on exactly what you need or have questions about. Everything you discuss with your coach remains between you and the conversation can take place face-to-face or online. If you want, you can also send your writing coach a piece of text in advance, which you will then discuss together during the appointment.
Every semester, the Writing lab offers four interactive workshops:
- Basic skills in academic writing:
Goal paper, planning, structure, formulating research questions
- Creating a clear structure:
Clarity, coherence, paragraphs, main- and subquestions, text plan
- Develop an academic style:
Define style, techniques, formulation, sentence structure
- Keep on writing: becoming a disciplined writer:
Common challenges, planning, perfectionism, concentration issues
- Thesis kick-off:
Get a kickstart with your thesis. In two workshops, you will learn all about designing and planning your thesis.
- Thesis group:
Get to know other thesis writers in 4 weekly meetings, learn to plan better and exchange tips and experiences to stay productive.
- Thesis week:
For a week, you will write on your thesis every day from 09:00-17:00 under the guidance of the Writing Lab.
MA Thesis procedure
Students who have earned 20 EC (MA) or 70 EC (ResMA) can begin working on their theses. The thesis needs to be written under the supervision of a lecturer affiliated with the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.
1. Students write their MA thesis in the final semester of their Master’s. This can be either the first (autumn) or second (spring) semester of the academic year.
2. Before 15 February (spring semester) or 15 September (autumn semester), students need to have:
1) decided on a MA thesis subject and have written a proposal. Students fill out the digital form to submit their thesis proposals. NB: the subject needs to be based on one of your MA courses. Please indicated the related MA course.
2) approached a supervisor.
3. 15 February or 15 September at the latest, students fill out the digital form to submit their thesis proposals. NB: You do not have to approach a second reader yourself. Discuss with your supervisor who the second reader could be and include this name in the form.