Scientific essay

During this assignment, students have to write a 'scientific essay' in which they can prove their acquired knowledge and understanding in the field of gerontology substantiated with scientific literature. At the same time, students can practice and show their ability to write an English text in high-level formulations. The students should formulate their personal view and give a well-reasoned opinion on a subject in gerontology substantiated with scientific literature, in a maximum of 5000 words. An essay can be seen as a well-argued view on a certain debate or discussion. An essay should thus be around a debate or a question that as of yet has no clear answer or of which the answer is contentious. It should contain a considerate and convincing argument and the student should formulate a convincing, considerate own position in the debate or in respect to the question outlined.

The students will learn to decide a point they want to make and put it into a text that is clearly written.
The students will be assessed for their ability to:

  • Think creatively, reason lucidly and express ideas with clarity.
  •  Define complex problems and establish the objectives of any document.
  • Assess their ideas and recognise their relative importance.
  •  Structure their reasoning into a coherent and transparent argument.
  • Analyse their argument to confirm its effectiveness.


  • During the course 'writing scientific English' a student will submit a proposal for an essay topic with a motivation containing the relevance and interest in the topic chosen (handing in the fourth week, to the tutors).
  •  The student is appointed one of the core faculty members as a tutor for the essay (in the fifth week) based on the topic chosen.
  • After being appointed a tutor the student hands in a more elaborate structure plan of the essay containing an outline with keywords or key argu-mentation lines. In agreement with the tutor a deadline is set for the draft version. The tutor will discuss the outline with the student and gives approval for writing (after possible revisions).
  • A student can ask for an additional tutor for reasons of scientific relevance, e.g. another faculty member or external expert is more familiar with the topic chosen. This person then acts as a second tutor following the procedures as set out in the regulations for the tutor.
  • A student can request consultation in the following weeks in which the student writes the essay. The consultations take place in agreement with the tutor.
  • The student will hand in the essay after the winter closure.
  • The tutor reviews the essay and another core faculty member will do an independent review of the work. If a second tutor is involved, this second tutor will also review the work.
  •  The tutor(s) and second core faculty member will all grade the essay, and will motivate their opinion. If grades differ significantly (more than 0.5 point) then a meeting of the members will take place to discuss. If the tutors can not reach an agreement the Board of Examiners is called upon to seek a solution.
  •  Note that in case a tutor can not fulfil his/her tasks a replacement tutor must be found among the core academic faculty members. This replacement tutor is found in agreement with the involved student and other faculty members.

Period: Trimester 1, 7 September 2015-1 January 2016
ECTS credits: 3