ANTH4020 – Academic Writing and Project Development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

A central part of your MA in Social Anthropology will be your own anthropological research project. You will conduct fieldwork in an area and on a theme of your own choosing. In this course we work on the practical aspects of developing your own research project. We will work on your initial ideas and transform them into a proper project design by developing research questions, conducting literature review of previous research in your field, and developing methodological tools that enable you to produce data that can answer your research questions. We also discuss the ethical issues relevant to your research project. Along the way, we will work on your writing skills and fine-tune your ability to cite relevant scholarly work, thereby enabling you to write better and critically assess academic writings. The course will run in parallel with ANTH4010 – Advanced Anthropological Theory and ANTH4030 – Advanced Anthropological Methods, and you will work specifically on integrating insights from these courses into your own project. Through this course you will:

  • Design a project description for your own fieldwork
  • Relate your anthropological knowledge gained through your BA and other MA courses to a specific research project
  • Relate your own research project to existing thematic and regional knowledge
  • Discuss the potential ethical challenges in your project
  • Improve your writing skills
  • Prepare for your own anthropological fieldwork

Learning outcome


  • Understanding the different elements of a well-designed research project and how they relate to each other
  • Appreciating how theory and methods are related and how they come together in specific research projects
  • Reflecting on the ethical challenges raised by different theoretical and methodological research designs
  • Understanding how academic writing is done in practice


  • Designing a qualitative research project with a relevant research question and an appropriate methodological design that is ethically feasible
  • Gaining overview of the state of the art of a research field you want to explore
  • Analysing ethical challenges with different research designs
  • Presenting qualitative research designs in written and oral forms

General competence

  • Respect for scientific values such as accountability, transparency and correct citation practices
  • Ethical awareness regarding qualitative research and the use of research results
  • Ability to analyse the relations between theory and method with reference to specific research projects


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is not available for single course students.


3- hour teaching blocks with a combination of lectures and in-class group discussions moderated by the lecturer.

Compulsory elements: Group oral presentation on a chosen monograph and a mid-term submission of a summary paper of approx. 500 words about the research project. 

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Compulsory elements:

  • Group oral presentation on a chosen monograph.
  • Summary paper of approx. 500 words about the research project. The paper is submitted midterm.

Oral presentation and summary paper will be assessed as ‘Approved/Not approved.’

Students must have their oral presentation and summary paper approved in order to sit for the exam.  


  • 3500 words research proposal submitted in Inspera at the end of the semester.

Previous exams

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your research proposal in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

After you have received your grade you may ask for an explanation of the assessment of your performance. You can also submit an appeal against your grades for all written examinations. It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.

See also our information about complaints about formal exam errors.

Resit an examination

If you are ill or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, you can apply for an extended submission deadline or for a postponed examination later the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language