Academic Writing

You can’t get around having to write essays and assignments for your workgroups and seminars, but you can maximise your grade by paying attention to formatting, proper citation and other tips and tricks that you can read here.



Usually, the basic format that you will be asked to follow will be:

  • Font: Times New Roman
  • Font size: 12
  • Line spacing: 1.5
  • Margin: 2.54cm (on all sides)

You will always receive explicit instructions from your mentor or lecturer on the formatting expected of you.



It is important to cite correctly and accurately in order to avoid committing plagiarism!

The Institute of Political Science at Leiden University follows the American Psychological Association (APA) citation format for referencing and citation.

Here you can find a handy guide to APA referencing and citation.*


Extensions and Help

Should you be struggling with an assignment and need some extra help or an extension there are possibilities to arrange these things. You just have to know who to ask!

If you need an extension on your work, your first point of contact is your course instructor or professor. Their contact information can be found in the course syllabus.

If you need general academic help, contact your study advisor, or talk to your workgroup instructors.

*Disclaimer: This guide was designed for the course “Introduction to International Relations”. This means that the way APA is to be used in other courses (or even the same course next year), is wholly dependent on what the co-ordinator(s) of the course(s) choose to use. This guide is by no means a guarantee for correct APA! It is designed to help students in a specific series of courses, not to provide a definitive overview.