DET 102 G     Foundation Course for Foreign Languages I: Research Methods and Writing (5e)

This course is a compulsory course for students beginning studies at the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Iceland. This applies to students who have registered a foreign language as a major for 120 or 180 ECTS and undergraduate diploma. Minor changes to this course schedule are expected and we apologies for any inconvenience.

This is a foundation course in the Humanities for students of foreign languages. Its aims and purposes include an introduction to the basic concepts and terminology in the field, a survey of the history of critical thought and its relation to science and the Humanities, discussion on plagiarism and academic honesty, use of references, evaluation of academic standards, and deep and surface approaches to learning. Students will receive practical training in the compilation of references, the collection and presentation of data, and in the use of research tools, such as libraries, dictionaries and reference books. Students also engage in questions related to the writing of academic papers and presentation of research findings and will be asked to write one short essay on a topic related to course content (philosophy, critical thinking, linguistics, culture, literature, film).



Teaching is conducted through lectures small and large group discussions and in-class assignments. Instructors present on the given subjects and themes of the day and, where possible, provide scope for discussion of the assigned reading materials. The group discussion component is designed to give students the opportunity to address points of interest and perplexity and to sharpen critical reading and thinking skills through debate and exchange of ideas.

Aims and purposes

On completion of the course, students are expected to display the following knowledge, proficiency and skills:

  • The ability to understand the main issues in texts on objective and abstract subject matter
  • The ability to design research projects and write academic texts on a specific  research question
  • The ability to locate and use relevant resource material from libraries and the web
  • To engage in discussions as objective observers
  • The ability to present research findings in accordance with MLA/APA system of citation
  • Knowledge of the origins and development of critical thinking and its relationship to science
  • Knowledge of the meaning and use of concepts and terminology in the field of humanities
  • An understanding of a range of investigative methods, academic work ethics and research purposes
  • Comprehension of theoretical discussion on academic working methods