91763 Academic Writing


Course description

This is an elective course which focuses on writing skills associated with effective performance in the academic setting. The course will cover the mechanics of writing plus basic research and academic writing skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting, avoiding plagiarism, narrowing a topic, and developing a thesis statement. Special emphasis will be placed on cohesion, coherence, and common stylistic errors in academic writing. The writing practice will include the following techniques: developing ideas through a variety of brainstorming techniques; searching for appropriate literature and building up bibliography lists; establishing various means of support referring to organizing and writing research papers. You will be expected to use word processing, including spelling and grammar checkers, for writing rough drafts. To be a good writer, you have to read a lot, there will be a selection of papers for you to read, review and reflect on. An important part of the process will be feedback from classmates as well as from the instructor. The instructors will be on hand to give you ongoing support, encouragement, and advice. There is no final exam; evaluation of your work will be based on rubrics.

Overall objective

The goal of this class is to write an academic research paper in English and present it in the student conference.

Specific objectives

The course focuses on improving your skills in the following fields:

  • reading and comprehension of academic texts of different genres in English
  • common features and tendencies in the academic discourse
  • general academic English vocabulary
  • referencing techniques in writing: quoting, summarizing, paraphrasing
  • coherence and cohesion: linking words, hedging
  • main features and functions of abstracts
  • understanding the stages of the writing process
  • basics of APA Style
  • familiarity with dictionaries (monolingual, bilingual, collocational) and corpora (support writing tools)
  • academic honesty and copyright issues
  • presenting a paper

Course content


Course materials

Course materials

  • Bailey, S. (2006) Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. Routledge. London
  • Hartley, J. (2008) Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Handbook. Routledge. London
  • Jordan, R.R. (2003) Academic Writing Course: Study Skills in English. Longman. Essex
  • Seely, J. (2000). The Oxford Guide to Writing and Speaking. OUP.
  • Internet Resources and Guides

  • Purdue Online Writing Lab http://bit.ly/15kHAJy
  • Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education http://bit.ly/15kHNwb
  • University of Toronto: Writing Centre http://bit.ly/15kHRw3
  • University of Warwick: CAL http://bit.ly/15kHWjl
  • University of Manchester: Academic Phrasebank http://bit.ly/15kHXUm