Academic Writing

The Academic Writing program is designed to reinforce essay composition skills and introduce students to the practice of writing for academic purposes. It will prepare students for work in high level English courses in which research writing is a requirement. It introduces basic research writing skills including: conducting research, note taking, paraphrase, summary, direct quotation, positioning, citations etc. The course will place equal or greater emphasis on macro-level composition skills such as: essay structure, paragraph structure, coherence, unity; and micro-level skills such as: sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, spelling and mechanics.

By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate and apply knowledge of basic essay structure, including introduction, body and conclusion; employ the various stages of the writing process, including pre-writing, writing and re-writing; employ descriptive, narrative and expository modes; demonstrate ability to write for an academic audience; demonstrate understanding of and apply the principles of effective paragraph structure; write concise sentences; use quotations, paraphrase and summary; introduce, position and integrate source material into the body of an essay; recognize and correct basic grammatical errors, specifically errors of subject/verb agreement, verb tense, pronoun agreement, usage of prepositions and articles; improve academic and idiomatic vocabulary; use socially appropriate language; read, analyse and respond to assigned readings with an understanding of structure and mechanics; identify effective writing techniques in his or her own work and in peer writing; evaluate sources for relevance and reliability; avoid plagiarism etc.

Course topics will include paragraph structure (topic sentence, supporting examples, transition words and phrases); basic rhetorical modes (narration, description, exposition); writing process (pre-writing, writing, re-writing); effective use of quotation, paraphrase and summary; stylistics (vocabulary, conciseness); correct paper formatting; grammar & mechanics as needed; reading and responding to assigned readings.

Method of instruction will be a balanced blend of lecture, discussion, in-class composition, peer-revision, assigned readings, computer-assisted instruction, independent reading, journal writing etc.

Types of assignments will include short papers, assigned readings, independent reading and class presentations.