Course title: Academic Writing
Instructor: Dr. Alexander D. Hoyt, senior lector (lecturer in foreign languages)
ECTS credits: 5
Semester: 1st (winter)
Enrollment requirements: enrollment in the first semester.
Course description: 4 hours of seminar-type instruction per week. Students will be introduced to, and required to write, various types of texts: personal letters, business letters, argumentative essays and research papers. Their research papers will be based on their own research. The students’ research will be supervised during weekly tutorials. The students and instructors will also communicate via e-mail.
Objectives: developing students’ writing skills; initiating students into research work.
Course requirements: the final mark will be formed on the basis of the students’ grades on a personal essay (20%), an argumentative essay (20%), a five-page research paper (40%), and participation, including attendance in class and individual sessions, during the semester (20%).
Week by week schedule:
There are two sessions (90 minutes) per week
1) Introduction to the course. Writing personal letters. The instructor collects and reads them.
2) The instructor’s comments on the students’ personal letters. Introduction to the writing of business letters. Homework: writing a business letter.
3) Group work: students read their peers’ business letters.
The instructor gives comments and advice.
4) Group work: writing business letters to various institutions. Groups exchange their work, read one another’s letters, compare, comment and discuss.
5) Introduction to the writing of personal essays. Discussing ways of writing and various topics. Homework: writing a personal essay and sending it to the instructor by e-mail (a limited number of words required).
6) The instructor brings photocopies of the students’ personal essays to class. The students read their peers’ essays, after which they compare their impressions and interventions in the texts with those of their peers and their instructor.
7) Introduction to the writing of argumentative essays. Discussing possible topics.
Starting to write an argumentative essay in class.
Homework: finishing it and sending it to the instructor. The number of words is limited.
8) The students read their peers’ argumentative essays (the instructor gives them photocopies). Comments and discussion follow. Homework: writing another argumentative essay and sending it to the instructor.
Sessions 9) and 10) – individual work with each student – discussing the above-mentioned argumentative essays.
11) The whole class discusses the final versions of the students’ argumentative essays (the instructor has sent all the essays to all the students so that they can read them).
Homework: read a number of research papers provided by the instructor.
12) Discussion about the research papers – the topics they cover, their structure and style. Introduction to writing research papers. Suggesting possible topics for research. Introducing the MLA Style and the Chicago Manual of Style.
Homework: students have to think of a topic for their own research.
13) The instructor meets with half of the group and they discuss the students’ ideas concerning their research.
14) The instructor meets with the other half of the group and they discuss the students’ ideas concerning their research.
Sessions 15 through 23 are organised as tutorials where the instructor will supervise the students’ research and, consequently, their research paper. Upon the completion of the final versions of the students’ research papers, the instructor will put them on the internet platform ‘Omega’, so that the students can read one another’s work.
Sessions 24, 25 and 26 will serve as tutorials where the instructor will help the students prepare for the students’ conference. Sessions 27, 28 and 29 will be used for the conference where the students will present their papers. Each paper will be followed by a short discussion.. The instructor will try to create a friendly and motivating atmosphere of cooperation.
1) Strunk, William and E.B. White (2000). The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. Needham Heights, Massachusetts: A Pearson Education Company
2) Ede, Lisa (2001). Work in Progress (A Guide to Academic Writing and Revising), Fifth edition. Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s
3) Gibaldi, Joseph (2003). MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, sixth edition. New York: The Modern Language Association of America
Former course title: Writing skills