Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Academic Writing

Course summary

Course code: ENGL1110
Level: 0
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Literature, Language and Theatre
Course Coordinator(s): Robert Tsukada Bright

Specification

Pre and co requisites

None.

Aims

To develop students’ academic writing skills; specifically:
1. understanding the range of citation options and their purposes
2. the skills of paraphrasing and summarising to synthesise material from a range of sources
3. the effective deployment of argumentation skills in academic writing
4. understanding the features and roles of description, analysis, synthesis and evaluation in academic writing
5. understanding the structure of essays and reports and their component parts
6. knowledge of academic language and lexis needed to make informed decisions with regard to style and register in academic texts

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 develop effective strategies for avoiding plagiarism
2 deploy effective summarising and paraphrasing skills within the context of an academic essay
3 begin to apply argumentation skills to academic writing, including establishing one’s own opinion, building a logical, coherent and well-structured argument around this and using evidence to back up an argument
4 work with increasing independence on a writing assignment to produce final text that draws appropriately on primary and secondary sources and allows the student’s own authorial voice to emerge
5 understand the structure of the essay and the component parts that go to make up the whole and develop awareness of writing as a process, including planning, researching, drafting and editing
6 produce a coherent piece of writing which features appropriate awareness of a range of academic conventions such as appropriate style, register, genre and referencing techniques

Indicative content

• Analysing the logic of a texts: working together to recognise the main purpose of a
text; identifying key information and concepts; differentiating fact from opinion. Produce
their own text, which is similarly logical
• Selecting and adopting successful reading strategies to cope with the academic task:
skimming, scanning, gist reading, intensive reading
• Exploring academic writing conventions: the bibliography and citation in order
to understand the different purposes of citation for building up a coherent argument
• Developing effective summarising and paraphrasing skills to operate alongside
citational choices in order to build an effective strategy for avoiding plagiarism
• Understanding that writing is a process which has to progress through a number of stages before completing the final version. Exploring the purpose of each stage in leading to the final product.
• Structuring the argument around the question and using evidence to back up an argument by developing the skills of establishing an independent viewpoint whilst also acknowledging an established viewpoint.
• Developing an individual research project on a subject of the student’s choice. Formulating an appropriate research question within the topic, carrying out on-line and book-based research, planning, drafting, writing and editing the assignment for submission as the final course assessment
• Ensuring the text has coherence and cohesion from sentence-level, to paragraph-level to whole-text-level

Teaching and learning activity

Learning activities will include workshop exercises, group discussion, written and
verbal presentations, independent study, interaction in a VLE, completion of e-learning activities,
and completion of a reflective learning blog.
Where possible e-technologies will be used in order to exploit a learning possibility, for example:
• Students write descriptive and analytical summaries drawing on the research they carry out for
a set essay using the University library’s electronic resources. A VLE also lends itself to
sharing information and is an ideal repository for viewpoints which can later be
synthesised. Students may use the forum for a portfolio task on good practice in using
these resources. The portfolio directs students to web-based resources which they respond to
in discrete tasks within it.

Students have four contact hours per week, which allows for detailed exploration of writing skills
and discrete areas of grammar or lexis within class time. Two hours a week are timetabled in
a computer lab in order for students to receive support on the essay writing process (from planning
& research through to drafting and editing) or to exploit the on-line material highlighted above.
This provides a supportive setting for the students and through the scaffolding required by the
teacher affords insights into to the assistance needed by the students.

Assessment

Portfolio - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Complete a weekly portfolio aimed at extending material covered in class and supporting students’ ongoing work on the essay. 1500 words. Learning outcomes 1 - 6.

Essay - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Writing a research-based essay. 1500 words. Learning outcomes 1 - 6.

Students are not required to pass all summative assessments in order to
pass the course.

Formative Assessments:
Essay: Students submit a draft of their essay for feedback.
Portfolio: There are two submission points on which students receive feedback.