This free Academic Reading and Writing course focuses on critical reading, academic writing and research skills development. Students read abridged and authentic texts, conduct online research, learn how to paraphrase, edit, summarize, and write academic essays. LEARN MORE...
Instructor: Dr. Algirdas Makarevicius Credits: 3 hrs Venue: Room 46
The course improves students’ writing abilities at an essay level. They will learn how to write Comparison and Contrast, Classification, Process Analysis, Cause-and-Effect Analysis, and Argumentative Essays.
The course will develop written communication skills that are needed in an academic environment. In addition, students will develop critical reading skills, grammar skills, and will expand vocabulary.
• Help students improve their writing which involves not only the accurate use of language but also the effective organization of information. • Guide students how to select relevant data to support an argument. • Help students to be aware of the readers’ needs both when selecting content and guiding the reader through the written piece of writing. • Develop proofreading skills.
Upon completion of the course students will be able to • Think ideas out for themselves and discipline their thoughts on paper, thus enabling themselves to compare the ideas before writing with the results after writing. • Focus on expository and analytical texts. • Develop what had been studied earlier at a paragraph level - generating ideas, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing.
Learning Materials • Textbook ‘Refining Composition Skills. Rhetoric and Grammar,’ by Regina L. Smalley. • Handouts, class notes, web pages and recommended reading (books, newspapers articles, and short stories).
• Test 1: 15% • Test 2: 25% • Participation: 10% • Examination: 50%
Each student must fulfill the following requirements of the course.
1. Spend at least four hours per week on self-study. Self-study includes all assignments given by the instructor. 2. Actively participate in classroom discussions by asking questions and giving their comments or opinions whenever required by the instructor. 3. Conduct Internet and library research, revise class notes and handouts, study the textbook, and perform all other activities as requested. 4. Students are expected to comply with the university-wide requirements for academic integrity. The College is committed to academic integrity—the honest, fair, and continuing pursuit of knowledge, free from fraud or deception. This implies that students are expected to be responsible for their own work. Presenting another individual’s work as one’s own and receiving excessive help from another individual will qualify as a violation of academic integrity. Plagiarism is cheating. In this course, using another person’s words or ideas as your own without giving credit, producing a memorized piece (either your own or someone else’s), or having someone do any portion of your work is cheating. Each student is expected to complete their own, original work by using their own words. 5. Attend lectures, tutorials and examinations. Cheating at examinations is not tolerated and students who are caught cheating during the examination will automatically fail. 6. Any additional questions regarding the Course Outline and the course requirements can be answered during the lecture, after the lecture, or by email. Each student who contacts the instructor by email must write her/his student ID number, name and section number on the subject box of the message. Anonymous emails will not be replied. 7. The Course Outline is the main document of the course and the activities that are included into the Course Outline must be performed in class every week.
Tasks and Activities
First week of classes. Add & drop week.
Introduction to course. Revision of the basic strategies of the writing process. Prewriting. Techniques for generating ideas. The structure of an essay: basic difficulties in writing. Writing Assignment 1 (informal assessment).
Types of paragraphs. Developing composition skills. Coherence as an element of a paragraph. The importance of links between ideas – transitions. Writing Assignment 2 (informal assessment).
Public Holiday. No classes.
Understanding the purpose for and the characteristics of the three parts of an essay – introduction, developmental paragraphs, and conclusion. Grammar: commonly confused words. Writing Assignment 3 (informal assessment).
Chapter 7. Essay writing skills. Writing an outline of an essay.
Chapter 7 (continued). Essay writing skills. Coherence: transitions between paragraphs (keywords and phrases). Grammar: quotation, paraphrase, plagiarism (p.p. 385-387).
Chapter 8. The Comparison and Contrast Essay. Learning how to write an essay that compares and contrasts. Grammar: commonly confused words and phrases (learning material - supplied by the instructor). Writing Assignment 4 (Midterm): Writing an Essay (Assessment – 25%).
Chapter 9. Classification Essays. Principles of classification. Breaking a subject down into parts. Grammar: commonly confused words and phrases (learning material - supplied by the instructor). Classroom activities and informal assignments.
Chapter 10. The Process Analysis Essay. Directional process. Informational process. Choosing a topic for the process analysis essay. Grammar: revision of tenses – the Simple Present vs. the Present Progressive (p.p. 358-362) and the Simple Past vs. the Past Progressive and the Past Perfect (p.p. 362-367).
Chapter 11. The Cause-and-Effect Analysis Essay. Causes and effects of events. Causal chains. Principles of organization for the cause-and-effect essay: order of familiarity; order of interest; order of importance. Grammar: Conditionals – Real Conditions and Unreal Conditions. Various classroom activities and informal assignments. Preparation for Grammar Quiz.
Chapter 12. The Argumentative Essay. Opinions supported logically by evidence. Convincing and persuading the reader. Maintaining objectivity. Writing Assignment 5: Grammar Test (Assessment – 15%).
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