This course is designed for students preparing to study at college or university. It focuses on the skills needed to research, plan, write and revise an academic essay.
The aim of the course is for students to succeed in the writing tasks they may be given as part of their academic study at university. The kind of writing that they will be asked to do may be different from the work they have done before and for some this may be the first time they have had to write essays or reports in academic style.
The course integrates three modules to cover the following:
1. The Writing Process
This module of the course presents a background on academic writing and then follows up on strategies for reading, avoiding plagiarism, understanding titles, planning, finding key points, note-making, using references, combining sources, organising paragraphs and proofreading.
2. Elements of Writing
This module covers argument and discussion, cause and effect, cohesion, comparisons, giving definitions, passives, academic style and visual information.
3. Vocabulary for Writing
This module considers different approaches to vocabulary, using abbreviations, adverbs and verbs, prefixes and suffixes and time markers. Overall Assessment Process & Assessment Criteria Students will be awarded a final grade based on classroom contribution and attendance, satisfactory completion of homework assignments and on the submission of four written essay papers of varying length.
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching contact hours or equivalent in the Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class.
DISTINCTION Grade A
Excellent knowledge and understanding, showing ability to fully analyse and use evidence. Demonstrates independent judgement. Writing is clear and precise. Excellent organisation of material and effective sequencing of ideas. Excellent range of appropriate analysis of relevant sections from the text. Use of appropriate academic language. Excellent use of referencing.
CREDIT Grade B
Good knowledge and understanding, showing ability to analyse and use evidence. Beginnings of independent judgement. Mostly relevant, but some minor lapses and lack of clarity. Good organisation of material and effective sequencing of ideas. Good range of appropriate analysis of relevant sections from the text. Use of appropriate academic language.
MERIT Grade C
Satisfactory knowledge and understanding. Some ability to analyse and use evidence. Attempts to evaluate but treatment often too superficial. Satisfactory organisation of material. Limited range of appropriate analysis or use of relevant terminology.
PASS Grade D
Some knowledge and understanding but significant omissions. Shows limited ability to analyse and use evidence. Some attempt to construct an argument, however lacks ability to argue meaningfully or make significant connections.
FAIL None of the criteria listed above met.
Recommended Reading Baily, Stephen, Academic Writing: A handbook for international students (fourth edition), ISBN 978-1-138-77850-4
Greethamm, Bryan, How to write better essays (third edition), ISBN 978-1-137-29328-2
Day,Trevor, Success in Academic Writing (first edition), ISBN 978-0-230-36970-2