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Advanced English Writing / Composition (Spring 2022)

Prof. Kent Lee

Dept. English Language & Literature, Pukyong National University

Time: M/W periods 1-3 (two sections)

Mailbox: #1027

Office & office hours: by appointment

Course syllabus

This website will go along with my syllabus and materials in our LMS for this course, as well as materials that supplement my course book.

1 Weekly lessons

Here are some links and older lecture videos, in case you need to review. For items that are hidden, click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

1.1 Writing process

Click the button on the right to show this section.

  • The writing process handout
  • Writing strategies inventory (Google Form): This is an online version of the inventory in the handout. You can fill this out, and I will calculate your scores and email the results back to you.
  • Google Form #2: About your writing process
  • Google Form #3: About your writing strategies and motivation

Lecture videos

For this paper, you are to introspect on your your own writing process and writing strategies when you do writing assignments. Reflect on and evaluate your writing process, strategies, motivation, and difficulties. This is about what you actually do, not what you think you should do. Your paper should address some of the following questions.

  • How effective are your writing methods and writing process?
  • What prewriting techniques do you use (e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision), and how well do they work for you?
  • How similar / different your writing process is for different kinds of projects or courses, or for English versus Korean assignments?
  • What problems do you have with writing, and how do you / can you overcome them? (E.g., motivational problems, writer's block, procrastination...)
  • What kind of motivation and strategies influence your writing? How effective are your writing strategies?
  • How confident do you feel about your writing abilities, English abilities, and/or your ability to improve in these areas?

See also the questions in the book. The focus of this assignment is mainly the contents, so don't worry too much about minor grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, etc.). Since this is a reflective / self-evaluative essay, this will be somewhat informal, including use of first-person. Your write-up should be at least 2-3 pages (1.5x or double spaced). See the Appendix 13.1 for standard college paper format.

Grading criteria

See the criteria in the grading rubric handout for minor assignments. I will particularly consider the contents and focus, namely, the depth of your reflection and analysis.

See also

1.2 Evaluating sources

Click the button on the right to show this section.

1.2.1 News outlets

Look at the following news outlets, and discuss the following.

  • Which ones seem reliable?
  • Which ones would be worth citing for information in a college paper?
  • For Korea (or your own country), which news outlets would be more reliable, and which ones would be less reliable?

Here are some items that I didn't have time to discuss this semester. I may post a video that explains some of this.

1.2.2 Science news sources

Now look at the following science news websites; which ones seem reliable or worth citing?

  1. National Geographic
  2. New Scientist
  3. Scientific American
  4. Science News
  5. IFLScience

1.2.3 Science news examples

Now look at the following sites reporting on an issue in health and biomedical news. Which ones seem more reliable, and why?

  1. The Independent Does spending too much time on smartphones ...
  2. Tech Advisor How much screen time for kids
  3. Very Well Family Negative effects of too much cell phone use
  4. Forbes Phone addiction is real ...
  5. Psychology Today Too much screen time ...

For the above articles, discuss the following.

  1. Imagine that you are writing a paper in a college class, for example, a paper on health effects of cell phone use. Which of the articles are good enough to use as sources for writing your paper? Why?
  2. Which of these would not be good sources for your paper? Why not?
  3. Look at the Psychology Today article. What kinds of sources does the author cite? Why? How does she use this information in her article?
  4. Look at the sources used in the Psychology Today article (in the end references section). What kinds of sources are these? Would you use and cite these in your own college paper?

For the Psychology Today article, discuss the following.

  1. Click on the links in the text, where you see names and years inside parentheses. What are these articles? What kinds of articles are these? How reliable and credible are they? Can you understand them?
  2. What are the references at the end?
  3. From the different sources in the table above about phone / device usage, which ones might you cite if you were writing a college paper on the topic?
  4. If you were writing a college paper on the topic, would you cite sources like those that are cited in the Psychology Today article?

Optional extras
  1. Pinker on male/female differences on Youtube
  2. Study: Schoozing helps men, hurts women, HBR
  3. Creating an inclusive workplace, HBR
  4. Gender equality is within our reach (Melinda Gates), HBR

Note: 'Sex' refers to biological male / female differences; gender refers to a more complex psycho-social construct.

Possible paragraph assignment

Pick one of the following topics, formulate a specific position, and write a short paper to explain, develop, and defend your thesis.

  1. What do you think accounts for gender disparities in upper-level management in companies?
  2. What do you think accounts for gender disparities among the faculty and/or students in some academic fields or departments?
  3. How can we bring about greater equality in academic programs fields like yours?
  4. How can we bring about greater equality in professional careers or in companies? (Focus on a particular country, type of company, or other relevant context.)
  5. Explain one specific reform that should be made in the Korean educational system. You should focus on one specific change in one specific area, e.g.:
    • English education at a specific level, such as primary education (elementary school), secondary education (middle & high school), or tertiary education (college / university)
    • English testing (e.g., 수능)
    • Hagwon education, or government regulation of hagwons
    • A specific area of English education, such as reading, grammar, speaking...
    • Math or science education (e.g.,. high school or university level)
    • Humanities education (e.g.,. high school or university level)
  6. Choose a specific topic that is debated in your field. You will need to get my approval first for this (but use the Google Form assignment to propose it).

1.3 Paradigms and genre analysis unit

This is for the second half of the semester. Click the button on the right to show this section.

Bring sample papers from your field to class (or discuss them with a group of other students outside of class). These should be published scholarly works, preferable from academic journals. Hard copies are recommended, so you can easily pass them around, discuss them, and write on them. Refer to the section in the book on genre analysis. The following links may also be helpful.

  1. Genre analysis form #1: Questions about your academic field
  2. Genre analysis form #2: Questions about papers in your academic field

1.3.1 Genre analysis paragraph: How to write academic papers in your field

You are to write a short paper on how to write academic papers in your field. It may help to imagine that you are writing for juniors / younger students in your field, and thus you would want to convey one main piece of advice (and related subpoints) about how to write papers in the field. This may include important questions such as:

  • How scholars write such papers (e.g., their writing process)
  • Important features that you notice -- maybe things that you had not noticed before, or aspects that have not seen or used in the writing that you've done in the past.
  • What your field is about, e.g., your field (or subfield) as an academic community / culture, with its unique goals, purpose, driving questions, core concepts, the type of research that people do, and why

1.3.2 Suggested journals & professional publications

Here are some professional trade journals, and some easier academic journals, that you might like to look at to find articles for the genre analysis assignment. Professional trade journals
  1. The Chronicle of Higher Education
  2. Inside Higher Ed
  3. Times Higher Education
  4. Observer (psychology)
  5. Food Technology
  6. World Landscape Architecture
  7. Psychology Today
  8. Harvard Business Review
Other trade magazines
  1. Wikipedia list of trade magazines in different fields: Academic journals
International journals
  1. English Today (applied linguistics, language education)

Domestic journals from Korea
  1. English Teaching
  2. Journal of Asia TEFL
  3. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics
  4. Modern English Education
  5. Korea TESOL Journal
  6. Studies in English Language & Literature
  7. Journal of English Language & Literature

For more, look here:

2 Major assignments

2.1 Midterm assignment

Here are the optins for the midterm.

Literature review

This is the beginning of a paper that you would like to write for the final paper in this class. This can also be a paper that you need to write in another class. This paper should contain an introduction, and the main literature review section. The lit review section should examine and critique several key papers (published scholarly papers or research journal articles) on the specific topic that you want to write about. The lit review or introduction section should at least briefly state the research question, research hypothesis, or main objective of your paper.

Research paper proposal

This can be a proposal for a paper that you would like to write for the final paper in this class, or in another course (which you could also submit for this class). This would include a draft of an introduction, a literature review section, and then a brief section that (1) sketches out or outlines the main points of the body section that will be developed later, or (2) identifies and explains the research question or research hypothesis.


  • At least four sources are cited and meaningfully used.
  • At least 500 words (maximum: 1500 words); 500 words = 2 pages (double spaced, in a normal 12-point font)
  • Properly cited sources in the essay, and a proper works cited / end references section at the end. Any normal referencing system is allowed, e.g., Chicago footnote + bibliography style, Chicago parenthetical style, APA, MLA, IEEE, CBE/CSE, Harvard.

2.1.1 Options for graduate students

These are options for students in master's or doctoral programs, or students who wish to apply to such programs in the near future. Click the button on the right to show this section.

For the midterm, you have several other options. You should pick whichever aligns best with your needs and interests. These assignments should be in standard font (a normal font that looks like 12 point font), with single line spacing.

Thesis research proposal

If you are in graduate school and are about to start a master's research project for your MA thesis, or especially a Ph.D. dissertation, you will first write a proposal for your thesis project. This should explain the research question and its importance, background on the issue, a lit review that examines and critiques past research, and an explanation of how you will conduct your research. You should also outline the types of results that you might expect from your research, and their implications or importance.

CV and cover letter

This would be used for applying for academic and research positions, e.g, at a university or research institute. This would include positions like a regular tenure-track professor, non-tenure track teaching professor, lecturer or 강사, research professor, or lab researcher. You can project yourself a few years into the future and pretend that you have some relevant experience and achievements (as long as they are reasonable) to apply for a potential future job. The CV should be at least one full page, and the cover letter should be no more than one page.


If you are in a science, engineering, or business field and work on research projects, lab projects, or business projects, you can write a report about your project. Your report should identify the specific problem or challenge that you worked on, some background on the topic, a detailed explanation of the steps undertaken, the results, and their implications.

Statement of purpose (SOP)

If you plan to apply for a graduate school, i.e., a master's and/or Ph.D. program, you need to submit an SOP. You can write an SOP for a specific graduate program that you are actually planning to apply to, or that you might like to apply to. It should be about 800-1000 words (unless you are applying to a department that specifies a different length requirement).

Grant proposal

This is like a research proposal, but it is written to an entity that provides research grants, and this proposal is intended to show the value of your research and why you need money. In addition to the elements of a research proposal, you would need to provide strong justification for the value, importance, or necessity of your research, likely or expected results, and their implications and importance. You would also need to provide a timeline for the project, and a reasonably detailed budget for the amount of money that you are reqeusting.

Teaching statement

This is a document that you would submit for a teaching position, especially at a university. This would include an explanation of your teaching philosophy, teaching experience, and examples of how you would teach specific concepts or units.

Research plan / statement

If you apply for a regular professor position, you will probably submit a document of at least two pages that detail your specific research interests and plans, along with a general timeline for your research projects.

2.2 Final essay / project

This should be a full length research paper or essay of an academic or scholarly nature. This counts as the final essay for the course, due at the end of Week 15. For this, you will have several options:

  • Write a full length paper based on a previous assignment: the proposal assignment, the midterm paper, the genre analysis paper, or other assignments. (Note: Some of the options, like a teaching or research statement, won't translate well to a final paper.)
  • Take a major paper that you are working on in another course, and use it to fullfil the final paper requirement in this course. (Aren't I nice? Yes.)

Length: Preferably, at least 3 full pages, if double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.), though this may vary according to the expectations of papers in your course or major. Grading criteria: See the course booklet for grading criteria for major writing assignments. Due date: TBA (to be announced), via the LMS

3 References & resources

  1. There is also an older hard copy handout: Handout on theories, laws, models