IFLS 306

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IFLS 306: Academic English Writing (Fall 2018)

Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University
Mon/Wed 19.00-10.15am (3 hours/week), Class location: 국제관 407A (International Studies Hall)

  • Mailbox: 국제관 208A
  • Office & office hours: 국제관 720, by appointment


1 Course description[edit]

This course is designed mainly for juniors and seniors in social science and humanities fields (other majors are welcome, too). It will require you to write critically about your field of study, and thus entails at least a junior level knowledge of your field. The goals of the course are as follows:

  1. Improving your English writing skills; expressing yourselves better in academic English
  2. Learning the expectations, conventions (standards) and style of academic writing

This will include addressing common issues and problems that Korean writers of English have, such as essay structure, style, wording, and genre issues. We will also learn about the writing process, as we take a process and genre based approach to writing.

This course is equivalent in contents to ENGL 434, which I have previously taught.


1.1 Readings and materials[edit]

  • There is no textbook for this course, but there is a course packet available from the 공문화사 print shop (the Academic English Writing Manual) [AEWM].
  • You will need to bring academic / scholarly articles (research papers / essays) by researchers / scholars in your field of study, for some of our class activities and assignments.
  • Other handouts and materials will be provided on this website, or by email.


1.2 Current assignments[edit]

Look below for details.

  1. Google Form #1: Basic info & language survey (week 2) [1]
  2. Google Form #2: Writing strategies (week 2) [2]
  3. Google Form #3: Evaluating sources (16 Sept.) [3]
  4. Writing process paper (19 Sept.; section 2.4 below)


2 Weekly materials & assignments[edit]

2.1 Weeks 1-2: Writing process[edit]

  • Read AEWM ch. 1 (Intro); read ch. 2 (writing process)
  • Google Form #2: Fill out this form to assess your writing strategies. Your results will be tallied and emailed back to you afterwards. The link will have been sent to you by email from the Blackboard system.


2.2 Weeks 1-2: Evaluating sources[edit]

2.2.1 Internet sources[edit]

Look at the following websites. Discuss: how reliable and trustworthy are these sites? What criteria can help you distinguish good sites and sources from bad ones?

  1. Pacific tree octopus
  2. CIA realizes it has been using ...
  3. Dihydrogen monoxoide: The truth

2.2.2 Newspaper article samples[edit]

Now look at the following news stories about a border controversy in Hong Kong. Which seem biased, neutral, informative, or reliable, and why?

  1. Global Times [4]
  2. South China Morning Post [5]
  3. CNN [6]
  4. Reuters [7]
  5. New York Times [8]
  6. Business Insider [9]

2.2.3 News outlets[edit]

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?
  1. Fox News http://www.foxnews.com
  2. Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com
  3. New York Times http://www.nytimes.com
  4. New York Post http://www.nypost.com
  5. Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
  6. Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com
  7. Der Spiegel http://www.spiegel.de
  8. Frankfurter Allgemeine http://www.faz.net/aktuell
  9. Frankfurter Rundschau http://www.fr.de
  10. El País (Spain) http://www.elpais.com
  11. Le Monde (France) http://www.lemonde.fr
  12. Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com
  13. Time Magazine http://www.time.com
  14. McClean’s http://www.macleans.ca
  15. The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com
  16. The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk
  17. BBC News http://www.bbc.com/news
  18. The Sun http://www.thesun.co.uk

2.2.4 Science news sources[edit]

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

  1. National Geographic http://www.nationalgeographic.com
  2. Wired http://www.wired.com
  3. New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com
  4. Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com
  5. Science News http://www.sciencenews.org
  6. IFLScience http://www.iflscience.com

2.2.5 Science news examples[edit]

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 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?

Note: See the page on Academic versus non-academic sources

2.3 Weeks 2-3: Sources and article discussion[edit]

Use these links to fill out the following form assignment, which is due 16 Sept. Sunday evening, 11:59pm: Google Form #3. Now look at the following sites regarding academic discussion of cognitive / mental differences between men and women. In the Youtube video, Stephen Pinker argue for the reality of sex-based differences--subtle differences in cognition (not overall qualitative differences between males and females), and the articles present opposing viewpoints.

  1. Pinker on male/female differences on Youtube
  2. The Guardian: The truth about sex differences ... (also in the course book, p. 38)
  3. Psychology Today: The male and female brain are more similar than once assumed
  4. Psychology Today: Male - female differences in variability

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


2.4 Writing process & strategies[edit]

For this paper, you are to introspect on your your own writing process and 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, e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision?
  • 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 motives and strategies influence your writing? (Refer to the writing strategies inventory and Google Form #2). 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 (1.5 or double spaced; you can print double-sided pages to save trees), in hard copy format (printed out). See p. 221 for standard college paper format.

Due date: 19 Sept. (Wednesday) in class (or 20 Sept., hard copy in my mailbox in #208A)


2.5 Arguments / counter-arguments[edit]

2.6 Style analysis[edit]


2.7 Week 8: Midterm[edit]

Options:

  1. Revise and submit the argument / counter-argument essay. You will expand this into a full essay.
  2. Write your own argument / counter-argument essay about a specific topic in your field. This must be a specific position or issue on which academic people in the field disagree about. Delineate your own specific position as you consider and address possible counter-arguments.

A cover page or title page will be needed, along with page numbers (see the example in the coursebook Appendix). You will submit it by uploading it on the assignment page on Blackboard.

2.8 Genre analysis[edit]

  • Bring sample papers from your field to 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.
  • Read the section in the book on genre analysis
  • Genre analysis worksheet (2013.04.04) Fill this out and hand this in by Thursday (2014.04.04). This will help you prepare for your genre analysis essay. If you want to, you can type it up in your own file, and then print and turn in a hard copy.
  • Read the wiki page on [Theories] after our discussion of academic theories[1].


2.8.1 Essay assignment: Genre analysis - How to write academic papers in your field[edit]

You are to write an essay on how to write academic papers in your field. This may include important questions such as:

  • 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
  • The main type[s] of research methods, and how one writes them up.
  • The structure and style of academic papers
  • How one develops and supports arguments - including the types of arguments or theses that papers present, the types of evidence presented, how one develops arguments, and such
  • See also the course packet section on genre analysis, the GA essay assignment, and an example. Be sure to cite at least 3 examples in your paper - examples from published research articles.


1. First version

  • Bring a hard copy (printed version) to class
  • Length: 2.5 pages minimum, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Due date:


2. Final version

  • Length: at least 3 full pages, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria for major writing assignments
  • Due date:


2.9 Paraphrasing, citation, plagiarism[edit]

  • Read the section in the book on plagiarism, source use, and citation systems.
  • Read the chapter on argumentation, particularly p. 69 and following on counter-argumentation.
Handouts


2.10 Discourse & style issues[edit]


2.11 Professional writing unit[edit]

  1. See the chapter in the course booklet
  2. CV guide and CV sample
  3. Résumé guide and Résumé sample
  4. General guides for CVs and résumés (Purdue OWL website)
  5. Simple checklist for a proper résumés
  6. Rubric / criteria for proper résumés, CV, cover letter, SOP
  7. SOP guide and sample
  8. Cover letters for academic job applications
  9. Academic cover letter (for professorship)
  10. Academic cover letter (language teaching job)
  11. Application letter (non-tenure track academic position)


2.11.1 Research statements[edit]

  1. Sample research statement for postdoc application
  2. Sample research & teaching statement for professorship application
  3. Teaching statement for a university teaching position
  4. Budget justification for grant proposal
  5. Project Summary.pdf for grants, or for preliminary exam / pre-dissertation process
  6. Grant proposal #1 (for a university grant, which was successful)
  7. Grant proposal #2 (for a university grant)
  8. Grant proposal #3a and second part, #3b
  9. Grant proposal #4 (National Science Foundation grant; a good but unsuccessful application)
  10. Optional: Biographical sketch for grant proposals (or other purposes)


2.11.2 Teaching statements[edit]

This includes more formal teaching philosophy statements (TPS) for university teaching jobs.

  1. TPS manual (with examples)
  2. TPS rubric - guidelines for a good TPS
  3. TSP example: Educational psychology
  4. TPS example: College language teacher Teaching statement
  5. TPS: language education
  6. Sample research & teaching statement for professorship application


2.11.3 Extra handouts: Interviews[edit]

  1. Typical job interview questions
  2. Interview questions for teaching or academic jobs
  3. Job interview mistakes to avoid


3 Major assignments (summary)[edit]

For essays (midterm, final draft, final essay), a cover / title page is required (and page numbers); see the Appendix in the book for examples. See also the Appendix for general grading criteria. Final versions of the midterm and final essays will be submitted via Blackboard. Other assignments can be submitted in hard copy (printed copy) in class, or if you are absent, you can turn in hard copies in my mailbox in room 208A (or email it to two of my email accounts).


3.1 Writing process[edit]

For this paper, you are to introspect on your your own writing process and 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.

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 (1.5 or double spaced; you can print double-sided pages to save trees), in hard copy format. See the Appendix for standard college paper format, as this alone will suffice (a title / cover page is not needed for this). This counts as a short essay assignment.


3.2 Midterm[edit]

Revise and submit the argument / counter-argument essay. A cover page or title page will be needed, along with page numbers (see the example in the coursebook Appendix). You will submit it by uploading it on the assignment page on Blackboard.


3.3 Final paper[edit]

First paper draft

Bring a hard copy (printed version) to class. Length: 2.5 pages minimum, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.). If you cannot come to class for some reason, do peer editing with a classmate on your own outside of class, and then put a hard copy (printed copy) in my mailbox in room 208A. This counts as a short essay assignment.

Final paper proposal
Submit a one-paragraph abstract or proposal (at least 1/2 page or one full paragraph) for your final paper or project. Describe your genre analysis paper, your specific subfield, types of sources, and major points or conclusions. A cover page (and page numbers) is required
Final version

This counts as the final essay for the course, probably due at the end of Week 15.

  • Length: at least 3 full pages, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria for major writing assignments


3.4 Professional writing unit[edit]

For the professional writing sample set, pick one of the following scenarios and develop a set of application materials. This counts as a short essay assignment.

  1. Applying for graduate schools. Imagine you are applying for a Ph.D. program at an English-speaking university; maybe you want to apply for a combined Master's plus Ph.D. program, or you are finishing a Master's and want to transfer to another school for a Ph.D. Requirements:
    • (1) Two versions of a statement of purpose, customized for two applying for different universities [at least 2 pages if single-spaced];
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Imagine some kind of research that you might carry out as a graduate student, and for that, do one of the following items: (3a) A research grant application for a planned doctoral research project, or (3b) a research proposal for a dissertation topic [at least two pages if single-spaced].
  2. Applying for a professorship or research position (post-doctoral position or full-time researcher):
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications;
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Either (3a) a research statement, research plan, or research proposal, describing your intended research; or (3b) a teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and teaching philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a university to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced]
  3. Applying for other teaching positions (college teaching assistant, secondary school teacher, etc.)
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications [one page each];
    • (2) One CV or résumé;
    • (3) A teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a school to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced] .


4 Pedagogy (ideas for teachers or tutors)[edit]


5 Notes and references[edit]

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