IFLS 306 (Fall 2015)

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Note: This is an archival course page. The current version of this course and course website exists here.

IFLS 306: Academic English Writing (Fall 2015)

Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University
Tue./Thu. 12-13.15pm (3 hours/week), Class location: 국제관 511
Course syllabus

  • Mailbox: 국제관 208A
  • Office & office hours: 국제관 720, Tue/Thu 2.30-3pm

This wiki site replaces the earlier IFLS 306 website. This course is equivalent in contents to ENGL 434, which I have previously taught.


1 Readings and materials

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]. Other handouts and materials will be provided on this website, or by email.


2 Pending assignments & announcements

  1. Counter-argument assignment #2. You will provide a rebuttal to your previous counter-argument, defending your original position. The best approach is to take the original paragraph or section from your midterm, and revise it with a concise statement of your previous counter-argument(s), followed by your rebuttal, all concisely integrated into 1-2 paragraphs. Due date: 26 Nov. Look here for examples of counter-arguments and rebuttals.
  2. Final paper proposal. Submit a one-paragraph description of your final paper, including: main points; types of sources, data or info to be used; and possible conclusions, implications, or relevance of the project. This paper can consist of: [1] a paper from another course that you currently writing; [2] a revision of a paper from a course, say, last semester; [3] a revised and extended version of your mid-term essay, with argumentation from sources added; or [4] a revised and extended version of your genre analysis essay. Proposal due: 19 Nov.
  3. There will also be a couple of ten-point assignments in the coming weeks, mostly simple survey-type tasks that we will probably do in class.
  4. New handouts: Counter-argument & rebuttal examples, Overview of style problems (transitionals or connectors, etc.), Overview of problematic verbs & predicates

3 Weekly materials & assignments

3.1 Weeks 1-2: Writing process

  • Read AEWM ch. 1 (Intro), ch. 2 (writing process)


3.1.1 Google Form #1

Fill out this form of basic information about yourself, and submit it. This counts as a minor grade. (The form works, though it won't send you a confirmation.) Due date: 10 Sept.


3.1.2 Google Form #2

Fill out this form to assess your writing strategies. Your results will be tallied and emailed back to you afterwards. Due date: 10 Sept.


3.1.3 Major homework #1: Writing process homework

For this paper, you are to introspect on your your own writing process and strategies. Your paper should address some of the following questions.

  • How effective are your methods and writing process, e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision?
  • How much / how often do you revise, and what do you focus on?
  • How similar / different your writing process is for different kinds of projects or courses, or for English versus Korean assignments?
  • If you have problems with procrastination or writer's block, explain how you deal with it. What are the causes of these problems for you? (e.g, perfectionism, extrinsic motivation, lack of ideas, too much information to deal with, or negative voices from your past that you've internalized).
  • What motives drive your writing? (Refer to the writing strategies inventory and Google Form #2). How effective are these strategies and motives?
  • How confident do you feel about your writing abilities, English abilities, and/or your ability to improve in these areas?
  • Also, questions on the bottom of p. 27.

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, and reflecting on your process. The focus of this assignment is mainly the contents, so don't worry too much about minor grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, etc.).


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. Due date: 15 Sept.

3.2 Weeks 3-4 Genre analysis

Read AEWM ch. 3-4

Handout on theories, laws, models


3.2.1 Google Form #3: About your academic field

Fill out this form about your field of study by midnight, 23 Sept.
Note: It should let you go back to the form later to edit your responses. If you need to go back to add more, and it does not allow you to do so (due to browser cookie issues, or maybe Google Forms are just getting buggier), then just do a new form, enter blank spaces for question responses that you don't want to revise, and enter your additions. Don't worry, as my Google spreadsheet will have your original responses.


3.2.2 Google Form #4: About writing in your academic field

Fill out this form about writing in your field by 05 Oct.


3.2.3 Essay assignment: Genre analysis - How to write academic papers in your field

You are to write an essay on how to write academic papers in your field. (It may be helpful to read over p. 38-66 and p. 144-152.) 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.

Length: 4 pages minimum, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
Draft due date: 15 Oct. (at least 2.5 full pages)
Final version due date: after mid-term
Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria


3.2.3.1 Genre analysis: Feedback on draft

See the genre analysis feedback here.


3.3 Week 8: Midterm

The general, default article for the midterm will be Tannen's article on gender and communication. The midterm will feature a selection of questions on this article, including how her ideas or findings might apply to your field, or to current social issues. This article will be suitable for (at least) linguistics, education, psychology, business, and English majors. If you find this inapplicable to your field and you would prefer something related to your field, feel free to propose an article from your field. This should be an article about a topic of current interest or even controversy in your field, but one that you have not yet researched or written about.

You can bring a printout of this article (or another approved article) on the day of the midterm, along with your mobile device or computer. You can find and use other articles on your devices during the exam, in addition to the one main article. There are two version of the Tannen article: [1] a cleaned-up version with a few discussion questions (but the original article pagination is missing); and [2] the original article from the Harvard Business Review, with the original pagination (in case you want to use direct quotes from the article). HBR articles are fairly academic but less formal, and more accessible, than other academic journals.

  1. Tannen: "The power of talk" - Cleaned up for readability, with discussion questions
  2. Tannen: "The power of talk" - Original from HBR

Alternative articles for various majors:

  1. Litfin: Sovereignty in world ecopolitics - international studies / international relations
  2. Ohlssohn: Water scarcity - alternative article for science, economics, or international studies
  3. Barkin & Cronin: State & nation - Changing norms... - international studies / international relations
  4. Teaching the four skills - language education, applied linguistics
  5. Multiple-choice science exams as obstacles to higher thinking - science, education
  6. Interactional sociolinguistics for intercultural pragmatics - a heavier, but shorter, article by Tannen on sociolinguistics
  7. Observations on the Theory, Practice and Politics of a Feminist Literary Criticism - literature, humanities

3.4 Weeks 9-11: Paraphrasing, citation, plagiarism

  • Read the section in the book on plagiarism, source use, and citation systems. We don't get to the section on moral dilemmas & scenarios at the end, but this is food for thought for those who want to go to grad school or enter academic careers.
  • Revise and submit the final version of the genre analysis essay (due date: 05 November). Be sure to include a title page or cover page in English style, e.g., like this sample.. See the box below regarding grading and revisions.
  • Read chapter 6 on argumentation, particularly p. 69 and following on counter-argumentation.
  • Counter-argument assignment #1: Refer to your midterm essay. Take one of the points that you made in your paper, and argue against it, or take issue with it somehow. Write this up in the form of a paragraph, and turn it in (printed out) on Tue., 10 Nov. This is a minor ten-point assignment. You can cite a source in this paragraph, but you don't necessarily have to.
  • Counter-argument assignment #2: You will provide a rebuttal to your previous counter-argument, defending your original position. Due date: probably 24 Nov., depending on how soon I can grade and return the counter-argument papers.
  • Counter-argument & rebuttal examples


3.5 Weeks 11-12: Discourse & style issues

We will briefly discuss logical fallacies and cognitive biases. You can read the chapter in the book on your own (chapter 7).


Final paper proposal. Submit a one-paragraph description of your final paper. This may be a paper from another course that you are using in this class (or other options; see above under the announcements). Proposal due: 19 Nov.


3.6 Weeks 13-14?: Professional writing unit

  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)


3.6.1 Professional writing assignments

The following are optional assignments, and will count as major HW grades. The grading criteria include: [1] neat, readable and attractive appearance for CVs and résumés; [2] good contents; [3] and convincing cover letters or SOPs.

  1. Job application option: Turn in a résumé and a cover letter (for applying for a non-academic position)
  2. Academic job option: Turn in a CV and a cover letter (for teaching, research, or academic jobs)
  3. Academic application option: Turn in a CV and an SOP (for applying to a Ph.D. program, especially for moving from a master's degree to a Ph.D. elsewhere)

Drafts are due on ??; the due date for the final versions will depend on how soon I can grade and return the drafts. These are optional assignments. You can use these as extra major assignment grades, and these may be helpful assignments for seniors who are about to enter the big, bad world.


3.6.2 Extra handouts: Interviews

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


3.6.3 Pedagogy (for teachers or tutors)



3.6.4 Final paper

Final paper proposal. Submit a one-paragraph description of your final paper. This will be a paper from another course that you are using in this class. Proposal due: 19 Nov.


Bring a print-out of your draft to class on ? Dec. for peer editing, then email your draft by midnight, ? Dec., to both email accounts (or put in my mailbox by ? Dec.); please send it to both my email accounts. Be sure to include a title page or cover page in English style, e.g., like this sample.