Writing is a vital skill in university classes, whether you’re majoring in history or business management, economics or engineering. In this course, you’ll learn how to write effectively in different academic formats, especially essays and longer research papers. You’ll learn how to choose a topic for a paper, how to find reliable resources for writing it, and how to organize your ideas in a way that communicates clearly and fits the expectations of your professors. You’ll learn about the importance of correctly citing sources in your writing and university norms regarding academic honesty. Communicating clearly in writing is an important key to success both in university work and in your future career. As with any other skill, the more you practice, the more easily and skillfully you’ll be able to do it.
Getting Ready for Academic Writing
In this first week of the course, we’ll be going over some very basic aspects of academic writing. You’ll learn about the writing process—the steps skilled writers go through in planning, writing, and revising their work—and review the basics of writing clear, effective paragraphs. You’ll learn about academic writing style and how it differs from more informal writing. Finally, you’ll learn about the problem of plagiarism—using someone else’s words and letting the reader think that you’ve written them yourself—and some strategies for avoiding it in your own work. Being able to observe all these basic aspects of academic writing will help you meet your professors’ expectations for what academic writing should look like. So let’s get started!
Writing an Essay
This week you’ll hear about a very important type of academic writing—the essay. You’ll hear about what an essay is and what its expected parts are. You’ll learn about writing strong introduction paragraphs that catch the reader’s interest and state the topic of the essay. You’ll hear about different kinds of support to include in the body of the essay, and how to write a strong conclusion paragraph that brings the essay full circle by reminding the reader of your main idea. Finally, you’ll practice by reading and evaluating short essays to see how well they match the requirements of a good essay. Let’s begin!
Getting Ready to Write a Research Paper
This week you’ll learn about a longer type of writing assignment—a research paper. First, we’ll think about how to begin to write longer assignments by expanding the basic format of an academic essay. You’ll learn how to use quotations, paraphrases, and summaries to incorporate source material to make your essay longer and more persuasive. You’ll also hear about choosing an appropriate topic for a research paper and outlining the ideas you want to include in your paper. Finally, you’ll write a summary of an article and share your writing with classmates to get their opinion. So let’s get ready to write!
Writing a Research Paper
In this final week of the course, you’ll learn more about research papers, starting with how to write an good thesis statement. We’ll talk about finding and evaluating sources of information for your paper and identifying valid, scholarly sources that will strengthen your paper. You’ll see how to incorporate ideas from your sources into your paper and how to cite the source of facts or quoted words . You’ll learn some basic facts about common formats for research papers and works cited pages. Finally, you’ll practice by analyzing thesis statements and deciding which meet the criteria for good academic writing. Let’s get to it!