This course prepares students for successfully handling documented research papers and other types of academic writing assignments. It is designed for students who lack previous experience with the demands of academic writing and who wish to improve their ability to succeed in university-transfer level courses. Students learn to compose essays, analyze assignments, gather and organize material, document sources and avoid plagiarism, handle essay exams, use feedback to improve the expression of their ideas, and use computers to assist with editing.
Students will complete a series of at least 5 different written assignments. These will provide a range of typical college assignments.
Throughout the process of producing these papers, students will receive instruction in how to improve their ability at the following core skills:
- understanding assignments and academic expectations
- using strategies for getting started
- dealing with procrastination and writer's block
- choosing and narrowing topics
- composing thesis and topic sentences
- devising research strategies for collecting information
- gathering evidence and making notes
- handling time and other constraints
- constructing beginnings and endings
- organizing information into different formats
- making connections and transitions between ideas in a text
- inserting quotations and diagrams
- documenting sources and avoiding plagiarism
- composing essay-type answers in exam conditions
- using feedback to revise drafts
- editing sentence construction and word choice
- preparing final documents and using style sheets
Methods Of Instruction
A combination of instructional methods will be used in order to balance instructional efficiency with individual student needs.
These methods will include lecture presentation, small group instruction, individual assistance (in lab tutorial or scheduled appointments), computer-assisted learning, and student-directed learning.
Means of Assessment
Students will receive on-going feedback from the instructor throughout the course.
Students success will be graded, in accordance with the College policy and grading system.
The aims of the course are for students:
- To gain initial experience with handling a variety of typical college writing assignments from scratch;
- To gain experience with using peer feedback, instructor comment, and computer technology to assist the revision of drafts and the improvement of editing skills;
- To develop skill in analyzing assignments and understanding the tasks involved;
- To develop confidence in meeting successfully the requirements and conventions of college assignments and exams;
- To demonstrate competence in producing academic texts of an acceptable standard inside deadlines and under pressure.
Students may be required to purchase a textbook and/or computer disks.