Academic Writing Syllabus--Fall 2009

Syllabus for Academic Writing–Fall 2009
(Class meets on Monday, 16:20-17:50)

Each group of students is different, so it is difficult to make accurate assumptions about your particular class and abilities of individual writers. Therefore, this syllabus is a preliminary one, based on assumptions that may or may not be correct. As we say in the U.S., “Let’s play it by ear.”

Before offering you a definitive syllabus, I would like to see how the first few weeks of class go. This syllabus is also posted on my website and will be updated, changed, and expanded as needed: I may also be posting additional exercises and information, so please check the website often.


During the Fall semester, we will cover techniques for writing formal letters and article summaries as specified by the department. Given that English is a second language for this class, I believe it will be helpful for you to write short passages often, either in groups or individually.

Teaching methods will likely include the following: in-class exercises and writing, peer review, lecture, and objective final exam. You MAY be asked to submit a final portfolio of your work, but this is not for certain.

To be determined.

Attendance is mandatory, given that you will be writing in class and working on exercises. If, for any reason, you must be absent, please ask a colleague for any notes or handouts (except the department handout–I will keep those for you). Also, check the website ( for updates. You may miss up to one class without penalty, but beginning with absence #2, points will be deducted from your final grade. For any special circumstances, you must see me.
Submission of Letters and Summaries:

With the exception of Assignment #1, all assignments must be typed–letters single-spaced, article summaries double-spaced (with your name, course name, and date in the upper left-hand corner). Please staple your pages together.

If you wish, you may e-mail your drafts to me electronically, as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) attachment. Please, do NOT submit any other kind of file! Also, do not submit your work in the body of the e-mail message; incorrectly electronic submissions will be rejected.

If you submit electronically, I will read it on the computer and make comments directly on screen. I will return your work and my comments electronically. In any case, please bring a typed version of your assignments to class.

You must submit your assignments on time; each exercise and assignment leads into the next skill and unit. Therefore, this course will not work well if you try to submit all your assignments at the end of the semester.

Department handouts, (Website), and other materials as needed.

I will post additional handouts on the website, distribute copies in class, or place items on reserve in the library.

Please bring writing supplies to class, including a notebook, loose paper for in-class writing, and pencils or pens, so that you don’t find yourself in the embarrassing position of having to beg your colleagues for supplies.
Semester Folder:

You are responsible for keeping your handouts, in-class writing, submitted and graded assignments, drafts, class notes, and syllabus well-organized and bringing them to class each week. Thus, I recommend that you buy a folder or ringed notebook so that organizing your materials will be easy and effective. Bring all your handouts and work with you to every class.
This is an incomplete schedule, to be updated as the semester progresses; also, this schedule is subject to change.
Week 1:
Introduction to Course. Unit 1, Part 1: “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing.” For our purposes, Week 1 is October 5. Questionnaire, essay, and preliminary syllabus. “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing”: Tasks 1 and 2.
Week 2:
Unit 1, Part 1: “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing” (continued). Assignment #1 due (see website), to be collected at the end of class. For our purposes, Week 2 is October 19. In-class group work. Task 3: Referring to the “Rules of Formal Letter Writing,” write, in British style, a proper formal letter of complaint to the photographer. As a class: Task 4. Individually: Tasks 5a, 5b, 5c. As a Class: Task 6. Time permitting: Pairs will go over Assignment #1; if we run out of time, we’ll do this next class
Week 3:
Unit 1, Part 2: “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing.” Individual: Task #3. Class: Task 4. Individual: Start Task 5 (Assignment #2). Follow instructions as specified in Task 5.
Week 4:
Unit 1, Part 2: “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing” (continued). Assignment #2 due (Task 5). Peer Review of Assignment #2 (Task 6). After peer review, spend the rest of class identifying “Errors in Style” (1-33).
Week 5:
Unit 1, Part 2: “Conventions of Formal Letter Writing” (continued). Exercises. As a Class: “Errors in the Use of Prepositions” (1-13); “Errors in Vocabulary” (1-28); “Errors in the Use of Articles” (1-9); “Errors in Verb and Adjective Patterns” (1-6); “Errors in other Areas of Grammar and Syntax” (1-20); Errors in Punctuation” (1-28); “Errors in Spelling” (list); “Examples of Excellent Use of English” (1-12).
Week 6:
Wrap Up Unit 1. It is likely we will need this week to catch up.
Week 7:
Begin Unit 2, Part 1: “Writing a Summary (I).” (Pace to be determined later).
Week 8:

Week 9:

Week 10:

Week 11:

Week 12:

Exam Week:

Objective Exam.
If you have any questions/concerns, e-mail or see me after class or during my office hour.

Also, if there is ANYTHING in this syllabus or ANYTHING I say in or out of class that you don’t understand, please ask me, either in person or via e-mail. This includes definitions of words, cultural references, slang, historical facts, etc.

In the U.S., we have a saying: “The only stupid question is the question left unasked.”

So please ask. That’s why I’m here.

Links to Various Readings, Notes, Exercises, Handouts, Prompts, etc.

Search This Site

My Cloud

Academic Writing (40) American Literature (37) African-American Literature (36) LIT160 Introduction to Literature (33) Syllabus (31) Creative Writing (30) Spring 2008 (30) Prompts (14) Paraphrasing (11) Summarizing and Paraphrasing (11) 19th Century American Literature (10) The Piano Lesson (8) 20th Century American Literature (7) Academic Writing Assignments (7) Persuasive Essay (7) Argumentative Essay (6) August Wilson (5) Character Studies (5) Creative Non-fiction (5) Group Exercise (5) Summary (5) drama (5) Letters (4) Creative Writing--Peer Review (3) Critiquing (3) Outline or Summary (3) Summarizing (3) Worksheets (3) 19th Century Poetry (2) APA Reference List (2) APA documentation (2) APA in-text citations (2) APA internal citations (2) Academic Writing In-class Exercise Notes (2) Academic Writing Syllabus (2) American Literature Syllabus (2) Authority Creditibilty Objectivity Currency Reputation Coverage Relevance (2) Avery (2) Body Paragraphs (2) Brainstorming (2) Characterization (2) Creative Writing Syllabus (2) Creative Writing Terminology (2) Flash Fiction (2) Folksong (2) Langston Hughes (2) Lymon (2) Negro Spirituals (2) Notes (2) President Barack Obama (2) Story Structure (2) Topic selection (2) Topic sentences (2) Trifles (2) Website Evaluation (2) Writing Assignment (2) counterarguments (2) oral tradition (2) 19th Century English Literature (1) 20th Century Poetry (1) A Letter to His Master (1) Abverbs (1) Academic Desk (1) Academic Writing Syllabus Fall 2009 (1) Academic Writing Syllabus Spring 2010 (1) Academic Writing Tasks (1) (1) Alice Walker (1) American Literature Syllabus Fall 2009 (1) American Literature Syllabus Fall 2010 (1) Announcements (1) Assignments (1) Atlanta Compromise (1) Barack Obama (1) Berniece (1) Blues (1) Booker T. Washington (1) Books on Reserve (1) Boy Willie (1) Children's Literature (1) Christmas (1) Code song (1) Comparison and Contrast (1) Conclusion (1) Contact Information (1) Controversial Literature (1) Creative Writing Syllabus Fall 2009 (1) Creative Writing Syllabus Spring 2010 (1) Creative Writing--Self Review (1) Determining Story Structure (1) Dialect (1) Dialogue (1) Dialogue Exercise (1) Dialogue Tags (1) Doaker (1) Elements of Non-fiction (1) Epilogues (1) Essay Structures (1) Explicating a Poem (1) F.A.N.B.O.Y.S. (1) FANBOYS (1) Fiction (1) Five-Paragraph Paper (1) Folk Tales (1) Formal Letter Format (1) Formal Letter Templates (1) Found Poem (1) Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1) Frederick Douglass (1) Full Text of Nat Turner's Confession (1) Genesis (1) Grace (1) Great Speeches (1) Guide Questions (1) Helen Bannerman (1) Henry Highland Garnet (1) Historical Outline (1) How to Summarize and Paraphrase (1) Introduction (1) Jazz (1) Job Application Letter (1) Kate Chopin (1) Links (1) Little Black Sambo (1) Malcolm X (1) Maretha (1) Martin Luther King Jr. (1) Mary Robison (1) Merged Texts (1) My Bondage and My Freedom (1) Nat Turner (1) Nat Turner's Confession (1) New Christmas (1) New Name (1) New Year (1) Nymph Time (1) Old Christmas (1) Peer Review (1) Plagiarism (1) Poem (1) Point-of-View (1) Private vs Public Writing (1) Purple Prose (1) Questions (1) Questions for Analysis (1) Relevance of Sources (1) Reporting Verbs (1) Response Papers (1) Rough Drafts (1) Rules of Formal Letter Writing--British and American (1) Section I.A (1) Section I.B (1) Section I.C (1) Section I.D (1) Section I.E (1) Section II (1) Section II.A (1) Section II.B (1) Section II.C (1) Section II.D (1) Section II.E (1) Section II.F (1) Section II.G (1) Section II.H (1) Section II.I (1) Section II.J (1) Section II.K (1) Section II.L (1) Section II.M (1) Section II.N (1) Section II.O (1) Section II.P (1) Section III (1) Section III.A (1) Section III.B (1) Section III.C (1) Section III.D (1) Section III.E (1) Section III.F (1) Section IV (1) Self Review (1) Sequels (1) Short story (1) Six Paragraph Paper (1) Song (1) Sorrow Songs (1) Story Analysis (1) Summarizing and Paraphrasing Poems (1) Table of Links (1) The Bible (1) The Color Purple (1) The Killer Husband--Five Versions (1) The Owl at Purdue (1) The Research Challenge (1) The Weary Blues (1) Time Nymph (1) Transitions (1) Types of Characters (1) Types of Plagiarism (1) Types of Webpages (1) W. E. B. Du Bois (1) Walt Whitman (1) Wining Boy (1) Writing Assignments (1) Writing for Different Rhetorical Occasions (1) Yours (1) conjuration (1) coodinating conjunctions (1) email spam (1) hoodoo (1) writing journals (1)