Writing for Academic Purposes I: “Foundation” [AS 2022]


UE-L06.01092/01093 (6 ECTS)

Day/Time:                                                                                   Location:

Group A: Thursday 10:15–12:00                                     Group A: MIS 02, Room 2122

Group B: Friday 08:15–10:00                                           Group B: MIS 10, Room 3.16

Group C: Thursday 13:15–15:00                                     Group C: MIS 02, Room 2118

Instructor:           Nathaniel Davis (nathaniel.davis@unifr.ch)

Office:                    MIS 10, 3.09


This course is for BA-LET students majoring or minoring in English and must be taken before WAP II (offered in the Spring Semester). Unlike the informal writing that you do on a day-to-day basis, academic writing must conform to a specific set of formal standards in order to be successful. This course provides you with the foundation necessary to successfully complete the various academic writing tasks you will encounter during your university studies; it also highlights the important differences between English academic writing and that done in other languages. Activities and assignments will cover formal components such as paragraph structure, quoting and paraphrasing, and academic citations, as well as process-oriented concerns such as researching, planning, and drafting. The overall goal of the course is to give you confidence expressing yourself in formal written English and responding to specific criteria of university writing assignments.

Coursework will include short writing tasks, revisions, and a research paper. Written work produced during the semester will be gathered in a portfolio and submitted after the final class. Grades will be based on a weighted average of the main writing assignments (including revisions). The semester portfolio, regular attendance, and in-class participation will also be taken into account when calculating final grade.

Learning outcomes:

§  Understand and implement the basic formal standards of English academic writing: paragraph and essay structure, thesis statements and topic sentences, introductions and conclusions, quotations, citations, and bibliographical references

§  Become familiar with the requirements of a variety of academic writing tasks

§  Develop a practical approach to planning and organizing the research, drafting, and editing stages of academic writing

§  Establish effective methods of argumentation and exposition

§  Acquire an awareness of the differences between formal and informal language

§  Work to make your writing clear, simple, and error-free

§  Gain practical experience editing and revising your own writing

§  Understand the nuances of academic honesty and what constitutes plagiarism