IFLS 306

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IFLS 306: Academic English Writing (Spring 2018)

Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University
Mon/Wed 10.30-11.45 (3 hours/week), Class location: 국제관 412 (International Studies Hall)

  • Mailbox: 국제관 208A
  • Office & office hours: 국제관 720, by appointment

1 Course description

This course is designed mainly for juniors and seniors in social science and humanities fields (other majors are welcome, too). It will require you to write critically about your field of study, and thus entails at least a junior level knowledge of your field. The goals of the course are as follows:

  1. Improving your English writing skills; expressing yourselves better in academic English
  2. Learning the expectations, conventions (standards) and style of academic writing

This will include addressing common issues and problems that Korean writers of English have, such as essay structure, style, wording, and genre issues. We will also learn about the writing process, as we take a process and genre based approach to writing.

This course is equivalent in contents to ENGL 434, which I have previously taught.

1.1 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].

  • You will need to bring academic / scholarly articles (research papers / essays) by researchers / scholars in your field of study, for some of our class activities and assignments.
  • Other handouts and materials will be provided on this website, or by email.

2 Weekly materials & assignments

2.1 Weeks 1-2: Writing process

  • Read AEWM ch. 1 (Intro), ch. 2 (writing process)
  • 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.) The link was sent to you by email from the Blackboard system.
  • Google Form #2: Fill out this form to assess your writing strategies. Your results will be tallied and emailed back to you afterwards. The link was sent to you by email from the Blackboard system.

2.1.1 Writing process & strategies

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

  • How effective are your writing methods and writing process, e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision?
  • How similar / different your writing process is for different kinds of projects or courses, or for English versus Korean assignments?
  • What problems do you have with writing, and how do you / can you overcome them? (E.g., motivational problems, writer's block, procrastination...)
  • What motives and strategies influence your writing? (Refer to the writing strategies inventory and Google Form #2). How effective are your writing strategies and motives?
  • How confident do you feel about your writing abilities, English abilities, and/or your ability to improve in these areas?

See also the questions on p. 24. The focus of this assignment is mainly the contents, so don't worry too much about minor grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, etc.). Since this is a reflective / self-evaluative essay, this will be somewhat informal, including use of first-person.

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. See p. 194 for standard college paper format.

Due date: 21 March

2.2 Genre analysis

  • In-class writing task (2014.03.23) for you to do in my absence. What you write here may be helpful for the genre analysis assignment.
  • Bring sample papers from your field to class. These should be published scholarly works, preferable from academic journals. Hard copies are recommended, so you can easily pass them around, discuss them, and write on them.
  • Read the section in the book on genre analysis
  • Genre analysis worksheet (2013.04.04) Fill this out and hand this in by Thursday (2014.04.04). This will help you prepare for your genre analysis essay. If you want to, you can type it up in your own file, and then print and turn in a hard copy.

2.2.1 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. 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.

1. First version

  • Bring a hard copy (printed version) to class
  • Length: 2.5 pages minimum, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Due date:

2. Final version

  • Due date: mid-term week
  • Length: at least 3 full pages, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria for major writing assignments

2.3 Week 8: Midterm

  • Revise and submit the final version of the genre analysis essay (due date: 26 April). A cover page or title page is optional (see the example in the coursebook Appendix).

2.4 Logic & argumentation

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

2.5 Paraphrasing, citation, plagiarism

  • Read the section in the book on plagiarism, source use, and citation systems.
  • Read the chapter on argumentation, particularly p. 69 and following on counter-argumentation.


2.6 Discourse & style issues

2.7 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)

2.7.1 Research statements

  1. Sample research statement for postdoc application
  2. Sample research & teaching statement for professorship application
  3. Teaching statement for a university teaching position
  4. Budget justification for grant proposal
  5. Project Summary.pdf for grants, or for preliminary exam / pre-dissertation process
  6. Grant proposal #1 (for a university grant, which was successful)
  7. Grant proposal #2 (for a university grant)
  8. Grant proposal #3a and second part, #3b
  9. Grant proposal #4 (National Science Foundation grant; a good but unsuccessful application)
  10. Optional: Biographical sketch for grant proposals (or other purposes)

2.7.2 Teaching statements

This includes more formal teaching philosophy statements (TPS) for university teaching jobs.

  1. TPS manual (with examples)
  2. TPS rubric - guidelines for a good TPS
  3. TSP example: Educational psychology
  4. TPS example: College language teacher Teaching statement
  5. TPS: language education
  6. Sample research & teaching statement for professorship application

2.7.3 Extra handouts: Interviews

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

2.7.4 Final paper

Final paper proposal. Submit a one-paragraph description or proposal (at least 1/2 page or one full paragraph) for your final paper or project on 28 May. Your options are as follows.

  1. A full-length paper from another course that you are using in this class. Your proposal should summarize the paper's contents and tell me what kind of course it is for.
  2. A revised and expanded version of your genre analysis paper. Your paper proposal should explain how you will improve, revise, and/or add to it.
  3. A set of writing samples based on the professional writing unit. You can pretend that it's in the future and that you have some accomplishments worth noting (as long as they are reasonable). Your project proposal should explain the specific scenario for your application (when, where, etc.), the kind of position or entities you might apply to, and which documents you will submit for the assignment.

For the professional writing sample set, pick one of the following scenarios and develop a set of application materials.

  1. Applying for graduate schools. Imagine you are applying for a Ph.D. program at an English-speaking university; maybe you want to apply for a combined Master's plus Ph.D. program, or you are finishing a Master's and want to transfer to another school for a Ph.D. Requirements:
    • (1) Two versions of a statement of purpose, customized for two applying for different universities [at least 2 pages if single-spaced];
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Imagine some kind of research that you might carry out as a graduate student, and for that, do one of the following items: (3a) A research grant application for a planned doctoral research project, or (3b) a research proposal for a dissertation topic [at least two pages if single-spaced].
  2. Applying for a professorship or research position (post-doctoral position or full-time researcher):
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications;
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Either (3a) a research statement, research plan, or research proposal, describing your intended research; or (3b) a teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and teaching philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a university to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced]
  3. Applying for other teaching positions (college teaching assistant, secondary school teacher, etc.)
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications [one page each];
    • (2) One CV or résumé;
    • (3) A teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a school to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced] .

A description of your final project is due (hard copy) in class on 28 May. The final version project is due on ____. Please send it to both email accounts (or put in my mailbox) Be sure to include a title page or cover page in English style, e.g., like this sample, or like the examples in the Appendix of the book.

2.8 Pedagogy (for teachers or tutors)