IFLS 306

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IFLS 306: Academic English Writing (Spring 2017)

Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University
Tue./Thu. 12-13.15pm (3 hours/week), Class location: 국제관 307b (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]. 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.) Due date:
  • Google Form #2: Fill out this form to assess your writing strategies. Your results will be tallied and emailed back to you afterwards. Due date:

2.1.1 Major homework #1: Writing process homework

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

  • How effective are your methods and writing process, e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision?
  • How much / how often do you revise, and what do you focus on?
  • How similar / different your writing process is for different kinds of projects or courses, or for English versus Korean assignments?
  • If you have problems with procrastination or writer's block, explain how you deal with it. What are the causes of these problems for you? (e.g, perfectionism, extrinsic motivation, lack of ideas, too much information to deal with, or negative voices from your past that you've internalized).
  • What motives drive your writing? (Refer to the writing strategies inventory and Google Form #2). How effective are these strategies and motives?
  • How confident do you feel about your writing abilities, English abilities, and/or your ability to improve in these areas?
  • Also, questions on the bottom of p. 27.

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, and reflecting on your process. The focus of this assignment is mainly the contents, so don't worry too much about minor grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, etc.).

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. Due date:

2.2 Weeks 3-5 Paper & genre analysis

  • 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 AEWM ch. 3-4
  • Read Handout on theories, laws, models
  • Google Form #3: About your academic field. Fill out this form about your field of study by midnight, ??

Note: It should let you go back to the form later to edit your responses. If you need to go back to add more, and it does not allow you to do so (due to browser cookie issues, or maybe Google Forms are just getting buggier), then just do a new form, enter blank spaces for question responses that you don't want to revise, and enter your additions. Don't worry, as my Google spreadsheet will have your original responses.

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.

Length: 4 pages minimum, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.)
Draft due date: ?? (at least 2.5 full pages)
Final version due date: mid-term
Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria

2.3 Argumentation

Read the article by C.S. Lee, a chemistry professor at Korea University, about EMI policy: (J.-S. Lee, 2010).


2.4 Week 8: Midterm

  • Revise and submit the final version of the genre analysis essay (due date: ??). Be sure to include a title page or cover page in English style; see the example in the coursebook Appendix.

2.5 Weeks 9-11: 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 Weeks 11-12: Discourse & style issues


2.7 Weeks 13-14?: 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 Professional writing assignments

The following will count as major HW grades. The grading criteria include: [1] neat, readable and attractive appearance for CVs and résumés; [2] good contents; [3] and convincing cover letters or SOPs.

  1. Job application option: Turn in a résumé and a cover letter (for applying for a non-academic position)
  2. Academic job option: Turn in a CV and a cover letter (for teaching, research, or academic jobs)
  3. Academic application option: Turn in a CV and an SOP (for applying to a Ph.D. program, especially for moving from a master's degree to a Ph.D. elsewhere)

2.7.2 Extra handouts: Interviews

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

2.7.3 Pedagogy (for teachers or tutors)

2.7.4 Final paper

Final paper proposal. Submit a one-paragraph description of your final paper. This will be a paper from another course that you are using in this class. Proposal due:

Bring a print-out of your draft to class on ??. for peer editing, then email your draft by midnight, ??., to both email accounts (or put in my mailbox by ??.); please send it to both my email accounts. Be sure to include a title page or cover page in English style, e.g., like this sample.