Academic Writing I

Paul W.L.LAI Associate Professor

Department: Institute of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Class Time: 2013 Spring Tuesday
Recommended for: Graduate Students

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Course Overview

The two-semester graduate course has been developed since 2008 based on a new teaching method that integrates the training of logical thinking skills into the training of academic writing. Its primary goal is to help graduate students, through a step-by-step training in logical thinking, develop the skills needed to write a clear and convincing academic paper for publication at a high international level.

In the spring semester students will mainly learn how to develop a preliminary thesis statement (main research idea) for their respective research, and a logical argument for the thesis statement.In the autumn semester students will mainly learn how to incorporate the thesis statement and logical argument into an abstract, introduction, and learn how to develop a counterargument or advanced argument. After successfully completing the entire course, the students should be in a good position to complete and send their papers for publication. Those who succeed in having at least one English abstract accepted for publication during the course might be employed as a teaching assistant of Mei-Writing.

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Course Requirements

  1. Graduate students who are abele to take classes, and communicate, in English.
  2. Preference will be given to those who are planning to submit abstracts to international conferences or journals.

Textbooks,Reference book.etc

The course instructor has developed a series of course materials, including (i) step-by-step guide on how to build a thesis statement, (ii) step-by-step guide on how to build a logical argument, (iii) template on how to write a high quality abstract, (iv) template on how to write a high quality introduction, etc.

All these materials are free, and will be available for download at the course web site.

Course Schedule

1st semester

This is a highly interactive course! You will be asked a lot of questions, and you are encouraged to ask questions or give comments ANYTIME! There will be plenty of lectures, class works, and group works. And all these activities will be implemented based on YOUR OWN RESEARCH! In particular, the spring semester will cover the following!

Session Contents
1 Introduction to logical thinking and academic writing.(Lecture)
2 A narrow but useful definition of academic writing.(Lecture)
3 The role of thesis statement in academic writing.(Lecture)
4 Step by step guide on how to build a thesis statement for your research.(Class & Group work)
5 Student presentation on Thesis Statement.(Student presentation)
6 Student presentation on Thesis Statement.(Student presentation)
7 Introduction to logic, and how logic can be applied to your research.(Lecture)
8 Step by step guide on how to build a logical argument for your research - Part.1(Class & Group work)
9 Step by step guide on how to build a logical argument for your research - Part.2(Class & Group work)
10 Step by step guide on how to build a logical argument for your research - Part.3(Class & Group work)
11 Introduction to common logical fallacies.(Lecture)
12 Student presentation on Logical argument.(Student presentation)
13 Student presentation on Logical argument.(Student presentation)
14 Student presentation on Logical argument.(Student presentation)
15 Review,reflection,and course evaluation.(Discussion)

Grading

Students who need the course credits are required to meet the following conditions:

  1. Attendance must be over 80%
  2. Two oral presentations ((i) thesis statement, (ii)logical argument)

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Page last updated November 24, 2014

The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.

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