ENGL 112 (3 cr): Strategies for University Writing

ENGL-112

Course Overview

English 112 is designed to introduce you to the conventions of academic writing and develop your ability to use the following skills:

  • read and write attentively and critically
  • develop a process for dealing with the sorts of written assignments encountered in undergraduate coursework
  • recognize and employ academic discourse
  • summarize an academic argument/article
  • develop a critical response to an academic argument/article
  • develop and support a reasonable argumentative position
  • construct a research-based essay through developing a topic, performing research, drafting, editing, and revising

English 112 is not simply a composition course, nor is it designed to provide remedial instruction for students who are not good writers. We assume that you know how to write and that you have experience with many styles of written communication. But you are unlikely to have spent time studying the conventions of university-level writing, or to have been provided with opportunities to practice reading, responding to, and producing this type of writing (or, as it is sometimes called: discourse – the academic conversation around a particular topic).

 

Calendar Description of English 112

Through the study and application of the principles of university-level discourse, and with emphasis on expository and persuasive writing, this course will introduce students to critical reading and university-level discourse. Through readings, exercises, and writing assignments, students will learn to recognize and apply rhetorical principles and strategies central to university-level research writing. Students will examine methods for discovering and arranging ideas, and they will consider ways in which style is determined by the rhetorical situation. Reading and writing assignments will require students to study, analyze, and apply principles of exposition and persuasion.

Course Format

This 13 week course requires you to work through each Unit, Week and Lesson sequentially.

At the beginning of each Unit, you will find a list of objectives, readings and assignments. An Introduction and Summary of each Unit is also provided. Weeks begin with an Introduction, followed by individual Lessons, each with an Overview and Conclusion. Each Lesson involves specific readings and activities, and you need to complete them all, so make sure you know how the course is set up, and (after you have checked the FAQs in the Discussion section), email your instructor if you are confused about any course element.

If you read at the average university-reading level, you should expect to spend an average of approximately 10-15 hours a week on this course. This time includes reading, responding, dialoguing with other students, carrying out research, and writing. The pace of this online course is very similar to that of a classroom course; you cannot choose your own pace, and will have to develop the habit of checking the course site at least every weekday, and meeting not only assignment but also participation deadlines. Be sure to manage your time accordingly and don’t let things slide. Discussion forums will close after the allotted time, and assignments will receive late marks if they aren’t handed in on time. Start working on all assignments well in advance of the due dates!

Course Requirements

You will be required to complete a range of activities in English 112, including the following elements:

  • assigned readings on the nature of university writing and the skills involved in writing an effective academic essay,
  • the study of a selection of formal essays/articles,
  • participation in an online discussion forum (including informal responses to readings, study questions, and exercises),
  • independent library research (this research will, in most instances, be completed online, using the library databases),
  • written assignments leading up to a major research paper,
  • 3 hour final examination.

 

The information below is Specific to section 99A with Prof. Nelson-McDermott

  1. Nelson-McDermott’s 112 Course Abstract: This course shows you how to research for, evaluate, and write university-level papers. Everything in this course is developed a) around scholarly reading and writing and b) in relation to the academic experience: how to latch onto research and argument as a keen and ethical scholar, how to navigate the student experience, and how to build yourself a practice of scholarly engagement with the world around you. We do these things through turning everything into a learning experience, considering the library an amazing place to hang out (virtually or in person), doing deep background on articles and researchers, and debating this stuff with each other. It can be a lot of fun, it’s definitely mind-expanding, and it’s also hard work.

In introducing you to the argumentative and research skills required of university students, the course focuses on the scientific process and accurate representation/communication thereof. We also discuss/debate the social implications of such representation. The course learning style is very interactive; you will learn and practice these skills by interacting with the texts, the instructor, and each other. You will also be doing quite a lot of article research.

By the end of this course you should be able 1) to write acceptable first-year university-level essays, including research essays, 2) to read the writing of others critically, and 3) to analyze your own and other authors’ styles of expression and methods of argument for clarity and effectiveness (based on elements such as tone/ethos, thesis, awareness of audience and situation/kairos, ethical use of data, approach to the scientific process, and language/jargon use). You will thoroughly understand and effectively follow principles of academic honesty. You should feel more comfortable with participating in the active classroom. Finally, you will have a thorough understanding of the ways in which gathering adequate data and research material is necessary to the preparation of a successful academic argument.

Course Assignments & Marks:

Discussion participation                                                                     — 10%

Analysis assignment                                                                           — 15%

Essay proposal                                                                                    — must be approved or essay gets 0

Essay prep document (proposed bibliography and outline)              — 20%

Research paper  (~1250 words)                                                          — 25%

Final exam (invigilated)                                                                     — 30%

Final Examination: The 3 hour final examination (which follows a common format for all sections of English 112, and will take place during the formal examination session) comprises 30% of the total mark and consists of two sections. The examination will test critical reading and composition skills; you will be asked to write two clear, coherent, well-developed essays: one analyzing a passage of university-level prose, and one responding to a question requiring either analysis or development of a reasonable argument using the readings and concepts we have covered in our section of 112.

Submitting Your Assignments: All assignments for this section are to be submitted to the instructor via direct email <Catherine.Nelson-McDermott@ubc.ca> by 11pm on the due date noted on the course schedule. Please DO NOT try to use the Connect Dropbox; your assignment will not make it to me!

There will be late penalties for overdue assignments (2% per day late). Assignments more than one month late will not be accepted and a score of zero will be assigned.

Course Readings

NOTE – Individual sections may vary in choice of texts: be sure to check your section number carefully in ordering books!

This version of the course requires you to purchase the following anthology text only; readings will be listed in the course itself:

Nelson-McDermott, Catherine, Laura Buzzard, and Don LePan, eds. Science and Society: An Anthology for Readers and Writers. Peterborough: Broadview, 2014.

GRAMMAR AND WRITING HANDBOOK  — You can use any reliable handbook, including an online handbook. It is usually most efficient to start with Purdue’s OWL site and then to use other websites and handbooks from the UBC Library as necessary.

All other readings are online, generally to be accessed through the wonderful UBC Library.

ENGL112 Textbook Order Form