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Academic Writing Course: English for Academic Purposes

Instructor: Mr. Wayne Redpath


An academic community is a group of academic practitioners, which includes researchers, who share a particular discourse or way of representing, thinking and talking about the world. In order to participate in this community, researchers need to learn the specific culture and its language.

This English for Academic Purposes course is an introduction to the necessary competencies of reading, text analysis, academic vocabulary, writing, and critical thinking. It will provide students with the skills to be able to express their ideas in a clear, concise and objective manner, and to participate in this academic community in the acceptable English style. The course is goal driven and pedagogically structured to reflect the intended outcome of academic papers; research proposals, professional reports, articles, and applications for further study. Moreover, the skills that students will acquire will be directly transferrable to the professional environment and will not only improve the students’ English and writing skills, but also their English language competency, presentation, and general communication skills.

Students are required to come to the course with an open mind, discipline, and a desire to learn. Attendance is mandatory and it is essential that students are able to devote the necessary time required to complete the course. The classes represent only 30-40% of the course: a substantial amount of work time outside of the class is expected of the students.


The English for Academic Purposes course is taught in an enabling style, through discussion and discovery, using a problem-solving approach, and practical tasks; for example, analysing features of authentic texts and researching authentic practices. Study skills are emphasised and made explicit, particularly learner independence and cognitive skills, especially critical thinking. Group work, presentations and discussions are several of the teaching methods used in the course. The course content is focussed on academic discourse e.g. emphasis on academic style, academic vocabulary and associated grammar and discursive features. The main emphasis is on reading and writing skills that are necessary for writing an academic paper; research proposals, professional reports, articles, and applications for further study.

Detailed Outline of the Course

Week 1:     
Class 1: Introduction to Academic Writing and English for Academic Purposes. 
Class 2: Academic Grammar (Grammar Homework: Nouns
Week 2: 
Class 3: Plagiarism (Grammar Homework: Verbs
Class 4: The Writing Process: Process and Product 
Week 3: 
Class 5: Reading (Types of Reading) (Grammar Homework: Prepositions
Class 6:  Reading (Application) 
Week 4: 
Class 7: Critical Thinking & Academic Writing (Grammar Homework: Subject Verb Agreement)
Class 8: Essay Planning: Outlining
Week 5: 
Class 9: Summarising (Grammar Homework: Adjectives)
Class 10: Paraphrasing 
Week 6: 
Class 11: Citations, Referencing, and Bibliographies (Grammar Homework: Adverbs)
Class 12: Drafting: Introductions & Thesis Statements 
Week 7: 
Class 13: Drafting: Body Paragraphs & Conclusions (Grammar Homework: Clauses & Conjunctions)
Class 14: Editing: Noticing 
Week 8: 
Class 15: Editing: Cohesion and Coherence (Grammar Homework: Hedging)
Class 16: Editing: Sentence Level (Application of Grammar Rules) 
Note: Submission of the first completed assignment
Week 9:  
Class 17: How to Write Research Papers / Articles: Structure and Content (Grammar Homework: Transitions and collocations)
Class 18: Research Papers: Literature Reviews 
Week 10:
Class 19: Research Papers: Critical Analysis Section
Class 20: Research Papers: Methodology Section 
Week 11:
Class 21: Research Papers: Abstracts
Class 22: Grammar and Writing Exam 
Week 12:
Class 20: The Role of Theory in Academia
Class 21: Presentation of Your Written Work (First Impressions DO Matter)
Week 13-14
Writing Break
Week 15-16
Class 25: Presentation of Assignments
Note: Submission of your second assignment: Research Proposal / Paper