SFC640 - Academic Writing in English

Meant for

(Pre)Master students whose general English skills are sufficient (CEF level B2) and who want to improve their Academic Writing Skills in English.

This 5 ECTS course aims to provide participants with training in the skills necessary to write several short academic texts, such as a problem-solution text, an introduction to a research report, a data commentary based on a set of given data, and a summary.

To develop these skills, the course focuses on (1) the features of academic writing, (2) academic vocabulary, (3) grammar necessary to write academic texts, and (4) improving readability of your writing strategies.

Throughout the course students are given short writing assignments on which formative feedback is received  from classmates (during a peer review session) and from the course instructor. The course is finally assessed by means of an exam with two writing tasks.

The course comprises 8 sessions of 4 hours each. In addition to class time, you’ll require an additional 6-7 hours per week for self-study and homework. 

Entry requirements

In order to participate in this course, you must first do the Online Diagostic Test (SFC600) to assess your current level of English. The result of the online diagnostic test will tell what the right course is for you. 

And you have to meet one of the following criteria to register for this course:

  • You have a grade of 7 for English at VWO (please be aware that if your score was rounded up from 6.5, you may struggle with the course).
  • You have passed the course 9ST13A (please be aware that if your score was rounded up from 5.5, you may struggle with the course).
  • You have passed the course 9ST07 (please be aware that if your score was rounded up from 5.5, you may struggle with the course).
  • You received advice for the course based on 9ST10 (only for IE&IS students).
  • You have a Cambridge Certificate (FCE, CAE, CPE).
  • You have an IELTS score of 6.5 or higher.  
  • You have a TOEFL score higher than 90.
  • You have completed the International Baccalaureate program in English.

Aim

End level: CEF level C1

Learning objectives

On completion of this course you will be able to do the following: 

  1. Write a problem-solution text based on the following criteria:
    • use of appropriate academic register as discussed in Swales and Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • use of grammatical structures typical of a problem-solution text as discussed in Swales and Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • use of appropriate structure for a problem-solution text as discussed in Swales and Feak Unit 3
    • the use of sentence strategies and linking devices to achieve good readability
    • use of academic vocabulary from the Academic Word list 1-6.
  2. Write an Introduction to a Research Paper based on the following criteria:
    • use of the rhetorical pattern known as the create-a-research-space (CARS) model as discussed in Swales and Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • use of verb tenses typical of an Introduction
    • use of phrases and vocabulary typical of a research report
    • use of academic vocabulary from the Academic Word list 1-6.
  3. Write a data commentary based on the following criteria:
    • the ability to highlight relevant trends shown in a given set of data (table/graph/chart)
    • the ability to structure the data commentary and order information in an appropriate way as discussed in Swales and Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • use of academic vocabulary from the Academic Word list 1-6.
  4. Write a summary based on the following criteria:
    • the ability to paraphrase as discussed in Swales and Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
    • the ability to accurately highlight the main ideas from a given source text
    • the ability to incorporate sources correctly (APA style and/or field specific conventions)
    • use of academic vocabulary from the Academic Word list 1-6.

Starting dates and registration

The course is given every quartile. Registration code SFC640 via Osiris.