Advanced Academic Writing: Goals and Objectives
The general goals of my Advanced Academic Writing course are to help students obtain improved academic writing and research skills, knowledge of how to cite other’s writing and research, and confidence speaking about writing. In an article that I read for another class, it said, “Academic writing is one of the basic skills that leads to academic achievement and future success in students’ professions…. Academic writing competence is essential for people who need to communicate socially and professionally” (Peizhen & Machado, 2015). I agree with this statement, because academic researchers, my course’s intended students, are constantly expected to publish their research according to the standards and regulations of their respective academic disciplines. Furthermore, they are expected to discuss their research and writing at length, either at conferences or when they are their defending dissertations, to give two obvious examples.
Also, the above article discusses how second language learners’ (L2s’) respective native cultures inform how they approach research and writing. (According to Peizhen and Machado, writers from East Asian countries are more likely to collaborate on their writing and to seek help with their writing than their American counterparts, because collectivism, or group efforts, are much more accepted in East Asian cultures.) This assertion figures into the course as well, because the instructor should teach the students about American research and writing practices, without forcing the students to forgo their willingness to collaborate on and seek help with their writing. However, this goal also involves teaching L2s about plagiarism and how to avoid it, because — to some second language learners — collaborating might seem indistinguishable from plagiarizing others’ research.
Thus, I think that the three components of my course’s content complement each other, because improved writing and research skills and the ability to discuss one’s writing and research are contingent upon having cultural awareness of academic practices in the United States. If an academic researcher is unaware of the United States’ idiosyncratic approach to writing and research, an approach that is “individualistic”, his or her research might not be as well received in academic circles within the United Sates.
The objectives for my course include library and Internet research workshops; drafting, editing, proofreading, and seeking help on their sustained-content papers; and practice using citations. I hope that all of these will be the “causes” that will lead to the “effect” of my students realizing the course goals. I feel that without hands-on practice writing a paper and researching a topic, my course goals cannot be met. That is why I want to integrate a sustained-focus writing assignment, and all that it entails, into my course objectives. However, I also plan to include lectures and workshops on how to writing, research, and cite, because I feel that students’ need to be familiar with theory in order to put it into practice.
Peizhen, W., & Machado, C. (2015). Meeting the needs of Chinese English language Learners at Writing Centers in America: A Proposed Culturally Responsive Model. Journal of International Students , 143–160.