Academic Writing

Academic Writing Workshop

Fall & Spring Semester

Dr. Sonia Weiner

Office Hours: Webb 503, By Appointment


Short description

The Academic Writing workshop introduces the student to genres and conventions of academic writing. The student will engage in writing as an academic venture, with an emphasis on developing intellectual curiosity and creativity alongside a set of writing techniques. Additional importance will be placed on acquiring academic research skills and on adequately citing bibliographic sources.

The course work will be based on a novel (TBA) which will be read in installments over the first few weeks of the semester and will be discussed in class. You must read the novel in its entirety: the critical and theoretical readings, as well as your writing assignments, will be related to the novel.




Learn how to write a position paper and a research paper:

Compose a strong thesis statement.

Organize an essay into a well-written introduction, body (claims), and conclusion.

Build well-constructed paragraphs (topic sentence, explanatory supporting sentences and evidence). Understand what constitutes evidence (sources) and how to integrate it flawlessly into the essay (examples, paraphrase, summarize, quote).

Identify and avoid logical fallacies.

Revise and edit all aspects of an essay.


Engage in critical close reading of texts and learn how to:

Distinguish between different kinds of sources and modes of address.

Identify arguments and organize ideas.

Identify how the text uses evidence.

Situate the author within a discourse, dialogue, discipline.


Develop skills in research methods and techniques, which include:

An in-depth introduction to the library and its databases.

Learning how to judge the validity and reliability of various reading materials.

Correctly use the MLA style of citing.

Summarize, paraphrase and quote – how to avoid plagiarizing.


Course Requirements

4 Critical Responses to Articles = 5% per essay (total 20%)

In Class Presentation of Article = 10%

Outline for Research Paper = Mandatory (not graded)

Draft of Research Paper = 20%

Student Conference to discuss draft and revisions = Mandatory (not graded)

Final Research Paper = 50%


All assignments must be completed.  

Late submissions of assignments will be penalized.




Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.


Academic conduct

Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously. Any instance of academic misconduct which includes: submitting someone else’s work as your own; failure to accurately cite sources; taking words from another source without using quotation marks; submission of work for which you have previously received credit; working in a group for individual assignments; using unauthorized materials in an exam and sharing your work with other students, will result in failure of the assignment and will likely lead to further disciplinary measures.

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