Course Syllabus

Academic writing II

[Lecture Course Basic Information]

Lecturer: F Bennett
Other Lecturers: P Lege
Course Type: Lecture
Semester: Spring
Year: M1&M2
Course Periods: Wed. 4th
Credits: 2
Whether mandatory or not: Mandatory
Classroom: ALEP 2nd Floor Lecture room 2 (This Spring conducted mainly on-line)


Outline of Lecture Course

This course offers a look at various styles and methods used in academic writing as done in the Social Sciences. The course introduces the student to the idea of clarity and consistency in writing. The course is open to all graduate students in law school who are interested in the topic; however, it is aimed primarily at the introductory level of academic work. The course is designed to supplement and enhance the Academic Writing courses I & III and will include a review of the grammar and structural issues that often plague students at this level as well as provide lessons on developing organized paragraphs. At present, there is no text offered though there will be required supplementary lessons accessed through My Writing Lab. Students are advised to become familiar with the required departmental writing guidelines for their thesis available on the GSL web-site:


Course Objectives To develop improved understanding of the basic structures of sentence and paragraph writing in order to assist in developing clear and coherent thesis papers. At the completion of the course, student should be able to:

1) Identify objective use of research writing.
2) Write consistent sentence structures.
3) Analyze and evaluate paragraph structures.
4) Develop unified paragraphs.
5) Magnify the development of a thesis statement.
6) Understand how to research from comprehending paragraph structures.
Textbooks Textbook:

At present, there is no text available for the class. However, students are strongly recommended to take a look at Diana Hacker & Nancy Sommers, " A Writer's Reference," 8th ed. There are many copies in the law library.

Your instructor will provide materials from
Basic Steps to Writing Research Papers. David A. Kluge & Mathew Taylor (2007) Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-4-902902-89-1 {this book is no longer available but several copies are available in the law library.}

Recommended but not required:
Writing The Research Paper: A Handbook. 7th ed. Anthony C. Winkler & Jo Ray McCuen-Metherell. (2008). Wadsworth Cengage. ISBN: 978-0-495-79965-8
{This book can be bought on Amazon}

Materials will also be distributed in the course during the semester following a variety of sources including but not limited to (students should not buy these books):

Course Materials/Supplementary Students are advised to begin becoming familiar with both the departmental Writing Guidelines as well as the Chicago Manual of Style, which can be referenced on the Internet. It is not recommended to buy such a style book due to the cost and because it is too large in its coverage. Many areas could be confusing to the student.

Your instructor will be drawing from the following works:

Kluge, David A.,& Mathew Taylor. (2007) Basic Steps to Writing Research Papers. Cengage Learning.
Putnam, William H. (2006). Legal Research. Delmar Cengage Learning.
Putnam, William H. (2010). Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing. 2nd edition.
Ragin, Charles C. (1989) The Comparative Method: moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. University of California Press.
Wydick, Richard C. (2002). Plain English for Lawyers. 4th Ed. Durham NC:
Carolina Academic Press.recommended.

My Writing Lab: Students will need access codes to enter the supplementary exercises required for completion of the course. These access codes should be available the first week of the course.


The following will be used to assess students:

1) Mid-test (30%)
2) Final (30%)
3) Guidelines Quiz (10%)

4) Writing assignment (10%)
5) My Writing Lab 20%

                     Total 100%

Prerequisites The course is designed to complement Academic Writing One and Three in order to improve in overall organization and structure of student writing. There are no special prerequisites needed. The students will be asked to complete some simple exercises to work on writing improvement.
Instructions for Out-of-Class Study

Students should review the Writing Guide in connection with preparing assignments and presentations:

Responding to Student Questions Contact the instructor via email to arrange an appointment.
Other Notes Time limitations restrict amount of information covered. It is essential that students attend all lessons as missing one can cause confusion in the following lesson. Critical cases of being absent can contact me at:  for an appointment.


Lecture Theme Lecture Course Description Learning outside the class Related page
My Writing Lab

This class will take place on the 4th Floor of the Main Library. The aim of the class is to familiarize students with the use of the MY WRITING LAB.

Students will receive access to the lab and learn the basics of the lab


Students will complete Module 2.1, but may complete at home
Introduction to Academic Writing
This class serves to cover the essential objectives of the course which will cover three main points.

First, to gain an appreciation for the fundamentals of how to apply objective research to thesis writing

Second, to analyze past problems with thesis papers and to assess ways of preventing common errors.

Third, to study the approach taken in Social Science research in expressing complex ideas in writing.

With time permitting students will be asked to write a couple sentences (subjectively) on what they plan to study.

Materials: Will include a PowerPoint presentation and handout.
MWL module 2.2 and Write draft in lab should be complete.

the Key Elements of academic Writing

Class lecture will look at the key components of academic writing: research designs, organization, style and writing.

This class will actually serve as beginning look at many of the common grammar problems found in thesis writing. The idea is to break the thesis writing into a series of process on style, structure and sentence development.

Materials: Will include a PowerPoint presentation and handout.

(National Holiday on May 6)

MWL module 2.3 with write draft should be complete


Key Elements II


Class lecture continues from previous lesson but will include some exercises in class.

Materials: PowerPoint and handout.

MWL module 2.4 only.

Developing the Thesis Statement


This class will explain the difference between a thesis statement and hypothesis. Students will look at examples in writing to learn how to locate a thesis/hypothesis statement in research. Lecture will also provide a very basic example of organization of a paper from a thesis statement

Materials: Short PowerPoint, primary will be handout.
MWL module 2.5 and write draft should be complete.


What is FLOW?
Understanding the direction of writing


Continuation from previous week. This class will introduce the idea of writing plainly so that a reader can follow along easily. The concepts of clarity, coherency and consistency are introduced as well as general rules as to how to simplify the expression of student.

Materials: PPT and handout
MWL module 5.3 and write draft should be complete.


The Craft of Writing


The lectures focuses on concepts such as brainstorming, pre-writing, drafting, editing and revising a paper. Explains concept of efficiency and provides examples of problems found in past thesis papers. Introducing basic concept of syntax.

GSL guidelines Quiz.

Materials: Includes PowerPoint presentation and handout. (short video on revising)

MWL Module 5.4.



First half of course will consist of a mid-term exam. The exam will consists of true/false, multiple choice and sentence identification as well a short paragraph. (30% of grade)

No homework assigned here.
Mid-Term Test


Sentence Structure


This class will look at the construction of of different types of sentences (simple, compound, complex) and provide a quick review of using punctuation as well as provide a quick glance at some common grammar problems found in student writing.

Sum up of all major issues related to grammar and punctuation issues as found in past papers. Review of relevant points from mid-term exam.


MWL module (5.5) should be complete



Lecture will discuss the direction and key elements of a paragraph. Examples of paragraphs will be examined and broken-down so that students can see the structure of a well-developed paragraph.

Materials: PowerPoint and handout (mid-test will be returned and discussed)
MWL module (5.6) with write draft should be complete


Analysis of Paragraphs

The goal of this lesson is to highlight the various kinds of topical paragraphs that can be constructed. Students to practice how they can frame a structure a particular form analysis (compare/contrast) that is logical and concise. Eventually students will learn how to expand or magnify this form of writing into an essay.

Materials will be given in class.
MWL module (6.5) with write draft should be complete
12 TBA
Magnifying the paragraph
This is a continuation of the previous lesson on paragraphs. The goal is to comprehend the strategy of expanding on the development of a single paragraph into a basic essay. Students will learn how FLOW is reversed so that they might comprehend short-cuts in research.

Materials: Handout.
MWL Module (6.6) and write draft should be complete


Summarizing and Paraphrasing

Primary point of this class is to introduce concepts of summarizing and paraphrasing. The lesson introduces plagiarism (video exercise) but focuses on ways to avoid the problem.

There will be a writing assignment due on 7/15.

Materials: PowerPoint and handout (video on plagiarism)

MWL module (6.7) and write draft should be complete



Citations and Referencing

Lesson will discuss and describe the basic of citations and references. Look at some problem areas and quickly address requirements in the departmental guidelines.

Materials: PowerPoint, handout (short video)

No Lab --

Writing assignment



Final Exam

Final exam. Exam will include a mixture of True/False, multiple choice, paragraph identification, and short topical essay of one paragraph length. Exam should take approximately 1 hour. Final Quizzer Paper test
Final exam
Submission of Abstract

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