English Writing in the Social Sciences and Humanities

English Writing in the Social Sciences and Humanities

The primary aim of this course is to develop the stylistic competency needed to write a thesis, article, and other English-language academic documents. This course is ideally suited to all students (not just Social Sciences) interested in writing about qualitative research ideas that require expository writing skills.

Primary Course Content

  • How to write Definitions and Descriptions
  • How to write an Analysis
  • How to write Argumentation

The course also offers these specific writing skills

  • Defining
  • Describing
  • Summarizing
  • Comparing/Contrasting
  • Critiquing
  • Proofreading and Editing

Course Intended-Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate and analyze a variety of texts for academic purposes.
  • Identify features of academic writing and apply their knowledge of academic writing to organize their ideas into a logical and coherent text.
  • Recognize argumentative structures used in constructing research papers.
  • Develop proof-reading and self-editing skills.


The instructional part of the course uses a variety of interactive tasks to help you improve writing your academic research papers.

The main assignment for this course invites you to create your own writing project that uses some or all of the functions mentioned above. These functions can be applied to your writing assignments that match your particular needs. This project can be one single paper, or you can practice writing different parts of a paper.

For example, if you are preparing your thesis, you may want to practice writing the definition and description of your research object. You may also want to practice analyzing the object, and critiquing previous research.

If you are writing an article, you might want to practice writing the abstract (summary), or discussing your hypothetical conclusions based on your research methods (analysis and argumentation).

You will be asked to submit by the end of the course, a final draft of this project that shows confident use of at least three of the expository functions.

Additional Assignments

Along with the four writing assignments,  there will be additional assignments and tasks to prepare you for a final course portfolio containing all your final drafts, due at the end of the course.

Course Materials

Course materials will be provided by the instructor and sent to you via email.



  • Writing Project: 50%
  • Participation (see below): 50%


Participation means active involvement in group discussions, feedback, and activities, instructor conferences/ feedback, and various short writing assignments. This class will be conducted in a writing workshop style. You will need to be prepared for each class to engage in its activities. Readings for analysis and discussion will be assigned.