Logic Your Way into Writing
Many students and researchers struggle to write and communicate their research in a way that is both intuitive and convincing, especially but not limited to a cross disciplinary setting. This course will help prepare students to write more clearly, make it easier for their audience to understand what they are saying, and to train students to offer enough support in the direct and indirect arguments that they make within the context of their research writing
This course will focus on training students to analyze, create, and support arguments in their academic writing. Students will learn to develop their critical thinking skills and incorporate these skills into their own writing, with the goal of well-presented logical writing within the context of a research article. In addition, this class will also focus on writing clarity, style, and flow.
Emphasis will also be placed on communicating research through both speaking and writing as a way to facilitate understanding and communication. This will involve conducting audience/reader analysis, using more active sentence constructions, incorporating syntactic and semantic clarity, utilizing progression and transition strategies, as well as evaluating overall language and jargon usage.
In addition, students will learn to develop their critical reading skills in order to present and support research arguments in writing. Critical reading will involve multiple ways of evaluating academic arguments for clarity and logic, while also identifying any logic and argument shortcomings in student’s own writing.
This class will be conducted through a combination of lecture and group works. While there will be a lecture component for each class, this class relies heavily on group work as a means for students to apply the content that is presented in class, and also for the exchange of ideas and opinions. This exchange of ideas will be based on class tasks and activities, but in addition to this, students will be providing peer feedback to each other. This peer feedback will focus on how well the students communicate (through writing and/or speaking) their research, thought process, and their position and arguments.
This course will be taught completely in English and will focus on both writing in the sciences as well as the humanities.
The primary aim of this course is to develop students’ ability to use critical reading, logic, and common rhetorical functions in organizing and writing for academic research. The course focuses on specific rhetorical writing skills such as: definition, description, and argumentation. Major written assignments in this course will focus on incorporating these rhetorical strategies, as well as logical progression and clear and descriptive style, to communicate students’ research to a cross-disciplinary audience. The instructional means adopted in this course include lectures, discussion, and hands-on practice.
By the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Critically evaluate and analyze a variety of texts for academic purposes.
- Identify features of academic writing in the sciences and the humanities and apply the knowledge of academic writing to organize ideas into a logical and coherent text.
- Utilize writing and rhetorical strategies for coherence and concision
- Compose an article Introduction which presents their research in a clear and cohesive manner to a multidisciplinary/cross-disciplinary audience
- Evaluate writing for clarity
- Formulate academic arguments that are well supported through writing
- Develop proof-reading and self-editing skills
- Present their research in both writing and speaking to a cross-disciplinary/multidisciplinary audience and to increase the intelligibility of their research by utilizing content design and rhetorical strategies.
|LECTURES & DISCUSSIONS||Major Assignment|
|Week 1||– Course Introduction
– What is Critical Reading?
– Introduction to Critical Reading: Conclusion and Premise
|Week 2||– Critical Reading: Identifying Conclusion and Premise(s)
– Writing: Writing Basics
– Article Introduction: Moves and Steps
– Opacity in cross-disciplinary/multidisciplinary communication
|Week 3||– Article Introduction: Moves and Steps – Continued
– Critical Reading: Types of arguments
– Debate Practice
– Writing: Cohesion and Progression Patterns
– Audience analysis
|Week 4||– Article Introduction: Continued
– Critical Reading: Argument Mapping
– Debate Practice
|– Introduction: First Draft|
|Week 5||– Writing in a multidisciplinary setting
– Speaking in a multidisciplinary setting
|Week 6||– Debate: Debrief and Analysis
– Critical Reading: Mapping an Article
– Article Introduction: Introduction Analysis, peer review
|– Group Debate 1|
|Week 7||– Writing: Mechanics, Grammar + Style
– Transitions: Sentence, Paragraph, Discourse Level
– Methods: Analysis and steps
|– Introduction: Second Draft|
|Week 8||– Critical Reading: Ambiguity, Fallacies, Article Analysis
– Cross-Disciplinary competence
– Methods: Continued
|Week 9||– Persuasive Arguments into Persuasive Writing
– Critical Thinking: Continued
– Article Analysis
|Week 10||– Debate Debrief
– Data Commentary (Results/Discussion)
|– Persuasive Writing First Draft
– Group Debate 2
|Week 11||– Critical Thinking: Developing and Supporting Arguments
– Cross-Disciplinary Competence
– Data Commentary: Continued
|Week 12||– Persuasive Writing: Peer Review
– Critical Thinking: Developing and Supporting Arguments Continued
|Week 13||– 6 Minute Thesis: Presenting your Research
– Abstracts: Structure and analysis
|– Persuasive Writing Second Draft|
|Week 14||– Presentation Debrief||– Group Persuasive Presentation|
|Week 15||– 3-Minute Thesis workshop and Peer Review|
|Week 16||3-Minute Thesis Presentation Day 1|
|Week 17||3-Minute Thesis Presentation Day 2||– Persuasive Writing Final Draft
– Introduction: Final Draft
Textbook and Reference Materials
- Designated readings will be provided by the instructor and will involve various articles and excerpts from books and essays.
- Handouts provided for each topic
2. Reference Materials
- Browne, M. N., & Keeley, S. M. (2007). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Bowling Green State University.
- Glasman-Deal, H. (2016). Science research writing: For non-native speakers of English. London: Imperial College Press.
- Moore, B. N., & Parker, R. B. (2015). Critical thinking. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Minto, B. (2010). The pyramid principle: Logic in writing and thinking. London: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
- Morrow, D.R., Weston, A. (2015) A Workbook for Arguments: A complete course in critical thinking, 2nd Edition. Indianapolis, IN.: Hackett Publishing Company.
- Pyrczak, F., & Bruce, R. R. (2017). Writing empirical research reports: A basic guide for students of the social and behavioral sciences. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
- Redman, P., & Maples, W. (2017). Good essay writing: A social sciences guide. London: SAGE Publications in association with the Open University.
- Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2017). Academic writing for graduate students: essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
- HW Assignments = 10%
- Writing Assignments = 40%
- Research Article Introduction
- Persuasive Writing Piece
- Debates = 20%
- Presentations = 20%
- Participation = 10%
Raw Score Range