Academic Writing
Debating the Issues
Fri. 2nd. Period Ritsuko Ohta
Academic English, Discussion, Intensive Reading, Research, Writing

This class is designed to provide students with the opportunity to experience the intellectual challenges and satisfactions of writing an argumentative research paper on a topic of their choice in the field of EFL(or in other fields).  Students choose a controversial issue on a suject area, for instance, English education (e.g. Should English be taught at elementary schools?) and present/defend their point of view using the information gathered. Through this semester-long project, students become accustomed to the process of writing a research paper: Reviewing the techniques/rules necessary for academic writing (e.g. paragraph/essay development), using the library and the Internet to get necessary information, conducting a questionnaire/interview to support their position on the issue, and weaving the work of others into their own research paper in the APA style. At the end of this semester, students must submit a final paper (5 or more than 5 typed pages). In this class, students interact a great deal with one another, so active participation in pair/group work is essential.

By the end of this semester, (1) students will acquire basic steps to writing an argumentative research paper, often a common requirement of many academic courses in English-speaking colleges/universities, (2) they will be familiar with the most frequently used format of references, APA, and (3) they will be aware of cross-cultural issues such as plagiarism.

Assignment: 20%
Paper: 80%


Syllabus explanation (Homework 1 - possible research topics)


Finding/citing the material
Using the library / making note cards


Finding/citing the material
Avoiding plagiarism 1


Finding/citing the material
Paraphrasing / summarizing


Reviewing paragraph 3 parts of a paragraph (Homework 2 - note cards)


Reviewing essay
3 parts of an essay


Making an outline
(Homework 3 - outline)


Working on the first draft
Avoiding plagiarism 2


Working on the first draft
In-class writing (Q & A)


Finishing the first draft
Understanding correction symbols  (Homework 4 - first draft)


Discussing with your instructor on your first draft


Working on the final draft
Introducing references (APA style)


Working on the final draft

Practicing references (APA style)


 Working on the final draft

Practicing references (APA style) + Introduing Abstract


 Finishing the final draft

(Homework 5 - Final draft)

Peer Feedback

This class is good for those (1) who are interested in foreign language education / acquisition (2) who want to prepare for academic classes at English-speaking colleges / universities and (3) who have NEVER taken this class before.

Students may be asked to pay 2,500 ~2,800 yen for using Criterion, an online writing evaluation system (This is subject to change depending on the number of students who will take this class).