CJVA401 Academic Writing and Other Study Skills

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2022
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 2 credit(s) (plus 2 credits for an exam). Recommended Type of Completion: zk (examination). Other types of completion: z (credit).
Taught in person.
Joseph Lennon, BA, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. et Mgr. David Zelený (seminar tutor)
Mgr. Dana Plíšková (assistant)
Mgr. et Mgr. Petra Trávníková, Ph.D. (assistant)
Guaranteed by
Joseph Lennon, BA, Ph.D.
Language Centre Faculty of Social Studies Division - Language Centre
Contact Person: Mgr. et Mgr. Petra Trávníková, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Language Centre Faculty of Social Studies Division - Language Centre
(( FAKULTA ( FSS )&& FORMA ( P )&& TYP_STUDIA ( MN ))||( OBOR ( MUSFSS )))&&(( ADAPT_B2 Adaptivní test B2 ))&&(! NOWANY ( CJVA402 Academic Presentations and Other Study Skills ))
Passing ADAPT_B2 entrance test with the result indicating that you are on the B2 level or higher. (https://is.muni.cz/auth/el/fss/jaro2022/ADAPT_B2/index.qwarp)
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is offered to students of any study field.
The capacity limit for the course is 75 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/75, only registered: 107/75, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/75
Course objectives
In this course, students will:

- Come to a better understanding of English-language academic writing culture, and learn some key ways in which it can differ from the writing cultures of Central Europe
- Develop a weekly (or even daily) practice of reading and writing in English
- Learn how to read texts as a writer, analyzing how an author’s choice of formal elements relates to a text’s audience and purpose
- Present and discuss their analysis of texts in speaking and in writing
- Practice specific concepts and vocabulary for thinking about and talking about their own and others' writing
- Design and develop their own unique writing and research project based on their interests and goals
- Receive regular and detailed feedback on their writing from the instructor and from their classmates, and gain more experience with writing as a continuous process of revision
- Come to see that writing for academia can be stimulating, creative, and enjoyable
Learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students will:

- Be familiar with a variety of ways of reading, conceiving, structuring, writing, and revising academic texts in English
- Be able to identify several specific techniques professionals use to make their writing clear, concise, and engaging
- Be well-practiced in adapting these techniques to their own writing
- Be familiar with key vocabulary in English for talking about the formal, stylistic, and lexical properties of written texts, including useful terms for such elements as formatting, punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure, and citations
- Have produced a polished portfolio of written work, including at least one shorter work (1-2 pages) and one longer work (3+ pages), which have gone through revision and more than one round of constructive, detailed feedback from the instructor and their classmates
  • This course is taught by multiple instructors, and so the exact topics / skills / questions covered, and the order in which they are covered, will be decided by each individual instructor and by the students in each particular section. The following is a general list of questions which are likely to be taken up in the course:
  • - What do we mean when we say “academic writing”?
  • - What are some ways English-language writing is different from Central European writing?
  • - What are some typical mistakes Czech or Slovak writers make in English, and how can I avoid them?
  • - How do I read a text as a writer, i.e. not just for the information in it, but in order to analyze its formal elements and “steal” them for my own work?
  • - How do I choose what genre or style to write in?
  • - Where can I find good models and inspiration for my writing?
  • - When is it appropriate to use “I” in academic writing?
  • - What are some typical formal structures used in successful texts, and how do I decide when to use a particular structure?
  • - What are the different types of punctuation, and when should they be used?
  • - How can I use summary, paraphrase, and quotation effectively in a paper?
  • - How can I use citations effectively?
  • - How can I talk about a piece of writing in English in an analytical and academically acceptable way (not just saying "I like it" or "It's boring")?
  • - How can I talk about other people’s writing in a critical but constructive way?
  • - What are some techniques for avoiding writer’s block and revising my work to make it better?
  • HEWINGS, Martin and Craig Thaine. Cambridge academic English :an integrated skills course for EAP : student's book : advanced. Course Consultant: Michael McCarthy. 1st pub. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. 176 s. ISBN 9780521165211.
  • FOWLER, H. Ramsey and Jane E. AARON. The Little, Brown handbook. Thirteenth edition. Boston: Pearson, 2016. 921 stran. ISBN 9781292099477. info
  • SWALES, John and Christine B. FEAK. Academic writing for graduate students : essential tasks and skills. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2012. xiv, 418. ISBN 9780472034758. info
  • ŠTĚPÁNEK, Libor, Janice DE HAAFF, Alena HRADILOVÁ and David SCHÜLLER. Academic English – Akademická angličtina: Průvodce anglickým jazykem pro studenty, akademiky a vědce (Academic English: a guide for students, academics and scientists). Praha: Grada, 2011. 224 pp. ISBN 978-80-247-3577-1. info
  • MCCARTHY, Michael and Felicity O'DELL. Academic vocabulary in use. First published. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 176 stran. ISBN 9780521689397. info
Teaching methods
This is not a lecture course, in which students will be tested on passive knowledge. It is a language course and a skills course, in which students will gain practice not only in writing and reading, but in speaking and listening as well. Students are required to attend the seminars (most instructors require 80% attendance), be active participants, and complete all the required assignments.

The course will require 10-20 pages of reading and 1-3 pages of writing in English every week. Students might do some of this work in the seminars, but the majority of the reading and writing must be done outside of class, as preparation for student-led discussions and presentations in class.

In the seminars, students will regularly:
- do short writing exercises and share/discuss the results of these with others
- use laptops or tablets for in-class writing, reading, and research
- present their analyses of written texts, and start or lead discussions about them
- share their writing and research with the instructor and with other students
- give and receive constructive feedback on their writing and on others’ writing
- ask questions and respond to others’ questions

The instructor might also require one-on-one or small group meetings with students in addition to the seminars.
Assessment methods
This course is taught by multiple instructors, and so the exact assessment methods and criteria will be decided by each individual instructor and by the students in each particular section. Students must refer to their instructor’s syllabus for specific requirements. But in general, students can expect similar requirements to those listed here:

- Regular attendance and participation (most instructors require 80% attendance)
- Short spoken presentations and/or the responsibility for starting/leading discussions in class
- Short written quizzes on vocabulary or specific writing techniques
- One-on-one or small group meetings with the instructor
- Several smaller written assignments (1-2 pages) turned in throughout the semester
- At least one longer written assignment (3 or more pages) which will go through revision
- A final portfolio of revised written work to be turned in at the end of the semester
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught each semester.
The course is taught: every week.
Listed among pre-requisites of other courses
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2016, Spring 2017, Autumn 2017, Spring 2018, Autumn 2018, Spring 2019, Autumn 2019, Spring 2020, Autumn 2020, Spring 2021, Autumn 2021.
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