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Fundamentals of Academic Essay Writing

WRIT 125/3.0

A study of the basic principles of academic writing, including a series of assignments that emphasize logical organization, stylistic clarity, and grammatical precision.


Learning Outcomes

After completing WRIT 125, students should be able to do the following:

  • Identify the differences between an argumentative and an expository essay
  • Identify the basic parts of the academic essay and use them effectively in your own essay assignments
  • Analyze writing (yours, your peers’, and professional writers’) to identify argumentative strategies and assess how effective they are
  • Recognize common grammar and style errors and how to correct them
  • Apply strategies to revise, edit, and proofread your own work to make it more polished and clear
  • Assess research material and use documentation techniques to integrate source material effectively into your own writing
  • Apply the elements of effective essay-writing to evaluate full essays and their parts
  • Interpret feedback received from peers, TAs, and instructor and apply that feedback to your own writing to make it more persuasive, coherent, and clear

Description

WRIT 125: Fundamentals of Academic Essay Writing focuses on the basic elements of the academic essay: thesis statement, topic sentences, paragraph structure, and basic grammar and style. When you understand these elements, take time to practice using them, and get feedback on your attempts, you will produce better essays.

But producing better essays is not an end in itself. The process of planning, preparing, and writing an academic essay helps you engage with a topic, think critically about it, find your own perspective and opinion on it, and present that perspective to your readers in a clear, logical way.

In WRIT 125 you will be helped through every stage of the essay writing process. As you complete pre-writing exercises, draft assignments, and revise your work, you will get valuable practice using the basic elements of the essay. The feedback and coaching you receive from your teaching assistant (TA) and the peer-review process you take part in with other students will all help you sharpen your skills.

In this course we will not only help you develop and organize your ideas, but also offer instruction and exercises in basic grammar and style. Our feedback will focus on specific areas where you (as an individual writer) need to improve and on the process of revising, editing, and proofreading your work based on the grammatical and stylistic principles you have learned.

This course also gives you practice in writing different types of essays: for example, the critical review, the comparison/contrast essay, and the research essay.

Terms

Summer 18: May - July
Course Dates: 
May 7 - July 27, 2018
Exam Dates: 
N/A

Evaluation

Assignments
Value
Learning Activities (forum participation + 2 peer-review activities)25%
Assignment 1 (prewriting/drafting assignment)10%
Assignment 2 (critical review essay)10%
Assignment 3 (revision/editing/proofreading)15%
Assignment 4 (comparison/contrast essay)20%
Assignment 5 (research essay)20%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Students will receive considerable feedback on their written assignments; for some students it will be a new experience to have their writing examined so closely. However, the best way to improve one's writing is to understand and put into practice the suggestions of those who are experienced teachers of writing. The marking in this course will reflect students' proficiency in writing and, particularly, the efforts they make to improve. Essay assignments are marked according to a detailed rubric developed in accordance with Queen's marking guidelines.

Instructor

TBA

Instructor message

Welcome to WRIT 125. This online course allows you to practice writing the kinds of essays often expected at university and provides you with individual feedback on your own work so that you can become a better writer. In preparing the five interesting and varied assignments, you will have plenty of opportunity to plan, write, and edit your work; and the online resources such as quizzes and model essays will help you understand what effective (and ineffective) academic writing looks like.

If you want to write better essays or just learn more about the purpose, format, and components of an essay, this is the course for you.

Jean Prinsen
Email: prinsenj@queensu.ca

Lori Vos
Email: vosl@queensu.ca 

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10-12 hours per week (126 hours per term) on the course.

Fall 2017
Course Dates: 
Sept. 11 - Dec. 1, 2017
Exam Dates: 
N/A

Evaluation

AssignmentsValue
Learning Activities (forum participation + 2 peer-review activities)25%
Assignment 1 (prewriting/drafting assignment)10%
Assignment 2 (critical review essay)10%
Assignment 3 (revision/editing/proofreading)15%
Assignment 4 (comparison/contrast essay)20%
Assignment 5 (research essay)20%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Students will receive considerable feedback on their written assignments; for some students it will be a new experience to have their writing examined so closely. However, the best way to improve one's writing is to understand and put into practice the suggestions of those who are experienced teachers of writing. The marking in this course will reflect students' proficiency in writing and, particularly, the efforts they make to improve. Essay assignments are marked according to a detailed rubric developed in accordance with Queen's marking guidelines.

Instructor

Professors Lori Vos (vosl@queensu.ca)

Instructor message

Welcome to WRIT 125. This online course allows you to practice writing the kinds of essays often expected at university and provides you with individual feedback on your own work so that you can become a better writer. In preparing the five interesting and varied assignments, you will have plenty of opportunity to plan, write, and edit your work; and the online resources such as quizzes and model essays will help you understand what effective (and ineffective) academic writing looks like.

If you want to write better essays or just learn more about the purpose, format, and components of an essay, this is the course for you.

Lori Vos
Email: vosl@queensu.ca 

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10-12 hours per week (126 hours per term) on the course.

Winter 2018
Course Dates: 
Jan. 8 - Apr. 6, 2018
Exam Dates: 
N/A

Evaluation

Assignments
Value
Learning Activities (forum participation + 2 peer-review activities)25%
Assignment 1 (prewriting/drafting assignment)10%
Assignment 2 (critical review essay)10%
Assignment 3 (revision/editing/proofreading)15%
Assignment 4 (comparison/contrast essay)20%
Assignment 5 (research essay)20%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Students will receive considerable feedback on their written assignments; for some students it will be a new experience to have their writing examined so closely. However, the best way to improve one's writing is to understand and put into practice the suggestions of those who are experienced teachers of writing. The marking in this course will reflect students' proficiency in writing and, particularly, the efforts they make to improve. Essay assignments are marked according to a detailed rubric developed in accordance with Queen's marking guidelines.

Instructor

Professors Jean Prinsen (prinsenj@queensu.ca)

Instructor message

Welcome to WRIT 125. This online course allows you to practice writing the kinds of essays often expected at university and provides you with individual feedback on your own work so that you can become a better writer. In preparing the five interesting and varied assignments, you will have plenty of opportunity to plan, write, and edit your work; and the online resources such as quizzes and model essays will help you understand what effective (and ineffective) academic writing looks like.

If you want to write better essays or just learn more about the purpose, format, and components of an essay, this is the course for you.

Jean Prinsen
Email: prinsenj@queensu.ca

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 10-12 hours per week (126 hours per term) on the course.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2017, Fall Term 2017 and Winter Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.