Academic Literacy

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Overview

This is the first course of the English for Research Publication Purposes Specialization. The course is an introduction to what you need to know about academic discourse. You’ll gain important critical reading skills to help you develop as a self-critical scientific writer. You will learn practical tools and effective strategies for increasing your academic vocabulary and grammar so that you will write well-structured coherent academic texts.

Syllabus

MODULE I: THE READING–RESEARCH–WRITING CONTINUUM
-This module will help you acquire critical reading skills so that you will develop as a self-critical writer. The module covers issues related to reading discipline-specific literature, which is indispensable from developing professional expertise in writing academic texts. The focus is on fundamental concepts of scientific writing, such as logical organization and argumentation.

MODULE II : DEVELOPING ACADEMIC VOCABULARY
-This module covers issues related to building academic vocabulary. The module clarifies word-formation processes, i.e., affixation, conversion, and compounding. The focus is on strategic language re-use and ways of dealing with new words. The module provides software tools for extracting frequently occurring vocabulary specific to an area of research.

MODULE III : FUNDAMENTALS OF ACADEMIC GRAMMAR
-This module covers issues related to the pragmatics of academic English. The module presents an overview of the English verb system, including the most frequent tenses, three aspects, and two voices. The module highlights the use of correct punctuality, which is of immense help in meeting the goal of the writing process: to ensure clear communication of ideas. The module also explains the role of modality and register in academic writing. Another important issue discussed in the module is the use of parallel constructions for words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs of an academic text.

MODULE IV : ACADEMIC DISCOURSE
-The final module looks beyond the sentence to the ways that grammar structures paragraphs and longer texts. The module covers issues related to the textuality of academic texts, i.e. cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality, and intertextuality. In particular, the module focuses on lexical and grammatical cohesion. The module also discusses the concept of paragraphing and what the topic sentence and the statement of purpose mean for effective academic writing.

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