Intensive Advanced Writing - 3rd year

This is an intensive writing course for students who are non-native speakers of English but who have previously studied English. It integrates advanced-level writing and critical thinking skills. Students will learn to employ a process approach to writing and will progress from developing paragraphs to developing academic essays employing appropriate rhetorical modes. Students will select and apply appropriate writing strategies to complete academic work. Grammar structures will be reviewed and practiced as errors occur in writing.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

1. Employ a process approach to writing including brainstorming, clustering, outlining, revising, rewriting, proofreading, editing, and evaluating.

2. Develop strategies used in writing coherent and unified academic paragraphs by:

A. Formulating topic sentences worthy of further exploration;
B. Writing supporting sentences which explain, clarify, and illustrate the topic sentence by adding details, examples, explanations, and definitions and limiting information by omitting unimportant detail;
C. Ordering sentences logically and using appropriate transitional/signal words and phrases;
D. Beginning to master complex grammatical structures such as stating and moderating opinions by using quantifiers, adverbs of frequency, and modals (some, many, arely, almost never, usually, most, very few, should, could, have to, etc.), giving reasons using signal words (because, so, although, consequently, since, as a result, therefore, etc.), varying word order, using demonstratives (this, that, these, those), and making general statements using the present tense;
E. Writing appropriate concluding sentences.

3. Write interesting and effective introductory paragraphs by:

A. Providing a hook (anecdote, surprising fact, etc.);
B. Providing relevant background information;
C. Moving from general to specific;
D. Formulating a controlling statement (thesis).

4. Write effective concluding paragraphs by:

A. Moving from specific to general;
B. Restating the controlling statement and/or summarizing the essay’s main points;
C. Referring back to the introduction;
D. Not introducing new ideas;
E. Avoiding generalizations;
F. Including a final comment.

5. Develop strategies used in writing coherent and unified academic essays by:

A. Organizing information by making lists, trees, outlines, or charts;
B. Using information from readings to supplement background knowledge;
C. Effectively using a thesis statement;
D. Framing paragraphs around one concept;
E. Stating main ideas clearly;
F. Moving from generalizations to specific supporting information;
G. Developing main ideas with adequate and convincing detail, examples, and illustrations;
H. Using facts to support opinions;
I. Including only relevant information;
J. Ordering paragraphs logically;
K. Organizing information logically;
L. Utilizing effective sentence patterns;
M. Employing appropriate transitions and signal words;
N. Using appropriate vocabulary and form.

6. Write an advantage/disadvantage essay by:

A. Analyzing an idea or situation by examining its advantages and disadvantages;
B. Applying an appropriate advantage/disadvantage organizational pattern.
C. Employing appropriate strategies used in writing effective academic paragraphs and essays;

7. Write a comparison and contrast essay by:

A. Analyzing an idea or situation by examining its differences and similarities;
B. Applying an appropriate comparison/contrast organizational pattern;
C. Employing appropriate strategies used in writing effective academic paragraphs and essays;
D. Employing comparison and contrast structure words and phrases (similarly, just like, alike, similar to, likewise, both … and, just as, on the other hand, in contrast, however, but, yet, although, even though, while, whereas, etc.)

8. Write a cause or effect essay by:

A. Explaining and presenting the causes or effects of a specific topic;
B. Analyzing cause and effect relationships;
C. Writing focused thesis statements and topic sentences which proclaim causes or effects;
D. Providing evidence for the causes/effects;
E. Applying an appropriate cause or effect organizational pattern;
F. Applying cause and effect structure words and phrases (because, so, therefore, since, as a result, etc.);
G. Employing appropriate strategies used in writing coherent and unified academic essays.

9. Write an argumentative essay on a contemporary topic by:

A. Presenting the issue;
B. Formulating an argumentative thesis statement taking a clear position;
C. Supporting and proving the claim;
D. Identifying, understanding, addressing, and refuting contrasting opinions;
E. Distinguishing between significant and insignificant ideas;
F. Using inductive and deductive reasoning;
G. Using an appropriate argument organizational pattern;
H. Employing appropriate strategies used in writing coherent and unified academic essays.

10. Answer essay questions by:

A. Determining what to do by recognizing terms that frequently appear in essay tests
B. (illustrate, explain, classify, compare, define, contrast, discuss, evaluate, argue, analyze, etc.);
C. Choosing an appropriate organizational pattern to answer the question;
D. Sticking to the topic without getting sidetracked;
E. Planning time and writing quickly.


Course topics will include the following:

1. Process writing

2. Thesis statement, topic sentences, and supporting sentences

3. Paragraph development and unity

4. Revision practice

5. Academic essays

6. Rhetorical modes

7. Essay coherence

8. Impromptu writing

9. Response to reading

Method of Instruction:

1. Lecture

2. Discussion

3. Group and pair work

4. Writing

5. Error analysis

6. Demonstration

7. Hands-on

Types of Assignments:

1. Textbook exercises

2. Vocabulary study

3. Paragraph and essay writing

Sample Text:

1. Folse, Keith S., April Muchmore-Vokoun, and Elena Vestri Solomon, Great Essays, Houghton Mifflin Company.