Coursera Writing in English at University by Lund University

Writing in English at University: An introduction
Welcome to the MOOC course Writing in English at University! This course has been designed as a resource for university students who are currently involved in writing assignments or degree projects as well as for students who wish to learn about academic writing in order to prepare for future writing at university. Although the course will provide guidance and useful tips and tricks to all student writers, it is specifically useful to those who are writing in second language contexts and whose native language is not English.

5 videos, 15 readings, 6 practice quizzes
Video: Introduction to academic writing
Reading: Course book and other free online material
Reading: Course aims
Reading: Expected workload and working methods used within this course
Reading: Course structure
Reading: Teachers
Discussion Prompt: Meet and greet
Reading: Before you start
Video: What is academic writing?
Practice Quiz: What we mean when we talk about “academic writing”
Reading: Further reading
Discussion Prompt: Reflection task
Reading: Before you start
Video: Interpreting the task
Reading: Further reading
Practice Quiz: Instruction words
Reading: Introduction
Video: The writing process and process writing
Practice Quiz: The writing process
Reading: Reading assignment
Discussion Prompt: Pause and reflect
Reading: Introduction
Practice Quiz: Pause and reflect
Video: Feedback and peer review
Reading: The review process
Peer Review: Peer review exercise – part 1
Practice Quiz: Peer review exercise – part 2
Reading: Finding the right words
Practice Quiz: Using dictionaries
Reading: Online self­-improvement exercises

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Structuring your text and conveying your argument
In module 1 we looked at some of the aspects that you will need to consider before embarking on an academic writing project. In module 2 we will build on this knowledge when we explore issues of building and shaping an academic text. In this week’s module you will learn about argument, types of essay structure, and also how to structure information within paragraphs and sections. Structuring a text so that it is coherent and makes sense to your target audience requires a great deal of thought, and we will guide you through the decisions that you will have to make in composing a text. Though the information in this module will be of interest to anyone looking to improve their academic writing competencies, you will find the material here especially helpful if you have a particular writing project of your own in mind to reflect on, and to which you can apply the ideas that we present here.

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6 videos, 16 readings, 5 practice quizzes
Reading: Introduction
Video: Structuring an argument
Practice Quiz: Argumentative writing
Discussion Prompt: Identifying reasons and unstated assumptions
Reading: Further reading
Reading: Introduction
Video: Research questions and thesis statement
Reading: Thesis statement
Practice Quiz: What makes a good thesis statement?
Reading: Further reading
Discussion Prompt: Research questions and thesis statement
Reading: Introduction
Video: Structuring a text around the three-part essay
Practice Quiz: The three-part essay structure
Reading: Further reading
Reading: Choosing an appropriate structure
Video: Structuring information
Reading: Structuring information in academic texts
Reading: Reflection exercise
Reading: Introduction
Video: Structuring paragraphs
Practice Quiz: Structuring paragraphs
Reading: Introduction
Video: IMRaD
Practice Quiz: IMRaD Structure
Reading: Reflection exercise
Reading: Further reading
Reading: CARS: Creating a research space
Discussion Prompt: How well does the CARS model apply in your discipline?
Reading: Introduction
Discussion Prompt: Five moves of an abstract

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Using sources in academic writing
Academic writing does not happen in a vacuum, but rather builds on scholarly work that has come before. When you compose a piece of academic writing, it is necessary to show that you have done your homework and read up on the subject. Sometimes you will be given specific texts to read, and sometimes you will need to go and find these sources for yourself. The kinds of sources that you will be expected to use, and the manner in which you use them, will vary depending on the discipline that you are writing within and the level at which you are studying. Though a Master’s level student will be expected to have acquired a more sophisticated approach to using secondary sources than, say, a student on an introductory undergraduate course, the basic set of skills required is the same. Using secondary sources in your writing relies on developing this particular set of skills. In this module, which has been developed in collaboration with the librarians, we will talk about how to go about acquiring these skills. The competencies that we discuss here are ones that require practice, and you shouldn’t expect to simply acquire them overnight. However, the tasks that we have set are designed to set you on the right path to honing your skills. This module is divided into three separate lessons. In the first lesson you will learn about reading strategies. In the second lesson, called “Integrating sources: positioning and stance,” we will explore how to situate your own arguments and ideas in relation to secondary sources. In the third lessons, called “Referencing and academic integrity,” we will explore issues surrounding referencing, academic integrity and plagiarism.

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4 videos, 9 readings, 4 practice quizzes
Reading: Reading in the information age
Video: Reading strategies
Reading: Further reading
Practice Quiz: Predatory reading
Reading: Reflective task: Reading for writing
Reading: Other resources on reading
Reading: Secondary sources
Video: Integrating sources: positioning and stance
Reading: Incorporate secondary sources
Practice Quiz: Reporting verbs
Reading: Reflective task
Reading: Academic integrity
Discussion Prompt: Paraphrasing
Practice Quiz: Plagiarism
Video: Why references?
Video: The parts of a reference
Practice Quiz: Referencing
Reading: Reference management software

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The writer’s toolbox: Editing and proofreading
Welcome to module 4 of the course. In this module, we will focus on editing and proofreading a text. In our earlier discussion of the writing process in module 1, we have seen that many experienced writers view revising and editing as important parts of the actual writing process, and they intend to revise and edit virtually everything they write. Instead of only correcting mistakes in a piece of text, revising and editing are ways for writers to evaluate their ideas, to generate and test new ideas during the writing process, and to polish and tighten the overall argumentation and presentation. Although revising and editing are parts of the creative process, we recommend that you save them until you have a piece of text – a section, sub­section or paragraph – that you view as complete, in that the ideas you discuss and the organization into an introduction­-part and a body­-part (for sections) or a topic sentence followed by development (for paragraphs) are relatively stable. That way, you do not end up wasting your time correcting mistakes in a piece of text that does not seem to fit in or serve a purpose, and is therefore likely to be deleted later. Before you start revising and editing a passage, you should also have clarified to yourself how important the passage in question is going to be for the essay as a whole. If the passage contains ideas that are directly relevant for your research question and thesis, you should allow yourself enough time to revise and edit and possibly re­write the text several times. A passage that only contains extra information that is not directly linked to your thesis will need less time and attention, and some cases you may get away with only proofreading such passages quickly. This module is divided into three lessons, all of which focus on issues that you should be aware of, when you revise, edit and proofread your text. The first lesson, “The need to revise and edit one’s text,” introduces you to issues that require both large-­scale and small­-scale revision and editing. Following, the lesson “Revising and editing for language” focuses on issues that affect the style and tone of your writing. The third lesson, called “Some tips and tricks on common errors,” gives you practical advice on issues that are often problematic for writers.

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8 videos, 9 readings, 8 practice quizzes
Reading: Introduction
Practice Quiz: Pause and reflect
Video: The need to edit and revise one’s text
Practice Quiz: Revising and editing
Video: Global editing and revision
Practice Quiz: Global editing
Reading: Common problems in argumentation and reasoning
Reading: Reflection exercise on global revision and editing
Reading: Knowing when to stop
Reading: Introduction
Video: Editing for register and tone
Practice Quiz: Register and tone
Video: Editing for style
Reading: Further reading
Practice Quiz: Editing and proofreading
Discussion Prompt: Avoidance of clichés and triteness
Reading: Introduction
Practice Quiz: Pause and reflect
Video: First person pronouns and choosing between active and passive voice
Practice Quiz: Active and passive voice
Reading: Reflective task
Video: Standard punctuation
Practice Quiz: Exercise on punctuation
Reading: Online resources
Video: Spelling and typos
Video: Using a style sheet

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