Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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ESL 114

Dept/Number/Title: ESL 114 - Introduction to Academic Writing

Credit: 3 hours

Contact hours: 3 hours

Prerequisite: Students take ESL 114: 1) upon successful completion of the prerequisite course ESL 113; 2) if they proficiency out of ESL 113; or 3) if they are placed directly into ESL 114 on the basis of their EPT score.

Relation to other courses: ESL 114 is the second course in the undergraduate sequence of required courses (ESL 113, 114 and 115). This course is the first of two courses (ESL 114 and 115) for non-native speakers of English which fulfill the university's undergraduate Rhetoric requirement. They are therefore equivalent to Rhetoric 105 and SpeechComm 113 in the native speaker Rhetoric track.

Audience: Non-native speaker degree-seeking undergraduate students and international exchange students enrolled at UIUC.

Textbook: TBA (varies per instructor)

Abstract: This course is an "all-skills" course which focuses principally on developing students ability to use academic sources to write multi-paragraph academic essays.

Course contents:

Major writing assignments of this course include:

  • 2-3 paragraphs
  • 2-3 short writing assignments (summaries, paraphrases, outlines)
  • 3 essays of 3-4 pages in length
  • 1 mini-research paper of 5-7 pages in length

The course begins with a review of the fundamentals of paragraph writing. The multi-paragraph essay is introduced, and discussed in detail throughout the semester, with emphasis on elements such as thesis formation, introductions, conclusions, and transitions. Students learn common rhetorical modes, such as comparison/contrast, process, cause/effect, and argumentation. Students are taught to write from sources, and learn the importance of supporting their ideas with authoritative facts, statistics, and specific details. Synthesis of sources and the mechanics of integrating sources are discussed. At the end of the semester, the research paper is introduced. Students write one 5-7 page research paper on topics which are selected by the library staff. Students base their papers on source material which has been selected and organized into packets by the library staff.

Type of work: Students do a variety of individual, pair, small group and whole class activities, which are supplemented by homework assignments.

Grading basis: Letter grades are based on performance of students on class assignments and participation in class. A passing grade for this course is a grade of C- or higher.

Representative Syllabus

Week 1 Introduction and Diagnostic

Week 2-4 Paragraph Writing and Documentation

Assignment: paraphrase, summary, 1-2 paragraphs comparison/contrast on plagiarism

Content: quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, review of paragraph elements

Week 5-7 Process Writing (Cultural Adjustment)

Assignment: process essay

Content: introduction and conclusion, thesis statements, structure of process essay, transitional expressions

Week 8-10 Cause and Effect (Computers in Education)

Assignment: cause and effect essay

Content: thesis statement, transitional expressions, structure of cause/effect essay

Week 10-12 Argumentation (Alcohol in American Universities)

Assignment: thesis statement, debate– preparation of arguments, structure of argumentation essay

Content: argumentation essay

Week 13-15 Research Paper