Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Header Navigation


ESL 501

Dept/Number/Title: ESL 501 - Introduction to Academic Writing

Credit: 0 hours/0 units

Contact hours: 4 hours

Prerequisite: A minimum score of 550 on the TOEFL is assumed by the university for admission purposes. Students take ESL 501: 1) upon successful completion of the prerequisite course ESL 500; 2) if they proficiency out of ESL 500; or 3) if they are directly placed into ESL 501 on the basis of their EPT score. Students are exempted from taking this course altogether if they proficiency out of ESL 501 on the basis of the diagnostic test administered to all students during the first week of instruction.

Relation to other courses: ESL 501 is the final course in the graduate sequence of required courses (ESL 500-501). Some students may go on to take ESL 502 and 503, which are recommended courses.

Audience: International non-native speaker graduate students enrolled at UIUC

Textbook: TBA (varies per instructor)

Abstract: This course is an "all-skills" course which focuses principally on academic writing skills at the term paper/research paper level.

Course contents: This course trains students in the use of academic writing conventions. Special emphasis is placed on the necessary skills for writing from sources. Students review strategies for effective and critical reading and they learn to correctly incorporate material from sources into their writing as support. In addition, students are required to complete genre analysis activities and to write all or some of the following: summaries, multi-source essays, a critical review, and a research paper in the students' field of specialization. Students receive instruction from U of I librarians on how to conduct the research they do as part of their final research paper project.

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 based on performance of students on class assignments and participation in class. A passing grade for this course is a grade of B- or higher.

Representative Syllabus

Week 1-2 Introduction and Diagnostic

Week 2-5 Review of the Writing Process

Assignment: write an essay on the assigned topic

Content: academic essay structure, audience and purpose, cohesion, style, outlining

Week 6-8 Source Use and Synthesis

Assignment: apply skills of summarization and synthesis through an essay, article summary, timed writing test or other

Content: plagiarism, quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, field specific documentation, genre analysis of citation system

Week 9-11 Class Need Based(Examples include: critical review, resume/cover letter writing, argumentation)

Assignment: vary

Content: vary

Week 12 Oral Presentation

Assignment: mini oral presentations, impromptu speeches, or groups oral presentations

Content: how to give an academic style oral presentations, introduction, body conclusion, overview, source citation, visual aides, body language

Week 13-15 Research Paper

Assignment: 8-12 page research paper and 10 min oral presentation of a portion of the paper content

Content: abstract writing, library research, source evaluation, bibliography, genre analysis