ACAD 1601 F11: Academic Writing: September - December 2016
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General course information

Required Texts

Additional Readings

Course Expectations or Outputs

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

  1. recognize and formulate scholarly questions.
  2. use critical reading, thinking, and writing for sustained inquiry and communication.
  3. analyze and engage with the arguments of experts in writing assignments and essays.
  4. approach a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  5. critique effectively their own and others’ writing for premise, purpose, structure, and style.
  6. cite research in an established documentation style.

Course Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will demonstrate:

  1. an ability to identify and attend to their audience, purpose, argument, and possible biases.
  2. an ability to adhere to the conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation.
  3. an ability to write effective, coherent, and unified paragraphs.
  4. an understanding of writing as a process of inquiry, revision, rethinking, and rewriting.

Participation and Attendance

You are expected to participate in class in an informed manner. At the very least, you are expected to come to class regularly, having read all assigned reading. You are expected to participate in class discussions. Keep in mind that participating in class is usually a highly rewarding experience, greatly enhancing your ability to understand the course material and helping ensure your success in the course. Everyone is expected to be courteous and professional at all times in class. The course will occasionally involve in-class exercises: you might be asked to write a paragraph or two and to read and comment on a classmate’s writing. Not participating in these exercises (for whatever reason) will have an impact upon your participation grade.

Failure to participate fully in one of the in-class writing workshops will result in a 30% penalty to the participation grade (doubled if both workshops are missed).

Assignment Submission

All essay assignments (except explicitly digital-based assignments and first-submission assignments) must be submitted on paper and through SafeAssign on Blackboard. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date indicated by the assignment and must have been submitted to SafeAssign prior to handing in the paper copy. You are always welcome to submit an assignment early. If you cannot submit the assignment to the instructor at the start of class, you should either find the instructor in his office and submit it to him in person, or submit the assignment under the instructor’s door and send an email to him as soon as possible after doing so indicating when you left it under the door. If you are unable to submit the assignment in paper for the due date, you may email the assignment to the instructor and he will count it as submitted based on the timestamp of the email. (It is your responsibility to ensure that you email the right person with the correct email address.) Note that submitting the assignment through SafeAssign is a fine substitute for emailing the essay to the instructor. You will then need to submit a paper copy as soon as you can. You must always keep a copy of your assignment until at least the graded assignment is returned to you: keeping the original file on your computer is usually fine. An assignment will not be graded until it has been submitted both in paper and through SafeAssign. If for some reason a paper copy is never submitted, the assignment will be graded without any feedback.


Assignments are due in class, on the date indicated by the assignment. A 2% penalty will be applied to the graded assignment for every day the assignment is late. This will include weekend days and public holidays. Extensions may be granted for exceptional circumstances, especially for serious medical reasons: in such cases, you should talk to the instructor as soon as possible and be prepared to submit medical documentation about the problem (that should include a statement about the beginning and duration of the issue).


The Department of English Studies and Nipissing University maintain a strict policy on all forms of academic dishonesty. Each assignment must be original work produced by the student only for this course. All referencing and documentation must be complete and accurate for both direct and indirect quotations. Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism will not be accepted as an excuse: if you are uncertain about plagiarism, see your instructor immediately. All essays and tests are subject to an additional oral and/or written test at the instructor’s discretion. All suspected plagiarism will be reported to the chair of the department, the dean of the faculty, and the registrar of the university.

Marc R. Plamondon, Ph.D. Department of English Studies Nipissing University