Academic Writing Course

Course Description 

The Academic Writing class is an intensive analysis of the principles of excellent academic writing for Computer Science graduate students preparing a range of texts including research papers, conference proposals, conference posters, book chapters, technical reports, dissertations.  

Class discussion focuses on the central role of rhetorical positioning in the development of a clear, interesting, and rigorous science research paper. We talk about the significance of narrowing the problem space, the construction of logical arguments, the reporting and interpretation of data, as well as other important concepts including reader-oriented writing, genre, precision, tone, and strategies useful for redrafting and editing. Some of the sub-genres we analyze and practice include introductions, data commentaries, results/discussion, conclusions, and abstracts.  

An important course goal is the refinement of students’ skills as critical readers so that they are able to offer explicit and useful feedback to colleagues and co-writers. 

Students receive detailed feedback on their writing through class activities as well as individual conferencing throughout the course. During all editing and redrafting activities, attention is given to the structure and logic of the author's argument, the use of detail and visuals, the placement of transitions, word choice, and flow.

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