Sample Academic Research and College Writing Syllabus

Academic Research and College Writing Syllabus

 Fall 2016

Contact: drcowinjxxx

Academic Research and Writing is a University Preparation (UP) course offered on a rolling basis.  The UP program prepares students for successful entry into US Universities and Colleges.

Course Description

Academic Research and College Writing: 3 blocks at 80 minutes per week plus 30 minutes/bi-weekly individual conferences.

This course introduces students to Academic Research and College Writing strategies through close reading, textual analysis, writing, and revision. PowToon:, students develop their critical thinking skills and a to the fundamentals of college-level research. Students will spend time in individual conferences, collaborative learning activities, presentations and peer review.

Prerequisites to take this course are:

  • Passing the entrance exam for UP program
  • Passing the language assessment exam for the UP program
  • Enrollment in the UP Program
  • Successful completion of the SAT, and Toefl courses

Time and place of course meetings:


Room xxxxx, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday from 2 pm – 3:20 pm

Contact Information

Office Location: Room xxx Academy Hall

Phone number: xxxxxxx

Email address:  xxxxxx

Office hours: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday xxxx

WhatsApp:  All students are required to be part of the Academic Research and College Writing group on WhatsApp.  This group will be used for instant communication, collaboration between class members and me. Assignments, reminders of due dates, and general questions will be posted on both WhatsApp and the Assignment Share Document.


Required Texts

Students are asked to secure a copy of either:
“The Elements of Style,” by W. Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, any edition ISBN­13: 978­0205309023,, $9.95
“The Chicago Manual of Style,” by The University of Chicago Press Staff, any edition.
ISBN­13: 978­0226104201,, $37.70

Also, this course will work with  Open Educational Resources


Our Department has multiple computer labs and copiers available for your use.  Please consult your School App for details.

Information on Assignments:

All assignments are due on the stated date.  They must be shared via Google Docs with me.  All emails and Google docs should have in their subject line: Last Name, First Name, UP Program, Academic Research & Writing.

FAQ:  Do I need to print out my papers?

ANSWER: No, instead of printing you will export your final paper into a PDF file and email the PDF file to me.

FAQ: How will I know what to revise?

ANSWER:  Revision suggestions will show up as comments on your Google document.

Requirements and Regulations at our School

The UP program has a rigorous attendance policy for students. Success in this class depends on regular and punctual attendance. Failure to adhere to the UP-attendance regulation will result in your inability to receive a UP Diploma.

The UP Programs policy for multiple section courses such as this one is:

  • UP students need an attendance rate above 90%  to remain in the program.  This is the total attendance required for all courses.
  • Students in classes that meet three times a week may miss no more than three (3) sessions per semester.
  • Four or more (4+) absences are grounds for failure.
  • Missing 10 minutes of class, arriving late, departing early, or leaving during class, will be noted as “Late.”  Three (3) lates per week, this includes other classes in your section, constitute one (1) absence.  (3 lates = 1 absence)
  • LATE SHOWS  lower your attendance percentage!

Grading Policy:

Academic Research and College Writing includes four formal writing assignments: two formal papers of 3-6 pages and an annotated bibliography assignment that assesses, vets, and analyzes 3 – 5 sources. All formal papers in Academic Research and College Writings will be written under “revision” conditions.  A Gmail account is necessary, as is Google Docs. Drafts will be shared for feedback on content and organization by fellow peers and me, your UP facilitator.

Two formal papers                                                      40% of the final grade

Paper 1                        20%

Paper 2                        20%


Annotated bibliography assignment Paper 1              10% of final grade


Annotated bibliography assignment Paper 2              10% of final grade

Observation journal                                                     10% of the final grade

Blog                                                                            20% of the final grade

Participation and elevator pitch                               10% of the final grade

 Academic Integrity Statement and Plagiarism Guidelines

http://Plagiarism Guide by OWL

It is acceptable to build on others ideas in your work, but you must give them credit. The final product must be predominantly the result of your work. All academic integrity violations in Academic Research and College Writing will result in an F on the assignment, and/or, a failing grade in the course, plus a referral to the Head of the UP Program.

Course Goals
Students successfully completing this course will have engaged in and practiced the skills necessary for the clear delivery of information via the written word. This course will activate and/or develop critical reading and thinking skills necessary for successful writing performance in both a professional and academic setting. It will do this by engaging students in a review of reading and writing as a purposeful act of observation, reaction, analysis, planning and execution. The best way to understand writing is through reading, so students in this course will engage in frequent reading and writing assignments, and through this will discover and use the process of writing to better express themselves and their ideas in both their professional and academic life.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe the four elements of writing (purpose, audience, thesis, supports).
  • Use a selection of tech tools in your research, writing and presentations: such as Diigo, WordPress, Citation Machine
  • Describe and demonstrate examples of the four primary types of writing (narrative,
    persuasive, expository, descriptive).
  • Demonstrate examples of primary styles of writing such as essay writing, blog writing, concise, emails, writing for the media, writing for the web, writing a research report,
  • Successfully create, write and deliver an elevator pitch
  • Demonstrate the use of drafting, analysis, and revision to improve weaknesses in
  • Read and listen critically and analytically, including identifying an argument’s major assumptions and assertions and evaluating its supporting evidence.
  • Demonstrate research skills using appropriate technology, including gathering, evaluating, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources.
  • Support a thesis with well-reasoned arguments, and communicate persuasively across a variety of contexts, purposes, audiences, and media.
  • Formulate original ideas and relate them to the ideas of others by employing the conventions of ethical attribution and citation.


Course Outline of Assignments and Activities

Reading critically and being able to articulate feedback is vital to your success as a writer so that you will engage in active discussion and review of your classmates’ work. It is often easier to identify specific strengths, weaknesses, and strategies for improvement in other people’s writing, something we will practice accordingly. As you become better at analyzing the effectiveness of other people’s writing, you will learn to more efficiently analyze your own.

Tech Requirements:

  1. Install Chrome and Google Apps
  2. Download and install WhatsApp on your cell phone
  3. Create a Gmail account:  Last Name, First Name, Academic Research Fall 2016.This email address should look like this (with your name!): Example:
  4. Create a free account on WordPress Create a free website or blog
  5. Create a free account on SlideBean Slidebean: Presentation Software, Online Presentation Tools
  6. Create a free account Padlet Click here for Padlet Link
  7. Create free account on Diigo: Your personal Diigo library for research
  8. Create a free account on Powtoons PowToon : Online business presentation software to create free, cool …
  9. Install Citation Machine for your citations

Assignment Breakdown:
Guided and unguided discussion forums
Homework assignments
Observation Journal – WEEKLY
Demonstration of writing types

4 Critical readings
Style Guide Review

Annotated bibliography assignment
Reverse Outline
Email practice
Elevator Pitch

WordPress Blog Creation
Blog Posts
Project 1
First Draft
Peer Review

Final Draft

Project 2

First Draft
Peer Review
Final Draft


Academic Research and College Writing Timeline*:
Week 1:           Introductions and discovering the four basics (purpose, audience, thesis and supports).

Discovering writing styles: narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive

Tools to support your writing (style guide review) Tech Tool: Padlet

Workshop: Grammar review

Workshop: Writing Styles 1- narrative

Observation Journal

Week 2:           Annotated bibliography assignment Tech Tool: Diigo and Citation Machine

Basic Steps to put together a research project

Workshop: Writing Styles 2 – descriptive

Mini Workshop: Running a Boolean Search

Mini Workshop: Similes and Metaphors in writing

Observation Journal

Choice activity: Take a selfie at the Library and post to WhatsApp

Week 3:           The reverse outline

Start project research

Describe research project/Paper 1 Tech Tool: SlideBean

Workshop: Writing Styles 3 – expository

Workshop: Vetting research, creating a bibliography, narrowing your topic.

Mini Workshop:  Creating strong topic sentences, adding details and staying focused.

Observation Journal

Choice Activity: Class Google Hangout Discussion Party 1 with me/evening          Time: TBA

Week 4:           Writing effective emails (five sentence process)- describe research project/Paper 1

Annotated bibliography

Outline paper 1

Workshop: Writing Styles – persuasive

Mini Workshop: How to use closing punctuation. How to use commas in a series.
Observation Journal


Week 5:           WordPress Blog Creation Tech Tool WordPress

Posting Annotated bibliography for Paper 1 on your blog Tech Tool WordPress

Workshop: Writing for a blog

Mini Workshop: How to create charts and pies. How to insert charts and graphics

Observation Journal

Critical Reading 1

Week 6:           Writing an elevator pitch about Paper 1

Workshop: Creating a good elevator pitch

Choice activity: Google Hangout Discussion Party 2 with me/evening Time: TBA

Delivering, capturing and posting elevator pitch on blog about Research Paper 1

Observation Journal

Critical reading 2

Week 7:           Peer Review Paper 1

Revision paper 1

Workshop: Common revisions needed, revision checklist, constructive feedback

Observation Journal

Critical reading 3

Week 8­ – 9      Paper 1 submission – PDF File!

Paper 2 – describe research project Tech Tool Padlet

Annotated bibliography

Writing outline Paper 2

Observation Journal

Critical reading 4

Choice activity: Google Hangout Discussion Party 3 with me/evening Time: TBA

Week 10:         Paper 2:

Blog post: description of project (5 sentences) Tech Tool WordPress

Elevator pitch presentation: Paper 2

Annotated bibliography Tech Tool Diigo

Workshop: Analysis of Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail

Click this link for MLK Letter

Observation journal

Choice Activity: Go to a lecture as an EF group with me TBA/evening/NYC

Draft 1, Paper 2

Week 11:         Draft 2, Paper 2

Peer Review Paper 2

Choice activity: Google Hangout Discussion Party 4 with me/evening Time: TBA

                        Observation Journal


Week 12:         Blog on Paper 2 Tech Tool WordPress

Submission Paper 2 – PDF File!

Class Evaluation REQUIRED:  via Survey Monkey: Follow the link and answer all the questions

Class Presentations Paper 2 Tech Tool SlideBean or PowToons

Reflection and wrap-up


*Please note that this timeline is subject to change per student need.









Author: drcowinj

Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today,” determined Malcolm X at the O.A.A.U.’s [Organization of Afro-American Unity] founding forum at the Audubon Ballroom. (June 28, 1964). (X, n.d.) Dr. Jasmin Bey Cowin a Fulbright Scholar, SIT Graduate, completed the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™) at Columbia University, Teachers College. Dr. Cowin served as the President of the Rotary Club of New York and Assistant Governor for New York State; long-term Chair of the Rotary United Nations International Breakfast meetings; and works as an Assistant Professor at Touro College, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Cowin has over twenty-five years of experience as an educator, tech innovator, entrepreneur, and institutional leader with a focus on equity and access to digital literacy and education in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Her extensive background in education, administration, not-for-profit leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and technology innovation provide her with unique skills and vertical networks locally and globally. Dr. Cowin participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline as elected Vice President and Chair-Elect for the New York State, NYS TESOL organization, for the 2021 conference. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publications, presentations, and participation in academic conferences, blogging, and other scholarly activities, including public performances and exhibitions at conferences and workshops. Of particular interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education; Current Global Trends in TESOL; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English; E-learning; Micro and Macro-Methodologies in TESOL; E-Resources Discovery and Analysis; and Language Acquisition and the Oculus Rift in VR.

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