AdvComp (2020)

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Advanced English Composition (Spring 2020)

(archival copy of older version my my Advanced Writing/Composition course at PKNU; see Adv.Comp for the current version)

Prof. Kent Lee

Dept. English Language & Literature, Pukyung National University

Time: Mon 9.00-9.50am


Office & office hours: by appointment

Provisional, temporary syllabus

This website will go along with my syllabus and materials in our LMS for this course, as well as materials that supplement my course book.

1 Weekly lessons

Everyone should fill out the following Google Form, which asks for general information about you, and some survey questions about your attitudes toward English. If you are taking more than one course from me this semester, you only need to fill this out once.

1.1 Weeks 1-8

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

1.1.1 Week 3, Day 1: 01 April (Wed)

You can look at the handout, and view the lecture video. At times you will need to pause the video, think about the question, and talk to someone. You can arrange to talk to a classmate that you in the department, especially if you know someone taking this course. Otherwise, please find friends, classmates, or other persons, and discuss the questions with them.

This lesson deals with the writing process. This is something that you might have discussed in a previous course, but we will approach it differently, and this will eventually lead to a short essay assignment.

1.1.2 Week 3, Day 2: 03 April (Fri)

You can look at the handout, and view the lecture video. At times you will need to pause the video, think about the question, and talk to someone.

This lesson deals with the writing process, motivation, and writing strategies. Please fill out the survey when the video prompts you to do so. Later you will fill out an online form to answer some questions.

1.2 Writing process & strategies: Reflective paper

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

1.2.1 Writing process & strategies: Reflective paper

For this paper, you are to introspect on your your own writing process and writing strategies when you do writing assignments. Reflect on and evaluate your writing process, strategies, motivation, and difficulties. This is about what you actually do, not what you think you should do. Your paper should address some of the following questions.

  • How effective are your writing methods and writing process?
  • What prewriting techniques do you use (e.g., brainstorming, drafting, and revision), and how well do they work for you?
  • How similar / different your writing process is for different kinds of projects or courses, or for English versus Korean assignments?
  • What problems do you have with writing, and how do you / can you overcome them? (E.g., motivational problems, writer's block, procrastination...)
  • What kind of motivation and strategies influence your writing? How effective are your writing strategies?
  • How confident do you feel about your writing abilities, English abilities, and/or your ability to improve in these areas?

See also the questions in the book. The focus of this assignment is mainly the contents, so don't worry too much about minor grammatical or mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, etc.). Since this is a reflective / self-evaluative essay, this will be somewhat informal, including use of first-person.

Your write-up should be at least 2-3 pages (1.5x or double spaced)

Due date: 19 April, 11:59pm via the LMS

Grading criteria
See the criteria in the grading rubric handout for minor assignments. I will particularly consider the contents and focus, namely, the depth of your reflection and analysis.
See also

1.3 Evaluating sources

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

1.3.1 Week 4, Day 1, 08 April (Wed)

  • Lecture video
  • Handout available through the LMS announcements
  • Google Form assignment (15 points)
  • Homework: see the sections immediately below on Internet sources, newspaper samples, and news outlets. Answer the questions in the Google Form. Internet sources

Look at the following websites. Discuss: how reliable and trustworthy are these sites? What criteria can help you distinguish good sites and sources from bad ones?

  1. Pacific tree octopus
  2. CIA realizes it has been using ...
  3. Dihydrogen monoxoide: The truth Newspaper article samples

Now look at the following news stories about a border controversy in Hong Kong. Which seem biased, neutral, informative, or reliable, and why?

  1. Global Times [1]
  2. South China Morning Post [2]
  3. CNN [3]
  4. Reuters [4]
  5. New York Times [5]
  6. Business Insider [6] News outlets

Look at the following news outlets, and discuss the following.

  • Which ones seem reliable?
  • Which ones would be worth citing for information in a college paper?
  • For Korea (or your own country), which news outlets would be more reliable, and which ones would be less reliable?

1.4 Week 4, Day 2, 10 April (Fri.)

Lecture videos

Here are some items that I didn't have time to discuss this semester. I will post a video for next week that explains some of this.

1.4.1 Science news sources

Now look at the following science news websites; which ones seem reliable or worth citing?

  1. National Geographic
  2. New Scientist
  3. Scientific American
  4. Science News
  5. IFLScience

1.4.2 Science news examples

Now look at the following sites reporting on an issue in health and biomedical news. Which ones seem more reliable, and why?

  1. The Independent Does spending too much time on smartphones ...
  2. Tech Advisor How much screen time for kids
  3. Very Well Family Negative effects of too much cell phone use
  4. Forbes Phone addiction is real ...
  5. Psychology Today Too much screen time ...

For the above articles, discuss the following.

  1. Imagine that you are writing a paper in a college class, for example, a paper on health effects of cell phone use. Which of the articles are good enough to use as sources for writing your paper? Why?
  2. Which of these would not be good sources for your paper? Why not?
  3. Look at the Psychology Today article. What kinds of sources does the author cite? Why? How does she use this information in her article?
  4. Look at the sources used in the Psychology Today article (in the end references section). What kinds of sources are these? Would you use and cite these in your own college paper?

For the Psychology Today article, discuss the following.

  1. Click on the links in the text, where you see names and years inside parentheses. What are these articles? What kinds of articles are these? How reliable and credible are they? Can you understand them?
  2. What are the references at the end?
  3. From the different sources in the table above about phone / device usage, which ones might you cite if you were writing a college paper on the topic?
  4. If you were writing a college paper on the topic, would you cite sources like those that are cited in the Psychology Today article?

Optional extras
  1. Pinker on male/female differences on Youtube
  2. Study: Schoozing helps men, hurts women, HBR
  3. Creating an inclusive workplace, HBR
  4. Gender equality is within our reach (Melinda Gates), HBR

Note: 'Sex' refers to biological male / female differences; gender refers to a more complex psycho-social construct. Overview of sources

Note: See the page on Academic versus non-academic sources and the EW Youtube video on evaluating sources (#1: intro video).

1.4.3 Week 5

1.4.4 Week 6

  • Lecture videos
  • Google Form: Midterm preparation

Click on the 'Expand' applet on the right to see or collapse past assignments and materials.

1.4.5 Midterm essay

Pick one of the following topics, formulate a specific position, and write an essay to explain, develop, and defend your thesis.

  1. What do you think accounts for gender disparities in upper-level management in companies?
  2. What do you think accounts for gender disparities among the faculty and/or students in some academic fields or departments?
  3. How can we bring about greater equality in academic programs fields like yours?
  4. How can we bring about greater equality in professional careers or in companies? (Focus on a particular country, type of company, or other relevant context.)
  5. Explain one specific reform that should be made in the Korean educational system. You should focus on one specific change in one specific area, e.g.:
    • English education at a specific level, such as primary education (elementary school), secondary education (middle & high school), or tertiary education (college / university)
    • English testing (e.g., 수능)
    • Hagwon education, or government regulation of hagwons
    • A specific area of English education, such as reading, grammar, speaking...
    • Math or science education (e.g.,. high school or university level)
    • Humanities education (e.g.,. high school or university level)
  6. Choose a specific topic that is debated in your field. You will need to get my approval first for this (but use the Google Form assignment to propose it).

The criteria are in the Appendix of the PDF version of the course book. To help you get started, you will fill out a Google Form, in which you will be asked to select a topic, state a specific thesis, and sketch out your main points. Then you will do another Google Form assignment, an argumentation exercise, to help you formulate one of the arguments in the body of the essay.

1.5 Genre analysis unit

Bring sample papers from your field to class (or discuss them with a group of other students outside of class). These should be published scholarly works, preferable from academic journals. Hard copies are recommended, so you can easily pass them around, discuss them, and write on them. Refer to the section in the book on genre analysis. The following links may also be helpful.

  1. Genre analysis form #1: Questions about your academic field (due 30 May)
  2. Genre analysis form #2: Questions about papers in your academic field (due 01 June)

1.5.1 Genre analysis essay: How to write academic papers in your field

You are to write a short essay on how to write academic papers in your field. It may help to imagine that you are writing for juniors / younger students in your field, and thus you would want to convey one main piece of advice (and related subpoints) about how to write papers in the field. This may include important questions such as:

  • Important features that you notice -- maybe things that you had not noticed before, or aspects that have not seen or used in the writing that you've done in the past.
  • What your field is about, e.g., your field (or subfield) as an academic community / culture, with its unique goals, purpose, driving questions, core concepts, the type of research that people do, and why
Genre analysis essay
  • Length: 2-3 pages (if double-spaced)
  • Due date:

1.5.2 Suggested journals & professional publications

Here are some professional trade journals, and some easier academic journals, that you might like to look at to find articles for the genre analysis assignment. Professional trade journals=
  1. The Chronicle of Higher Education
  2. Inside Higher Ed
  3. Times Higher Education
  4. Observer (psychology)
  5. Food Technology
  6. World Landscape Architecture
  7. Psychology Today
  8. Harvard Business Review
Other trade magazines
  1. Wikipedia list of trade magazines in different fields: Academic journals
International journals
  1. English Today (applied linguistics, language education)

Domestic journals from Korea
  1. English Teaching
  2. Journal of Asia TEFL
  3. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics
  4. Modern English Education
  5. Korea TESOL Journal
  6. Studies in English Language & Literature
  7. Journal of English Language & Literature

For more, look here:

1.6 Final essay / project

For this, you will have two options:

  • Revise and expand your midterm paper into a final paper
  • Revise and expand your genre analysis paper into a final paper

This counts as the final essay for the course, due at the end of Week 15.

Length: Preferably, at least 3 full pages, double-spaced (not counting references, graphs, tables, etc.), though this may vary according to the expectations of papers in your course or major. Grading criteria: See the course booklet appendix for grading criteria for major writing assignments. Due date: TBA (to be announced), via the LMS

1.7 Professional writing unit

Note: These are not required assignments for Spring 2020. These have been given as assignments in my previous writing classes, and may be used for for Spring 2021.

For the professional writing sample set, pick one of the following scenarios and develop a set of application materials. This counts as a short essay assignment.

  1. Applying for graduate schools. Imagine you are applying for a Ph.D. program at an English-speaking university; maybe you want to apply for a combined Master's plus Ph.D. program, or you are finishing a Master's and want to transfer to another school for a Ph.D. Requirements:
    • (1) Two versions of a statement of purpose, customized for two applying for different universities [at least 2 pages if single-spaced];
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Imagine some kind of research that you might carry out as a graduate student, and for that, do one of the following items: (3a) A research grant application for a planned doctoral research project, or (3b) a research proposal for a dissertation topic [at least two pages if single-spaced].
  2. Applying for a professorship or research position (post-doctoral position or full-time researcher):
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications;
    • (2) One CV [more than one page];
    • (3) Either (3a) a research statement, research plan, or research proposal, describing your intended research; or (3b) a teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and teaching philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a university to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced]
  3. Applying for other teaching positions (college teaching assistant, secondary school teacher, etc.)
    • (1) Two cover letters, customized for two different job applications [one page each];
    • (2) One CV or résumé;
    • (3) A teaching statement, describing your teaching beliefs, experience, and philosophy, and how you would teach specific courses at a school to which you are applying [at least two pages if single-spaced] .

  1. There is also an older hard copy handout: Handout on theories, laws, models