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IFLS 012: Academic English II (Fall 2019)
Kent Lee, IFLS, Korea University
- Mailbox: 국제관 208A
- Office & office hours: 국제관 720, by appointment
- Email: See the syllabus or textbook (course booklet)
- Course info
- Course load: 2 hours/week, 1 credit
- Class locations: 국제관 (International Studies Hall)
|IFLS 012-42||MW (1) 9.00-9.50 (or 9.20-10.10)||국제관 #112|
|IFLS 012-47||TT (3) 12.00-13.50||국제관 #225|
|IFLS 012-52||MW (4) 13.00-13.50||국제관 #512a|
- 1 Course description
- 2 Current & upcoming assignments
- 3 Weekly materials & assignments
- 3.1 Weeks 1-2: Introduction
- 3.2 Weeks 3: Evaluating sources
- 3.3 Logic, information, and misinformation
- 3.4 Popular misconceptions project
- 4 Style, grammar, and referencing guides
- 5 Course policies
- 6 See also
1 Course description
This course deals with academic English for your college studies, including (1) academic English writing and speaking skills, and (2) critical thinking skills. The focus will be on academic English for writing and presentation skills for your future college courses.
1.1 Readings and materials
Textbook: Course packet, about ₩8000-10,000, from a print shop near campus (probably at the 空문화사 [공문화사] print shop near the 후문, the back gate on the way to Anam Station).
2 Current & upcoming assignments
- Google Form #3: Essay comparison, due Sunday 13 Oct., 11:59pm
- Midterm paper outline. You will need to prepare in an outline and sample thesis statement for the midterm paper that you will write. The outline is a ten-point assignment.
- Midterm paper. See the details in the midterm section below, and refer to the misconceptions project page.
3 Weekly materials & assignments
3.1 Weeks 1-2: Introduction
- Read the introductory chapters of the textbook on your own (chapters 1-2).
- Google Form #1: Personal info & survey. Please fill out this form of basic information about yourself], and submit it. This counts as a minor grade. (The form works, though it won't send you a confirmation.) The link will have been sent to you by email from the Blackboard system.
3.2 Weeks 3: Evaluating sources
3.2.1 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?
3.2.2 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?
3.2.3 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?
- Fox News http://www.foxnews.com
- Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com
- New York Times http://www.nytimes.com
- New York Post http://www.nypost.com
- Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
- Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com
- Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com
- The Sun http://www.thesun.co.uk
- Der Spiegel http://www.spiegel.de
- Frankfurter Allgemeine http://www.faz.net/aktuell
- El País (Spain) http://www.elpais.com
- Le Monde (France) http://www.lemonde.fr
3.2.4 Science news sources
Now look at the following science news websites; which ones seem reliable or worth citing?
- National Geographic http://www.nationalgeographic.com
- New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com
- Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com
- Science News http://www.sciencenews.org
- IFLScience http://www.iflscience.com
3.2.5 Science news examples
Look at the following sites reporting on an issue in health and biomedical news. Which ones seem more reliable, and why?
- The Independent Does spending too much time on smartphones ...
- Tech Advisor How much screen time for kids
- Very Well Family Negative effects of too much cell phone use
- Forbes Phone addiction is real ...
- Psychology Today Too much screen time ...
For the Psychology Today article, discuss the following.
- 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?
- What are the references at the end?
- 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?
- If you were writing a college paper on the topic, would you cite sources like those that are cited in the Psychology Today article?
See also this summary of Academic versus non-academic sources.
- Types of sources: Online worksheet / Google form about sources
- Sources quiz
3.2.7 Overview of sources
3.3 Logic, information, and misinformation
- Sample essays
Read the following essay and discuss the following.
- The Santa Claus myth
- Exercise on essay samples (Google Form)
- Google Form #3: Essay comparison, due Sunday 13 Oct., 11:59pm
- Do you agree with the essays?
- Do you at least find them informative or persuasive?
- How could they be improved?
3.4 Popular misconceptions project
This project includes the above outline assignment, the midterm paper, a paraphrasing exercise, the final paper, and the final group presentation. See the Misconceptions project page for possible ideas for topics, and for an overview of different types of popular misconceptions.
- Midterm & midterm outline
- See the following handout for tips for preparing for your outline, midterm and final essay. Essay structure handout
- Before doing the midterm paper, you need to sketch out an outline and sample thesis statement for your essay, and turn it in. This may be graded as a ten-point assignment. Refer to the following class handout on midterm preparation and outlining.
- Midterm date: due during Week 8, in Blackboard
- You will decide on your topic and write your own paper, but you will coordinate with your group, so that your topics are related to a similar theme; see the misconceptions project page for details.
- Suggested minimum length: About 500 words, or 1 page (if single-spaced) or 2 pages (if double-spaced); no more than five pages
- Be sure to include an outline of your paper in the file that you submit. You can include it at the very end of your document, say, after the end references. Refer to the following class handout on midterm preparation and outlining.
- I would suggest 1-2 background paragraphs, and 1-3 paragraphs for your analysis. You do not need to talk about possible solutions for the midterm (but you can if you want to). You do not need to worry about a concluding paragraph.
- Sources: At least one professional quality source cited, using any citation system (footnote citations, MLA, APA, Chicago style). I would recommend a good popular source for science news, political news, Psychology Today, etc.; see the page on Academic versus non-academic sources.
- See my new source citation guide for a quick overview of how to cite sources, or links on this website for particular citation systems like MLA style (for those in literature & media studies), Chicago parenthetical style (for those in various humanities fields), APA (social sciences), and IEEE style (engineering). You can use any citation system that you like.
- In addition, you can cite popular sources that promote a false belief, or that are good examples of such a false belief (for such popular sources, you can simply footnote the source information).
- Be sure to include an end references / works cited section in your paper.
- If you are not familiar with systems for citing sources then use footnotes. Include as much information as you can about the source, such as: Author, date, article title / book title. For magazines, include a URL or page numbers. For more academic journals, include issue, volume number, and page numbers. For books, include the publisher / publishing company and location (where it was published).
- See section 11.1 of the textbook Appendix for document format; the first page is a standard format that you can use (or you can use the MLA document layout if you like).
I am so not strict about word limits; what is more important is that you have enough good contents, and your ideas are well developed (good details, explanation, etc.). An assignment space will be created on Blackboard for this. It supposedly accepts different file formats, but MS Work (.doc/.docx) and PDF formats work best. You can the Appendix of the book for suggested paper format (§11.1), and for grading criteria (§11.3.6).
You can form your own groups of 2-6 people. You should meet and work in your groups for the midterm and final, but the papers you submit should be entirely your own independent papers.
3.4.2 Pronunciation & presentation skills
3.4.3 Paraphrasing exercise
Below are some articles about why people believe in conspiracy theories and other false beliefs. These are secondary sources, but fairly professional. In these articles, identify some parts or information that might be relevant to your paper project. Write a summary / paraphrase* of the relevant information, and then add to your paraphrase with your own thoughts about how it applies to your topic. Also cite the source and write the end reference(s). You can use any of these articles for this task.
Use one of the articles for the paraphrasing assignment in the book. If you find a good quality article that is relevant and would prefer to use it for this assignment, you can do so if you check with me first.
- Why Do People Believe Things that Aren’t True?, Psychology Today
- Scientists discover the reason people believe in conspiracy theories, The Independent
- Why Debunking Myths About Vaccines Hasn’t Convinced Dubious Parents, Harvard Business Review
- Who believes in conspiracies? New research offers a theory, EurekaAlert.com
- Secret success: equations give calculations for keeping conspiracies quiet, The Guardian
- 5 Reasons Why People Stick to Their Beliefs, No Matter What, Psychology Today
3.4.5 Final presentations
The group presentation assignment is described in the book.
3.4.6 Final paper
The final will be out-of-class writing, based on the midterm. This will probably be turned in via the online KU Blackboard.
4 Style, grammar, and referencing guides
4.1 Style and grammar
- Academic versus non-academic writing
- Korean English errors
- L2 writing problems (global issues)
- Clearer wording guide
- Colons and semi-colons
- Connectors (transitionals)
- L2 connector errors (East Asians)
- Konglish (vocabulary issues)
- Modal verb problems
- Punctuation symbols
- Reporting & communication verb problems
- Reporting verbs (comprehensive guide)
- Sentence types
- Unprofessional tone
- Verb+preposition errors (and phrasal verbs)
4.2 Citing sources
Here are links to guides for various citation systems. You can use any one of these for your papers in this course. If you would like to view my Prezi presentation, the overview of citation systems, it is available here.
|Style||Typical field & notes|
|* APA (overview)||social sciences (e.g., psychology, education, sociology, applied linguistics); for a more detailed guide, see the complete APA guide|
|* MLA 7 & MLA 8||literature studies, media studies|
|* Chicago Manual (parenthetical), or Author+Date
Also: Chicago Manual parenthetical style, short PDF guide
|humanities (This is the more formal version of CM with Author+Year or Author+Year+Page# in parenthetical in-text citations)|
|* Harvard style||an older style for various fields, which is very similar to APA style|
If you have a lot of media sources, you might find APA inconvenient for citing these; you might find Chicago or MLA easier to use, and MLA is especially convenient for any kind of media, online, or electronic sources and materials.
5 Course policies
5.1 Minor assignments
Minor assignments are shorter assignments that are graded on a variable point scale, that is, some are worth more points that others. These may include short paragraph assignments (¶), Google Forms (GF), brief presentations, and in-class tasks. This may also include a couple of in-class and/or online surveys (these are for data collection or research purposes, and you get points simply for doing them). At the end of the semester, I will add up the possible total points and convert your grade to a 100-point scale. For example, if you got 150 out of 180 possible points for all the assignments, then 150/180 = 83.3.
5.2 Midterm & final project
The course will center around the topics of popular misconceptions, including fake news, false beliefs, and logical fallacies. This theme allows us to develop critical thinking skills that are needed for college and for life in general. See the grading criteria in the Appendix for writing and presentation assignments.
- See Misconceptions project for more on the midterm, including possible topics
- Example: I have created a sample essay for your here: The Santa Claus myth. This is not exactly a serious misconception in the sense that we've talked about; it is a sort of misconception among children that adults use, though sometimes the Santa story may be used inappropriately.
5.3 Grade scale
You will be graded according to the following framework (though this might be adjusted slightly later). See the course packet for specific grading criteria.
|Homework & other minor assignments||20%|
|Final group presentation||20%|
6 See also
- Academic word list - essential vocabulary for college students