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Regular version of the site

Academic English Writing

Academic Year
Instruction in Russian
ECTS credits
Course type:
Optional course
4 year, 1-3 module


Программа дисциплины


This is a course on academic writing in English specifically designed for philosophy majors. It aims to impart general skills for academic writing in English, as well as to introduce students to the formal conventions and expectations of philosophy research papers in the English-speaking philosophical community. It is divided in three modules. I. The first module focuses on grammatical, terminological, and stylistic issues, with special emphasis on difficulties encountered by Russian native speakers. II. This second module deals with the structure of a philosophy research paper. Specifically, it focuses on five moves that appear in most philosophical works: 1) Presenting a philosophical problem; 2) Motivating the project; 3) Literature review. 4) Theses statement; 5) Argument. Students will learn to clearly detect these moves in concrete instances of philosophical writing, especially journal articles. Special attention will be given to abstracts and introductions. Students will practice each move through various classroom activities and home assignments. At the end of the module, students will be in a good position for planning their BA thesis. III. Module 3 is designed to help students through the actual writing of their BA thesis prospectus. Specifically, students will be required to write a new paragraph for their prospectus each week, and then they will present that paragraph and receive feedback from the professor in class. The aim of this module is to give students a chance to work on their presentation skills whilst simultaneously giving them constructive and critical commentary on their work.
Цель освоения дисциплины

Цель освоения дисциплины

  • Learn general skills for effective academic writing in English.
  • Learn how to write philosophy papers that accord with the formal conventions and expectations of the English-speaking philosophical community.
  • Learn how to write a four-page prospectus in English of the BA thesis
Планируемые результаты обучения

Планируемые результаты обучения

  • Learn how to present a counterexample to a general thesis
  • Know how to present a philosophical problem and motivate its importance
  • Know how to present the results and problems of the existing literature, in a manner that highlights the significance and originality of your thesis.
  • Know how to write concise abstracts of philosophy research papers, containing a clear statement of the main thesis of the paper and some indication of its motivations and argumentative strategy.
  • Be able to identify the five major moves in a philosophy research paper (problem, motivation, literature review, thesis, argument).
  • Practice the five main moves of philosophy research paper (problem statement, motivation, literature review, thesis, argument) in one's own writing.
  • Student will learn how to write well in academic English.
Содержание учебной дисциплины

Содержание учебной дисциплины

  • Anatomy of a philosophy research paper
    The five moves of a typical philosophy journal article: 1) Formulation of a philosophical problem; 2) Why it is important; 3) What other people have said about it (literature review); 4) Thesis; 5) Arguments in support of the thesis.
  • Presenting a philosophical problem
    Present a philosophical problem and motivate its importance
  • Literature Review
    Give a goal-oriented review of the literature placing your contribution in an existing debate and highlighting its significance and originality
  • Giving counterexamples
    Refute a thesis through counterexamples
  • Abstracts
    Write clear and effective abstracts for philosophy research papers, stating their main theses and outlining their motivations and argumentative strategy.
  • Writing English
    Helping students write effective, clear prose
  • Write BA Thesis Prospectus
    Help students learn how to write and present a prospectus for a BA thesis
Элементы контроля

Элементы контроля

  • неблокирующий Six written take-home assignments (Module 2)
    The six assignments will be distributed in class and made available on the website of the course (https://philosophywritingseminar.wordpress.com; the instructor will communicate the password). There are deadlines during the course for each assignment, but students may turn in any of these assignment by December 18, 23:59, with no penalty. Assignments may be turned in by email. Active participation in the classroom will count up to one extra point (on the 10-point scale) of the final grade for Module 2.
  • неблокирующий written exam, in-class (module 1)
  • неблокирующий Classroom presentation and draft of prospectus
Промежуточная аттестация

Промежуточная аттестация

  • Промежуточная аттестация (3 модуль)
    0.4 * Classroom presentation and draft of prospectus + 0.3 * Six written take-home assignments (Module 2) + 0.3 * written exam, in-class (module 1)
Список литературы

Список литературы

Рекомендуемая основная литература

  • Conant, J. (1998). Wittgenstein on Meaning and Use. Philosophical Investigations, 21(3), 222. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9205.00069
  • Gettier, E. L. (1963). Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.95B7ADE5
  • Liu, I. (2018). Ethical pluralism and the appeal to human nature. European Journal of Philosophy, 26(3), 1103–1119. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12350
  • Martinich, A. (2015). Philosophical Writing : An Introduction (Vol. Fourth Edition). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1028636
  • Nagel, T., & Askews & Holts Library Services. (1987). What Does It All Mean? : A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2096427
  • Nehamas, A. (2018). Nietzsche, intention, action. European Journal of Philosophy, 26(2), 685–701. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejop.12295
  • Singer, P. (2015). Famine, Affluence, and Morality. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1058052

Рекомендуемая дополнительная литература

  • Bailey, S. (2017). Academic Writing : A Handbook for International Students (Vol. Fifth edition). London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1650435
  • Hayot, E. (2014). The Elements of Academic Style : Writing for the Humanities. New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=828352