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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2014/2015

Academic Writing

Type: Optional course (Economics and Statistics)
Area of studies: Economics
When: 1 year, 3 module
Instructors: Irina Albertovna Antonova (conducts seminars, checks works and administers exams), Alexey Shikhantsov (conducts seminars), Yuliya Suvorova (author), Larisa Vyacheslavovna Timoshina (conducts seminars), Anna Viktorovna Zakharova (author)
Specialization: Экономика и статистика
Selection criteria: Для успешного освоения дисциплины студенты должны обладать знанием английского языка на уровне не ниже B2 согласно Европейской шкале оценки языковых компетенций.
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3.5

Academic Writing

1 Course description

Status of course – optional

Target audience – 1-3rd year students of Bachelor Programme (Faculty of Economics)

Length of course – 152 hours (52 in-class and 100 self-study hours)

Period – 2 and 3 modules

Credits – 3.5 (valid for cumulative rating only)

2 Course outline

The course is aimed at developing academic writing and study skills which make up an integral part of academic life. Academic writing skills enable students to write concisely and argumentatively using academically acceptable style, grammar, and vocabulary, to produce texts of different academic genres (essays and extended essays), to write for personal communicative purposes (academic CVs, motivation letters, presentations). Study skills facilitate writing process by enabling students to think critically, search for relevant information, use prewriting and writing strategies, solicit peer and instructor feedback for further editing, and assess other students' papers.

The course is designed in accordance with such official recommendations and documents as All-Russia State Education Standards for Bachelor Degree (Economics), Autonomous NRU HSE's Education Standards, and Foundations of English Teaching in NRU HSE.

At the end of the course students will be able to:

1 write for academic purposes (motivation letters, academic CVs, essays, extended essays, academic presentations);

2 demonstrate knowledge of academic writing conventions and ethics;

3 use appropriate academic style, grammar and vocabulary in writing;

4 write powerful coherent and cohesive texts;

5 analyse their own texts and peers' texts for the purposes of revising and editing;

5 employ computer and Internet-based technologies for producing academic texts (search engines, data bases, open-source reference management software, the British National Corpus, on-line dictionaries, etc).

The basic forms of instruction include: lectures, discussions, presentations, peer-reviewing. In-class activities include individual, pair- and small-group work. The special emphasis is given to self-study activities which are held and controlled by the means of Learning Management System (LMS).

3 Syllabus

1 Introduction into academic writing at university

1.1.Academic writing: Genres families

Study Skills for Academic Writing: Reading and understanding instructions and assignments

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Key Nouns

Grammar for Academic Writing: Nouns: plurals, countable versus uncountable. Genitive. Article.

Academic Style: being concise and removing redundancy

1.2. Scholar community and academic etiquette

Study Skills for Academic Writing: information sources: how to find what you need

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Key Verbs

Grammar for Academic Writing: Passive vs Active

Academic Style: paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism

1.3. What students write for academic purposes.

Study Skills for Academic Writing: how to become an effective reader

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Adjectives

Grammar for Academic Writing: Comparative and superlative forms

Academic Style: political correctness and ambiguity

1.4. How academic writing is different from other forms of writing

Study Skills for Academic Writing: surveying material

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Words of Latin and Greek origin

Grammar for Academic Writing: modal verbs

Academic Style: hedging language

2 Academic Writing in Progress.

2.1.Stages of academic writing: Prewriting strategies

Study Skills for Academic Writing: brainstorming ideas

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Linking words (I)

Grammar for Academic Writing: Relative Clauses (I)

Punctuation and spelling (I)

Academic Style: coherence

2.2. Stages of academic writing: Writing Strategies (I)

Study Skills for Academic Writing: note-taking and summarising skills

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Linking words (II)

Grammar for Academic Writing: Relative Clauses (II)

Punctuation and spelling (II)

Academic Style: cohesion

2.3. Stages of academic writing: Writing Strategies (II)

Study Skills for Academic Writing: building an argument

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Defining, comparing, evaluating and highlighting

Grammar for Academic Writing: Word order

Academic Style: Writing short sentences and paragraphs

Punctuation and spelling (III)

2.4. Stages of academic writing: Rewriting strategies

Study Skills for Academic Writing: writing a peer review

Vocabulary for Academic Writing: Differences between American and British English+Useful phrases

Grammar for Academic Writing: Numbers. Acronyms and Abbreviations

Academic Style: Anticipating possible objections, indicating level of certainty, discussing limitations

Punctuation and spelling (IV)

3 Internet Companions to Academic Writing

3.1. Reference management Software

Study Skills for Academic Writing: references and quotations, bibliography

Vocabulary for Academic English: introductory phrases for quotations references

Academic Style: Documentation Styles (I)

3.2. The English Language Corpus: BAWE

Study Skills for Academic Writing: revising and proofreading

Vocabulary for Academic English: False Friends and Synonyms

Academic Style: Documentation Styles (II)

Teaching and learning materials:


McCormack, J.,Slaght, J. (2005). English for academic study: Extended writing and research skills. Garnet education: The university of reading.

McCarthy, M., O'Dell F. (2010) Academic vocabulary in use. 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press.

Murray, N., Hughes, G. (2008) Writing up your university assignments and research projects: A practical handbook. Open University Press.

Swales, J. M., Feak, Ch. B. (2001). Academic writing for graduate students. 2nd ed. The university of Michigan press.

Sowton, Ch. (2012) 50 steps to improving your academic writing. Garnet Education.

Liz Hamp-Lyons, Ben Heasley (2012) Study writing. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.

Michael J.Wallace (2007) Study Skills in English. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press.

Internet Resources








10940 Academic Writing for Economics students.

4 Prerequisite

To be able to join this course and get the most of its content students should know English at B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

5 Author

Zakharova Anna Viktorovna (Senior Lecturer, Foreign Languages Department)


6 Examination type

Forms of assessment

Continuous assessment

1 Test

2 Homework (grammar and vocabulary quizzes – LMS based)

3 Academic CV

4 Motivation Letter

5 Class attendance

Midterm Assessment (pass) - Essay (compare-contrast) 500 words

Final assessment (examination) - Extended Essay (problem solving) 1000 words

Midterm and Final Grades are calculated in accordance with the following formulae:

Midterm grade = Continuous assessment grade x 0.6 + Essay x 0.4

Final grade = Continuous assessment grade x 0.6 + Extended essay x 0.4