An argumentative essay showing that the student:
• understands the basics of persuasive writing;
• has an acceptable command of the English language and is aware of the differences between English and Dutch styles of writing;
• is able to formulate an effective thesis statement to shape their essay;
• is able to argue a case without recourse to slanted language;
• is able to distinguish opinion from fact;
• is able to write unified, coherent and well-developed paragraphs
• is able to deal with paraphrases and direct quotations from sources, including websites (in-text references keyed to Works Cited list) and avoid plagiarism;
• is able to apply APA manuscript guidelines;
• is able to combine clauses and structure information to ensure maximum readability;
• is developing revision skills.
Furthermore, after completing the course, the student can apply the rules of spelling, grammar and punctuation governing the English language and will be sufficiently familiar with academic vocabulary, reading, logic and argumentation in an academic context.
This course lays the foundations for writing in an academic environment and focuses on the basic aspects of writing an argumentative essay: essay structure, argumentation, logic, using sources, and critical thinking. We also pay attention to the differences between Dutch and English styles of writing and work on developing editing skills that students will need to critically review their own work later on in the course as well as in other courses.
In period 1 we discuss how to conduct research for your essay, how to evaluate the reliability of your sources, distinguishing fact from opinion, how to smoothly integrate supporting evidence derived from your sources into your writing and how to add proper referencing, in order to avoid unintentional plagiarism.
In period 2 students write an argumentative essay. The weekly seminars involve instruction and assignments as well as peer-reviewing sessions. Next to micro-structural aspects of writing such as textual cohesion and punctuation, each week one part of the essay receives special attention: introductions, titles and thesis statements, body paragraphs and conclusions.
The Academic diagnostic assessment of English is linked to this course.