Research Writing & Advanced Composition

Course Description

Research Writing allows writers to present credible and persuasive evidence and ideas to a variety of audiences. Research writing includes finding sources, evaluating their credibility, and smoothly integrating them into academic and non-academic texts. Students ultimately demonstrate the ability to make conscious decisions about style, genre, sources and citation style. The course assumes a basic understanding of Standard English grammar and mechanics, the conventions of academic writing (including basic use of sources and citations), the iterative process of writing, and competence in a variety of academic writing modes and genres. Academic texts will include a genre analysis, an audience analysis, and a literature review using APA style. Non-academic texts might include a multi-modal blog that analyzes research on school reform for a specific neighborhood or a series of persuasive memos that make research-based suggestions for productivity improvements for a specific employer. Freshman composition classes do not satisfy this requirement, and students must complete an academic writing course through transfer, proficiency examination or completion of LL 261 - Essay Writing before they can register for Research Writing. Students who have not taken a college-level writing class in the past 3 years should consider taking a course which allows them to review APA style concurrently or before enrolling in Research Writing. Completion of Research Writing is a prerequisite for LL 301 Research Methods.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Strategies

    In this course, the following teaching and learning techniques are used: workshops, class discussions, D2L discussion boards, lectures, small group work, conferences, at home and in class assignments, critical reading, online exercise resources, learning from others through peer editing, and lots and lots of writing. Students should expect to write and to rewrite extensively in this course.

Course Resources

To buy your books, go to



Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald’s The Craft of Research, 4th Ed. University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 9780226239736


Hacker, Diana and Sommers, Nancy. A Writer's Reference with 2016 MLA Update, 8th Edition. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016. Print. ISBN-10: 1- 319-08353-6; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-08353-

Course Learning Goals and Deliverables


Research Question 5%
Citation Analysis Discussion Board 5%
Genre Analysis 10%
Audience Analysis 5%
Synthesis Matrix 5%
Literature Review* 20%
Professional Writing Project* 15%
Final Portfolio 15%
Discussion Boards 10%
Library Activity 5%
Library Consultation 5%
Total 100%

*N.B. You must do each assigned draft in order to receive any credit for the final draft

Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Grades below C- in SNL courses do not satisfy competence and are not counted toward graduation.

Course Schedule






Introductions, Syllabus and Research Questions Debates about Academic Citation

“Why I Love APA, and You Should, Too” – Gregg Gildersleeve

Incorporating Sources 200-211

The Craft of Research

1.1 Discussion Board
1.2 Discussion Board
1.3 Citation Analysis Discussion Board


Research Review

From Topics to Questions, 33-47
From Questions to a Problem, 49-64
From Problems to Sources 65-84
The Craft of Research

2.1 Discussion Board
2.2 Discussion Board
2.3 Research Question


Genre Discussion, Affordances

3.1 Discussion Board
3.2 Genre Analysis


Audience, Rhetorical Modes

Making an Argument 105-171
Organizing Your Argument 189-197
The Craft of Research

4.1 Discussion Board
4.2 Discussion Board
4.3 Audience Analysis


Writing and Reading Critically

Literature Reviews
Engaging Sources 85-104
The Craft of Research

5.1 Discussion Board


Writing and Reading Critically

Planning and Drafting 177-188
Introductions and Conclusions 232-247
The Craft of Research

6.1 Synthesis Matrix
6.2 Discussion Board


Literature Review

Professional Texts

7.1 Literature Review, First Draft
7.2 Discussion Board


Professional Texts

8.1 Discussion Board
8.2 Professional Writing Project, First Draft
8.3 Discussion Board


Elements of Style

Revising Style: Telling Your Story Clearly 248-266
The Craft of Research

9.1 Discussion Board
9.2 Professional Writing Project, Final Draft


Looking Back, Looking Forward

Read One of these Articles:

Self-employed Mothers and the Work-Family Conflict

Donating Behaviour in the Non-profit Marketing Context: An Empirical Study Based on the Identity Theory Model

Family Structure and School-based Parental Involvement: A Family Resource Perspective

10.1 Discussion Board
10.2 Discussion Board
10.3 Literature Review, Final Draft


Final Portfolio

11.1 Final Portfolio

Course Policies

Describe here the specific policies and procedures the instructor has for the course that are additional to the college/university policies, for example, classroom/discussion etiquette, late work, code of responsibility, etc. Include how changes to the syllabus will be communicated. (Changes to the originally published course syllabus used to select/register for a course should be communicated in the first session/week of the course in writing; if significant assignment changes are made during the course it should be done officially with the consensus approval of students.)

Include the statement: This course includes and adheres to the college and university policies described in the links below:

Academic Integrity Policy (UGRAD)
Academic Integrity Policy (GRAD)
Incomplete Policy
Course Withdrawal Timelines and Grade/Fee Consequences
Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability
Protection of Human Research Participants
APA citation format (GRAD)


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