ANALYTICAL WRITING: MODELS OF PRESS FREEDOM
2009/2010, Semester 1
University Scholars Programme (University Scholars Programme)
Modular Credits: 4
This course is part of a pilot project testing writing courses for NUS's planned expansion in U-Town. There are two kinds of writing courses being piloted, 'analytical' and 'expository'. This module (WP 2210B) is an analytical writing course.
As this is a UTWP analytical writing module, the emphasis will be on composition, critical analyses of texts, identifying and synthesizing arguments, classifying information, and applying existing theoretical paradigms to primary sources. Students will learn to synthesize and thematically classify arguments and evidence from multiple sources, and will learn to write clear, precise and comprehensive critiques of a body of texts in a chosen content area. Students will also learn to apply established theories to new data sets developed from primary sources.
The writing skills you develop in this module are all designed to be applicable to contexts and tasks throughout your academic life.
Students must have passed/been exempted from NUS Qualifying English Test (QET) or have passed the CELC English for Academic Purposes (EAP 1 & EAP 2) modules.
All UTWP modules will preclude each other, i.e. if you have read one, you will not be allowed to take any others in the future.
This course is capped at 15 students. The course will be organized as a seminar-cum-workshop, fueled by student participation, discussion, and many practical exercises.
Tuesday and Friday 2:00-4:00 PM
All classes will be held at BLOCK ADMIN SR-6, Level 5.
Here are some of the writing skills you will learn in this module:
Distinguishing reportorial from argumentative writing
Editing prose for clarity and style
Reading efficiently and critically
Identifying types of arguments
Effective paraphrasing and quoting
Thematic organization of multiple sources
Library research skills
Assessing rational vs evidential arguments
Assessing models and heuristics
Recovering hidden assumptions in texts
Explicating unstated ideologies
Identifying points of contention
Narrowing writing topics
Applying established arguments to primary sources
Finding gaps in content literature
Rewriting and revising
Using non-text sources: film, ethnographic notes, etc.
Transposing a paper to a visual presentation
What is it about press freedom that spawns opposing notions of what press freedom is and role of a free press in democratic communities? In this analytical writing module, students will read a broad range of texts addressing the issue of press freedom, and will develop skills in synthesizing and thematically classifying arguments and evidence from multiple sources. The module emphasizes writing skills, the critical analysis of texts, identifying arguments, classifying information, and applying existing theoretical paradigms to primary sources.
In this class you will write a series of increasingly complex papers:
Precis writing, in which you critically summarize articles and arguments of other authors,
A 'state of the field' paper, in which you critically assess and organize a body of materials on a topic relevant to the course content (in this case Models of Press Freedom), and
A paper in which you test the validity of a given theory or paradigm in the course content area by applying it to a fresh set of primary source data.
Papers will be supplemented with many practical in-class exercises designed to sharpen your writing skills.
Assessment in this class is based almost entirely on your written work, with some credit given to class participation and presentations. There is no final exam.