Unit 7: Academic Writing and Research in College
This unit addresses a very important topic: college-level writing. Improved writing is one of the major, universal skills that you will take away from a college experience, and it will likely be the skill you use most in your post-college life. Consider for a minute the many ways in which your writing is the first impression people have of you: for example, when you compose emails, write thank-you notes to your parents' friends, complete job applications, draft the report your supervisor forwards to the CEO, or post to your blog or personal website. Good writing will distinguish you dramatically from your peers and bring you terrific advantages in the long term.
Yet, college writing is a very specific kind of writing, with its own set of rules and requirements that are different from any writing you will probably do before or after college. College writing is designed to teach you about methodical thinking. Writing out a problem, organizing the pieces of the solution to the problem, and then describing the solution clearly for the reader requires you, the writer, to think carefully about the problem itself. So, good writing is both a goal in itself and a tool you will use to reach other goals.
Writing in college is often also designed to teach you about academic research, provide you with opportunities to conduct research, and teach you how to present the results of research. In some classes, you might write about research you physically do, such as lab research in a biology or psychology class, but in other classes research means reading what many other people think about a topic, then coming to your own conclusion on it. This unit covers the basic process for doing this second form of research, including the important issue of how to find quality information and trusted resources on the Internet.
In sum, this unit of the course will help you understand the steps you need to follow to become a better academic writer.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 15 hours.