• Unit 2: Academic Writing

    As a student at the university level, you will need to know how to write an effective academic essay. At its core, any academic essay is an argument. By argument, we do not mean a series of aggressive verbal attacks; instead, we mean language used to persuade someone to adopt a perspective. For example, you might be assigned an essay on how the Revolutionary War changed American culture. You may not have known it, but your response to this question is an argument. It is designed to persuade your audience that the War changed American culture for the three or four precise reasons you have identified. As you prepare to draft your essay, you will need to identify evidence, intuit possible inconsistencies or contradictions that your argument involves, and anticipate counterarguments (those that will argue that American culture did not change or that there are actually twenty different reasons why it changed, not just the three or four you identified).

    This unit will go over these issues in great detail and will provide you with a highly structured approach to writing an argument. By the end of this unit, you should be ready to write an academic essay.

    Throughout Unit 2 you will be asked to complete a number of activities which build up to writing an argumentative essay. The assigned topic for these activities and the essay is "Are reality television shows more 'show' or more 'reality'?"

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 31 hours.