INI204H1 Syllabus


INI 204H The Academic Writing Process 2018

Instructor: Roger Riendeau
Location: Innis College Residence, Room 127A
Office Hours: Tuesday 4-6 pm

Class Schedule

1. The Nature and Context of Academic Writing

2. Focusing: Choosing/Defining a Topic and Formulating a Thesis

3. Scholarly Research and the Research Proposal

4. Critical Thinking and Evaluation of Sources

5. Strategic Planning and Outlining

6. Composing the Introduction

7. Paragraph Development

8. The Nature and Value of Evidence for Argumentation

9. Reaching a Meaningful Conclusion

10. Finishing the Essay: Documentation and Manuscript Form


Assignment Schedule

Date Assignment Value
Sept. 25 Brief statement of proposed self-designed research topic     5%
Oct. 16 Research proposal (500-750 words)    10%
Nov. 6 Detailed (2-3 pages) formal outline of the research essay    10%
Nov. 20 Preliminary introduction (200-300 words)     5%
Nov. 27 Complete first draft of the research essay (2,500-3,000 words)   10%
Dec. 11 Revision of the research essay (2,500-3,000 words)   20%
  Total value of written assignments   60%
  Evaluation of class participation   20%
  Peer assessment test (4 December 2018)   20%
  Final mark 100%


Required Readings
The essential reading material for this course is available on the INI204H page of my website The Online Resources link includes the websites of various Writing Centres or Labs, Writing Programs and courses, Philosophy courses on Critical Thinking and Logic, and books on Writing and Rhetoric. Exploration of these websites will reveal a substantial volume of information of varying relevance to INI204H. I will give you direction on the navigation of these websites and the use of their resources throughout the year either during class or through the Class Discussion Forum on my website.

Suggested Readings
Similarly books on Writing and Rhetoric are numerous and of varying quality. I have listed a few of my favorite texts below which you may wish to read but which I do not expect you to purchase. Indeed, excerpts from these texts are available on my website under the link Assigned Readings in the website Forum.

Browne, M. Neil and Stuart M. Keeley. 2014. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking. 11th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Kennedy, Mary Lynch. 2010. Reading and Writing in the Academic Community. 4th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

MacDonald, Chris and Lewis Vaughn. 2016. The Power of Critical Thinking. 4th edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Rottenberg, Annette T and Donna Haisty Winchell. 2015. The Structure of Argument. 8th edition. New York: Macmillan Learning.

----. 2015. Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader. 11th edition. New York: Macmillan Learning.

Thiroux, Emily. 1999. The Critical Edge: Thinking and Writing in a Virtual Society. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Waller, Bruce N. 2012. Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict. 6th edition. Boston: Pearson Higher Education.

Wood, Nancy V. 2009. Perspectives on Argument. 6th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

This course is an exercise in disciplined and organized writing. Moreover, the instructor needs sufficient time to evaluate each assignment and to provide meaningful comments. Accordingly, unless documented justification is provided, each assignment must be submitted by the due date, or it will be subject to a penalty of one full grade for every three days of lateness.

Section B.1. of the University of Toronto’s Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters stipulates:
It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:
(d) to represent as one's own any idea or expression of an idea or work of another in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work, i.e. to commit plagiarism ...;
(e) to submit, without the knowledge and approval of the instructor to whom it is submitted, any academic work for which credit has previously been obtained or is being sought in another course or program of study in the University or elsewhere….

The common penalty for these kinds of academic offences (often determined by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Science) is a grade of zero (0) for the entire course and a notation of the violation on the student’s transcript.