Academic Writing Workshop

Discipline: English Writing
Instructor: Patel
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Work: Day 2 - Sunday, 31 August | Russia
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” – William Makepeace Thackeray

Writing is one of the most significant tools for college students since future professors and employers will ask for critical and persuasive pieces on a variety of subjects. For that reason, this academic writing workshop will help you to develop sophisticated expository writing skills in order to produce clear and concise essays for diverse audiences. Specifically, the course will introduce, and allow for practice in, the five pillars of academic prose: argumentation, structure and organization, rhetorical awareness, research ethics, and revision. Centering on themes of world exploration and global awareness, this workshop includes readings on contemporary topics such as memory and preservation, sense of belonging, arrivals and departures, social networking, and cultural borderlands. The readings are meant to compliment and inspire student inquiry and composition. Throughout the course, participants should anticipate learning to ask critical questions, analyze and synthesize texts, collaboratively work with peers, and actively discuss their interpretations. Above all, this workshop invites you to develop your sense of self through writing, encourages originality and inventiveness, and carefully guides you through the sometimes rugged terrain of academic writing.

Field Work

Country: Russia
Day: 2 - Sunday, 31 August

During the first weeks of the semester, our class will focus on the keyword of “memory” to aid student development of critical thinking and writing skills. But memory, as many authors will have noted, marks a striking resemblance to history and this field lab aims to differentiate the two keywords in order to better comprehend the nuances of material, historical and collective memory. The day will begin with a brief on-ship discussion about the ways in which memory can be found in architecture, prominent figures, signs and cultural artifacts. Then, the class will travel to the Peterhof Palace in order to comprehend the memory of Tsar Peter the Great and the many battles waged on the iconic landmark and its cultural contents. Students will identify the material memory housed in this iconic Russian landmark. After lunch break in Nevsky Prospekt, students will travel to the House of Books (Singer House) where they will peruse the shelves for literature on Russian memory. How are writers preserving the memory of Russia? Finally, students will go to The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a non-traditional medieval Russian museum dedicated to the memory of Tsar Alexander II, who was assassinated at this location. Taking in the architecture and mosaics of the sight, students will develop a sense of Russia’s collective memory associated with this monument. In the end, the lab will broaden student perspectives on traditional and academic definitions of memory in order to generate a more global understanding of the keyword and aid them in preparing for research on their own keywords. Academic Objectives:

  1. To understand the distinctions between memory and history as key terms
  2. To learn how to close read and analyze cultural attractions with the lens of a keyword
  3. Gain a higher appreciation for the combination of textbook knowledge combined with fieldwork