What makes academic writing different

how can academic writing be diverse and complex and what is academic writing define it briefly
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STUDENT Writing Handbook 1st EditionAbout the Campus Writing Programs at Sacramento State University In this first section of the student writing handbook, you’ll get an overview of the programs and resources on campus that are designed to help you with the reading, writing, and researching you’ll do in college. These resources include • the Learning Skills Center • English Composition courses like ENGL1, ENGL1A, and ENGL20 • the University Writing Center • Writing Intensive courses • the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement • the Library To help you get a sense of how Sacramento State has sequenced writing courses, the next page includes a flow chart of the entire program. 1Sacramento State University Comprehensive Campus Writing Programs Flow Chart English Placement test (if not exempt) Score of 148+ 146-147 142-145 141 or less English 1A or English 1A + 1x English 1 LS15 or LS86 English 2 English 2 + 2x or LS87 English 1A English 2 English 20 or English 20M or Equivalent Upper Division Placement Students may choose either: English 109W of 109M WPJ 3-unit course which ends with (Writing Placement for Juniors) portfolio placement in one of the Placement exam which gives one following: of the following placements: 3 units: Upper Division Writing Intensive Course 4 units: Upper Division Writing Intensive Course + 109x 6 units: English 109W/M then Upper-Division Writing Intensive Course 10 units: LS86 (4U) the English 109M, then Upper-Division Writing Intensive Course 2Sacramento State University Writing Rubric The following rubric was created by the Faculty Senate Subcommittee for Writing and Reading. It is meant as a useful guide but not an absolute standard for the university: writing criteria will vary from instructor to instructor and discipline to discipline. An “A” paper:  A paper in this category • Addresses the assignment thoughtfully and analytically , setting a challenging task • Does not demonstrate a need for more revision. • Displays awareness of and purpose in communicating to an audience. • Establishes a clearly focused controlling idea. • Demonstrates coherent and rhetorically sophisticated organization; makes effective connections between ideas. • Provides clear generalizations with specific detail and compelling support and analysis. • Cites relevant sources and evaluates their validity , effectively integrating them into the text when appropriate. • Displays evidence of careful editing with superior control of grammar and mechanics appropriate to the assignment. Guideline for multilingual writers: Grammatical errors are rare and do not interfere with overall effectiveness of paper; occasional imprecision in word choice and usage may occur. A “B” paper: A paper in this category • Addresses the assignment clearly and analytically, setting a meaningful task. • Does not demonstrate a need for significantly more revision. • Addresses audience needs and expectations. • Establishes a clearly focused controlling idea. • Demonstrates clear and coherent organization. • Provides clear generalizations and ef fective support and analysis. • Cites relevant sources, ef fectively integrating them into the text when appropriate. • Displays evidence of careful editing with consistent control of grammar and mechanics appropriate to the assignment and the discipline. 3Guideline for multilingual writers: Some grammatical errors may occur throughout the paper but do not interfere with overall effectiveness; occasional inappropriate word choice or incorrect usage may occur. A “C” paper: A paper in this category Addresses the assignment with some analysis. • Demonstrates some need for further revision. • Addresses most audience needs and expectations. • Establishes a controlling idea. • Demonstrates adequate organization. • Provides support for and some analysis of generalizations. • Cites appropriate sources, adequately integrating them into text. • Displays evidence of editing with adequate control of grammar and mechanics appropriate to the assignment. Errors do not slow the reader, impede understanding, or seriously undermine the authority of the writer. Guideline for multilingual writers: Grammatical errors, inappropriate word choice, or incorrect usage may occur throughout the paper but rarely interfere with effective communication. A “D” paper has some of the following qualities: A paper in this category • Does not address the assignment adequately. • Demonstrates a need for significantly more revision. • Does not show sufficient audience awareness. • Strays from the controlling idea, or the idea is unclear. • Displays random or confusing organization. • Lacks generalizations, or gives generalizations but does not provide support or analysis. • Does not cite sources or does not cite and/or integrate sources appropriately. • Needs significant editing for grammar and mechanics; errors impede understanding. 4Guideline for multilingual writers: Serious and frequent errors in grammar, word choice, or usage seriously hinder communication. An “F” paper has many or all of the qualities listed under a “D” paper. Guidelines for Evaluating the Writing of Multilingual Writers: The writing of multilingual students should be held to native speaker standards for content and addressing the assignment. However, because certain types of errors persist in multilingual writing even at an advanced level, some accommodation for multilingual features is appropriate. 5Preparatory Writing Courses The following preparatory writing classes are oe ff red through the Learning Skills Center: LS 15: College Language Skills - LS 15 students read essays as well as a full- length book, popular journalism, and academic writing. They write expository essays and respond to assigned readings. Students summarize and respond to the views of others, establish a position, and develop their ideas fully. They revise and edit their papers effectively. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. LS 86: College Language Skills for Multilingual Students - LS 86 is the course equivalent to LS 15 for multilingual students. In addition to the activities in LS 15, students review key features of academic English and receive intensive practice in editing their writing. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. LS87: Basic Writing Skills for Multilingual Students – LS 87 is the course equivalent to English 1 for multilingual students. Students read multiple texts related to current issues and write argumentative essays in response. They continue to review key features of academic English and receive intensive practice in editing their writing. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. The following preparatory writing class is oe ff red through the English Department: ENGL1: Basic Writing Skills – Prepares students for the challenging thinking, reading, and writing required in academic discourse. Uses writing as a means for discovery and reflection as well as reading as a source for ideas, discussion, and writing. Concentrates on developing expository essays that communicate clearly, provide adequate levels of detail, maintain overall coherence and focus, and demonstrate awareness of audience and purpose. Writing requirement: a minimum of 3,500 words. Note: May be taken for workload credit toward establishing full-time enrollment status, but is not applicable to the baccalaureate degree. Prerequisite: EPT score of 142-148, or successful completion LS 015. Graded Credit/No Credit. Units: 3. 6College Composition Courses The English Department offers a number of writing courses for Sacramento State University students. While most students understand that writing is a common and critical part of their educational experience, it is important to note a bit about what we require and why. Students enter the university already having a variety of writing skills and strategies. It is our mission to build upon these to prepare students for the complex reading, thinking, and writing tasks that will await them in their university classes and beyond. Toward that end, our writing classes focus on several key elements: critical reading strategies that enable students to not only take in new information but also to question and use it in their writing; writing process strategies that give students numerous techniques for working with their writing from the beginning generation of ideas through their revision and polishing for final submission; and discourse awareness—the ability to recognize that different types of writing are required in different settings—which enables students to decipher and produce the kind of writing that would best fit any given situation. We recognize that writing is a skill which must be practiced frequently to allow for improvement. Thus, in addition to the writing that you will do in your general education and major courses, the English Department offers first-year and sophomore writing courses. Our first-year courses (English 1, 1A, and 2) introduce students to academic writing in general—the kinds of reading, writing, and thinking habits and strategies which will serve you throughout your university writing experiences. Our sophomore course (English 20/20M) builds upon these more general skills to introduce a variety of reading, writing, thinking, and research habits and strategies from different disciplines—giving you a clearer sense of how thinking and writing are tailored to a specific environment. It is our hope that these courses will provide you with the foundation you need to be successful in all of your classes as well as specific instruction that will be relevant at the different stages of your educational journey. The following composition courses are oe ff red through the English Department: ENGL1: Basic Writing Skills – Prepares students for the challenging thinking, reading, and writing required in academic discourse. Uses writing as a means for discovery and reflection as well as reading as a source for ideas, discussion, and writing. Concentrates on developing expository essays that communicate clearly, provide adequate levels of detail, maintain overall coherence and focus, and demonstrate awareness of audience and purpose. Writing requirement: a minimum of 3,500 words. Note: May be taken for workload credit toward establishing full-time enrollment status, but is not applicable to the baccalaureate degree. Prerequisite: EPT score of 142-148, or successful completion LS 015. Graded Credit/No Credit. Units: 3. ENGL1A. College Composition. An intensive writing course that provides students with practice in the kinds of challenging thinking, reading, and writing required in academic discourse. Concentrates on prewriting, drafting, and rewriting processes that address a variety of rhetorical and academic tasks. Special attention given to 7effective development and support of ideas. Writing requirement: a minimum of 5,000 words. Prerequisite: EPT score of 148 or above, or credit in ENGL 001. Units: 3. ENGL2. College Composition for Multilingual Students. Intensive writing for multilingual students that provides practice in the kinds of challenging thinking, reading, and writing required in academic discourse. Concentrates on prewriting, drafting, and rewriting processes that address a variety of rhetorical and academic tasks. Special attention given to effective development and support of ideas. Writing requirement: a minimum of 5,000 words. Prerequisite: EPT score of 148+ or above, or credit in LS 87; EDT score of 2-3. Graded: Graded Student. Units: 3. ENGL20. College Composition II. Advanced writing that builds upon the critical thinking, reading, and writing processes introduced in ENGL 1A and ENGL 2. Emphasizes rhetorical awareness by exploring reading and writing within diverse academic contexts with a focus on the situational nature of the standards, values, habits, conventions, and products of composition. Students will research and analyze different disciplinary genres, purposes, and audiences with the goals of understanding how to appropriately shape their writing for different readers and demonstrating this understanding through various written products. Note: Writing requirement: a minimum of 5,000 words. Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 1A or ENGL 2 or equivalent with a C- or better; sophomore standing (must have completed 30 units prior to registration). Graded: Graded Student. Units: 3. ENGL20M. College Composition II for Multilingual Students. Advanced writing for multilingual students that builds upon the critical thinking, reading, and writing processes introduced in ENGL 1A and ENGL 2. Emphasizes rhetorical awareness by exploring reading and writing within diverse academic contexts with a focus on the situational nature of the standards, values, habits, conventions, and products of composition. Students will research and analyze different disciplinary genres, purposes, and audiences with the goals of understanding how to appropriately shape their writing for different readers and demonstrating this understanding through various written products. Note: Writing requirement: a minimum of 5,000 words. Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 1A or ENGL 2 or equivalent with a C- or better; sophomore standing (must have completed 30 units prior to registration). Graded: Graded Student. Units: 3. 8Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) All CSU students must satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). Beginning in July 2009, the Writing Proficiency Examination (WPE) will no longer be used to meet the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) at Sacramento State. Instead, students will meet the GWAR using a new, two-step process. First, students will have a choice in how to get their GWAR Placement: they may take a course, or they may challenge the course by taking a timed essay placement examination. Second, students will complete the upper- division coursework required by their GWAR Placement. Step One (60 to 74 units) In order to complete the first step and receive a GWAR Placement, students will select one of the following options during their first semester of junior standing: Either – Take English 109W/M. Students whose first language is not English, or students who received an English Diagnostic Test (EDT) score of 4 or higher, should choose English 109M. Students whose first language is not English who received an EDT score of 3 or lower should choose LS 86. Other students should choose English 109W. In this course, students will prepare a Writing Portfolio from which they’ll receive a placement into upper-division Writing-Intensive coursework. Or – Challenge the course by taking the Writing Placement for Juniors (WPJ) timed essay. In this two-hour test, students will write two essays from which they’ll receive a placement into Writing-Intensive coursework. Students will take this exam only once. WPJ registration will be online at http://www.csus. edu/testing/testing_services.stmwpe. From whichever of these two options they select, students will receive a placement into their upper-division Writing-Intensive General Education coursework. GWAR Placement will now be a prerequisite for enrolling in a General Education Writing- Intensive course. Step Two The second step to meeting the GWAR requires all students to complete the course work required by their GWAR Placement; this includes completion of the upper- division General Education (GE) Writing-Intensive course with a C- or higher. Placements range from 3 units to more than 6 units of coursework and may require students to complete prerequisites prior to enrolling in the Writing-Intensive course or to take a tutorial course concurrently with the Writing-Intensive course. A 3 unit placement means that the writer is ready to move straight into the upper- division GE Writing-Intensive course: take the Writing-Intensive course. 9A 4 unit placement means that the writer needs a little assistance in order to succeed in the GE Writing-Intensive course, so is required concurrently to enroll in a 1-unit Credit/No Credit writing tutorial: take English 109X and the Writing- Intensive course together in the same semester. A 6 unit placement means that the writer needs additional assistance in order to succeed in the upper-division GE Writing-Intensive course, so is required to take a specified 3-unit prerequisite to that course: take English 109W/M. Take the upper-division Writing-Intensive course as directed in a subsequent semester. A 10 unit placement means that the writer needs a lot of additional assistance in order to succeed in the GE Writing-Intensive course, so is required to take several prerequisites to that course: take LS86; then take ENGL109W/M as directed in a subsequent semester; then take the upper-division Writing-Intensive course as directed in a subsequent semester. 10Writing Intensive Courses Most courses at Sacramento State University incorporate writing, whether it’s a lab report, reading response journals, an essay exam, a research paper, in-class writing, etc. But some courses are focused on writing and designed so that you’ll write extensively and get a lot of feedback on your writing as you draft and revise. These courses, which are limited to thirty students, are labeled Writing Intensive. The Writing Intensive requirement ensures that all students, regardless of their major, get a writing-rich experience in their junior year. All students at Sacramento State take a Writing Intensive (WI) course as a graduation requirement. Some departments require that you take the WI course in your major, and some departments allow you to take the WI course outside your major. A 109W/109M portfolio placement into the WI class or a WPJ placement into the WI class is a prerequisite for WI courses. We highly recommend that you take a WI class in your junior year, rather than putting it off until your senior year, since the writing practice and feedback you get in a WI class will help prepare you for writing in your major. Here are the main features of a WI class: • No more than 30 students • Frequent response on your writing and instructors actively helping you with your writing • 5,000 words spread out over the semester in both formal and informal writing assignments and activities • Significant drafting and revision of the for mal writing assignments For more information about the Writing Intensive requirement, see the Sacramento State University catalogue. 11The Learning Skills Center The writing program in the Learning Skills Center is part of a sequence of classes offered to prepare students for college level writing courses offered in the English Department and the General Education writing requirements. Learning Skills composition classes: • Integrate expository reading writing. • Challenge students to understand and explain the arguments of others in the texts they read and to construct their own arguments in response. • Develop students’ skills in reading critically and writing analytically. • Give students practice in developing and organizing ideas, drafting and revising academic essays, and editing and proofreading their texts. • Enable students to develop their academic identity and become familiar with the expectations of the university. Learning Skills Center Lassen Hall 2200 916-278-6725 916-278-7888 fax www.csus.edu/learningskills Description of Classes LS 15: College Language Skills - LS 15 students read essays as well as a full- length book, popular journalism, and academic writing. They write expository essays and respond to assigned readings. Students summarize and respond to the views of others, establish a position, and develop their ideas fully. They revise and edit their papers effectively. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. LS 86: College Language Skills for Multilingual Students – LS 86 is the course equivalent to LS 15 for multilingual students. In addition to the activities in LS 15, students review key features of academic English and receive intensive practice in editing their writing. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. LS 87: Basic Writing Skills for Multilingual Students – LS 87 is the course equivalent to English 1 for multilingual students. Students read multiple texts related to current issues and write argumentative essays in response. They continue to review key features of academic English and receive intensive practice in editing their writing. Students create a portfolio of coursework and take in-class written exams. 12Tutorial Classes: LS 5, LS 6A, LS 6B LS 5: Reading and Vocabulary Development – a developmental reading class for students scoring below college level on reading tests LS 6A: Oral Skills Development – a multilingual class to assist students to improve oral communication skills LS 6B: Writing for Proficiency – a multilingual class to assist students with the WPJ. Reading Classes: LS 60: Reading Speed and Efficiency – a class for college-level readers to improve efficiency as well as speed (includes practice in reading lab) LS 60M: Reading Speed and Efficiency for Multilingual Students – a class for multilingual college-level readers to improve efficiency as well as speed (includes practice in reading lab) Grammar Class: LS 85: Grammar for Multilingual Writers – a class covering the major systems of English grammar for editing purposes 13The University Writing Center There is a unique place on campus that is an integral part of writing at Sacramento State University: the University Writing Center (UWC). Located in 128 Calaveras Hall, the UWC is open five days a week for students to come in and talk about their work-in-progress with another student. The student-tutors are undergraduate and graduate students who have taken a course in writing center theory and practice. They’re familiar with ways of responding to academic writing that will help a writer to find strategies for approaching assignments in any discipline. The UWC tutors also offer guidance for preparing for timed writing tests such as the WPJ and for writing scholarship and graduate school application letters. The UWC is open to all registered students at Sacramento State University. There are no assignments, grades or evaluations given in the UWC; rather, the tutors provide supportive, non-judgmental feedback to writing-in-progress and suggestions for ways to get started on any kind of writing assignment. Tutors are used to working with students in all academic disciplines, with multilingual writers, and with graduate as well as undergraduate writers. It is appropriate to come to the UWC if you are at the beginning of an assignment and are unsure how to get started, if you have already started a draft and want some feedback to help you focus and develop your ideas, or if you have a completed paper and intend to make further revisions. To get the most out of a tutoring session, it is essential to bring the assignment with you and any of texts that are connected to the assignment. It is also useful to bring the course syllabus, which will give the tutor a picture of how this particular assignment fits into the course you are taking. You do not need to be referred to the UWC by an instructor, although often instructors recommend to their students that they come to the UWC. All attendance at the UWC is on a voluntary basis. Appointments are available throughout the semester, but the UWC does fill up quickly and you may not always be able to get an immediate appointment. To make an appointment, come to CLV 128 or call 278-6356. Once you have an appointment time, you can continue to meet with the same tutor at that same time for the rest of the semester if you want. All students can schedule up to an hour a week of tutoring. The UWC usually opens for appointments the second week of the semester and tutoring begins the first day of the third week of classes. Usual hours are M-TR 10:00-6:00. We also offer evening hours at the library, in LIB3501A. Check the UWC website at www.csus. edu/writingcenter for updated evening hours at the library. Further information about the University Writing Center can be found on the UWC webpage: http:/www.csus.edu/writingcenter. If you are interested in becoming a UWC tutor, contact Professor Dan Melzer, UWC Coordinator, at melzercsus.edu. 14•• E V I HORNET DRIV E R NORTH D STATE UNIVERSITY DR .EAST M U I D A T S The Library The University Library at Sacramento State, located in the heart of the campus, has 6 floors and 2 wings, housing over 1.3 million volumes. 1 AMERICAN Campus emergency RIVER phones located on each floor of parking structure ALUMNI GROVE TO J STREET FAC/ST F PARKIN G FACULTY/STAFF LOT 4 STRUCTURE II LOT 4 BOOK STORE EL DORADO HALL CHILD PUBLIC VISITOR DEVELOPMENT SERVICES INFORMATIO N SERNA PLAZA BOOTH 2 UNION MCAULIFFE FAC/ST F STUDENT BASEBALL 3 LOT 6 LOT 7 FIELD LOT 5 PARKIN G STRUCTURE II I AIRC NAPA LIBRARY BENICIA HALL FAC/STAF F HALL STUDENT LOT 9 RECYCLING STUDENT LOT 8 FAC/STAF F CENTER OUTDOOR LOT 12 LOT 9 THEATRE MODOC HALL ALUMNI TAHOE CENTER AMADOR HALL HALL CAPISTRAN O HALL RECREA TION & WELLNESS CAPITAL CENTER PUBLIC (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) HORNET STUDENT RADIO STADIUM LOT 9 (on 5th oor) BASEBALL BROAD FIELD PARKING ATHLETIC FACILIT Y STRUCTURE GOLF I RANGE STUDENT LOT 10 STATE UNIVERSITY DRIVE WEST TO J STREET Although a library this size can be intimidating at first, it’s important for you to learn to use both its physical and online resources, since doing so will help you succeed at Sacramento State. Below you’ll find a checklist for new students that will help you get to know your library. Library Checklist For New Students Things To Do Before Classes Start Register for a SacLink Account: Go to the Library Computer Lab or any other campus lab to establish your SacLink account. You’ll need a SacLink account to access the Library databases from off campus. Your SacLink is also required for to access “My Sac State” pages. Get a OneCard: Your OneCard is your campus photo ID, Library Card, public transport pass, phone card, and a debit card for printing in the labs and the Library. Get your card at the OneCard Center in the Brighton Hall Annex. Once you’ve gotten your OneCard, bring it to the Library check-out desk to register as a borrower. 15 S I R E T V I N Y U D R E . E T T A S A T S FOLSOM BLVD. COLLEGE TOWN DRIVE STATE UNIVERSITY DR. SOUTH U.S. HWY 50 SINCLAIR RD . GUY WEST FOOTBRIDG EFind out When the Library is Open: Regular Hours for Fall & Spring Semesters: Mon.-Thu. 7:15AM-11:00PM; Fri. 7:15AM-7:00PM; Sat. 9:00AM-5:00PM; Sun. 11:00AM-11:00PM. For updated hours information, call 278-6926 or visit http://library.csus.edu/hours/ Things To Do In The Library and The Library’s Website Take a Library Tour: Take a self-guided Library tour by asking for the Check-Point Tour Guide at the check-out desk, or take an online virtual tour. The self-guided Check-Point Tour should take 30-45 minutes. You can also take a Guided Tour, which is offered during the second and third weeks of the fall semester. Look for the tour schedule on the Library’s website. Some professors require a proof of a Library tour for their classes, so be sure to get a tour verification slip. Watch the 3-part video tour on the Library Channel http://db.lib.csus.edu/LibraryChannel/ Find a quiet place to study: The entire 4th floor is reserved for “Silent Study.” Check out books with your OneCard: You can check out up to 50 books for a period of 3 weeks. You can renew them online using your “My Library Account” if you create a password. You can also place holds on items that are currently checked out by others. The PIN should be something you can easily remember. For complete instructions, go to: https://eureka.lib.csus.edu/patroninfoS35. Ask a Librarian for Research Help: Librarians can be your best allies when it comes to getting through your first year at Sacramento State. Find your personal reference librarian (http://library.csus.edu/content2.asp?pageID=45) You can also call the Reference Desk, (916) 278-5673, or chat with a librarian online if you need some research help: http://library.csus.edu/services/ askLibrarianLive/. Find Course Readings in the Reserve Book Room (RBR): (separate entrance off the breezeway). Faculty put materials they want everyone in their class to read “On Reserve.” The RBR Loan period is often 2 hours or 1 day instead of the regular 3 weeks. Use our Printers: The campus credits 300 free laser copies on your OneCard each semester for use in the Library and in the Campus Labs. PrintSmart default is back-to-back duplex copies, so be sure to reset the printing preferences if you want single-sided copies. Borrow Something from Another Library: If you can’t locate the book or journal article you need in our collection, the Interlibrary Service team will track it down in another library. Create an Iliad account for this service at https://illiad.csus.edu/ illiad/logon.html Apply for a job in the Library: We are one of the largest employer of students on campus, and there’s no commute Apply online: http://digital.lib.csus.edu/ studentEmployment/ Find the comfortable chairs: There are lounge chairs in small groupings scattered throughout the Library. Look in the first floor lobby, on the mezzanine at the top of the escalator and in the alcoves near the exterior windows on floors 2 NORTH, 3 NORTH, and 4 NORTH. 16Enjoy the Art: The University Library Gallery has shows throughout the year. There are student projects and professional art mounted on other floors as well. Topical Library Exhibits are usually located in the area between the wings on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors. 17An Overview of University Writing The single most important thing to have for your future writing is confidence. — Aaro Lautmo, Sacramento State freshman In my opinion, your work in any field of study is only as good as your ability to communicate the work to others; usually this will be through writing. — Professor Brad Baker, Chemistry Department What is “Academic” Writing? A good starting place for exploring the question, “What is academic writing?” is to look at the Sacramento State “Advisory Standards for Writing.” This is a university-wide writing rubric that talks about writing standards at Sacramento State. A rubric is a tool that teachers use to make their evaluation criteria clear to students. Rubrics provide a description of the qualities of papers (or other kinds of performances) at different levels, often from “A” to “F”. Here’s the standard for an “A” paper, according to the rubric: An “A” paper:  A paper in this category • Addresses the assignment thoughtfully and analytically , setting a challenging task • Does not demonstrate a need for more revision. • D isplays awareness of and purpose in communicating to an audience. • Establishes a clearly focused controlling idea. • Demonstrates coherent and rhetorically sophisticated organization; makes effective connections between ideas. • Provides clear generalizations with specific detail and compelling support and analysis. • Cites relevant sources and evaluates their validity, effectively integrating them into the text when appropriate. • Displays evidence of careful editing with superior control of grammar and mechanics appropriate to the assignment. Guideline for multilingual writers: Grammatical errors are rare and do not interfere with overall effectiveness of paper; occasional imprecision in word choice and usage may occur. In academic writing, it’s important to explore a thoughtful, original question or make arguments that challenge readers to think deeply about your topic. Because academic writing requires complex thinking, it also requires extensive 18revising. Constructing a complex argument or analysis means writing with a sense of purpose and audience. At Sacramento State you’ll write for a variety of purposes, from summarizing to informing to arguing to exploring. You’ll also write for a variety of audiences. Sometimes you’ll write for an audience outside of the classroom—for example, if you’re participating in a service learning project or presenting a report to engineering companies. Sometimes you’ll write to your peers—for example, if you give your classmates feedback in a peer response workshop or write an essay for the Sacramento State undergraduate writing journal, Writing the University. Sometimes you’ll write to a hypothetical audience—for example, if you’re practicing writing a business memo to an imagined company or a research report in the style of a specific scientific journal. Most often you’ll write primarily to the teacher as your audience, but usually the teacher is acting as a representative of her academic field, or “discipline.” In other words, the teacher won’t be evaluating your writing based on some random set of criteria, but instead they will respond to whether or not you’re successful at writing like a sociologist, a historian, an engineer, etc. At Sacramento State, expectations for writing can vary significantly from one academic field to another, and even from one teacher to another in the same field. The language of science can be very different from the language of the arts and humanities, and the voice and tone you’re asked to take on in your writing assignments for one teacher might be very different from the voice and tone you’re asked to take on in another teacher’s writing assignments, even if both teachers are in the same department. The ways that writing expectations can differ in various disciplines can be seen in two different writing rubrics used in two different departments at Sacramento State. The first rubric is used to assess scientific research reports in the Geology department, and the second rubric is used to assess research papers in the English Department: 19

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