naEDU7001 Advanced Scholarly Writing
(3 credits)
Syllabus Effective Date: 8/25/2010

Course Description:
In this course, students will learn to formulate ideas, search for and appraise text and online resources, and critically analyze and thoughtfully synthesize research findings. The student will become familiar with various writing and communication formats, such as papers, annotated bibliographies, and practice preparing those formats appropriate to their degree. The student will also develop techniques for following APA form and style and avoiding plagiarism.

Number Of Activities: 10

Learning Outcomes:
1.  Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
2.  Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.
3.  Incorporate proper APA form and style.
4.  Synthesize material in research articles.
5.  Develop documents related to the early stages of the dissertation.
6.  Conduct a Literature Review.
7.  Assess weekly progress towards completing the course assignments.

Course Concepts:
1. Self appraisal of writing skills
2. Reading and note taking skills
3. APA form and style
4. Writing habits and attitudes
5. Synthesizing research articles
6. Annotated bibliography
7. Annotated Outline
8. Literature Review

Primary Resources:
These resources are required to complete the course.

Please make sure that you purchase the primary textbook(s) that match the syllabus you are issued. Please let your assigned Mentor know through the Northcentral University messaging system what text(s) you have purchased. Northcentral cannot be responsible for Learner purchase of books that do not match assigned syllabi.

Book
American Psychological Association.   (2009).  Publication manual of the American Psychological Association,  6th ed.   Washington, DC:   Author.   ISBN: 9781433805615  

You may purchase books at www.ncubooks.com.


Additional Resources:
These resources must be used to complete the assignments.

Website
Northcentral University Library Learn the Library Page   http://library.ncu.edu/dw_template.aspx?parent_id=170  
Website
Fowler, H. R. & Aaron, J. E.  The Little, Brown Handbook,  10th ed.   Pearson.   http://wps.ablongman.com/long_fowler_lbh_10/  
Website
Lynch, J.  The Online English Grammar Guide.  http://www.world-english.org/grammar.htm  
Article
Rector, R.   (2010, April 3).  Bad writing gets its just reward.   San Gabriel Valley Tribune.   http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/379815984?accountid=28180  
Article
(1999, April 8).  Bad blood over bad writing: Critics say US academic language has become so convoluted that it is largely incomprehensible to the point where argument is becoming impossible. Richard Kelly reports :[CITY EDITION].   Irish Times.   http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/docview/310535955?accountid=28180  
Article
Dinitia Smith THE NEW YORK TIMES.   (1999, March 7).  Academic: when the writing is bad, ideas get lost :[CITY Edition].   Winston - Salem Journal.   http://crab.rutgers.edu/~goertzel/badwriting.htm  
Website
Concept- or mind-mapping.  http://www.studygs.net/mapping/index.htm  
File
Personal Academic Writing Checklist  
Personal Writing Checklist Sample.doc
File
Multiple Intelligences Theory to Writing Styles Chart 
MI Chart.doc
Website
Multiple Intelligences Theory Presentation  http://learners.ncu.edu/public_images/CourseContent/mi_theory  
File
Multiple Intelligences Theory to Writing Styles Chart with Rhetorical Perspectives 
MI_Chart_2.doc
Article
Wilson, J.   (2008).  Reflecting-on-the-future: A chronological consideration of reflective practice.  Reflective Practice,   9  (2),  177-184.   http://www.tandfonline.com.proxy1.ncu.edu/doi/abs/10.1080/14623940802005525  

Supplemental References & Readings:
These resources are not required, but may provide assistance in completing your work for this course. Please copy and paste any web links listed below into your browser to view the websites.
Northcentral University Library Guide
http://library.ncu.edu/research_help/guide.aspx?guide_id=864
General Information:

Credit Hours:

With the faculty-mentored approach at Northcentral University, credit hours are amassed in a course through student-to-faculty interaction, contact with course-specific content, assignments, and other asynchronous activities. At Northcentral, students can expect to devote between 135-144 hours for each 3-credit course.

Course Participation:

Federal Financial Aid regulations, which Northcentral observes for all students, require that students regularly participate in courses in which they are enrolled. All students must log into the course room at least once per week in order to avoid being noted as a non-participant. Students must use the Northcentral messaging system on the course web site to contact faculty. Should you be unable to participate in your course, you must contact your Academic Advisor who can advise you on the consequences of withdrawing from your course.

Preliminaries/Pre-Course Survey:

Students should review the Student web site and Course Catalog, which contains all relevant policies and procedures. Students should also complete the Pre-Course Survey. The survey goes directly to the faculty and gives the faculty information about new students entering the course.

Assignment Submissions:

The assignment header should include the student's last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number (DoeJXXX0000-1) justified to the left and the page number justified to the right. Faculty may request students to submit an assignment cover sheet, located under University Documents on the Students site. Assignments that do not include cover sheets should have an APA style title page.

The file submittal format consists of the student's last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number (no spaces between characters): DoeJXXX0000-1. Files may be submitted in Word or in the program with which the file was created. Faculty may request resubmission of an assignment using a different file format or program if they cannot access a submitted assignment. In the event that the student is unable to submit the assignment to the professor on the date due through any of the above referenced methods because of computer problems, the student is required to email the assignment to the faculty on or before the assignment due date. In such cases, the student should also communicate with the professor to inform of the assignment transmission.

Northcentral University has adopted the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual as the style guide for all coursework. Students are expected to follow the APA manual when completing assignments, unless instructed otherwise.  Although the APA manual does not apply to syllabi, NCU attempts to adhere to the manual in its syllabi within technical limitations.

Faculty have the discretion to allow and request resubmission of any assignment, with these stipulations: Comprehensive Exam courses are excluded; graded assignments with objectively correct answers (e.g., statistics assignments) may not be resubmitted; the bulk loading policy may not be violated; the policy that assignments may not be submitted after a course end date may not be violated. Students may decline to resubmit assignments. Faculty cannot request resubmissions in cases of suspected academic integrity violations.

 

Recommended Schedule for Course Completion:

Students may submit assignments early, but may not submit the next assignment until they have received a grade on the previous one. Faculty will not accept bulk assignments. mitting assignments in the order assigned and reviewing faculty feedback before completing the next assignment ensures progression according to academic standards and follows the design of the course.

Submittal Turn-Around Schedule:

Faculty will return graded assignments with feedback within 4 calendar days of assignment submission.

Note: Turn-around time for courses in the dissertation sequence, excluding CMP courses, range up to 21 calendar days.

Academic Integrity:

Academic integrity includes the commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Appropriate credit of others for the scientific work and ideas applies to all forms of scholarship, not just publications. The submission of another person’s work represented as that of the student’s without properly citing the source of the work will be considered plagiarism and will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course, and may result in academic dismissal. Assignments will be submitted by the faculty member to TurnItIn.com for originality evaluation.

 

Self-plagiarism is the act of presenting one’s previously used work as an original work. Self-plagiarism is inconsistent with honesty and truthfulness in scholarship. Northcentral University faculty and students should discuss the expectations of each activity at the beginning of the class. There should be a clear understanding between the faculty member and student regarding the use of prior work in the class. The faculty member must indicate if the student’s response must be an original work or if the student may use prior work in their response to a new activity. For further information on self-plagiarism, review this guide noted in the NCU Writing Center on the subject.

 

Course Learning Assessment/Course Grade:

Students are expected to complete all performance requirements for the course and to demonstrate mastery of the course concepts and course learning outcomes. This may require students to use library resources and to document research with citations, bibliographies, and references as applicable in completing their coursework. Mastery of course concepts may require demonstration of critical thinking and communication skills by a combination of term papers, self-assessments, quantitative reasoning, interviews, observations, written assignments, or other activities.

Mastery of course concepts as demonstrated by successfully completing the performance requirements will determine the grade for this course. Students must follow directions and assignment requirements in the syllabus.

Grading Scale:

The following chart shows the percentages of points awarded to the letter grade for Undergraduate and Graduate grades.

Undergraduate Scoring

 

Graduate Scoring

 

Numerical Points

Letter Grade

Numerical Points

Letter Grade

100-94

A

100-94

A

93-90

A-

93-90

A-

89-87

B+

89-87

B+

86-83

B

86-83

B

82-80

B-

82-80

B-

79-77

C+

79-77

C+

76-73

C

76-73

C

72-70

C-

72-0

F

69-67

D+

 

 

66-63

D

 

 

62-0

F

 

 

 

Northcentral Grading Rubric:

The grading of each assignment is based on the percentages in the Northcentral Grading Rubric: 70% content and 30% presentation. The percentage is calculated by dividing the actual points earned by the total number of points possible for an activity, with the resulting percentage determining the letter grade for the activity or course. View the Northcentral Grading Rubric.

Exceptions to the Rubric:

Certain courses/activities do not warrant a written product. Examples include math courses involving solving equations or courses that contain multiple choice exams. In these cases, the writing portion of the rubric does not apply. Scoring for these courses will be based on how many items were answered correctly out of the total number of items possible.

 

Course Overview

Section 1: The Writing Process and Prewriting
Activity 1:   Understanding the Writing Process   (10 Points)
Activity 2:   Prewriting Tips for Choosing a Topic   (5 Points)
Section 2: Higher Order Concerns (HOC) in Academic Writing
Activity 3:   HOC: Main Idea [a.k.a. Thesis Statement]   (5 Points)
Activity 4:   HOC: Self Assessment of Personal Learning Style   (10 Points)
Activity 5:   HOC: Organizing Academic Writing through Rhetorical Strategies    (10 Points)
Activity 6:   HOC: Rhetorical Perspectives: logos, ethos and pathos   (10 Points)
Activity 7:   HOC: Writing in Qualitative and Quantitative Research   (10 Points)
Section 3: Lower Order Concerns (LOC) in Writing
Activity 8:   LOC: General Academic Writing Issues   (10 Points)
Activity 9:   LOC: Developing a Scholarly Voice, Active Voice and Word Choice   (10 Points)
Section 4: Editing
Activity 10:   Editing and Personal Writing Checklist   (20 Points)
Section 1: The Writing Process and Prewriting

Welcome to EDU7001: Foundations of Educational Scholarship. This is a challenging course which offers rewards to doctoral Learners, both for their dissertations and also as they develop writing skills critical for a vibrant academic career.

Every doctoral Learner needs to write well, regardless of the research methodology he or she chooses. Some doctoral Learners have been puzzled by feedback stating that their writing was “confusing,” or “full of issues,” or even being told that their “writing is so poor” they need to start from scratch again. Other doctoral learners have ignored feedback because they do not know how to write differently.

Why does academic writing seem mysterious to some? How can a Learner successfully complete undergraduate and master’s degrees and still be told “you can’t write?” What makes the dissertation writing process different than other writing?

Good news! Academic writing is a skill which can be learned. Therefore, writing a dissertation and developing a scholarly voice as an academic also requires a skill which can be learned. By the time a doctoral learner reaches this process, he or she obviously has developed writing skills. They may have served well in other settings but academic writing often requires a totally different approach. Old writing habits can be unlearned as new skills are developed. This course explores a systematic process for learning skills that will bring your writing up to the level of academic rigor that is required to successfully complete a doctorate degree and built an academic career as a respected scholar.
How is academic writing different than other types of writing? Academic writing is done by scholars for other scholars. Therefore, it is critical that a doctoral Learner focused on writing a dissertation and preparing him or herself for an academic career understand the elements of academic writing. This goes beyond compliance with rules and regulations, although academic writing has specific guidelines and structure. Remember that succeeding in an academic career starts with presenting ideas through writing that other scholars will recognize as scholarly.

The audience for academic writing is unique as they are generally intelligent and well-informed. Doctoral Learners will learn to respect and adopt the formal language, structure, referencing and tone guidelines which characterize scholarly writing. All of these skills will help doctoral Learners succeed in writing their dissertations and building an academic career that can make significant contributions to the body of knowledge.

First, it is important to understand that writing is a process. While most academics agree with that statement, not everyone approaches writing with the same process. Some Learners have an idea, sit in front of the computer and start typing. Other Learners struggle with writing their first line. Other Learners spend hours reading and researching and then end up overwhelmed by too much information because they are unsure what to include. Still other Learners struggle with grammar, punctuation or APA guidelines.

Good news! By adopting a systematic step-by-step process for writing doctoral Learners can address some of these issues and develop new writing skills. This systematic writing process involves four major parts:

1. Prewriting

2. Higher Order Concerns (HOC)

3. Lower Order Concerns (LOC)

4. Editing


In the Prewriting stage Learners choose a topic and narrow down ideas. One critical element is the willingness to set aside the tendency to start editing, correcting ideas, looking up APA guidelines and so on. Instead, Learners must allow ideas to flow freely. A variety of brainstorming ideas, such as mind mapping can facilitate prewriting. However, if a Learner attempts to skip this stage and just start writing, he or she may face challenges in the next stages of the writing process. Learning Activity 2 will explore this in greater detail.

Once Learners have used a brainstorming technique to develop a topic, gathered feedback to narrow down their topic, and discussed it with their dissertation chair for approval, they are ready to move to stage two: Higher Order Concerns (HOC).

HOC play an important role in the writing process by establishing priorities. The first step is to create a main idea/thesis statement for the topic. Although dissertations must have a strong purpose statement (Creswell 2008, pp. 120-123), purpose statements will be explored and developed in future courses. Beyond the overall purpose statement, each section of a dissertation or scholarly article needs a clear main idea which connects back to the research topic and research purpose statement. Learning Activity 3 will explore this in greater detail.

A second important HOC explores the link between learning styles and writing styles. By the time a doctoral Learner reaches this stage in his or her academic career, writing habits and styles have already been developed. Before Learners can shift their writing styles to match academic requirements, they might first understand why they write the way they do. This course explores different styles by starting with the styles described in Gardner’s (1991) multiple intelligence theory because they offer eight differing styles rather than four basic styles covered by other learning styles theories. Identifying your own writing style based on your learning style will help you adapt to the requirements of academic writing while still maintaining your individual scholarly voice. Learning Activity 4 will explore this in greater detail.

A third important HOC explores the use of rhetorical perspectives to organize writing and help writers stay on topic. Using seven basic rhetorical strategies, you can choose which strategies will best fit your research methodology and topic. Learning Activity 5 will explore this in greater detail.

A fourth important HOC explores the use of rhetorical approaches through ethos, pathos and logos in academic writing. This provides another writing skill which will enable your scholarly voice to be heard more effectively by other scholars. Learning Activity 6 will explore this in greater detail.

A fifth important HOC explores writing issues unique to dissertation and academic writing. Regardless of the writing background of doctoral Learners, dissertation and academic writing requirements are specific and demanding. However, they are generally understood and can guide you as you follow the structure, set the tone and address an academic audience with confidence. Learning Activity 7 focuses on writing issues unique to qualitative and quantitative research.

Future courses will cover other HOC aspects including: developing content, organizing and writing a concept paper, proposal and full dissertation.

All of the steps in the prewriting and HOC stages happen before writing begins! If a doctoral Learner attempts to skip any of the steps, problems may surface in the writing later that could require multiple rewrites and increased frustration.

Once the prewriting and HOC stages are complete, doctoral Learners can turn their attention to Lower Order Concerns (LOC). These include: grammar and mechanics, punctuation, tense agreement, word choice, avoiding alienating or inappropriate language and APA guidelines.

The LOC covered in this course focuses on developing a scholarly voice. This includes exploring how to use active vs. passive voice; developing an appropriate tone which includes using formal language, making sure the points are concise, and avoiding inappropriate language, such as imperative voice, gender/racial/ethnic/age bias and potentially offense language. Learning Activity 8 focuses on general writing issues in academic writing. Learning Activity 9 focuses on using an active voice, and word choice, including a list of commonly misused words.

Editing is the final stage of dissertation writing. While doctoral Learners are encouraged to set aside their natural tendency to edit in the Prewriting stage, editing is an important component of writing and rewriting. However, there is a process for editing that will make the most of this important stage without bogging the writer down in earlier stages. Incorporating editing techniques used by professional editors, doctoral Learners can gain confidence in systematically polishing their dissertations. Learning Activity 10 will explore this in greater detail.

Throughout the course, doctoral Learners will be developing a Personal Writing Checklist based on the challenges they face, the skills they develop and the issues they have identified as problematic for them.

Course Resources
The Resources area for this course contains a variety of reference materials that may help you to complete the course activities. It is suggested that you become familiar with these resources before you begin the activities.

NCU Library
References used for research need to be peer reviewed/scholarly journals which can be found by searching the NCU Library databases. These journals typically have the following characteristics:

- Articles are reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for publication.

- Articles are written by a scholar or specialist in the field.

- Articles report on original research or experimentation.

- Articles are often published by professional associations.

- Articles utilize terminology associated with the discipline.


NCU Academic Success Center (ASC)
NCU values your progress and success as a scholarly writer. Please access the NCU Academic Success Center (ASC) from your Learner home page to see a wide variety of writing tips and examples to help you as you compose written submissions for this and other NCU courses.

The Academic Success Center (ASC) also contracts with SmartThinking, an online 24/7 tutoring service that offers assistance in mathematics, statistics, finance, and writing. You can contact SmartThinking from the home page of the NCU Academic Success Center (ASC).

NCU Dissertation Center
The Dissertation Center is a valuable reference area for research methods and products specific to NCU standards. You will find a rich variety of resources that will help you through the scholarly research process, as well as a complete collection of dissertations written by NCU Ph.D. Learners.

4-Coursework

Required Reading:
American Psychological Association. (2009): Chapter 1
Robert Rector: Bad writing gets its just reward. (2010, April 3)
Bad blood over bad writing: Critics say US academic language has become so convoluted that it is largely incomprehensible to the point where argument is becoming impossible. Richard Kelly reports :[CITY EDITION]. (1999, April 8)
Dinitia Smith THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1999, March 7)

Personal Academic Writing Checklist

These websites are not required but should be used as references throughout the course:
The Little Brown Handbook
The Online English Grammar Guide

Activity 1:   Understanding the Writing Process   (10 Points)
WHAT do you think?
Before you can start the writing process, it is helpful to get an idea of how academic writing is different than other writing. It is also helpful to see what constitutes poor academic writing. Read the following articles about challenges in academic writing found in the Additional Resources area:

Robert Rector: Bad writing gets its just reward. (2010, April 3)

Bad blood over bad writing: Critics say US academic language has become so convoluted that it is largely incomprehensible to the point where argument is becoming impossible. Richard Kelly reports :[CITY EDITION]. (1999, April 8)

Dinitia Smith THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1999, February 27)

While reading the research articles, think about the following questions:

1. Where do academic professionals get their picture of what constitutes good academic writing?

2. What are some of the common mistakes academic writers make?

3. What are some of the criticisms leveled against the writers whose work is labeled “poor academic writing?”

4. What solutions are offered for avoiding “poor academic writing?”


4 Submit a Reflection on Academic Writing Articles
In an APA formatted paper, address the aforementioned questions for each of the assigned articles.

Length: 3 pages (app. 350 words per page)

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards. Be sure to include the NCU cover sheet.

Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.
 
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 8, 9


Developing Your Final Project: Your Personal Academic Writing Checklist
Begin developing a Personal Academic Writing Checklist throughout this course. The checklist will not only help you to be successful in this course but it will also be a valuable tool as you develop your scholarly voice. So, start right now. As you discover what writing challenges and issues you face, add the item(s) to your checklist so you can be sure to go through them as you write. A sample of a Writing Checklist for this course is located in the Additional Resources area. Save it on your computer and add notes that will keep you from making the same mistakes over and over in your writing.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Incorporate proper APA form and style.

  • Activity 2:   Prewriting Tips for Choosing a Topic   (5 Points)
    Choosing a Topic
    Choosing your topic is a key element of prewriting that can drive the direction of your dissertation and research projects. You will face unique challenges in developing your dissertation milestone documents, including choosing a topic. However, for this course you will not be choosing your dissertation topic; that will come in future courses. You will explore research topics, research problems and research questions. In this course, however, you will focus on selecting a topic to use as you practice a three-step process:

    Choose a topic. Since this course is not focused on choosing a dissertation topic, choose a topic in an area that interests you that can be used in activities throughout this course.


    • You can use mind mapping or other brainstorming techniques to explore the topic and related ideas. If you are not familiar with mind mapping, check out this link. http://www.studygs.net/mapping/index.htm.


    • Go to the Northcentral University Library at http://library.ncu.edu/dw_template.aspx?parent_id=226 - review the information on Finding a Research Topic

    Stop the editor! Many Learners make the mistake of sitting down, starting to write and immediately editing their own thoughts. Brainstorming requires an open mind so that ideas can flow freely. There will be plenty of time for editing later.


    Narrow your topic. Focus on making a significant contribution to the field of knowledge. One problem dissertation Learners make is choosing a topic in a field that is heavily researched and running the risk of simply reporting what is already known. Instead, look for areas that have the potential to explore what is not known. Focus on a topic with longevity. Be careful to avoid ideas that are trendy or politically-bound. They may lose their appeal before your project is complete. Focus on a manageable topic that you can handle by yourself. Focus on possibilities. Maintain an open mind and continue your exploration of topic ideas.


    Test your topic. Seek feedback and gauge reaction from both academic and non-academic people in your life. Try to describe your topic in 1 – 2 sentences and see what type of feedback and response you are given.


    4 Submit a Topic Idea
    State the topic you have chosen for this course in one sentence. Submit your topic with a one paragraph explanation showing how you selected it, narrowed it and tested it.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add new ideas for prewriting and brainstorming topics to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.

  • Section 2: Higher Order Concerns (HOC) in Academic Writing

    In all academic writing, HOC’s play an important role in the writing process by establishing priorities. This is equally important as you face unique challenges in developing your dissertation milestone documents. Therefore, exploring HOC’s will allow you to develop a big picture perspective of your writing before plunging into details.
    While some of these steps may be familiar to you, others may be unfamiliar. Working through each one systematically will help you maintain the big picture perspective and strengthen your writing. This section explores the following HOC’s:


    • Writing main ideas/thesis statements

    • How learning styles translate into writing styles

    • Organizing by rhetorical strategies

    • Academic writing issues in qualitative and quantitative research

    • General academic writing issues

    Required Reading:
    Multiple Intelligences Theory Presentation
    The Little Brown Handbook
    The Online English Grammar Guide

    Activity 3:   HOC: Main Idea [a.k.a. Thesis Statement]   (5 Points)
    Write Your Main Idea
    While other courses in your doctoral program discuss writing a purpose statement for your dissertation, this activity will focus on writing a main idea [a.k.a. thesis statement]. Each section of your dissertation needs a main idea/thesis statement to connect back to your purpose statement and offer a framework for your key points.

    A main idea should answer 4 questions:

    1. What is important?

    2. Why is it important?

    3. Who needs to know that it is important?

    4. How will you write this section so they know it is important?


    Main ideas can be written in 1 – 2 sentences. For example: As three different generations come together in current higher education institutions, existing student development theories may no longer apply. Five research studies will be reviewed to explore how a gap in generational awareness may negatively impact the interaction between learners, faculty and student affairs professionals.

    4 Submit a main idea.
    Using your chosen topic from Activity 2, write a main idea for a section in your dissertation literature review. Answer the 4 questions above and submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add new tips for writing main ideas to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.
  • Incorporate proper APA form and style.
  • Synthesize material in research articles.
  • Develop documents related to the early stages of the dissertation.
  • Assess weekly progress towards completing the course assignments.

  • Activity 4:   HOC: Self Assessment of Personal Learning Style   (10 Points)
    Personal Learning Style and Adjusting for Its Impact on Academic Writing
    While there are many learning styles theories, this activity uses Gardner’s (2000) Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory with its 8 different approaches learners use to learn, think and solve problems. Learning styles have significant influence on all academic endeavors including writing styles. Please view the presentation which introduces the basic concepts of MI Theory.

    MI Theory Presentation

    Open the Multiple Intelligences Theory to Writing Styles Chart in the Additional Resources area and read through the explanation of all 8 MI’s. Although everyone has the capability to learn in all 8 MI’s, at least one style should resonate with you. Choose the style you use most often when you are faced with learning new ideas or solving a problem. You may choose to print out the chart so you can refer to it again. Then focus the rest of this activity on your chosen style.

    Next, review the column labeled: “Writing Style” and highlight each description of writing habits that fits you. Using a paper that you submitted in another graduate level course, choose a section of the paper and read it. Note how your learning style surfaced in your writing.

    Then review the column labeled: “How to Adapt to Academic Writing.” Choose 2 changes you can make to adapt the section of your paper to academic writing.

    4 Submit your writing style revisions
    Using a section from a previous paper, highlight a portion which shows your learning/writing style. Then consult the chart for suggestions for adapting your style to scholarly academic writing, and rewrite 2 – 3 sentences in bold type.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add useful areas from the chart for adapting your learning/writing style to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Incorporate proper APA form and style.
  • Synthesize material in research articles.
  • Develop documents related to the early stages of the dissertation.

  • Activity 5:   HOC: Organizing Academic Writing through Rhetorical Strategies    (10 Points)
    Using Different Rhetorical Strategies
    Organizing academic writing can be challenging. What should be included? How do you structure your main ideas and key points? Dissertations and other forms of academic writing have established guidelines for the structure. The structure is purposeful and is an indication of scholarly writing. However, within the structure, you choose which rhetorical structure best presents and supports your main ideas and key points. Even though using rhetorical strategies might be a new concept to you it is well understood and applied among scholars, especially in the areas of verbal and written communication. One effective way to organize your thoughts is to choose one of the following 7 Rhetorical Strategies. Each rhetorical strategy allows you to structure arguments, pose questions, explore ideas and review literature. Read through the 7 strategies below. Note how each strategy offers a structure for organizing your thoughts and arguments.

    1. Chronology (time): chronological/reverse chronological order. Use this approach when you would like to show how events unfolded in a certain order. For example, if you wanted to describe how diversity in education has evolved from the passing of the Civil Rights Acts through Affirmative Action, a chronological order shows the progression and significant events.


    2. Spatial order (space): organized by layout, design, direction, or location. Use this approach when you would like to begin at one geographic point and move logically through others. For example, if you wanted to discuss the distance between different beaches on the Gulf Coast and the impact of an oil spill on tourism, spatial order shows the relationship between different locations.


    3. Order of importance: least to most/most to least. Use this approach when you would like to emphasize the merit or importance of certain points as they relate to your topic, purpose statement or position. For example, if you wanted to emphasize that teacher readiness is a more critical need than using new technologies in education today, order of importance lets you choose, describe and support the points you want to emphasize in the order you would like them to be considered.


    4. Order of generality: general to specific/specific to general. Use this approach when you would like to a whole to represent a part (general principle or theory to specific instance) or a part to represent a whole (specific instance to a general principle). For example, if you wanted to describe how transformational learning occurs in a classroom, order of generality lets you first describe the theory of transformational learning and then describe specific instances you observed in the classroom. Or you could describe themes emerging from your data analysis and show how they represent a general principle or theory.


    5. Order of formation: whole to parts/parts to whole. Use this approach when you would like to describe how the whole relates to the parts or the parts to the whole. For example, if you wanted to describe how classroom seating impacts learning activities, order of formation shows how the arrangements of chairs and desks are related to the whole class.


    6. Order of complexity: simple to complex/familiar to unfamiliar. Use this approach when you want to describe a concept that is complex or unfamiliar. For example, if you wanted to describe how political campaigns focused on a separate issue impacted school funding, order of complexity shows how the assumptions voters make about unrelated political issues can eventually affect budget choices and could divert funds away from education to another issue. Or, you could describe an unfamiliar topic, idea or position by first starting with a more familiar topic, idea or position and showing how they are connected.


    7. Order of materiality: concrete to abstract/abstract to concrete. This approach is similar to order of complexity; however, instead of focusing on simple to complex or familiar to unfamiliar, this approach is used to move between concrete and abstract ideas or positions. For example, you could use this approach if you wanted to describe how assessing learning outcomes allows an instructor to evaluate the more abstract concept of learning. You could also start by describing the abstract concept of learning and then show how learning can be assessed.


    Next, download the Multiple Intelligences Theory to Writing Styles Chart with Rhetorical Perspectives (MIChart2) from the Additional Resources area. You will see that it contains the same information included in the chart used in Activity 4, with another column added on the right exploring rhetorical perspectives which may work with your learning/writing style.

    4 Submit your rhetorical strategies paragraphs
    Using your chosen topic from Activity 2, write three paragraphs describing your topic each using a different rhetorical strategy.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add rhetorical strategies that fit your learning/writing style to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.
  • Synthesize material in research articles.
  • Develop documents related to the early stages of the dissertation.
  • Conduct a Literature Review.

  • Activity 6:   HOC: Rhetorical Perspectives: logos, ethos and pathos   (10 Points)
    Using logos, ethos and pathos in Academic Writing
    Another aspect of rhetorical perspective is the use of logos, ethos and pathos. Consult the chart from Activity 5. Read through the three rhetorical approaches and see how they can be used with your learning/writing style. Logos will be of particular interest in this course where we are studying the art of writing a dissertation and scholarly articles. However, these different approaches can help you address specific audiences as appropriate.

    Logos uses an appeal based on logic and evidence gathered from outside sources. Logos should be incorporated throughout your dissertation and other scholarly writing as you quote, paraphrase and cite sources to support your points. However, it moves beyond emphasizing scholarly sources to also focus on logic and reasoning that you use to argue your positions and support your points. Using one of the seven rhetorical perspectives in Activity 5 will help you consistently structure your logic and flow.


    Ethos uses an appeal based on your own expertise and reputation. Formal language and the use of the third person characterizes dissertation and other scholarly writing. Issues related to how to use third person and adopt formal language will be covered in Activities 7 and 9. Describing your personal experiences is generally not included in dissertations or other scholarly writing since the focus should remain on the research and the literature, not your experiences. Any exceptions to the guideline should be discussed with and approved by your Mentor.


    Pathos uses an appeal based on common human emotions or sympathy. Pathos is generally limited in dissertation and other scholarly writing to descriptions and analysis of data which has been collected. Pathos can also play a role in describing the problem statement; however, caution should be taken to avoid trying to persuade readers based on pathos in academic writing. This will be discussed further in Activity 7.


    4Submit your rhetorical perspectives paragraphs
    Using your chosen topic from Activity 2, write three paragraphs describing the topic using each rhetorical perspective in a separate paragraph: logos, ethos and pathos. Include a description showing when each approach is most appropriate.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add rhetorical approaches for using logos, ethos and pathos that fit your learning/writing style to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.
  • Synthesize material in research articles.
  • Develop documents related to the early stages of the dissertation.
  • Conduct a Literature Review.

  • Activity 7:   HOC: Writing in Qualitative and Quantitative Research   (10 Points)
    Writing Issues in Academic Research
    As we have been exploring, academic writing is unique. Developing a scholarly voice starts with understanding who makes up your audience. The audience addressed in academic writing includes other scholars, higher education professionals, learners, academic journals and discipline-specific associations.

    Qualitative and quantitative research approaches each present unique writing issues. In this activity, you will select which research approach you prefer to use and explore some of the unique issues. If you plan on using a mixed methods approach, you may be using both qualitative and quantitative, so you may want to explore issues unique to each approach.

    Some challenges unique to qualitative research include:

    • Informal language, colloquialism and jargon. Since many types of qualitative research include a focus on human experiences, doctoral Learners may be tempted to use informal language, colloquialism and jargon. Issues of third person masking as first person often reflect informal language. This will be explored in depth in Activity 9. Using your Personal Writing Checklist during the Editing phase of writing will help you address and correct informal language, colloquialism and jargon.


    • Misuse of humor. Some doctoral Learners may also be tempted to insert humor into their academic writing. A focus on the audience and understanding academic writing will help you address this and maintain a scholarly voice.


    • Seeking approval or agreement. Although seeking approval, feedback or agreement are common in informal language, some doctoral Learners use them so frequently they may be unaware of them. They are used in an attempt to solicit readers’ agreement with assertions or claims. However, academic writing focuses on using sources and citations to support claims and ideas rather than relying on agreement. So, avoid using phrases such as, “everyone agrees,” or “anyone who cares knows,” or “it is obvious to everyone.” Instead, emphasize the points themselves rather than who agrees or disagrees with them. Using your Personal Writing Checklist during the Editing phase of writing will help you address and correct this.


    Some challenges unique to quantitative research include:

    • Writing with statistics. APA general guidelines recommend spelling out numbers that can be expressed in one or two words and using figures for other numbers. Check the NCU Academic Success Center (ASC) for a detailed chart showing how to use numbers in academic writing: (http://learners.ncu.edu/writingcenter/default.aspx).


    • Use of tables and figures. What is the difference between a table and a figure? A table has vertical columns and horizontal rows with headings. A figure is any other type of graphic illustration, including graphs, charts, pictures and illustrations. While tables and figures are good tools for presenting a large amount of data, APA guidelines note that tables and figures should be used to assist communication. However, if your data is more complex, use a table. Data requiring only two or fewer columns or rows should be presented as text. Check your APA manual for guidelines related to specific questions.


    • Mixed methods. Combining quantitative and qualitative research in a mixed methods research design offers challenges for maintaining a consistent voice. Using your Personal Writing Checklist during the Editing phase of writing will help you address voice consistency.


    4 Submit a Report of Your Findings
    Select an earlier paper. Identify examples of your writing issues. Select two writing issues and rewrite 1 – 2 sentences for each correcting the writing issue. Include a note showing whether you corrected a qualitative or quantitative writing issue.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 8, 9


    Developing Your Final Project
    Add special issues associated with qualitative or quantitative research to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

  • Self-evaluate grammar and composition skills.
  • Incorporate proper APA form and style.

  • Section 3: Lower Order Concerns (LOC) in Writing

    While HOC require your attention first, lower order concerns (LOC) are also important. The higher/lower designation does not mean one is more important than the other; instead, it shows the order in which they should be addressed. The next two activities will help you place the needed focus on LOC in a systematic order while using your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

    Required Reading:
    Wilson (2008)

    Activity 8:   LOC: General Academic Writing Issues   (10 Points)
    Other Writing Issues
    General academic writing issues can sabotage doctoral Learners as they write to develop a scholarly voice. While many of your courses emphasize that academic writing is research based and therefore should not focus on your opinions, the cultural tendency to export opinions can creep into academic writing. Opinions may surface as assertions, assumptions and dogmatism, which is a stubborn assertion of a belief or opinion. These statements are easily recognized due to their lack of supporting resources and research. Using your Personal Academic Writing Checklist during the Editing phase of writing will help you address voice consistency.

    Lack of critical reflection or questioning where they get their ideas can also sabotage doctoral Learners. Academic writing guidelines require that you not only support your claims but that you also describe how you arrived at those claims. Keeping in the mind the rhetorical strategies you learned in Activities 5 and 6, you can choose a specific strategy to facilitate your explanation which describes your critical reflection. For example, with the Order of Complexity strategy, you can describe how you moved from a simple idea to more complex aspects which will also show your critical reflection.

    4 Submit a 350 word Reflection paper
    Write a 350 word reflection on Wilson (2008) article linked below describing a chronological perspective of critical reflection focusing on the future.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 8, 9


    Writing Tip
    Add critical reflection to your Personal Academic Writing Checklist. As you are conducting library searches, reading through the literature and making notes check to ensure that you have given yourself ample time and attention to critical reflection. Note any particular issues you have with unfounded opinions creeping into your writing and add to your checklist.


    Activity 9:   LOC: Developing a Scholarly Voice, Active Voice and Word Choice   (10 Points)
    Developing a Scholarly Voice
    Throughout your dissertation process you will be developing your scholarly voice. A scholarly voice should be characterized by using the proper structure, an appropriate tone, inclusive language, concise language which follows rhetorical and logical perspectives, respect for formality and explanations of terms, concepts and ideas. However, this does not mean that punctuation, grammar or APA rules are less important. Using your Personal Academic Writing Checklist should help you avoid any LOC errors which could distract from the points you are making. Beyond the other aspects of the writing process you have explored in this course and the dissertation preparation you will explore in future courses, word choice is another important LOC that will build your academic writing.

    Doctoral Learners may struggle with using sources. They may wonder when to use quotations, paraphrasing and when to include their own thoughts and ideas. Including supporting sources in your writing is a critical requirement. However, that is only a beginning point in academic writing. Throughout your writing you should demonstrate your critical reflection and synthesis of the literature. As a general guideline, no more than one quotation per page is allowed. Paraphrasing should not only explain what the author said but should also show the connections you are making to your purpose statement, main idea and key points. As you develop your scholarly voice remember to use transition sentences and explanations to show the connections you are making.

    Academic writing is unique not only by what it contains, how it follows APA guidelines or cites sources, but also by what it does not contain. Words showing bias or judgment, such as gender bias, racial/ethnic slurs, ageism, stereotypes or other words that may be offensive are avoided. Inclusive language uses personal pronouns denoting equality, such as he/she or him/her. This also helps avoid the issue some doctoral Learners face with errors in pronoun agreement, such as, “Everyone has a right to their [sic] own opinion.” It should instead read, “Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion.”

    Doctoral Learners should work to use active voice instead of passive voice. Since academic writing is more formal and structured than other forms of writing, some doctoral Learners mistakenly assume that they should write in a passive voice. Choosing action-oriented verbs, placing the subject at the beginning of the sentence and avoiding too many prepositional phrases can strengthen the tone and voice in academic writing.

    Third person masking as first person is a particularly challenging issue for many doctoral Learners. Since academic writing is generally written in the third person, one mistake doctoral Learners frequently make is using a third person phrase that is masking as first person, such as, “The researcher will conduct . . .” or “This writer . . .” While the phrases may not technically be in the first person they are representing the first person, since “the researcher” could easily be replaced with “I.”

    Anthropomorphism occurs when a writer assigns human characteristics to inanimate objects, such as “The research design will show . . .” or “This dissertation project explains . . .” Similar to the issue above, this is an attempt by some doctoral Learners to avoid using first person.

    Other writing issues also weaken academic writing, such as relying on punctuation to create emphasis. Exclamation points should only be used within quotations. Be careful to avoid hyperbole and exaggeration. Focus instead on choosing descriptive and action-oriented words to create emphasis.

    Grammar issues can plague doctoral Learners. They often grow frustrated as these glaring issues trip them up so they may try to focus on grammar, punctuation or spelling at all stages of the writing process. This leads to a doctoral Learner jumping back and forth between HOC and LOC at the same time. However, if you wait to focus on LOC in the editing phase you will miss fewer errors and gain confidence in your academic writing.

    Commonly misused words, such as “there,” “their,” and “they’re,” can become part of your Personal Academic Writing Checklist. Note the words that have caused issues in your previous papers and remind yourself to check for them when you are editing with your Checklist. APA guidelines prohibit contractions in academic writing which can help you avoid issues with “its” and “it’s.” One general rule is that if there is an apostrophe and an “s,” or an “re,” spell out both words instead: “it is,” “they are.” Not only will you avoid an APA error, it will also help you avoid misusing a commonly misused word.

    With the technical resources available through Word, spelling issues should not be an issue. If you run the Spell Checker as part of your final editing phase, you will be able to catch most misspellings. When in doubt, look up a word or phrase in an online dictionary. You can also check the dictionary to see if a word is appropriate or to make sure that you have a clear understanding of all the meanings of that word. Spell check can work as you write but make sure that a final spell check is an important part of your final editing process.

    Check the Academic Success Center (ASC)’s resources on dividing authors’ voices from sources’ voices under the “Revising the Draft for Style” link: http://learners.ncu.edu/writingcenter/default.aspx

    4 Submit Examples of Word Choices
    Select an earlier paper. Identify examples of word choices which could be strengthened. Highlight two examples and rewrite a better word or phrase choice in bold. Include a note identifying why the original word choice was weak and how you have improved it.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 3, 8, 9


    Writing Tip
    Add active voice and word choice that you discovered through this Activity to your Personal Writing Checklist. Any time you receive official feedback from your Mentor or the NCU Academic Success Center (ASC) make sure that you include it in your final writing checklist. It is vital to your success that you do not repeat an error that has previously been officially pointed out to you.

  • Incorporate proper APA form and style.

  • Section 4: Editing

    Editing, like LOC’s, is an important aspect of writing. However, too many writers make the mistake of starting the editing process too soon. If you edit too soon you can inadvertently interrupt the flow of your writing. The advantage of approaching editing as a final stage is that you can focus exclusively on it to polish your writing. This is the time to catch anything that might detract from the points you are trying to make. Activity 10 shows you how to use editing techniques with your Personal Academic Writing Checklist.

    Required Reading:
    None

    Activity 10:   Editing and Personal Writing Checklist   (20 Points)
    Editing and Personal Writing Checklist
    Now, you have reached the final stage of the writing process: editing. Using your Personal Academic Writing Checklist, go through your document and read for Higher Order Concerns (HOC) first. If you start with Lower Order Concerns (LOC) first you may find yourself bogged down in details that could potentially mask HOC issues.

    Once you have checked for the HOC, you can focus on LOC. Professional editors recommend reading backwards. In other words, start with the last sentence in a paragraph and read it first. Then read the sentence right before it and so on until you reach the beginning of the paragraph. This backwards approach helps you see things you might otherwise miss if you were reading it in order and anticipated what should be there.

    Another recommendation is to edit systematically, one section at a time, one paragraph at a time. Even professional editors find that they frequently miss something when they jump around in different sections.

    4Submit Your Final Project: Your Personal Writing Checklist
    You should now have completed your Personal Writing Checklist. This is your final project culminating with all the parts of the writing process which were covered in this course. Your Personal Academic Writing Checklist should include the original list from Activity 1 and the items you have added through the course activities. You can use the complete list during editing to help raise your scholarly writing to new levels.

    Submit the assignment in the Course Work area at the bottom of the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 2, 8, 9


    Writing Tip
    Keep your Personal Academic Writing Checklist handy as you write and continue to develop your scholarly voice.

  • Develop documents using edit and note taking tools.

  • Post Course Survey:
    Complete the Post Course Survey after submitting your final assignment. The Post Course Survey goes directly to the University and provides information used in both course and Mentor evaluation and assessment. The Post Course Survey is located in the Course Review section of the Learner web site. THE RESPONSES ARE ANONYMOUS.

    Receiving Your Final Grade:
    The final grade should be posted by your Mentor within one week following the course end date. The registrar will send an e-mail notifying you of your grade, and the grade will appear under the Course Review section on your Learner site.
    Syllabus Effective Date: 8/25/2010
    Syllabus Details