Academic Writing for Publication

(IMPACT)

Call for applications

Academic Writing for Publication is a joint course for the faculty members from Comenius University in Bratislava and Masaryk University

This call was announced: 19 October 2020
Application deadline: 30 November 2020

Notification of acceptance: 10 December 2020

Total number of participants: 12 from Masaryk University


The axiom ‘publish or perish’ is a well-established reality in academia. An added challenge, however, is the requirement to publish in internationally acknowledged publications, which are most often in English. Unfortunately, many academics at European universities lack the writing skills required by such publications as the development of academic writing skills is often neglected in European graduate and postgraduate programmes. As a result, not only are university teachers hindered in their own career growth, but meaningful research is unable to reach the wider scientific and academic community.

Aims of the course

To address these challenges, the intensive five-day* Academic Writing for Academics course of the IMPACT project seeks to facilitate the acquiring and development of academic writing skills among participating faculty members in order to prepare them for submitting their work for publication in English. The course also seeks to prepare participants to incorporate a writing component into their courses.

* The sessions are not going to be on 5 consecutive days (25–29 January), but every second day. The schedule in this format is being more flexible and it gives participants a day off between two workshop days to pursue their work or other obligations. 

What will the course participants learn?

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the principles and process of writing scholarly articles in English, including the recognition of various concepts, components, and stages of the writing process in English from draft to submission
  2. Apply the principles and processes of academic writing to their own writing
  3. Critically evaluate English-language scholarly articles written by others
  4. Design writing activities for their students that incorporate the concepts and principles of academic writing learnt in this course

Course dates and location

January 25–February 4, 2021, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava, Gondova 2, Bratislava, Slovakia

Course fees and funding

There is no course fee thanks to a generous grant from the Erasmus+ Strategic partnership (project IMPACT 2019-1-SK01-KA203-060671). The course organisers acknowledge the support.

If the course is taught face-to-face, participants from Masaryk University will be provided accommodation in Bratislava as well as a travel grant in accordance with Erasmus programme rules.

Certificate

A certificate of completion will be awarded to each participant who 1. attends 90% of the course; 2. actively participates during the course; and 3. successfully completes the mandatory written assignments. 


Course Format and Structure

This is a five-day, face-to-face practical course to facilitate the acquiring and development of academic writing skills among the 20 participating faculty members of the Faculty of Arts (10 from Comenius University and 10 from Masaryk University). The entire course will respect the principles of active learning with a stress on critical reading and thinking, group work, peer-learning, and process writing. Participants are expected to participate fully in the class work and to be prepared to devote time outside of class to the reading and written assignments required by the course.

The course consists of three 90-minute sessions per day (two before lunch and one after), for a total of 22.5 contact hours. Also included are short afternoon writing assignments to be completed either individually or in groups. Each participant is requested to bring to class a laptop or digital device on which they can conveniently access Wi-Fi, read online documents, and type. The Masaryk University Information System will be used for online course management, with assignments posted by the course instructors and completed assignments uploaded by participants.

Tentative detailed syllabus

Day One – Monday, January 25: Introduction to Academic Writing in English

Instructor: Angeniet Kam

Co-instructors for Session 1: Jan Beneš; Lyn Steyne

Overall objectives/aims

  • Recognise and apply concepts in academic writing in English—such as genre, research question and thesis statement, disciplinary and interdisciplinary conventions, and components of journal articles—to your own writing
  • Understand the principles of designing writing activities for your own teaching context
  • Apply the principles of constructive feedback to a piece of academic writing


Session 1: Getting acquainted and creating a common vocabulary

Introduction of instructors, participants, and the course plan
Cultural, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary differences and requirements of academic writing in English compared to Czech/Slovak (instructors: Jan Beneš and Lyn Steyne)
Concepts: genre, purpose, audience, and the writing process


Session 2: Structural requirements of journal articles—a genre analysis approach

The components of research articles (genre analysis)
Introduction to research questions and thesis statements
Evaluation and comparison of your article with benchmark articles


Session 3: Incorporating writing activities into your own teaching context

Suitable writing activities for students of different levels
The benefits and obstacles of writing assignments
Understanding and using constructive feedback—an active exercise

Day Two – Wednesday, January 27: The Academic Introduction

Instructor: Eszter Timár

Overall objectives/aims

  • Recognize and employ good practices in reading and writing introductions
  • Recognize and employ good practices in raising research questions and formulating thesis statements
  • Design and evaluate exercises for students that focus on raising research questions, making an argument, and structuring an introduction in your discipline


Session 1: The function and form of the introduction

The purpose of the introduction
The reader’s expectations
The elements and rhetorical moves in introductions (how to write an introduction)
Evaluation and comparison of your introduction with those in a benchmark article

Session 2: Research questions and thesis statements

A good research question (how to write a research question)
The relationship of the research question and the research methodology (disciplinary norms)
The thesis statement: its form and characteristics; its function—controlling the paper


Session 3: Incorporating the use of research questions, thesis statements, and introductions into your courses

Designing and presenting an activity to use in your own teaching context

Day Three – Friday, January 29: Organising Your Academic Article

Instructor: Lyn Steyne

Overall objectives/aims:

  • Organise a journal article according to standard academic writing conventions
  • Understand, recognise, and evaluate content for each section of an academic article based on their individual purpose
  • Understand what is required to write an effective academic paragraph using a topic sentence and paragraph development

Session 1: How to organise your journal article

The title: its importance and relationship to the research questionIMRaD: The sections of a research article and their purpose
Outlining as a tool to develop your article

Session 2: How to write a paragraph

Characteristics of an effective English paragraph
The topic sentence
Paragraph development (coherence and cohesion)

Session 3: Incorporating writing skills into your courses for your benefit

Applying effective organisational, and coherence and cohesion strategies to academic texts
The usefulness of organisational, and coherence and cohesion strategies in your own teaching context
Designing and presenting an activity to use in a course you teach

Day Four – Monday, February 1: Effective and Fair Use of Sources

Instructor: Agnes Simon

Overall objectives/aims:

  • Recognize and employ good practices in citation
  • Classify, analyse, and appraise the relevant literature so that it furthers the argumentation of your article
  • Design and evaluate exercises for your students that focus on either the fair use of sources or the literature review


Session 1: Academic norms and Integrity

Academic norms and the practice of citations
Plagiarism and its consequences
Reporting ethically on other people’s work in your article

Session 2: The literature review

The function and purpose of the literature review
Making the literature review effective
The critical evaluation of literature reviews
Strategizing and working on revising your literature review

Session 3: Incorporating the effective and fair uses of sources and the literature review in your teaching

Identifying and pre-empting plagiarism in students’ work
Tips for effective exercise design
Designing an exercise for students on citation or reviewing the literature

Day Five – Wednesday, February 3: Conclusions, abstracts, and getting published

Instructor: Jan Beneš

Overall objectives/aims:

  • Better understand academic journals: writing for a specific journal, communicating with journal editors, and recognising predatory journals and predatory practices
  • Apply skills acquired during previous sessions to writing and evaluating conclusions and abstracts, keeping the differences between Czech/Slovak and English conclusions in mind
  • Discuss, brainstorm, and evaluate writing activities on conclusions and abstracts for use in your own teaching context

Session 1: Scholarly Journals’ Expectations

Q&A with the editor of a peer-reviewed journal
Expectations: how to choose a journal, how to prepare your article, journals’ expectations
Predatory journals: examples and how to spot one

Session 2: Academic conclusions and abstracts

The purpose of conclusions and abstracts
English vs Czech/Slovak conclusions
Summarizing, paraphrasing, outlining, and thesis statements in conclusions and abstracts

Session 3: Incorporating conclusions and abstracts into your teaching; Closing reflections

Strategies in teaching conclusions
Reflecting on skills learned
Looking forward: setting writing targets
Presentation of certificates

Selected bibliography

Bean, John: Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom, 2nd Edition. Jossey-Bass: 2011.

Belcher, Wendy Laura: Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks, Second Edition: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing, 2019.

Birkenstein, Cathy, and Gerald Graff. They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 3rd edition. Norton, 2016.

McCarthy Michael and Felicity O’Dell: Academic Vocabulary in Use with Answers. Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Swales, John and Christine Feak: Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd Ed. Michigan, 2012.

Swales, John and Christine Feak: Creating Contexts: Writing Introductions Across Genres. Michigan: 2011

Swales, John: Research Genres: Explorations and Applications. Cambridge, 2004.

Course Instructors

 The team of instructors consists of the following experienced international tutors:

  • Jan Beneš – Faculty of Arts, University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • Angeniet Kam – Delft Centre for Languages and Academic Skills, Delft University of Technology (Netherlands)
  • Agnes Simon – Pedagogical Competence Development Centre (CERPEK), Masaryk University (Czech Republic)
  • Linda M. Steyne – Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • Eszter Timár – Central European University (Hungary)

Instructor biographies


Application Process

Who can apply?

Faculty members currently doing research for publication and teaching in the social sciences and humanities at Comenius University in Bratislava and Masaryk University in Brno are eligible to apply for the course. PhD candidates from the same fields and institutions are also eligible.

Each applicant should have experience in writing for publication, in either their mother tongue or English, and the draft of a journal article ready in English at the time of application.

The applicants are expected to commit their time and effort to fully participating in the course during five days when the course is taught.

How to apply?

Applications should be submitted in English, containing the following documents:

1. Curriculum vitae (1-2 pages)
Highlighting teaching and research interests, and publications

2. Motivation letter (400-600 words)
Please be sure to include the answers to the following questions:

  • What has motivated you to apply for this course?
  • How do you believe your work as a scholar and as a teacher might benefit from taking this course?

3. One academic paper written in English by the applicant

  • The applicant is expected to submit an English-language paper, if available.
    OR
  • If the applicant does not have a paper in English, please submit a one-to two-page description in English of your current research, including any sources you are working with and stating where you are in the process.

Participants are welcome to discuss their application before submission with the course coordinator, Dr. Jitka Vidláková via email (vidlakova@cerpek.muni.cz).

How to submit the application?

To apply for the course, please fill in this form and upload the required documents.

All data provided by the applicants will be handled in accordance with GDPR.

Criteria for selecting the applicants

We offer 10 places for teachers from Masaryk University. The following criteria will be used to select the course participants:

Applications will be evaluated on the following:

  • The applicant’s level of interest in and motivation for taking the course
  • Prior experience in writing for publication
  • B2 minimum English language proficiency (this will be assessed based on the motivation letter)

After acceptance

Those accepted to the course will also submit three more documents at one time:

  • The PDF of a recent peer-reviewed paper in their field that they believe to be well-written
  • A brief explanation (maximum of 300 words) on why they think that paper is well-written
  • The rough draft of an academic paper they are currently writing in English and which they would like to improve during the course. This may be the same paper that was submitted with the application.

Participants are welcome to discuss their application before submission with the course coordinator, Dr. Jitka Vidláková via email (vidlakova@cerpek.muni.cz).

Application form

Our dedicated team is very much looking forward to receiving your application!

Teto kurz je realizován díky podpoře programu Erasmus+ Strategické partnerství
Projekt Improving Academic Teaching and Internationalisation through Enhanced Competences of University Teachers  (IMPACT 2019-1-SK01-KA203-060671).

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