Writing for academic purposes

Process, style, and method to produce clear and effective academic writing.
What’s it about?

In this micro course you will begin to learn how to adapt your writing for the academic context. To do this you will cover the concepts of making a thesis statement and learning how to defend it.

The first step you will cover is the process of building a clear, concise thesis statement; as part of this you will learn about how to build effective arguments which you will learn to defend your thesis with.

You will then shift to learning about Rogerian arguments, which cover opposing viewpoints in an attempt to find common ground between differing views. The goal of this type of persuasive writing is to validate the reader's position and opens their mind to different ways of looking at an issue and, ultimately, to be in the proper frame of mind to accept the author's position.

Finally we will look at other rhetorical strategies in academic writing. We will focus largely on comparison, contrasting, and exemplification, and the overarching importance of supporting each of your claims.

In this micro course, you will engage with all of these topics and learn how to write better thesis statements, which you then effectively back up and defend. 

What will I learn?

In this course, you will learn to:

  • distinguish between academic writing and other types of writing.
  • write a more effective thesis statement.
  • learn how to create successful arguments to defend your thesis.
  • use Rogerian persuasive arguments to convince readers of your point of view.
  • employ other rhetorical strategies to defend each of you points. 
What’s involved?

Participants will join an international community of learners interested in gaining a better understanding of the complex process involved in communicating through writing. Largely self-directed and self-paced, the course will, if learners wish, lead to credits from an affiliated institution.

The course will be offered as a micro open online course comprising a number of learning activities and resources. It is to be viewed as part of the larger English for academic writing course of study, coupled with ENGA101, ENGA103, and ENGA104.


Anyone is free to participate in this course. An internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to self motivate and direct.

Learners preparing for formal academic credit will need to meet the normal admission requirements of the conferring institution.

Image credit: Graduation convocation by mycarmcarm dedicated to the public domain. 

Course Code: ENGA102
Estimated Start: 2019Q4
Duration: 3 weeks,10 hours per week
Type: Micro course
Assessments: 3 hour exam

Credentialing: Official course credit
Course Credit: Requirement for the English for Academic Writing course
Credential: TBC
Level: 1st year Bachelor’s

Who are the developers:
Christine Daviault, is a writer, editor, and designer (graphic and instructional) who works on the intersection of creativity and management. Christine was commissioned by the Read More
Cameron Campbell, is a learning designer with extensive experience in graphic design, journalism, and instructional design. Cameron was commissioned by the OER Foundation to work Read More

The course materials for ENGA102 were proudly remixed for the OERu from the English Composition 1 course published by the Saylor Academy under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.