IDIS00030 Applied Academic Writing

Academic Year 2023/2024

This Applied Academic Writing core module uses practice-based methods to introduce students to key skills required for practical academic writing. It will focus on the elements of essay construction, including planning an essay, formulating a thesis statement, building an argument, sourcing relevant literature to support the essay, and editing and proof-reading the essay. Critical thinking and analytical skills will be enhanced in this module through showing how reading and writing are interrelated and core to critical analysis. Class will be taught in small groups, using a prescribed contemporary text and a selection of academic texts. Assessment will include a draft essay submission, with an opportunity for feedback. The final submission will be a longer, reworked version of the mid-term essay which will incorporate all the elements taught in class over the course of the module.

Module 3 – Applied Writing (1 hour)
Week 1: Getting started – understanding your assignment
Week 2: Essay structure and overview
Week 3: Developing an idea – researching your topic
Week 4: Introduction and thesis statement (core argument / research question)
Week 5: Building your essay – paragraph structure
Week 6: Using sources and evidence
Week 7: Referencing
Week 8: Description vs critical analysis
Week 9: Academic phrasing
Week 10: Conclusions
Week 11: Editing and proof reading
Week 12: Redrafting, polishing and letting go

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Learning Outcomes: on completion of this modules students should be able to:

1. Interpret an essay question and understand the key characteristics of essay structure
2. Engage with and critically evaluate secondary material
3. Demonstrate the relationship between reading and writing
4. Construct, draft and edit an academic essay

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module uses active, task-based learning to develop academic writing competency 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students must be registered to the Access to Arts, Humanities, Social Science and Law programme.

Learning Recommendations:

Students must attend classes, use the additional resources offered on the vle, and are recommended to avail of the Open Door policy and on-going guidance and support available in the Access & Lifelong Learning Centre and in the UCD Writing Centre.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Draft Essay Unspecified n/a Graded No


Seminar: Participation in weekly lecture classes. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Essay: Final essay submission Unspecified n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

You have an opportunity to submit a draft assignment on which you will receive constructive feedback

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 10:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 4 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 17:00 - 17:50