English Language & LINGUISTI Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer

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Discourse structure &

Academic discourse


This two-semester course (Discourse Structure, followed by Academic Discourse) is intended as a service course to help you cope with a variety of academic tasks which you will encounter during your MA programme. It is part of the module “Englisch für Anglisten/Grundlagenmodul Language”, which carries 10 ECTS points altogether.

We will approach different types of spoken and written academic discourse from the perspectives of both perception and production, with a focus on how to write a research paper and how to make successful presentations.

The course has been conceived as a practical, hands-on course which will rely heavily on the course members’ participation. I would like to encourage you to bring up any questions, problems or issues you might encounter in your MA programmes that are related to discourse structure and academic discourse. 

At the end of the course, you should be able (among other things) to

retrieve relevant information from academic texts
understand their structure, their style and how they work
produce a well-structured, well-argued research paper yourselves
present information and defend it in an adequate manner

Obviously, I will not be able to assist you with what you write, but I will assist you with how to do it by equipping you with the skills you need.

The module will be assessed in a one-day student conference, at which you will be expected to present a paper, with appropriate supporting material and a discussion.  

  Material   You will find digital material online in my password-protected StudOn area for this course. 

In order to be able to access the material for this particular course, you will need to register with a password that I will give you during the first meeting.

This course has a blended learning component. Please register for the course Flaw and Order at the Virtuelle Hochschule Bayern (www.vhb.org).  

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams (2008): The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
[Guides you from a vague interest in a particular topic to a finished piece of writing - great!] 
Franck, Norbert (2001): Rhetorik für Wissenschaftler: Selbstbewusst auftreten, selbstsicher reden. Munich: Vahlen. 
[Written in German – but very useful, particularly the chapter on discussions.]   
Mautner, Gerlinde (2011): Wissenschaftliches Englisch. Konstanz: UVK. 
[This UTB book is a highly valuable resource, since it contrasts English academic writing with German customs and thus helps you to avoid the typical pitfalls. The author is professor at the Institut für Englische Wirtschaftskommunikation at Vienna University and thus rooted in both traditions of writing.] 
Skern, Tim (2009): Writing Scientific English: A Workbook. Stuttgart: UTB.
[Contains some interesting points but is fairly prescriptive. The suggestions for improving concrete texts will presumably provide the most interesting aspect for self-study.] 
Swales, John M. and Christine B. Feak (2004): Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills. 2nd ed. Michigan: The University of Michigan Press/Ann Arbor. 
[Focuses on the use of language in academic writing. The solutions to the exercises come in a separate book.] 
  Useful links   You may also want to take a look at my English language links and the links and material for students, particularly the sections on academic writing and presentation skills.