Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.

MELD 1A03 Academic Writing & Integrity

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Anna Moro


Office: L.R. Wilson Hall 4041

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Consult individual instructors

Course Objectives:

Course overview

This course focuses on the development of grammatically, lexically and stylistically appropriate English for writing short academic texts. The course also emphasizes academic integrity.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Learn and implement skills for developing general, academic, and discipline specific vocabulary.
  2. Possess a deep understanding of English structure and grammar.
    1. In conjunction with learning to write and revise their papers, students will review a variety of grammatical features of English.
  3. Learn and confidently apply the conventions of specific academic modes of communication – papers, presentations, posters.
    1. Students will be introduced to and will practice writing several different types of essays.
    2. Students will learn how to craft thesis statements for each of these types of essays.
    3. Students will be introduced to several techniques for brainstorming paper topics and contents.
    4. Students will learn and practice the writing process from drafting, to organizing paragraphs, to revising and editing.
    5. Students will learn different techniques for introducing and concluding papers.
    6. Students will begin to think about what is involved in developing a stance and supporting it with evidence.
    7. Students will examine their own work with an eye towards paragraph unity and overall coherence.
    8. Students will consider which register is appropriate for which type of writing and practice switching registers.
  4. Develop information literacy skills – research, finding and evaluating sources while understanding, appreciating, and adhering to principles of academic integrity when summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and synthesizing those sources.
    1. Students will learn how to search for and find books, online information, newspapers, magazines, and peer-reviewed journals.
    2. Students will learn how to search for, find, and cite books, websites, newspapers, peer-reviewed journals, and lecture notes.
    3. Students will consider when it is necessary to provide citations and references and be introduced to the idea of how to prevent plagiarism through quotes, paraphrases, and summaries.
    4. Students will be introduced to techniques for how to integrate quotes and paraphrases.
  5. Develop basic digital skills – navigating university online services, using common software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  6. Master academic survival skills – notetaking, time management, group work, studying, test-taking, classroom responding, interacting with professors and TAs, understanding assignments.
    1. Students will give basic peer feedback and practice politely critiquing each other’s work.
  7. Value and engage in reflective practice.
    1. Students will maintain a writing feedback journal and create a personalized revision checklist.



Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • Douglas, S. R. (2018). Academic Inquiry: Essays and Research. OUP.
  • Paterson, K., & Wedge, R. (2014). Oxford Grammar for EAP: English grammar and practice for academic purposes: With answers. OUP.*

*Although the Paterson and Wedge Oxford Grammar is included in the materials for 1A03, it is a mandatory student resource to be used throughout the MELD program. It is not intended exclusively for this course.

Method of Assessment:

Short diagnostic task 5%

3 essays (500-600 words)1 15%

Homework 15%

Class Participation2 10%

Midterm Exam3 15%

Final Exam4 35%

Vocabulary size assessment 5%



1Essays will be evaluated using rubrics from Academic Inquiry.

2Students cannot earn participation marks without attending.

3To be held the week of October 29th.

4Students must pass the final exam to demonstrate that they have met the appropriate language benchmark. The final exam will be held during the McMaster final examination period (December 7-20).

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Policy on missed work/late penalties

Course work must be submitted on the due dates, unless permission for an extension has been granted by the instructor before the due date. Extensions may be granted for legitimate reasons (e.g., MSAF, or medical or other documentation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities Advising Office). Late assignments will be penalized by 10% a day (including weekends).

MELD Course attendance policy

Students are expected to attend, be prepared for, and participate in each class. This is critical in order to ensure maximum exposure to academic English, and to meet the learning objectives of the course.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Class schedule




skills covered



Sept. 4 – Sept. 7

Education (Unit 1)

using a variety of sentence types; developing unified paragraphs; ensuring subject-verb agreement; writing a standard essay

diagnostic task


Sept. 10 – Sept. 14


Sept. 17 – Sept. 21

Ecology (Unit 2)

using appropriate word forms; employ parallel structures; ensuring coherence in writing; writing a cause-and-effect essay


Essay 1 - standard essay


Sept. 24 – Sept. 28


Oct. 1 – Oct. 5

Health Sciences (Unit 3)


using prefixes, suffixes and pronouns; employing varying sentence structure; developing a stance; writing a summary-and-response essay



Oct. 8 – Oct. 12



Oct. 15 – Oct. 19

Health Sciences



Essay 2 - In class cause-and-effect essay


Oct. 22 – Oct. 26

Science and Engineering

(Unit 4)

using collocations and noun clauses; avoiding sentence fragments; revising, editing, and proofreading; writing a process essay



Oct. 29 – Nov. 2

Midterm Exam



Nov. 5 – Nov. 9


Nov. 12 – Nov. 16


(Unit 5)

employing variation in vocabulary; adjective clauses and phrases; avoiding run-on sentences and comma splices; writing a compare-and-contrast essay



Nov. 19 – Nov. 23


Nov. 26 – Nov. 30

Review and exam prep


Essay 3: process essay


Dec. 3 – Dec. 5

Dec. 7 – Dec. 20


Other Course Information:

Use of Turnitin

In this course we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.).

This course uses Avenue to Learn.