English For Academic Purposes

Semester: Spring

Lecturer: Prof. Manuel Perez-Garcia

Credit: 2

Course Description:

The increasing impact of Digital Humanities are creating an academic ecosystem for new generations of researchers and students on how to choose, research and write on a specific research topic. Master, PhD, as well as young and senior researchers face difficulties on how to choose, write and prepare a clear-cut and innovative research topic. How to structure, conceive and prepare a specific research and topic will be paramount in this course, as well as providing students with theories and methods to undertake academic research. An open and wide geographical and chronological scope will be also implemented in this course, focusing on European, American, and Asian academic traditions and scholarship.
This course is aimed at those students who are interested in undergoing critical and sound training in Global (Economic) History, International Relations, and any field in Humanities and Social Sciences, capable of opening to an expanding and promising research and writing that could be crucial for the rest of their working life. The challenge of writing something academically meaningful in a high professional manner will be reviewed in this course.
It will enable students to develop their abilities in diverse academic areas on how to write, read and do fieldwork in libraries and historical archives. Students will also learn how to promote their work or design their professional strategy in line with their interests, and thus they will have a wide range of intellectual tools with which to tackle future challenges with versatility. The aim of this course is to deal with some new, and sometimes rather unexplored, dimensions of this view by picking up specific case studies. The goal is to endow students working in different fields with a wide range of approaches that can be useful to contextualize or to see their own research from a broader perspective.
Main thematic areas to study in this course:
a. How to write and prepare a master and PhD dissertation
b. How to structure your work and papers
c. Prepare a concise essay: synthesis
d. Format/Editing
e. Case Study and theoretical approach
f. Choosing topic
g. Literature review
h. Questions/hypothesis
i. Method and sources
j. Citation style


Requirements and Grading:
Participation, readings and written comments 30%
Attendance 20%
Final Essay 50%
Attendance is required, and active participation is encouraged. Regular attendance and keeping up with the assigned reading is the best way to ensure that you succeed in the class. If you are late or leave early you will be marked absent.
Classroom Environment: Please arrive on time, and turn off your cell phones. Students may not text or do email during class. All students must pay attention and take notes during each class. You may take notes on a laptop; but you may not make use of the internet unless you are looking up information directly relevant to the class.
Written Comments: Several times during the semester, you will submit written comments (a page at most) on the readings or on certain issues. These are due at the beginning of class and should be typed, and about a page long. Specific instructions will be provided for each assignment. I indicate most of the due dates below, but there may be a few more. These comments are not given a letter grade, but are an important part of your “participation” grade, and are intended to help you prepare for the longer papers and the exams. Late comments are accepted for up to 3 days, but are only given half credit.
Teamwork: Discussion of historical problems and documents in small teams will be a regular part of this class. Teams will also be called upon to make presentations to the class.
Papers or final projects: The papers/projects will be based on the primary source documents and books. They are not research papers, but rather analytical exercises. Papers are due at the start of class on the day they are due. Late papers/projects are accepted but are penalized one letter grade if handed in within one day of the due date, and a half grade for each day (including days on which our class does not meet) after that. Papers have to be submitted in hard copy.
Final-term paper: 15 pages length, 1,5 space, 11 size of the letter, Times New Roman format.
Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating is unethical and unacceptable. Plagiarism—passing off the ideas or words of others as your own in a paper—is a serious offence and is unacceptable. Do not submit work under your name that you did not do yourself. If you are found cheating or plagiarizing, you will be subject to disciplinary action.

Don’t hesitate to talk to me or the teaching assistant (or email us) if you have questions or run into problems.

Office: 800 Dongchuan Road, SJTU, School of Humanities, Room 410C, Minhang District, 200240, Shanghai, China. E-mail: mpergar@sjtu.edu.cn

Exemption: For students who have received Bachelor and/or Master certificates from English spoken countries, such as America, Britain, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, etc., could apply for exemption of this course. The exemption consists of two choices: 1) the students could choose not to attend lectures, but take the final exam (or submit end-term essay) or 2) they could choose not to attend lectures and not to take the final exam (or not to submit end-term essay). If the students choose the former, their essays would be marked and be given grades accordingly; if the latter, they only could get B- as the grade of this course.

For the exemption application form (click here).