In a 2010 article by Lennie Irvin entitled “What Is “Academic” Writing?” the author introduces freshmen to what academic writing in college is and how to be prepared for it. First, Irvin identifies the common misconceptions about writing that students tend to accept. Irvin then continues, highlighting the importance of developing a “writer’s sense” so that one could communicate their ideas to their audience successfully. Second, Irvin analyzes the codes and conventions that one should be aware of, and take into consideration when writing. Third, Irvin explores the elements of writing a “literacy task.”
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According to the author, a student should be aware of their professor’s expectations and understand what the instructor wants to be accomplished while doing a task. Fourth, Irvin explains what a literacy task is. He states that a literacy task is both an argument and an analysis. Fifth, Irvin identifies the common types of college writing assignments.
He claims that the main types of writing assignments are closed writing assignments, semi-open writing assignments, and open writing assignments. Sixth, Irvin speaks about the challenge of picking a topic and limiting it. He stresses the importance of looking for topics that are interesting to the student, as certain writing assignments require the learner to choose what to write about, which should be based on a sufficient understanding of the subject. Seventh, Irvin lists the expectations behind an academic writing assignment.
He claims that professors want to see positive outcomes of students’ good efforts at attempting their literacy tasks and that the learners’ argument has good reasons to justify it. Eighth, Irvin writes that academic essays should have a proper format. There are several characteristics that a good critical essay should have, such as an appropriate organization, adequate support of the claims, and grammatical correctness. Irvin then concludes by stating that the success of the students depends on their understanding and their chosen approach to a writing task.
Irvin, L. L. (2010). What is “academic” writing? In C. Lowe & P. Zemliansky (Eds.), Writing spaces: Readings on writing (Vol. 1, pp. 3-17). West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press.