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COURSE NAME: "Advanced Writing"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Mauceri Trimnell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30 AM 12:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: IT 302
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

This course, which is conducted in Italian, aims at improving students’ ability to write texts of different types and levels of specialization, focusing on academic and professional purposes. The course has both theoretical and practical components aimed at familiarizing students with the cultural and formal elements that make texts effective, convincing and articulate.

The course has both theoretical and practical components in order to improve the ability of the student to analyze written texts, recognize their different typologies, summarize the topics and use the new vocabulary and the structures studied. On the basis of extensive analysis of a variety of texts, students practice advanced reading and writing skills. Studying elements of advanced grammar and syntax will improve the accuracy of the student’s writing. Working on different typologies of text will develop the student’s ability to analyze, summarize and discuss the topics in the reading texts.
The work on the readings also introduces new vocabulary and part of the course is dedicated to the practice of choosing the most appropriate words. The composition assignments will address different genres of writing, including (but not limited to): blogs, short stories, articles, and reviews.
Work in class also provides the opportunity to check and develop accuracy in critical areas such as spelling, punctuation, and the difference between written and spoken registers.
 The class is given in a workshop format, and student participation is essential to its success. In order to follow the structure of the course and reach the goals, students must follow the timetable of the readings and writings assigned as homework.
Work in class and at home will include summaries, synopses, writing and re-writing, peer reviewing, and related research 

There is no set textbook for this course: the professor will provide adhoc materials on a lesson by lesson basis; therefore it is important to keep an organized folder!

Upon completing this course, students will possess the ability to:
Distinguish the different typologies of the texts, understand and summarize the topics.
Apply the structures necessary for the production of both creative and practical texts.
Produce different type of texts using complex syntax, appropriate expressions and precise, not vague, vocabulary.
Use different registers of Italian, in relation to the text chosen and to their own personal and professional needs


AExcellent command of the language consistent with the level of proficiency. Appropriate command of textual structures, variety of lexis, register and idiom.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. Very good command of the language consistent with the level of proficiency, showing facility and very few errors. Ability to handle sentence structure naturally, and to demonstrate some awareness of stylistic variation.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited. Evidence of the ability to control the language for the purpose of effective communication, consistent with the level of proficiency. Work will be comprehensible; sentence structure will be very simple and grammatical and other errors will be frequent but not as serious to impede comprehension.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Little evidence of the ability to control the language for the purpose of making oneself understood. Little awareness of sentence structure and numerous grammatical and other errors.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. No evidence of the ability to control the language; failure to make oneself understood.

Regular attendance is an essential component of class participation. Students are allowed three (3) absences. Additional absences will lower the final grade (2 points for each absence) Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy. Make sure your travel plans do not interfere with class schedule. Should you miss a class, it is your responsibility to find out what was covered in order to be prepared for the next class. Make-ups: individual arrangements for make-ups will be done only for students with medical emergencies or any other valid reason. The midterm and the final exam cannot be made up without approval from the Dean (please see “Attendance” in John Cabot University Catalogue 2008-2010, p. 67).
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Week 1 

Presentation of the course.

Level test. 

The students who enroll in the course after the first week have to do the level test during the professor's office hours.

Weeks 2 and 3

Simple, compound, and complex sentences; the paragraph.

Text cohesion and coherence

Week 4-5

Main characteristics of narrative texts.

Outline, structure and organization of a narrative text.

In-class exercises.

Week 6

Composition 1 in class

Weeks 7 - 8

Argumentative texts – ways of presenting a topic and expressing opinions.

The main characteristics of argumentative texts.

In-class exercises.

·      Take-home composition 1 due

Week 9 

Practice for Midterm Exam

Midterm Exam

Weeks 10 - 11

Descriptive texts.

Description from a subjective or objective perspective.

Outline, structure and organization of a descriptive text.

In-class exercises.

·      Take home composition 2 due

Weeks 12 - 13

Composition 2 in class

How to summarize a text

Week 14


Final exam