Workshop on Academic Writing

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSLS3SC3042

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Preeti Sampat

Email of course coordinator: psampat[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: NA

Aim: WOAW familiarizes Ph.D. scholars with different aspects of academic writing and oral and written presentation skills, including the analyses of nuances and complexities in a text, and incorporating relevant arguments in academic writing. The course is transacted with the facilitation of the scholar’s academic advisor. It enables scholars to shape their proposal by exploring the literature available in their area of research. Scholars regularly present their work, a component of which is co-evaluated by their academic advisor. Scholars survey academic resources; identify and review literature relevant to their doctoral dissertation; create effective bibliographies; learn formal citation practices; review own and peer writing; present secondary research through an Annotated Bibliography; and draft a Research Proposal.


To equip scholars with developing academic writing tools in multiple formats, including annotated bibliographies; peer reviews; and research proposal.

To enable scholars to identify literature based on their proposed research areas; to effectively organize secondary literature according to their research questions; to deepen their research questions based on literature review; and to enhance writing skills with continuous peer review and feedback.

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Identify key secondary literature related to their proposed projects
  2. Develop academic writing skills in relation to key texts and topics related to their projects
  3. Apply academic arguments and knowledge in peer review settings and incorporate academic feedback in discussions and writing.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

This course is structured over three modules that cover multiple academic writing formats.

Course Modules

1. Introduction

This module is reading and writing intensive and will comprise reading selections from prescribed books. Each student will summarise the reading for the week for each class in an annotated bibliography format for a peer review. The aim is to thoroughly familiarise students with the arguments made in the books and evaluate them along the following parameters:

  • Theoretical frameworks
  • Research methods
  • Historical context
  • Topical context

2. Survey of Sources and Annotated Bibliography

Students will be expected to identify literature sources in consultation with their mentor and create an annotated bibiliography with a minimum of 20 sources, at least four of which will be entire books related to various aspects of their doctoral proposal and the rest will be journal articles or book chapters. The annotated bibliography for each source should convey in 300-500 words the central claims and arguments of the source and elaborate the parameters along which it relates to the scholar's topic. Each week, students will present a written submission of at least 4-6 sources and there will be in-class peer reviews of these annotated bibliography drafts. The students will finalize their annotated bibliography in consultation with their mentor, the course coordinator, and the feedback received from their peers.

3. Research Proposal and Presentation*

Based on the annotated bibliography and ongoing discussion in class and with their mentor, students will identify research questions and the methodology for their research, towards a draft PhD proposal. Different components of the proposal will be developed each week. Peer review will again be an important component of the class presentation. Based on the feedback of their academic mentors, the course coordinator and their peers, students will develop a draft research proposal for their PhD dissertation. This proposal will be presented to all Sociology faculty at the end of the semester.

*Note: The Draft Research Proposal will incorporate elements of the final Synopsis that students will prepare in the subsequent semester under the supervision of their PhD Research Supervisor; it will not be considered the final PhD synopsis.

Assessment Details with weights:

  1. Annotated Bibliography 30%
  2. Peer Review 30%
  3. Research Proposal 40%

Reading List:

  1. Trouillot, M. 1995. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. Boston: Beacon Press.
  2. Shah, S. 2014. Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.
  3. Ghertner, A. 2015. Rule By Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi. New York: OUP.