INTL 656 Proseminar: Research & Writing in International Studies

   Fall 2016, 1 credit

   348 PLC; Wednesdays 2-2:50

   Professor Anita M. Weiss    

   Office: 307 PLC; 346-3245
   Office hours: 12 noon - 2 pm & by appointment




Research and Writing in International Studies


This seminar focuses on the mechanics of successfully conducting research on international issues. We will cover such points as conceptualizing research topics, envisioning and conducting library and field research, and the nuts and bolts of writing a grant application, report and thesis. We will also focus on important points of grammar, syntax and just plain ‘good writing’ that students should always consider whenever they write.

Requirements: This one-credit course can only be taken P/NP. Grading for the course will be assessed on a) participation in classroom discussions; b) participation in writing (and rewriting!) as well as editing and evaluating other students' works; and c) a final essay (3-4 pp.), to be submitted on Wednesday November 30, in which you address writing problems/issues you became aware of in this course and to which you will be attentive in your future writing.

As this course takes a practical, hands-on approach, readings per se will be minimal. However, whatever is assigned must be completed prior to the class in which it will be discussed (we will have extensive discussions about the readings) -- I strongly encourage you to purchase these two books, as they will be invaluable resources for your writing in the future. The following required books are available for purchase at the U of O bookstore:


James P. Davis The Rowman & Littlefield Guide to Writing with Sources 4th edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2011


John M. Swales & Christine B. Feak Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills Third edition. University of Michigan Press, 2012


Recommended: H.W. Fowler & David Crystal A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: the Classic First Edition (Oxford World's Classics) Oxford University Press, 2010



Course Outline


Week I, September 28     Introduction to the course and to issues we shall be exploring                                 

  Davis, pp. 1-20

  Swales & Feak, pp. viii-x, 1, 4-8


Week II, October 5   Experiences in the field, and making sense of them


  Davis, pp. 21-27

  Nigel Barley "An English Alien" The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut Penguin Books, 1986, pp. 183-190



Week III, October 12     Exploring funding possibilities

         Please explore resources listed by the Graduate School and International Affairs prior to coming to class.



Week IV, October 19    Class is cancelled



Week V, October 26    Starting to write: form, style and information flows

                                         Writing Assignment Discussed: An Intellectual History                           

   Davis, pp. 29-31, 33-39

   Swales & Feak, pp. 8-53


Week VI, November 2    Continuing to write: General-Specific (GS) flows

                                          First draft of Writing Assignment Due

   Swales & Feak, pp. 55-99



Week VII, November 9    Continuing to write: Quoting and Paraphrasing

                                          Proofreading Assignment Due

   Davis, pp. 41-52, 55-58

   Swales & Feak, pp. 55-99



Week VIII, November 16    Continuing to write: Proofreading for form and style

                                             Second draft of Writing Assignment Due                                       


   Davis, pp. 63-74

   Swales & Feak, pp. 100-138


Week IX, November 23    Evaluating what we have written: Summarizing and proofreading

                                             Second proofreading assignment due


   Davis, pp. 75-79

   Swales & Feak, pp. 188-227


Week X, November 30     Turning a paper into a publication; Discussion & potluck party!

                                             Final revised version due, for those wishing feedback on it  

                                             Final essay due