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Advanced Academic Abilities

Code: 42287 ECTS Credits: 15
Degree Type Year Semester
4313157 Advanced English Studies OB 0 A


Maria Cristina Pividori Gurgo

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)


David Owen
Sonia Oliver Del Olmo


Students should have a C1 level of general English in order to be able to follow the course. It is assumed that they have some familiarity with the academic register in English.

Students will be expected to follow and undertake practical work with advanced texts in the fields of language and literature. 

Objectives and Contextualisation

The aim of this module is to allow students to reach an advanced level of written competences in academic English. In this sense, students will work with complex textual structures, rhetorical and argumentative strategies and format and style issues besides getting familiarised with the most essential issues concerning academic and literary discourses.

Students will acquire the basic skills to carry out quality research in terms of contents and methods. Current research fields within English Studies will be discussed and sessions around information search and reference management will be organized. Finally, students will learn how to use effectively the main tools that facilitate quality research.


  • Analyse and synthesise information at an advanced level.
  • Apply methodological knowledge of statistical analysis and data generation, treatment and codification of multilingual databases, analysis of literary texts, etc. to research.
  • Communicate the knowledge acquired and the contributions of one's research correctly, accurately and clearly both orally and in writing.
  • Critically argue, issue judgements and present ideas on the basis of the analysis of information originating from scientific production in these areas.
  • Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  • Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  • Use new technologies for capturing and organising information relevant to lifelong learning and problem-solving in professional activities.
  • Use the English language for academic and professional purposes related to research into the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, literary studies and cultural studies.
  • Work effectively in teams in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and synthesise information at an advanced level.
  2. Analyse the appropriateness and fluidity of discourse in English from the grammatical, rhetorical and literary points of view.
  3. Communicate the knowledge acquired and the contributions of one's research correctly, accurately and clearly both orally and in writing.
  4. Critically consider and analyse the readings and materials proposed in the linguistic and literary fields.
  5. Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  6. Orally present academic work in a clear and organised manner that is appropriate for the linguistic and/or literary field.
  7. Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  8. Use new technologies for capturing and organising information relevant to lifelong learning and problem-solving in professional activities.
  9. Work effectively in teams in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.
  10. Write texts of an advanced academic level, observing the rules for style and organisation in English.


1. Academic Writing Workshop (5 credits), sem 1

This is a one-group seminar for all language and literature students taught by Dr David Owen. The workshop will focus on different aspects of academic reading and writing, and will be eminently practical in its aims and methods. 

2. Doing Research (5 credits), sem 2

This seminar will be concerned with the difficulties students typically encounter when doing research for the first time. This part of the module is designed to encourage students to formulate a research project, put their conclusions in writing (in the form of a 'publishable' article), and present it to the rest of the class. It is organized as a progression from the earliest stages of research to the very final one, i.e. the completion and revision of an article.

a) Literature Students:

Seminar convened by Dr Cristina Pividori

b) Language Students:

Seminar convened by Dr Sònia Oliver

3. Invited Lectures and Seminars (5 credits), sem 1 & 2

This component of the AAA module (coordinated by Dr Pividori) includes: 

(a) students' regular attendance to a minimum of three lectures (on-site or on-line) taught by invited lecturers (AAA Lecture Series). The goal of these sessions is to familiarise students with cutting-edge research beign produced in the fields of English linguistics and literature. 

(b) students' attendance of PhD Workshop (February 2023), organised by the PhD Programme in English Philology. 

(c) completion of a course organised by the Humanities Library on the Mendeley platform for managing references (approx. February 2023). Dates will be announced during the first semester.  


This course comprises both semesters of the academic year and it has three parts (1) a general training involving the academic abilities needed to undertake research and to present and write an academic thesis or paper for a conference; (2)  area specific training in either language or literature on how to address specific academic abilities and research sources related to each discipline; (3) a series of area specific lectures and webinars by invited speakers. Both the general training and area specific sessions will be structured around the following activities:


  • Lectures introducing basic theoretical concepts, class discussions on set readings, practical cases and exercises
  • Oral presentations
  • Practical sessions at the library to learn how to use information resources

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Follow-up assignments based on lectures (area specific) 15 0.6 6, 4, 9, 8
Lectures/conferences 15 0.6 1, 2, 7, 4, 9
Practical in-class workshops (both area specific and general) 30 1.2 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 6, 4, 9, 8
Specific readings 30 1.2
Turorials 15 0.6 1, 3, 7, 5, 6, 4
Type: Supervised      
Oral presentations (area specific) 10 0.4 3, 7, 5, 6, 4, 9, 8
Practical sessions about the effective use information sources 15 0.6 1, 7, 5, 4, 9, 8
Type: Autonomous      
Assignments (area specific) 25 1 1, 2, 5, 10, 4, 9, 8
Final research paper (area specific) 40 1.6 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 4, 8
Preparing oral presentation 20 0.8 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 4, 9, 8


COURSE GRADE = a) + b) + c)


a) Academic Writing Workshop (40%)

Block A

  • The Mechanics of Writing (1): Sentences and Paragraphs
  • The Mechanics of Writing (2): Cohesion, Coherence & Signposts

Evaluation Task: Produce a thesis statement/question contextualised within a paragraph representative of an introductory section in an MA dissertation (30%)

Block B

  • Writing about Reading (How to talk about the research you’ve read)
  • Writing and Citing (How to cite the research you’ve read)

Evaluation Tasks:

  1. Writing about Reading: A summarised account of at least 2 secondary sources relevant to the student’s own MA. (30%)
  2. Writing and Citing: Sample text in which the student presents correctly formatted (i) short, (ii) embedded, and (iii) indented, i.e., long, citations relevant to the student’s own MA. (30%)

Please note: students will be expected to produce written work in strict conformity with the citation regulations applicable to their own area of research (typically APA for Linguistics and MLA/Chicago for Literature/Culture) 

Class participation/discussion: 10% 

b) Research module (Language or Literature) (50%)


  • Abstract/research proposal:15%
  • EAP Critical Discourse Analysis:15%
  • Oral Presentation/Narrated PowerPoint Presentation: 20%
  • Final Paper: 50%


  • Extended abstract/research proposal: 15%
  • EAP Writing practice (1. Writing your title(s); 2. Defining the gap; 3. Writing your thesis; 4. Defining key terms; 5. Evaluating your sources; 6. Selecting a critical approach; 7. TEEL paragraph; 8. Handling the Q&A):  15%
  • Oral Presentation/Pecha-Kucha: 20%
  • Final Paper (7-8 page introduction to MA dissertation): 50%

 c) Attendance of PhD workshop and a minimum of three invited lectures or webinars: 10%


  • All the exercises are COMPULSORY
  • The submission of any of the exercises invalidates the student to get a “Not assessed/Not submitted” course grade
  • On carrying out each assessment activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.
  • In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.


  • Re-assessment for this subject requires a content-synthesis test for each module component.
  • Component c) is not eligible for re-assessment.
  • The definitive grade awarded for a re-assessed itme will be 5.

VERY IMPORTANT: Plagiary is copying one or more sentences from   unidentified sources, presenting it as original work (THIS INCLUDES COPYING PHRASES ORFRAGMENTS FROM THE INTERNET AND ADDING THEM WITHOUTMODIFICATION TO A TEXT WHICH IS PRESENTED AS ORIGINAL).   Plagiarism is a serious offense. Students must learn to respect the intellectual property of others, identifying any source they may use, and takeresponsibility for the originality and authenticity of the texts they produce.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Academic writing workshop and invited lectures 50% 96.25 3.85 1, 2, 3, 7, 5, 10, 6, 4, 9, 8
Research module (Language or Literature) 50% 63.75 2.55 1, 2, 3, 7, 5, 10, 6, 4, 9, 8




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Melony, Judith, Writing the Qualitative Dissertation. Understanding by Doing, 2002.

Muldering, Gerald P., The Hoath Guide to Writing a Research Paper,1992.

Turabian, Kate L., A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, U of Chicago P, 1993.



Alcaráz Varó, E. 2000. Inglés Profesional y Académico. Madrid: Alianza.

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Guies de la Biblioteca de la UAB: http://ddd.uab.cat/collection/guibib

Recursos per a la investigació: http://ddd.uab.cat/collection/guibibaju?ln=es



Acheson, Katherine O. Writing Essays About Literature: A Brief Guide for University and College Students. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2011. Print.

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Bullock, Richard H. The Norton Field Guide to Writing. London: WW Norton & Company, 2019. Print.

Gardner, Janet. Reading and Writing About Literature: A Portable Guide. Boston: Bedford Books St Martin’s, 2020. Print.

Griffith, Kelley. Writing Essays About Literature. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.

Hacker, Diana, Nancy I. Sommers, and Kimberli Huster. Rules for Writers. Boston: Bedford Books St Martin’s, 2012. Print.

Headrick, Paul. The Wiley Guide to Writing Essays About Literature. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. Print.

Kane, Thomas S, and Thomas S. Kane. The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.

Meyer, Michael. Thinking and Writing About Literature: A Text and Anthology. Boston: Bedford Books St Martin’s, 2001. Print.

Morgan, Meg, Kim Stallings, and Julie Townsend. Strategies for Reading & Arguing About Literature. Boston, Mass: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2007. Print.

Owen, David, and Cristina Pividori. Theoretically Speaking About Literature: Understanding Theory in the Study of Literary Works. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2021. Print.

Pirie, David. How to Write Critical Essays: A Guide for Students of Literature. London: Routledge, 2006. Print.

Tyson, Lois. Using Critical Theory: How to Read and Write About Literature. London: Routledge, 2011. Print.

Schilb, John, and John Clifford. A Brief Guide to Arguing About Literature. Boston: Bedford Books St Martin’s, 2020. Print.

Wardle, Elizabeth. Writing About Writing. Boston: Bedford Books St Martin’s, 2020. Print.



Writing about Literature (Norton Guide): https://wwnorton.com/college/english/write/writesite/rhetoric/writing_about_lit.aspx

Norton Write: https://wwnorton.com/college/english/write/writesite/research/research_writing_papers.aspx

Literary Resources: https://www.virtualsalt.com/lit/



No specific software required.