English Language and Writing Skills (ENGL) 143

Writing for Academic Purposes (Revision 4)

ENGL 143 course cover

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The English Language Studies Assessment test is designed to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses in English and guide them to the most appropriate course(s).

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 0

Area of Study: No area of study

Prerequisite: None. (TOEFL 450 level or equivalent recommended).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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ENGL 143 is not available for Challenge.

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This course is designed for students who need a thorough foundation in writing skills before pursuing other courses of study. A developmental approach to the writing process guides students through writing sentences and paragraphs. Participation in the editing process and the online reflective journal helps students to better analyze and improve their own writing skills. This course is appropriate for both ESL students and native speakers of English who require a good grounding in writing, or who need to upgrade their writing skills, before proceeding with further studies. This course may be recommended for students intending to take ENGL 177, ENGL 189, or ENGL 155.


Unit 1:

  • Lesson 1: Grammar and Mechanics: Sentence Basics, Punctuation, and Capitalization
  • Lesson 2: Writing and Readings: A Summary—Part 1

Unit 2:

  • Lesson 3: Grammar and Mechanics: Sentence Types and Patterns
  • Lesson 4: Writing and Readings: A Summary—Part 2

Unit 3:

  • Lesson 5: Grammar and Mechanics: Nouns and Pronouns
  • Lesson 6: Writing and Readings: The Narrative—Part 1

Unit 4:

  • Lesson 7: Grammar and Mechanics: Verbs and Verbals
  • Lesson 8: Writing and Readings: The Narrative—Part 2

Unit 5:

  • Lesson 9: Grammar and Mechanics: Adjectives, Adverbs, and Prepositions
  • Lesson 10: Writing and Readings: The Descriptive Paragraph—Part 1

Unit 6:

  • Lesson 11: Grammar and Mechanics: Subject-Verb Agreement and Sentence Level Errors
  • Lesson 12: Writing and Readings: The Descriptive Paragraph—Part 2

Unit 7:

  • Lesson 13: Grammar and Mechanics: Improving Sentence Style
  • Lesson 14: Writing and Readings: Explanatory Paragraphs—Part 1


  • Lesson 15: Grammar and Mechanics: Vocabul
  • Lesson 16: Writing and Readings: Explanatory Paragraphs—Part 1


To receive credit for ENGL 143, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination, and a composite course grade of at least “C-” (60 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Assignments 1, 3, 5, and 7 (5% each) 20%
Assignments 2, 4, 6, and 8 (10% each) 40%
Online Journal 20%
Final Exam 20%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

May, Carole Anne. Spotlight on Sentence and Paragraph Skills. Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall 2006.

A print version of the eText can be purchased from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided in the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, November 22, 2013.

View previous syllabus

Updated May 11 2016 by Student & Academic Services