English Language and Writing Skills (ENGL) 177

English for Academic Purposes (Revision 7)

ENGL 177 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: 3

Area of Study: No area of study

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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This course provides an introduction to university studies for students who wish to attend a postsecondary institution where English is the medium of instruction. The aim of this course is to prepare students to succeed in complex academic tasks in writing and reading. This is a general academic preparatory course designed from an ESL perspective. However, it is also appropriate for native speakers of English who are in need of general academic and writing preparation.


This course is composed of six units, which are each divided into three or more lessons drawn from the instructional material in The Canadian Writer’s World. In many cases supplementary material is also available, along with helpful online exercises. The first lesson in each unit, on structure and language, tackles one or more elements of English grammar and usage. The second lesson, on reading, presents a selection of essays that exemplify a particular way of organizing and communicating ideas. The third lesson, on writing, which may be subdivided into two or more sections, looks at how those essays have been composed and offers a number of exercises to practice the necessary skills. Each unit ends with an assignment that asks you to reflect on your progress through the course and to compose a piece of writing that demonstrates your understanding of the skills that were practiced in that unit.


To receive credit you must complete all 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:

Assignment 1: Diagnostic Assignment Complete/Incomplete
Assignment 2: Summary and Paragraph Writing 10%
Assignment 3: Paragraph Writing 10%
Assignment 4: Short Essay 10%
Assignment 5: Definition Essay 15%
Assignment 6: Research Paper 15%
Assignment 7: Narrative Essay 10%
Reflective Journal 10%
Online Quizzes Complete/Incomplete
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.

Gaetz, L., Phadke, S., & Sandberg, R. (2011). The Canadian writer’s world. Toronto: Pearson Canada.

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 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 7, October 5, 2016.

View previous syllabus

Updated October 06 2016 by Student & Academic Services