ALESA Course Objectives


Process-related: In ALESA, students are expected to

  • Develop a line of inquiry responding to an academic context and body of research;
  • Compose a first draft of a paper representing original insights developed from the line of inquiry;
  • Work with peer readers to discern ways to improve the paper;
  • Devise and implement a plan of revision for the paper;
  • Submit a final version of a formal academic paper.


Genre-related: ALESA papers are expected to

  • Establish the relevance and suitability of the topic;
  • Condense the line of inquiry into an organizing essay question;
  • Give an answer to the essay question, in the form of an argumentative thesis;
  • Clearly organize and present a line of reasoning, verified by reliable, researched evidence—secondary and, sometimes, primary—that supports the thesis;
  • Engage at least one competing answer or objection.


Form & Language-related: ALESA papers are expected to

  • Use the conclusion to reinforce and cohere the introduction and development of the body;
  • Distinguish ideas using paragraphs and show connections using transitions;
  • Integrate and format material borrowed from sources properly to avoid plagiarism and misuse of sources;
  • Use formal register, promote coherence through style, and develop reader interest through voice;
  • Attempt control of syntax, grammar, spelling and punctuation.
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