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EFS Writing Courses

EFS offers four writing courses:  EFS 697, Writing Fundamentals; EFS 698A, Writing Academic English; EFS 698B, Advanced Graduate Writing; and EFS 698C, Writing and Presenting Research

EFS 697 focuses on improving grammatical accuracy and vocabulary, building fluency, and learning the structure and conventions of English correspondence, reports, and short academic papers. Open to undergraduates by permission.

EFS 698A is the foundation course for students writing class papers, professional publications, and theses. It covers all the essentials of organizing and executing a research paper, and leads students through an analysis of the writing conventions for their own specific fields. Areas focused on include paraphrasing, reviewing selected grammar points, and working with sentence connectors. Major assignments are writing a summary of a research article, a critical review, and a final paper. For most master's students and many doctoral students, EFS698A is the only required or recommended course. The class typically includes three or four individual meetings with the instructor to discuss your writing.

EFS 698B is the followup to 698A and assumes you have learned the material from that course. 698B focuses on improving your efficiency in the writing process, increasing your understanding of the writing conventions in your field, and building clarity and cohesion into your writing style. In addition, it leads you through a deeper analysis of abstracts, introductions, and conclusions for academic publications. The individual tutorials (five or more) are aimed at helping you with writing you are currently doing for other purposes, such as course papers (with the permission of your professor), articles for publication, or thesis chapters. It is intended for students who meet all three of the following conditions. 
1. You have taken EFS 698A or EFS 688 (the summer intensive course). 
        If you have not, then you need to get the instructor's permission to attend the course by a) showing that you were exempted from 698A but required to take 698B during the EFS screening process (note that even if this is the case you may be encouraged to take 698A), b) demonstrating that you have taken a course equivalent to 698A,  c) presenting a recent, unedited piece of writing of a quality high enough to clearly qualify for this course, or d) taking the EFS writing placement exam and demonstrating a high level of proficiency on it (contact for more information).

2. You will be doing significant writing outside of this class during the quarter. 
        We need to work on at least two major papers (or thesis chapters) or several smaller ones, and the work needs to be spread throughout the quarter. You are required to have a minimum of five meetings with the instructor to go over your writing, and these should not all come in the second half of the course. 

3. You are willing to commit to doing all of the outside assignments.
        This means completing them on time for class discussions and working hard to identify the weaker areas in your writing and improve them. You recognize that the goal of the course is to make you a stronger, more independent writer. You are not taking the course simply to get free editing.

If you do not meet all three of these conditions, you should not take the class this quarter. The only regular exception to the above is if we have required you to take the course and this is your final quarter prior to graduation or going TGR (in which case we still expect you to meet Condition 3). Note that the class is offered every quarter, including summer.

EFS 698C combines presenting and writing of research. The course is intended for advanced students, including those working on research that will be presented at conferences and then written up as a paper or part of the conference proceedings. Besides reviewing key elements of successful oral and written presentation, it also provides opportunities to receive feedback both from the instructor and from the other students in the course.  It should normally be taken after both 691 (oral presentation) and 698B (advanced graduate writing) and is offered in the fall. For further information, contact the instructor, Phil Hubbard ( 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: the goal of all EFS writing courses is to lead students to become better writers through analysis, feedback, and revision. The role of  the instructor is not to serve as your editor merely to improve the final clarity and accuracy of your paper or thesis. As a courtesy, the EFS office has a listing of English tutors and editors available for hire. Contact Tracey Riesen,, for a copy of the list.

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