Concept Note - Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development

Two day Workshop on Academic Writing for Ph.D., scholars in Tamil Nadu,
6th and 7th February, 2015 at RGNIYD
Jointly organized by
Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur
(An Institute of National Importance)
Department of English, University of Madras, Chennai
Concept Note
One of the main problems faced by Research scholars in Humanities in Indian Universities
today is their inability to prepare research reports and dissertations in a systematic manner owing to
lack of adequate training in the methodology of humanities, critical thinking and academic writing
skills. The immediate result of this problem is poorly prepared dissertations, and difficulty to get papers
published in international journals. This problem is mainly caused by the lack of proper emphasis on
writing skills in general and academic skills in particular at the tertiary level. Unlike Western
universities we do not have Writing Centres in our Universities, where students get training and
resources to develop their academic writing skills. It is generally felt that Academic Writing should be
made compulsory part of the course work for each of the M.Phil., and Ph.D. scholars. As such a system
is not in place right now and this issue need to be addressed by offering a special programme for
postgraduate students and research scholars in social science and humanities, to equip them with the
necessary academic writing skills.
The two days course proposes to refresh the general writing skills before proceeding to give
training in academic writing skills. As academic writing is integrated with Research methodology,
efforts will be taken to simultaneously present the nuances of research methodology followed in
Humanities Research.
1. To introduce the academic vocabulary, discourse markers, basics of academic paragraph,
structure of an academic essay, and mechanics of writing.
2. To inform the uses of critical thinking for research in humanities.
3. To train research scholars in the methodology of humanities with special focus on MLA style
of documentation.
4. To strengthen academic writing skills by practising academic paragraphs using persuasive and
argumentative styles.
5. To make researchers prepare model research papers strictly following academic writing
techniques and following the MLA style of documentation.
The proposed workshop aims at presenting academic writing and critical thinking skills in a
graded manner to the researchers and students. The workshop is designed to give theoretical and
practical exposure to the participants. Initial lectures will focus on refreshing general writing skills,
sentence structures, discourse markers and academic word lists. Methodology of Humanities will be
presented in comparison with the methodology of Natural Science and Social Science. Critical thinking
and academic writing will be taught using some standard textbooks available in the market. Resources
from internet sources will also be made use of for practice tests and writing samples.
Unit-wise structure of the course
Unit 1- Need analysis test - What is Academic Writing: Difference between academic writing and
other writings – Advantages of Academic writing skills – Academic Vocabulary – uses of discourse
markers – Academic paragraph - basic mechanism of writing (Punctuation) - sentence structures.
Unit – II - Critical Thinking: Being critical – What does being critical mean – critical thinking for
humanities – developing critical thought – logical organising of a critique – critical thinking around
texts – converting critical thinking into research ideas.
Unit III – Methodology of Humanities – methods of study followed in different branches of learning
– some popular methods – Studying humanities – methods followed in humanities research – Literary
research – Using contemporary theories / critical theories in research.
Unit IV – Planning and organising a research paper – interpreting the topic – brainstorming –
sources for research – Prewriting activities – writing and revising – structure of a research paper –
citing sources in parenthesis – preparing works cited (MLA style) – Persuasive/ argumentative style.
Unit V – Academic Writing Practice: Practising Academic paragraph –thesis statement and topic
sentences – types of sentences in an academic paragraph – planning an academic paper. Sample essays
will be discussed.
Unit VI - Final Assessment
Expected learning Outcome of the course
The course is expected to develop all the necessary skills needed for the researcher in humanities in
conducting research and preparing the research thesis or reports.
The Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur, Tamil
Nadu, is an Institute of National Importance by an Act of Parliament under the Ministry of Youth
Affairs and Sports, Government of India. It functions as a vital resource centre with its multi-faceted
functions of offering six academic programmes at Post Graduate level encompassing various
dimensions of youth development, engaging in seminal research in the vital areas of youth development
and coordinating Training Programmes for state agencies and the officials of youth organisation across
the country. In view of fulfilling its obligations to the disadvantaged youth the RGNIYD established the
Department for Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Youth (DSEDY). The DSEDY regularly
conducts capacity building/ skills development programmes with a prime objective of enhancing
leadership, knowledge and entrepreneurial skills among SC/ST youth in India.
About University of Madras
The University of Madras is a public state university in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Established in
1857, it is one of the oldest and premier universities in India. The University's motto is "Learning
Promotes Natural Talent". The university offers various courses and innovative programmes through
direct and distance mode and to meet the global challenges and industrial demands. Department of
English at the University of Madras was established in 1969 with the mandate to conduct intercollegiate weekly lectures on certain topics besides guiding research. In 1976, the Department of
English, along with many Departments in the University was made into a full teaching Department. The
M.A., M.Phil, and PhD programmes are offered by the Department. Initiatives were taken the
department, since 1999 to move MoUs with Universities in Australia and New Zealand such as
University of Wollongong, University of South Australia and University of Waikato. Collaborative
research projects and theatre workshops are conducted by the department with the support of National
and International organizations. A core course on Australian Studies succeeded in making the
Australian Government sponsor an academic every year from 2000 to teach the course through the
Australia-India Council. The Department is also included in the MOUs signed by the University of
Madras with Francois-Rabelais University, Tours, Stendhal University, Grenoble in France for
collaborative teaching and exchange in Post-Colonial Studies and Business English.
The workshop will be conducted exclusively for the PhD scholars belong to SC/ST category
which is scheduled on 6th and 7th February, 2015 at RGNIYD. Interested aspirants shall
register their names with Dr. S. Lalitha, Workshop coordinator on or before 31th January, 2015
Registration fee (non-refundable) is Rs.250/-.
Registration fee shall be paid through online to the following account;
Name of the account holder: Director, RGNIYD
Account No: 2926101000001
Name of the Bank: Canara Bank
IFSC Code: CNRB0002926
Branch: Sriperumbudur, 602 105.
Registered participants will be provided accommodation, Food and refreshment, tool kit, course
material and Certificates.
Workshop Coordinators
Dr. S. Armstrong
Professor and Head
Department of English &
Chairperson, School of English and Foreign Languages
Coordinator, Center for Canadian Studies
University of Madras
Chepauk, Chennai
TN, INDIA Pin:600 005.
Dr. S. Lalitha,
Assistant Professor, School of Youth Studies and Extension and
Coordinator, Department for Socially and Economically
Disadvantaged Youth (DSEDY)
RGNIYD, Sriperumbudur 602 105
Mobile: 09884379410
Email: [email protected]