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LIN 410H5

Critical Reading and Writing in English Linguistics

Winter Session 2016 - Department of Language Studies

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Troberg

Weekly meeting time: Wednesdays 3-6pm, IB 240

Course Description and Goals

Students will practice critical reading and thinking skills through the analysis of various texts
about language, with a focus on issues concerning English. The goal of the course is to develop
the skills necessary to construct concise summaries, cohesive and logical arguments, and to
properly reference sources in the style of academic writing. This course encourages students to
see writing as a process, involving planning, drafting, peer-editing, and revising.
Prerequisites: LIN101H5, LIN102H5 (or LIN100Y5), plus 0.5 credit at the 300-level in LIN.
Recommended: LIN205H5.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:
recognize the purpose and content of the standard sections of a linguistics article.
identify the authors theoretical framework.
identify the authors claim.
identify the supporting arguments.
evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of an argument.

demonstrate the difference between plagiarizing, paraphrasing, and summarizing.

construct a concise summary and annotation.
know when to quote and when to paraphrase.
support an argument using peer-reviewed sources.
properly reference a source.
write a paper using the standard format of a linguistics article.
engage in the process of writing
o planning, drafting, peer-editing, revising
There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be posted on the portal.

Academic Conduct:
We have the expectation that students will treat each other and all faculty, staff, and TAs with
respect and honesty. Students can expect the same from us.
UTM students are subject to policies regarding academic honesty as set out by the Code of
Behaviour on Academic Matters. Please read and become familiar with policies regarding
academic honesty set out in this code:

Academic Offence
Academic integrity is essential to the pursuit of learning and scholarship in a university, and to
ensuring that a degree from the University of Toronto is a strong signal of each students
individual academic achievement. As a result, the University treats cases of cheating and
plagiarism very seriously.
Potential offences include, but are not limited to:
In papers and assignments:
Using someone elses ideas or words without appropriate acknowledgement.
Submitting your own work in more than one course without the permission of the
Making up sources or facts.
Obtaining or providing unauthorized assistance on any assignment.
On tests and exams:
Using or possessing unauthorized aids.
Looking at someone elses answers during an exam or test.
Misrepresenting your identity.
In academic work:
Falsifying institutional documents or grades.
Falsifying or altering any documentation required by the University, including (but not
limited to) doctors notes.
All suspected cases of academic dishonesty will be investigated following procedures outlined in
the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. If you have questions or concerns about what
constitutes appropriate academic behaviour or appropriate research and citation methods, you are
expected to seek out additional information on academic integrity from your instructor or from
other institutional resources:

The University provides academic accommodations for students with disabilities in accordance
with the terms of the Ontario Human Rights Code. This occurs through a collaborative process
that acknowledges a collective obligation to develop an accessible learning environment that
both meets the needs of students and preserves the essential academic requirements of the
University's courses and programs.

For more information on services and resources available to instructors and students, please
contact Tanya Lewis, Director, Academic Skills and Accessibility Services at 416-978-

The University of Toronto is committed to equity and respect for diversity. All members of the
learning environment in this course should strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect. As a
course instructor, I will neither condone nor tolerate behaviour that undermines the dignity or
self-esteem of any individual in this course and wish to be alerted to any attempt to create an
intimidating or hostile environment. It is our collective responsibility to create a space that is
inclusive and welcomes discussion. Discrimination, harassment and hate speech will not be
tolerated. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns you may contact the UTM Equity
and Diversity officer at or the University of Toronto Mississauga Students
Union Vice President Equity at

Academic Rights
You, as a student at UTM, have the right to:
receive a syllabus by the first day of class.
rely upon a syllabus once a course is started. An instructor may only change marks
assignments by following the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy
provision 1.3.
have access to your instructor for consultation during a course or follow up with the
department chair if the instructor is unavailable.
ask the person who marked your term work for a re-evaluation if you feel it was not fairly
graded. You have up to one month from the date of return of the item to inquire about
the mark. If you are not satisfied with a re-evaluation, you may appeal to the instructor in
charge of the course if the instructor did not mark the work. If your work is remarked,
you must accept the resulting mark. You may only appeal a mark beyond the instructor if
the term work was worth at least 20% of the course mark.
receive at least one significant mark (15% for H courses, 25% for Y courses) before the
last day you can drop a course for H courses, and the last day of classes in the first week
of January for Y courses taught in the Fall/Winter terms.
submit handwritten essays so long as they are neatly written.
not have a term test worth 25% or more in the last two weeks of class.
retain intellectual property rights to your research.
receive all your assignments once graded.
view your final exams. To see a final exam, you must submit an online Exam -
Reproduction Request within 6 months of the exam. There is a small non-refundable fee.
privacy of your final grades.
arrange for representation from Downtown Legal Services (DLS), a representative from
the UTM Students Union (UTMSU), and/or other forms of support if you are charged
with an academic offence.

How this course works:

Blackboard: You will be able to access all course content through your LIN410 lecture shell
within Blackboard.

Please bring your laptop to class. We will be doing a fair amount of writing and editing in class
along with accessing online resources, so you will need to bring a computer the word processing
application that you usually use and, ideally, ability to connect to the internet.

Wednesday seminar: A large part of your success in the course depends on your preparation for
our Wednesday seminar. When there is a reading to prepare, the class will begin with a short
activity (reaction) based on the reading. You will be graded on this. We will then discuss and
analyze the reading as a class and in small groups. Every week will involve some writing, be it
related to an in-class activity or to editing an assignment you will have already prepared.


Reactions 15%
Participation 15%
Assignment#1 (summary) 10%
Assignment#2 (annotated bibliography) 15%
Assignment#3 (related to final paper) 10%
Assignment#4 (group research, writing) 15%
Final paper 20%

Reactions: The reactions are designed to be low-stakes learning tools (worth 2-3% each). They
are meant to be a tool for you to demonstrate your understanding of the readings.

Writing assignments: Three of the four assignments ask you to apply, analyze, synthesize, and
evaluate concepts that you will have had a chance to review and explore during in-class
discussion and application. Assignment#3 is a detailed proposal for your final essay.
The penalty for a late assignment is 10% per day, up to 6 days, at which point we will no longer
accept it. If you know you will be absent when an assignment is due, please submit it to me via
email in advance.

The final paper: The final paper (7-10 pages) will treat a topic related to a classic or current
issue in English linguistics. I will provide you with some suggestions, but you are also free to
propose a topic of your own.

Participation: Most weeks, you will prepare an in-class response to the seminar. This may be in
the form of a small in-class writing activity or a ticket-out-the-door (a brief reflection on your
learning that day). The majority of your participation mark (15%) will be based on the
completion and the quality of these responses. A portion of your participation mark will also be
based on your overall preparedness and positive contribution to group and class discussions.

Deadlines: Deadlines and dates of assignments and quizzes are subject to change and will be
confirmed by the instructor. Any changes will be announced on Blackboard and in class. If you
miss a quiz or an assignment deadline for reasons genuinely beyond your control, you may ask

for special consideration. In order to ask for special consideration, you must 1) contact your
instructor via email immediately upon missing a quiz or deadline (within 48 hours), and 2)
provide supporting documentation indicating that the assessment was missed for reasons
genuinely beyond your control (e.g. UofT Medical Certificate, death certificate, etc.).


January Introduction to the course and to our first topic: cultural deprivation as
4-10 linguistic deprivation

Download and print a copy of Bereiter and Engleman (1966)
Wednesday class (Jan.6):
Discussion of course expectations and logistics
Read and discuss Bereiter and Englemann (1966), chapter 2: Cultural
Deprivation as Language Deprivation

January Deficits in the educational system and standard and nonstandard dialects
Read Labov (1972), chapter 5: The Logic of Nonstandard English
Wednesday class (Jan.13):
Reaction 1
Analysis of the Labov chapter
In-class writing: the paraphrase and summary
Discussion of Assignment#1: summary of the Labov chapter
Avoiding plagiarism exercise

January Writing a good summary

Assignment#1: summary of Labov chapter.
Wednesday class (January 20):
Peer editing, revision of summary
Submit summary to be graded (Assignment#1)

January The influence of the deprivation theory
Jensen (1969): questions for first read
How is Jean Philippe Rushton (of the University of Western Ontario)
connected to the debate?
Wednesday class (January 27):
Submission of preparation questions for Jensen (Reaction 2)
Discussion of Jensen (1969)
Discussion of the annotated bibliography with critical commentary
Examining Labovs references in light of assignment#2
Ticket-out-the-door: submission of AB research question with a start
on the references.

February The Ebonics debate

1-7 The annotated bibliography with critical commentary

The Oakland Resolution: reading
AB: propose 6-8 references and prepare 2 annotations with comment
Wednesday class (February 3):
Reaction 4
Discussion of the Ebonics debate
In-class writing
Peer editing, revision of annotated bibliography
Summaries returned; discussion
February Presentation of the annotated bibliographies
completion of the annotated bibliography
preparation of a 5-minute presentation of your topic and what you found.

Wednesday class (February 10):

Submit annotated bibliography to be graded (Assignment#2)
5-min. presentations
Discussion of Assignment#3 (and final paper)

15-21 Family Day and Reading Week: no class
**You are working on Assignment#3**

February Linguistic Relativity and counterfactuals in English and Chinese
Wednesday class (February 24):
Submit Assignment#3 to be graded
Discussion of linguistic relativity
Reading of Bloom (1981): Introduction
Discussion of counterfactuals
In-class writing
Annotated bibliography returned

February Bloom (1981)

29 March 6
Bloom (1981) Chapter 1
Wednesday class (March 2):
Discussion of Bloom (1981)
In-class writing
Visit from Dr. Laura Taylor (4:45-5:00)
Assignment#3 returned

March Bloom (1981)

Bloom (1981) Chapter 1
Wednesday class (March 9):
Reaction 4
Discussion of Bloom (1981)

March Au (1983)
Wednesday class (March 16):
Submit Assignment#4
Discussion of Au (1983)

March Blooms rebuttal
21-27 Preparation:
Read Bloom (1984);
Wednesday class (March 23):
Reaction 5
Discussion of Bloom (1984)
In-class writing assignment
Assignment#4 returned
Final paper consultation

March Bringing it all together

28 April 3
Final paper
Wednesday class (March 30):
Peer editing, revision of final paper
Submit final paper