Summer 2024 - IAT 309W D100

Writing Methods for Research (4)

Class Number: 1966

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    IAT 206W with a minimum grade of C- and completion of 48 units.



Develops critical thinking and writing strategies adaptable to professional communications in design, media arts and technology. Writing.


IAT309W prepares students for the demands of a high-tech workforce that values collaboration among artists, engineers, designers, and project managers– professional writers who must be able to adapt their communications effectively to meet the needs of experts and lay audiences.

This course helps students to develop critical thinking, research, and writing strategies that can be adapted to a wide range of professional communication situations related to design, media and technology. Through the exploration of research methods and contexts, students recognize written documents as applications of critical thinking and communication principles and learn to shift content, as well as authorial voice and tone, across modalities of writing. Students use low-stakes and high-stakes writing activities to identify the needs of an audience and to apply the appropriate writing strategies required to avoid audience resistance. Regular feedback and weekly workshops and peer reviews allow students to practice revision strategies that will enhance skill development and professional writing image.

Over the course of the term, students will develop a critical writing portfolio and a major research project. Both signature projects will demonstrate each student’s ability to incorporate the analytical skills, planning and research skills and revision skills practiced throughout the course.


Course Objectives

By actively participating in IAT309W, students should be able to do the following:

Adapt and apply appropriate critical thinking and communication strategies across a variety of writing situations (such as reflective, expository, analytical, and persuasive).

Recognize written documents as applications of critical thinking and communication principles.

Recognize that written documents are intended to target specific audiences to evoke specific responses.

Identify the expectations of a target audience and the objectives of a written document based on the rhetorical nature of that document (voice, tone, style, organization, conventions).

Apply audience invention, planning and iterative revision processes to various writing tasks for a comprehensive research project.

Project a strong professional image through their written communication.

Learning Outcomes

This will allow students to:

Apply critical thinking skills to produce academic/professional forms of writing.

Apply content guidelines, theoretical concepts, and design frameworks to produce academic/professional forms of writing.

Demonstrate a capacity to make an argument backed up by research, evidence and warranted claims.

Demonstrate a strong professional image through clear written communication.

Integrate instructor and peer feedback to develop and refine an argument.

Design a research project using an iterative planning, drafting and revision process.


  • Research Paper 30%
  • Writing Assignments 20%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Quizzes and Workshop Participation 20%


Note: Syllabus is subject to change.



"They Say / I Say:  The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing" (2018) by Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein; 4th Edition; W.W. Norton & CompanyISBN: 9780393631678


Graff, G. & Birkentsein, C. (2021). They Say / I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (5nd Edition). W. W. Norton & Co., New York. ISBN: 978-0393538700


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.