Summer 2023 - FAL X99 D002

Foundations of Academic Literacy (4)

Class Number: 4761

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Jun 19, 2023: Tue, Thu, 10:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.



An introduction to the kinds of reading and writing students will encounter in lower division courses across the university disciplines. Important aspects of the writing process are discussed and illustrated in class, and students receive individual feedback on their academic writing. Students who wish to use the course to meet the language proficiency prerequisite of a writing-intensive course must obtain a C or better. Enrollment priority is given to undergraduate students who have not yet met the language proficiency prerequisite of a writing-intensive course. Students who receive less than a C grade on their first attempt at the course may re-enroll. No student may attempt the course more than twice. Units from this course do not count toward the units required for an SFU degree; however, the course grade is included in calculation of the student's cumulative GPA.


The course aims to provide students with a variety of opportunities to practise, develop, improve, and apply in context, different forms of academic literacy (reading, writing, and oral communication).

  • The course is designed around the units of study set out in the syllabus. A variety of presentation methods will be used, including free writing activities. The aim of these activities is to give you an opportunity to gain confidence and learn through writing, without the pressure of having the written work assessed. When your instructor reads and marks free writing or other FAL writing activities, the emphasis will be on feedback that will help you to develop your academic literacy skills.
  • FAL X99 is for “additive credit.” This means that you take the course in addition to the normal 120 credits needed to graduate from SFU. The grade that you get for FAL X99 counts toward your overall GPA/CGPA.
  • In order to obtain FAL credit and to go on to take a W (Writing Intensive) course, students are required to pass the course overall with a minimum C grade.



Active learning involves engaging with material being taught, with your instructor, and with fellow students in an active, respectful, and inclusive way.


The Student Learning Commons ( offers webinars that will help you to consolidate what you learn in FAL X99. You can also communicate with a peer educator at the Student Learning Commons for one-to-one advice on your learning. You are encouraged to make use of this facility.


Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.


If you need any additional help during the FAL X99 course, there are a number of people who can help.

  • Questions about learning: you should ask your instructor
  • Additional help with course material: Teaching Assistant Carol Suhr (
  • Any other questions: you may also contact Joel Heng Hartse, the Academic Coordinator (


  • Assessed Writing 1: Summary 25%
  • Assessed Writing 2: Response Paper 25%
  • Assessed Writing 3: Research Essay 35%
  • Active Learning 15%


Active learning  may consist of the following, as applicable:

  • Improvement during the course
  • Engagement in class
  • Giving helpful peer feedback
  • Homework completion
  • Revision of assessed writing tasks
  • Quizzes


100% attendance is expected in this course. A class register is taken each class, marking absences and late attendance. If you are going to be late or absent due to unavoidable circumstances, you must inform your instructor  before the class. If you have a regular commitment where you will be required to be off campus or away, make sure that your FAL class is not on this day as this absence will impact your grades for the course. If you are absent or late for any classes without a valid reason, this will affect your active learning score. If you are absent for more than 5 classes (20%) without a valid reason, you will not obtain a FAL credit for the course.

Active participation in the peer review process involves providing feedback to your peers on their assignment drafts as well as receiving and responding to feedback provided to you by your peers. Failure to participate actively in the peer review process of any given writing assignment will affect your grades.

If you miss an Assessed Writing Assignment without a justifiable/documented reason, you will receive an N (“incomplete”) grade for that assignment and, therefore, an N grade (which is numerically equivalent to an F grade).



paper copy or eText  of  Marshall, S. (2017). Advance in Academic Writing. Montreal, Canada: Pearson/ERPI.

Please note the textbook is Book 2 with a light blue covernot Book 1 with a purple cover.

There is a digital eText version (ISBN: 978-2-7613-8266-3) of the textbook available from Pearson ERPI


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 semester 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.