Global Education Center (GEC)Waseda University


Want to improve your English writing and discussion skills? – Academic Writing and Discussion in English (AWADE) is the solution!

What is AWADE?

Introduced in April of 2017, Academic Writing and Discussion in English (AWADE) is an intensive program aimed at helping non-native English users quickly improve their ability to communicate in academic English. To do this, we will help you identify the differences between conversational and academic English, learn appropriate grammar and vocabulary to apply in your writing, and provide you with plenty of opportunities to use your new knowledge in academic discussions and writing tasks. The AWADE program is divided into two paired courses (Alpha and Beta). You are encouraged to register in both courses.

Throughout the Alpha quarter, you will learn how to organize your writing to create coherent and cohesive texts. To help you practice these skills, you will write 3 different styles of academic essays on a range of topics. After each essay draft, you will get feedback from a variety of sources that you can use to further improve your knowledge and skills before resubmitting.

Throughout the Beta quarter (the more advanced course) you will learn how to write a more challenging argumentative essay. As with Alpha, you will have the opportunity to use your teacher’s feedback to improve your writing before submitting a final draft. In addition, you will be working on an academic research paper and associated presentation. To help you write an appropriate paper, you will be taught important components of academic writing, such as correct use of academic citations and references.

Although primarily a writing course, we also aim to provide you with opportunities to engage in discussions with your classmates and instructor on various subjects of importance. Through the combination of these experiences, you will see your level of English advance as you become more comfortable expressing yourself in English. For anyone thinking of studying abroad, AWADE is a crucial program that will let you prepare for this exciting and challenging experience. For those who simply want to work on their English ability in a challenging and supportive atmosphere, this is the perfect chance to improve your language skills.

Main benefits of AWADE:

  • Small class sizes
  • Helpful feedback opportunities
  • Collaborative environment
  • Detailed feedback to help improve your English language skills
  • Students from all departments and levels are welcome
  • For undergraduate and graduate students


  • (15 classes / 1 quarter—Spring/Fall)
  • Essay organization
  • Academic style
  • Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Discussion


  • (15 classes / 1 quarter—Summer/Winter)
  • Academic writing skills
  • Referencing, citing, paraphrasing
  • Discussion
  • Research paper
  • Presentation skills

Students’ voice

Teaches you fundamental skills for university

AWADE is not like your high school English courses aimed at improving your English grammar and vocabulary. It is a practical course which has exercises and discussions as well as lectures. Working together with classmates will increase your understanding. This course is a must for all students who wish to improve their academic writing – a fundamental part of university education. (1st year student, School of Political Science and Economics)

Small class size and detailed feedback

This course teaches us how to write academic papers. For example, we learn appropriate formatting and citations. Thanks to small class size, we can enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, which makes it easy to ask questions. What is the most fascinating in this course is the detailed feedback on every submitted assignment. (3rd year student, School of Education)


Q1. I’m interested in AWADE and wondering how much level of English it requires (such as certain TOEIC score or level of General Tutorial English).

AWADE does not set any minimum level of English as a requirement. In discussions and other activities AWADE teachers will encourage students to cooperate with each other regardless of their English level and give all the necessary help to do so. Thanks to small class sizes and personal feedback from your teacher, we assume all Waseda students can benefit from AWADE. No matter your current level of English, you are encouraged to take AWADE.

Q2. What kinds of topics do the writing tasks and discussions deal with? What are their styles?

Throughout AWADE α and β, you will be required to submit four essays and one research paper. The essays focus on expository, cause & effect, comparison, and argument styles of writing. The essays will be about familiar and interesting topics important to current society. In-class discussions will be mostly about subjects related to the essays. Each student can choose their own topic for the research paper and is expected to make a presentation.

Q3. I am interested in English writing course. How is AWADE different from Critical Reading and Writing also offered by GEC?

Both programs offer small classes conducted in English. However, while Critical Reading and Writing focuses on various English skills (such as reading, discussion, and writing), AWADE primarily aims to help improve students’ academic writing skills. In AWADE classes, you will be required to complete longer writing assignments than those in Critical Reading and Writing. AWADE will also teach you more about appropriate style and format for academic English writing.

Q4. I am thinking about studying abroad. What are advantages of taking AWADE for me?

AWADE functions as a preparatory course for study abroad. Foreign universities often use longer writing assignments, such as essays and research papers, as well as presentations to evaluate your performance. AWADE gives you the chance to practice these kinds of assignments in a fun and supportive atmosphere before leaving Japan (the final assignment of AWADE β is over 1,000 words and will go through at least 2 drafts). After completing AWADE α and β, you will be ready to complete your academic assignments in foreign universities, write clearer and more convincing academic English, and become more confident in your ability to succeed overseas.

an example of a student’s essay (before & after)

An example of a student’s essay written before the start of the α course (LEFT)

  • Very short
  • Poor organization and structure
  • No support from outside sources
  • Many language errors

An example of what students are able to write by the end of β (RIGHT)

  • Fully explained ideas
  • Well organized with a clear structure
  • Supported by outside sources
  • Few language errors
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