Our Programs

Academic Writing Program

grips-print-34The CPC offers a comprehensive academic writing program that supports the production of final policy papers and theses at GRIPS. The Academic Writing Program constitutes an introduction to writing a graduate research paper and becoming a fledgling practitioner of academic values and practices. The program has three goals: (1) to articulate the minimum standard of acceptable academic production across all GRIPS programs, (2) to socialize students into the target discourse community, and (3) to support the production of policy papers, theses, and dissertations at GRIPS. The program includes the following integrated components.

  • Assessment of students’ academic writing ability at the start of the academic year.
  • Year-long academic writing courses in English and intensive academic writing courses in Japanese.
  • Seminars and special events on a wide range of writing-related topics.
  • Individual advising on research proposals, theses, and final papers in English and Japanese.
  • Handbooks, guidebooks, and other materials on academic writing and language learning developed by CPC faculty and customized for students’ self-guided study.

Program in Professional Communication Skills

We emphasize the development of strong professional communication skills in GRIPS students, promote cross-cultural communication, and provide opportunities for interaction between Japanese and international students. Our current offerings include the following.

  • Credit-bearing and non-credit courses in all aspects of professional communication in English and Japanese including presentation, professional and business writing, grant proposal writing, public speaking, kanji, Japanese composition, and business Japanese.
  • Mini-courses, seminars, and workshops in professional communication in English and Japanese on a wide range of topics including academic and study skills, policy and scholarly writing, academic research, modern Japanese history, culture, and society, and cross-cultural communication.
  • Special events conducted in English and Japanese on a range of topics in professional communication, professional development, language learning, and Japanese culture including traditional Japanese culture.

Required Courses

A number of CPC courses are required for all students. Other courses are required only for those identified as needing support in the GRIPS Placement Test of Academic Writing. For information on these courses, check here.


Fall Term Courses

ArrowEnglish for Academic Purposes

Term Fall
Course Number LAN0040E
Instructor O’Neill et al.

This course teaches academic English in a graduate-study context. Students will learn how to craft writing passages, use general academic vocabulary, read academic texts, and work to improve structure and grammar. Students will be provided with guidance and support in the drafting of research proposals. This course is required for students who have failed the GRIPS Placement Test and recommended for those who are unaccustomed to the requirements of written academic English.Arrow



ArrowProfessional Writing for Policymakers

Term Fall
Course Number LAN0140E
Instructor O’Neill

This course will help students to develop their writing skills for policy memos and reports designed for professional—rather than academic—audiences. During the course, various guidelines and writing guides from international organizations and governments will be compared and analyzed. This information along with the students’ own experiences as writers will be combined to develop a framework for professional policy memo writing. Students will work together to write a policy memo piece by piece in class during the course. The skills learned in this course will enable students to craft expert policy memos in English or in another language. This course is recommended for all students.Arrow


ArrowDissertation Writing

Term Fall Session 1
Course Number LAN0130E
Instructor Kahy

This 1-credit course introduces doctoral students to the techniques and competencies required for a vital pillar of graduate-level writing: writing from sources. These techniques and competencies include aggregating, organizing, summarizing, and synthesizing research arguments in various academic fields. Students will acquire these competencies by analyzing and emulating the work of professional writers. By the end of the course, students will learn how to weave together “a research story” that explains the need for, and introduces, their own contribution to the field. In the course of eight weeks, students will attend lectures and have individual consultations with their instructor to receive feedback on their writing. This course will be taught in sections; adjustments may be made to the syllabus to meet the specific needs of the students. This course is highly recommended for doctoral students and for 2-year master’s students.Arrow



ArrowPolicy Proposal Writing

Term Fall Session 2
Course Number LAN0220E
Instructor Petchko

This course is required for all master’s students in the YLP, MP1, MP2, MEP1, MEP2, PF, G-Cube, and EPP programs. Students will learn about the standards of academic writing and scholarship at GRIPS and receive guidance on preparing a research proposal. Depending on their score on the Placement Test, students may be required to attend two, four, or all eight classes. Students with no previous experience preparing a research proposal are strongly encouraged to attend all classes.Arrow


ArrowAcademic Presentations

Term Fall
Course Number LAN0120E
Instructor Lewis

This course will enable students to turn the salient points of their research into a clear and compelling presentation. We will learn how to do four things: create meaningful content, simplify specialised language, design attractive slides, and find one’s own voice. Students will do three presentations during the course as well as practice speaking each class in different practical tasks. Finally, we will handle the protocols of handling questions professionally. Arrow


Winter Term Courses


ArrowAcademic Vocabulary Development

Term Winter
Course Number LAN0180E
Instructor Nakatsugawa

Given the need for GRIPS students to create policy papers that exhibit rich, sophisticated vocabulary, we will foster further development of students’ command of academic vocabulary. More specifically, we will employ both implicit vocabulary learning with a modest quantity of assigned readings as well as explicit instruction of academic vocabulary. The latter will also include time spent on etymologies in order to deepen students’ knowledge of academic vocabulary. Students will also learn the basics of using language corpora to enhance their knowledge of academic vocabulary collocations and usage. Finally, we will devote time to examining genre-specific corpora tailored to the various programs at GRIPS. Students should complete this course with both increased knowledge of academic vocabulary and confidence in their ability to use it skillfully.Arrow


ArrowThesis Writing for MSP

Term Winter
Course Number LAN0150E
Instructor O’Neill

This course is designed to support Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program (MSP) students in the culminating writing task that they must undertake at the end of their study at GRIPS and the Japan Coast Guard Academy (JCGA). The course guides students through the key competencies needed to complete the final paper according to the discourse conventions in their field. First among the competencies taught will be the skills and knowledge needed to reference existing research without plagiarizing the ideas or words of other researchers. These skills include summarizing, paraphrasing, and citing sources. All student work will be examined closely for its similarity to existing research in the students’ fields, and students will be expected to explain and indicate clearly the sources of their information and ideas. This course is highly recommended for all MSP students.Arrow



ArrowQualitative Writing

Term Winter
Course Number LAN0160E
Instructor Wickens

Qualitative research differs significantly from quantitative research. This course explores qualitative research methods and writing including document analysis, interviews, participant observation and other methods. Students will learn how to conduct qualitative research and write the in-depth detailed description common in qualitative analysis. In class, we will have lectures and individual consultations to help students pursue their research. This course is strongly recommended for students conducting qualitative research. The contents of the course will be adjusted to meet students’ research goals.Arrow



ArrowAbstract Writing for Japanese Students

Term Winter, Spring
Course Number LAN0170E
Instructor Ono

This course aims to provide both guidance and support for Japanese students who are writing abstracts in English for the first time. By taking a genre approach to academic writing, students will first analyze published abstracts to identify conventions for format and content organization, as well as common patterns of language use. Following these analyses, students will individually plan and draft their abstracts. Finally, students will learn to use corpus tools to edit and revise their drafts for language. Additional grammar focus will be offered in response to any language problems encountered over the course of study. This is also a required course for domestic students in the Public Policy Program who wish to take Global Studies.Arrow


ArrowDescribing Tables & Figures

Term Winter
Course Number LAN0010E
Instructor Wickens

In this course, students will learn the basics of creating and describing attractive, effective visual elements for academic papers. APA style for tables and figures will be discussed in detail, and various computer tips will be demonstrated. Second, the language necessary for describing tables and figures in both oral and written contexts will be examined. Finally, time will be devoted to helping students become informed and discerning consumers and critics of tables and figures.Arrow


Spring Term Courses

ArrowThesis and Policy Paper Writing

Term Spring
Course Number LAN0030E
Instructor Petchko et al.

This is a 2-credit course designed to support master’s students in the culminating writing task that they must undertake at the end of their study at GRIPS. It guides students through the key competencies needed to complete the final paper according to the discourse conventions in their field. These key competencies are drawn from the work of professional academics in the students’ respective fields. Adjustments may be made to the syllabus to meet the specific needs of the students. This course is required for all one-year master’s students and two-year master’s students in their first year.
In addition to this course, students will have the opportunity to attend writing tutorials to receive feedback on their writing.Arrow



ArrowDiscussion and Debate for Policymakers

Term Spring
Course Number LAN0200E
Instructor Lewis

This course will help students to present their opinions in English with clarity and conviction. They will be encouraged to draw upon their interests to present and analyse arguments from news sources. We will cover a range of skills including research skills, analysing and critiquing arguments, and effective intonation and voice projection. This course is suitable for any student who would like to build competence in meetings and workplace discussions.Arrow



ArrowAcademic Communication for Japanese Speakers

Term Spring
Course Number LAN0190E
Instructor Nakatsugawa

This course is designed for Japanese students who wish to learn to engage in academic communication in English. Under the overarching theme of sustainability, this course will offer a variety of tasks that simulate language use in real academic contexts. Starting with simple listening and note-taking activities, students will gradually be familiarized with academic discourse and vocabulary. There will also be opportunities for speaking, from simple questions and answers to group discussions and debates. As the course proceeds, students will select a topic of interest and develop it into a poster presentation. The course will conclude with a poster presentation session in which students will present their work and answer questions about their chosen topic. The overall goal of the course is for students to experience, and gain confidence in, communicating knowledge and ideas in English. Although the primary approach is to learn by doing, grammar and other language features will be addressed as necessary. This course will be taught in both English and Japanese.Arrow



ArrowPolicy Presentations

Term Spring
Course Number LAN0210E
Instructor Lewis

This course is for students to learn how to enjoy giving formal presentations in English. The emphasis will be on finding their strengths and a personal style which works for them. Students will learn how to use a simple structure to create content that is remembered by the audience in terms of meaning, emotion, and connection. We will refer to case studies in a mixture of video and text. Students will learn not only how to give a presentation, but also how to introduce and thank a speaker gracefully and handle questions smoothly.Arrow



ArrowAbstract Writing for Japanese Students

Term Winter, Spring
Course Number LAN0170E
Instructor Ono

This course aims to provide both guidance and support for Japanese students who are writing abstracts in English for the first time. By taking a genre approach to academic writing, students will first analyze published abstracts to identify conventions for format and content organization, as well as common patterns of language use. Following these analyses, students will individually plan and draft their abstracts. Finally, students will learn to use corpus tools to edit and revise their drafts for language. Additional grammar focus will be offered in response to any language problems encountered over the course of study. This is also a required course for domestic students in the Public Policy Program who wish to take Global Studies.Arrow


Japanese Language Courses

Basic Japanese 1

The Basic Japanese courses (1, 2, and 3) provide useful Japanese for students’ daily lives in Japan. In these courses, students have opportunities to learn about Japanese culture while improving their Japanese language skills. Basic Japanese 1 focuses on survival Japanese for beginners who have not studied Japanese in the past. Students are introduced to hiragana, katakana, and basic grammar. They practice their skills through listening, conversation, and role-play exercises. Students usually take Basic Japanese 1 by attending one of four sections (Basic Japanese 1A, 1B, 1C, or 1D), once a week during the Fall term.


Basic Japanese 2

Basic Japanese 2 introduces fundamental Japanese that builds on the skills and knowledge learned in Basic Japanese 1. Students usually take Basic Japanese 2 by attending one of three sections (Basic Japanese 2A, 2B, or 2C), once a week during the Winter term.


Basic Japanese 3

Basic Japanese 3 introduces increasingly more complex fundamental Japanese to students who have mastered Basic Japanese 2. Students usually take Basic Japanese 3 by attending one of three sections (Basic Japanese 3A, 3B, or 3C), once a week during the Spring term.


Beginners’ Japanese 1

Beginners’ Japanese is an alternative starting point (winter start) for those who did not take Basic Japanese in the Fall term. This course provides useful Japanese for students’ daily lives in Japan. Beginners’ Japanese 1 introduces survival Japanese to beginners who have not studied Japanese in the past. Students are introduced to hiragana, katakana, and basic grammar and practice their skills through listening, conversation, and role-play exercises.


Beginners’ Japanese 2

Beginners’ Japanese 2 builds upon the knowledge and skills introduced in Beginners’ Japanese 1. Beginners’ Japanese 2 is typically offered in the Spring term.


Intermediate Japanese 1

Intermediate Japanese 1 is appropriate for students who have some knowledge of Japanese. Students acquire practical and useful Japanese for their lives in Japan through listening, conversation, and role-play exercises. Intermediate Japanese 1 is usually offered in the Fall term.


Intermediate Japanese 2

Intermediate Japanese 2 is appropriate for students who have some knowledge of Japanese. This course builds upon the language and skills introduced in Intermediate Japanese 1. Intermediate Japanese 2 is usually offered in the Winter term.


Intermediate Japanese 3

Intermediate Japanese 3 is appropriate for students who have some knowledge of Japanese. This course builds upon the language and skills introduced in Intermediate Japanese 1 and 2. Intermediate Japanese 3 is usually offered in the Spring term.


Advanced Japanese 1

Advanced Japanese 1 is designed to give advanced students the opportunity to engage in intellectual conversations about politics, government, and policies. Depending on students’ level, the content and textbooks used in this course will vary. Advanced Japanese 1 is typically offered in the Fall term.


Advanced Japanese 2

Students who have completed Advanced Japanese 1 can take this course. Other students who wish to enroll will be required to take placement tests. Depending on students’ level, the content and textbooks used in this course will vary. Advanced Japanese 2 is typically offered in the Winter term.


Advanced Japanese 3

Discussing a variety of social issues, students will practice complex sentence patterns in Advanced Japanese 3. This course is designed to give students who have finished Advanced Japanese 2 an opportunity to continue working toward fluency. Depending on students’ level, the content and textbooks used in this course will vary. Advanced Japanese 3 is typically offered in the Winter term.


Superior Japanese 1

Students learn and practice advanced (N2-1 level of the Japanese Proficiency Test) grammar, expressions, vocabulary, and kanji. Using an advanced Japanese textbook, this course offers students opportunities to refine their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills while delving into social and cultural aspects of Japan. Students are required to make oral presentations in Japanese. Based on the results of students’ level tests, various Japanese textbooks, TV news programs, newspapers, and TV dramas may be used as teaching material. Superior Japanese 1 is usually offered in the Fall term.


Superior Japanese 2

Building upon the skills acquired in Superior Japanese I, students continue to learn and practice advanced (N2-1 level of Japanese Proficiency Test) grammar, expressions, vocabulary, and kanji. Using an advanced Japanese textbook, this course offers students opportunities to refine their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills while delving into social and cultural aspects of Japan. Students are required to write essays in Japanese. Superior Japanese 2 is usually offered in the Winter term.


Superior Japanese 3

Students practice advanced (N2-1 level of Japanese Proficiency Test) grammar, expressions, vocabulary, and kanji. Using TV news programs, newspapers, and TV dramas, this course offers students opportunities to refine their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills while delving into current events and social issues affecting Japan. Students are required to make oral presentations in Japanese. Superior Japanese 3 is usually offered in the Spring term.


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Academic Writing