All posts by Sheffner

Part-time instructor of Academic Writing in English @ Kyoto Prefectural University, Kyoto, Japan.

AW2: week 3, October 20th, 2017

Homework

  • Re-write your draft #1 from the opposite (or different) point of view.
    • E.g. “School Uniforms are Not Necessary” –> “(School) Uniforms Should be Compulsory”
  • Either email it to me, or print it out and bring to class.

Today’s class

  1. How debates work
  2. Explanation of draft #2
  3. 1-to-1 conferencing


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AW2: week 2, October 13th, 2017

Homework

Choose a controversial topic that you have a strong opinion about, and start writing your first draft.

Either

  1. email it to me (filename = AW2_Essay4_Draft1_YourName   email subject line = AW2 Essay4 Draft1 YourName
  2. Or write it by hand and bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  • counter-argument means the opposite opinion or point of view. There are is always a different point of view. It is the academic writer’s responsibility to know these other points of view and to present them in the essay to readers. This may need some research. Remember the Pot with the Hole story.
  • supporting evidence – an important part of academic writing is showing that your opinion is based on facts and telling the reader where you got your facts from, so that readers can go check for themselves. This is important because we are dealing with information that cannot be confirmed by our own senses (by seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing or feeling).
  • (option) Textbook
    • p. 93 Practice 1, 1-3
    • p. 98 Practice 4
    • p.100 Practice 5
  • Start writing your first draft.

 

 


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AW2: week 1, October 6th, 2017

Homework

  1. Read the sample essay in chapter 4 (pp.91-2)
  2. List 5 controversial topics you might write about for your persuasive essay

Today’s class

  • logos, ethos, pathos – 3 modes for persuading other people
  • schedule (may change slightly):
    • Essay #4 – Persuasive – due Nov. 17th
    • Essay #5 – Response to a text – due Dec. 22nd
    • Essay #6 – timed writing – to be done in class Jan 26 and Feb. 2nd
    • p. 96 A and practice 3

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AW1: week 15, July 28th, 2017

Today’s class

  • Receive Sheffner’s corrections and comments on your Essay3 Draft1.
  • Ask any questions you may have.
  • Re-write your essay. This will be your final version.
  • Type up your essay and email it to me as soon as you can.

Essay#2

The latest version of the AW1 Essay2 class collection is available for download here. Help yourself:  AW1_Essay2_Final_All4Publication2

It includes 4 essays by students whose permission to include theirs did not reach me in time for the first printing,  of which I gave out a few copies in class on Friday 28th.

Essay#3

I plan to make a similar collection of Essay3.  I will send out an email to each of you next week asking for your permission to print your essay.  I will then make the collection available for download here on this blog.


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AW1: week 14, July 21st, 2017

Homework

Type up your Essay3 Draft1 and email it to me as soon as possible.

Today’s class

  1. Class survey
  2. Feedback for Sheffner
    1. Self-evaluation  /100 + reasons
    2. Sheffner evaluation  ?/100 + reasons
    3. Comments about the class – assignments, blog, textbook, anything to help me make next semester and next year better.
  3. Help yourself to the Essay 1 collection
  4. Start writing your Essay 3 draft1
  5. Consultation with Sheffner

 


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AW1: week 13, July 14th, 2017

Homework

  • Review your essay #2 draft#2 after considering what you learned in today’s class.
    • Re-write your essay – this will be your final draft
    • Print it out and bring it to class next week
    • Also email it to me when you are ready (next Friday is fine)
  • Choose a topic for essay #3 “Problem-Solution” from the list on p. 72 in the textbook.
  • (Option) Watch this short video of comedian Louis C.K. giving a funny counter-claim to the common claim that lying is bad.
    • Louis’ counter-claim is that lying solves almost every problem like magic.
  • Schedule:
    • Friday July 21st:
      • start writing your compare-contrast essay in class.
      • gather data,  design questions to ask classmates tin class.
      • After class,  email me your essay#3 draft#1 as soon as possible. I will correct and return your draft asap.
      • If I have time, I will email it to you. If not, I will give you my corrections personally in class on July 28th.
    • Friday July 28th: using my corrections and comments, you will write the final draft of your compare-contrast essay in class.

Today’s class

  1. You need a counter-claim. Most students had no counter-claim or very weak counter-claims. This makes you look lazy (you can’t be bothered to think of any) or ignorant (you don’t realize there are arguments against your position). Either way, you need counter-claims.
  2. What exactly is the problem? Some of you did not clearly define the problem.
    1. E.g. “putting things off is a problem.” No, it isn’t. It’s a bad habit, maybe, but it is not a problem. It CAUSES problems, yes, but putting things off itself is not a problem. You need to be clear in your own mind exactly what the problem is.
  3. If you did some original research, e.g. by asking classmates some questions and gathering data, then you need to present the results to your readers. Usually this is the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs (the 1st and 2nd body paragraphs).
    1. See this worksheet for a model outline (this outline works for a compare-&-contrast essay as well). STRUCTURE OF POLICY ARGUMENT ESSAY
  4. When choosing a topic: Problems with some essay topics
  5. Textbook chapter 3 p. 69: read the first paragraph of the model essay “Friends.com”.
  6. Read p. 70 C “Essay structure”
  7. Read p. 71 D “Topics
  8. P. 72 “Your Turn”: choose a topic from the list (or decide your own topic)
  9. P. 73 Venn diagrams for brainstorm ideas.
  10. P. 76 D Organizing a comparison-contrast essay
  11. p. 79 F “Language for comparing and contrasting” (for your reference).

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AW1: week 12, July 7th, 2017

Homework

  1. Check your email after the weekend. I will send you my corrections and comments by email attachment.
  2. Read my attachment, review your notes from Friday’s class.
  3. Re-write your draft (this will be Essay2_Draft2).
  4. Print out and bring to class.
  5. Finish writing up the Facebook claim and counter-claims (if you did not finish in class).

Today’s class

  1. Worksheet on claims and counter-claims (download it here: AW1_Lesson5_worksheet
  2. Worksheet on Facebook’s drone plan  (download it here: Four billion people on the earth have no internet
  3. A claim should be
    1. debatable, controversial, arguable
    2. provable (i.e. there should be evidence to support it)
  4. An argument must include at least one counter-claim.
  5. Textbook p. 60 Hedging
    1. Avoid sweeping statements (which cannot be proved) such as
      1. (All) student put off till tomorrow what they should do today.
      2. This solution will help everyone.
    2. P. 61 Practice 12
    3. P. 62 Practice 13 (on looseleaf)
    4. P. 63 Practice 14
    5. P. 63 Practice 15 (on looseleaf)
  6. Write up a claim and counter-claim (at least1) for the Facebook article. Your claim should begin, “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg …. ”
    1. If possible, include a refutation for the counter-claim.

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AW1: week 11, June 30th, 2017

Homework

  • Essay #2 draft1: write it, email it to me by Thursday noon, print it out, bring it to class.
    • Consider changing your topic to one for which you can conduct original research:
      • the high cost of school fees
      • the high cost of textbooks
      • too little time between classes
      • the number of classes and credits required to graduate
      • quality of food in the cafeteria
      • access to professors
      • some other problem or complaint that many students have.
  • Finish your mascot questions and bring to class.

Today’s class

  1. Textbook p. 50 Practice 5,
  2. p. 51 Practice 6.
  3. Write the introduction and conclusion for your essay #2.
  4. Three types of arguments. essay #2 will require you to make arguments of types 2 and 3.
    1. argument of fact
    2. argument of judgment
    3. argument of policy
  5. Mascot questions.  Choose a mascot – your university’s one, or a sport team’s or your hometown’s.
    1. How do you feel about it?
    2. Do you like it? Why (not)?
    3. How was the mascot chosen?
    4. If you could create or choose a new mascot, what would it be?
    5. Why would you choose it?

 

 


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AW1, Week 10, June 23rd, 2017

Homework

  • Write the outline for your Essay #2 Problem-Solution (see p 52 in the textbook for an example outline).

Today’s class

  1. Review of Queenie’s claim.
    1. You must only claim what you can support with evidence.
    2. You do not have evidence that Queenie killed Arthur so you cannot, must not claim this. You may suspect it, but without evidence you cannot claim it.
    3. However, there is evidence that Queenie is lying.  In other words, the evidence does not support her claim.
  2. Textbook p. 44 Practice 1. #2, 3, 4 and #7 on looseleaf.

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AW1, Week 9, June 16th, 2017

Homework

  1. Finish writing up the claim, evidence, reasons and your counterclaim in paragraph format (if you did not finish in class)
  2. Read the model essay for chapter 2 of the textbook
  3. Choose a topic for Essay #2 from the list on page 46, or choose your own topic.
    1. Begin freewriting and/or brainstorming ideas for your essay.
  4. I want to give all students a chance to read your classmates’ essays. I will make copies of all this class’s Essay #1.
    1. If you do not want your essay to be shown to other students, please let me know by email as soon as possible.
    2. If you agree to share your essay, but do not want your name to be appear, please let me know by email as soon as possible.

Today’s class

  1. Slip or Trip?
    1. Queenie claims Arthur died after falling down the stairs and hitting his head.
    2. List the evidence that supports and does not support her claim.
    3. Give reasons for each piece of evidence: explain why the evidence is important, how it supports or does not support the claim.
    4. Give your claim for what happened, with supporting evidence and reasons.
      1. This is called a counterclaim  (sometimes also called a rebuttal).
  2. Textbook chapter 2,
    1. page 42 (write your answers onlooseleaf)
    2. read pages 43-46 and do as many of the exericses as you can.
  3. Ask your questions about Essay #1.

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