All posts by Sheffner

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

AW2: WEEK 10, DECEMBER 15TH, 2017

Homework

Essay #5 (Response essay) draft #2:  Response + evaluation / + recommendation

(If you want my comments to your draft #1, please ask me when you email it to me.)

Today’s class

  1. For reference:
    1. Sample annotated response essay (download it here:S ample Response Essay annotated
    2. How I will grade your essays from now on: download it here (1 page) Academic Writing 2Rubric
  2. Individual conferencing

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AW2: WEEK 9, DECEMBER 8TH, 2017

Homework

  • Write essay #5, draft #1 – personal response essay (no evaluation)
    • You can use the essays in the Appendix of the textbook (about homework and video games), or any book, article, essay, movie, etc (in English or in Japanese) that you have strong feelings about.
    • The purpose is to inform readers about the work (book, article, essay, etc) and to tell them your response to it, and why you feel that way.
    • In this first draft, you are not trying to make the reader agree with you.

Today’s class

  1. Parallelisms (download the worksheet here: On parallelism )
  2. Chapter 5 textbook p. 114 Practice 1, #1, #2, #5, #6.
  3. Two kinds of response essay:
    1. Personal response (no evaluation, no recommendation)
    2. Response + evaluation / + recommendation
  4. Annotated student essay – for your reference (this is not a response essay).  Download it here: Annotated_Student_Research_Paper_MLA
    1. Notice the in-text citations and the bibliography and the formatting.
  5. Sample response essay (no evaluation or recommendation). Download it here: Sample Essay 5 – 1 Founainhead
    1. Make sure you tell the reader the name of your original article or book or whatever, in the first paragraph.
    2. Summarize truthfully, accurately and briefly, the original.
    3. Give your response (no evaluation, no recommendation).

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AW2: WEEK 8, December 1st, 2017

Homework

Read the sample essay on pp 113-4 and the “Privacy” essay in the Appendix, pp. 159-161.

(Send me your essay #4 final draft, if you have not already done so.)

Today’s class

  1. To think like a Westerner, practice asking (and answering) yourself “why?”
  2. Topic sentence worksheet – rewrite
  3. Connected sentence-writing
    1. Analysis
  4. Essay #5 – Response essay – is due Dec. 22nd.
  5. Essay #6 – Timed essays – are to be done in class in January
  6. To pass this class, you must complete 3 essays this semester of  a satisfactory quality.
  7. Read the first paragraph of the sample essay on p. 113
  8. Write a similar paragraph in response to today’s reading about GMOs, including the “Works cited”.

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AW2: week 7, November 24th, 2017

Homework

  • Complete your final draft  (final version) of your Essay #4 and email it to me, if you have not already done so, or if you did not give it to me in class on Friday.
  • Email me by Monday 23:59  your preference regarding the class copy of Essay #4 (only if you have not already done so).
    • Do you give your permission for your essay to be copied for the class collection?
      • If yes, are you OK with your name being published or not?
    • Do you want a copy of the class collection of Essay #4?

Today’s class

  1. Principles and values:
    1. When persuading, we tend to argue from our own values
    2. But if the other party does not share those values, our efforts will fail.
    3. Therefore, it is useful and important to know and understand other people’s values in order to more successfully persuade them.
  2. Grammar worksheets:
    1. Topic sentences / thesis statements (practice)
    2. Sentence fragments
    3. Reduce wordiness
    4. Parallel structures
    5. Dangling modifiers
  3. 1-to-1 conferencing

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AW2: week 6, November 17th, 2017

Homework

Write your final draft for your Essay #4 (Persuasive Essay) and either email it to me, or bring it to next week’s class.

Today’s class

  • mini-lecture on writing persuasive essays in English
    1. Title should be persuasive –
      1. “Think seriously about food self-sufficiency” is not persuasive.
      2. “Japan Must Be Self-Sufficient in Food!” is a good title:
        1. The topic is clear
        2. The author’s position is also clear.
    2. You need counter-arguments
      1. to show that you know and understand the issue well
      2. to show that you have considered other points of view, and therefore your essay is fair
      3. Without counter-arguments, your essay is one-sided
        1. One-sided arguments appear
          1. ignorant
          2. biased (similar to propaganda)
      4. Your topic and position AND REASONS must appear in the first (introductory) paragraph – this is your thesis statement: E.g. “People should do xxxx because (reason 1), (reason 2) and (reason 3).”
        1. E.g. “People should read paperbacks instead of  e-books because they are lighter, you can see how much you have read, and they do not tire your eyes or affect your sleep.”
    3. Many students’ essays are not persuasive because they are arguing from Japanese principles or Japanese values. People who do not have the same values will not be persuaded. More next week.
    4. On a more general level, not only to write persuasive essays in English, but also as part of your general education, I suggest you educate yourself about essential ideas or principles of today’s industrialized  societies (including Japan):
      1. the free market
      2. contract law
      3. property rights
      4. individual rights
      5. individualism
      6. capitalism
  • 1-to-1 conferencing.
  • Request for volunteers to read my simplified story and give me feedback. BONUS – you can use this material for your next essay #5 “Response to a Text”.
    • If you volunteer, please read one of the chapters and underline or somehow mark the words or phrases  or sentences you don’t understand or need to use a dictionary for. Then give me back the chapter next class. Thank you in advance.
  • BONUS: Tutorial video on how to use MSWord to create references and a bibliography:
  • (Click here for text explanation)

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AW2: week 5, November 10th, 2017

Homework

  • Write draft #4
    • re-write your draft #3 after getting my comments and corrections.
  • Email me your draft #3 (if you have not already done so)
  • Email me your draft #4 or bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Some general comments about your essays
    1. You need to define your terms
    2. Every claim needs evidence (and if necessary, citations/references)
    3. Warrants: you need to explain how and why your evidence supports your claim or thesis.
  2. Option:  I am writing a simplified version of a very famous and fascinating story that teaches basic ideas about Western (especially American) culture and society, and I am looking for volunteers to give me some feedback about my writing. So far I have written two chapters.

    1. Here’s some info on the original book on Wikipedia   (and in Japanese here)
  •  

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AW2: week 4, October 27th, 2017

Next class will be Nov. 10th (no class Nov. 3rd) and the classroom will be 69.

Homework

Write draft #3 of your persuasive essay (essay #4). You may choose either of the two view-points you chose for drafts #1 and #2. You may change subject if you wish. However, please remember

  • to make your subject controversial
  • to define your terms
  • to support your claims with evidence (if necessary, provide a reference for your source)
  • that your personal opinion alone is not an argument – you must support it with evidence and explain how the evidence supports your claim.
  • to let me know  which kind of feedback method you prefer me to use for you personally in future.

Today’s class

  1. We have been asked to change classrooms: from November 10th our classroom will be 69, which I believe is in building #6.
  2. General comments for all students:
    1. Define your terms – you must define the meaning of any and all key words you use in your essay.
      1. E.g. one essay on nuclear power included many mentions of “eco-friendly power generation”. The essay must therefore include a clear definition of the meaning of “eco-friendly power generation”. This definition must come near the beginning of the essay.
  3. I have used 2 different ways to give feedback:
    1. comments scribbled directly on student papers, explained orally in 1-to-1 conferences in class time
      1. the disadvantage of this is that I cannot always speak to every student within the 90 minutes, and
      2. students may not understand either my spoken explanations or my written comments
    2. Therefore I have preferred to use a computer program which lets me write my comments as well as categorize errors.
      1. The disadvantages of this method is that
        1. the software is designed to correct only grammatical mistakes, but most student difficulties are in the areas of logic and rhetoric, and
        2. because the software is designed to correct grammatical mistakes, the student’s paper becomes covered with  lots of  red highlighting, which may discourage students when in fact most of the grammatical mistakes are minor and unimportant for communication.
  4. Today I proposed a third method which I call “Black-Blue-Red” where
    • Black is student’s original writing
    • Blue is instructor’s version
    • Red is instructor’s comments/explanations

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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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