Academic Writing II – week 11, December 21st, 2012

Homework (for Jan. 11th):

  1. Write a response to
    1. a poem
    2. a novel
    3. a non-fiction book
    4. a movie
    5. a song
    6. a newspaper or magazine article
  2. Include several paraphrases and direct quotes from the original source.
  3. This assignment is due January 11th. Print it out and bring it to class.
  4. If you were absent today, do the classwork and it email it to me as soon as possible. Then do the homework and bring it to class January 11th.

Today’s class:

  1. I returned students’ freewriting from last week (see here)
  2. In random groups, read each others’ freewriting and comment on it.
  3. We read the textbook sections on paraphrasing and direct quoting and citations, page 118, 120, 121 and 122.
  4. Read the Gary North essay “If computers do the thinking” (PDF: DGN_If-computers-do-the-thinking), and paraphrase one sentence, and directly quote another sentence, using the MLA style as described in the textbook.

I wish you all a happy, peaceful and relaxing holiday.

CIMG1144

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Academic Writing II – week 10, December 14th, 2012

Homework:

Read the article on Julie the jazz singer by Mike Rogers (you can read it online here and also see her music video), and also read the student-written responses to books and movies (PDF: click to download- Reactions_to_literature), then answer these questions in writing, and bring your answers to class next week (no need to email me):

  1. Which article did you enjoy reading the most? Why?
  2. Which parts and/or sentences of the article did you particularly like or remember?
  3. Which article did you not enjoy reading? Why?
  4. What makes a good response article/essay?
  5. (If you were absent today, do the writing exercises below and email them to me by Wednesday midnight.)

Today’s class:

  • I gave back the persuasive essays and spoke to each student about it.
  • We read the grey areas of Unit 5 in the textbook, about writing a response essay.
  • Free-writing (15 minutes) about any book, movie, concert, exhibition, painting, dance, event, etc. that you saw, read, heard or experienced and that you have strong feelings about. Do this writing at home if you were absent to day, and email it to me by Wednesday midnight.
  • Editing: read over your free-writing. Look at it critically. Check it for errors, etc.
  • Free-writing (10 minutes, private writing). Write about anything you want, but try and write some kind of truth.

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Academic Writing II – week 9, December 7th, 2012

Homework:

  1. Read the essay by Ayn Rand on the death of Marilyn Monroe (you can read it online here; can you find a Japanese translation of it?)

    Marilyn Monroe
    Cover of Marilyn Monroe
  2. Read the article on writing a term paper by Gary North (you can read it online here).
  3. Answer these questions for each essay, and send the answers to me by email by Wednesday midnight.The subject of the email is “AW2 Dec 7 Homework Name”.
    1. Did this essay persuade you? Do you agree with it?
    2. Why do you feel it is persuasive?
    3. Which sentences impressed you? Why?
    4. Comments, questions, other.
  4. (Option) Read the article by Gary North on writing a book report. It contains useful information for your next assignment. (You can read it online here).
Gary North speaking at the Mises Institute aft...
Gary North speaking at the Mises Institute after receiving the Institute’s Rothbard Medal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s class

  1. A couple of students gave me their “Persuasive Essay” today. I will not accept any more persuasive essays.
  2. I made some general comments about essay writing, using students’ “persuasive essay” as examples.
  3. Answered the questions in the textbook, chapter 5, page 112.
  4. Answered these questions about the article “The End of Privacy”, pp 159-161. (You can read the original article online here: http://penenberg.com/story-archive/the-end-of-privacy/
    1. Why did Penenberg write this article?
      1. He had lost some of his personal information
      2. He wanted to prove that people are in danger
      3. Somebody paid him to find some information.
    2. Who is Dan Cohn? What is his job, and what company does he work for? Why did he look for information about Penenberg?
    3. How much information did Cohn have about Penenberg before his investigation?
    4. Did Cohn break any laws?
    5. What does Penenberg hope readers will do or believe after they have read his article?

Students’ answers:

  1. (1) For “the death of Marilyn Monroe”1. Yes. I agree with this essay.
    2. Saying what I think freely does someone harm. We should think around us.
    3. “That hatred of values has always existed in some people, in any age or culture. But a hundred years ago, the would have been expected to hide it. Today, it is all around us; it is the style and fashion of our century. ”
    Because, various feelings ( especially something bad ) are open to us. The phrase persuaded me so much.
    4. How we can feel other’s feelings? Only saying? I also think by eyes.(2) For “the article on writing a term paper”1. Yes.
    2. I always write essay making only one draft. However, this article says writing essay needs three drafts at least. It is very surprising.
    3. “If your mother has time to read your paper to you, have her do this. Print out two copies: one for her and one for you. She reads; you mark your copy. When your words sounds lumpy, mark them. When they sound confused, mark them. This is a kind of real-world technique.”
    Because, we can’t think of asking someone to read my second draft. I can revise my fault. It is good thing.
    4. We should take time to write essay.

Continue reading Academic Writing II – week 9, December 7th, 2012


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Academic Writing II – week 8, November 30th, 2012

British Club in Kathar (In Orwell's time it co...
British Club in Kathar (In Orwell’s time it consisted of only the ground floor) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Homework:

  • Read the magazine article in the textbook, “The End of Privacy” pp 159-161.
  • Read the sample student essay in chapter 5, pp 112-114.
  • (If you did not give me your persuasive essay on Friday Nov. 30th, email me your essay as soon as possible.)

Today’s class:

  1. What are the good points of a good essay? List these in order of importance:
    1. spelling
    2. grammar
    3. examples (facts, figures)
    4. format
    5. organization/structure
    6. humour
    7. logic
    8. “hook”
    9. addressing the reader (“you”)
    10. other _____________
  2. George Orwell‘s “5 Rules for Effective Writing” can be found here.
  3. Read the 2 essays by polyglot Benny Lewis and answer these 4 questions for BOTH essays. The first essay is How to Make Time if You Are Busy (click the link to read the article online). The second essay is How to Speak a Language Pretty Well, Starting from Scratch, in just Two Months. (I also offered a third essay, “The ONE thing that will ultimately lead to success” by the same author; reading this is optional.)
    1.  Did this essay persuade you? Do you agree with it?
    2. Why do you feel it is persuasive?
    3. Which sentences impressed you? Why?
    4. Comments, questions, other.

 

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Academic Writing II – week 7, November 16th, 2012

Homework:

Finish your final draft of your 2nd essay, the persuasive essay, and bring it to class on Friday November 30th (there is no class next Friday, Nov. 23rd). Write or type your essay using double space, so as to allow room for others to leave comments.

Today’s class

Continue writing and editing your draft for your persuasive essay. Writing and editing should not be done at the same time; Ayn Rand wrote that these two activities are mutually incompatible (see “The Art of Non-Fiction“). Find someone you trust to read and give you feedback on your drafts before you write your final one.

Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I spoke with all students present today and discussed their compare and contrast essay.

Some general points:

  • The best essays gave the reader some new, fresh or interesting information. E.g. some names (e.g. “Benezet“), figures (e.g. the area of Kansai University), or some unique personal experience, such as learning math again as an adult.
  • Many essays, unfortunately, did not tell the reader anything new, but repeated tired old knowledge that most readers already knew. Give the reader something new, something fresh, something unique, something original, something interesting. Please!
  • All essays were well written in terms of formatting, and only a few had grammar or syntax or vocabulary problems that interfered with comprehension.
  • I did not correct minor errors of grammar, vocab and syntax, unless they interfered with comprehension.
  • Many essay titles were rather vague: you want to tell the reader quickly what your essay will be about. The title is a good way to do that. A title like “Universities” is too broad and does not tell the reader what to expect.

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Academic Writing II – week 6, November 9th, 2012

  1. Read your essay aloud to yourself
  2. Random groups of 4/6: read each others’ essays & comment
  3. Freewriting#1:
    1. makeup availability;
    2. What makes a “good” essay”
    3. How could you improve your essay?
    4. Was it useful to read others essays? Why/why not?
    5. Did you like to read comments on your essay? What kind of comments were most useful?
  4. A bit of research might be needed to improve your essay.
  5. Textbook ch 4 p. 94 how to choose a topic
  6. P. 95 choose a topic: make your own list; compare lists with your neighbours.
  7. Homework:
    1. If you typed your essay, email it to me.
    2. Read sample essay in textbook pp91-2
    3. Make a short list of topics for your next essay (persuasive essay).


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Academic Writing II – week 5, November 2nd, 2012

Class cancelled

Sorry, guys and gals. Today’s class cancelled, due to

  • typhoon
  • kidnapped by aliens from Jupiter
  • the Black Death
  • duties at my home school

Due today: your comparison-contrast essay.

  • In small groups, you will read each others’ essays and comment on them.
  • Each group will choose 1 or 2 essays which they think are good.
  • Free-writing on the experience of writing this essay over the past month.

Homework:

  • Read chapter 4, especially the sample essay on pages 91-2.
  • (Optional) If you typed your essay, please send it to me by email.

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Academic Writing II – week 4, October 26th, 2012

Homework (for Nov. 2nd):

Write your final version of your comparison-contrast essay. Check

  • organization
  • formatting
  • spelling.

Bring your final version to class (Nov. 2nd). You may type it or write it by hand, but remember, it will be read by other students.

Today, we

  1. re-read and finished off our first drafts
  2. got into random groups and read each others’ drafts and gave comments and questions (either orally or in writing)
  3. after receiving group feedback, we re-wrote or edited our first drafts.
  4. We wrote a short comment about today’s class.
Compare and contrast Venn diagram from Custom-Essay.com
Image from http://www.custom-essay.com/tag/compare-and-contrast-essay/

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Academic Writing II – week 3, October 19th, 2012

It’s just a first draft
  1. Freewriting 1: 5 mins
  2. Freewriting 2: same but for a neighbour: edit your freewriting #1 to create a piece of writing that you would be happy to let your neighbour in class read (or write something completely new, or mix the two, it’s up to you)
  3. Freewriting 3: same but for whole class – edit your freewriting #2 (if necessary, if you want to) to create a piece of writing that could be read by the whole class.
  4. Freewriting 4: how did your writing change? Did it change? Which was easier to write? Which was most interesting to read?
  5. Get back  your last week’s papers
  6. Random groups of 5-6 students: share your list of possible topics, then say which one you chose & why. Make suggestions, ask questions, give feedback.
  7. Changed your mind about topic? If so, change it now.
  8. Each person told the whole class about their topic ( title only, not reasons)
  9. Freewriting 5: about today’s class.
  10. Hmwk:Comparison/contrast essay draft #1 – don’t worry about format, or grammar, or spelling. These can be dealt with later.
    1. I just found this short essay comparing private and public universities in Egypt. It’s not a great example (I’m sure you can write something better), but it might give you some ideas.
  11. Schedule for this semester:
    1. Nov 2 – compare/contrast due
    2. Nov 30 – persuasive essay due
    3. Jan 11 – “responding to a reading” due.
First draft - a handwritten example
First draft
Hemingway quote: "The first draft of everything is shit."
Hemingway quote: “The first draft of everything is shit.”

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website for students of Sheffner's Academic Writing class at Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan.