Academic Writing II – week 1, October 4th, 2013

Welcome to Sheffner’s Academic Writing II. Did you have a good vacation?
I had a very good vacation. I went back to England for the first time in 13 years, met my parents and my brother and sister and their families. (Click this link to read more).

First, here’s the schedule for this semester.

  1. October 4th
  2. October 11th
  3. October 18th
  4. October 25th – Essay #1 due
  5. November 1st (cancelled 休講)
  6. November 8th
  7. November 15th
  8. November 22nd
  9. November 29th – Essay #2 due
  10. December 6th
  11. December 13th
  12. December 20th
  13. January 10th
  14. January 11th (makeup 補講)
  15. January 17th – Essay #3 due
  16. January 24th – All essays and freewriting due

Homework:

Read the model essay in Unit 4 of the textbook and answer these questions:

  1. What is the purpose of this essay? (Choose from the list below.)
  2. What is the purpose of each paragraph? Choose from the list below:
    1. describing
    2. explaining
    3. persuading
    4. reporting
    5. telling someone how to do something
    6. explaining the rules of something

Today’s class

  1. Free writing about your summer vacation (10 minutes)
  2. Editing your free writing (about 5 minutes)
  3. Differences between formal, written, academic language and informal, spoken and non-academic language.
    1. Written language
      1. Time-delayed
      2. tends to be formal
      3. avoids colloquial (conversational) style
      4. avoids slang
      5. avoids using personal pronouns (we, I, you, etc)
      6. avoids starting sentences with conjunctions
      7. tries to be as precise and accurate as possible
      8. tries to be as concise as possible (using as few words as possible)
    2. Spoken language
      1. “live”, in real time
      2. tends to be informal
      3. often conversational
      4. slang is ok
      5. uses personal pronouns a lot
      6. uses conjunctions a lot, even at the beginning of sentences
      7. precision and accuracy are not always high priorities
      8. conciseness is not always a priority
    3. Then we looked at the first essay in the textbook (p. 4-5) and asked, What are its charactersitics as formal, written, academic language?
    4. Answers:
      1. organization
      2. paragraphs
      3. format (indentation, margins, name of writer, class, teacher and date at the top of the first page)
      4. title
    5. Then we re-wrote our free writing to make it more academic and formal.
    6. We looked at the first 4 essays in the textbook and asked, What is the purpose of each essay? What is the writer doing in each essay?
      1. describing
      2. explaining
      3. persuading
      4. reporting
      5. telling someone how to do something
      6. explaining the rules of something

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