Academic Writing II, week 5: October 30th, 2015


Today was the deadline for the essay #4, the Persuasive essay. If you did not hand it in, you need to get it to me PDQ.

  • Read the sample academic reading #2 on the class blog and leave a comment. Do you agree with the writer? Give your reasons.
  • Read the model essay in the textbook Unit 5 pp 113-4.

Today’s class:

  1. Hand in your “Persuasive” essay.
  2. Western civilization went through a historical period called “the Enlightenment”. From Wikipedia: “The Enlightenment, known in French as the ‘’Siècle des Lumières’’ (Century of Enlightenment), and in German as the ‘’Aufklärung’’, was a philosophical movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. The principal goals of Enlightenment thinkers were liberty, progress, reason, tolerance, and ending the abuses of the church and state. In France, the central doctrines of the Lumières were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to the principle of absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church.[3] The Enlightenment was marked by increasing empiricism, scientific rigor, and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy… The Age of Enlightenment was preceded by and closely associated with the scientific revolution. Earlier philosophers whose work influenced the Enlightenment included Francis Bacon, Descartes, Locke, and Spinoza.[6] The major figures of the Enlightenment included Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Immanuel Kant. …The Americans Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson came to Europe during the period and contributed actively to the scientific and political debate, and the ideals of the Enlightenment were incorporated into the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
    1. Did Japan go through a similar period?
    2. One effect of this was the importance given to debate and discussion in order to arrive at the truth.
    3. In order to write a persuasive essay in English, therefore, the writer needs to adopt an oppositional  or discussion style.
      1. This means not giving a one-sided argument, but including both arguments and counter-arguments.
  3. Discuss: automatic Internet filters for pornography.
    1. What do you think?
    2. The main argument in favour of such filters is to protect children.
    3. Read the sample academic reading #3, then summarize the writer’s arguments against such a filter.

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