All posts by Sheffner

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

AW2: Week 10, December 14th, 2018

Homework

  • Choose a controversial topic and find two articles on this topic with opposing or different points of view: one article “for” and one “against”. (The original articles may be in either English or Japanese, but of course your response must be in English).
  • summarize in one paragraph the main arguments in each article.
  • DO NOT WRITE YOUR OPINION.
  • List the articles you used in your “works cited” list, using the appropriate MLA format
  • Email it to me by Friday Dec. 21st.
  • Print it out and bring it to class Friday Dec. 21st
  • (Dec. 21st will be the last class of 2018.)

Today’s class

Announcement

I added a new page: Class Collections. You can download the Essay#4 class collection PDF from here: https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/class-collections/


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AW2: Week 9, December 7th, 2018

Announcement

Essay #4 Class Collection is now ready and can be downloaded here: 

Thank you to all those students who graciously gave permission for their essay to appear. (Note: this document is password-protected which limits printing and changes made to the document.)

Homework

  • Write draft 1 (typed) of your response essay (if you have already shown me your typed complete essay, then this will be draft 2)
  • email it to me by next Friday Dec. 14th
  • Print it out and bring to class Dec. 14th.

Today’s class

  1. 1-to-1 conferencing
  2. Textbook:
    1. p. 116 practice 3
    2. p. 120 practice 5
    3. p. 121 practice 6
    4. p. 123 practice 7
    5. Read the article “Don’t Shoot” (pp. 162-3)
    6. p. 115 practice 2


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AW2: WEEK 8, NOVEMBER 30TH, 2018

Homework

  • Re-write your response to something you feel strongly about. Or you may write a new one on a different topic.
    • Be sure to include the “work cited” information in the correct format. See the Overview here: bit.ly/OWL_MLA4aw2

Today’s class

  1. An overview of the MLA style for citations. Today’s handout was taken from this website:  bit.ly/OWL_MLA4aw2
  2. Read the article about homework on pages164-5 of the textbook.
  3. Copy a sample response-essay introductory paragraph.
    1. The introductory paragraph must include
      1. a summary of the original source (article, song, movie, book, etc)
      2. an initial reference to the original source
      3. a short statement of your feelings about it.


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AW2: WEEK 7, NOVEMBER 16TH, 2018

Homework

Updated Nov. 17th.

  • Write a review (like an Amazon review) of a book, story, movie, song or article that you feel strongly about (either you love it or you hate it).
    • This is a draft, so you do not need to write a complete 5-paragraph essay
    • It can be typed or hand-written.
    • Bring it to class next time (Friday, Nov. 30th – no class next week).
    • Do not email it to me.
    • Include:
      • the title or name of the original source
      • a short summary of the contents
      • your opinion or recommendation with your reasons
      • “Work cited”, properly formatted in the MLA style (see here for an overview in English)
    • Videos in Japanese on how to use MSWord’s bibliography and citation functions:  https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/academic-writing-resources/
  • Update: Email me your preferences about the Essay #4 Class Collection (see below).
  • Update: Option: email me your answers to the questions in today’s class (see below). I do not take attendance, but I do count the work you hand in.

Today’s class

  1. Complete the following sentences:
    1. The title of your persuasive essay should_________________________
    2. In academic essays, avoid rh________ q__________s
    3. All claims must be ______________  by ______________
    4. If you refer to a survey, article, institution, figure or date, you must ____________ the r____________ to the original s____________ .
    5. All ref______________ must be listed in your b__________________y at the end of your essay, and formatted according to the _______ style.
  2. Please select your option and complete the following statements (let me know by email if you did not tell me in class):
    1. I want / do not want a digital copy of the class collection of Essay #4
    2. I agree / do not agree to allow my essay #4 to appear in that collection.
    3. I agree / do not agree to allow my name to appear on my essay.
    4. I agree / do not agree to allow my essays written in Academic Writing II, 2018 to be used by Mr. Sheffner in the future, including for publication.
  3. Read the “Work Cited” at the end of the sample essay in the textbook (p. 114).
    1. Write similar “works cited” for the articles 2 and 3 in the textbook, pp. 162 and 164, using the information given on those pages.
  4. Skim through the sample essay on p. 113-4, and copy out the 4 sentences that refer to the original article (the one listed in the “works cited” section on p. 114). (For more examples, see here: http://bit.ly/OWLMLAin-text )


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AW2: WEEK 6, NOVEMBER 9th, 2018

Homework

None, unless you have not yet emailed me your draft #3 (final) for essay #4.

Today’s class

  1. Write a suitable title for a PERSUASIVE essay.
  2. Do not use rhetorical questions in academic essays.
  3. In academic writing, all claims must be supported by evidence.
    1. If you quote or refer to an article or survey or document or report, you must reference it.
      1. Use the MLA style.
  4. Academic essays require critical and original thinking.
    1. “men must think long, and be sure that they have thought in earnest, before they are justified in saying that their opinions are the results of their own thoughts.”
      Excerpt From: “Phineas Finn” by Anthony Trollope.
  5. Textbook p. 101 Section F and Practice 6
  6. Exchange your essay #4 with a classmate and give feedback using the peer feedback form on p. 105.


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AW2: WEEK 5, November 2nd, 2018

Homework

  • After receiving my comments and corrections, write draft #3 of your persuasive essay.
  • Bring a hard copy (typed or hand-written) to class next Friday, and
  • email me a digital version by next Friday.
  • Format for your email AND your digital draft: AW2 Essay4 draft3 Name

Today’s class

  1. Worksheet 1: combining sentences
    1. The claim and the evidence should be in the same sentence.
  2. Worksheet 2: Evidence and Warrants
    1. You must provide evidence for any claim made in an academic essay.
    2. A claim without evidence is simply a personal opinion and has no weight.
  3. Worksheet 3: weak arguments
    1. Personal opinions are not arguments unless supported by evidence.
    2. Citations or references are necessary evidence – where did you get this information from? You must cite it.
    3. Warrants are very often general principles. You need to know the general principles on which your society is based. Today we looked at the right to life and how this is related to arguments concerning the legalization of certain drugs and the private ownership of firearms.


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AW2: WEEK 4, OCTOBER 26TH, 2018

Homework

  • After receiving my comments and corrections, write draft #2 of your persuasive essay. If you wish, you may change topics.
  • Bring a hard copy (typed or hand-written) to class next Friday, and
  • email me a digital version by next Friday.
  • Format for your email AND your digital draft: AW2 Essay4 draft1 Name

Today’s class

  1. More practice writing arguments and counter-arguments (for and against)
  2. Argument = Claim (must be arguable), evidence and warrant.
  3. Sentence correction and practice identifying claims, evidence and warrants
  4. Textbook p. 100 Practice 5: practice writing arguments and counter-arguments in one sentence.

 

 


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AW2: WEEK 3, OCTOBER 19TH, 2018

Homework

Write the first draft of your persuasive essay.

  • digital copy by email by Friday Oct. 26th
    • file name and email subject: AW2 Essay4 draft1 Name
  • hard copy, either typed or hand-written, to class Friday Oct. 26th

Today’s class

  1. Academic writing < liberal arts < trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric)
  2. Liberal arts = essential education for free people (not slaves)
  3. Textbook p. 99 E
  4. Choose one of the topics you used for homework, and write a paragraph with the format counter-argument, argument, support.
  5. Argument
    1. Claim (must be arguable)
    2. Evidence
    3. Warrant (often uses a general rule or principle)
  6. Write an outline for your essay #4 (Persuasive)
  7. Textbook p. 96 Practice 3
    1. From sentences a and b, choose the one which is arguable.
    2. For questions 2 and 3, label the parts of the thesis statement as “claim” and “evidence”.
  8. Textbook p. 101: different kinds of support
    1. Which kind(s) do you think are most suitable for an academic essay? Why?


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AW2: WEEK 2, OCTOBER 12TH, 2018

Homework

  • Textbook p. 95 “Your Turn”: write 3 arguments FOR and 3 arguments AGAINST the 5 topics you did not write about in class.

Today’s class

  1. 3 questions:
    1. Write an example of a big personal decision.
    2. Would you consult with anyone before you decide? Why (not)?
    3. What was the purpose of Plato’s “akademia”?
  2. Sentence correction
  3. Difference between examples and definitions, with counter-examples:
    1. What is bravery?
      1. Fighting someone bigger than you
        1. Counter-example: Jumping into a river to save a drowning child is brave but does not involve fighting anyone.
      2. the power to cause some action
        1. Counter-example:  Turning on the engine of a car is “the power to cause action”, but is that bravery?
      3. deciding what is best and doing it
        1. Counter-example:  When your pen runs out of ink, you decide what is best and do it, but is that bravery?
  4. Textbook p. 93 Practice 1 – 1, 2, 3 & 5
  5. p. 95 “Your Turn” – choose one topic and write 3 arguments FOR and 3 arguments AGAINST (= counter-arguments)


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AW2: Week 1, October 5th, 2018

Homework

Read the sample essay in the textbook pp 91-2. The theme is decline birth-rate. Don’t read uncritically! Don’t drink the Koolaid! Ask yourself: “Is this really a problem? What is the problem, exactly?”

Today’s class

  1. Quiz about British universities
  2. Quick review of key points about academic writing
    1. History:
      1. Plato’s “akademia“: not a school as we understand it today, but rather a community of inquiry, discussing big questions and sharpening the minds of the participants through discussion and conversation.
      2. The Scientific Revolution: e.g. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton – questioning the accepted knowledge (what “everyone knows”), searching for objective evidence (what they can sense with their own senses and understand with their own minds)
      3. The trivium: grammar, logic, rhetoric – was the fundamental education used in the Middle Ages in Europe.
    2. THEREFORE, when you write your essay,
    3. Start with a question, e.g. “What is a good life? What is a good person?”  or question what everybody knows:  “Is the earth REALLY at the centre of the universe, AS EVERYONE BELIEVES? Is separating the garbage REALLY a good idea? Is homework REALLY beneficial?
    4. Check / re-confirm your understanding of key words (i.e. find objective meaning, not relying on your own “image” of the word). E.g., to teach “Academic Writing” I need to first clearly understand the meaning of “academic”: where does this word come from? What is the original meaning? Use a good English-English dictionary to help you learn the history of a word and the root meaning.
  3. “Dragons and Giants” (from “Frog and Toad Together”).
    1. Summarize the story: what did they do and who did they meet?
    2. Answer and discuss the discussion questions on the worksheet.

 


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