AW2, week 14, January 27th, 2017


  1. Read the article on swine flu (download it here: Swine_Flu_by_Rappoport
  2. Is it an academic essay? Does it have any features of academic writing? If so, which ones? (see below)
  3. Bring your answers to these questions to the next class.
  4. Next week, we will discuss the answers to these questions, and write two timed essays.
  5. Next week’s timed essays will be under test conditions: strict time limit, no dictionaries, no electronic or internet devices. Just pencil and paper and your awesome human brain!

Today’s class

  1. Review of key features of academic writing (see also the  annotated handout “Majority Rule Equals Tyranny”; download it here: Majority Rule Equals Tyranny_annotated
    1. Introduce the topic (plus any necessary background information). If necessary, state your position about the topic.
    2. Define your terms.  E.g.
      1. in an essay about the Electoral College, you will need to define what that is.
      2. in an essay about the division of labour, you will need to define what you mean by that.
      3. in an essay about homework or uniforms, you will need to define “homework” or “uniform”.
      4. By the way, a definition does not have to be the dictionary definition. In an exam situation, you cannot use a dictionary obviously. You must make it clear what your understanding of the term is, that is all.
    3. Use  objective facts to support your essay.
      1. “objective” means other people can check if they are true or not.
      2. “facts” means names, dates, numbers, places.
    4. Conclusion – summarize your arguments and, if you are trying to persuade the reader, give a final appeal.
  2. Timed essay (30 minutes): “Discuss the arguments for and against legalizing marijuana.” Use the handout to help you (download it here: Arguments For and Against Legalizing Marijuana


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