Category Archives: Academic Writing II

AW2: week 14, January 17th, 2020


None, but prepare for next week’s timed essay writing.

You can read some timed essays by AW2 students from 2017 on the download page here:

Today’s class

  1. Textbook p. 136 C
  2. p. 139 E
  3. p. 141 Practice 6
  4. p. 141 B
  5. p. 143 Practice 8
  6. p. 144 Practice 9
  7. p. 145 Practice 10
  8. p. 146 E
  9. p. 147 Practice 11
  10. p. 148 A
  11. p. 151 B

AW2: Week13 January 10th, 2020


None. But email me your Essay 5 if you have not done so already. Also, make sure you have given me your Essay 4 Final version. I will write comments on your Essay 5 and return it to you next week.

Also, please answer the survey here about the Essay 4 Class Collection, if you would like your essay to be included:

Today’s class


  • Jan 10th – chapter 6, timed essays, textbook exercises
  • Jan 17th – in-class timed essays (practice)
  • Jan 24th – in-class timed essays (test: no dictionaries or devices)
  1. Examples from student writing of inappropriate, subjective sentences.
  2. Review: citation examples from Wikipedia
  3. Textbook p. 133
  4. p. 134 questions 1-4
  5. p. 136 C and Practice 1
  6. p. 138 Practice 3
  7. p. 140 A and Practice 5


Update to this website: new download page

Hi! While you students have been enjoying your winter vacation eating too much, sleeping, watching TV, playing games, sleeping and, erm, eating, I’ve been WORKING! 

Yes, I’ve been slaving away for YOU, on this website to improve the quality and make it more user-friendly.

Since April 2019, I uploaded worksheets and other materials I used in class to this website. I’ve collected all these together in one place: the download page which you can access by clicking on the name “DOWNLOADS” on the main menu (see screenshot below; click on the image for a bigger picture).

I’ve included class collections of Essay #4 (Persuasive) and Essay #5 (Response) from previous years. I’ll be uploading a few more class collections over the next few days.

I also cleaned up the “Academic Writing Resources” page and added some useful links to MLA guidelines. Check it out. Most links are to English-language pages, but I would like to add some useful Japanese links, so if you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments, and I may add them to the resources page.

AW2: Week 12, December 20th, 2019


  1. Choose a book, movie or article, fiction or non-fiction, Japanese or English, to respond to (see a list of suggestions below).
  2. Email me your choice.
  3. When I say “OK” (by email), you can start writing your response (Essay 5)
  4. Email me your Essay 5 draft 1 by Jan. 10th 2020.
  5. Print it out and bring it to class Jan. 10th, 2020.

You can use something you have read before,  e.g. Bastiat’s Broken Window story, an essay by George Orwell (I recommend “Politics and the English Language”) or Francis Bacon, “Philosophy: Who Needs It?” or choose something new. 

If you would like something challenging to read, below are some suggestions.

As a model, you can use the textbook essay (p. 113-4 “Model A”) or my Model B  for literary texts (fiction “Response to ‘The Elephant’s Child'”) and non-fiction (“Response to ‘Philosophy: Who Needs It”), which uses a simple 3-part structure: 

  1. Background information about the author (objective information)
  2. Summary of the story or content of the article/essay  (objective information)
    1. (The order of 1 and 2 above can be reversed)
  3. Your evaluation (can include subjective elements but try and keep it as objective as possible; NOT whether you agree or disagree, but whether it is a well-written article/essay/story or not and why).
  4. Works cited:
    1. list all the resources you used, including of course the original.
    2. Use the MLA style. See the Academic Writing Resources page on this website for useful links.
    3. All references must be in Roman characters.
    4. Do NOT translate the names of Japanese sources.
      1. See the “Citations Worksheet” for examples.

Suggested reading (or choose your own) (Updated 8 Jan 2020):

AW2: Makeup class (for week 5, November 1st, 2019)

Today’s class

If you were absent today, read this blog post then do assignments 1.1 and 3.5

  1. Philosophy: Who Needs It? A look at the grammar, logic and rhetoric. (The speech was recorded and you can listen to it here. Ayn Rand starts speaking at 3 minutes 45 seconds.)  I wrote a sample response essay to this speech which you can download here [wpdm_package id=’1903′] [wpdm_package id=’1884′] [wpdm_package id=1861 template=”link-template-calltoaction3.php”] 
    Continue reading AW2: Makeup class (for week 5, November 1st, 2019)

AW2: Week 11, December 13th, 2019


Makeup class Saturday 14 December 2019, 10:30 ~ 12:00, usual room. For those who are unable to attend, I will post an assignment on this blog Saturday 14 December after 6 pm.


Read ONE of the following: 

  1. the paragraphs about George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” (1.1~1.3) OR
  2. the paragraphs about Edward Bernays (2.1~2.5)
  3. You can download the paragraphs here [wpdm_package id=’1874′]
  4. Write two paragraphs responding to 1.1~1.3 or 2.1~2.5.
    1. Your first paragraph should summarize (and explain if necessary) the content (meaning) of the paragraphs 1.1~1.3 or 2.1~2.5
    2. Your second paragraph should evaluate those paragraphs. Do not agree or disagree: evaluate only.

Today’s class

  1. Textbook pp. 112 (answer the questions), 113-114 (sample essay).
  2. In her speech to the graduating students of Westpoint, novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand said that there are 3 important questions in life that we need to answer and that we can only answer with by using philosophy. What are those 3 questions?  [wpdm_package id=’1884′]

AW2: Week 10, December 6th, 2019


Read the following before next Friday for a class discussion:

  1. Philosophy – who needs it?  
  2. Philosophy – who needs it? Japanese translation [wpdm_package id=’1861′]
  3. (Bastiat’s “The Broken Window Fallacy”, if you have not yet done so).
    1. Read about it here in Japanese
    2. Read about it here in English


I’ve reduced the number of essays to read, as I think 3 essays (even if one is in Japanese) is probably too much to ask in one week. If you have already read the “I, Pencil” essay, don’t worry! You can talk about it in class Dec. 13th and read the “Philosophy” essay for next week’s homework.


Makeup class:

  • Date: Saturday, December 14th
  • Time: 2nd period (10:30-12:00)
  • Place: same room as usual (205).

For those who cannot attend, you can do a reading and writing assignment which I will post next Friday.

Today’s class

  1. “a right to…” In English, it means a demand for – a right to a job, for instance, means if you do not have a job, someone must give you one.
  2. an effective advertisement and an effective persuasive essay
    1. both need objective information and both good and bad points
  3. Discussion of “The Broken Window Fallacy”: the original title of this short 1850 essay by Bastiat is “What is Seen and What is Unseen” (Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas)
  4. identifying claims (worksheet): any claim (any statement that seems to be a fact) must be supported by evidence, especially by citations  [wpdm_package id=’1859′]
  5. translating news headlines from Japanese into English (worksheet)

AW2: Week 9, November 29th, 2019


Write your final draft, save it as “AW2 Essay4 Final Lastname” (use the same for the subject of your email) and email it to me by Friday Dec. 6th. No need to print out or bring to class.

Today’s class

  1. Citation MLA style.
    1. Notice how Japanese books and articles are cited (with titles given in Japanese but in Roman characters.)
    2. Notice how articles which have no author (or where the author is unknown) are cited.
    3. worksheet. [wpdm_package id=’1844′] Completed worksheet is here: [wpdm_package id=’1835′]
    4. Notice how citations are done in this model essay (notice how the in-text citations refer to the “works cited” section).  [wpdm_package id=’1824′]
  2. Counter-arguments. Read this extract from a popular Japanese manga. How does this relate to academic essay writing? What did you learn about the importance of counter-arguments from reading this extract?  [wpdm_package id=’1841′]
    1. Successful advertisements and academic essays need objective, factual information (e.g. “1 km from the station” or “5 minutes’ walk from bus-stop”) not subjective impressions such as “convenient” or “close”.
    2. Successful advertisements and academic essays need objective facts about both good and bad points.  These make the advertisement (and essay) more persuasive because they suggest impartiality and let the reader judge whether this is good or bad, positive or negative.
  3. Here is the MLA guideline for a multivolume work (which “Angel Bank” is)  (from the Purdue University  Online Writing Lab).
    1. A Multivolume Work
    2. When citing only one volume of a multivolume work, include the volume number after the work’s title, or after the work’s editor or translator.
      1. Quintilian. Institutio Oratoria. Translated by H. E. Butler, vol. 2, Loeb-Harvard UP, 1980.
  4. Using the biographic information below, write a citation for this manga using the MLA style.
    1.  2009
    2. Kodansha
    3. Angel Bank (but you must write the title in Japanese)
    4. Norifusa Mita
    5. Volume 5

AW2: Week 8, November 22nd, 2019


  • Re-read the essays handed out in class today (you can download them below).
  • Watch the videos about citations and references if you have not yet done so.
  • Re-write your draft #3, save as “AW2 Essay4 Draft4 LastName” (without the ” of course”), and send it to me by email. The email should have the same subject line “AW2 Essay4 Draft4 LastName”.
  • Print it out and bring to class next week.
  • NEW! Checklist for your draft #4:
    • Does your title and thesis statement clearly show your position on the topic?
    • Do you have a clear thesis statement?
    • Have you done some research and found at least two articles or websites – one that supports your position and one that supports the opposite opinion? 
      • Have you listed both articles in your “Works Cited” section and referred to them in the body of your essay (in-text citation)?
      • Have you used the correct (MLA) format for each one? See this model MLA-style essay for examples. [wpdm_package id=’1824′]
    • Have you avoided rhetorical questions? (E.g. “Do you like to read books?”)
    • Have you avoided using subjective expressions? (E.g., “I think the 2020 Olympics will be good for Japan.”
    • Have you included objective facts as evidence to support your claims (position and opinions)?
    • Have you included references for all these pieces of evidence (i.e. have you cited all your sources)?
    • Does your conclusion restate your position and summarize your main points?

Today’s class

  1. Brief discussion of citations and references (see last week’s homework)
  2. Wrong logic [wpdm_package id=’1830′]
  3. In small groups, discuss the key main points of the following essays (click the titles below to download the essay)
    1. Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay [wpdm_package id=’1808′]
    2. 5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper [wpdm_package id=’1810′]
    3. Refutation [wpdm_package id=’1812′]
    4. Usage and Examples of a Rebuttal [wpdm_package id=’1814′]
    5. An Introduction to Academic Writing (essay + discussion questions) [wpdm_package id=’1816′]