Category Archives: Academic Writing II

Academic Writing II – week 9, November 29th, 2013


Today’s class:

  • Rewrite your response with all sentences written on a new line. Tear it up so each sentence is on a separate piece of paper. Give it to a classmate and see if they can put it back in the original order. (Best done in pairs)
  • Write a new response to something you hate or strongly dislike: write the opposite of what you wrote before, so if you wrote about something you liked, write now about something you hate, and vice-versa).  (can be a performer, or other person), but don’t mention the person thing by name. Give it to a classmate and see if they can guess the work of art or artist.
  • Write a response to a fictional work of art or artist/performer/athlete or sports team that you created/invented.


Academic Writing II – week 8, November 22nd, 2013


  1. Read the sample essay “The government can’t be trusted with the death penalty” (click the link to read it online).
    1. Do you agree with the writer?
    2. Why or why not?
  2. Re-write your #1 essay (the persuasive one I returned to you today). You have two weeks for this assignment. Ask me in class if you have any questions.

Today’s class:

  1. Textbook p. 112: answer the questions on loose-leaf paper
  2. Textbook p. 114 Practice 1: answer the questions on loose-leaf paper.
  3. Re-write your free-writing #2 from last week by re-arranging the sentences to be as disorderly as possible.
  4. Receive your essay #1 from the instructor.

Academic Writing II – week 7, November 15th, 2013


Read the sample essay in the textbook on pages 113-4.

Today’s class:

  1. Free writing #1: any topic, 5 minutes.
  2. Textbook p. 101 Practice 6
  3. Textbook p. 103-4 Practice  7
  4. Textbook p. 106 Practice 8
  5. Textbook p. 107 Practice 9
  6. Textbook p. 108 Practice 10
  7. Free writing #2: write about a book, song, movie, painting, poem, performance, etc. that you respond strongly to.
  8. Short talk about the history of the academic paper.
  9. Edit your free writing #2 to make it more academic.

Academic Writing II – week 6, November 8th, 2013


None. Today was the deadline for essay #1: problem-solution essay. If you were absent today, email me your essay today or tomorrow. Overdue essays may not receive correction or feedback.

Today’s class:

  1. Read classmates’ essays
  2. Give feedback using the form on p. 105
  3. Write the outline for your essay (see p. 102)
  4. p. 100 Practice 5
  5. p. 101 Practice 6
  6. p. 103-4 Practice 7

Academic Writing II – week 4, October 25th, 2013


Finish writing your persuasive essay, type it and bring it to class next time, November 8th.

Today’s class:

  1. Read the sample essay about the rare New Zealand bird, and notice the structure, especially what is in the conclusion.
  2. How to avoid using personal pronouns (“I, you, he/she/it, we, they” etc) in formal, academic writing.
  3. How the final, silent “e” in English words affects pronunciation of preceding vowels, and how English prevents this influence.
  4. Read your partner’s first draft and comment on it.

Academic Writing II – week 3, October 18th, 2013

Choose a topic for your next essay (read textbook p94 Section D and the model essay on pp 91-2), and write the first draft. Bring it to class next week (October 25). We will read and comment on each others’ drafts. Handwritten is ok at this stage.

today’s class:

  1. we read and analyzed the short model essay (click here to download)
  2. textbook p90: answer questions 1-3 in writing
  3. read and analyze the model essay on pp 91-2
  4. read p 92 section C & p 93 Practice 1

Academic Writing II – week 2, October 11th, 2013

Today’s class:
  1. Returned last week’s  freewriting. Reminder to keep them.
  2. Homework review: what are the main purposes of the first 4 essays in the textbook?  (1st is Explanation, 2nd & 4th are Exposition, all others are Discussions)
  3. H/O: Genres table
    1. What genres did you use in your freewriting last week? (Probably “recount” and “anecdote”.)
    2. Look at essay #2: what type? What purpose? What are the stages? Which paragraph represents stage 1 (phenomenon)? Stage 2?
    3. Look at essay#1: what type? (Read the highlighted sentences in each paragraph, then asked the question.)

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


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