Category Archives: Academic Writing II

AW2: Week 7, November 15th, 2019

Homework

  1. Re-write draft #2. Save as “AW2 Essay4 Draft3 Lastname”. Email it to me (subject line should be the same) by next Friday. I will email those students whom I did not get a chance to speak to in class today (Nov. 15th).
    1. Print out and bring your draft #3 to the next class.
  2. If you have not yet done so, please read the essay by Bastiat entitled “The Broken Window Fallacy” 
  3. I suggest you read the Japanese explanation first, then the English. Here’s a link to the Japanese one (Wikipedia).
    1. We will discuss this essay in class next week (Nov. 22nd).
  4. Watch these videos about citations:
    1. Video 1 is here: http://bit.ly/2BvWN6d
    2. Video 2 is here: http://bit.ly/2BliTpw 
    3. Video 3 is here: http://bit.ly/aw2citationsjpns 
  5. Read section 3 below on citations and references.

Today’s class

  1. The difference between “uninterested” and “disinterested”. Small differences but important. Academic writers and students (that means you!) are interested in such small differences and understand their importance.
  2. Rights: positive and negative. Group discussions and individual answers in writing.
    1. Right to life (negative)
      1. Who has the right to life?
      2. Where does life come from?
      3. What does “right to life” mean?
      4. Why is the right to life a human right?
    2. Right to an education (positive)
      1. Who has the right to an education?
      2. Where does education come from?
      3. What does “right to an education” mean?
      4. Why is it considered (by many but not by all) as a human right? (see Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; but not everyone agrees it is a right: for example, French lawyer Bastiat wrote, “

        The most urgent necessity is, not that the State should teach, but that it should allow education. All [legal] monopolies are detestable, but the worst of all is the monopoly of education.

        — By. Frédéric Bastiat

    3. Citations and references. At KPU, Academic Writing students are supposed to use the MLA style. There are two parts to citations:
      1. the in-text citations which are in the main body of your essay, and
      2. the “Works Cited” section which comes after your conclusion at the end of your essay.
      3. Every work cited, that means every website, newspaper and magazine or journal article or book that you use in your essay should be referred to both in the body of your essay and listed in the “Works Cited” section at the end of your essay. The list should be in alphabetical order of authors’ names.
      4. Why should you include citations in your academic essay?
        1. You need to show that you have done some reading about your topic. 
        2. You need to support the points that you are making, i.e. you must give evidence to support your claims.
          1. You must show where you got your information from – not just “the Internet”,
          2. you must give enough information for your reader to find the same article or website or book that you found:
            1. the title of the article or website or book;
            2. the author;
            3. the publisher (Wikipedia is a publisher, for example);
            4. the date of the article, web page or book;
            5. the URL if it’s a website or web page;
            6. the date you accessed it (if it’s a website or web page).
      5. 2 videos (in English) on how to write citations and a bibliography:
          1. Video 1 is here: http://bit.ly/2BvWN6d
          2. Video 2 is here: http://bit.ly/2BliTpw 
            1. This screenshot from video 2 shows the relationship between the in-text citation and the Works Cited (or References) section (click on the picture below to see a bigger one): screenshot
          3. The examples in the video do not use the MLA style but you should.
            1. Overall guide: http://bit.ly/OWL_MLA4aw2  
            2. MLA in-text citations: http://bit.ly/OWLMLAin-text
            3. MLA Works Cited page basic format: http://bit.ly/MLA4awworkscited
          4. And here is a video in Japanese on how to make citations and a Works Cited page using Microsoft Word. The style used in this video is the APA style (see 1:30 in the video; click the picture below to see a bigger one) but you should choose “MLA” from the drop-down list instead of APA. Screenshot

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AW2: Week 6, November 8th, 2019

Announcement

  • Makeup class to replace Nov. 1st’s cancelled class will be held on Saturday Dec. 14th. Check the noticeboard for the time and place.
  • For those who cannot attend, I will prepare some assignments and post them on this blog.

Homework

Today’s class

  • In groups of 4-5, exchange your draft #2, read and comment.
  • Some general points:
    • show the relationship between ideas. Why do schools require young people to write essays? 
      1. To train the young mind to organize their thinking, to think more logically and abstractly, to learn to base their opinion on objective facts and evidence
      2. The written essay shows the instructor the strengths and weaknesses of a student’s thinking.
    • don’t use your personal opinion as an argument: arguments should be supported by objective evidence. A personal opinion is not an argument. 
    • don’t be vague. Some Japanese expressions sound coy in English, e.g. “People should think more seriously about X” when the person really means “People should stop doing X”.
    • Use positive rather than negative expressions at the beginning of a sentence. E.g. instead of “Not only… but also”, use “In addition to…” or “as well as…”
  • Worksheet: download it here
    Icon

    2019-11-08 Sentence combining worksheet 333.43 KB 3 downloads

    Sentence-combining worksheet for AW2 November 8th, 2019. ...

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AW2: Week 4, October 25th, 2019

Announcement

No class Nov. 1st. Next class will be Nov. 8th. A make-up class will be held Dec. 14th (Sat). Please watch for the official announcement.

Homework

  • Write your draft 2 for your essay #4. 
  • Title of your email AND your document: AW2 Essay4 Draft2 Your Name
  • I will send you some comments/suggestions in the next few days about your draft 1 (which you handed in today Oct. 25th). 

Today’s class

  1. Discussion in small groups about essay #4 draft #1
  2. Review of Toulmin model of argumentation: 
    1. Claim
    2. Evidence (also called data or grounds)
    3. Warrant – often a general rule about how the world works
    4. Counter-argument (also called rebuttal)
  3. Importance of evidence in an academic essay. Some examples from news reports that make claims but provide no data to support them.
  4. Textbook:
    1. p. 99 E Use argumentative language
    2. p. 100 Practice 5
    3. p. 106 Concluding statements
    4. Practice 8
    5. p. 107 Practice 9

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AW2: WEEK 3, OCTOBER 18TH, 2019

Homework

  • Choose ONE topic for your persuasive essay. This can be one of the two topics you used for last week’s homework, or a different topic (if you want to choose something NOT on the list in the textbook, email me first).
  • Start writing your essay: at least write the 3 body paragraphs with topic sentences. Type or write it, and bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Group discussions of homework (2 persuasive essay topics’ arguments and counter-arguments)
  2. How to persuade people?
    1. Aristotle identified three basic ways:
      1. Logos – appeal to reason (e.g. explaining advantages and disadvantages)
      2. ethos – appeal to morality (e.g. appeal to justice, to doing good or doing the right thing)
      3. pathos – appeal to emotion (e.g. using fear, greed, passion, desire)
    2. Aristotle thought good (effective) speakers should use whichever would be most effective, depending on their audience.
    3. However, generally speaking, for academic writing, use #1.
  3. Structure of an argument (Toulmin model)
      1. Argument = opinion + evidence + support /explanation
          1. Opinion = claim (often using words like “should” or “should not”, “good” or “bad”, etc)
          2. evidence = evidence to support the claim (also called “grounds” or “data”)
          3. support/explanation = warrant. The warrant is often a general rule or principle about how the world works.
            1. “An author usually will not bother to explain the warrant because it is too obvious. It is usually an assumption or a generalization. However, the author must make sure the warrant is clear because the reader must understand the author’s assumptions and why the author assumes these opinions.” (Wikipedia)
          4. counter-argument (also called “rebuttal”)
            1. Often introduced by “However”, “Some people say that…” or similar phrase.
        1. Practice writing warrants for these sample arguments:
          1. Claim 1 – “The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are a good idea”
          2. Evidence 1  – “because the economy will develop”.
          3. Warrant 1  –
          4. Claim  2 – “The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo are not a good idea”
          5. Evidence 2  – “because Japan will become unsafe”
          6. Warrant 2 –
          7. Evidence 2a – “because there will be a risk of terrorism”
          8. Warrant 2a –
          9. Claim 3 – “Nuclear power is good”
          10. Evidence 3 – because of a positive effect on the economy”
          11. Warrant 3 –
          12. Claim 4 – “Nuclear power is not good”
          13. Evidence 4 – “because it is dangerous”
          14. Warrant 4 –
        2. Counter-argument 4 – “However, …(complete) 

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AW2: Week 2, October 11th, 2019

Homework

  • Choose 2 topics from the list on p. 95 (change #4 to “2020 Tokyo Olympics”)
  • write 2 or 3 arguments FOR and AGAINST the topic (you may need to do a bit of research). You are not just expressing YOUR opinion, but also what OTHER people think about this topic.
  • Bring to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Body paragraph 1: compare the student originals and Sheffner’s rewrites. What changes did he make and why? Discuss in small groups. Download today’s handout here.
  2. Typical rewrite reasons:
    1. colloquial (= non-academic) language –> academic (formal, scientific) language. E.g. don’t –> do not, get better –> improve, get –> buy/purchase, even so –> nonetheless/however, so –> therefore, etc.
    2. avoid repetition (e.g. replace nouns with pronouns). AVOID USING “WE”.
    3. less is more (generally speaking), e.g. 3 words are better than 6. E.g. clothes we buy for every day –> everyday clothes, school uniform that public junior high school students wore –> public junior high school uniforms, etc.
    4. detail in the wrong place – details do not belong in the introductory paragraph but in the body paragraphs. E.g. According to Mainichi Shimbun on February 14 in 2018, Taimei elementary school in Tokyo decided to use school uniforms designed by Italian luxury brand “Armani” –> According to a 2018 newspaper article, a Tokyo school decided to use uniforms designed by a luxury brand.
    5. expand to make a point clearer – sometimes less is NOT more. Sometimes, arguments need to be explained explicitly (especially warrants; more on this later). E.g., we cannot contact with them –> they may not know who or how to contact them.
  3. Textbook p. 93 Practice 1

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AW2: WEEK 1, October 4th, 2019

Homework

  1. Refresh your memory about the correct email format here
  2. Send me an email with a short comment about today’s class. Use the correct format! Subject: AW2 HW1
  3. Finish noting about the introductory paragraphs in today’s handout (download today’s handout here)
  4. Read the sample essay in the textbook pp 91-2. We will answer questions about this essay in class next week. Be prepared.

Today’s class

  • Textbook for this semester is the same: Writers at Work – The Essay. We will use chapters 4-6.
  • To pass the course, you must write and hand in by the deadline THREE essays of a satisfactory quality.
  • Checklist for introductory paragraphs + sample paragraphs from previous years.
    • read the student introductory paragraphs and evaluate them using the 4-point checklist . If you attended this class, you received everything on a single handout. If not, you can download them as two separate handouts below:
  • Here’s the checklist:
    1. The title should clearly state the content and author’s position.
      • Good example – “School Uniforms are Necessary”
      • Not so good example – “Take it for Free?”
    2. Avoid rhetorical questions: “a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer.”
    3. Introductory paragraph must contain a thesis statement.
    4. Detailed information belongs in the body paragraphs, not the introduction. The introduction is to introduce the topic (the problem, the matter being discussed in the essay) and the author’s position on it.
  • DIscuss in groups.
  • Textbook p. 94 D, p. 96 Practice 3, p. 98 D, p. 99 E.


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AW2: WEEK 15, February 1st, 2019

Announcement

Well done to all the students who wrote their final timed essays. If you still need to hand in an essay, I need to receive it by email (because I’m not coming back to KPU until next semester) and by Friday Feb. 8th as I must hand in your final grades by then.

I enjoyed teaching you all, and I look forward to teaching your juniors next April. If any of you would like to chat with me after class, come and find me after 4th period on Fridays. I’ll be happy to see you.

Today’s class

Clarification of main points of academic writing:

  1. Define your terms (meaning of the key words in the question, title or topic). E.g. “War means destruction and ‘good for the economy’ means some businesses will get profits from war.” Or, “Japanese New Year traditions include first visit to the shrine, sending and receiving New Year’s cards, giving New Year’s money gifts and preparing and eating traditional New Year’s dishes. There are others but these are the ones most familiar to people today.”
  2. Avoid rhetorical questions, e.g. “Is war really good for the economy?”
  3. Answer the question: “Discuss” does NOT mean “persuade”; avoid using the words like “should” or “I (dis)agree” in such an essay.

For your final timed essay (45 minutes), choose one of the four timed essays assigned so far. No dictionaries, no Internet devices, no notes.


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AW2: WEEK 14, JANUARY 25TH, 2019

Homework

  • Read my comments on your timed essays of January 16th.
  • Read the sample essays I handed out in class.
  • Re-read chapter 6 of the textbook
  • Prepare to write your best timed essay in next week’s class.

Book sale! 50% off any of these old books of mine for any of my Academic Writing 2 students! Free shipping! Just send me an email telling me the book(s) you are interested in, and I’ll send you them within a few days.

Today’s class

  1. Handouts: download the 2 sample essays here
  2. Timed essay #3: “War is good for the economy”. Discuss.
    1. You should refer to Bastiat’s essay “The Broken Window Fallacy”.
    2. You should explain why some people think that war is good for the economy, and
    3. why others (like Bastiat) do not.
  3. Timed essay #4: “Nobody should make a big decision without consulting at least one other person.” Discuss.
    1. Points to mention in your essay:
      1. Define your terms: what is a “big” decision?
      2. Give at least one example (perhaps from your own experience) where consultation happened and that was beneficial;
      3. Give at least one example (perhaps from your own experience) where consultation happened and that was a mistake;
      4. Give an example of an important decision where consultation is not possible.
      5. Conclusion.


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AW2: WEEK 13, JANUARY 18TH, 2019

Update – essay #5 class collection now available

Essay #5 class collection is now available for free download here: https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/download/essay-5-class-collection/

Many thanks to all those students who gave permission for their essay to be used.

Homework

  1. What was one big decision that you had to make? When? How did you decide? Who did you consult (if anyone)? Why did you consult (or why not)?
  2. “The broken window fallacy” (note: there are at least two versions of the story; the one you should know is the story by French economist Frederic Bastiat). You will need to know the story in order to write next week’s timed essay.
    1. Learn the story
    2. Understand what it means

Today’s class

  1. Think academically = think like an academic:
    1. analyze meaning (e.g. what does “akemashite” mean? What does “hatsu-mode” mean?)
      1. ask “who? what? when? where? how? why?” (e.g. when do people say “akemashite”? When do they go to “hatsu-mode”? What is “hatsu-mode”? Why do people do it? Who does it? Where? etc.)
  2. Timed essay #1 (30 minutes):
    1. ‘”America First” is good for Japan.’ Discuss.
      1. Paragraph #1 – explain the correct meaning of “America First”, its history (what? when? who?)
      2. Paragraph #2 – suggest some arguments for and against this policy (or you can make the “for” arguments paragraph #2 and the “against” arguments paragraph #3).
      3. Your personal conclusion with your reasons.
  3. Timed essay #2 (30 minutes):
    1. ‘Japanese New Year traditions have no meaning in today’s world.’ Discuss.
      1. What are some Japanese New Year traditions? Why are they traditions? When did they start (for example)?
      2. Give some arguments for and against (or you can make the “against” arguments paragraph #3).
      3. Your personal conclusion with reasons.


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AW2: WEEK 12, JANUARY 11TH, 2019

Homework

  1. If you did not give me your Essay 5 Final draft (see here) on Friday Jan. 11th, please email it to me as soon as possible.
  2. Finish the textbook exercises, if you did not finish in class:
    1. Textbook p. 134 – answer questions 1-4.
    2. Textbook p. 135 – read the sample timed essay
    3. p. 136 – read section C
    4. p. 137 – read section D
    5. p. 138 – practice 3
  3. “America First” is good for Japan. Discuss (= write two paragraphs as explained below).
    1. Research the meaning and history of the phrase “America First” – one paragraph.
    2. Based on paragraph 1, discuss (write one paragraph about) the advantages and disadvantages to Japan of an America First foreign policy.

Today’s class

  1. Read a classmate’s or your own final draft of Essay #5. Make any final changes by hand.
  2. Write 100 words to explain in English to someone who knows nothing about Japan about the following:
    1. o-sechi ryori
    2. hatsu moude
    3. “akemashite omedetou”
  3. Do the textbook exercises above.
  4. Do you give your permission for your essay #5 to appear in the class collection?
    1. If “yes”, do you want your name to appear on it, or not?


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