Category Archives: announcement

AW1 MAY 29th, 2020


Assignment #3: how the pandemic and state of emergency has affected and will affect your life

Assignment Goals

To show

  • your ability to organize your thoughts logically,
  • your ability to consider your audience (what background information might they need to know? What would be interesting or informative for them?) Your audience is English speaking and university-educated.
  • your understanding of academic format: indented paragraphs, one topic per paragraph, no contractions (“don’t, can’t” etc); do not begin sentences with “and, but” or “because”; use the same font throughout; and use the spellchecking and grammar-checking functions of your software program.

Writing Topic

In your first assignment, you answered the following questions:

  1. Tell me something or somethings that you are not able to do now because of the state of emergency and corona virus pandemic.
  2. Tell me something new you have done recently which you might not have done were if not for the pandemic.
    In today’s class, you read that this crisis is an opportunity to shape a different future. After reading the document on Webdisk entitled AW1 Classwork May 29.pdf, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts about the future? How will the pandemic and the state of emergency shape your future and that of your community, your country, the world? Will classes resume in September? Will some people prefer to study online only? “What kind of a world do you want to live in?”
    Your answers to the two questions and your response to the text in the document will naturally create three paragraphs. However, you may increase or decrease that number depending on your content. (For example, you might want to have one paragraph about your thoughts about the future of you and your family, and a separate paragraph to write about Japan and the world.) Keep different topics in separate paragraphs.

Writing Requirements

  • Save your document with this name: AW1_Hmwk3_Name (replace “Name” with your family name). Upload it to the same Webdisk folder as last week “AW1 Upload folder to submit homework” or email it to me
  • Use a 12-point LATIN font ONLY (no Chinese characters anywhere) such as Century or Times New Roman. Do not use a Japanese font.
  • Use the same font throughout.
  • Length:
    • 200-400 words
  • Due date:
    • Upload your writing to WebDisk by next Wednesday, June 3rd, 23:55.
    • If at all possible, use Microsoft Word and upload your document as a Word document (*.doc or *.docx) rather than a PDF because it is more difficult for me to edit a PDF.
    • If you are not using Microsoft Word, please save your document as an RTF file (*.rtf)
    • If you cannot type or use a word-processor for some reason, you may write by hand, then take a picture of your writing and upload the pictures as a PDF or an image (JPG or PNG).


In today’s class, students

  • discussed in small groups their answers to two of the homework 1 questions (“what cannot you do now because of the pandemic and what new thing are you doing or have you done because of the pandemic”) and also discussed the idea that this pandemic may be a good time to think about what kind of world we human beings want to live in. What kind of world do you want to live in? Do you think this is a good opportunity to consider this? Do you want things to go “back to normal”?
  • read the sample essay “Life Lessons from School” on pages 15-16.
  • discussed in small groups the questions and answers to “Practice 1” on pages 16-17.
  • read section D on p. 17 about selecting a topic.

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 6, November 8th, 2019


  • 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.


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[wpdm_package id=1784 template=”link-template-calltoaction3.php”]

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you peace and contentment, today and every day.

(Photo courtesy of Emily)

The new header is taken from a photo by blogger <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><a href=””>Stardust Talk, </a></span>who writes about and takes beautiful photos of places in Nara. Check out <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><a href=””>her blog and other excellent photos.</a></span>

Academic Writing I, week 10 : June 24th, 2016

Makeup announcement

Makeup class will be held on Saturday July 2nd, same room as usual, same time as usual.


  • Re-write your introduction paragraph for your problem-solution essay, by hand or typed. Bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Main idea worksheets (download them here: mainideak5chalkbox  Use only pages 5-16
  2. Individual conferencing about introductory paragraph for problem-solution essay.