Read the sample essay in the textbook pp 91-2. We will answer questions about this essay in class next week. Be prepared.
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:
(download the student introductory paragraphs here)
Here’s the checklist:
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?”
Avoid rhetorical questions: “a question asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer.”
Introductory paragraph must contain a thesis statement.
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.
I’m looking forward to this semester. See you next Friday, April 19th.
Course intro (see link above)
What is academic writing?
What is the origin of the word “academic”?
Who started it? Where?
What are the characteristics of academic writing?
Asking questions BEFORE judging
What? When? Where? Who? How?Why?
Defininitions / define your terms
Free writing – 5 minutes – tell me about your spring vacation. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling or logical order. Just write. Do not edit while writing. Writing and editing are two different activities that use different parts of the brain. Trying to do both at the same time is a bad idea.
5 American principles:
God helps those who help themselves
Mind your own business
Live and let live
Let’s make a deal
Our children’s future will be better
Write your own list of Japanese or your own personal principles, and a brief comparison with the 5 American ones.
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion. To persuade others, it is necessary to understand how they think. Therefore, it is important and necessary for writing persuasively in English to understand English-speakers’ principles and values.
Read the sample essay in the textbook pp 91-2. The theme is decline birth-rate. Don’t read uncritically! Don’t drink the Koolaid! Ask yourself: “Is this really a problem? What is the problem, exactly?”
Quiz about British universities
Quick review of key points about academic writing
Plato’s “akademia“: not a school as we understand it today, but rather a community of inquiry, discussing big questions andsharpening the minds of the participants through discussion and conversation.
The Scientific Revolution: e.g. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton – questioning the accepted knowledge (what “everyone knows”), searching for objective evidence (what they can sense with their own senses and understand with their own minds)
The trivium: grammar, logic, rhetoric – was the fundamental education used in the Middle Ages in Europe.
THEREFORE, when you write your essay,
Start with a question, e.g. “What is a good life? What is a good person?” or question what everybody knows: “Is the earth REALLY at the centre of the universe, AS EVERYONE BELIEVES? Is separating the garbage REALLY a good idea? Is homework REALLY beneficial?
Check / re-confirm your understanding of key words (i.e. find objective meaning, not relying on your own “image” of the word). E.g., to teach “Academic Writing” I need to first clearly understand the meaning of “academic”: where does this word come from? What is the original meaning? Use a good English-English dictionary to help you learn the history of a word and the root meaning.
“Dragons and Giants” (from “Frog and Toad Together”).
Summarize the story: what did they do and who did they meet?
Answer and discuss the discussion questions on the worksheet.
Welcome to Sheffner’s Academic Writing class blog.
Read the essay on credit cards on pp. 4-5 of the text book.
Read the longer Japanese article on Bloom’s taxonomy and write a response in the comments to this blog (click “Comments please!” at the bottom of this post; you will need to write your name and your KPU email address; your name is visible to everyone, your email address is not visible).
Watch the video below and answer the questions below (also on the handout from today).
Read (at least, start reading) something easy and interesting in English, write the details and bring them class next week to tell your classmates. “Something easy” means something that you can understand (at least 90%) without a dictionary.
“Bloom’s Taxonomy” 1. Understanding is being able to write down the information from memory. 2. Once you have understanding of concepts, you can easily see how something works. 3. Applying involves utilizing information to solve problems. 4. Breaking down information into components is an example of synthesizing. 5. Analysis allows you to illustrate how different ideas relate to one another. 6. When you engage in criticism, you are evaluating information.
Read the sample essay in chapter 4 of the textbook.
Write arguments and counter-arguments for one of the following topics:
Joining a club
Making writing more academic.
use objective facts
use the 3rd-person
avoid subjective matters.
Practice: how could you express “hot” in a more objective way?
10 mins. Write about some topic, in the 3rd-person. Try and make it objective and academic.
Arguments and counter-arguments. To make your persuasive essay more persuasive, include counter-arguments. Counter-arguments take the opposite point of view. Then you answer those counter-arguments. E.g.
“traveling broadens the mind”
breaks the boredom of every day
but it’s expensive!
but it’s dangerous!
but I only eat Japanese food!
Now, answer those counter-arguments. E.g.
travel to a nearby Asian country, not an expensive country far away. There are plenty of interesting things to see in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bhutan.
Travel in a tour group, rather than alone. THat’s safer.
Take Japanese food with you! Also, if you travel to a big city, you can probably buy some Japanese food there.