Tag Archives: week 11

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′]

AW1: WEEK 11, JUNE 28th, 2019

  • Write your first draft of essay #2 “Problem-solution”.
  • Type it, print it out and bring a copy to class next Friday. (I will collect your copy, so you need a copy of your own to work with for the following week.

Today’s class

  1. What is the problem?
    1. What is the consequence?
  2. Why is it a problem?
  3. Who is it a problem for?

All these questions need to be addressed in your essay, ideally in your introduction.

You can download today’s worksheet here.

Why is this important? Because you need to be sure that what you think is a problem is based on facts, not “image”.

E.g. “There has been an increase in the number of accidents caused by elderly drivers.” Has there? Is that a fact, supported by statistics, or is it an impression caused by media attention?

Angel Bank by Mita Norifusa. “Don’t be tricked by the media. Don’t be misled by images.” Good advice, in any culture.

Model of Argument(ation) (The Toulmin model)

An argument =

  • (1) a claim (an opinion +
  • (2) “grounds”/evidence) +
  • (3) support (warrant).
  • (4) rebuttal

E.g. “Students have too much homework” (1 – claim). “The evidence is that many students sleep in class.” (2 – grounds/evidence). “People who work too hard may fall asleep even during the day and at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places.” (3- warrant = a general rule or principle). “However, some people might say that students might fall asleep from playing too hard or some other reason” (4 – rebuttal).

AW2: WEEK 11, DECEMBER 21st, 2018


This is for January 11th. Please email it to me by Jan. 11th and bring a printed copy to class on that day.

In the January 18, 25th and Feb. 1st classes, students will write timed  essays in class. All students must complete at least two timed  essays (as well as hand in essays #4 and #5 of good quality).

Happy holidays!

Write your final draft of Essay #5 “Response essay”. You should by now have written at least two different pieces of response writing:

  1. response to a piece of writing (fiction or non-fiction), a song, a movie, a poem, etc.
  2. a summary of the main arguments of two articles with different or opposing points of view on a controversial topic

For your final draft, you may use either of these.

If you use #1, make it as objective as possible; e,g, instead of “This is my favourite movie”, write, “This movie was very successful in Japan, grossing ….. million yen in revenue and watched by approximately 8 million people.” You may give your judgment or feelings about it in the final paragraph.

You must:

  1. introduce the original source (book, movie, etc) in your introductory paragraph. See the sample essay in the textbook (p. 113) for one way to do that.
  2. correctly summarize the main points (ideas, arguments, message) of the book, movie, poem, etc. Keep your summary of the story to one or two sentences only.
  3. Include at least one direct quote and one indirect quote from the original book, movie or song, etc.
  4. include a bibliography or “works cited” section, correctly formatted according to MLA guidelines. See the Academic Writing Resources page for links.
    1. No Chinese characters.
    2. Give the exact titles of articles used; do not translate the title of a Japanese article into English.

If you use #2, you must

  • add an introductory paragraph, giving (if necessary) background information on the situation in Japan for non-Japanese readers.
  • introduce the original source (book, movie, etc) in your introductory paragraph. See the sample essay in the textbook (p. 113) for one way to do that.
  • correctly summarize the main arguments of each article
  • Include at least one direct quote and one indirect quote from the 2 articles.
  • add a concluding paragraph. In that paragraph, give your assessment (judgment, opinion) of the competing arguments. E.g., “the article argues that an increase in the consumption tax rate to 10% is necessary in order to help pay for the various welfare programs. However, this argument does not consider the negative effects of such a tax rate on the….” etc. You may give your personal opinion here, with your reasons.

Today’s class

  1. summarize the main arguments of the article “Homework stinks!” (textbook p. 154-5).
  2. write a short response to this class (Academic Writing II).
    1. what kind of class is it?
    2. how is it different from other (English) classes?
    3. what are the merits and demerits of this class?
    4. what is your personal opinion about it?
  3. 1-to-1 conferencing to discuss your writing for last week’s assignment.
  4. Enjoy the nice Christmas BGM

AW2: WEEK 11, DECEMBER 22nd, 2017

Happy Christmas, everyone


Update:  After the winter break, we will have 4 classes, not 3 as I said in class: Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2.  Over those 4 weeks, you will write at least 3 timed essays.  Do your best to attend these final classes.


  • Send me your draft 2 (response essay with evaluation) as soon as possible.
  • Read through the reference material I gave you this week and last week. You will need them to write your final essays in class in January.

Today’s class

  1. Claim, data and warrants (handout) Download the handout here
  2. Practice writing warrants for student-generated claims and data:
  3. Write a response to this class
    1. Define the class (for a hypothetical reader who is not in this class and knows nothing about it)
    2. Summarize the content of this class (this semester’s work, briefly).
    3. Your evaluation.
  4. 1-to-1 conferencing.


AW1: week 11, June 30th, 2017


  • Essay #2 draft1: write it, email it to me by Thursday noon, print it out, bring it to class.
    • Consider changing your topic to one for which you can conduct original research:
      • the high cost of school fees
      • the high cost of textbooks
      • too little time between classes
      • the number of classes and credits required to graduate
      • quality of food in the cafeteria
      • access to professors
      • some other problem or complaint that many students have.
  • Finish your mascot questions and bring to class.

Today’s class

  1. Textbook p. 50 Practice 5,
  2. p. 51 Practice 6.
  3. Write the introduction and conclusion for your essay #2.
  4. Three types of arguments. essay #2 will require you to make arguments of types 2 and 3.
    1. argument of fact
    2. argument of judgment
    3. argument of policy
  5. Mascot questions.  Choose a mascot – your university’s one, or a sport team’s or your hometown’s.
    1. How do you feel about it?
    2. Do you like it? Why (not)?
    3. How was the mascot chosen?
    4. If you could create or choose a new mascot, what would it be?
    5. Why would you choose it?



AW2, week 11, December 16th, 2016

Happy Holidays!


Re-write your response essay, print out and bring to the next class (January 13th).

Today’s class

  1. Confirmation of the meaning of essay “Majority Rule Equals Tyranny”.
  2. The structure of the essay”Majority Rule Equals Tyranny” (download the annotated version here: Majority Rule Equals Tyranny_annotated
  3. An analysis of some student sentences.
    1. Avoid using “you” or “we”, especially “we”, without making it clear what the noun is that “we” is replacing.
    2. Avoid conversational language in your essay.
    3. Avoid responding emotionally to an issue.
      1. Make sure you have understood the original article correctly before you criticize it, to avoid looking foolish.
      2. Base your opinion on objective facts and bring those facts to the attention of your readers.

Academic Writing I, week 11 : July 1st, 2016

Makeup announcement

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


  • Type your problem-solution essay. Print out and bring it to class next week. If you are absent next week, email me your essay as soon as possible. Document name = “AW1_Essay2_draft#2_Name” (without the “”).

Today’s class

  1. Maim idea worksheet
  2. Review of cartoons: describe the picture.
  3. Textbook p. 56 B: involve your reader
  4. Textbook p. 56 C:
    1. avoid sweeping statements (一般的言明)
    2. be careful and accurate in your statements.
  5. Write an outline for your essay.

Academic Writing II, week 11: December 11th, 2015


None. Take a break. Hang loose. Chill out.

Chill out!

hang loose!
hang loose!

Today’s class:

  1. Sample academic reading #7 (We read up to the first image).
  2. (A link to the original New York Times article is in the Sample academic reading #7, also here: http://nyti.ms/1M79JsA
  3. Before reading, you need to understand the expression “fire in a crowded theater”
  4. Answer these questions:
    1. Does this article use paraphrasing or direct quotes?
    2. How many paraphrases or direct quotes can you find on this page?
    3. Which does the author give first, his opinion about gun control or a quote from the original (New York Times) article?
    4. In which paragraph does the author tell us the article he is responding to?
    5. What does the author do in paragraph 6?
    6. What is an analogy? What analogy does the author use?
  5. Write a timed (30-minute) essay on this topic: “Certain kinds of weapons… must be outlawed for civilian ownership. ” Discuss.
    1. The textbook suggests on p. 154 the following timings: 5 minutes thinking and outlining, 20 minutes writing your essay, 5 minutes proofreading and final check.

Academic Writing I, week 11: June 26th, 2015


Make-up class will be Sat. July 11th, 5th period (16:10 – 17:40).


Finish writing your problem-solution essay, paying attention to the following points. The essay should be typed in proper academic format, printed out and brought to the next class.

  • the conclusion (read p. 53 “The Conclusion”)
  • the introduction:
    • is there a hook to make the reader interested in reading more?
    • is there a description of the problem?
    • is the thesis statement argumentative, concise and capable of being supported?
    • does the thesis statement mention the solution?
  • Is there evidence to support the claims?
  • Is the solution logically sound?
    • Is the problem properly analyzed, and does the solution solve the problem?
  • Does the writer avoid sweeping statements by using appropriate hedging?
  • Does the writer us a semi-formal voice?
  • Is the point-of-view third person, or does the essay rely too much on personal experience and opinions?
  • Is there a list of references?

Today’s class

  1. Tim Gallwey’s PLE model (Performance, Learning, Enjoyment). See Gallwey, W. Timothy. (2000). The Inner Game of Work. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-375-50007-3.
  2. Free-writing: 5 minutes on how you feel today, now.
  3. In small groups, read each others’ essays and comment on the evidence.
  4. Textbook pp 53-4, Practice 8
  5. P. 57, Practice 9. What is wrong with Introduction A? What rule of academic writing does it violate?
  6. Thinking critically. It is important, although difficult, to think critically about your solution. Consider the solution of more and stricter gun control laws in the United States as a solution to the problem of mass shootings, such as the recent one in Charleston, South Carolina. Can you think of reasons why this might not solve the problem? (Reference: “We do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” Obama said at the White House. “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.” Obama: ‘Senseless murders’ in church shooting – CNNPolitics.com. Web. Accessed 2015-06-26.)
  7. Avoid sweeping statements by using hedging expressions, in order to be as accurate as possible, and to make statements that can be supported by evidence.
    1. Textbook pp. 58-9 Practice 10
    2. P. 61, Practice 11 and 12.