Tag Archives: week 3

AW2: WEEK 3, OCTOBER 18TH, 2019


  • 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) 

AW1: WEEK 3, APRIL 26TH, 2019


Explain why you do or did something important in your life, e.g. why you decide to come to KPU, why you joined a club, why you started to do a part-time job, why you went abroad, etc.

Remember: you are writing for university-educated English-speaking readers who may not be familiar with details of Japan and Japanese culture, so you need to explain not only your reasons but also your values – what is important to you and why.

Today’s class

  1. Thinking academically
    1. Ask questions before judging, writing or speaking
      1. in order to get accurate information
      2. (in addition to the wh- questions) cui bono?
    2. Define your terms, e.g. what exactly is the meaning of business in the expression “mind your own business”
    3. Categorize: what is “obon”? – It’s a Japanese religious festival. What is “kama-meshi”? – It’s a rice dish in which various ingredients are added to the rice and then they are all cooked together in a pot.
    4. Refute the argument
      1. E.g. “I disagree with Sakuragi because many people who do not graduate from university also contribute to society.” – This is true, but it does not refute Sakuragi’s argument because Sakuragi did not say only university graduates contribute. The writer is not responding to what Sakuragi actually said, but from what the writer assumed Sakuragi intended.
  2. Free writing:
    1. Why do people take off their shoes before entering a Japanese house or home?
    2. Why do so many people visit shrines or temples at New Year, even though they are not religious?
    3. Why do many people in Japan bow even in their cars or on the phone?
  3. Suggestions for learning about Western principles:
    1. The story of Genesis in the Bible, especially the events in the Garden of Eden
    2. The ten commandments (in the Bible, in the book “Exodus”)
    3. The movie Shane
    4. The 1943 novel (and 1949 movie) “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. There is a Japanese translation.
    5. Addendum. These Japanese books are good for learning about principles in general and why they are useful and important:
      1. プリンシプルのない日本
      2. ドラゴン桜 漫画
      3. ドラゴン桜 (TV drama)
      4. エンゼルバンク ドラゴン桜外伝
      5. インベスターZ

AW2: WEEK 3, OCTOBER 19TH, 2018


Write the first draft of your persuasive essay.

  • digital copy by email by Friday Oct. 26th
    • file name and email subject: AW2 Essay4 draft1 Name
  • hard copy, either typed or hand-written, to class Friday Oct. 26th

Today’s class

  1. Academic writing < liberal arts < trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric)
  2. Liberal arts = essential education for free people (not slaves)
  3. Textbook p. 99 E
  4. Choose one of the topics you used for homework, and write a paragraph with the format counter-argument, argument, support.
  5. Argument
    1. Claim (must be arguable)
    2. Evidence
    3. Warrant (often uses a general rule or principle)
  6. Write an outline for your essay #4 (Persuasive)
  7. Textbook p. 96 Practice 3
    1. From sentences a and b, choose the one which is arguable.
    2. For questions 2 and 3, label the parts of the thesis statement as “claim” and “evidence”.
  8. Textbook p. 101: different kinds of support
    1. Which kind(s) do you think are most suitable for an academic essay? Why?

AW1: WEEK 3, APRIL 27TH, 2018


Email problems have been fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Update: New essay titles have  been added to the list. See below.

Homework (for May 11th)

  1. Email me your outline for your essay #1 (Explanatory essay)
    1. For my contact details, see the handout from week 1
  2. Write draft #1 of Essay #1 and bring it to the May 11th class.

Today’s class

Summary of what academic writing is.
  • Start with a research question
    • e,g, what are academic skills?
    • what is academic writing?
  • Define your terms,
    • e.g  original meaning of “academic”
    • history of academic writing – where does it come from
  • Collect evidence
    • Observations (what you saw/read with your own eyes)
    • objective facts (dates and names of people, places, etc)
    • make careful notes of what you find
  • Decide your answer (conclusion) to your research question
  • present / publish your answer (conclusion, findings, research results) including your facts which support your conclusion.
    • get feedback from audience (listeners & readers) so that you can
      • correct your language (grammar)
      • correct your thinking (logic)
      • improve your communication to make it more effective
  1. Sample corrected student essay  “I collect women” – grammar errors highlighted
  2. Sample student essay re-written
  3. Sample student essay “How I got to be interested in reading a book”
    1. What academic writing guidelines did she follow or not follow?
  4. Textbook p. 16 Practice 1
  5. Textbook p. 21 “The Thesis Statement”
  6. p. 19: choose a topic
  7. p. 26: write your outline
  8. Here are some of the titles of Explanatory essays written by Academic Writing I students in former years. Feel free to steal their ideas for your own essay. If you would like to read the original essay, please email me and I will send you a pdf.
    1. Year 3
      1. I collect Women
      2. How I got to be interested in reading a book
      3. My part-time jobs
      4. My part-time job
      5. Dogs
      6. The Reason Why I Like Public Baths
      7. Traveling with My Family
      8. One of my hobbies: Cooking
      9. -My Life With Crutch
      10. What I felt in Gunkanjima
      11. My part-time job at Matsumoto Kiyoshi
      12. The driving school
      13. My Respectable Family
      14. My favorite artist
      15. My memory of last summer vacation
      16. My accomplishment: Electronic organ lessons
      17. What is a tradition
      18. Twitter addiction
    2. Year 4
      1. My school excursion in Singapore
      2. Saikyo Zensen has changed me
      3. Recommendation to drink tea
      4. Why People in Japan Like twitter?
      5. Is Bicycle Just a Tool?
      6. My English Life
      7. About my favorite dance
      8. Why I am studying European and American culture and language
      9. The True Thing Studying Abroad Made Me Realize
      10. How to cool down in Japan
      11. Most important things in life
      12. The point that I changed
      13. The words of a blind man
      14. A person who influenced me
      15. An event that changed my life
      16. Gift my teacher gave me
      17. What fencing gives you
      18. Do you know the mandolin?
      19. I graduate from oneself weak
      20. Always a mother affects a daughter
      21. “Ohigan” is a Japanese custom
      22. Abhorrent Handball
      23. How I got interested in my hobby
      24. What Pinocchio says
      25. Beyond Mathematics
      26. A connection when I got interested in sewing
      27. About Benjamin Franklin
      28. A great teacher in my schooldays
      29. Lego Bricks
      30. Let’s Play Musical Instruments
      31. Brass band’s effect: an event that changed my life
      32. A person who influenced me: Shinsaku Takasugi
      33. A great pleasure with pain
      34. How I got interested in dancing
      35. The happiness of my family
      36. My grandmother’s diary
      37. Why I am studying Public Policy

AW1, Week 3, April 21st, 2017


  1. Send me another email, using the correct format as shown here.  If you cannot send  (if your email comes back), please try sending from your university email address *@kpu.ac.jp as this is whitelisted. If even that does not work, please leave a message on this blog. Thanks.)
  2. Textbook pp 8-9 Practice 3
  3. Read the sample essay on pp 15-16



Today’s class

  1. What did you read in English recently?
  2. free writing (5 mins) about what you read or your classmates read
  3. What are the characteristics of academic writing?  part 2.
    1. Last week’s worksheet is here: AW1_Lesson2_worksheet
    2. Today’s worksheet is here: AW1_Lesson3_worksheet
  4. textbook p. 9 Practice 4
  5. p. 11 Practice 6
  6. p.12 Oractice 7

Academic Writing I, week 3: April 22nd, 2016

NB Next class (week 4) will be in 2 weeks’ time, on May 6th.


  1. Find something easy and interesting to read in English.
  2. Choose a topic and start writing your explanatory essay.
    1. Suggested topics:
      1. A social or other problem that affects a large number of people that you are concerned about
      2. A holiday or trip you took.
      3. A place, person or event that you have strong feelings about.
Today’s class:
  1. Returned wk1 writing
  2. Free writing: about something you read in English recently.
  3. Textbook p2 A what is an essay?
  4. P3, essay format
  5. P4 practice 1.
  6. P6 C
  7. P7 practice 2
  8. Characteristics of academic writing
  9. Bloom’s taxonomy comment.
    1. Bloom’s taxonomy is a pyramid. The idea is that human thinking starts with knowledge, information. Then it progresses upwards towards more and more complex and sophisticated thinking processes. However, these sophisticated processes are impossible without the lower levels. E.g. analysis is not possible without knowledge (level 1) and understanding (level 2).

Academic Writing II, week 3: October 16th, 2015


  • Write a detailed outline for your “Persuasive” essay.
  • Write the first draft of your essay (complete) and bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Exchange your arguments and counter-arguments with a classmate and give him/her some feedback.
  2. List your arguments in order of importance.
  3. Textbook p. 99 E: read.
  4. P. 00 Practice 5. Write your answers on a piece of looseleaf paper and hand in at the end of the class.
  5. Start writing your outline and essay.
  6. To be persuasive, an essay in English needs to consider opposing points of view, otherwise it is one-sided and a one-sided essay is not persuasive.  For example, an essay that only talks about the positive side of nuclear power, but not the negative, sounds like propaganda. The writer may be considered ignorant – doesn’t he know about the negative side of nuclear power? Is he stupid? Clearly, the writer has not thought about this matter seriously, or done any research.
  7. Some of the topics chosen by this class are:
    1. the death penalty
    2. global warming
    3. banning pets shops from selling animals
    4. improving cell-phone manners
    5. Whether or not to join a club
    6. Whether or not school uniform is a good idea.
    7. Downloading music without paying: should it be illegal?
  8. To write a good, persuasive essay, you need to know the main arguments both FOR and AGAINST.
  9. E.g.
    1. The death penalty:
      1. FOR: it is a deterrent. It deters criminals from committing violent crimes.
      2. AGAINST: life is a gift given by God. It is not man’s to give or to take away. Also, one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not kill.”
    2. Global warming:
      1. FOR: Human beings are responsible for a huge increase in “greenhouse gases” such as CO2, which are making the whole planet warmer. If this is not stopped, the ice caps will melt and the sea levels will rise resulting in much damage and loss of life.
      2. AGAINST: There has been no global warming for the past 18 years. In addition, CO2 levels have been continuously rising, yet global temperatures have not. This shows that CO2 is NOT the cause of global warming.
    3. Banning pet shows from selling animals:
      1. FOR: It is cruel to animals. People do not care for their pets properly and many are abandoned after a short time.
      2. AGAINST: Private property – what business people do is a private matter and the government has no right to interfere. Further, there are serious consequences if the government interferes in private business.
    4. Whether or not school uniform is a good idea:
      1. FOR: It avoids embarrassment for poor students who cannot afford the nice clothes that rich students would wear. In addition, another purpose is to distinguish between different schools.
      2. AGAINST: the original purpose of school uniform in Japan can be clearly seen by the origin for the design – the Prussian military. The differences between school uniforms is minimal (compare that between different British schools, for example), so this argument is weak. If the purpose was to distinguish between schools, why are all uniforms black?
    5. Downloading music from the Internet – should it be illegal?
      1. FOR: Property rights. The creator of the music is the one who should decide whether to give it away for free or to charge for it and how much. The music was created by the musician’s own brain and musical talent and hard work, therefore the rewards (the profits) also belong to that person. Downloading music without paying is stealing.
      2. AGAINST: Digital content cannot be “stolen”. The person downloading is only making a COPY of the original, not STEALING the original.
  10. In addition, if you are recommending some action by the government (as in topics 1, 2, 3 and 7 above), you should be aware of the main purpose of government. In the English-speaking world, the purpose of government is to protect the rights of the citizens.

Academic Writing I, week 3: April 24th, 2015

No class May 1st. Next class is May 8th.
  1. Send me an email. If you can’t, leave a comment on the blog.
  2. Visit blog after I reply to your email and follow the instructions which will be posted Monday May 4th.
  3. Read the samples 4, 5, 6. Are they academic? why? Or why not? Write your answers, and bring them to the next class, May 8th.
Today’s class
  1. Free reading: 10-15 minutes
  2. Reading report
  3. Book share in small groups.
  4. Reviewed homework.
  5. True/false about academic writing. (10 sentences)
  6. Academic writing samples 4, 5, 6