Tag Archives: week 6

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”]

AW1: Week 6, May 28th (Tuesday), 2019

  • For Friday May 31st – after receiving and reading the instructor’s corrections to your draft #2, rewrite it, title it “AW1 Essay1 Draft3 (Your Name)” and send it by email to me by Friday May 31st, or as soon as convenient.
    • Your email subject line should be the same as the title of your document.
  • For June 7th – find a good example of an English essay by either Francis Bacon or George Orwell and read it in either Japanese or in English.
    • Bring the original English version with you to class on June 7th to share with your classmates. You should be familiar with the contents and able to explain it to your classmates (in Japanese at least).

Today’s class

If you were absent today, read the following and do the textbook exercises.

AW2: WEEK 6, NOVEMBER 9th, 2018


None, unless you have not yet emailed me your draft #3 (final) for essay #4.

Today’s class

  1. Write a suitable title for a PERSUASIVE essay.
  2. Do not use rhetorical questions in academic essays.
  3. In academic writing, all claims must be supported by evidence.
    1. If you quote or refer to an article or survey or document or report, you must reference it.
      1. Use the MLA style.
  4. Academic essays require critical and original thinking.
    1. “men must think long, and be sure that they have thought in earnest, before they are justified in saying that their opinions are the results of their own thoughts.”
      Excerpt From: “Phineas Finn” by Anthony Trollope.
  5. Textbook p. 101 Section F and Practice 6
  6. Exchange your essay #4 with a classmate and give feedback using the peer feedback form on p. 105.

AW1: week 6, June 1st, 2018


  • Re-write your draft. This will be your final version.
  • Don’t forget to change the essay information at the top of your first page (above your title) to “Final draft”.
  • Save your file as “AW1 Essay1 Final (Your Name)”
  • Send me your final draft by email
    • The subject of the email should be the same as the name of your file, i.e. “AW1 Essay1 Final (Your Name)”
  • Print out your final draft and bring it to class next week.
  • (If you did not give me your essay paragraph  last Friday, please hand it in next time. See last week’s homework for details,)

Today’s class

  1. Read the old AW1 essay I handed out in class. These essays are not model essays to be copied. They include good and bad points.
  2. Use the checklist in the textbook p. 33.
  3. Write your comments – what do you notice about the essay (the good and the bad)?
  4. 1-to-1 conferencing. If I did not get around to talking to you in class, I will email you my comments by Sunday evening.
    1. If you do not hear from me by Sunday evening, please email me.


AW2: week 6, November 17th, 2017


Write your final draft for your Essay #4 (Persuasive Essay) and either email it to me, or bring it to next week’s class.

Today’s class

  • mini-lecture on writing persuasive essays in English
    1. Title should be persuasive –
      1. “Think seriously about food self-sufficiency” is not persuasive.
      2. “Japan Must Be Self-Sufficient in Food!” is a good title:
        1. The topic is clear
        2. The author’s position is also clear.
    2. You need counter-arguments
      1. to show that you know and understand the issue well
      2. to show that you have considered other points of view, and therefore your essay is fair
      3. Without counter-arguments, your essay is one-sided
        1. One-sided arguments appear
          1. ignorant
          2. biased (similar to propaganda)
      4. Your topic and position AND REASONS must appear in the first (introductory) paragraph – this is your thesis statement: E.g. “People should do xxxx because (reason 1), (reason 2) and (reason 3).”
        1. E.g. “People should read paperbacks instead of  e-books because they are lighter, you can see how much you have read, and they do not tire your eyes or affect your sleep.”
    3. Many students’ essays are not persuasive because they are arguing from Japanese principles or Japanese values. People who do not have the same values will not be persuaded. More next week.
    4. On a more general level, not only to write persuasive essays in English, but also as part of your general education, I suggest you educate yourself about essential ideas or principles of today’s industrialized  societies (including Japan):
      1. the free market
      2. contract law
      3. property rights
      4. individual rights
      5. individualism
      6. capitalism
  • 1-to-1 conferencing.
  • Request for volunteers to read my simplified story and give me feedback. BONUS – you can use this material for your next essay #5 “Response to a Text”.
    • If you volunteer, please read one of the chapters and underline or somehow mark the words or phrases  or sentences you don’t understand or need to use a dictionary for. Then give me back the chapter next class. Thank you in advance.
  • BONUS: Tutorial video on how to use MSWord to create references and a bibliography:
  • (Click here for text explanation)

AW1, Week 6, May 26th, 2017


    • Watch the following videos to learn about
      • claims
      • reasons
      • evidence
    • Video 1  Parts of an argument. https://youtu.be/04UA2YwDpc4
    • Video 2: Making a claim. https://youtu.be/5-tOeh8n8yQ
    • Optional  Video 3 : Bullets vs Prince Rupert Drops. https://youtu.be/CaYq9sX4zLs#t=1m16s This is about a visit to the Royal Society in London to see the original 17th century records of scientists Robert Moray, Robert Hook and Prince Rupert. This was the beginning of academic writing!Watch these videos and take notes about
    • After today’s textbook exercises and mini-lecture and watching the above videos, write your 3rd and final draft of your Explanatory essay and
    • email it to me by Wednesday midnight
    • print it out and bring it to class next week.

Today’s class

  1. Mini-lecture on what is an argument?
  2. Review of textbook points covered last time
    1. p. 21  A Thesis statement
    2. p.26  E – Transitions
      1. As a rule, don’t begin a sentence with “And” or “But”.
    3. p. 27 Because and Therefore
      1. “Because” can only begin a subordinate clause (従属節) in English, and so cannot stand alone. It must be part of a  longer sentence which has a main clause (主節). E.g.
        1. X “Because I want to see Niagara Falls.”
        2. 0  “I want to go to the U.S., because I want to see Niagara Falls.”
    4. p. p. 29 Hooks
  3. Then we read p. 30 G – Write a conclusion
    1. p. 21 Practice 14 and 15
    2. p. 34 B – Title your essay and Practice 16.



AW2 week 6, November 11th, 2016


  1. If you have not already done so, please email me your essay #4 ASAP (As Soon As Possible). This is already one week overdue.
  2. Please read and respond to this  Wikipedia article: America_First_Committee  
    (You can download a PDF version here: america-first-committee )

    1. Give the title and reference (source, date, etc) for this article.
    2. Summarize the main points of the article.
      1. You can use direct quotes or your own words. A combination of both is often used.
    3. Give your evaluation:
      1. Is it true, i.e. is it factually correct? Is the article reliable? Why (not)?
      2. Is the article well written? Why (not)?
      3. Other (but avoid giving your opinion about the content of the article).

Today’s class

  1. Discuss in groups what you read or watched for homework.
  2. Today is Armistice Day in Europe. Red poppies are often worn on this day.
  3. Textbook chapter 5. Read page 111
  4. Practice 1,p. 114, questions 2, 4 and 5 ONLY (answers on looseleaf).
  5. Read these quotes from the British newspaper “The Independent” and ask some critical questions:
    1. The newspaper front page the sums up Europe’s reaction to Trump victory. One French newspaper dubbed the President-elect ‘American Psycho’.
    2. French newspaper Liberation called Mr. Trump ‘American Psycho’ – a reference to the book and film about a murderous stockbroker.

Academic Writing I, week 6: May 27th, 2016


Today was the deadline for Essay 1. If you have not already done so, please email me your final essay.

Please use the following format for your file name:

AW1_Essay1_Final_<Family Name>

Obviously, replace <Family Name> with your own name. If your name is Yamada, please add your initial, as there are 3 Yamadas in this class.

Today’s class

  1. Common Errors (ownload and read the AW1 Essay1 Common Errors file here: AW1_Essay1_Common_Errors)
    1. Read the example sentences and re-write #13, #26, #32, #46.
  2. Explanation of non-sequitur logical fallacy ( 不合理な推論 )
  3. Mini-lecture: Origin of academic writing – the trivium (interestingly, there is no Japanese Wikipedia page for this entry; would you like to write one?
  4. Mini-lecture 2: how to investigate a topic – a model example
    1. Pay close attention to the actual words used
    2. Define the key words:
      1. If the original material has a definition, check it.
      2. If the original material does not have a definition, search for it yourself.
    3. What possible next steps could you take in this investigation?
      1. Define “virus”
      2. Investigate what exactly is the connection between the virus and microcephaly
      3. What other possible causes for microcephaly are there?

Academic Writing I, week 6: May 22nd, 2015


None. If you did not hand in your essay today, email it to me today.

Makeup class for May 1st will be either July 11 or 18th (both Saturdays). If you have any preference, please let me know before next Thursday.

Visit www.goodreads.com. Do you know a good book-sharing online website like this? If so, please introduce it to me (in comments or by email).

Today’s class:

  1. In groups of 4/5 read each other’s essays.
  2. Textbook p. 29 “Hooks” – read.
  3. Conventions in English academic writing
    1. Conventions are rules like driving on the left side of the road.  Different countries/cultures have different conventions. They are neither better nor worse. There is no “correct” convention. It’s just a rule that everyone agrees to obey when they write academic English.
    2. One convention (in English academic writing) is that the main purpose or point of the essay should be clearly expressed in the first (introductory) paragraph, and developed in detail in the following paragraphs.
    3. Another convention is that the conclusion repeats the information in the introductory paragraphy and does not introduce any new information.
  4. Look again at your essay.
    1. Did you write a good hook?
    2. Does your introductory paragraphy include the thesis?
    3. Does your conclusion repeat the information in the introduction? A conclusion in English does not contain any new information (this may be different from Japanese writing conventions).
  5. Handout: which sentence does not belong in these two paragraphs?
  6. Re-arrange the sentences in this paragraph.

Academic Writing II, week 6: November 7th, 2014


Email me your persuasive essay as soon as possible.

Today’s class

  1. Write your own essay as a bibliography entry using MLA style:
    1. Author (Family name, Given name). “Essay Title”. Academic Writing Vol. 2. 2014 pp
  2. Read a classmate’s essay and
    1. identify his/her thesis statement.
    2. His/her thesis statement is (not) in the introduction.
    3. Body paragraph 1 uses __________ support (see textbook page 101 for types of support)
    4. Body paragraph 2 uses __________ support.
    5. Body paragraph 3 uses  __________ support
    6. The writer’s strongest argument is (that), ” ….. “
    7. The writers weakest argument is (that), “…..”
    8. Can you think of an argument that the writer did not use? Write it here.
    9. Any other comments.
  3. Free writing: write about a song, play, movie, novel, picture, TV show that you like and which you have listened to, seen, watched, read, looked at or watched more than once.
    1. What are its key characteristics?
    2. Why do you like it?