Tag Archives: week 7

AW2: Week 7, November 15th, 2019

Homework

  1. Re-write draft #2. Save as “AW2 Essay4 Draft3 Lastname”. Email it to me (subject line should be the same) by next Friday. I will email those students whom I did not get a chance to speak to in class today (Nov. 15th).
    1. Print out and bring your draft #3 to the next class.
  2. If you have not yet done so, please read the essay by Bastiat entitled “The Broken Window Fallacy” 
  3. I suggest you read the Japanese explanation first, then the English. Here’s a link to the Japanese one (Wikipedia).
    1. We will discuss this essay in class next week (Nov. 22nd).
  4. Watch these videos about citations:
    1. Video 1 is here: http://bit.ly/2BvWN6d
    2. Video 2 is here: http://bit.ly/2BliTpw 
    3. Video 3 is here: http://bit.ly/aw2citationsjpns 
  5. Read section 3 below on citations and references.

Today’s class

  1. The difference between “uninterested” and “disinterested”. Small differences but important. Academic writers and students (that means you!) are interested in such small differences and understand their importance.
  2. Rights: positive and negative. Group discussions and individual answers in writing.
    1. Right to life (negative)
      1. Who has the right to life?
      2. Where does life come from?
      3. What does “right to life” mean?
      4. Why is the right to life a human right?
    2. Right to an education (positive)
      1. Who has the right to an education?
      2. Where does education come from?
      3. What does “right to an education” mean?
      4. Why is it considered (by many but not by all) as a human right? (see Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; but not everyone agrees it is a right: for example, French lawyer Bastiat wrote, “

        The most urgent necessity is, not that the State should teach, but that it should allow education. All [legal] monopolies are detestable, but the worst of all is the monopoly of education.

        — By. Frédéric Bastiat

    3. Citations and references. At KPU, Academic Writing students are supposed to use the MLA style. There are two parts to citations:
      1. the in-text citations which are in the main body of your essay, and
      2. the “Works Cited” section which comes after your conclusion at the end of your essay.
      3. Every work cited, that means every website, newspaper and magazine or journal article or book that you use in your essay should be referred to both in the body of your essay and listed in the “Works Cited” section at the end of your essay. The list should be in alphabetical order of authors’ names.
      4. Why should you include citations in your academic essay?
        1. You need to show that you have done some reading about your topic. 
        2. You need to support the points that you are making, i.e. you must give evidence to support your claims.
          1. You must show where you got your information from – not just “the Internet”,
          2. you must give enough information for your reader to find the same article or website or book that you found:
            1. the title of the article or website or book;
            2. the author;
            3. the publisher (Wikipedia is a publisher, for example);
            4. the date of the article, web page or book;
            5. the URL if it’s a website or web page;
            6. the date you accessed it (if it’s a website or web page).
      5. 2 videos (in English) on how to write citations and a bibliography:
          1. Video 1 is here: http://bit.ly/2BvWN6d
          2. Video 2 is here: http://bit.ly/2BliTpw 
            1. This screenshot from video 2 shows the relationship between the in-text citation and the Works Cited (or References) section (click on the picture below to see a bigger one): screenshot
          3. The examples in the video do not use the MLA style but you should.
            1. Overall guide: http://bit.ly/OWL_MLA4aw2  
            2. MLA in-text citations: http://bit.ly/OWLMLAin-text
            3. MLA Works Cited page basic format: http://bit.ly/MLA4awworkscited
          4. And here is a video in Japanese on how to make citations and a Works Cited page using Microsoft Word. The style used in this video is the APA style (see 1:30 in the video; click the picture below to see a bigger one) but you should choose “MLA” from the drop-down list instead of APA. Screenshot

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AW1: Week 7, MAY 31st, 2019

  • If you have not already done so, please email me your Essay1 draft3 (final version) at your convenience, and by Friday June 7th.
    • Did you notice the sentence above starts with a subordinate clause, something I said to avoid. Can you see why I did this?
  • Find a good example of an English essay by either Francis Bacon or George Orwell and read it in either Japanese or in English or both.
    • 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).

Announcement

I have prepared three collections of student Essay #1 which you can download from the links below:

  1. An uncorrected collection from 2013’s AW1 class: https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/download/essay1-explanatory-essay-by-class-of-2013/
  2. A corrected collection from 2014’s AW1 class: https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/download/essay-1-class-collection-2014-corrected-version-pdf/
  3. (Coming soon: An uncorrected collection from this year’s (2019) AW1 class)

The essays in all 3 documents are anonymous and appear in the collection with students’ permission.

Today’s class

  • Academic writing guidelines:
    • English prefers active to passive verbs, e.g. “People think I am too old” instead of “I am thought to be too old”.
    • English prefers positive to negative, e.g.
      • “I had few opportunities to speak English” rather than “I did not have many opportunities to speak English.”
    • English prefers starting a sentence with the main clause rather than the subordinate clause, unless there is a reason to emphasize the subordinate clause, in which case it should go first. E.g., instead of “As a cram school teacher, it is important to tell what the life of the university is like” write “It is important for cram school teachers to know what life at university is like.”
      • Or “my English may not improve if I do not speak to English speakers” instead of “if I can’t speak to foreigners actively, my English will not improve”
    • English prefers verbs to nouns, e.g. “I will learn English” rather than “I will acquire knowledge of English”, or “I regret this” rather than “I feel regret”.
    • English prefers items that are closely connected be kept within the same sentence, e.g. “In Japan a university is where young people go after graduating high school, so I am considered an unusual student” is better than “In Japan, a university is a place where young people go after graduating high school. Therefore, I am an unusual student.”
    • English prefers to keep the subject the same from one sentence to another wherever possible.
  • Academics like
    • precision (using the correct word), e.g. “I will build confidence (to speak English)” instead of “I get confidence”. Academics avoid vagues and subjective words like “get”, “nice” or “great”.
    • accuracy, e.g. “Japanese school education is mainly aimed at helping students pass entrance examinations” instead of “Japanese school education is mainly aimed at passing entrance examinations”, because “education” does not take or pass exams, only people do that.
      • Improve this sentence: “break time with companions of my part-time job is very valuable for me because it improves my communication skill”.
    • and they do not like ambiguity (e.g. words which can have more than one meaning, or have subjective meaning), such as “get, nice, great”, etc.
    • conciseness. E.g. “Japanese school education” is considered preferable to “the contents of education at school in Japan.”
    • the contents of education at school in Japan are mainly aimed at passing entrance examinations –> ?
    • to be careful – they avoid saying “always”, “never” or “all”, but prefer to be cautious and say “most” or “probably” or “hardly ever”, etc. This is called hedging.
    • Feeling and sensation are very important in Japanese culture, but academic writing is about objective facts and logic. Sentences like “I want to feel foreign culture” or “I felt cultural differences” do not belong in academic essays. Differences which involve judgment cannot be felt, they are apprehended by the mind. Say instead, “I experienced / learned / discovered / noticed cultural differences.”
  • Dragon Zakura episode 6: the English competition. What did you learn about writing or learning English from watching this episode?

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AW2: WEEK 7, NOVEMBER 16TH, 2018

Homework

Updated Nov. 17th.

  • Write a review (like an Amazon review) of a book, story, movie, song or article that you feel strongly about (either you love it or you hate it).
    • This is a draft, so you do not need to write a complete 5-paragraph essay
    • It can be typed or hand-written.
    • Bring it to class next time (Friday, Nov. 30th – no class next week).
    • Do not email it to me.
    • Include:
      • the title or name of the original source
      • a short summary of the contents
      • your opinion or recommendation with your reasons
      • “Work cited”, properly formatted in the MLA style (see here for an overview in English)
    • Videos in Japanese on how to use MSWord’s bibliography and citation functions:  https://www.sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/kpu/academic-writing-resources/
  • Update: Email me your preferences about the Essay #4 Class Collection (see below).
  • Update: Option: email me your answers to the questions in today’s class (see below). I do not take attendance, but I do count the work you hand in.

Today’s class

  1. Complete the following sentences:
    1. The title of your persuasive essay should_________________________
    2. In academic essays, avoid rh________ q__________s
    3. All claims must be ______________  by ______________
    4. If you refer to a survey, article, institution, figure or date, you must ____________ the r____________ to the original s____________ .
    5. All ref______________ must be listed in your b__________________y at the end of your essay, and formatted according to the _______ style.
  2. Please select your option and complete the following statements (let me know by email if you did not tell me in class):
    1. I want / do not want a digital copy of the class collection of Essay #4
    2. I agree / do not agree to allow my essay #4 to appear in that collection.
    3. I agree / do not agree to allow my name to appear on my essay.
    4. I agree / do not agree to allow my essays written in Academic Writing II, 2018 to be used by Mr. Sheffner in the future, including for publication.
  3. Read the “Work Cited” at the end of the sample essay in the textbook (p. 114).
    1. Write similar “works cited” for the articles 2 and 3 in the textbook, pp. 162 and 164, using the information given on those pages.
  4. Skim through the sample essay on p. 113-4, and copy out the 4 sentences that refer to the original article (the one listed in the “works cited” section on p. 114). (For more examples, see here: http://bit.ly/OWLMLAin-text )


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AW1: Week 7, June 8th, 2018

Homework

  • Email me your Essay #1 Final draft, if you have not already done so.
  • Please tell me by email (if you did not tell me in class today)
    1. if you would like to read a collection of your classmates’ essays #1 (yes or no)
    2. if you agree to your essay #1 being included in the class collection (yes or no)
    3. if yes to #2, do you wish your name to appear on your essay or not?
    4. what method of feedback you prefer in future
      1. face-to-face
      2. handwritten comments on your paper
      3. error correction software (pink highlights, etc)
      4. some combination of the above

Today’s class

  1. Expressive vs communicative writing
    1. Communicative writing is writing with the reader in mind. 
  2. Essay writing is standard in most secondary schools in English-speaking countries in order to develop mental discipline, the ability to think objectively, logically and critically, and to express oneself clearly for the benefit of others.
    1. Essay writing is communicative rather than expressive writing.
    2. Some good examples are the essays by Francis Bacon and the Frenchman Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.
      1. Montaigne’s essays repay study, as he wrote his thoughts and feelings but somehow made them interesting and useful to his readers.
  3. Error correction – although most students expect their instructor to correct their English, error correction is not always an efficient method of learning, because
    1. the natural order of acquisition (I subscribe to Krashen’s theory of second language acquisition)
  4. Common errors among Japanese EFL students
    1. insufficient use of pronouns (resulting in too much repetition of nouns)
    2. insufficient use of relative pronouns and adverbs (which, that, whose, there, where, when, etc.), resulting in unnecessary repetition, unnecessarily long sentences or unnecessary multiple sentences.
  5. Discussion of typical errors in a sample student essay, marked using marking software. Download the sample essay here: AW1 Essay1 draft3 sample_4class
  6. 1-to-1 conferencing


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AW2: week 7, November 24th, 2017

Homework

  • Complete your final draft  (final version) of your Essay #4 and email it to me, if you have not already done so, or if you did not give it to me in class on Friday.
  • Email me by Monday 23:59  your preference regarding the class copy of Essay #4 (only if you have not already done so).
    • Do you give your permission for your essay to be copied for the class collection?
      • If yes, are you OK with your name being published or not?
    • Do you want a copy of the class collection of Essay #4?

Today’s class

  1. Principles and values:
    1. When persuading, we tend to argue from our own values
    2. But if the other party does not share those values, our efforts will fail.
    3. Therefore, it is useful and important to know and understand other people’s values in order to more successfully persuade them.
  2. Grammar worksheets:
    1. Topic sentences / thesis statements (practice)
    2. Sentence fragments
    3. Reduce wordiness
    4. Parallel structures
    5. Dangling modifiers
  3. 1-to-1 conferencing


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AW1, Week 7, June 2nd, 2017

Homework

  1. Look over today’s handouts,
  2. watch the two videos below,
    1. Claims, Reasons and Evidence
    2. Claim Evidence Reasoning…in 5 minutes or less
  3. check your email. In the next few days, I will send each of you two files containing my corrections and suggestions for your Essay #1.
    1. read either file, then
  4. Re-write your essay – final draft.
  5. Email it to me.
    1. File name: AW1_Essay1_Final_(Name)
    2. Email subject: AW1 Essay1 Final (Name)
  6. Print out and bring it to next week’s class.
  7. Look at the Slip or Trip? picture.
    1. What does Queenie claim happened?
    2. What can you see and what did the autopsy say (evidence)?
    3. What is your theory, your (counter-)claim, about what happened?
    4. Why (reasoning)?

Today’s class

  1. Marking Key handout: MARKING KEY for ACADEMIC WRITING
  2. Common errors (handout next week)
  3. Buffalo handout: BUFFALO
  4. CER_worksheet_AW1
  5. Newton cloze:
  6. Slip or trip? – handout: Slip or Trip


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AW2 WEEK 7, NOVEMBER 18TH, 2016

Homework

  1. Write an outline and introductory paragraph for a response essay to this article:trump-foreign-policy-speech
  2. What are the “five main weaknesses” in US foreign policy, according to the article? Use direct quotations or paraphrasing.
  3. Cite the original speech (see the sample essay in the textbook p. 114).

Today’s  class

  1. “Entangling alliances” quote from Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural speech, March 1, 1801. (See last week’s handout “Excerpts from George Washington’s Farewell Address”. Download it here: washington-farewell-address
  2. Choose one quote from the list (the one you summarised last week) and write an introductory paragraph about it. (Download the list of quotes here: analyzing_political_comments
    1. Include a summary of the original quote,
    2. a reference to the source (where it came from), and
    3. your thesis statement (your position on the matter).
  3. Short discussion of the homework article “The America First Committee”. (Donwload it here: america-first-committee
  4. Textbook sample essay: how does the writer show which ideas are her own and which ideas are from the original writer (Penenberg)?
  5. Choose one of the two essays in the Appendix of the textbook, and write an introductory paragraph for a response essay about it.
    1. Give the reference.
    2. Summarize the main ideas
    3. Give your thesis statement.
    4. Add the reference (see “Work Cited” in the sample essay on p. 114).


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Academic Writing I, week 7: June 3rd, 2016

Homework

  • Read the Format checklist (download it here: Academic Writing checklist
  • If necessary, re-format your essay,  make any other changes you wish, print it out and bring it to class next week.
  • If you have not done so already, please email me your final essay as soon as possible.
    • Please use the following format for your file name: AW1_Essay1_Final_<Family Name>
    • Please send as a Word document (not pdf).

Today’s class

  1. Explanation of the Academic Writing format checklist  (download it here: Academic Writing checklist  )
  2. Look at the sample academic format paper (download it here: Sample essay format  ), then look at the example of a wrongly formatted paper
    1. There are 15 mistakes. How many can you find?
  3. How to investigate a topic
    1. Review of the approach (see last week’s class blog, step 4).
  4. Fact or Opinion? (Download the worksheet here: Fact and Opinion


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Academic Writing II, week 7: November 13th, 2015

Homework:

  • Write an outline and a first draft response to one of the two essays in the Appendix to the textbook pp. 162-165. Either
    • “Don’t Shoot!” or
    • “Homework Stinks”
  • This is a first draft, so it does not need to be typed. Bring it to class next Friday (Nov. 20th).

Today’s class:

  1. Exchange homeworks and comment on your classmate’s work.
  2. The benefits of learning Academic Writing
    1. The origins of “Academic Writing” lie in the trivium:
      1. grammar
      2. logic
      3. rhetoric
    2. studying these can help to protect yourself against being persuaded by false arguments, also known as logical fallacies (link to Japanese language site that explains logical fallacies)
      1. appeal to authority
      2. appeal to fear
      3. appeal to pity
      4. ad hominem
  3. Textbook: p. 115 practice 2 (write answers on looseleaf and hand in)


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Academic Writing I, week 7: May 30th, 2015

Homework:

  1. Email me your Essay#1 AND your re-written essay as soon as possible and by Friday June 5th at the latest.
    1. You can send your essay first, and send your re-write later, or both together. It’s up to you.
    2. Please save your essay as AW1_Essay1_YourName  (family name only is ok).
    3. Please save your re-write as AW1_Essay1_Rewrite_YourName

Makeup class for May 1st will be July 11. Time and place will be announced later.

Today’s class:

  1. Academic writing is characterized by
    1. analysis (breaking ideas down into separate pieces). Academic writing is concerned with ideas rather than stories of events.
    2. deductive reasoning (see some examples here)
    3. semi-formal voice, e.g. “do not” instead of “don’t”, “they are” instead of “they’re”, “is not” instead of “isn’t”, etc. Avoid conversational expressions, e.g. “I had a tough time”, or “it was very nice” or “they are cool”; replace with more formal expressions such as “I had a number of difficulties” or “It was pleasant weather/delicious food/enjoyable experience,” or “they are elegant/attractive/charming/good-looking/well dressed”, etc.
    4. 3rd-person point of view, rather than first-person. E.g. “Perfume is a highly popular Japanese girls’ pop group” instead of “I like Pokemon”.
  2. One-page writing workshop (handouts). There were three today (you can download them here: One-page Writing Workshop )
    1. Academic writing began in Europe as letters written between scientists exchanging scientific information.
      1. These letters were not for personal or social purposes, therefore personal or social conversation was not included.
      2. Academic writing takes place between educated people who may or may not live in the same area or country, who may or may not speak each other’s language but share a common language (in this case, English; originally, it was Latin).
      3. The purpose of academic writing is to contribute to the community’s pool of factual, true knowledge about the world and how it works.
      4. Academic readers, therefore, are interested in your factual information which will increase their knowledge and understanding about how the world works. They are not interested in you personally.
      5. Therefore, avoid expressions such as “Why I became interested in ….” or “I love….” or “I have studied …. for xxx years”.
    2. Avoid using “we” (which usually means “we Japanese”). You are not a representative of the entire Japanese people, nor have you any evidence (usually) to back up your claim. Instead, use phrases like “Many people in Japan” or “It is customary/traditional in Japan to…” This also follows the rule of using the 3rd-person point of view and avoiding the first person (“we” is first person plural).
    3. Focus on general ideas rather than unique, personal details. For example, in the sample essay in the textbook on pp. 15-6, the writer never mentions the names of her best friends, or her teachers, or even the name of the school. Why not? Because she is focusing on general ideas or principles, such as “growing through adversity”, or “learning to appreciate one’s parents”. Writing the names of her school, for instance, would suggest that hers was a unique experience rather than one that can be shared by other human beings.


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