Introduction to Academic Writing
This week we finished going over Unit 6, looked at some student feedback, and talked about our schedule for the rest of the semester.
You need to write a first and second draft of an essay from Unit 6, following the instructions from Exercise 4 on page 145 OR Topics for Future Writing, #1 on page 157. It's a good idea to get a classmate to help you with some feedback on your first draft.
You are not required to give more feedback on Unit 6 papers online, although you will be graded for homework on how well you kept deadlines with homework and with blog comments.
Week 15 (2012.12.12) -- Final exam (please turn in final drafts of papers from Unit 4, 5 and 6 week 15 or ASAP)
Week 16 (2012.12.19) -- Election Day --- no class, but final papers must be turned in before 12.19.
We spent time this week talking about being specific and giving descriptions that were detailed and told the reader something, rather than just using general adjectives like nice or pretty or delicious.
Then we moved on to the book and looked at a few blog entries on the big screen, giving feedback.
For next week, please write another first draft from the essay assignment at the end of Unit 5 and post it to the blog, give feedback to two classmates, etc. following the usual deadlines for your class. We will go on to create a final draft from your choice of these two first drafts.
When we meet again 11-28, we will be looking at Unit 6.
This week, the first part of the session was spent thinking and writing some feedback on feedback. There were two reasons for this exercise: first, to help the instructor see what his customers thought of a major function of the class, and second, to get student writers to think about the point of what they were doing on a regular basis and about how toimprove their performance/productivity.
In the second part of the session, we took a look at the first sections from Unit 5, going over comparison and contrast features, such as the connector words typically used and different ways of organizing a short comparison/contrast essay.
For next week, please continue to pre-read and pre-answer the rest of Unit 5, along with writing the first draft of a comparison/contrast essay on two places you know. Class deadlines and feedback for two classmates apply as usual.
This week we wrapped up Unit 4 in class, talking about facts and opinions, making connections with interpreting facts to prove our opinions, and using counter-argument and refutation effectively. We also went over some language pointers regarding using quantity expressions like (such, many, a lot of, etc.) to qualify our opinion statements to avoid overgeneralizing.
For next week (2012.11.14), please pre-read and pre-answer all individual questions in the first half of Unit 5 (parts 1, 2, and 3). Also, please revise and submit the final version of your Unit 4 essay assignment to the class blog as a comment to your first draft. We will start working on Unit 5 drafts next time.
See you in class!
After mid-terms, we began moving on by looking over the first sections of unit 4, on writing opinion essays. We brainstormed ideas about old ways vs. new ideas, and to get an idea about the building blocks of opinion essays, we put together an outline of ideas about how TV is bad for children..
For next week (2012.11.07), please pre-read and pre-answer all individual questions in the remainder of Unit 4. Also, please write the first draft of the essay assignment on page 93 (exercise 6). Please write about a noteworthy discovery that happened in your lifetime. Please DO NOT write about an invention.
See you in class!
I am trusting you, on your honor, to write your response to the topic without any outside assistance from other people or resources. It should be just you, a pen or pencil and some paper. You have a maximum of one hour to write your response. Please write at least 200 words. You may write the response by hand or type it, as you wish. Put your response in the correct envelope for your class in my mailbox by 5 p.m. Oct. 30. My mailbox is in the professor's lounge in room 106 of the main building.
Choose one topic to respond to with an essay of at least 250 words:
1. Some businesses now say that no one can smoke cigarettes in any of their offices. Some governments have banned smoking in all public places. Do you agree or disagree? Give reasons for your answer.
2. When someone gets old, they often go to live in a home with other old people where there are nurses to look after them. Sometimes the government has to pay for this care. Who should be responsible for our old people? Give reasons for your answer.
Your mid-term exam writing does NOT need to be a 3-paragraph or 5-paragraph essay. It should simply be a solid, well-written response to the topic.
In class, we continued working on Unit 3 together.
We also looked at some student writing.
You will be taking the mid-term exam on your own time. You need to write your answer to a question or topic I will give you next week. I will post the topic on this page Oct. 22. I am trusting you, on your honor, to write your response to the topic without any outside assistance from other people or resources. It should be just you, a pen or pencil and some paper. You have a maximum of one hour to write your response. Please write at least 200 words. You may write the response by hand or type it, as you wish. Put your response in the correct envelope for your class in my mailbox by 5 p.m. Oct. 29th. My mailbox is in the professor's lounge in room 106 of the main building.
When we meet again Oct. 31st, you should have completed a second (final) draft of your essay on a learning experience that taught you something valuable (page 67). Please submit it to the class blog (subject "Unit 3 Final Draft").
We will also be getting started on Unit 4 in class when we meet again, so please pre-read and pre-answer all questions from the first part of Unit 4. Please bring hard copies of ALL your final drafts so far (Units 2 and 3 essays) to give to me when you come to class Oct. 31.
In class, we went through the second part of Unit 2 together, talking about the importance of using specific details and about how to use adjectives that are specific and add information, rather than those that make writing bland and don't really tell the reader anything specific.
Then we got started on Unit 3.
For 10.17 class, please pre-read and answer all questions in parts 1, 2, and 3 of Unit 3. This will help you write the first draft of a narrative essay assignment on page 67 (exercise 7 -- a three-paragraph essay about a learning experience that changed you or taught you something valuable.)
Please email your first draft to the class blog by early deadline time. Then, using the details questions in exercise
5 (page 66) and any other constructive comments, give useful feedback to two classmates in the comments of the blog.
Next week, we will look at more of Unit 3 and work on using suggestions to add specific details to our essays.
In class, we looked over and discussed exercises in the first part of unit 2, looking at how writers used description and communicated feelings in short essays.
When we meet again in two weeks, you should have written another first draft and a final draft from Unit 2. First, complete all exercises in the rest of Unit 2 that work toward writing the first draft of the three-paragraph essay on page 49 (descriptive essay on a tradition in your culture). Post it by email to the blog by midnight Thursday, Oct. 4, with the subject "Unit 2 tradition."
Then, make two comments to classmates (different ones please) on this first draft by addressing "Editor's Checklist" items on page 42. This feedback should be completed by your early class deadline for our next meeting after the holiday (9 a.m. Monday). Use this feedback or the feedback on your first Unit 2 draft (food) and write an excellent second draft of whichever one you choose. Submit your second draft to the blog by email (subject "Unit 2 Final Draft") before we meet again Oct.10.
Be sure to spend enough time fine tuning your final draft to make it your best effort. It will be graded later in the semester.
This week we zipped through the rest of Unit 1 in the book, going over the basics. In general, this class will focus on writing short (three-paragraph) essays. I won't mark students down for writing longer, but I'd rather they focus on getting all the important parts right in a short essay before moving on to something longer.
For next week, please pre-read and pre-answer all questions in parts 1, 2 and 3 of Unit 2 before you come to class. Also, please write the first draft of an essay on a food you strongly like and dislike, following the instructions in exercise 7, page 41. Use the exercises that lead up to the essay assignment to help put things together. Post your first draft to the class blog by email by early deadline time (9 a.m. Monday) and give your comments to two classmates by the time class meets on Wednesday. Use the peer feedback form to guide your comments.
See you in class!
We started off this week's session by taking a look at what we learned from the Week 1 survey in groups of three. Then we looked over the book a bit, talking about what some famous writers said about writing and going into our own opinions and attitudes about writing. We didn't get far in the book; only through page 4
After looking over the book together briefly, we moved on to learn about how to post our writing to the blog and make comments on classmates' writing. Then we spent some time freewriting about our writing attitudes.
Please post your writing to the blog two full days before class time (9 a.m. Monday for our Wednesday class). Then, respond to two pieces of writing with comments on the blog, so everyone hears from two classmates. Comments need to be posted to the blog before class time.
For this week, a simple response to the content of the blog entry is sufficient. What did you think about what your classmate wrote? Do you feel the same way? In future, I will give more detailed instructions about how to give feedback on writing.
For next week, remember:
1. Finish Unit 1 in the book. Please pre-read everything and answer all individual written questions before you come to class.
2. Write complete answers to (at least) three questions about your writing attitudes and post it to the class blog by email by 9 a.m. Monday. Comment on two of your classmates’ blog entries by class time next week. For this week, just make some conversational comments to make it an online discussion about what we all think/feel about writing.
3. Have fun!
See you next week!
Making Comments on the Blog ....
You need to select an identity under "comment as." You can choose "anonymous,"
but don't forget to include your name in the comment itself.
After you have written your comment in the comment box, there are two buttons, one to "publish," and one to "preview." If you want to preview it, go ahead. Either way, please make sure your comment is okay before publishing.
When you are ready to publish, select the "publish" button and enter the numbers and letters it asks you for to prove you are a person and not a computer trying to spam someone. It usually gives you 7 or 8 letters and a couple numbers. Separate the letters from the numbers with a space.
You may want to try to comment on my first post under my two comments to test the system before you comment on a classmate's paper while you are figuring out the steps.
Have fun, and let me know if there are problems.
The first week's session consisted of introductions, a brief class outline, and a "getting acquainted" session.
The textbook for this course will be Effective Academic Writing 2: The Short Essay, by Savage and Mayer, Oxford University Press. It is available in the HUFS bookstore.
Please pre-read and pre-answer all individual questions in the book in Unit I, parts 1-3 (pages 1-19) before next week's class session. Also, please bring your written answers to Item 2 of the "getting acquainted" questions I shared with you in class. We will be talking about our writing, about Unit 1 and how to write and share our work with classmates online.
Thanks, and see you in class!