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Interactive Writing II Session #13: January 8th, 2010

The Greengage Summer (1958), 1962 Pan paperbac...
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  1. Important announcement: the makeup class on January 19th has been canceled. Instead there will be class as usual on Friday, January 15th.
  2. Returned reports (“Comparison between ‘Little Plum‘ and (your chosen Japanese story)
  3. What does “compare” mean?  Compare – requires an answer that sets items side by side and shows their similarities and differences. A balanced (fair, objective) answer is expected.
  4. A fair comparison. Is comparing a novel with a picture book a fair comparison? Is comparing a novel with a movie a fair comparison? Is comparing a novel with a cartoon or manga a fair comparison?
    1. If you make an unfair comparison, you will draw false conclusions (as some of you did).
  5. Review of the criteria I use to evaluate your writing
    1. conventions of writing: sentence and paragraph structurepunctuation, etc.
    2. Vocabulary: rich, precise, correctly used.
    3. Grammar: basic and advanced structures, word order
    4. Organization: logically organized, correct use of paragraphs
    5. Originality: have you used your own words? Do you have interesting ideas or approaches?
    6. Academic writing:
      1. formal register:
        1. avoid “I”; your writing should be impersonal and objective;
        2. avoid contractions like “don’t”;
        3. instead of “And”, use “Moreover” or “In addition”.
        4. instead of “But”, use “However,”
        5. instead of “So”, use “Therefore,”
        6. be precise in your use of words
      2. citations (“according to ….”, (Krashen, 2003), etc.
      3. references / bibliography, including websites (give the name of the website as well as the URL, e.g. “Research, Reading & Writing http://sheffnersweb.net/blogs/classblogs/dwc/ and the date visited
      4. opposing arguments (both sides of an issue)
      5. logical thinking
  6. Quiz on Little Plum (we will finish this next class).
    1. Why did Belinda climb the ilex tree?
    2. Who saw “Little Plum” first?
    3. Who does Little Plum belong to?
    4. Who named Little Plum?
    5. What was the first “present” that Belinda asked Nona to make for Little Plum?
    6. What did Belinda use to get across to Gem’s window?
    7. What was written in the first letter Belinda wrote to Gem (not the one where she said sorry for crashing into Gem while roller-skating, but the one she wrote when she gave Gem her first “present”)?
    8. What did Gem write in reply?
    9. What did Gem do with Belinda’s first “present”?
    10. What was Belinda’s second “present”?
    11. What was Belinda’s message with her second present?
    12. What did Gem do with the second present, and what message did she write?
    13. What was Belinda’s third present to Gem, and what message did she send with it?
    14. What was Gem’s response? (What was her message and what did she do?)
    15. What was Belinda’s fourth present, and what message did she send with it?
    16. What was Gem’s response? (What did she do and what was her message?)
    17. What was Belinda’s fifth present and message?
    18. What was Gem’s response?
    19. What did Belinda do next?
    20. Who won the fight?
    21. Who helped Belinda safely off the ladder and how?
    22. Was Belinda punished? How? Why?
    23. Do you think Belinda should have been punished? How would you punish Belinda?
    24. Why did Belinda ask Mr. Twilfit for advice?
    25. What was Mr. Twilfit’s advice?
    26. When is the Japanese Festival of Dolls?
    27. Who was the surprise guest at the Doll’s Festival?
    28. What did Gem think of Belinda’s messages?
    29. What will Belinda teach Gem
    30. What will Gem let Belinda do?
  7. Details of the final exam:
    1. There will be 2 questions:
      1. a choice of 1 of 3 topics for a paper
      2. some questions about the story of “Little Plum”.
      3. You can bring anything into the exam room.
      4. You will need to prepare your paper before the day of the exam, and bring suitable materials.
  8. Homework:
    • Re-write your essay comparing Rumer Godden‘s novel for children Little Plum with a Japanese children’s story. You must
      1. write the full references for the two books you use (using the MLA style)
      2. make a fair comparison (i.e. compare a novel with a novel, not with a movie or a cartoon)
      3. use a formal, academic register (do not use slang, do not use contractions like “don’t”, etc)
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Research in English II Session #13: January 8th, 2010

Alice Springs, Northern Territory
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Welcome back, everyone, to the first of our last two classes in 2010.

Important announcement: the makeup class scheduled for Wednesday Jan. 13th has been cancelled. Instead, there will be class as usual on Friday, Jan. 15th.

Here is the lesson plan for today:

  1. I return the remaining #2 reports.
  2. Review of the criteria I use to evaluate your writing
    1. conventions of writing: sentence and paragraph structure, punctuation, etc.
    2. Vocabulary: rich, precise, correctly used.
    3. Grammar: basic and advanced structures, word order
    4. Organization: logically organized, correct use of paragraphs
    5. Originality: have you used your own words? Do you have interesting ideas or approaches?
    6. Academic writing:
      1. formal register:
        1. avoid “I”; your writing should be impersonal and objective;
        2. avoid contractions like “don’t”;
        3. be precise in your use of words
      2. citations (“according to ….”, (Krashen, 2003), etc.
      3. references / bibliography, including websites and the date visited
      4. opposing arguments (both sides of an issue)
      5. logical thinking
  3. What does “discuss” mean?  Discuss – requires an answer that explains an item or concept, and then gives details about it with supportive information, examples, points for and against, and explanations for the facts put forward. It is important to give both sides of an argument and come to a conclusion.
  4. Topics for January, and details of the final exam.
  5. Australia quiz. Who or what are these (answer in 1 or 2 sentences):
    1. Alice Springs
    2. the Great Barrier Reef
    3. Canberra
    4. Stolen generation
    5. White Australia policy
    6. Pavlova
    7. vegemite
    8. Lamingtons
    9. RFDS
    10. Uluru
    11. Broome
    12. Bush tucker
    13. didgeridoo
    14. APEC
    15. What does Australia export apart from beef?
    16. How many foreign students does Australia have?
    17. Where did the new settlers who came to Australia in 2001-2 come from?
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Interactive Writing Session #4: October 16th, 2009

The writer, the written and the writing tool
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UPDATE: Test yourself! Try this vocabulary quiz about chapter 1 of Little Plum.

Test yourself! Try this quiz on some of the words we read today in chapter 2.

  1. Review of basic rules of English writing:
    1. 5 conditions for a simple sentence
    2. complex sentences + common errors (fragments, run-ons, and comma splices)
    3. the paragraph – unity, grouping of sentences, topic sentence, major supports, transitions.
    4. the essay (according to Andy Gillett) –made up of several paragraphs; introduction, main body, conclusion; all written about one main topic; needs to have a clear purpose; “you should present ideas you have learned but in your own words, and say something for yourself about the subject; the ideas and people you refer to must be made explicit by a system of referencing.”  (c.f. Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education )
  2. Show me your notebooks for “Little Plum
  3. Today, we will read the rest of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.
  4. Take notes (in Japanese OK) about today’s mini lecture on British children’s author Enid Blyton.
  5. We will begin to think about research projects.
    1. Rumer Godden’s life
    2. Rumer Godden’s books for children
    3. Rumer Godden’s books
    4. Famous British children’s authors and books
    5. Compare 1 British children’s book with 1 famous Japanese children’s book
    6. Compare Rumer Godden with a famous Japanese writer for children
    7. Compare British books for children with Japanese books for children.
  6. We will learn about how to write a summary. From Andy Gillett’s page:

One of the most important aspects of academic writing is making use of the ideas of other people. This is important as you need to show that you have understood the materials and that you can use their ideas and findings in your own way. In fact, this is an essential skill for every student.

It is very important when you do this to make sure you use your own words, unless you are quoting. You must make it clear when the words or ideas that you are using are your own and when they are taken from another writer. You must not use another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own: this is Plagiarism and plagiarism is regarded as a very serious offence.

The object of academic writing is …  for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. You can do this by reporting the works of others in your own words. You can either paraphrase if you want to keep the length the same, summarise if you want to make the text shorter or synthesise if you need to use information from several sources. In all cases you need to acknowledge other people’s work.

HOMEWORK:

  1. Write a summary of Chapter 1 and 2
  2. Write your notes (in Japanese) to today’s talk, and post them to your blog by Wednesday Oct. 21, 18:00
  3. Visit Andy Gillett’s website Using English for Academic Purposes: A guide for students of higher education. Especially look at the sections on “Paragraph”
  4. Watch theses slideshows on paragraph writing and on summarising.
    1. slideshow #1
    2. slideshow #2
    3. Slideshow #3
  5. Prepare chapter 3 of “Little Plum”.
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Express your opinion! Let me know what you think of today's class, the written materials, the activities, the teacher's lecture, etc. Have a question about English or about today's class? Click the words "Leave a comment" below, or send me an email. Thank you for visiting.