Presentation on theme: "The Students We Surveyed Academic Writing courses (some intermediate, some advanced) 90% graduate students, 10% undergraduates 90% one ethnicity, 10% other."— Presentation transcript:
The Students We Surveyed Academic Writing courses (some intermediate, some advanced) 90% graduate students, 10% undergraduates 90% one ethnicity, 10% other ethnicities Most have demonstrated success at the university level in their native countries, are highly motivated, and have good study habits.
Strategies Emphasized 1. Self-Editing (for grammar) 2. Brainstorming (for content) 3. Refine and Expand Content (subsequent drafts) 4. Study teacher’s feedback 5. Effective use of dictionary (usage examples) 6. Outlining 7. Begin by studying the assignment carefully 8. Memorization (phrases, idioms, collocations) 9. Reading Log
Self-Editing (for grammar) Grammar Handouts “Blue Sheet” (important rules) “Errors to Avoid” (different each semester) Algorithm for Self-Editing 1. Check for Subject-Verb Agreement 2. Check all Singular Count-Nouns 3. Check Verbs for proper tense 4. Check Verbs in Dictionary (Transitive/intransitive, prepositions, collocations) Students don’t report doing this much.
Brainstorming (for content) Very often, content is extremely “thin.” Don’t stop until you’ve come up with TEN ideas; then use the best THREE as your Main Points [Q16, Q19] Brainstorming Exercises Students claim they dislike doing this, yet this is a frequently-reported strategy.
Example of “thin” content Many religions are in this world, and they exist together. On another side, they conflict among them. Both Christianity and Islam conflict each other. Both have three differences. [very weak introduction] First difference is a founder. The founder of Christianity is Jesus, but the founder of Islam is Mohammed. Jesus was born earlier than Mohammed. Christianity believe Jesus as their saver, but Islam believe Mohammed as their saver. Second difference is the scriptures. The scripture of Christianity is the Bible, but the scripture of Islam is the Koran. Both admit the Old Testament of the Bible as the scripture, but Islam rejects the New Testament as the scripture. Third difference is the areas. Christianity is distributed at Europe and America, but Islam is distributed at the mid-east Asia and Africa. Although both their area is different, both conflict seriously in the area where they meet. In conclusion, Christianity and Islam are major religion, but both are different in founder, scripture, and area. Both conflict each other in the differences but both exist together. [Very limited content. This is an imitation of an essay, not really an essay]
Example of “rich” content Have you ever asked yourself, what if don ’ t leave a tip after having a dinner at a restaurant? I am not saying you are not leaving a tip, because the waitress served very bad or the food was not good enough, but just you are not leaving it by no-meaning. There are several differences between American restaurants and Korean restaurants. First, the style of payment. In the U.S., people call waitress for a bill, so that they can pay the bill. However in Korea, people go to the counter by themselves to pay for what they have eaten when they are leaving the restaurant. I guess, it ’ s because Americans use to dutch-pay what they ate, but Koreans usually choose a person to pay for everyone. It takes less time for one person to deal with the bill in front of the counter than many people do mathematic in a group. Secondly, restaurants in Korea hire people with enough salary so the customers may not leave the tips for them, while in the U.S. if you don ’ t give the tips, they will not make money. It should be the difference of customs, the Korean people don ’ t like to spend extra money. When they see a cost on the menu, they would like to pay exact the amount only....
Refine and Expand Content (subsequent drafts) There is seldom time to develop a complete essay on the first draft. When giving feedback, we always request CLARIFICATIONS and ADDITIONS [Q47] Emphasis on adding COLOR (vividness, detail).
Study Teacher’s Feedback! Some students are interested only in what grade they received. We no longer give grades, only feedback. Study the feedback you receive and try to learn from it [Q25, Q26] Keep a log of your goals for improvement.
Effective Use of Dictionary Ineffective use = looking up words in isolation. Effective use = seeking appropriate usage examples [Q38] English-English print dictionary (not bilingual, not electronic)
Outlining Easy to learn, easy to do Outlining Exercises Most students are doing this, as demonstrated by this survey and by the first drafts we receive [Q18]
Study the Writing Prompt The Prompt is a piece of writing about this topic-- Study it and learn from it! Vocabulary, collocations, and useful phrases for writing about this topic [Q14, Q27] Weak students tend to copy whole sentences from the Prompt.
Memorization A familiar strategy for many of our students. I have found it effective in my own language- learning. Memorization of common academic phrases (in my opinion, on the other hand). Memorization of model sentences which illustrate collocations (e.g. dictionary usage examples). Memorization of Biblical passages, other texts.
Keep a Reading Log Reading and Writing are closely related. Try to learn something you can use in writing from every reading assignment. Keep a log of useful phrases and collocations. Keep a log of questions (and seek answers). Don ’ t try to learn more than 2 or 3 new things at a time.