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Course introduction Writing IV 2017 (week 1)

  1. Course Introduction (Week 1) W R I T I N G I V (HE285) Prof. Dr. Ron Martinez
  2. Goals for the week • Reflect on and question current beliefs about academic writing • Gain a fresh understanding of the nature of (academic writing)
  3. Today’s agenda • Present some highlights from class survey • Talk about “screencast” feedback • Explore your beliefs and current knowledge on academic writing • Consider dialogism in writing, and the notion of “correct” • Start on next week’s homework
  4. Online: Beliefs about academic writing • Activity is meant to guide reflection on current beliefs you hold on academic written discourse. • Meant to be collaborative (i.e. generate discussion in pairs), but answers should be submitted individually. Ideally, discuss each question first, then provide your individual answers. • When finished, you may take a break.
  5. OK, let’s go over your results!
  6. Grammar and Vocabulary as a matter of “choice” (not “correct”)
  7. Boa alimentação é saúde. Água parada é mortal.
  8. Examples of journal article structure
  9. Examples of journal article structure
  10. Examples of journal article structure
  11. “Subtext” video Discuss in pairs: • Can you relate? • What insights does it provide (if any) into the nature of the writing process itself? • Bonus: How was he able to choose his words?
  12. User comments on “Subtext” video
  13. User comments on “Subtext” video
  14. Some “Subtext” insights • Lev (the writer) has a specific “agenda” in mind before he begins writing. • The whole process of writing involves him trying to maximize the effect of his discourse to achieve that agenda. • The writing process is “dialogic”: in dialogue with himself, in dialogue with the intended reader. • Lev is (painfully) aware that word choice is of paramount importance; the right choice of words can mean the difference between his “goal” and flat-out rejection.
  15. How to know which word to use?
  16. Lexical Priming (Hoey, 2005) “As a word is acquired through encounters with it in speech and writing, it becomes cumulatively loaded with the contexts and co- texts in which it is encountered, and our knowledge of it includes the fact that it co- occurs with other words in certain kinds of context.” (p. 8)
  17. Read the two articles online 1. Read the New York Times article on Zika first 2. Then read the article written by a Brazilian 3. When finished, discuss the different points of view with 2 other classmates. For example, are there points that you disagree with? Points that you especially agree with?
  18. Summary for Week 1 • In the context of genre, language is about choice, not necessarily “right” and “wrong”. • Academic writing is laden with a number of institutionalized conventions (e.g., journal article structure, academic abbrevations, referencing), and these conventions can actually be of help to non-native (of English) writers. • Especially in argumentative-type essays (the most common academic genre), it is the author’s “position” that drives the discourse. Before anything else, this is the sine qua non of the writing process.
  20. Homework • Read Chapter 1 (“They Say”); • Complete grammar worksheet, “The Grammar of Introductions” (online), print, and bring to class Monday.

Editor's Notes

  1. Semantic priming example first