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Summary and essay June 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 5:25 am

In order to prepare the exams during next week, I would like to discuss two issues in this blog, including writing a summary and writing an exposition essay.

Firstly, I will write the issue of writing a summary. Writing a summary is an important part of IRW, which asks us to compare the differences and the similarities between the two readings and write these logically. The problems for me are that I cannot compare and contrast the information of the articles exactly and the summary does not look logical and cohesively. Therefore, I reflect that what are the main reasons of this problem and I think the causes are that I cannot find out the differences and the similarities from the two readings accurately. I can identify the main ideas and the position of each article, but I cannot link the two readings together and then accurately analyse the relationship between them. In previous practices of IRW, I wrote the main ideas of one of the two articles firstly, and then I wrote the similar points and the contrasting ideas of another article according to the main ideas of the first reading when I made a plan. After this, I wrote the summary according the plan. This method is useful but sometimes I cannot find all similar ideas and the contrasting ideas because I do not find all the main ideas of the second reading. Thus, I need to make some changes to solve the problem.

1. Reading every article to find out the positions and the main ideas

2. Listing the position and the main ideas of each reading

3. Identifying the different and similar points by comparing these ideas

4. Writing a summary

    1. Presenting and comparing the positions of the articles

    2. Comparing different and similar main ideas

   3. Using conjunctions accurately to link sentences

The second issue that I will talk about is writing an exposition essay in an exam. It is difficult to write an essay in an exam, which requires us to think supporting ideas by ourselves replace finding supporting points by reading academic articles and to finish writing in limited time. Hence, the plan and brainstorming are essential in exams.

1. Utilising the brainstorming time to find some supporting points

 2. Making a plan to make sure the structure of an essay, the scope and the supporting ideas

3. Writing the essay and working on that if the evidence and supporting ideas relate to the topic, and explain why and how these support the position and topic sentences

4. Proofreading, correcting the language errors and checking that if the structure is logical and cohesively

 

exposition essay June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 2:19 am

During last five weeks, I finished my second essay that is an exposition essay. Exposition essay is distinct from discussion essay. Writing a discussion essay, we need to compare different things and discuss the differences, in contrast exposition essay need us to analyse deeply and demonstrate the position. The most difficult thing for me is to find reasonable arguments to support my position. Powerful arguments are very important to an essay, which can make the article look more logical and easily to more convince the readers. Therefore, before writing an exposition essay, the first thing is to find arguments.

  1. anglicising the topic and thinking deeply to find some possible arguments
  2. skimming the readings and finding out arguments from these articles
  3. choosing the convincing arguments from these arguments that are found by the previous two steps
  4. according to the arguments, reading the articles carefully and find useful information to support the arguments
  5. after finished collecting the data, checking the logic whether it is reasonable by combining the arguments and the evidence
  6. If the arguments are forceful, then start to write the essay, otherwise I will find other arguments again

Another significant thing is how to express your ideas logically and academically. We should master the usages of some conjunctions and the structure of an easy to express the ideas logically. In order to make the article look more academic, applying formal words in an essay is very important. Therefore, learning more formal vocabulary and knowing how to use correctly are very essential.

  1. When reading academic articles, I should notice how the authors express their views and what the formal words and report words they use.
  2. recording these words and the meanings of these words
  3. recording the usage of these academic words in the articles and find other usages by  using the website (http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.htm)
  4. applying these formal words in my writing and practise again and again
 

time management and conjunctions May 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 6:05 am

This time I would like to write two issues of my study, one is the time management, another is about the linking words.

Firstly, I am going to talk about the time management. There are many assignments in the five weeks, such as an exposition essay, group work and IRP. Every assignment will take a lot of time and effort to prepare. For example, to finish an essay needs many steps, including searching the information which is related to the topic, reading and clarifying the structure of the essay. In addition, I have to finish these tasks during the five weeks, which require that I should do these assignments at the same time. Because of these I mentioned earlier, I am often confused about the order of tasks and make changes in my schedule, which makes me waste a lot of time and lose control of my time. Therefore, I reflect on my problem and I think the most important reason is that I do not prioritise my tasks. In previous weeks, I managed time by using time guide. It is a very useful tool. I will continue to use the schedule to manage time, but I should make some changes because the situation is different between this term and last one. In the last few weeks, I just filled the time table with the daily assignments and independent learning tasks, whereas this method does not work now. I will use another approach to make a plan.

1. List all assignments I will do.

2. Check the due date of assignments and plan how to do every assignment (the steps) in order to prioritise the tasks.

3. Think critically that how long every task will take.

4. Fill the time table with the different tasks.

The second problem is about how to use linking words. Conjunctions are very important to write an essay which can make the article look logically. My problem is that I cannot use some conjunctions accurately and I think that there are two main reasons. One is I do not really understand the meanings of some linking words, such as nevertheless. Another reason is even though I understand the meanings of the conjunctions, I still do not know how to use them. For example, I do not know ‘nevertheless’ should be placed in the middle of a sentence, the beginning of a sentence or the end of a sentence. I used to check the meaning from the dictionary and learn the usages from the examples set in the dictionary. Because of the limited examples, I cannot master the usages. Therefore, I try to use another solution.

1. Check the meaning (dictionary)

2. How to use

 http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.htm

http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/guide/articles.html

3. Record the usages

4. Review

5. Practise

 

new start May 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 3:26 pm

Time flies like an arrow. In the past ten weeks, my English skills have been improved, whereas speaking is still the biggest problem for me. In particular, when I go shopping, I usually have some questions what I want to ask the assistants but I do not know how to express myself due to limited vocabulary. In addition, I cannot name the most food when I eat in a restaurant, which makes me feel so embarrassed. Therefore, during the break, I read some academic articles and watched several English films to enrich my vocabulary. I also made use of spare time to go shopping in order to practise my speaking English. I recorded the goods’ names on my pocket note, and then I checked the words by using dictionary. Finally, I remembered these words again and again. I think this way is very useful to me and I will adopt this method in next ten weeks to improve my English. I hope that I will be able to communicate with locals in fluent English at the end of this term.

In the last five weeks, essay is a new challenge for me. An excellent essay requires logical structure, clear arguments and academic language. I have read the feedback carefully and I realized that I need to make progress in many areas such as linking words, analysing sources, vocabulary and sentence construction. I think that the most useful way is reading others’ essays as much as possible, learn how other authors write essays and what vocabulary they use, take notes and try to use these for writing essays. Visiting the website (http://www.uefap.com) is another good way to improve writing skills. There are many detailed explanations of how to write an essay, including introduction, process and organization. Finally, reading various types of articles can help me to develop my ideas. Over the period of next few weeks, we have new essays to write, I will adopt these approaches to improve my writing skills.

 

my first essay April 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 4:06 pm

Since the last blog, two weeks have passed. In the past two weeks, I practice my English skills by using the two methods and I think they are very useful. All English skills should be built on a foundation of vocabulary, I think. Therefore, accumulating vocabulary is very important for me. Now, my reading speed has been improved through using the first way I referred in the last blog. At the same time, I learn the usages of some words. When I find some unfamiliar words, I will check the meanings of these words and confirm the usage by visiting the website. In the future study, I will continue to use these methods to learn new words. On this weekend, I bought an English-English dictionary which includes thesauruses. I will use it to check the meanings instead of using English-Chinese dictionary, which is very helpful to my writing that looks boring because of repeating the same words and can help me to learn more words. Firstly, I will check the words from the dictionary. Secondly, I will utilize the thesaurus to improve my English skills, especially writing skills. Finally, I will confirm the usage of these words.

In this week, I have another problem which is writing an essay. Although I have experience in written essays in university, the structure is completely different from previous structure of essay. At the beginning, I was confused about how to write an essay. Then I made a plan for essay. First of all I should analyze the topic and select the information relating to the topic. Reading articles and taking notes will spend me a lot of time, so, I should read effectively , get the main idea and do not try to understand everything. After that, I can decide the structure of my essay and write a draft. At last, I need to proofread and change something again and again. In the next week, I will hand in the final draft. I will change something seriously. I will try to search more information by visiting the website of our school library.

 

the start of another five weeks March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 4:51 am

I have finished five weeks’ study, my English skills have been improved during this period. At the fifth week, Dave had a talk with me. I am told that my primary concern is to increase the vocabulary and I also aware that I have a limited vocabulary, especially when I communicate with others or write academic article and summary. Usually, in the writing, I cannot find right formal words from my memory to replace informal words and repeat some words again and again. In addition, I cannot make use of transition signals. Thus, my article looks very dry and illogical. Because of my small vocabulary, my speaking is in difficulty, too. For example, when we discuss some questions in class, I do not know how to express my own ideas clearly. Sometimes, even I understand the meaning of a word, I cannot use it correctly.

In the past five weeks, I tried to learn new words by reading academic articles. I mark words I do not understand while I am reading, then, I find out meanings and remember these words. At the same time, I try to learn how authors use them. I think this way is helpful to me and I will follow these steps in the next study. I will adopt another approach which is to visit the website (http://vlc.polyu.edu.hk/concordance/WWWConcappE.htm) and use the writing book (THE ESSENTIALS OF ENGLISH). There are many useful details I can find from the website and the book. I will spend 1hour everyday to read the book and take notes. When I meet the word I do not know how to use, I will visit the website. Besides this measure, I should to be active in classes and speak as much as possible because I can learn others’ ways of expression, meanwhile, I will gain confidence in the process of discussion.

 

a busy week March 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — zhaoqun @ 6:20 am

This week is the busiest week since PEP course began, because I and my partner have to finish poster by Thursday. Poster is my special experience of cooperating with other people. So, there are many problems what we should face. For example, we have different ideas, we cannot always keep contacting with each other. To solve the problem, we discussed again and again for coming to an agreement by sending emails. In order to do the task well, both I and my partner must find a lot of information about our topic which means I have to collect useful content from these information. This is another problem for me. Sometimes I read an article from cover to cover, but when I finish reading, I found it is useless. Therefore, I waste a lot of time on the job. Because of the job, I slept only 4 or 5 hours this week everyday. Even in class, I did not have energies. I do not know how to do the job effectively. I hope Dave and our classmates can give me some advice.

 Except poster, I get feedback of my blog entry 2 and oral presentation. What I did is not satisfy me. There are many weaknesses in my blog entry and presentation. Dave provides me some suggestions, for instance, organize my presentation logically and not feel nerves, deeply analysis my problem and plan processes to solve it. After class, I think about my weaknesses and I will try my best to avoid these problems next time. Also, this week, I gain knowledge of how to analysis issue logically which is helpful to my presentation and writing. In china, I do not have many opportunities to stand on the platform to speak. So when I stand in the front of audience, I cannot express naturally. I think I can regard presentation as a meeting and I just tell the audience a story. Maybe this way can let me relax myself.

So many skills I should to improve, I must work hard.