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Academic English I (27818)


Types of writing: descriptive and evaluative writing 1. Critical thinking is based on everyday thinking skills which we use all the time. Are you a critical thinker? Try this critical thinking quiz: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/teach/for442/quizzes/q1003.htm This website takes the form of a quiz which should inspire you to think critically. A discussion of the answers is also provided. Generally, critical thinking is used to understand and evaluate arguments. It is not important whether you agree or disagree with the arguments. Rather, critical thinking requires you to recognise that an argument is a good one, even if you disagree with it, or that another is a bad one, even if you agree with its conclusions. (from Nukui, 2007) 2. Video: Watch the video Types of sentences in an essay by Dr. Steven Woodward (Moodle) and answer the following questions. 1. What types of sentences do you need to know about? 2. What is the role of analytical sentences? 3. What is the difference between the last two types? 4. What are the pet peeves in essay writing? 5. What is free writing? What is your opinion of this method?

3. Read the following extract from the article Banking system developments in the four Asian tigers. Identify the paragraphs that are mainly descriptive and tick them in column 2 of the table below. (from McCormack and Slaght, 2005) Paragraph 1 2 3 4 Mainly descriptive Evaluative comments

Academic English I (27818)

Reread the text and identify paragraphs that show examples of evaluative writing. Tick these in column 3 of the table above.

1. Over the past 30 years, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have had remarkably rapid and sustained economic growth, earning them the nickname the four tigers. Because of the new investment opportunities they provide and because their experiences may offer lessons for less developed economies, they have attracted considerable attention from the financial and policy communities, as well as from economists who have renewed interest in research in theories of economic growth. Despite their physical proximity and shared economic vigour, there are some noticeable differences among the tigers. For instance, Hong Kong and Singapore are cities with limited resources, whereas Taiwan and Korea are economies with relatively large populations, and more diverse industrial structures. 2. All four economies started out poor in all areas except potential labor supply before they began to grow in the 1960s Exports from the four economies together made up over 10% of the worlds total exports, only slightly less than the US in 1994, compared to only 2.5% in 1971 (Glick and Moreno, 1997). The relative shares of imports were about the same. These numbers make it clear that external trade has been an important element in the development of these economies. The external sector (imports + exports), measured relative to total GDP, represented 52% in Korea, 73% in Taiwan, 240% in Hong Kong, and 280% in Singapore in 1994 (for the US, by comparison, it was 17%) ... 3. Commercial banks also played a critical role, because they were the major source of private savings. In Korea and Taiwan, the governments required commercial banks to extend credit towards industries targeted in the governments development plans. Furthermore, due to regulated loan rates, which were below market-determined interest rates, and the lack of loanable funds, these loans were offered at very favourable lending rates 4. In 1994, the manufacturing sector accounted for about 31% and 27% of GDP in Taiwan and Korea, respectively, whereas banking and financial services accounted for 18% and 17%. In contrast, the relative shares of the manufacturing and financial sectors were 28% and 27% for Singapore and 9% and 27% for Hong Kong. The figures seem to reflect the emphases of the past development policies. The financial system was rather the accommodator of this real economic performance than its instigator, wrote one economist after examining the role of the financial sector in economic development experiences of these economies (Patrick, 1994). Recent banking sector developments in Korea and, to a lesser extent, Taiwan point to the negative sideeffects that government direction of credit to preferred industries can have in the long run. Singapores experience seems to suggest that a government could implement industrial development policies without directing the credit decisions of the commercial banking sector. Finally, Hong Kongs case seems to illustrate that an active industrial policy may not be essential for rapid economic development.
Source: Chan, H. (1997). Banking system developments in the four Asian tigers. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Letter, 97-122.

Academic English I (27818)

Evaluative language (Hinkel, 2004) Evaluative adjectives/adverbs can be either positive or negative: 1. In the history of the United States, the struggle for womens rights plays a very important/special role (positive) 2. The author accurately presents a clear picture of todays life in Japan (positive). 3. The currently popular account of causes of youth violence appears to be based on incomplete evidence (negative) 4. The article blames the threat of overpopulation on controversial/ misguided/ questionable data (negative). There are a number of commonly used evaluative adjectives and adverbs in academic writing, given below: Positive evaluative adjectives and adverbs accurate(ly) careful(ly) clear(ly) competent(ly) good/well important(ly) impressive(ly) interesting(ly) significant(ly) thorough(ly) special(ly) useful(ly) innovative(ly)

Negative evaluative adjectives and adverbs controversial(ly) inaccurate(ly) limited(ly) inconclusive(ly) misguided(ly) questionable(ly) minor unsatisfactory(ly) unconvincing(ly) restricted incomplete(ly)

Exercise Supply an appropriate adjective or adverb for each sentence: 1. The research was _________________ carried out by a team of experts. 2. The papers argument was __________________ as the author failed to take account of all the relevant sources. 3. _________________ the author spent over twenty years gathering material for his book. 4. The invention of the computer was _____________________ in all areas of both social and business life. 5. The Nazi Partys ________________ use of Darwinism to justify their acts of genocide has been well documented. 6. The themes of abortion and euthanasia are still __________________ in many modern societies.

Exercise Choose the best words from the box to complete each of these sentences. acknowledged evidence limited borne flawed mistaken challenged flaws seminal credit crucial ground-breaking validity viewed

1. Nierinck gave ____________________ to the input of her research associates and ____________________ that they had played a ____________________ role in the project. 2. Unfortunately, these results are not ____________________ out by other work in the field and you are ____________________ to claim that there is hard ____________________ to support your theory. There are ____________________ in some of your calculations and they need redoing.

Academic English I (27818)

3. Herbert ____________________ Evensson on the ____________________ of his conclusions claiming that his data were ____________________ and were too ____________________ to be reliable. 4. This superb article can be ____________________ as a ____________________ piece of work which has made ____________________ discoveries about the nature of cancerous cells. (from McCarthy & ODell 2008)

Exercise Rearrange the letters to make the word that fits the sentence. 1. The study _____________________ the need for more research. SHHHLTIIGG 2. I dont find your arguments either ______________________ or convincing. DOILS 3. Unfortunately, the two studies came up with results which were not ______________________. ABCELIMOPT 4. She wrote the first ______________________ study of this ______________________ period of Athenian history. OIRCPMEENHVES/ YEK 5. It is ______________________ that his work was initially criticised for being too ______________________. TROWH/ LLARIGNEC/ IMITLDE 6. The article ______________________ the importance of literacy and numeracy skills in early education. DLSIUENREN (from McCarthy & ODell 2008)

References Hinkel, Eli (2004). Teaching academic ESL writing: practical techniques in vocabulary and grammar. Mahwah, N.J.: Erlbaum. McCarthy, Michael & Felicity ODell (2008). Academic vocabulary in use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. McCormack, Joan & John Slaght (2005). Extended Writing & Research Skills. Reading: Garnet. Nukui, Clare (2007). Critical Thinking, TASK. Module 6. Reading: Garnet.