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Examples. Your brother writes to you about his experiences as a college freshman
Your brother writes to you about his experiences as a college freshman. colloquial
You need to write a note for your professor, saying you had stopped by her office and want to make an appointment. formal
1. You need to write a seminar report for colleagues in your major field (other educators, other engineers, other sociologists).
2. Your friend needs to write a letter to his father, who is fairly understanding and with whom he is fairly close, explaining his poor grades.
3. You need to write a letter to your sponsor, explaining your poor grades and asking for more
4. It is summer vacation, and you are writing a letter to your American roommate, who has not traveled much, persuading him or her to come to visit you in your country.
5. You are writing about the history of log cabins in the U.S. for your History 101 class.
6. Your roommate is completing a term paper (a lengthy paper which usually takes several weeks and library research to complete) for a lower-level economics class.
7. You are writing comments on a peer review form for a classmate.
8. Your professor is writing an article on historical linguistics for The TESOL Journal.
9. You are writing about how to build a suspension bridge for an upper-level civil engineering course.
10. Your best American friend writes you a letter in which she complains about her low grades and mean professors.
Task 18. (out-class activity)Read the following texts (A, B and C). Analyze each text for:
Present the results of your research in a form of a presentation (4 slides), each slide includes an answer to one of the following questions:
1. Which text sounds the most academic in tone? Why?
2. Which one has the most formal and sophisticated vocabulary? Why?
3. Which one has the best control of style and language? Why?
4. Which one has the most effective content and organization? Why?
A)Professors in this culture have specific format rules. First, they want papers to be neat. This is true in other cultures too. But in our culture, we have to remember little things. Such as put the holes on the left, not the right. We also have to skip lines and leave the margin empty. Because the paper will be easy to read. Moreover, professors here want us to use only the front of the paper, not the back. We aren't supposed to flip the page over wrong. So what should be the top is used as the bottom, this is confusing.
Second, a composition is supposed to be like a picture. The words are the picture and the margin is the frame. We think this is beautiful. But maybe people in other cultures think something else is beautiful. Cultures are different, nobody is right or wrong. Also, if my paper is sloppy, it looks like I did it at the last minute. Professors here expect us to pay attention to details. Not just with format but with spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. For example, one of my professors gave me a C, I had too many mistakes.
Third, we have to type the right way. If a paper is typed wrong, our grade goes down. We have to double-space and leave spaces on the side. We also have to use font 12, not 15. If we use a computer to write our papers and print them, we have to make sure we tear the pages apart and put them in order. Professors do not like to do that for us. I think if nonnative speakers know these rules, they will do well with format. But they need to have interesting content, too. Because a paper won't get a good grade just because it looks nice.
In conclusion, it won't be hard for nonnative speakers to learn these rules, they are easier than thinking of ideas.
B)Cultural differences regarding the presentation of an academic paper may not be significant, but nonnative speakers should be aware of the format rules they will be expected to follow in academic courses.
First, effective academic writing in any culture looks polished and professional. In other words, it is well presented, not sloppy or illegible. Literally, the word "paragraph" means "picture of words." The completed writing assignment is pleasing to the eye and easy to read. Good writers care as much about the paper's appearance as its message. Writing a good paper takes effort, and the "format" of the paper is the wrapping on the gift. The professor will be more willing to appreciate the message if the presentation is pleasing to the eye. Such a paper demonstrates the writer's eye for detail in the completion of the paper, whereas a sloppy paper indicates a slip-shod job, perhaps a last-minute attempt. A paper that looks professional will not necessarily get an "A" in a university here, but a carelessly assembled, messy paper will be lucky to get a "D," especially if the content is poor.
Although good academic writers in most cultures have high standards with respect to the presentation of their writing, the format rules they follow may vary in other cultures. To begin with, the use of holes, lines, margins, and the paper space are different from culture to culture. For example, in some cultures, writers prefer the paper holes on the right, not the left. Thus, their front page is the back of the page in this culture. Moreover, writers in other cultures may not like to waste paper, so they fill all the space on a page, including the margins. Professors here, however, will expect empty margins and double spacing to allow room for comments and aid readability. Also, the pages should be clearly numbered and in order, and the back of the paper should not be used. If the back is used, the writing should not be upside down. The paper, therefore, should not be flipped over from the bottom; the top of the back page should correspond to the top of the front page, not the bottom. Finally, there are other format rules to learn regarding typed papers. Typed papers should be double-spaced in font 12. The margins should be adequate also. Professors expect the pages to be numbered, torn apart if printed, and handed in the correct order.
In conclusion, nonnative speakers need to realize that, regardless of neatness, the format they are used to may be distracting to a professor here. Learning these rules is easier than learning how to compose a paper.
C)I'm going to write about the format rules for writing in school. I think good writing looks neat. What I mean is that it is not a piece of junk. My composition teacher said my paragraphs should be pictures. The paper is cool to look at. Easy to read if I do, I guess. I used to write yucky papers. But now I don't. Do you? I hear that format things are different everywhere. People use lines and stuff different all over the world. Weird. I guess people from other countries need to learn the same things as me. If they don't, they might turn their teacher off. Even if they are neat. Writing good papers are a pain. The "format" of the paper is a big deal. For my teachers, they will like my papers better if they look good. I care about the little things. That's what they think. A sloppy paper makes it look like I pulled an all-nighter. That's what I learned in my composition class. I want to write good. So that I don't get an F. Also, I shouldn't beat around the bush. I have to say something good. I think that's all.
(Adapted from Шахова, Н.И. и др. Learn to read science: учеб. пособие. М. «Флинта» и «Наука». 2005.)
Task 19.Complete the chart taking examples from the texts (A, B, C)
Task 20. The following sentences are all written in an informal, conversational style. Rewrite them so that they sound more formal, using the word in brackets.
1. I said sorry for not showing up on time. (apologize)
2. They never answered my email. (reply)
3. You need to ask the headmaster about that. (inquiry)
4. Our relationship has been harmonious up to now, so we cannot understand this problem. (hitherto)
5. You need to pay, and if you don't, we will stop all deliveries to you. (failing that, outstanding)
6. We think this is your fault. (opinion, blame)
7. We are sorry to tell you ... (regret, inform)
Task 21. Rewrite the sentences that they sound informal.
1. The inclement climatic conditions obliged the President to return earlier than scheduled.
2. Please await instructions before dispatching items.
3. Essential measures should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.
4. Prior to the discovery of America, potatoes were not consumed in Europe.
PART 3: WHAT IS SCIENCE?
Task 22. Listen to the recording. Write NO MORE THAN 3 WORDSfor each answer.
Complete the admission tutor’s notes below.
Task 23.Share your opinion with your peers.
a) What is science?
b) What branch of science are you interested in?
c) Who are the most famous scientists in your branch?
Task 24. Read the following text quickly and fill in the table. What do these dates given in the table refer to?
What is science?
Science is a cumulative body of knowledge about the natural world, obtained by the application of a particular method practised by the scientist. The word science itself is derived from the Latin scire, to know, to have knowledge of, to experience. Technology is the fruit of applied science: it is the concrete expression of research done in the laboratory and applied to manufacturing commodities to meet human needs. The word scientist was introduced only in 1840 by William Whewell, Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. (Whewell was a friend of Faraday, and helped him in inventing the terminology of electrochemistry.) In his Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, he wrote: "We need a name to describe a cultivator of science in general. I should be inclined to call him a scientist." The "cultivators of science" before 1840 were known as "natural philosophers". The founders of the 300-year-old Royal Society were typical "natural philosophers". They were curious, often eccentric, persons who poked inquiring fingers at nature. In the process of doing so they started a technique of inquiry we know today as "the scientific method".
Briefly, these are the steps in "the method". First comes the thought that sparks off the inquiry. (For example, in 1896, the physicist Henri Becquerel (1852-1909), in communications to the French Academy of Sciences, stated that lie found that uranium salts emitted spontaneously rays of unknown nature. His discovery excited Marie Curie (1867-1934). With her husband Pierre (1859-1906), she wanted to know more about this radiation. What was it exactly, and where did it come from?)
Second comes the collecting of facts: the techniques of doing this will differ according to the problem to be solved. But it is based on experiment in which you may use anything from a test-tube to an earth satellite to gather the essential data. (If you do not know the difficulties which the Curies encountered to gather their facts, as they investigated the mysterious uranium rays, I advise you to read the remarkable story in the book Madame Curie by her daughter Eve.)
This leads to step three: organizing the facts and studying the relationships that emerge. (These rays were different from anything known. How to explain this? Did this radiation come from the atom itself? It might well be that other materials also have the property of emitting this radiation. Mme Curie investigated and found this was so. She invented the word radioactivity for this phenomenon. She followed this with further experimental work on only "active" radio-elements.)
Step four is the statement of a hypothesis or theory: that is, framing a general truth that has emerged, and that may be modified as new facts emerge. (In July 1898, the Curies announced the probable presence in pitchblende ores of a new element endowed with powerful radioactivity. This was the beginning of the discovery of radium.)
Then follows the clearer statement of the theory. (In December 1898, the Curies reported to the Academy of Sciences: "The various reasons we have enumerated lead us to believe that the new radioactive substance contains a new element to which we propose to give the name of Radium. The new radioactive substance certainly contains a very strong proportion of barium; in spite of that its radioactivity is considerable. The radioactivity of radium therefore must be enormous."
And the final step is the practical test of the theory - the prediction of new facts. This is essential, because from this flows the possibility of control by man of the forces of nature that are newly revealed.
Note how Marie Curie used deductivereasoning in order to push on. This kind of detective work is basic to the methodology of science. Further, that she was concerned with probability - and not certainty - in her investigations. Also, although the Curies were doing the basic research work at great expense to themselves in hard physical toil, they knew that they were part of an international group of people all concerned with their search for truth. Their reports were published and immediately examined by scientists all over the world. Any flaws in their argument would be pointed out to them immediately.
(From The Young Scientist's Companion, Souvenir Press, London, 1961)
Task 25.Make a collocation using the words from the list, then make sentences using the completed phrases.
Essential, unknown, clear, applied, deductive, eccentric, manufacturing, experimental, practical, cumulative,
___________ body of knowledge; _____________ commodities;
___________ science _____________ nature;
___________ test _____________ work;
___________ reasoning; _____________ statement;
____________ data; _____________ person.
Task 26. Fill in the gaps with the words from the list. Use each word only once. You may need to change the form of the word.
Practice (n), gather (v), alienate (v), examine (v), invention (n), substance (n), predict (v), discover (v), inquire (v), pertinent (adj), flaw (n), modify (v), target (v), apply (v), meet (v).
1. Science is a cumulative body of knowledge about the natural world, obtained by the ___________ of a particular method.
2. This method is widely __________ by the scientists.
3. The research done in the laboratory and applied to manufacturing commodities to __________ human needs.
4. Any ___________ in their argument would be pointed out to them immediately.
5. The audience is comprised of the audience(s) the writer or the speaker is ___________ or addressing a message to.
6. As far as I can understand this report contains __________ information the committee needs to know.
7. If the writers or the speakers choose the wrong level of formality and language, they will probably ____________ their audiences.
8. His _________ excited other scientists.
9. In the process of doing so the “natural phylosophers” started a technique of ___________we know today as "the scientific method".
10. The technique of collecting facts is based on experiment in which you may use anything from a test-tube to an earth satellite to ____________ the essential data.
11. The new radioactive _____________ contains a new element.
12. The final step is the practical testof the theory - the ____________ of new facts.
13. She _______________ the term radioactivity for this phenomenon.
14. Their reports were immediately ___________ by scientists all over the world.
15. The hypothesismay be ______________as new facts emerge.
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