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Breaking through English Writing Barriers. 突破英文寫作困境 東海大學外文系 吳凱琳. English Writing Barriers. Have you even found yourself Staring at the computer screen/paper for more than 10 minutes Writing for 5 minutes and then stopping for more than 5 minutes

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Breaking through english writing barriers l.jpg

Breaking through English Writing Barriers

突破英文寫作困境

東海大學外文系

吳凱琳


English writing barriers l.jpg
English Writing Barriers

Have you even found yourself

  • Staring at the computer screen/paper for more than 10 minutes

  • Writing for 5 minutes and then stopping for more than 5 minutes

  • Having a lot of ideas but not knowing where to start

  • Getting stuck in Chinese-English translation

  • Getting lost in writing: no clear focus and organization


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English Writing Barriers in

  • getting started:

    --the hardest part is the beginning

    --no idea

  • expressing ideas in English

    --lack of vocabulary

    --direct translation from Chinese into English

  • organizing ideas logically


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Causes of Writing Barriers

  • Improper writing attitudes

     Writing is a “natural talent.”

     Writing is a skill that can be learned.

    Writing is a product.

     Writing is a process

  • Lack of writing strategies

  • Lack of input


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Writing Strategy 1: Prewriting

“Don’t think. Type. The thinking comes later.”

“The first time, you don’t think, you just write.” ~ Finding Forrester


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Prewriting: Write before writing

  • Listing

  • Freewriting

  • Clustering

  • WH-Questions


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List as many words, phrases about the topic

Don’t worry about spelling or grammar

Write down whatever comes to mind

Don’t stop to make correction

Exercises:Work with a partner and make a list of writing difficulties you encounter

no voc.

no idea

Translating from Chinese into English

Get stuck

Messy sentence structure

Disorganized essay structure

Boring writing topics

Writing academic papers

Prewriting technique: listing


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Free your mind

Start writing whatever comes to mind

Don’t stop to correct spelling or grammar

Keep writing for at least 20 minutes

Topic: benefit of aerobic exercise

What are the benefit of taking aerobic class? My classmate take the class because she would like to lose weight. Another takes for health, physical health and fitness.

加強心肺功能 How can it strengthen the function of heart and lungs? I don’t know, but a lot of studies show this kind of effects.

Prewriting technique: freewriting


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Prewriting technique: clustering

  • Start with the topic in the center of the page

  • Link ideas about the topic with circles and lines

  • Provide a mental picture of the ideas

Benefits of aerobic class


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Prewriting technique: WH-Questions

Asking a reporter’s questions

  • Who was there?

  • What happened?

  • Where did it happen?

  • When did it happen?

  • Why did it happen?

  • How did it happen?


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Writing Strategy 2: Outlining

  • Make a plan for writing: unity and coherence

  • Select the most important points

  • Provide details, examples

  • Use a linear structure: Writing an essay in three parts



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Make new friends

Reduce mental stress

Social benefits

Strengthens heart

Improves self-images

Mental benefits

Tones muscles

Meeting interesting instructors

(Langan’sCollege Writing Skills with Reading, p, 28)

_______________________

1.______________________

2.______________________

B. _________________________

1. _____________________

2.______________________

C. _______________________

1. _____________________

2. _____________________

Writing Exercises:Put the ideas into a logical order by filling in the outline and adding a third major ideaThesis: Joining an aerobics class has many benefits.


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I. Thesis: Joining an aerobics class has many benefits.

II. Physical benefits

1. Tones muscles

2. Strengthens heart

III. Mental benefits

1. Reduce mental stress

2. Improves self-images

IV. Social benefits

1. Meeting interesting instructors

2. Make new friends

IV. Conclusion


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Writing Strategy 3: Keeping a journal

  • Use a pocket-size notebook or loose-leaf paper

  • Write about what you read

  • Write about what you saw, heard, thought, felt

  • Make writing a part of your life: writing regularly

  • Generate and develop ideas

  • Exercises

    1. Read an English news article about the earthquake in Sichuan and write what you think

    2. Write about what you heard from the speech, “Breaking Through English Writing Barriers”


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Writing Strategy 4: Reading to Write

Reading strategies

  • Close reading of professional essays

  • Underline main ideas

  • Look at the title and the introduction.

  • Look for the thesis statement

  • Look for the important points that support the thesis

  • Ask how the writer develops/organizes idea

  • Learn the dictions used by the writer


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Writing Strategy 4: Reading to Write

Writing strategies while reading

  • Take notes and ask questions while reading

  • Summarize the article

  • Record reactions

  • Draw picture, maps, diagrams


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Other Strategies

  • Talk about the writing topic with a friend

  • Read about the writing topic

  • Physical exercises help you think clearly

  • Start at a place you have a lot to write about


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Suggestions

  • Pre-writing: Write before writing

  • Start writing and keep writing (Peter Elbow)

  • Make an outline before writing the first draft

  • Read and write and think and write

  • Keeping a dairy/journal in English

  • Think in Ink


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