english for mechanical engineering inu6134 n.
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English for Mechanical Engineering INU6134. Features of Academic Writing Part 3. Lesson Focus. This session covers: Ways to vary the opening of sentences The use of three sentence patterns: simple, compound and complex

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english for mechanical engineering inu6134

English for Mechanical EngineeringINU6134

Features of Academic Writing

Part 3

lesson focus
Lesson Focus
  • This session covers:
  • Ways to vary the opening of sentences
  • The use of three sentence patterns: simple, compound and complex
  • The use of co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions, words and transition signals
  • Ways to vary sentence patterns and create better rhythm in your writing
  • The use of summary phrases

Activity

can you improve this text
Can you improve this text?
  • A robot is a mechanical device that can perform boring, dangerous and difficult tasks. Robots can perform repetitive tasks without becoming tired or bored. They are used in car factories to weld and paint. Robots can function in hostile environments. They are useful for exploring the ocean bottom and outer space. They can perform tasks requiring pinpoint accuracy. Robotic equipment can assist the surgeon in the operating room. A robot can operate on a brain tumour. It can operate on an unborn baby with great precision. The field of artificial intelligence is giving robots a limited ability to think and to make decisions. Robots cannot think conceptually. Robots cannot function independently. Humans have to program them. If humans do not program them, they are useless.

Activity 1.1

features of different sentence openers
Features of Different Sentence Openers
  • Subject-Verb Opener
  • Good for beginning sections and sub-sections and for presenting key results
  • Most common
  • Too many in this style creates a dull style
  • Prepositional Phrase
  • Good for including details about time and position (e.g. During this period, In this way)
  • Can create connections between sentences, so good for flow
  • Transition Words
  • Good for creating connections between ideas/ sentences, e.g. however
  • An aid to the reader as he/she can quickly pick up the connections in your text from the first word in the sentence
  • Infinitive Phrases and Dependent/ Subordinate Clauses
  • Such openers tell the reader that the sentence will have at least two parts (there must also be an independent clause)
  • Tend to be longer, but helps you vary your sentence length

Activity

features of different sentence openers1
Features of Different Sentence Openers
  • Participle Phrases
  • Less frequently used today than in the past – quite literary?
  • Good way of changing the rhythm of the text
  • Not used in speaking, and therefore stands out more in writing
  • Over-long participial phrase means reader waits to find out what the participial phrase is related to, e.g.
  • Keep this opener short and use less often

Activity

simple sentences
Simple Sentences
  • Look at these two simple sentences and discuss the question with a partner.
  • Robots can function in hostile environments.
  • They are useful for exploring the ocean floor.
  • How are they connected in terms of meaning? Cause and effect
simple sentences1
Simple Sentences
  • 1. Complete the gap to show the relationship between the two sentences.
  • Robots can function in hostile environments. Therefore they are useful for exploring the ocean floor.

Activity 3.1

compound sentences
Compound Sentences
  • Compound sentences
  • If you have two ideas which are of equal importance, you can combine them in a compound sentence. A compound sentence has two grammatical subjects. The clauses are joined by a co-ordinating conjunction.
  • 1. Rewrite the two sentences above as one sentence which shows the same relationship between the two ideas.
  • Robots can function in hostile environments so are useful for exploring the ocean floor.

Activity 3.2

complex sentences
Complex Sentences
  • A subordinating conjunction or subordinator:
  • Since robots can function in hostile environments, they are useful for exploring the ocean floor.
  • Robots are useful for exploring the ocean floor because they can function in hostile environments.
  • What is the connection between the two parts of each sentence? Cause and effect
  • Which element does ‘since’ introduce? Which element does ‘because’ introduce? They both introduce the cause
  • Can the order of the clauses be changed without moving the subordinator? No, not without moving the subordinator

Activity 3.2

slide12
Compound (1st) and Complex (2nd) SentencesSample answers – alternatives are possible and some are outlined in the answer key
  • 1. Although renewable energy sources are considered environmentally friendly, they can have a negative environmental impact.
  • 2.Nuclear power relies on uranium as its fuel so it cannot be regarded as truly sustainable.
  • 3. France and Sweden are least reliant on fossil fuels and they will not need to greatly change their production methods.
  • 4. Fossil fuels account for 50% of fuel used in electricity generation. However, they appear to be an unattractive long-term option.
  • 5. It is not known how the shortfall which will occur in the production of electricity will be addressed.

Activity 3.3

summary phrases
Summary Phrases
  • Look at the sentences below. What do the underlined phrases refer to?
  • 1. As people crossed the walkways, they stopped to watch the dancing and began tapping their feet in time to the music. This situation caused the two walkways to begin to fall. People tapping their feet in time to the music
  • 2. The second floor walkway was suspended from the fourth floor walkway. This connection resulted in the two walkways falling simultaneously. The suspension of the lower walkway from the upper one
  • 3. An investigation found that the builders had changed the design specifications during construction. This decision was due to the cost of producing a continuous threaded rod of this length. The design change

Activity 4.1

summary phrases1
Summary Phrases
  • 1. In hindsight, it would seem obvious that the design change would inevitably lead to failure. This collapse was the result of an ill-considered change of an ill-defined structural detail.
  • 2. On investigation, it was found that the concrete had been topped with cement and consequently the dead load on the walkways was 8% higher than specified. This excess weight on the structure would lead to its collapse.
  • 3. The actual live load of the people on the walkways was only 420kN. This amount was a fraction of the maximum live load of 3,200kN specified by the city engineers.

Activity 4.2

summary phrases2
Summary Phrases
  • 4. Investigations into the accident concluded that a structural design flaw was the immediate cause. This defect resulted from poor communication between the designers and builders.
  • 5. Responsibility for checking and approving all modifications made to structural design must be made absolutely clear. This lesson is a vital one to be learned from this accident.

Activity 4.2

re writing practice sample answer
Re-writing PracticeSample answer
  • A robot is a mechanical device that can perform boring, dangerous and difficult tasks. Robots can perform repetitive tasks, such as welding or painting in car factories, without becoming tired or bored. Since robots can also function in hostile environments, they are useful for exploring the ocean bottom as well deep outer space. In addition, robotic equipment can assist the surgeon in the operating room with tasks requiring pinpoint accuracy. They can operate on a brain tumour or on an unborn baby with great precision. However, although the field of artificial intelligence is giving robots a limited ability to think and to make decisions, robots cannot think conceptually. Because they cannot function independently, humans have to program them.

Activity 5.1