Tone Academic Essay

Tone Academic Essay-38
Now compare the above passage to the following, from Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book The “achievement gap” is a phenomenon that has been observed over and over again, and it typically provokes one of two responses. By smoothing out the rough edges of the sentences through liberal use of contractions (generally considered a no-no in academic prose).The first response is that disadvantaged kids simply don’t have the same ability to learn as children from more privileged backgrounds. The second, slightly more optimistic conclusion is that, in some ways, our schools are failing poor children: we simply aren’t doing a good enough job of teaching them the skills they need. By not only addressing readers directly but including us in the discussion (“our schools,” “we … By using simple, everyday words when such words carry the desired meaning, while not altogether avoiding longer words (like “phenomenon”) when needed.

Now compare the above passage to the following, from Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book The “achievement gap” is a phenomenon that has been observed over and over again, and it typically provokes one of two responses. By smoothing out the rough edges of the sentences through liberal use of contractions (generally considered a no-no in academic prose).The first response is that disadvantaged kids simply don’t have the same ability to learn as children from more privileged backgrounds. The second, slightly more optimistic conclusion is that, in some ways, our schools are failing poor children: we simply aren’t doing a good enough job of teaching them the skills they need. By not only addressing readers directly but including us in the discussion (“our schools,” “we … By using simple, everyday words when such words carry the desired meaning, while not altogether avoiding longer words (like “phenomenon”) when needed.

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He’s now a junior in college, an English major (I know, I know) who aced two 300-level courses last spring.

The assignment in question gave students the option of writing an argumentative essay in the style of a newspaper editorial. I read through it before he turned it in and thought it wasn’t his best work, but I decided getting a B might be good for him. The teacher, when I met with her, acknowledged that the essay was well organized and virtually devoid of grammatical errors. Because, she said, the writing style wasn’t academic enough.

Nor will more than a fraction of them go on to become academics, thank goodness.

The overwhelming majority won’t be writing academic prose in their professional lives, so why should we be teaching it to them in college, much less high school?

It has all the earmarks of traditional scholarly writing: long, clunky sentences, passive voice, recurrent jargon.

Yet the meaning itself is fairly easy to grasp, and I think most of us understand why it’s written the way it is.

Some examples of evaluative questions for teaching literature include How are you similar to the character?

What is your opinion of the character or events in the story? Teachers are quick to note that there is no right or wrong answer here and encourage children to be reflective or to connect the reading to their own personal knowledge or experiences.

As academic writing goes, this is better than some and no worse than most. I don’t know about you, but the writer lost me midway through the first sentence. He or she makes no attempt to engage a real live person who might be reading.

Speaking for a moment as a human being, not as an academic, I would read something like this only if I absolutely had to, and then I wouldn’t be too happy about it. It’s almost as if that person, the reader, doesn’t exist—as if the subject matter is so ponderously significant that it transcends any human interaction.

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