A Handbook for International Students Second edition
Writing essays and dissertations can be a major concern for overseas students studying at English-medium colleges and universities. Virtually all courses contain a large degree of written assessment and it is essential to ensure that your writing skills meet the necessary standard. Academic Writing is a new kind of writing course for all international students who have to write exams or coursework in English. This practical book thoroughly explains the writing process and covers all the key writing skills. Clearly organised into four parts, Academic Writing allows both teachers and students to quickly ﬁnd the help they need with all writing tasks. Each part is split into short sections containing explanations, diagrams and practice exercises, for use in the classroom or self-study. Newly revised and updated, this second edition contains extra exercises and material – much of which has been suggested by teachers and students. The text is complemented with cross-references and answers are provided to the exercises. Various writing models, such as CVs, letters and essays, are also included. Key features of the book are: • Explains the writing process, from understanding the title to proof-reading • Covers key writing skills such as referencing and paraphrasing • Contains twenty-three units on accuracy in writing • Adaptable for both long and short courses Any international student wishing to maximise his or her academic potential will ﬁnd this practical and easy-to-use guide to writing in English a truly indispensable resource. Stephen Bailey has taught English for Academic Purposes at the University of Nottingham and the University of Derby for the past 10 years. Before that he taught English to students in the Czech Republic, Spain, Japan and Malaysia.
A Handbook for International Students Second edition
First edition published in 2003 by Nelson Thornes Ltd This edition published 2006 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2006. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.” Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group © 2006 Stephen Bailey The right of Stephen Bailey to be identiﬁed as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN10: 0-415-38419-2 (hbk) ISBN10: 0-415-38420-6 (pbk) ISBN13: 9-78-0-415-38419-3 (hbk) ISBN13: 9-78-0-415-38420-9 (pbk)
Introduction Acknowledgements vii ix
Part 1: THE WRITING PROCESS
Student Introduction 1.1 Background to Writing 1.2 Avoiding Plagiarism 1.3 From Titles to Outlines 1.4 Evaluating Texts 1.5 Understanding Purpose and Register 1.6 Selecting Key Points 1.7 Note-making 1.8 Paraphrasing 1.9 Summary Writing 1.10 Combining Sources 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 Planning Essays Organising Paragraphs Organising the Main Body Introductions Conclusions Rewriting and Proof-reading Writing Foundations 1 3 7 9 13 17 21 25 29 32 36 Writing Stages 39 43 48 52 56 60
Reading and Note-making
Part 2: ELEMENTS OF WRITING
Student Introduction 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Argument Cause and Effect Cohesion Comparison Deﬁnitions This may be partly true, but. . . Flooding results from heavy rain The former. . ., while the latter. . . His work is more interesting than hers An assignment is a task given to students Beneﬁts and drawbacks Many departments, for instance medicine, Computers are useful machines The ﬁgures in the report. . . In recent years the internet has. . . As Donner (1997) pointed out. . . In other words. . . Precise, semi-formal, impersonal and objective Interpretation/explanation Long vs. short sentences Graphs, charts and tables 65 67 70 73 75 79 82 86 89 92 96 99 103 105 109 112 114
2.6 Discussion 2.7 Examples 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Generalisations Numbers Opening Paragraphs References and Quotations Restatement and Repetition Style
2.14 Synonyms 2.15 Variation in Sentence Length 2.16 Visual Information
Part 3: ACCURACY IN WRITING
Student Introduction 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 Abbreviations Academic Vocabulary Adverbs Articles Caution Confusing Pairs Conjunctions Nationality Language Nouns and Adjectives Nouns – Countable and Uncountable Nouns – Umbrella Preﬁxes and Sufﬁxes Prepositions Punctuation Relative Pronouns Singular or Plural? Time Words and Phrases Verbs – Formality Verbs – Modal Verbs – Passives Verbs and Prepositions Verbs of Reference Verbs – Tenses i.e./WTO/nimby subjective/objective currently/eventually a/an/the Poor education tends to lead to crime affect/effect furthermore/however Denmark/Danish/Danes efﬁciency/efﬁcient business/businesses ﬁeld/concept/factor undergraduate/graduation The purpose of this paper. . . “?: that/which/who the team is/are Since the nineteenth century. . . speed up/accelerate may/could/should The gases were discovered. . . concentrate on Martins (1975) claimed that. . . Few scientists dispute/have disputed. . . 119 121 124 127 130 133 136 138 142 144 147 150 152 155 158 161 164 166 169 172 175 178 180 182
Part 4: WRITING MODELS
Student Introduction 4.1 Formal Letters 4.2 CVs 4.3 Reporting and Designing Surveys 4.4 Taking Ideas from Sources 4.5 Comparison Essay 4.6 Discussion Essay Letter layout and letters of application Layout and phrasing of a curriculum vitae Questionnaire design and survey reports The note-making and paraphrasing process A comparison of classroom learning with internet-based teaching Education is the most important factor in national development – Discuss 185 187 189 191 194 197 199
Writing Tests Answers Sources
201 204 259
Academic Writing is for international students studying in colleges and universities where courses are taught in English. Those students who are not native speakers of English often ﬁnd the written demands of their courses very challenging. In addition to learning academic English they need to adopt new conventions of style, referencing and layout. Students usually have to complete a variety of writing tasks during their studies, ranging from short IELTS essays to lengthy dissertations. This writing may be done either under exam pressure or as coursework. In addition, the type of writing they are asked to do depends on the subject they are studying: future lawyers will be given quite different tasks from potential pharmacists. Academic Writing recognises this variety of needs. It is a ﬂexible course that allows students of all subjects and levels, from foundation to PhD, to practise those aspects of writing which are most important for their studies. The book is organised to provide maximum hands-on practice for students. They can work either with a teacher or by themselves, since the structure of the book has been made as simple as possible to allow them to ﬁnd what they want quickly. Academic Writing is divided into four parts. In Parts 1 and 2 the focus is on key writing skills, while Parts 3 and 4 offer revision and reference. Parts 2 and 3 are organised alphabetically for easy access. Part 1: The Writing Process guides students from the initial stage of understanding the essay title, through notemaking and paraphrasing, to the organisation of the essay and ﬁnally proof-reading. Part 2: Elements of Writing deals with the skills that are needed for most types of assignment, such as making comparisons, giving examples and describing graphs. Part 3: Accuracy in Writing gives remedial practice in those areas that students often ﬁnd confusing, such as using articles, passives or prepositions. Part 4: Writing Models offers examples of the types of writing that students commonly need, including letters and survey reports as well as essays. There is also a Writing Tests section for checking progress. The four parts are divided into sixty-one short units which teach practical writing skills and revise common difﬁculties. Each unit contains exercises, and a comprehensive answer key is given at the end. A system of cross-referencing helps students link related units together.
Although every effort has been made to make Academic Writing as clear and accurate as possible, I would welcome comment or criticism from either teachers or students. Stephen Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions to students are printed like this: Complete sentences with suitable words from the box below. Cross-references in margins look like this: cross-reference
References and Quotations
This means: refer to the unit on references and quotations in Part 2 (Unit 11)
I would like to thank the many staff and students at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) at The University of Nottingham who have piloted these materials, and in particular my colleagues Ann Smith, Janet Sanders, John Rabone and Sandra Haywood for their help in unravelling some of the ﬁner points of academic language. My wife, Rene, deserves my warmest thanks for her unfailing support, advice and encouragement during the project’s development. The authors and publishers wish to thank the following for permission to reproduce photographs and other copyright material in this book. Corel 76 (NT) p. 39; Corel 102 (NT) p. 128; Corel 392 (NT) p. 159; Corel 631 (NT) p. 44; Corel 787 (NT) p. 54; Joe Cornish/Digital Vision LL (NT) p. 50; Illustrated London News V1 (NT) p. 74; Illustrated London News V2 (NT) p. 4; Photodisc 31 (NT) p. 108; Photodisc 41 (NT) p. 61; Photodisc 46 (NT) pp. 74, 111; Photodisc 71 (NT) p. 12; Photodisc 72 (NT) p. 24; Stockbyte 31 (NT) p. 79. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders and the publishers apologise to anyone whose rights have been inadvertently overlooked and will be happy to rectify any errors or omissions.
Teachers and lecturers using this book with a class will be able to ﬁnd extra teaching material within the teacher resources section of the Routledge website at http://www.routledge.com/education.
The Writing Process
Most academic courses in English-medium colleges and universities use essays or other written tasks to assess students’ work. These can be done as coursework, when a deadline of one or two months may be given, or in exams, when an essay often has to be ﬁnished in an hour. The process of writing essays for coursework can be shown as a ﬂowchart: Understand essay title/requirements Assess reading texts – choose most suitable Select relevant areas of texts – keep record for references Make notes on relevant areas, using paraphrasing and summarising skills Combine a variety of sources where necessary Select suitable structure for essay – make plan Organise and write main body Organise and write introduction Organise and write conclusion Critically read and rewrite where necessary Final proof-reading
Part 1, The Writing Process, examines each of these stages in turn. If students are concerned only with preparing for exam writing they could miss out the reading and note-making stages, but if they have enough time they should work through every unit, preferably in the order given, since each stage builds on the previous one. Although it is essential to learn the basic writing process, at the same time it is useful to be aware of the elements that contribute to good academic writing. When writing an introduction, for example, it is helpful to know how to write a deﬁnition, and so students working on Introductions (unit 1.14) should use the cross-reference boxes to look at the unit on Deﬁnitions in unit 2.5.
Background to Writing
Most university and college students are assessed through the production of written assignments. Some of the terms used to describe different types of assignments can be confusing. In addition, students need to be clear about the basic components of written texts. This unit provides an introduction to these topics.
Below are the most common types of written work produced or used by students. Complete the table to show the main purpose of each, and their usual approximate length. Type letter notes report project essay thesis/dissertation article/paper Purpose for formal and informal communication Length usually fewer than 500 words
Organisation of texts. a) Explain the following terms in italics: Shorter texts, e.g. essays, are normally organised: Introduction > Main Body > Conclusion Longer texts, e.g. dissertations and articles, may include (depending on subject area): Abstract > Contents > Introduction > Main Body > Case Study > Discussion > Findings > Conclusion > Acknowledgements > Bibliography/References > Appendices Books may also contain: Dedication > Foreword > Preface > Index b) Match the deﬁnitions below to one of the terms in (2a). i) Short summary (100–200 words) of the writer’s purpose and ﬁndings (......) ii) Section where various people who assisted the writer are thanked (......)
The Writing Process: Writing Foundations
iii) Final part where extra data, too detailed for the main text, are stored iv) List of all the books that the writer has consulted
v) Section looking at a particular example, relevant to the main topic (......) vi) Introductory part of the book which may give the writer’s motives (......) vii) Alphabetical list of all topics in the text cross-reference
Other text features Abbreviations are often used to save space: Call centres (CCs) feature prominently in the technology mix . . . Italics are used to show titles and words from other languages: Where once the titles of Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play celebrated . . . Squatter housing (called gecekondu in Turkish) . . . Footnotes are used to indicate references at the bottom of the page: In respect of Singapore the consensus is that the government has made a difference.3 Endnotes are given to show references at the end of the article or chapter: The market for masonry construction may be divided into housing and non-housing sectors .
3.1 2.11 3.14
Abbreviations References and Quotations Punctuation
1.1 Background to Writing
Quotation marks are used to draw attention to a phrase, perhaps because it is being used in an unusual or new way: The research shows that the ‘pains of imprisonment’ for women are . . . 4. All types of writing consist of a number of key elements. Label the italic items in the text. a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THE ORIGINS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION Introduction It is generally agreed that the Industrial Revolution began in Britain during the eighteenth century, with signiﬁcant developments in the iron, steel and textile industries. But it is less clear what caused this sudden increase in production in key areas; different writers have examined the availability of capital, the growth of urban populations and the political and religious climate. All of these may have played a part, but ﬁrst it is necessary to consider the precise nature of what is meant by ‘industrial revolution’. Industry had existed for thousands of years prior to the eighteenth century, but before this time society as a whole remained agricultural. With the arrival of the ironworks and cotton mills whole towns were dominated by industrial activity. At the same time, agriculture itself went through signiﬁcant changes which produced more food for the growing urban population.
d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Why are all texts divided into paragraphs? How long are paragraphs? Read the following text, from the introduction to an essay, and divide it into a suitable number of paragraphs. INVESTMENT Most people want to invest for the future, to cover unexpected ﬁnancial difﬁculties and provide them with security. Different people, however, tend to have different requirements, so that a 25-year-old just leaving university would be investing for the long term, whereas a 60-year-old who had just retired would probably invest for income. Despite these differences, certain principles apply in most cases. The ﬁrst issue to consider is
The Writing Process: Writing Foundations
risk. In general, the greater the degree of risk in investment, the higher the return. Shares, for example, which can quickly rise or fall in value, typically have a higher yield than bonds, which offer good security but only pay about 5%. Therefore all investors must decide how much risk is appropriate in their particular situation. Diversiﬁcation must also be considered in an investment strategy. Wise investors usually seek to spread their investments across a variety of geographical and business sectors. As accurate predictions of the future are almost impossible, it is best to have as many options as possible. A further consideration is investor involvement. Some investors opt for a high degree of involvement and want to buy and sell regularly, constantly watching the markets. Others want to invest and then forget about it. Personal involvement can be time-consuming and worrying, and many prefer to leave the management of their portfolios to professional fund managers.
All students have to face the issue of plagiarism. Plagiarism means taking information or ideas from another writer and using them in your own work, without acknowledging the source in an accepted manner. In academic work plagiarism can be a serious offence. This unit outlines the situation, but to fully avoid plagiarism students need to master the skills practised in units 1.6–1.10.
Which of the following would be considered as plagiarism? a) Not providing a reference when you have used somebody’s idea.
References and Quotations Verbs of Reference
b) Copying a few sentences from an article on the internet without giving a reference. c) Not giving a reference when you use commonly accepted ideas, e.g. Aids is a growing problem.
d) Giving the reference but not using quotation marks when you take a sentence from another writer’s article. e) f) 2. Taking a paragraph from a classmate’s essay without giving a reference. Presenting the results of your own research.
To avoid plagiarism, and also to save having lengthy quotations in your work, it is necessary to paraphrase and summarise the original. Instead of this, students sometimes hope that changing a few words of the original will avoid charges of plagiarism. Clearly, you are not expected to alter every word of the original text, but your summary must be substantially different from the original. Read the following extract on twentieth-century educational developments from Age of Extremes by E. Hobsbawm: Almost as dramatic as the decline and fall of the peasantry, and much more universal, was the rise of the occupations which required secondary and higher education. Universal primary education, i.e. basic literacy, was indeed the aspiration of virtually all governments, so much so that by the late 1980s only the most honest or helpless states admitted to having as many as half their population illiterate, and only ten – all but Afghanistan in Africa – were prepared to concede that less than 20% of their population could read or write. (Hobsbawm, 1994, p. 295) Which of the following are plagiarised and which are acceptable? a) Almost as dramatic as the decline and fall of the peasantry, and much more general, was the rise of the professions which required secondary and higher education. Primary education for all, i.e. basic literacy,
The Writing Process: Writing Foundations
was indeed the aspiration of almost all governments, so much so that by the late 1980s only the most honest countries confessed to having as many as half their population illiterate, and only ten – all but Afghanistan in Africa – were prepared to admit that less than 20% of their population could read or write. (Hobsbawm, 1994, p. 295) b) Nearly as dramatic as the decline of the peasantry was the rise of professions which required secondary and higher education. Primary education for everyone (basic literacy) was the aspiration of nearly all governments, so that by the late 1980s only the very honest countries confessed to having as many as half their population illiterate. Only ten (African) countries conceded that less than 20% of their population were literate. (Hobsbawm, 1994, p. 295) c) As Hobsbawm (1994) argues, there was a marked increase in jobs needing secondary or higher education during the twentieth century. All but a few nations claimed that the majority of their people were literate. Universal primary education i.e. basic literacy was indeed the aspiration of virtually all governments. (p. 295) d) There was a sharp and widespread increase in occupations requiring education above primary level. All governments set out to provide basic education, essentially literacy, for their people. By the end of the 1980s very few states would admit that the majority of their population were unable to read. (Hobsbawm, 1994, p. 295) 3. What makes the difference between plagiarised and acceptable work? List your ideas below. Acceptable Some vocabulary kept from original Plagiarised
From Titles to Outlines
Most written work begins with a title, and students must be quite clear what question the title is asking before starting to plan the essay and read around the topic. This unit deals with analysing titles and making basic essay outlines.
When preparing to write an essay, it is essential to identify the main requirements of the title. You must be clear about what areas your teacher wants you to cover. These will then determine the organisation of the essay. For example: The state should play no part in the organisation of industry – discuss. Here the key word is discuss. Discussing involves examining the beneﬁts and drawbacks of something. Underline the key words in the following titles and consider what they are asking you to do. a) Deﬁne information technology (IT) and outline its main applications in medicine. b) Compare and contrast the appeal process in the legal systems of Britain and the USA. c) Evaluate the effect of mergers in the motor industry in the last ten years. d) Trace the development of primary education in one country. Illustrate some of the issues currently facing this sector. Note that most of the titles above have two terms in the title. You must decide how much importance to give to each section of the essay: e.g. title (a) might require 10% for the deﬁnition and 90% for the explanation.
The following terms are also commonly used in essay titles. Match the terms to the deﬁnitions on the right. Analyse Describe Examine State Suggest Summarise Give a clear and simple account Make a proposal and support it Deal with a complex subject by giving the main points Divide into sections and discuss each critically Give a detailed account Look at the various parts and their relationships
The Writing Process: Writing Foundations
Almost all essays, reports and articles have the same basic pattern of organisation: Introduction Main body Conclusion
The structure of the main body depends on what the title is asking you to do. In the case of a ‘discuss’ type essay, the main body is often divided into two parts, one looking at the advantages of the topic and the other looking at the disadvantages.
An outline for the example in (1) might look like this:
The state should play no part in the organisation of industry – discuss. Introduction various economic theories: Marxist, Keynesian, free market most economies display trend towards privatisation Disadvantages state protects workers from exploitation, e.g. children consumers protected from dangerous products, e.g. medical drugs state has resources to support new technologies Advantages few state-controlled economies are successful, e.g. Soviet Union state control does not encourage individual effort state intervention often leads to corruption Conclusion state has a role in protecting weakest, but should not interfere with free enterprise
Write an outline for one of the other titles in (1).
1.3 From Titles to Outlines
Teachers often complain that students write essays which do not answer the question set. Consider the following titles and decide which sections should be included in each essay. a) Describe the growth of the European Union since 1975 and suggest its likely form by 2020.
A short account of European history 1900–2000 An analysis of candidates for membership before 2020 A discussion of the current economic situation in Europe A summary of the enlargement of the EU from 1975 to now b) Summarise the arguments in favour of privatisation and evaluate its record in Britain.
A case study of electricity privatisation An analysis of the international trends in privatisation A study of major privatisations in the UK A discussion of the beneﬁts achieved by privatisation c) To what extent is tuberculosis (TB) a disease of poverty?
A deﬁnition of TB A report on the spread of TB worldwide A case study showing how TB relates to social class A discussion of new methods of treating the disease d) Nursery education is better for children than staying at home with mother – discuss.
The Writing Process: Writing Foundations
A study of the growth of nurseries in the UK since 1995 A report on the development of children who remain at home until age 5 A discussion comparing speaking ability in both groups of children An analysis of the increase of women in the labour market since 1960 e) Compare studying in a library with using the internet. Will the former become redundant?
The beneﬁts of using books The drawbacks of internet sources Predicted IT developments in the next 15 years The developments in library services since 1970 6. Underline the key terms in the following titles, and decide what you are being asked to do. Example: Relate the development of railways to the rise of nineteenth-century European nationalism. Relate means to link one thing to another. The title is asking for links to be made between the growth of railways in Europe in the nineteenth century and the political philosophy of nationalism. The writer must decide if there was a connection or not. a) Identify the main causes of rural poverty in China. b) Calculate the likely change in coffee consumption that would result from a 10% fall in the price of coffee beans. c) Classify the desert regions of Asia and suggest possible approaches to halting their spread.
Having understood the title and made an outline, the next step is probably to read around the subject. Although a reading list may be given, it is still vital to be able to assess the usefulness of journal articles and books. Time spent learning these skills will be repaid by avoiding the use of unreliable or irrelevant materials.
When reading a text, it is important to ask yourself questions about the value of the text. Is this text fact or opinion? If fact, is it true? If opinion, do I agree? Can this writer be trusted? These questions can be seen as a process: Start here Fact Fact or opinion? Opinion
True or false?
Agree or disagree?
Trustworthy and useful
Read the following sentences and decide ﬁrst if they are fact or opinion. Then decide if you agree with the opinions, and if the factual sentences are true. Opinion or fact? Example: The USA has the biggest Fact economy in the world a) Shakespeare was a great writer b) Shakespeare wrote textbooks c) Smoking can be dangerous d) Too many people smoke in Britain e) 95% of criminals cannot read f) Poor education causes half of all crime True Agree or disagree? True or false?
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
It can be seen that even short sentences, such as (2f) above, can contain a mixture of fact and opinion. Most longer texts, of course, consist of both. Read the following text about crime in Britain and underline facts (_______) and opinions (. . . . . . . . . . . .). a) Britain has one of the highest crime rates in the world. b) A robbery takes place every ﬁve seconds. Clearly, criminals are not afraid of the police. c) Even if they are caught, few criminals ever appear in court. d) Most of those who are found guilty are let off with a small ﬁne. e) To reduce crime, we need more police and tougher punishments.
The text can be evaluated as follows: a) Fact, but only partly true. Britain does not have one of the highest overall crime rates in the world. For some crimes, e.g. car crime, the rate is high, but other countries, e.g. South Africa, have much higher rates of violent crime.
b) This may or may not be true, but it does not follow that criminals are unafraid of the police. c) Fact, but not true. A signiﬁcant number of those arrested are charged and later prosecuted.
d) This fact is distorted. A ﬁne is not ‘letting off ’. What is meant by ‘small’? e) This is opinion. More police would probably help reduce crime, but it is not clear if more severe punishments would have that result. From this it can be seen that, even if the facts are correct, the opinions that are expressed may not be reliable. The evaluation above would suggest that the writer of the original text could not be trusted, and it would be better to look for another source.
1.4 Evaluating Texts
Evaluate the following texts in a similar way, using the table below. First underline and assess the facts and opinions, then decide if the text as a whole is trustworthy. Text a Are the facts true? Do I agree with the opinions? Trustworthy?
a) Every year large numbers of students travel abroad to study at university. Most of them spend thousands of pounds on their degree courses. The cost of travel and accommodation adds signiﬁcantly to their expenses. But they could save a lot of money by studying their courses on-line, using the internet and email. Increasing numbers of universities are offering tuition by the internet, and this has many advantages for students. In the future most students are likely to stay at home and study in front of a computer. b) London is an ideal city for young students. Britain’s lively capital, with a population of two million, is the perfect place to live and study. Cheap, comfortable accommodation is always available, and transport is provided by the clean and reliable underground railway system. Another advantage is the friendly citizens, who are well-known for their custom of stopping to chat with strangers. Overall, London is probably the best place in the world to study English.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
c) Global warming affects most people in the world, especially those living in low-lying areas near the sea. It has been predicted that the melting of polar ice may cause the sea to rise by as much as twelve metres by 2050. This would cause ﬂooding in many major coastal cities, such as Tokyo. It has been suggested that the best solution to this problem may be for mankind to become amphibious, like frogs. It is argued that life was originally found in the sea, and so it would merely be a return to our original habitat. d) There is signiﬁcant new evidence of the effects of heavy alcohol consumption by young people. In Britain in 2000 nearly 800 people under 44 died from cirrhosis of the liver, a condition which is mainly caused by excess drinking. This is over four times higher than the number in 1970. The growing problem seems to be due to ‘binge’ drinking among the young, when drinkers deliberately set out to get drunk. As a result, the government is studying the possibility of compulsory health warnings on alcohol advertising.
Understanding Purpose and Register
Having decided that a text is reliable, a student must read and understand as much as necessary for the needs of the essay. Understanding a text is not just a matter of vocabulary; the reader needs to ﬁnd out the writer’s intentions. Is the writer aiming to inform, persuade, describe or entertain? In addition the reader should be clear about the type of English the writer is using: how formal is the tone? The answer to these questions may affect the way a student uses the material.
1. Compare the two extracts below: a) Rebus College is seeking candidates for the position of Treasurer. As the Chief Financial Ofﬁcer of the College, the Treasurer is responsible for working with the senior administration and Trustees to develop and implement a ﬁnancial strategic vision for the College. b) Are you wondering what to do with that jumper you were given for Christmas that’s two sizes too small – or, worse, the personal stereo that simply doesn’t work? Well, don’t worry. Chances are, you’ll be able to get your dud gifts swapped, ﬁxed or get a refund. And, armed with our guide to your rights, you’ll be able to get any defective products sorted. The ﬁrst extract is written to inform the reader about a job vacancy and to give information about the work. The second aims to persuade the reader to buy the guide described. The language style, or register, of the extracts is also very different. The ﬁrst uses very formal vocabulary such as seeking, position and implement. The second uses an informal tone, the pronoun you, the question form and informal vocabulary such as dud and swapped. 2. Read the following extracts and complete the table using one or two of the following: inform/amuse/persuade/entertain. Text a b c Purpose
a) The lower you are in the ofﬁce hierarchy, the more disgusting your sandwiches. You can safely assume
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
that a chicken and banana man is not a main board director. Some people, generally those in accounts, have had the same sandwich for the past 30 years. People like to prove how busy they are by eating their sandwich at their desk. But this is counter-productive, because every time you take a mouthful the phone rings, and you’ll only get to ﬁnish that last mouthful just before you go home. b) Writing for publication can be both proﬁtable and enjoyable. It’s open to everyone, because you don’t need any qualiﬁcations. In Britain there is a huge demand for new materials, with thousands of newspapers and magazines published every week. In addition there are TV and radio programmes, the theatre and ﬁlms. Given this situation, there are many openings for new writers. But the director of one of the UK’s main writing colleges, the Writing Academy, advises: ‘to enter this market successfully you must have good training’. c) The Advertising Standards Authority makes sure that advertising is legal, decent, honest and truthful. The Authority safeguards the public by ensuring that the rules contained in the British Code of Advertising Practice are followed by everyone who prepares and publishes advertisements in the UK, and that advice is freely available to prevent problems arising. The Code lays down what is and is not acceptable in advertisements, except for those on TV and radio.
3. What are the differences between the following types of English? Where might each one be found? Academic Archaic Formal Jargon Journalistic Literary
Style Verbs – Formality
Match the examples below with the types of English listed above: a) Demographic data are given in Table 1. Twentythree men and thirty-two women were available for follow-up examination. The sex and age distributions were approximately the same as in the total original baseline group.
1.5 Understanding Purpose and Register
b) The services, information or data (collectively, “information”) made available at the company web site are provided “as is”, without warranties of any kind. The Company expressly disclaims any representations and warranties, including without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability and ﬁtness for particular purpose. c) The Creative Labs Inspire 6.1 6600 speaker set matches up well with the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card, which has support for 24 bit processing and surround sound. The speaker set consists of ﬁve satellites, a centre speaker and a subwoofer. d) Alexandria Main Station: midnight. A deathly heavy dew. The noise of wheels cracking the slime-slithering pavements. Yellow pools of phosphorous light, and corridors of darkness like tears in the dull brick façade of a stage set. Policemen in the shadows. e) Nottingham, notwithstanding the navigation of the Trent, is not esteemed a town of very great trade, other than is usual to inland towns; the chief manufacture carried on here is frame-work knitting for stockings, the same as at Leicester, and some glass, and earthen ware-houses; the latter much increased since the increase of tea-drinking . . . f) When Mary Graham went into hospital to have a new knee, she discovered a computer would be playing a big part in the operation. In the past, surgeons have relied on the naked eye to ensure they’ve got a replacement joint in the right position. But now they will be able to achieve almost total accuracy using a computer to guide them through the operation.
The following terms are used to describe special features in written English. Match them with the examples (in italics) below. Idiom* Metaphor Paradox Analogy Euphemism* Proverb* Hyperbole* Irony*
a) The king passed away on August 3rd 1879. b) She claimed that further research was the key to solving the problem. c) As the Chinese say, the longest journey begins with a single step.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
d) She felt that the older she got, the less she really knew. e) The negotiation process reminded him of a game of chess. f) By the end of the semester most students were in the red.
g) When a student arrived late, the teacher asked if he had had a good sleep. h) He claimed that his book was the most important work of the century. 6. When writing academic work, it is important not to use phrases met in non-academic texts, e.g. newspapers or magazines. The features marked with an asterisk (*) above should be avoided in academic writing. Find examples of them in the sentences below and rewrite them in more academic style. a) Obesity is the most serious problem facing civilisation today. b) One cause is the famously healthy Western diet of chocolate and hamburgers. c) So people with podgy tummies should think about ﬁghting the ﬂab. d) They should pull themselves together, and get down to the gym. e) They must remember the saying: God helps those who help themselves.
Selecting Key Points
After selecting and understanding the most relevant texts, the next step is usually to make notes on the sections of the texts that relate to your topic. Units 1.6–1.9 practise this process, which involves a number of inter-linked skills. This unit deals with the identiﬁcation of relevant information and ideas.
The ﬁrst stage of note-making is to identify the key points in the text for your purpose. You are preparing to write an essay on ‘Changing patterns of longevity’. Study the following example (key points in italics). WHY WOMEN LIVE LONGER Despite the overall increase in life expectancy in Britain over the past century, women still live signiﬁcantly longer than men. In fact, in 1900 men could expect to live to 49 and women to 52, a difference of three years, while now the ﬁgures are 74 and 79, which shows that the gap has increased to ﬁve years. Various reasons have been suggested for this situation, such as the possibility that men may die earlier because they take more risks. But a team of British scientists have recently found a likely answer in the immune system, which protects the body from diseases. The thymus is the organ which produces the T cells which actually combat illnesses. Although both sexes suffer from deterioration of the thymus as they age, women appear to have more T cells in their bodies than men of the same age. It is this, the scientists believe, that gives women better protection from potentially fatal diseases such as inﬂuenza and pneumonia. Having selected these sections of the text, you can then go on to make notes from them: British women live longer than men: 79/ 74 years reasons? new research suggests immune system/thymus > T cells women have more T cells than men = better protection
Read the following and then choose a suitable title which expresses the key point. Title: Dean Kamen is a 50-year-old American eccentric who is also a multi-millionaire. He always wears blue denim shirts and jeans, even when visiting his friend, the president, in the White House. He ﬂies to work by helicopter, which
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
he also uses for visiting his private island off the coast of Connecticut. As an undergraduate Kamen developed the ﬁrst pump that would give regular doses of medicine to patients. The patent for this and other original medical inventions has produced a huge income, allowing him to run his own research company which, among many other projects, has produced the iBot, the world’s ﬁrst wheelchair which can climb stairs. 3. Underline three key points in the following text. EMPOWERING HEALTHCARE In many parts of the world hospitals have none of the modern health equipment that is common in western countries. This is partly because it is expensive, but also because electricity supplies are often unreliable, while trained staff who can read the complex displays may not be available. Now, Freeplay Energy, the company which developed the wind-up radio, is planning to introduce a range of medical equipment which can be used in those areas. All the machines will be of simple, robust design which will either use solar power or foot pedals, making expensive battery replacement unnecessary. Prototypes are currently on trial in South African hospitals, where their performance can be compared with more sophisticated machines. 4. Underline the key points in the following text. THE SIXTH WAVE? Lord May, the president of the Royal Society, has claimed that the world is facing a wave of extinctions similar to the ﬁve mass extinctions of past ages. He calculates that the current rate of extinction is between 100 and 1,000 times faster than the historical average. The cause of previous extinctions, such as the one which killed the dinosaurs, is uncertain, but was probably an external event such as collision with a comet. However, the present situation is caused by human consumption of plants, which has resulted in a steady increase in agriculture and a consequent reduction in habitat for animals. Although many people are still hungry, food production has increased by 100% since 1965. Lord May also pointed out that it was very difﬁcult to make accurate estimates as nobody knew how many species of animals lived on the planet. So far 1.5 million species had been named, but the true ﬁgure might be as high as 100 million. Our ignorance of this made it almost impossible to work out the actual rate of extinction. However, the use of intelligent guesses suggests that losses over the past
1.6 Selecting Key Points
century were comparable with the extinctions of earlier periods, evidence of which is found in the fossil record. 5. When preparing to write an essay you may be concerned with only one aspect of a text, so that your key points relate only to the topic you are examining. a) You are planning to write an essay on ‘Marketing – art or science?’ Read the text below and underline the sections relevant to your essay. BOTTLED WATER UNDER ATTACK The Water Companies Association (WCA) has claimed that bottled water costs 700 times more than tap water, but is often of inferior quality. The chief executive of the WCA pointed out that although bottled water advertising often associated the product with sport and health there was no truth in this link. The reality, she said, was that the packaging of bottled water was environmentally damaging, since millions of empty bottles had to be disposed of in rubbish tips. 2% of samples of bottled water failed a purity test conducted by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, while only 0.3% of tap water samples failed the same test. Labels on bottled water often referred to ‘spring’ and ‘natural water’, which were meaningless phrases. In addition, bottled water was imported from as far as Korea and Kenya, which was a waste of resources. These criticisms, however, were rejected by the British Soft Drinks Association, which argued that bottled water was a successful business founded on giving the customers choice, quality and convenience. b) You are preparing an essay on ‘The application of DNA research to the development of vaccines’. Read the text and underline the relevant sections. NEW LIGHT ON THE PLAGUE The plague, which ﬁrst struck Europe in the sixth century, was one of the great disasters of history. In the fourteenth century it became the Black Death, when it may have killed one-third of the entire population. The microbe that causes the disease lives on rats, and is passed on to humans by the bite of a ﬂea. It still survives today, though outbreaks are less deadly: the World Health Organization receives reports of 3,000 cases annually. Scientists believe that the microbe was originally a stomach infection, but evolved into a more lethal disease about 1,500 years ago. Now the genetic code of the plague bacterium has been ‘read’ by scientists; a total of 465 million ‘letters’ of DNA. They believe that this will help in the development of
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
vaccines for the plague, one of which has begun clinical trials. In parts of Africa drug-resistant strains of the disease have evolved, which gives added importance to the work, as does the threat that the plague might be used as an agent of bacteriological warfare.
Effective note-making is a key writing skill, with a number of practical uses. Good note-making techniques lead to accurate essays. Although you are the only person who will read your notes, clarity and organisation are important to save time and errors at the writing stage.
What are the main reasons for note-taking? Add to the ideas below. a) b) c) d) to avoid plagiarism
Effective note-making is part of a sequence. What comes before and after? Note-making
Selecting Key Points
You are writing an essay on ‘Computer security’. You ﬁnd the following extract from an article in a magazine called Computing Tomorrow, volume 15 (2005), on pages 134–7. The author is Y. Lee. Read the text and complete the notes. PICTURE PASSWORDS? In computing, passwords are commonly used to limit access to ofﬁcial users. Yet the widespread use of passwords has serious drawbacks. Ofﬁce workers now have to remember an average of twelve system passwords. In theory they should use different passwords for each site, but in reality these would be impossible to remember, so many people use the same password for all. An additional problem is that the majority use simple words such as hello, or names of family members, instead of more secure combinations of numbers and letters, such as 6ANV76Y. This permits computer hackers to download dictionaries, which will quickly ﬁnd the word and allow them access. When system users forget their passwords there is extra expense in supplying new ones, while if people are forced to change passwords frequently they often write them down, making systems even less secure. Therefore, it is clear that the idea of passwords, which have been used as security devices for thousands of years, may need rethinking.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
One possible alternative has been developed by the American ﬁrm Real User, and is called Passfaces. In order to access the system a worker has to select a series of photographs of faces from a randomly generated sequence. If the pictures are selected in the correct order access is granted. This concept depends on the human ability to recognise and remember a huge number of different faces, and the advantage is that such a sequence cannot be told to anyone or written down, so is more secure. It is claimed that the picture sequence, which uses photographs of university students, is easier to remember than passwords, and it has now been adopted for the United States Senate. Source: Lee, Y. (2005) Computing Tomorrow 15 pp.134– 137. Computer passwords – generally used to protect sites from hackers Drawbacks a) ofﬁce workers must remember av. 12 passwords most use same one b) c) d) _____________ a) b) c) d) 4. Effective note-making employs • • • NB a) Do not abbreviate too much, or you may ﬁnd the notes impossible to understand in the future. Headings, sub-headings, underlining and listing to organise the data clearly Simpliﬁed grammar (few articles, pronouns or prepositions) Symbols (such as = or +) and abbreviations (pp. or av.)
References and Quotations Abbreviations
b) Sources should be noted in the same format as they will appear in your references. c) 5. You need to develop your own style for note-making, to suit the nature of your subject.
You have been told to write an essay on ‘Malaria – can it be controlled?’ You decide to make notes on the following article from a magazine called Medical Report (Volume 34 1998, pp. 78–86). The author’s name is Irene Nemecova. Make notes on the whole text in the box below. MALARIA FIGHTS BACK Drug-resistant strains of malaria, already one of the world’s major killers, are steadily spreading across the globe. The deadly strains have established themselves in South-East Asia and South America, and have recently begun to spread across India and Africa. Formerly under control in many areas, the disease now threatens two billion people living in more than 100 countries. Estimates suggest that there are now more than 350 million cases of malaria a year – a total four times the level of the early 1970s. In Africa alone the disease kills one million children each year. Several factors are responsible for this disturbing development. Spreading world poverty has deprived nations of funds for sanitation, so that many health projects have been stopped, while increased movements of migrant workers and tourists have carried infections more rapidly from one country to another. At the same time, the overuse of drugs, especially antibiotics, has led to the establishment of resistant strains of diseases. As well as this, hopes that genetic engineers might soon develop the world’s ﬁrst malaria vaccine, a long-sought goal, have been questioned recently by several scientists. ‘There are so many strains of malaria parasite,’ said one scientist, ‘and each is able to alter its chemical surface and trick its way past the body’s defences. We’d need a remarkable vaccine to cope with that. However, a malaria vaccine is now undergoing human trials and may be available for use if proved successful.’
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
You are preparing to write an essay on ‘The impact of climate on history’. The text below is taken from page 221 of a book called Volcanic Disasters by E. B. Pitnam, published in 1993. Underline the relevant points and make notes. One of the greatest explosions in modern history occurred in 1815, when an Indonesian volcano called Mt. Tambora blew up. The eruption involved about 100 cubic kilometres of material being blown into the sky, with huge loss of life both on land and sea. Large quantities of volcanic dust were ejected into the atmosphere, and this dust gradually spread around the world, causing alarming events on the other side of the world. In New England in north-eastern USA farmers were hit by bitterly cold weather in June and July 1816. Much of the harvest was lost due to repeated waves of frost and snow in the middle of summer. The same pattern was recorded in Europe, where agriculture was still suffering the effects of the Napoleonic Wars. In France wheat prices reached their highest point of the century in 1817. As European demand for food rose, prices doubled in America. Although some proﬁted from the shortages, others were driven to emigrate into the unexplored lands to the west. Numbers leaving Vermont, for example, increased by 100% between 1816 and 1817.
Paraphrasing involves changing a text so that it is quite different from the source, while retaining the meaning. This skill is important in several areas of academic work, but this unit focuses on using paraphrasing in note-making and summary writing. Effective paraphrasing is vital in academic writing to avoid the risk of plagiarism.
Although paraphrasing techniques are used in summary writing, paraphrasing does not aim to shorten the length of a text, merely to restate it. For example: Evidence of a lost civilisation has been found off the coast of China could be paraphrased: Remains of an ancient society have been discovered in the sea near China
Synonyms Academic Vocabulary
A good paraphrase is signiﬁcantly different from the wording of the original, without altering the meaning at all. Read the text below and then decide which is the better paraphrase, (a) or (b). Ancient Egypt collapsed in about 2180 BC. Studies conducted of the mud from the River Nile showed that at this time the mountainous regions which feed the Nile suffered from a prolonged drought. This would have had a devastating effect on the ability of Egyptian society to feed itself. a) The sudden ending of Egyptian civilisation over 4,000 years ago was probably caused by changes in the weather in the region to the south. Without the regular river ﬂooding there would not have been enough food. b) Research into deposits of the Egyptian Nile indicate that a long dry period in the mountains at the river’s source may have led to a lack of water for irrigation around 2180 BC, which was when the collapse of Egyptian society began.
Techniques a) Changing vocabulary: studies > research mud > deposits society > civilisation
NB Not all words and phrases can be paraphrased. For example, economics, socialism or global warming have no effective synonyms.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
b) Changing word class: Egypt (n.) > Egyptian (adj.) mountainous regions (adj. + n.) > in the mountains (n.) c) Changing word order: Ancient Egypt collapsed > the collapse of Egyptian society began 4. Find synonyms for the words in italics. a) The growth of the car industry parallels the development of modern capitalism. Example: The rise of the automobile industry matches the progress of contemporary capitalism. b) It began in France and Germany, but took off in the United States. c) There Henry Ford adapted the moving production line from the Chicago meat industry to motor manufacturing, thus inventing mass production. 5. Change the word class of the words in italics, and then rewrite the sentences. a) In the 1920s Alfred Sloan’s management theories helped General Motors to become the world’s dominant car company. Example: In the 1920s, with help from the managerial theories of Alfred Sloan, General Motors dominated the world’s car companies. b) After the Second World War the industry developed ‘planned obsolescence’, whereby frequent model changes encouraged customers to buy new cars more often than they needed to. c) Later, from the 1970s, environmentalists began to criticise the industry for producing inefﬁcient models which used too much fuel, contributing to global warming. 6. Change the word order of the following sentences (other changes may be needed). a) At this time, trades unions became increasingly militant in defence of their members’ jobs. Example: At this time increasingly militant trades unions defended their members’ jobs.
b) Today the industry owns some of the strongest brands in the world. c) However, many major car companies struggle with stagnant markets and falling proﬁts. 7. Combine all these techniques to paraphrase the paragraph as fully as possible. FOUR WHEELS GOOD The growth of the car industry parallels the development of modern capitalism. It began in France and Germany, but took off in the United States. There Henry Ford adapted the moving production line from the Chicago meat industry to motor manufacturing, thus inventing mass production. In the 1920s Alfred Sloan’s management theories helped General Motors to become the world’s dominant car company. After the Second World War the industry developed ‘planned obsolescence’, whereby frequent model changes encouraged customers to buy new cars more often than they needed to. Later, from the 1970s, environmentalists began to criticise the industry for producing inefﬁcient models which used too much fuel, contributing to global warming. At this time, trades unions became increasingly militant in defence of their members’ jobs. Today the industry owns some of the strongest brands in the world. However, many major car companies struggle with stagnant markets and falling proﬁts. 8. Use the same techniques to paraphrase the following text. Before the last century no humans had visited Antarctica, and even today the vast continent has a winter population of fewer than 200 people. However, a recent report from a New Zealand government agency outlines the scale of the pollution problem in the ice and snow. Although untouched compared with other regions in the world, the bitter cold of Antarctica means that the normal process of decay is prevented. As a result some research stations are surrounded by the rubbish of nearly 60 years’ operations. Despite popular belief, the polar continent is really a desert, with less precipitation than the Sahara. In the past, snowfall slowly covered the waste left behind, like beer cans or dead ponies, but now, possibly due to global warming, the ice is thinning and these are being exposed. Over 10 years ago the countries using Antarctica agreed a treaty on waste disposal, under which everything is to be taken home, and this is slowly improving the situation. However, the scientists do not want everything removed. The remains of very early expeditions at the beginning of the twentieth century have acquired historical value and will be preserved.
Making summaries is a common activity in everyday life. If a friend asks you about a book you are reading, you do not tell her about everything in the book. Instead, you make a summary of the most interesting and important aspects. The same principle applies to summarising in academic work.
Choose three of the topics below and write summaries in no more than twelve words each. Example: Birmingham – Birmingham is a large industrial city in the English west midlands. a) c) e) Your home town Your academic subject A ﬁlm you saw recently
b) Bill Gates d) The last book you read Look at the summaries you have written above. What are the features of a successful summary? 2. Summary writing is an important skill in academic work. Different kinds of summaries are needed in different situations. List as many study uses for summary writing as you can think of.
making notes from lectures .......................................... .......................................... 3. In essay writing students often have to summarise part of a book or journal article. The summary may be just one or two sentences, to explain the main idea of the article, and perhaps compare it with another summarised text, or it might be necessary to include much more detail. In other words, a summary can range from 1–2% of the original to more than 50%: summarising is a ﬂexible tool. At ﬁrst students need to follow a series of steps to summarise successfully. With practice the number of steps may be reduced, as the process becomes more automatic. Complete the list of stages in a successful summary by using phrases from the box.
1.9 Summary Writing
use your own words
ii) key points iv) order of ideas where necessary
iii) important ideas
Read the text carefully and check key vocabulary. Make notes of these, taking care to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
b) Underline or highlight the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . d) Write the summary using the notes, re-organising the . . . . ..................................................... e) 4. Check the summary to make sure no . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . have been omitted or distorted.
Read the following text and compare the summaries. Decide which is best, giving reasons. Researchers in France and the United States have recently reported that baboons are able to think abstractly. It has been known for some time that chimpanzees are capable of abstract thought, but baboons are a more distant relation to mankind. In the experiment, scientists trained two baboons to use a personal computer and a joystick. The animals had to match computer designs which were basically the same, but had superﬁcial differences. In the experiment the baboons performed better than would be expected by chance. The researchers describe their study in an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. a) French and American scientists have shown for the ﬁrst time that baboons have the ability to think in an abstract way. The animals were taught to use a computer, and then had to select patterns that were similar, which they did at a rate better than chance. b) Baboons are a kind of monkey more distant from man than chimpanzees. Although it is known that chimpanzees are able to think abstractly, until recently it was not clear if baboons could do the same. But new research by various scientists has shown that this is so. c) According to a recent article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, baboons are able to think in an abstract way. The article describes how researchers trained two baboons to use a personal computer and a joystick. The animals did better than would be expected.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
Read the following text and underline the key points. Indian researchers are trying to ﬁnd out if there is any truth in old sayings which claim to predict the weather. In Gujarat farmers have the choice of planting either peanuts, which are more proﬁtable in wet years, or castor, which does better in drier conditions. The difference depends on the timing of the monsoon rains, which can arrive at any time between the beginning and the middle of June. Farmers, however, have to decide what seeds to sow in April or May. There is a local saying, at least a thousand years old, which claims that the monsoon starts 45 days after the ﬂowering of a common tree, Cassia ﬁstula. Dr Kanani, an agronomist from Gujarat Agricultural University, has been studying the relationship since 1996, and has found that the tree does successfully predict the approximate date of the monsoon’s arrival.
Selecting Key Points
Complete the following notes of the key points. a) Indian scientists checking ancient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..............................
b) Old saying links monsoon to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................ c) Used by farmers to select peanuts (for wet) or . . . . . . . . . . . . .........................
d) Dr Kanani of Gujarat Agricultural University has found that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................... ............... cross-reference
Link the notes together to make a complete summary using conjunctions where necessary. Check the ﬁnal text for factual accuracy. Indian scientists are checking
1.9 Summary Writing
The original text was about 150 words. The summary above uses about 50, so the original has been reduced by about 65%. However, it might be necessary to summarise still further. Using the same techniques, summarise the summary in about twenty words. Summarise the following article in about 75 words. South Korea is planning to move its capital from Seoul to a new site in the middle of the country. Although Seoul has been the capital since the fourteenth century, the city of over 20 million is now very crowded, and also close to the hostile armies of North Korea. The new capital is planned to cost $45 billion, with construction ﬁnishing by 2012. There is, however, strong opposition to the project, since similar schemes in other countries have taken far longer and cost much more than originally planned. Australia, for example, took over 70 years to ﬁnish building Canberra, while Nigeria has never completed its planned new capital, Abuja. Both Brazil and Malaysia have found that the building of new capitals (Brasilia and Putrajaya) can sharply increase the national burden of debt. Even if the government does eventually move to the new capital, it is unlikely that South Korea’s main businesses will follow it, so Seoul will probably continue to be the country’s principal city.
1.10 Combining Sources
Most essays require the writer to read more than one book or article. Your essay should include a summary of the views of the different sources you have studied. In some cases the contrast between the ideas of different writers may be the focus of the essay. This unit examines ways of presenting such varying views.
Read the example, from a study of women’s experience of prison. According to Giallombardo (1966), women alleviated the pains of imprisonment by developing kinship links with other inmates. Similarly, Heffernan (1972) found that adaptation to prison was facilitated by the creation of a pseudo-family. Owen (1998) also notes that the female subculture is based on personal relationships with other women inmates. Others, however, believe that the subculture in women’s prisons is undergoing a gradual shift that more closely resembles that of male prisons. Fox (1982) states, for example, that the cooperative caring prison community that has embodied characterizations of female prisons has evolved into a more dangerous and competitive climate. a) c) How many writers are mentioned? What phrase is used to mark the point in the text where there is a shift from one point of view to another?
References and Quotations Verbs of Reference
b) What is the function of the words in italics?
Below are two sources used for an essay titled ‘Should genetically modiﬁed (GM) foods have a role in future agriculture?’ Read the sources ﬁrst, then the essay extract. Source A Genetic modiﬁcation (GM) is the most recent application of biotechnology to food, which can also be called genetic engineering or genetic manipulation. The phrase ‘genetically modiﬁed organisms’ or GMOs is used frequently in the scientiﬁc literature to describe plants and animals which have had DNA introduced into them by means other than the ‘natural’ process of an egg and a sperm. New species have always evolved through natural selection by means of random genetic variation. Early farmers used this natural variation to selectively breed wild animals, plants and even micro-organisms such as yogurt cultures and yeasts. They produced domesticated variants better suited to the needs of humans, long before the scientiﬁc basis for the process was understood. Despite this long history of careful improvement, such procedures are now labelled ‘interfering with nature’.
1.10 Combining Sources
Source B Genetic modiﬁcation (GM) is in fact far more than a mere development of selective breeding techniques. Combining genetic material from species that cannot breed naturally is an interference in areas which may be highly dangerous. The consequences of this kind of manipulation cannot be foreseen. It seems undeniable that these processes may lead to major beneﬁts in food production and the environment. Furthermore, there is no doubt that some medical advances may have saved millions of lives. However, this level of technology can contain a strong element of risk. Our ignorance of the long-term effects of releasing GM plants or even animals into the environment means that this step should only be taken after very careful consideration. Essay extract It has been claimed that GM technology is no different from breeding techniques which have been practised by man for thousands of years. Source A states that this process is similar to natural selection and remarks: ‘such procedures are now labelled “interfering with nature” ’. On the other hand Source B considers that, although GM technology could bring considerable beneﬁts in medicine and agriculture, it is quite different to traditional processes of selection. He believes that crossing the species barrier is a dangerous step and that there is insufﬁcient knowledge of the long-term results of such developments. 3. The essay writer uses a mixture of direct quotes and summaries of arguments. a) Find an example of each.
b) What phrase does the writer use to mark the point where he moves from dealing with Source A to Source B? c) List all the phrases used to introduce summaries.
It has been claimed that
You are preparing to write an essay titled ‘The social effects of tourism in developing countries’. Read the sources and then complete the paragraph comparing their views, as in the example above.
The Writing Process: Reading and Note-making
Source C When countries begin to provide facilities for mass tourism, such as hotels and leisure complexes, there is an immediate demand for labour. Work is created for cleaners, waiters, gardeners and drivers on a scale which may signiﬁcantly boost the local economy. Such work may provide opportunities to learn valuable new skills. For many, these semi-skilled jobs provide an attractive alternative to subsistence agriculture or ﬁshing, while at the same time the tax revenues from their earnings increase the national income. Source D One inevitable feature of tourism’s growth is the creation of badly-paid, seasonal jobs in holiday resorts. Much of this work combines insecurity with long hours of work in poor conditions. In Thailand, for example, there are cases of hotel maids working 15-hour days for less than $4. Moreover, the combination of wealthy tourists being served by impoverished workers is likely to increase social tensions in these areas. Another risk is that natural or human disasters such as wars and earthquakes may drive visitors away without warning, leaving tens of thousands unemployed. Source E In defence of the tourist industry, it has been claimed that the development of tourism played a major part in helping to modernise parts of Franco’s Spain in the 1960s. The presence of easy-going, afﬂuent visitors apparently encouraged locals to learn new skills and open new businesses. Despite this positive interpretation, many examples could be presented where the arrival of rich and idle tourists has been an encouragement for crime, prostitution and other less desirable aspects of the modern economy. Much seems to depend on the economic alternatives offered by the society, and of course the scale of tourist arrivals. It has been argued that tourism can have a very positive social inﬂuence on a developing country. Source C claims that
1.11 Planning Essays
Outline planning was examined in Unit 1.3. Planning gives essays a coherent structure and, most importantly, helps to ensure that they answer the question set. Although all essays need planning, they are written in two different situations: as coursework, and in exams. Clearly, under the time pressure of an exam, planning is more hurried, but can also be more critical. This unit looks ﬁrst at planning in exams, and then for coursework.
In the case of essays written in exams, it is best to begin planning by analysing the title and then writing down any ideas that seem relevant. This process is called ‘brainstorming’, and at ﬁrst ideas are collected in any order. Read the title below and add more ideas to the list. Outline the development of the modern tourist industry. • development of passenger jet aircraft in late 1950s package holidays became popular in 1960s increased leisure time in developed countries
• • • • • 2.
From Titles to Outlines
Organising the Main Body Discussion
Having assembled your ideas, it is then necessary to ﬁnd a suitable framework for the essay. A structure may be suggested by the title of the essay. There are a number of common structures used in essay writing. Which one would be most suitable for the title above? a) Time – usually from the past to the present or future, as narrative.
b) Comparison – two or more topics are examined and compared, one after the other. c) 3. For and against – the advantages and disadvantages of two systems are discussed. Outline the development of the modern tourist industry. a) Introduction: Current situation: growing demand/current problems, e.g. pollution i) mass tourism began in 1960s with development of jet aircraft ii)
Complete the plan using ideas from (1).
b) Main body:
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
iii) iv) c) Conclusion:
Decide which of the three structures in (2) would be most suitable for the following titles. a) Prisons make criminals worse, and should be abolished – discuss. b) In the UK, radio is gaining audience while TV is losing viewers. Consider possible reasons. c) Trace the development of mass production and evaluate its main beneﬁts. d) ‘Examinations can never be fair.’ To what extent is this true? e) The internet will make books redundant in twenty years – discuss.
Study the title below and the ideas collected for the essay. Add to the list if possible. Then choose a suitable framework and complete the plan below. Compare the effects of advertising on TV with advertising in newspapers. What are the main differences? Are there any similarities?
TV adverts more lively, dynamic newspaper adverts can be targeted at a special market, e.g. local TV advertising very expensive (to make and show) many people video TV and fast forward adverts newspaper adverts can be prepared more quickly TV adverts can reach a wider audience
Introduction: role of newspapers and TV in society today i) ii)
b) Main body:
1.11 Planning Essays
iii) iv) c) Conclusion:
Choose one of the titles below and note at least six ideas that might be used in the essay. Then select a suitable framework and write a plan. a) In 20 years’ time most learning will be on-line: the internet will replace the classroom – discuss.
b) Describe the education system in your country and suggest how it could be improved. Ideas
In the case of longer essays, written as coursework, planning should be more detailed. It will normally be a two-stage process: a) before reading: using the title to develop an outline structure
b) after reading: modifying the outline and adding detail Study the notes below. Use them to write a plan for the title. Title: Student numbers in higher education are rising in most countries. Is it desirable to keep increasing the numbers of young people who take a degree? a) In 1985 12% of young people went to university in the UK. Now the ﬁgure is over 30%. Similar growth has been experienced in many countries, developed and developing.
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
b) Recent research (Jackson et al.) shows that employers are looking for personal skills rather than educational qualiﬁcations. c) The average student in Britain now leaves university with debts of £15,000. d) University education may help students from poorer families to move into a higher social position. e) Modern economies are based on knowledge. Therefore, every country needs to educate its workforce as highly as possible to compete with other economies. f) Because increasing numbers of young people are gaining a ﬁrst degree, their degrees are worth less. It is now necessary to have a second degree to compete in the labour market.
g) As student numbers rise, standards fall. Classrooms become more crowded, and overworked teachers are less able to give students personal attention.
1.12 Organising Paragraphs
Paragraphs are the basic building blocks of texts. Well-organised paragraphs not only help readers understand the argument, they also help writers to structure their ideas effectively.
Read the following paragraph. The way we use banks is currently changing. This is partly because of the introduction of new technology in the last ten years. The personal computer and the internet, for instance, allow customers to view their accounts at home and perform operations such as moving money between accounts. At the same time banks are being reorganised in ways that affect both customers and staff. In the past ﬁve years over 3,000 bank branches have closed in Britain. The banks have discovered that stafﬁng call centres is cheaper than running a branch network. The structure of the paragraph is: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. topic sentence reason example information information reason The way we use banks . . . This is partly because . . . The personal computer . . . At the same time banks . . . In the past ﬁve years . . . The banks have discovered . . .
2.5 2.7 2.12
Deﬁnitions Examples Restatement and Repetition
a) A paragraph is a collection of sentences which deal with one subject. b) All paragraphs contain a topic sentence, which is often, but not always, the ﬁrst. c) Other components vary according to the nature of the topic. Introductory paragraphs often contain deﬁnitions, while descriptive paragraphs include a lot of information. Other sentences give examples and offer reasons and restatements. In recent years all British universities have adopted the semester system. A semester is a period of time which lasts for half the academic year. Semester 1, for example, starts in September and ﬁnishes in January. Previously the academic year had been divided into three terms: autumn, winter and spring. Most courses consist of modules which last for one semester, and exams are held at the end of each. Britain began using semesters to make it easier for international students to move from one country to another.
Read and analyse the following paragraph.
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
The sentences below form a paragraph, but have been mixed up. Use the table to rewrite the sentences in the correct order. a) The Romans were the ﬁrst people to build a bridge near the position of today’s Tower Bridge.
b) London has been the English capital for over 1,000 years. c) Over 500 years ago the area below the bridge had become a major river port for ships trading with Europe. d) Its dominance is due to its strategic site near the lowest crossing point of the River Thames. e) For many centuries it has been the centre of the country’s economic, cultural and social life.
1.12 Organising Paragraphs
1. topic 2. restatement 3. reason 4. example 5. information
The sentences below form a paragraph, but have been mixed up. Rewrite them in the correct order and analyse the paragraph structure, using the components below. Topic 1, Topic 2, Example, Information, Reason a) Even simple words like ‘dinner’ or ‘hello’ were not recognised. b) Consequently, the keepers have been trained to talk French to the baboons. c) The zoo realised that the animals were used to hearing commands in French. d) An English zoo has been given a gift of nineteen baboons by a zoo in Paris. e) But when the English zoo keepers tried speaking to the animals there was no response. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
You are writing an essay on ‘Prisons make criminals worse, and should be abolished’. Using the notes below, complete the introductory paragraph, following the structure provided. Introduction Modern prison system developed in nineteenth century Prisons intended to isolate, punish and reform
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
Steep rise in number of prisoners in last 20 years Critics claim they are ‘universities of crime’ Essay aims to consider how effective prisons are 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The modern prison system . . . The system had three basic aims: . . . However, in the last 20 years . . . Prisons are commonly criticised . . . This essay attempts to evaluate . . .
Using the second set of notes, write the next paragraph of the essay. Advantages Prisons offer society three apparent beneﬁts Provide punishment by deprivation of freedom Offenders are segregated so cannot re-offend Possibility of reform through training programmes 1. 2. 3. 4.
Using the next set of notes, write the third paragraph. Drawbacks Prisons appear to be failing in twenty-ﬁrst century Prison population steadily rising in many countries Many prisoners are ‘repeat offenders’ Few prisons able to offer effective reform programmes Prison conditions often brutal and degrading
1.12 Organising Paragraphs
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Write a concluding paragraph, summarising the previous points and using your own ideas, to answer the title given.
1.13 Organising the Main Body
This and the next two units deal with the organisation of the main body, the introduction and the conclusion. In the case of longer assignments it is often better to write the main body before the introduction. With shorter essays, for example in exams, this is impractical, and the introduction has to be written ﬁrst.
The structure of the main body depends on the length of the essay and the subject of study. Shorter essays (in exams, for example) tend to have simpler structures: Description/ development For and against A X X1 X2 Comparison/evaluation B Y Y1 Y2 J J1 J2 C or D X X1 X2 K K1 K2 Y Y1 Y2 L L1 L2
Match the examples of plans for main bodies below to the structures above. a) Prisons make criminals worse, and should be abolished – discuss. i) beneﬁt of prisons – deterrence ii) beneﬁt of prisons – removes dangerous people from society iii) drawback of prisons – prisoners lose contact with non-criminal society iv) drawback of prisons – prisoners become bitter and learn criminal techniques b) In the UK, radio is gaining audience while TV is losing viewers. Consider possible reasons. i) radio can be listened to in many situations ii) radio offers a wide variety of programme types iii) TV lacks ﬂexibility, needs full attention iv) economic factors: TV more expensive to buy/ programmes more expensive to make c) Trace the development of the factory system and describe its social impact. i) factories originally sited to make use of water power (in eighteenth century)
1.13 Organising the Main Body
ii) ﬁrst factories employed unskilled workers; often women and children iii) in nineteenth century factories built near canals/ railways for access to markets iv) later some employers offered social beneﬁts, e.g. housing/education cross-reference
Inside the main body, ideas need to be presented in the most logical fashion, linked together to form a coherent argument. Select a suitable structure from (1) and reorganise the notes below in the best order. Lowering the minimum school leaving age to 14 would allow teachers to focus on teaching the students who wanted to be in school – discuss. if they left at 14, students would be unlikely to ﬁnd proper jobs some students more suited to work which doesn’t require qualiﬁcations problem students waste everybody’s time, including their own effort should be made in primary schools to prevent pupils falling behind many older students have lost interest in learning and disrupt classes in future, almost all jobs will demand academic skills
Longer essays may include the following sections: Literature review – a summary of the main authorities on this topic Experimental set-up – a technical description of the organisation of an experiment Methods – how the research was carried out Findings/results – what was discovered by the research/ experiment Case study – a description of an example of the topic being researched Discussion – an examination of the issues and the writer’s verdict The sections below constitute the main body of an essay titled ‘Studying abroad: an analysis of costs and beneﬁts’. Decide on the heading of each section and the best order (1–5) for them.
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
a) Comparisons of the advantages and disadvantages that students mentioned about study abroad and an attempt to decide if most students beneﬁted from the experience. b) Aims of the survey and how the researcher conducted it. c) An extensive study of two students (from different cultures) studying in Britain who were interviewed by the researcher. d) A report of what the survey found, with statistical analysis. e) A synopsis of the recent published research in this area. cross-reference
Special phrases can be used to mark the beginning of new paragraphs, or the introduction of new topics. To introduce a new paragraph/topic: The main/chief factor/issue is . . . Turning to the subject of . . . Moving on to the question of . . . Another important area is . . . . . . . . . . . . . should also be examined To add information inside a paragraph: a) Firstly, . . . The ﬁrst point . . . In the ﬁrst place . . . Then, . . . b) Secondly, . . . Next, . . . . In addition . . . Moreover . . . c) Finally, . . . Lastly, . . .
Complete the following extract from an essay on ‘British weather’ with suitable phrases. The British are famous all over the world for their obsession with the weather, but in fact the reality is more complex than is often believed. This essay sets out to examine some of the principal inﬂuences on the weather of the British Isles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is the geographical position of Britain, situated on the extreme western edge of the European continent. This means that a variety of weather types can dominate the country. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the Atlantic Ocean can produce warm wet winds, especially in winter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the land mass of Europe can create anticyclonic weather, hot in summer
1.13 Organising the Main Body
and cold in winter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the polar region to the north can generate cold winds at most seasons of the year. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . variations within Britain, there are signiﬁcant differences between regions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the south of England can be much warmer than the north of Scotland, especially in winter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the west of Britain is usually much wetter than the east. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . even in the same district, hilly areas will be cooler and wetter than the lowlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is seasonal change, which in Britain is less distinct than in many countries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the Atlantic moderates extreme types of weather, and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the weather pattern can change radically from year to year. As a result warm days in winter and chilly summer winds frequently surprise visitors to this country.
An introduction is crucial, not just for what it says about the topic, but for what it tells the reader about the writer’s style and approach. Unless you can introduce the subject clearly the reader may not wish to continue.
What is the purpose of the introduction to an essay? Choose from the items below: a) c) e) f) to deﬁne some of the terms in the title to show that you have read some research on the subject to explain which areas of the subject you will deal with to get the reader’s attention with a provocative idea b) to give your opinion of the subject d) to show that the subject is worth writing about
g) to show how you intend to organise your essay 2. Study the extracts from introductions below, and decide which of the functions in the box they fulﬁl. i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) explain starting point for research state aims/goals refer to recent research in same area give results of research provide background information concede limitations
a) In many companies, the knowledge of most employees remains untapped for solving problems and generating new ideas. b) This paper positions call centres at the core of the mix of technologies public administration can use to innovate e-commerce. c) In fact, this is one of our main ﬁndings based on an extended sample period up to 1998. d) Admittedly, the tenor of my argument is tentative and exploratory. e) The purpose of this paper is to investigate changes in the incidence of extreme warm and cold temperatures over the globe since 1870 . . .
To what extent do increases in the food available per person at a national level contribute to reductions in child malnutrition? This question has generated a wide range of responses (Haddad et al., 1997).
There is no such thing as a standard introduction, and much depends on the nature of the research and the length of the essay. However, for a relatively short essay written under exam conditions, the following are worth including, in this order. a) b) c) d) e) f) a) Deﬁnitions of any terms in the title that are unclear Some background information Reference to other writers who have discussed this topic Your purpose in writing and the importance of the subject Any limitations, e.g. geographical or chronological, that you set yourself A summary of the main points you intend to cover
It may be necessary to clarify some of the words in the title. This may be because they are not in common use or have a specialised meaning. Discuss the Impact of Privatisation on the British Economy. Privatisation is the process of transferring certain industries from state control to the private sector, which began in Britain in 1981 with British Telecom . . .
b) Background information helps to give a context for your essay. In recent years the privatisation of state owned businesses, especially monopoly utilities such as electricity and telecoms, has become widespread in both developed and developing nations. c) It is important to show that you are familiar with current research. This can be demonstrated using phrases such as: A number of researchers have examined this issue, notably . . . Various investigations have explored the subject, especially . . . d) You must show the importance of the topic. This can be either in the academic world, or as a contemporary issue of wider relevance.
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
As privatisation is increasingly seen as a remedy for economic ills in many other countries, it is worth examining its impact in Britain, which was a pioneer in this process. e) As you are only writing an essay, not a book, it is obviously not possible to deal with all aspects of your subject. Therefore you need to explain what limits you are setting on the discussion, and possibly give reasons for this. Only privatisations completed between 1981–95 will be dealt with, as it is too soon to assess the impact of later developments. f) For your own beneﬁt, as well as the reader’s, it is useful to outline how the essay will be organised. An assessment will ﬁrst be made of the performance of the privatised industries themselves, on an individual basis, and then the performance of the economy as a whole will be examined. cross-reference
Prepare to write an introduction to an essay with the title ‘Higher education should be available to everyone – discuss’ by answering the questions below. a) c) Which terms in the title might need deﬁning? How can you show the current relevance of this topic, either in Britain or another country? b) What background information could you give?
d) How are you going to limit your discussion: geographically, historically or both? e) How will you organise the main body of the essay?
(As this is a short essay, it is not necessary to mention sources in the introduction.) 5. Write the introduction (about 100 words) in the space below, using your answers from (4) and the notes provided below. Deﬁnition: Background: Higher education (HE) = university education Increasing demand for HE worldwide puts pressure on national budgets > many states seek to shift costs to students In most countries degree = key to better jobs and opportunities
Discussion points: If students have to pay more of cost, discriminates against poorer families Is it fair for all taxpayers to support students? How to keep HE open to able students from all backgrounds? 6. Write an introduction to an essay on one of the following titles, or choose a subject from your own discipline. a) Compare the urbanisation process in the First and the Third Worlds. b) Assess the importance of public transport in the modern city. c) ‘Lawyers are inﬂating the cost of medicine’ – discuss. d) To what extent is a democratic system necessary for economic development?
There is usually a link between the starting point, i.e. the title, and the conclusion. If the title is asking a question the answer should be contained in the conclusion. The reader may look at the conclusion ﬁrst to get a summary of the main arguments or points.
Not every academic essay has a conclusion. In some cases it may be linked to the discussion section, or it may be called ‘concluding remarks’, or ‘summary’. However, in most cases it is helpful for the reader to have a section which (quite brieﬂy) looks back at what has been said and makes some comments about the main part. Read the following extracts from conclusions and match them with the list of functions in the box. i) comparisons with other studies ii) summary of main body iii) limitations of research iv) suggestions for further research v) practical implications and proposals a) In this review, attempts have been made to summarise and assess the current research trends of transgenic rice dealing exclusively with agronomically important genes. b) As always, this investigation has a number of limitations to be considered in evaluating its ﬁndings. c) Obviously, business expatriates could beneﬁt from being informed that problem focused coping strategies are more effective than symptom focused ones. d) Another line of research worth pursuing further is to study the importance of language for expatriate assignments. e) Our review of thirteen studies of strikes in public transport demonstrates that the effect of a strike on public transport ridership varies and may either be temporary or permanent . . . f) These results of the Colombia study reported here are consistent with other similar studies conducted in other countries (Baron and Norman, 1992).
g) To be more precise, there was a positive relation between tolerant and patient problem solving and all four measures of adjustment: general, interaction, work and subjective well-being.
h) To empirically test this conjecture, we need more cross-national replication of this research. 2. Compare the following conclusions to two essays on ‘Public transport in a modern economy’. Complete the table to show the main differences between them. a) As has been shown, public transport is likely to play an important role in the future. Despite possible changes in patterns of work and leisure, it seems likely that mass transport systems will remain necessary for the efﬁcient movement of people. What is not clear is how such transport systems should be funded. Various schemes have been discussed, but the most effective model will probably contain some element of public funding. Market forces alone are unlikely to provide a satisfactory solution. This is in broad agreement with the views of most other recent commentators, notably Tilic (1998) and Vardy (2002). b) In such a brief study it is hard to draw deﬁnite conclusions about the future shape of public transport. In addition space has not permitted an examination of the situation in Asia, where signiﬁcant growth of public transport has taken place. The main areas of debate have been outlined, but much more research is needed before ﬁrm conclusions can be drawn. Whether public transport ﬂourishes or deteriorates in future is still unclear, though further studies, especially in the ﬁeld of public/private partnerships, may eventually suggest an answer. a
As illustrated in (1), the following components may be found in conclusions. Decide on the most suitable order for them (1–5). Implications of the ﬁndings Proposals for further research Limitations of the research
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
Reference to how these ﬁndings compare with other studies Summary of main ﬁndings 4. Below are notes for the main body of an essay. Read the notes and complete the conclusion, using your own ideas if necessary. Cultural adaptation among overseas students at an Australian university. a) The research programme purpose: to study how students from different cultural backgrounds adapt to academic life in Australia size and method: 250 questionnaires returned (30% Chinese, 25% SE Asian, 20% Middle Eastern, 25% other) b) Findings – culture was only one factor in determining successful adaptation Other important factors: age/previous experience of living abroad/language proﬁciency c) Discussion – how accurate was research? How could it have been improved? What can be done to help students adapt better? Summary The aim of the study was to explore differing degrees of adjustment to life at an Australian university among overseas students from a variety of cultural backgrounds. 250 valid questionnaires were completed, representing about a third of the overseas student population, with signiﬁcant numbers of Chinese, SE Asian and Middle Eastern students. The results suggest
Proposals for further research
Study the notes for the essay below and write a conclusion in about 100 words. A comparison of classroom learning with internet-based teaching. a) Reasons for increasing use of on-line education: cheaper if large numbers involved allows students to study in their own time students do not have to travel to university b) Reasons why classroom based education remains popular: students can be part of group; receive support and advice; learn from colleagues students have face-to-face contact with a teacher is seen as traditional and effective c) Discussion can a solitary student in front of a computer enjoy the same learning experience as a member of a class? pressure of numbers in universities makes more on-line education likely is internet learning really a new method of education? Distance learning has been popular for many years (e.g. Open University)
1.16 Rewriting and Proof-reading
When you have ﬁnished the conclusion it may be tempting to hand in your work immediately. However, it is almost certain that it can be improved by being revised. With longer assignments, it may be worth asking a classmate to read your work and make criticisms. Proof-reading is a vital ﬁnal step, which can prevent confusion or misunderstanding due to simple errors. Computer programs that check spelling will not detect other common types of mistakes.
1. After ﬁnishing the ﬁrst draft of an essay you should, if you have time, wait for a while and then re-read it, asking the following questions. a) How well does this answer the question in the title? b) Have I forgotten any points which would strengthen the development? c) cross-reference
Is it clearly structured and well linked together?
Comparison Comparison Essay
Read this short essay written by a Japanese student on the title ‘Compare the university system in your country with the British system’. Answer the questions above as you read. It is said that there are large differences in the teaching methods between British universities and Japanese ones. Courses in British universities consist mainly of lectures, discussions, presentations and tutorials and students study speciﬁcally their major subject. On the other hand, Japanese universities normally only have lectures in the ﬁrst two years and students have to study a wide range of subjects in addition to their major. The aim of this essay is to compare and analyse each system. In British universities, students need a more active attitude in their study than Japanese students. They need to prepare for presentations and discussions. This is useful for learning because they take much time for study outside the classroom and as they become familiar with their subjects they will become more interested in them. In Japan, students’ attitude is amazingly passive and they study only just before exams. The other difference between British universities and Japanese ones is, as mentioned above, British students concentrate on their major subject and gain speciﬁc knowledge about it. Japanese students, however, gain wider knowledge by studying a few other subjects in addition to their major. This system gives students apparently much knowledge but they cannot study their major deeply and their knowledge is wide-ranging but not useful.
1.16 Rewriting and Proof-reading
In conclusion, British teaching methods give students more chance to know the subject thoroughly compared to Japanese teaching methods, but Japanese methods are suitable for students who are eager to gain a wide range of knowledge and like to study on their own. It is hard to say which is better, it depends on students. 3. A careful re-reading of the essay would suggest the following points.
The essay only partly answers the title. It looks at university life from a student’s position, but does not really deal with the ‘system’ as a whole. The last line of the conclusion discusses a question not asked in the title.
b) To deal with the subject more fully the writer needs to examine topics such as length of courses, funding of students and admission procedures. If there is not space to discuss these in detail they must be at least mentioned, to show that the writer is aware that they are central to the subject. c) The introduction needs to be more general. It goes straight to a comparison of teaching methods. This could be in the main body. Otherwise the essay is well organised and quite logical.
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
Use the notes below to rewrite the introductory paragraph. (NB It is not necessary to include more details than are given below.) university education important in both UK and Japan (over 30% 18-year-olds) main points for comparison a) admissions b) length of courses: ﬁrst and higher degrees c) teaching methods d) assessment e) ﬁnancial support essay will examine each point and analyse differences between countries
In both Britain and Japan, university education is undertaken by a signiﬁcant number (more than 30%) of all young people after leaving school.
1.16 Rewriting and Proof-reading
5. Before handing in any piece of written work for marking, it is important to check it carefully for errors which may distort your meaning or make your work difﬁcult to understand. The following examples each contain one common type of error. Underline the error and match it to the list of error types in the box. i) factual ii) word ending iii) punctuation iv) tense v) vocabulary vi) spelling vii) singular/ plural viii) style ix) missing word x) unnecessary word
2.13 3.9 3.14 3.16 3.23
Style Nouns and Adjectives Punctuation Singular or Plural? Verbs – Tenses
a) The natural poorness of Japan has been overcome ... b) In 1980 in the United States there is 140,000 people who . . . c) Actually, hardly any of these has succeeded . . . d) . . . to choose the most suitable area in which they can success. e) Chinese history reﬂects in real social and cultural changes. f) The highest rate of imprisonment was regestred in the USA . . .
g) Malaria is on the increase in countries such as Africa ... h) I am very interested in German economy . . . i) j) 6. . . . the french system is quite different. You don’t always know which method is best.
When proof-reading it is a good idea to exchange texts with another student, since you may become overfamiliar with your own work. However, even in exam conditions, when this is not possible, it is vital to spend a few minutes checking through your work as this may reveal careless errors that can be quickly corrected. Underline and correct the errors in the extracts below (one or two in each). a) The graph shows changes in the number of prisoners over 5 years (1930–80).
The Writing Process: Writing Stages
b) . . . the way the government prepares his citizens to contribute in the development . . . c) Secondly, education not only teach people many knowledge . . . d) However, weather it is the most important factor is the issue . . . e) There has been a sharp decrease between 1930 and 1950. f) The quality of a society depends in the education level.
g) America had the biggest ﬁgure for crime . . . 7. Proof-reading a longer text is more difﬁcult. The following is an extract from an essay comparing university education in Taiwan and the UK. Correct any errors you ﬁnd. There are many similaries to the UK and Taiwan, for example course fees, assessment and so on. Firstly, both UK universities and Taiwan universities charge fees from students, but course fees in the UK is as expensive as that in Taiwan. In addition, teaching methods are very similar to both of countries. Students should attend lectures and seminars. Moreover, they have the same system to assess students, which are examed at the end of semester. Nevertheless, there are three main differences: how students can entry a university and how much percentage of students are in higher education. Students in higher education in Taiwan are twice more than in the UK
Elements of Writing
The Elements of Writing are the various skills that are needed for most types of academic writing, whether it is a short report, a long essay or a dissertation. Many essays, for instance, begin by deﬁning a term in the title (unit 2.5 Deﬁnitions), then make some generalisations about the subject (unit 2.8 Generalisations) before going on to give examples of the main areas the writer wishes to examine (unit 2.7 Examples). Throughout the essay the writer needs to provide references to sources used (unit 2.11 References and Quotations) and to employ an appropriate academic style (unit 2.13 Style). Many academic subjects also require discussion of statistics (unit 2.9 Numbers), and graphs and charts (unit 2.16 Visual Information). In the case of unit 2.4 Comparison and unit 2.6 Discussion, students should note that the comparison or discussion might apply to the overall pattern of the essay or to just one section. It is common, for instance, for longer essays to have a discussion section before the conclusion. There is no ﬁxed order for working on the units in Elements of Writing. They are organised alphabetically for easy access, and most students will have their own priorities. As in Part 1, the cross-reference boxes provide links to other relevant units.
1.12 2.6 4.6
1. Study the organisation of the following paragraph: Currently, roads are often congested, which is expensive in terms of delays. It is claimed that building more roads, or widening existing ones, would ease the congestion. But not only is the cost of such work high, but the construction process adds to the congestion, while the resulting extra road space may encourage extra trafﬁc. Therefore constructing extra roads is unlikely to solve the problem, and other remedies, such as road pricing or greater use of public transport, should be examined. a) b) c) d) Problem Solution A Argument against solution A Solutions B and C Currently, roads are often congested, which is . . . It is claimed that building more roads, or widening ... But not only is the cost of such work high, but . . . . . . other remedies, such as road pricing or greater use . . .
Organising Paragraphs Discussion Discussion Essay
The same ideas could be presented to arrive at a different conclusion: Currently, roads are often congested, which is expensive in terms of delays. It is claimed that building more roads is costly, increases congestion and will encourage extra trafﬁc. This may be partly true, but the alternatives are equally problematic. Road pricing has many practical difﬁculties, while people are reluctant to use public transport. There is little alternative to a road building programme except increasing road chaos. Problem Solution A Arguments against solution A Solutions B and C and arguments against Conclusion in favour of solution A Currently, roads are often congested, which is . . . building more roads . . . It is claimed that building more roads is costly, increases . . . Road pricing has many practical difﬁculties, while people are . . . There is little alternative to a road building programme . . .
Elements of Writing
Analyse the following paragraph in a similar way: Obesity is a growing problem in many countries. It can lead to various medical conditions which increase the demand for public health services. There is no clear agreement on the causes of the condition, although some doctors blame a sedentary lifestyle. This does not explain why only certain people suffer from the condition, while others are not affected. Another theory is that a high fat diet, linked to modern processed food, is to blame. Recent research shows that most obesity sufferers do eat this unhealthy diet. Problem Cause A Argument against cause A Cause B Conclusion in favour of B
Use the following points to build an argument in one paragraph: Topic: Problem: Solution A: Argument against A: Solution B: Argument against B: University expansion Demand for university places is growing, leading to overcrowding Increase fees to reduce demand Unfair to poorer students Government pays to expand universities Unfair to average taxpayer who would be subsidising the education of a minority who will earn high salaries Government subsidises poorer students
Think of a similar debate in your own subject. Complete the table and write a paragraph which leads to a conclusion. Topic Problem Solution A Argument against A Solution B Argument against B (Solution C) Conclusion
Cause and Effect
1. The relationship between two situations can be shown in a variety of ways: CAUSE: heavy rain EFFECT: ﬂooding
Verbs – Passives
Heavy rain causes ﬂooding. Heavy rain leads to ﬂooding. Heavy rain results in ﬂooding. Heavy rain produces ﬂooding. EFFECT: ﬂooding CAUSE: heavy rain
Flooding is caused by heavy rain. (note use of passive) Flooding is produced by heavy rain. Flooding results from heavy rain. cross-reference
It is also possible to use conjunctions which demonstrate cause and effect. Cause because (of) since as owing to due to Effect so therefore consequently which is why
Because it rained heavily, the ﬂooding was severe. (because + verb) The ﬂooding occurred because of days of heavy rain. (because + noun) As/since it rained heavily, the ﬂooding was severe. (conjunction + verb) Owing to/due to the heavy rain the ﬂooding was severe. (conjunction + noun) (also: Owing to it raining . . .)
2.2 Cause and Effect
It rained heavily for days, therefore the ﬂooding was severe. (used in mid-sentence) NB It is more common to use conjunctions to illustrate particular situations. 3. Decide whether the following are particular or general, then complete them with a suitable verb or conjunction. a) Childhood vaccination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . reduced infant mortality. b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the cold winter hospital admissions increased. c) Printing money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . higher inﬂation. d) The summer was extremely dry, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . many trees died. e) In 2003, falling sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the company closing two factories. Write two more sentences from your own subject area. f)
Use conjunctions to complete the following paragraph. WHY WOMEN LIVE LONGER Some British scientists now believe that women live longer than men a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . T cells, a vital part of the immune system that protects the body from diseases. Previously, various theories have attempted to explain longer female life expectancy. Biologists claimed that women lived longer b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . they need to bring up children. Others argued that men take more risks, c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . they die earlier. But a team from Imperial College think that the difference may be d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . women having better immune systems. Having studied a group of men and women they found that the body produces fewer T cells as it gets older, e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the ageing process. However, they admit that this may not be the only factor, and f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . another research project may be conducted.
Elements of Writing
Study the ﬂowchart and complete the paragraph which describes it. people have more money to spend and buy more goods and services increased demand for goods and services
During a recession, government can lower taxes
government has higher income from taxation and spends less on social security
more jobs created to satisfy demand
If a country is suffering from economic recession, the government can reduce taxation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... ............. 6. Draw a ﬂowchart similar to the one above, for your own subject, and write a paragraph to describe it.
1. Cohesion means linking phrases together so that the whole text is clear and readable. It is achieved by several methods, such as the use of conjunctions. Another is the linking of phrases and sentences with words like he, they and that which refer back to something mentioned before: Jane Austen wrote six major novels in her short life. They deal with domestic drama in middle-class families. Examples of reference words and phrases Pronouns Possessive pronouns Objective pronouns Demonstrative pronouns Other phrases he/she/it/they his/her/hers/their/theirs her/him/them this/that/these/those the former/the latter/the ﬁrst/the second
Read the following paragraph and complete the table. Jenkins (1987) has researched the life cycle of new businesses. He found that they have an average life of only 4.7 years. This is due to two main reasons; one economic and one social. The former appears to be a lack of capital, the latter a failure to carry out sufﬁcient market research. Jenkins considers that together these account for approximately 70% of business failures. Reference Jenkins new businesses average life of only 4.7 years one economic one social the former . . . . ., the latter . . . . . . Reference word/phrase he
Read the paragraph and complete the table below to show what the reference words (in italics) refer to. There is little prospect of improvement in the standard of living of the villagers from their present low level without the support of electricity. Presently, the households can enjoy only a limited number of hours of illumination based on kerosene or diesel. These are not cheap and so are not affordable by a large majority of the rural masses. This restricts the range as well as the intensity of their activities severely. But even if supply of power from these sources is available more abundantly, there is the problem of adverse environmental effects of such use.
Elements of Writing
Reference word their these this their these sources such use
In the following paragraph, insert suitable reference words from the box below in the gaps. Disposable razor blades were invented by Gillette at the beginning of the twentieth century. a) . . . . . . . . . were a simple idea but at ﬁrst b) . . . . . . . found it very hard to sell c) . . . . . . . . d) . . . . . . . was because nobody had marketed a throw-away product before. However, e) . . . . . . . use of advertising to stimulate demand gradually increased sales and before long f) . . . . . . . . . became a millionaire. he x 2/his/them/this/they 5. Complete these paragraphs with suitable reference words from the table in (1). A) The Victoria and Albert Museum is in South Kensington in London. a) . . . . . . . is named after Queen Victoria and b) . . . . . . . husband, Prince Albert. c) . . . . . . . was made Queen in 1837, and married d) . . . . . . . three years later. e) . . . . . . . had a happy marriage which produced nine children. f) . . . . . . . . life together was quite simple, although g) . . . . . . . was the queen of the world’s most powerful nation. Albert had a serious character, and perhaps h) . . . . . . . major achievement was to organise the Great Exhibition of 1851, the proﬁts from which helped to build the Museum. B) One group of commentators have little faith in the ability of food availability to improve child nutrition. a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arguments are supported by the fact that over two-thirds of malnourished children live in countries with food supplies adequate for b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . populations’ needs. c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . point to problems of poverty and to non-food factors, such as children’s health and the quality of d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . care. e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . belief is that both, but especially f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (which is increasing in many countries), play a more signiﬁcant part in malnutrition than is often admitted.
1. The two basic comparative forms are: The Paciﬁc Ocean is larger than the Atlantic. His work is more interesting than hers. a) -er is added to one-syllable adjectives (slow/slower) and two-syllable adjectives ending in -y (easy/easier).
b) more . . . . . . . . . . . . is used with words of two or more syllables. careful/more careful quickly/more quickly However, there are some two-syllable words that can use either form: simple/simpler/more simple 2. Comparisons can be made more exact by using slightly, much, considerably, far or signiﬁcantly before the comparative: Dickens’ novels are considerably longer than Austen’s. The new Mercedes is slightly more economical than the old model. cross-reference
Study the table and complete the comparisons below.
Cost of sending a letter to a domestic destination (Eurocents) Germany France Japan Britain United States Spain 110 85 62 60 48 45
Numbers Nationality Language
a) Letters in Japan are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in Britain. b) Spanish letters are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . German letters. c) British letters are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . French ones.
d) Letters in Germany are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in America. 4. The form as . . . . . . . . . . . . as can be used to stress similarity: British letters are nearly as expensive as Japanese letters. It can also be used for quantitative comparison: German letters are twice as expensive as American letters. (Also: half as/three times as/etc.)
Elements of Writing
Note the variety of forms possible: German letters are more expensive than French (ones/ letters). (least formal) Letters in Germany are more expensive than (those) in France. The cost of sending a letter is higher in Germany than in France. (most formal) (High/low are used for comparing abstract concepts such as rates.) Ones can replace the noun when used with an adjective: German letters are more expensive than Japanese ones. But not in combination with a noun: Family cars are cheaper than sports cars. (not sports ones)
More/less, the most/the least (followed by adjective), the most/ the fewest (related to number) Divorce is less common in Greece than in Britain. The School of Education offers the most modules. (more than others) The most crowded country in Europe is Holland. NB Superlatives (most crowded/least visited) must be deﬁned, e.g. in Europe/in 1996.
Complete the following description of the table above (one word per gap): According to the table, Spain is the a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . expensive country for sending a domestic letter. The USA is b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . more expensive, while the cost in Britain is c) . . . . . . . . . . . . the same d) . . . . . . . . . . . . in Japan. France and Germany are the e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . expensive countries, France being 20% cheaper f) . . . . . . . . . . . Germany. Overall, posting a letter costs g) . . . . . . . . . . . . as much in Spain h) . . . . . . . . . . . . in Germany.
Study the table and complete the text below (one word per gap). American spending on leisure activities, 1997, $billion Video, audio and computers Books and newspapers Casino gambling Lotteries Recorded music Theme parks Video games Spectator sports Cinema tickets Racecourse betting 80 51 24 18 15 9 8.5 6 5.5 2.5
The table shows that Americans spend the a) . . . . . . . . . . money ($80 bn) on video, audio and computer equipment. They spend 40% b) . . . . . . . . . . on books and newspapers, while casinos, in third place, are c) . . . . . . . . . . popular d) . . . . . . . . . . lotteries or recorded music. Americans spend e) . . . . . . . . . . more on theme parks than f) . . . . . . . . . . video games, and the cinema, in ninth place, is nearly g) . . . . . . . . . . popular as spectator sports. The h) . . . . . . . . . . amount of money is spent on racecourse betting. 9. Study the table below and complete the paragraph comparing life expectancy in European countries (one word per gap). Adult alcohol intake per year (litres) 11.9 11.7 9.4 12.1 8.4 14.1 11.8 10.4 9.4 4.8 13.6 6.4 11.8 11.1 Cigarettes smoked per day per adult 4.6 4.3 4.2 4.9 2.2 4.0 5.0 8.3 4.2 1.7 4.6 2.4 5.6 4.5 Life expectancy in years – male 74.2 73.8 74.3 73.1 73.3 74.2 73.7 75.1 74.9 75.4 71.4 76.7 76.1 74.1 Life expectancy in years – female 80.5 80.5 79.5 78.2 80.3 82.1 80.0 81.4 81.3 81.0 78.7 81.8 82.2 80.5
Country Austria Belgium Britain Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Italy Norway Portugal Sweden Switzerland EU average
Elements of Writing
The table a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that Swedish men have the b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . life expectancy in Europe, while women live the c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in Switzerland. d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . average women in Europe live 6 years longer e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . men. Men in Portugal have f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lowest life expectancy (71.4 years), while the lowest for women is Denmark (78.2 years), which is g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . less than in Portugal (78.7 years). 10. Complete the following paragraph comparing cigarette smoking in Europe. The table shows considerable variations in cigarette smoking in Europe. The highest rate is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... .................................................... ...... 11. Write another paragraph comparing alcohol intake in Europe.
1. In academic writing, deﬁnitions are normally needed in two situations: In introductions, to clarify a word or phrase in the title. More generally, to explain a word or phrase which may be either very technical (and so not in normal dictionaries), very recent, or with no widely agreed meaning. Word A lecture An assignment Category is a formal talk is a task Detail given to a large group, often given to students Use often used for teaching. for teaching or assessment.
Insert suitable category words in the following deﬁnitions. a) A barometer is a scientiﬁc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . designed to measure atmospheric pressure.
b) Kidneys are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that separate waste ﬂuid from the blood. c) A multi-national company is a business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that operates in many countries.
d) Reinforced concrete is a building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . consisting of cement, sand and steel rods. e) f) Bullying is a pattern of anti-social . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . found in many schools. Recycling is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in which materials are used again.
g) A recession is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of reduced economic activity. h) Post codes are a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for making mail delivery more efﬁcient. 3. More complete deﬁnitions may be written by adding examples or extra information: A mortgage is a type of loan (which is) used for buying property, in which the lender has the security of the property. Complete and extend the following deﬁnitions. a) Distillation is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . used to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................
b) A psychiatrist is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . who specialises in . . . . . ...........................
Elements of Writing
An MSc is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . awarded on completion of ...............................
d) A trades union is a(n) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . which exists to protect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . e) f) 4. Malaria is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . caused by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................ Wheat is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . used for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................
Study the following examples and underline the term being deﬁned. a) . . . the deﬁnition for a failed project . . . ranges from abandoned projects to projects that do not meet their full potential or simply have schedule overrun problems. b) Development is a socioeconomic–technological process having the main objective of raising the standards of living of the people. c) Electronic commerce is characterised by an absence of physical proximity between the buyer and seller in conducting the search, assessment and transaction stages of a transaction . . . d) Bowlby (1982) suggested that attachment is an organised system whose goal is to make individuals feel safe and secure. e) . . . the non-linear effect called ‘self-brightening’ in which large-amplitude waves decay more slowly than small-amplitude ones. The examples above illustrate the variety of methods employed in deﬁnitions: (a) gives various examples which fall into the grouping the author wishes to examine. (b), (d) and (e) use category words: process, system, effect. (c) deﬁnes the term in a negative way (an absence). (d) quotes a deﬁnition from another writer.
When writing introductions, it is often helpful to deﬁne a term in the title, even when it may be in common use, to demonstrate that you have thought about it and that you have a clear idea what it means in your essay. Title: Higher education should be free and open to all – discuss.
Higher education in Britain means university-level study for ﬁrst or higher degrees, normally at the age of 18 or above. Study the following titles, decide which term needs deﬁning in each, and write a deﬁnition for two of them. a) Compare the murder rate for countries with capital punishment with those without it.
b) The department store is a nineteenth-century creation which has no future in the twenty-ﬁrst century – discuss.
The incidence of post-natal depression appears to be rising. What are the most effective methods of treating the condition?
Select several terms from your own subject area and write extensive deﬁnitions for them.
1. Many essay titles require the writer to examine both sides of a case, and to conclude by coming down in favour of one side. These may be called ‘discussion’, ‘for and against’ or ‘argument’ essays. For example: a) School uniforms – a step forward or a step back? – discuss. b) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of state control of industry. In addition, longer essays often require students to assess the information and ideas they have collected in a discussion section before the conclusion. Discussion vocabulary + beneﬁt advantage a positive aspect pro (informal) plus (informal) one minor beneﬁt of school uniforms is . . . – drawback disadvantage a negative feature con (informal) minus (informal) a serious drawback to state control is . . .
There are two basic outlines for a discussion essay:
i) School uniforms? a) advantages: reduce social inequality/encourage group identity/avoid choice b) disadvantages: loss of individuality/expense/ unfashionable c) discussion: overall, beneﬁts more valuable in most cases ii) School uniforms? a) social: emphasises group values – diminishes individual choice b) practical: expensive for poor families but easier to get dressed c) discussion: overall, beneﬁts more valuable in most cases
Organising the Main Body
Choose one of the titles below and write down as many pros and cons in the box as possible. Then prepare a plan using one of the outlines above.
a) Instead of going out to work, mothers should stay at home and look after their children until they are at least 5 – discuss. b) Fast food, which is spreading round the world and destroying national cultures, should be resisted. To what extent do you agree? + –
Title: a) b) c) d)
Presenting your case. It is better to use impersonal phrases rather than ‘I think’: It is widely believed that young children need to be with their mothers . . . Most people consider that fast food is very convenient . . . It is generally agreed that school uniforms develop a group identity . . . It is probable/possible that fast food will become more acceptable . . . This evidence suggests that most children beneﬁt from nurseries . . . However, if you want to present a minority point of view, you can use the following: It can be argued that children beneﬁt from a diet of hamburgers. It has been suggested that school uniforms make children more rebellious. Some people believe that nursery education damages children.
Elements of Writing
It is important to show that you are aware of counterarguments. These are the points made by people who oppose your position. Without these your argument will appear onesided. In a discussion you can present these ﬁrst, before stating your own views. Study the example and write similar sentences about working mothers and fast food using ideas from (3). Counter-argument Although it has been suggested that school uniforms make children more rebellious, Your position it is generally agreed that uniforms develop a group identity.
Combining Sources References and Quotations
Before giving your own opinion, it is necessary to show that you have read the relevant sources and have studied the evidence. Opinions without evidence have little value. The following paragraph discusses the environmental effects of deforestation. Lomborg (2001) claims that the danger of extinction of species has been exaggerated. He says that the number of species had been expected to decline dramatically within the next half century, but maintains that this is unlikely: ‘Species . . . seem more resilient than expected.’ He points out that in the eastern USA, although 98% of the original forests have been cleared, only one forest bird became extinct in the process. Against this, Brooks (2001) feels that Lomborg is ignoring the true rate of forest loss and the related extinction of species: ‘The ongoing wave of extinctions, due primarily to deforestation in the moist tropics, has been widely documented.’ It seems that Lomborg, as a statistician, is too dependent on optimistic data, and is ignoring the widespread concerns of wildlife experts. The paragraph has the following structure: Lomborg – summary + quotation Brooks – summary + quotation Writer’s comment on Lomborg + opinion
Complete the following paragraph, which discusses air pollution, to give an opinion. According to Lomborg (2001), air quality is improving in rich countries. He gives the example of London, where he claims that the air is cleaner now than it has been since 1585, thanks to decreases in smoke and sulphur dioxide. Brooks (2001), however, argues that Lomborg is ‘ignoring the more recent global rise in toxic contaminants, now found at high concentrations . . . even in the remote reaches of the Arctic.’ It appears that . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............................................... .............................................. ............................................... .............................................. ............................................... ............................................
List in the box as many ideas as possible for and against the following subject: Industrial development is destroying the quality of our lives – discuss. + –
Prepare a plan for this title, using one of the outlines in (2) above. a)
10. Write an essay on this title, making use of phrases from (4) above.
1. When writing essays it is often better to support statements by giving examples. Compare the following: a) Many plants and animals are threatened by global warming. b) Many plants and animals are threatened by global warming. In southern Britain, for example, the beech tree may become extinct within 30 years. The second sentence provides concrete details of a plant species, an area and a time scale to support the main statement.
Phrases for introducing examples include: Many departments, for instance/for example engineering, now offer foundation courses. (note use of commas) A few courses, such as/e.g. MBA, require work experience. Many universities, particularly/especially UK ones, ask overseas students for IELTS scores. (note the focus) Some subjects are heavily oversubscribed. A case in point is medicine. (for single examples) Use suitable example phrases to complete the following sentences. a) As the climate warms, wetland species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . frogs may ﬁnd their habitat reduced.
b) Some animals can migrate to cooler areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . are birds, which can move easily. c) Many slow-growing plants, trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , will ﬁnd it difﬁcult to move to wetter areas.
d) Certain reptiles, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . snakes, may beneﬁt from drier and warmer summers. e) 3. Rising sea levels may bring some advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . expanding wetland areas. Example: Various sectors in the economy are experiencing labour shortages. Various sectors in the economy, for instance engineering, are experiencing labour shortages.
Find a suitable example for each sentence.
A number of sports have become very proﬁtable due to the sale of television rights.
b) Certain twentieth-century inventions affected the lives of most people. c) In recent years many women have made signiﬁcant contributions to the political world.
d) Three-year guarantees are now being offered by most car makers. e) f) 4. Certain diseases are proving much harder to combat than was expected 20 years ago. Many musical instruments use strings to make music.
g) Several mammals are currently in danger of extinction. Read the text below and then insert suitable examples where needed. Students who go to study abroad often experience a type of culture shock when they arrive in the new country. Customs which they took for granted in their own society may not be followed in the host country. Even everyday patterns of life may be different. When these are added to the inevitable differences which occur in every country students may at ﬁrst feel confused. They may experience rapid changes of mood, or even want to return home. However, most soon make new friends and, in a relatively short period, are able to adjust to their new environment. They may even ﬁnd that they prefer some aspects of their new surroundings, and forget that they are not at home for a while!
Elements of Writing
Restatement and Repetition
Another small group of phrases is used when there is only one ‘example’. This is a kind of restatement: The world’s biggest software company, i.e. Microsoft, is buying a share of the cable business. in other words namely that is (to say) i.e. viz (in very formal English only)
Add a suitable phrase to the following sentences, from the box below, to make them clearer. a) His mother’s sister was a small but very remarkable woman. It appears that Candlemas day was celebrated with large bonﬁres.
b) When the liquid reached boiling point the reaction began. c)
d) The company’s overheads doubled last year.
namely 140 degrees i.e. his aunt in other words, the ﬁxed costs that is, February 2nd
1. In written work generalisations are very useful because they can be used to present complex ideas or data in a simple form which is easy to understand and remember: Large companies can offer better career opportunities. Language is an important means of communication. Compare the statements on the data in the table below. a) 56.2% of British smokers are women. b) The majority of British smokers are women. UK smokers by gender Men 43.8% Women 56.2%
The ﬁrst sentence is more accurate, but the second, which contains a generalisation, is easier to understand. However, using generalisations does involve a loss of precision, so the writer must judge when they can be used safely, and when it is better to give the full data. cross-reference
There are two ways of making a generalisation: a) Using the plural: Computers are useful machines. b) Using the singular + deﬁnite article: The computer is a useful machine. (less common/more formal) It is better to avoid absolute phrases such as cats are cleverer than dogs. Instead use more cautious phrases such as cats tend to be cleverer than dogs or most cats are more intelligent than dogs. Write generalisations on the following topics. a) child/noise Example: Children are often noisy. b) ﬂowers/presents .................................. ................................................... c) city/pollution .................................. ...................................................
d) fresh fruit/health .................................. ................................................... e) 3. television/important . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................................. Li Pang is a Chinese student studying architecture in Manchester. He enjoys the style of teaching as well
Read the following text and underline the generalisations.
Elements of Writing
as the cosmopolitan lifestyle the city provides. Many international students attend British universities. Most welcome the chance to meet classmates from all over the world, and all are pleased to have the chance to improve their English. When he goes home to Shanghai, Li Pang will have a network of international contacts to support his future career. cross-reference
Overgeneralising This means making statements which are too simple or inaccurate. For example, using income ﬁgures from the table below, a writer might claim: People were much richer in 1999 than 20 years earlier. This ignores inﬂation over the period. It is more accurate to say: Average incomes in 1999 were nearly four times higher than in 1979. Changes in key economic indicators in the UK, 1979–1999 Britain Inﬂation rate Interest rate Unemployment Average income Average house price 1979 13.4% 12% 4.1% £5,000 £19,800 1989 7.8% 13.7% 6.1% £11,700 £61,500 1999 3.4% 5.5% 4.6% £19,000 £68,300
Each of the following contain overgeneralisation. Rewrite them more accurately. a) Between 1979 and 1999, the worst period for unemployment was 1989. There was a dramatic rise in house prices in these two decades.
b) Inﬂation fell steadily for 20 years after 1979. c)
d) Interest rates peaked in 1989.
Study the table below and complete the generalisations.
Regional population in 2000 and forecasts for 2100, with % over 60 years old Region N. America W. Europe S. Asia S. America N. Africa 2000 314 456 1,367 515 173 % over 60 16 20 7 8 6 2100 454 392 1,958 934 333 % over 60 40 45 35 33 32
a) By 2100, nearly half the population of W. Europe may ..................................... b) The population of N. Africa may . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......................................... c) S. Asia and S. America both have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................................
d) W. Europe is likely to experience a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................................ e) By 2100, all these regions may . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................................... 6. Read the text on ‘Dreams’ and write ﬁve generalisations using the data. A recent survey on dreams, completed by over 10,000 people, found that 68% of all dreams came into the ‘anxiety’ category. Being chased was the most common dream, recorded by 72%. Dreams about falling (which signify insecurity) are also very common, being recorded by 70%. 55% have dreamed about relatives and friends who have died. Many people believe that dreams can foretell the future, but only 42% have experienced this type. 28% of those surveyed have dreams about food, which seem to occur during periods of weight watching, but 23% have been pleased by dreams of ﬁnding money. Example: Anxiety seems to be the cause of most dreams. a) c) e) .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1. Discussing statistical data is a necessary part of much academic writing: Approximately 1,800 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years were randomly selected . . . Already 3% of the US working population (1.55 million) are employed in 70,000 centres . . . The earth’s atmosphere appears to be gaining 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon annually . . . . . . but ﬁve winters in the twentieth century were more than 2.4°C colder than average. Figures and numbers are both used to talk about statistical data in a general sense. The ﬁgures in the report need to be read critically. Digits are individual numbers. Both fractions (1/2) and decimals (0.975) may be used. 4,539 – a four-digit number £225,000 – a six-ﬁgure salary(a number) Figure (Fig.) 3 – Infant mortality rates in twelfth century France (a diagram) no ﬁnal ‘s’ on hundred/thousand/million: Six million people live in the region. but: Thousands died in the last outbreak of cholera. 2. Percentages are commonly used for expressing rates of change: Overseas students in the university 2000–2003 2000 200 2001 300 2002 600 2003 1,000
Complete the following sentences about the table above with percentages. a) Between 2000 and 2001, the number of overseas students increased by . . . . . . . . . .% Between 2000 and 2003 there was a . . . . . . . . . .% increase.
b) The number increased by . . . . . . . . . .% the following year. c) 3. Too many statistics can make texts harder to read. In some cases, where the actual number is unimportant, words or phrases may replace numbers to simplify the text: Forty-three villages were cut off by the heavy snowstorm.
Dozens of villages were cut off by the heavy snowstorm. The following words or phrases can be used to describe quantity. Few students attended her lecture. (less than expected) Several bodies have been discovered under the temple ﬂoor. (3–4) Various attempts were made to explain the symbols. (3–6) Dozens of politicians attended the opening ceremony. (30–60) Scores of books are published every week. (50–100) Rewrite the following sentences using one of the words or phrases above. a) Only four people responded to the questionnaire.
b) They received nearly 100 applications for the post.
She made ﬁve or six proposals to improve the team’s performance.
d) He found over ﬁfty factual errors in the article.
They made three or four drafts before writing the ﬁnal report.
Study the following expressions, which are also used to simplify statistics. one in three a tenfold increase to double/halve the most/least a third/a quarter 50%, a percentage on average/the average number a small/large proportion twice (2 )/three times as many the majority/minority
Rewrite each sentence in a simpler way, using one of the expressions above.
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Of the 415 people interviewed, 308 said that they supported the president.
b) Last year the number of students on the course was twenty-four, the year before it was twenty and this year it is twenty-two.
In 1965 a litre of petrol cost 10p, while the price is now 80p.
d) Out of eighteen students in the group, twelve were women.
The new type of train reduced the journey time to Madrid from 7 hours to 3 hours 20 minutes.
Fifteen of the students studied law, eight ﬁnance and three engineering.
g) The numbers applying to this department have risen from 350 last year to 525 this year.
Rewrite the following sentences to present the data in a simpler way. a) The population of the European part of the former Soviet Union is declining rapidly. It is forecast to fall by 18 m to 220 m in 2025, and to drop to 140 m by 2100. Example: The population of the European part of the former Soviet Union is forecast to fall by nearly 10% by 2025, and by nearly 40% by the end of the century. b) The numbers of visitors to the temples show a remarkable pattern. In 1998 just 40,000 made the journey, 83,000 in 1999 and 171,000 in 2000.
More than 80% of British students complete their ﬁrst degree course; in Italy the ﬁgure is 35%.
d) Tap water costs 0.07p per litre while bottled water, on average, costs 50p per litre.
Only 8% of the women surveyed believed that they had the same rights as men. A considerable 37% complained that they had far fewer rights.
Life expectancy for men in the UK rose from 49 to 74 during the twentieth century.
g) The same operation cost £1,850 at a hospital in Blackburn, £2,400 in Birmingham and £2,535 in London.
h) In 1086 about 15% of England was forested, compared with only 4.8% in 1870.
2.10 Opening Paragraphs
It is often difﬁcult to begin writing an essay, but, especially in exams, hesitation can waste valuable time. The ﬁrst few sentences need to be general but not vague, as they set the tone for the rest of the essay. The subject can be introduced by giving some background information: In recent years the internet has become an important tool of academic research. There is increasing interest in the use of wind power to produce electricity. These statements tend to consist of: Time phrase In recent years There is an increasing interest in Topic the internet the use of wind power Development has become an important tool of academic research. to produce electricity.
These generalisations can be followed by further information or examples: In recent years the internet has become an important tool of academic research. Students and teachers ﬁnd it convenient, accessible and up to date. There is increasing interest in the use of wind power to produce electricity. In north Wales, for example, one wind farm generates enough power to light 100,000 homes. Wind power is a renewable resource which does not produce carbon dioxide. 2. Write two or three introductory sentences on one of the following topics. a) c) Global warming The future of the United Nations b) The spread of Aids d) Tourism
2.10 Opening Pargaraphs
It is important to begin an essay with remarks that are general but also accurate and clear. Decide which of the following are suitable (essay titles in brackets): a) (Do newspapers have a future?) Newspapers are facing increased competition from other media such as television and the internet. Young people often prefer to get information from electronic sources, which can be updated more frequently. b) (Is public concern about crime justiﬁed?) Crime is increasing everywhere, and this worries many people. Nobody can agree on a solution to the problem. c) (GM foods can feed the world – discuss.) In the past twenty years genetically modiﬁed (GM) crops have become a source of major controversy. Both farmers and consumers are divided on questions of health and environmental safety. d) (Is quality being sacriﬁced for quantity in higher education?) It can be seen that higher education (HE) is changing throughout the world, with more students wanting to enter universities. There are many possible reasons for these changes, but the results are the same.
Having provided some background, the writer should next mention the main areas which will be covered in the essay. Do newspapers have a future? Newspapers are facing increased competition from other media such as television and the internet. Young people often prefer to get information from electronic sources, which can be updated more frequently. As a result newspaper sales are declining in many countries. Yet printed news media have certain advantages, such as cheapness and ﬂexibility. In order to survive they are likely to concentrate more on entertainment and comment. In this essay the strengths and weaknesses of newspapers will be examined ﬁrst, and these will then be compared with their rivals.
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Study the following essay titles. Choose two and write an opening paragraph for each in no more than ﬁve minutes per paragraph. a) Television can damage the development of children – discuss.
b) Mature students get better academic results than young students – discuss. c) The greatest social change in the twentieth century was the movement of women out of the home and into the workforce. How true is this statement?
2.11 References and Quotations
A reference is an acknowledgement that you are making use of another writer’s ideas or data in your writing: As Donner (1997) pointed out, low inﬂation does not always lead to low interest rates. There are three main reasons for giving references: a) To avoid the charge of plagiarism, which is using another person’s ideas or research without acknowledgement.
b) The reference can give more authority to your writing, as it shows you are familiar with other research on the topic. c) The reader can ﬁnd the original source by using the reference section which will list the full publishing details of Donner’s book: Donner, F. (1997) Macroeconomics. Borchester: Borchester University Press 2. Decide which of the following need references. a) c) e) f) cross-reference
A mention of facts or ﬁgures from another writer Some data you have found from your own research A quotation from a work by any author Something which is agreed to be common knowledge
b) An idea of your own d) A theory suggested by another researcher
In order to give references accurately it is important to use the following procedure: a) When reading and note-making, keep a careful record of the details of your sources. For a long piece of writing such as a dissertation a card index is useful.
b) Find out which system of referencing is used in your subject area. You can do this by studying current textbooks and journals and checking departmental guidelines. c) 4. a) Follow one of the methods illustrated below to give the reference. Summary of a writer’s ideas Orwell (1940) pointed out that although Charles Dickens described eating large meals in many of his books, he never wrote about farming. He explains this contradiction in terms of Dickens’ upbringing in London, remote from the countryside.
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b) Quotation of a writer’s words. Orwell clearly highlighted this inconsistency in Dickens: ‘It is not merely a coincidence that Dickens never writes about agriculture and writes endlessly about food. He was a Cockney, and London is the centre of the earth in rather the same sense that the belly is the centre of the body.’ (Orwell, 1940: pp. 53–4) c) Mixture of summary and quotation. As Orwell (1940) noted, Dickens frequently described food but was uninterested in food production. He considered that this was because of the writer’s background: ‘He was a Cockney, and London is the centre of the earth.’ (pp. 53–4) 5. Read the following extract from the same essay (‘Charles Dickens’ in Inside the Whale, Orwell, G., 1940: pp. 54–5) What he does not noticeably write about, however, is work. In Dickens’ novels anything in the nature of work happens off-stage. The only one of his heroes who has a plausible profession is David Copperﬁeld, who is ﬁrst a shorthand writer and then a novelist, like Dickens himself. With most of the others, the way they earn their living is very much in the background. a) Write a summary of the author’s ideas, including a suitable reference.
b) Introduce a quotation of the key part of the extract, again referring to the source. c) cross-reference
Combine (a) and (b), again acknowledging the source.
Verbs of Reference
Referring verbs use both the present and the past tenses. It is probably best to use the present tense for recent sources or when you feel that the idea or data is still valid: Rathbone (1997) demonstrates the limitations of videoconferencing. The past tense suggests that the source is older and the ideas perhaps out of date: Steinbeck (1965) explored a link between cancer and diet.
There are three main systems of reference in use in academic writing: a) The system illustrated above (the Harvard) is the most common. Note the following: Hunter (1989) states . . . (date of publication in brackets when referring verb is used)
2.11 References and Quotations
Women pose less security risk (Burke and Pollock, 1993) (authors and date in brackets after summary) Note that with quotations page numbers should also be given after the date. Details of the organisation of the reference section are given in (8) below. b) Numbers in brackets are inserted in the text for each source, and at the end of the chapter or article the references are listed in number order: A survey of Fortune 500 companies found that over 70% have problems recruiting skilled staff (1). Some analysts argue that this could be as high as 90% (2). 1. Cuervo D. 1990, ‘Whither Recruitment?’ HR Journal 13, pp. 23–39. 2. Segall, N. 1996, Cross-cultural studies, Harper & Row, New York pp. 173–4. c) A third system uses footnotes: More than 80% of families own or are buying their own homes.2 In this system the references are listed at the bottom of the page: 2
Economist, 13 January 1996, pp. 27–8.
NB A full reference section is required at the end of the article or book. 8. Organising the bibliography/references Here is the reference section of an essay written by a business student. Study the pattern of organisation and answer the following questions. a) How are the entries ordered? b) What is the difference between the information provided for i) a book by one author ii) a chapter in an edited book iii) a source on the internet iv) an article in a journal c) e) When are italics used? How is a source with no given author listed? d) How are capital letters used in titles?
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REFERENCES Brzeski, W. (1999) The Polish Housing Market www.onet.pl (Access date 15 Feb. 2000). Hill, S. (1989) Managerial Economics, The Analysis of Business Decisions. London: Macmillan Education Ltd. pp. 100–35. Koutsoyiannis, A.P (1963) ‘Demand function for tobacco’ . in Wagner, L. (ed) Readings in Applied Microeconomics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mintel Database (2000), Retail Coffee Market in the UK (31 Jan. 2000) Available via Warwick University Library (Access date 20 Feb. 2000). Pass, C. and Lowes, B. (1997) Business and Microeconomics. London: Routledge pp. 16–40. Peck, S. (2000) Managerial Economics Course Notes. Warwick Business School. Russell, T. (1995) ‘A future for coffee?’ Journal of Applied Marketing 6 pp. 14–17. Referencing is a complex subject and students are advised to seek specialist help, e.g. from a library, when referencing less usual subjects.
2.12 Restatement and Repetition
1. Restatement is used in academic writing to expand or explain: a) . . . individuals and employers express great creativity in arranging alternative transport, i.e. private buses arranged by employers or spontaneous car sharing ... b) They claim that the milk contains more omega-3 fatty acids – the polyunsaturated fatty acids which are said to prevent heart disease. c) . . . the contribution of cognitive ability to university success may be higher in physics and music than in sociology and psychology. That is, success in psychology and sociology may require abilities and dispositions not included in the entrance examination. In (a) and (b) the second part of the sentence explains what is meant by alternative transport and omega-3 fatty acids. In (c) the second sentence develops the ﬁrst to make it clearer. Note that the restatements are introduced by i.e., a dash (–) or that is. 2. Add a suitable restatement from the box to the following: a) Higher fares for rail passengers are likely to cause a reduction in ticket sales.
b) Two main methods of assessment are used in UK universities. c) 40% of the property is owned by 1% of the population.
i.e. coursework and examinations. – the cost of living is expected to increase sharply. That is to say, the distribution of wealth is very unequal. In other words, this may lead to fewer people travelling by train.
Rewriting and Proofreading
Repetition and redundancy suggest that the writer is not fully in control of the material. They give the impression that either he does not properly understand the language or he is trying to ‘pad’ the essay by repeating the same point: University education in Spain is cheaper than university education in the UK. Homelessness is a global problem in the whole world. Good writing aims for economy and precision: University education in Spain is cheaper than in the UK. Homelessness is a global problem.
Elements of Writing
Study the following examples of repetition and redundancy, from an essay comparing education in two countries. Underline the part that can be deleted. a) Every country has a unique structure for its education system, thus it differs from country to country.
b) Similarly China, an ancient country, has expanded its higher education. c) There are two differences between the UK and China in terms of higher education. Firstly, the entrance system is different in the two countries. Students who graduate from secondary schools they can send application forms to many universities. Both UK universities and Chinese universities charge fees.
d) In Spain just only 40% of students can ﬁnd a job. e) f)
g) This essay will compare HE systems in the UK and China. Firstly, there are similar assessment methods in the UK and China. 5. The following are common causes of repetition and redundancy. Link each to one of the examples above. a) c) 6. Repeating the same point in different words Irrelevant comment b) Unnecessary word – often preposition or pronoun d) Repetition of phrase In the following text, remove all repetition and redundancy, rewriting where necessary. FAST FOOD Currently these days, fast food is growing in popularity. Fast food is a kind of food that people they can buy or cook quickly. This essay examines the advantages of fast food and the drawbacks of fast food. First above all, the fast food is usually tasty. Most of the people who work in ofﬁces are very busy, so that they do not have time to go to their homes for lunch. But the people who work in ofﬁces can eat tasty and delicious food in McDonald’s restaurants, which are franchised in hundreds of countries. In addition, the second beneﬁt of fast food is its cheapness. As it is produced in large quantities, this high volume means that the companies can keep costs down. As a result fast food is usually less expensive than a meal in a conventional restaurant.
1. Study the style of this paragraph and underline any examples of poor style. A lot of people think that the weather is getting worse. They say that this has been going on for quite a long time. I think that they are quite right. Research has shown that we now get storms etc all the time. 2. Academic writing attempts to be precise, semi-formal, impersonal and objective. This does not mean that pronouns like I and we are never used, but in general the focus is on presenting information as clearly and accurately as possible. In this way it differs from normal speech and writing, which is more personal and uses more lively idioms and phrases. Using these guidelines, the paragraph above can be analysed: A lot of people think . . . . . . the weather . . . . . . getting worse . . . They say . . . . . . going on . . . . . . quite a long time. I think . . . Research . . . . . . we now get . . . . . . storms etc . . . . . . all the time. Imprecise – how many is ‘a lot’? Imprecise – ‘weather’ is short term Informal Use of pronoun informal Informal phrasal verb Imprecise – how long is this? Informal, personal phrase Vague – whose research? Informal Vague Overgeneralised
The paragraph can be rewritten:
It is widely believed that the climate is deteriorating. It is claimed that this process has been continuing for nearly 100 years. This belief appears to be supported by McKinley (1997) who shows a 55% increase in the frequency of severe winter gales since 1905. cross-reference
3.5 3.3 3.18 3.20
Caution Adverbs Verbs – Formality Verbs – Passives
It is difﬁcult to give rules for academic style which apply to all subject areas. When reading books and journals in your area you should note what is acceptable. You will probably meet exceptions to the points below as you read, but if you follow these guidelines you should be able to develop a suitable style of your own. a) Do not use idiomatic or colloquial vocabulary: dad, guy. Use standard English: father, man.
b) Use vocabulary accurately. There is a difference between rule and law, or currency and money, which you are expected to know.
Elements of Writing
Be as precise as possible when dealing with facts or ﬁgures. Avoid phrases such as about a hundred or hundreds of years ago. If it is necessary to estimate numbers use approximately rather than about.
d) Conclusions should use tentative language. Avoid absolute statements such as education reduces crime. Instead use cautious phrases: may reduce crime or tends to reduce crime. e) f) Avoid adverbs that show your personal attitude: luckily, remarkably, surprisingly. Do not contract verb forms: don’t, can’t. Use the full form: do not, cannot.
g) Although academic English tends to use the passive more than standard English, it should not be overused. Both have their place. Compare: Manners (1995) claims that most companies perform worse when . . . It is widely agreed that most companies perform worse when . . . In the ﬁrst case, the focus is on the source, in the second on what companies do. h) Avoid the following: like for introducing examples. Use such as or for instance. thing and combinations nothing or something. Use factor, issue or topic. lots of. Use a signiﬁcant/considerable number. little/big. Use small/large. get phrases such as get better/worse. Use improve and deteriorate. good/bad are simplistic. Use positive/negative, e.g. the changes had several positive aspects i) Do not use question forms such as What were the reasons for the decline in wool exports? Instead use statements: There were four main reasons for the decline . . . Avoid numbering sections of your text, except in certain reports. Use conjunctions and signposting expressions to introduce new sections (Turning to the question of taxation . . .).
k) When writing lists, avoid using etc. or and so on. Insert and before the last item: The forests of the twelfth century consisted of oak, ash and lime.
Avoid using two-word verbs such as go on or bring up if there is a suitable synonym. Use continue or raise.
In the following, ﬁrst underline the examples of poor style and then rewrite them in a more suitable way: a) Lots of people think that the railways are getting worse.
b) Sadly, serious crime like murder is going up.
c) You can’t always trust the numbers in that report.
d) The second thing is that most kids in that district will become criminals.
e) I think that there’s a big risk of more strikes, disorder etc.
A few years ago they allowed women to vote.
g) Regrettably, the inﬂation in Russia led to increased poverty, illness and so on.
h) Some time soon they will ﬁnd a vaccine for malaria.
What were the main causes of the American Revolution?
Rewrite the following paragraphs in better style. a) These days a lot of kids are starting school early. Years ago, they began at 5, but now it’s normal to start at 4 or younger. Why is this? One thing is that mums need to get back to work. Is it good for the kids? Jenkins has studied this and says that early
Elements of Writing
schooling causes social problems like stealing, drugtaking etc. I think he’s right and we should pay mums to stay at home.
b) Why are there so many jams on the roads these days? One thing is that public transport like trains, buses, etc. is so dear. A long time ago cars cost a lot but now, unfortunately, they’ve got a lot cheaper. Another thing is that driving is a lot nicer than waiting for a bus. The trouble is that if everyone buys a car the roads get packed.
When writing it is necessary to ﬁnd synonyms in order to provide variety and interest for the reader: General Motors is the largest motor company in the world, with total revenues amounting to 15% of the global automotive market. The giant ﬁrm employs 360,000 people internationally. largest company motor in the world giant ﬁrm automotive global/internationally
a) Synonyms are not always exactly the same in meaning, but it is important not to change the register. Firm is a good synonym for company, but boss is too informal to use for manager. b) Synonyms are also needed when paraphrasing or notetaking to avoid plagiarism. 2. a) The accuracy of a synonym is often dependent on context. Both pupil and student could be used to identify a 15-yearold schoolgirl, but when she goes to university only student is normally used. Scholar might be a possible synonym, but it is very formal. Similarly, at university a lecturer could also be called a teacher, but in school the only possible synonym for teacher is the old-fashioned master or mistress.
b) Many basic words, e.g. culture, economy, society or science, have no effective synonyms. cross-reference
Some common academic synonyms
Nouns goal study results area authority beneﬁt category component concept behaviour controversy target research ﬁndings ﬁeld source advantage type part idea conduct argument Verbs reduce achieve alter evaluate claim assist attach challenge clarify quote concentrate decrease reach change examine suggest help join question explain cite focus
Academic Vocabulary Nouns – Umbrella
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feeling beliefs expansion interpretation issue method option statistics framework trend quotation drawback output
emotion ethics increase explanation topic system possibility ﬁgures structure tendency citation disadvantage production
conﬁne show eliminate found develop maintain predict prohibit retain strengthen accelerate reduce
limit demonstrate remove establish evolve insist forecast ban keep reinforce speed up cut
Find synonyms for the words and phrases in italics. a) Professor Hicks questioned the ﬁndings of the research. b) The statistics show a steady expansion in applications. c) The institute’s prediction has caused a major controversy. d) Cost seems to be the leading drawback to that system. e) They will concentrate on the ﬁrst option. f) After the lecture she tried to clarify her concept.
g) Three issues need to be examined. h) The framework can be retained but the goal needs to be altered. i) j) OPEC, the oil producers’ cartel, is to cut production to raise global prices. The trend to smaller families has speeded up in the last decade.
Identify the synonyms in this text by underlining them and linking them to the word they are substituting for. Example: agency – organisation The chairman of the UK’s food standards agency has said that a national advertising campaign is necessary to raise low levels of personal hygiene. The organisation is planning a £3m publicity programme to improve British eating habits. A survey has shown that half the population do not wash before eating, and one in ﬁve fail to wash before preparing food. There are over 6 million cases of food poisoning in this country every year, and the advertising blitz aims to cut this by 20%. This reduction, the food body believes, could be achieved by regular hand washing prior to meals.
In the following text, replace all the words or phrases in italics with suitable synonyms. A leading French company has started a new programme to reduce costs. The company’s programme aims to reduce costs by $100 million. All staff have had pay cuts and work longer. The company aims to increase proﬁts by 35% next year, and promises that pay for all staff will be increased if that happens.
2.15 Variation in Sentence Length
Short sentences are clear and easy to read: Britain is an example of the university funding problem. But too many short sentences are monotonous: Britain is an example of the university funding problem. Fees were introduced in 1997. Spending per student had fallen by 25% since 1990. Demand continues to grow for places on the most popular courses. Long sentences are more interesting but can be difﬁcult to construct and read: Britain is an example of the university funding problem, since although fees were introduced in 1997 spending per student had dropped by 25% since 1990, while demand continues to grow for places on the most popular courses.
Effective writing normally uses a mixture of long and short sentences. Rewrite the following paragraph so that instead of six short sentences there are two long and two short sentences. Worldwide, enrolments in higher education are increasing. In developed countries over half of all young people enter college. Similar trends are seen in China and South America. This growth has put ﬁnancial strain on state university systems. Many countries are asking students and parents to contribute. This leads to a debate about whether students or society beneﬁt from tertiary education.
Rewrite this paragraph in fewer sentences. It is widely recognised that a university degree beneﬁts the individual. A graduate can expect to ﬁnd a better job with a higher salary. In the USA the average graduate will earn $1 million more in a lifetime than a nongraduate. Many governments now expect students to pay a proportion of tuition costs. It is argued that this discriminates against poorer students. Some countries give grants to students whose families have low incomes. Their education is seen to be beneﬁcial for the nation as a whole.
The following sentence is too long. Divide it into shorter ones. China is one developing country (but not the only one) which has imposed fees on students since 1997, but the results have been surprising: enrolments, especially in the most expensive universities, have continued to rise steeply, growing 200% overall between 1997 and 2001; it seems in this case that higher fees attract rather than
2.15 Variation in Sentence Length
discourage students, who see them as a sign of a good education, and compete more ﬁercely for places, leading to the result that a place at a good college can cost $8,000 per year for fees and maintenance. 5. It can be effective to either begin or end a paragraph with a short sentence: Imposing tuition fees can cause political difﬁculties in both developing and developed nations. In Scotland the introduction of fees, at the same time as maintenance grants were ended, led to a marked decline in enrolments from poorer students. Fees have now been abolished in Scotland. Modify the following so that it has a short ﬁrst or last sentence. Developing countries are under the greatest ﬁnancial pressure, and may also experience difﬁculties in introducing loan schemes for students, since the lack of private capital markets restricts the source of borrowing for governments, which are often unable to raise sufﬁcient cheap funds, while a further restraint has been the high default rates by students unable to repay their loans. 6. Write a paragraph about university funding in your country. Use a mixture of short and long sentences.
2.16 Visual Information
Visual devices such as graphs and tables are convenient ways of displaying large quantities of information in a form that is quick and simple to understand. Below are illustrations of some of the main types of visuals used in academic texts. Match the uses (a–f) to the types (1–6) and the examples (A–F) in the box below. Uses: a) location b) comparison c) proportion d) function e) changes in time f) statistical display TYPES 1) diagram 2) table 3) map 4) pie chart 5) bar chart 6) line graph USES EXAMPLE
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
B. Part-time student enrolments Business Education History Law Agriculture 205 176 83 15 7
A. % students with part-time jobs
C. Origins of international students
D. Student admissions by subject area
Sports centre Manager Deputy director Secretarial staff Teaching staff Entrance Library
E. Structure of the Language Centre
F. Position of the main library
2.16 Visual Information
The language of change
Verb grew rose increased climbed Adverb slightly gradually steadily sharply Verb dropped fell decreased Adjective + noun a slight drop a gradual fall a sharp decrease
Study the graph below and complete the description with phrases from the table above. Sports centre membership a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in 1992, and then b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . until 1995, reaching a peak of 4,900. It c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in 1996, but d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the next year. In 1998 there was a e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., then a peak of 6,700 in 1999, followed by a f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in 2000.
8000 7000 membership 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0
Sports centre membership 1991–2000
Although visuals do largely speak for themselves, it is usual to help the reader interpret them by brieﬂy commenting on their main features. The graph map diagram shows illustrates displays the changes in the price of oil since 1990 the main squatter housing areas in Ankara the experimental set-up of the laboratory study
99 20 00
Elements of Writing
Read the following descriptions of the chart on the left. Which is better? a) The chart shows the quantity of tea consumed by the world’s leading tea-consuming nations. India and China together consume more than half the world’s tea production, with India alone consuming about one third. Other signiﬁcant tea consumers are Turkey, Russia and Britain. ‘Others’ includes the United States, Iran and Egypt. World tea consumption 1999
b) The chart shows that 31% of the world’s tea is consumed by India, 23% by China and 8% by Turkey. The fourth largest consumers are Russia, Japan and Britain, with 7% each, while Pakistan consumes 5%. Other countries account for the remaining 12%. 4. Complete the following description of the chart below. The chart shows population a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in a variety of countries around the world. It b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the extreme contrast c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . crowded nations such as South Korea (475 people per sq. km) and much d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . countries such as Canada (3 people per sq. km). Clearly, climate plays a major e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in determining population density, f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the least crowded nations g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to have extreme climates (e.g. cold in Russia or dry in Algeria).
Canada Russia Algeria Brazil China Britain Japan S.Korea 0 100 200 300 400 500
Population density (people per square kilometre)
2.16 Visual Information
Complete the following description of the table below.
Marriage and divorce rates (per 1,000 population) Country Britain United States Turkey Iran Japan Russia Spain South Africa Marriage rate 10.7 8.6 8.0 7.8 6.2 5.2 5.2 4.0 Divorce rate 3.4 4.7 0.5 0.5 1.8 3.2 0.8 0.9
The a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shows the wide variations in marriage and divorce rates in a b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of countries. The c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rate varies from 10.7 per thousand in d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to 4.0 in South Africa, while the divorce e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ranges from 4.7 in the United States to 0.5 in Turkey and f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It appears that in the United States more than g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of all marriages end in divorce, while in Turkey the h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is less than 10%. This suggests that in countries such as the United States and Britain the high marriage rate may be a i) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the high divorce rate. 6. When referring to visual information in the text, the word ﬁgure is used for everything (such as maps, charts and graphs) except tables. Figures and tables should be numbered and given a title. Titles of tables are written above, while titles of ﬁgures are written below the data. As with other data, sources must be given for all visual information. Table 4: Gender balance in the School of Computing 1996–2000 Men 109 112 125 108 118 Women 34 45 41 56 72
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 Source: Author
If you are writing a lengthy work, such as a dissertation, you will need to provide lists of tables and ﬁgures, showing numbers, titles and page numbers, after the contents page.
Elements of Writing
Complete the description of the table above. Table 4 shows
Accuracy in Writing
Accuracy is only one aspect of the total fabric of good writing. Few teachers will be concerned by one minor mistake with a preposition or plural in a sentence. But if a student is making mistakes in every other word there is likely to be serious confusion about meaning, so that the teacher is unable to mark the work fairly. Many of the most common error types are highlighted in unit 1.16 Rewriting and Proof-reading. Non-native users of English tend to have problems that relate to their mother tongue. Japanese speakers, for example, ﬁnd it difﬁcult to use articles in English because these are not found in Japanese. It is unrealistic for overseas students to expect to reach 100% accuracy (and many native English speakers have similar difﬁculty). But they should aim to steadily improve their accuracy, in order to make their work as clear and readable as possible. The components in Accuracy in Writing have been chosen on the basis that they regularly cause difﬁculty and confusion in students’ writing. These units are not intended to replace a standard grammar reference book; instead they assume a good basic knowledge of English grammar and focus on those areas of concern to the writer, rather than the speaker, of English. As in Part 2, the units are arranged alphabetically. Students may already be aware of their weaknesses and want to focus on those, or they may seek speciﬁc assistance after getting feedback on an essay. The two tests of accuracy in the Writing Tests section can also be used to pinpoint weak areas.
1. Abbreviations are an important and expanding feature of contemporary English. They are used for convenience, and familiarity with abbreviations makes both academic reading and writing easier. Three main types can be found: a) c) shortened words – photo (photograph) others – NB a) Shortened words are often used without the writer being aware of the original form. Bus comes from omnibus, which is never used in modern English, but refrigerator is still better in written English than the informal fridge. Public house is now very formal (pub is acceptable), but television should be used instead of the idiomatic telly. b) Acronyms are made up of the initial letters of a name or phrase (Aids = acquired immune deﬁciency syndrome). They are read as words. The more ofﬁcial acronyms are written in capitals (NATO), but others use lower case (nimby). NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which is a real body, while nimby stands for not in my back yard, which is a concept. c) Other abbreviations are read as sets of individual letters. They include names of countries, organisations and companies (USA/BBC/IBM), and also abbreviations which are only found in written English (PTO = please turn over/ Rd = Road). Note that in many cases such abbreviations are widely used without most users knowing the meaning of the individual letters (e.g. DNA/DVD/ABS). 2. All academic subjects employ abbreviations to save time. Examples from business/economics include: GDP = gross domestic product PLC = public limited company IMF = International Monetary Fund 3. PR = public relations CEO = chief executive ofﬁcer WTO = World Trade Organization b) acronyms – UNESCO
There are many standard abbreviations found in some types of writing which have a full stop after them to show that it is a shortened form (St. = saint). Other examples are govt. (government), co. (company) and Oct. (October). With type (b) and (c) abbreviations there is no standard pattern for using full stops, so both BBC and
Accuracy in Writing
B.B.C. are used. There is, however, a tendency to use full stops less. The important thing is to employ a consistent style in your work. 4. Abbreviations can be confusing. PC, for example, can mean Police Constable (in Britain), personal computer and also politically correct. CD may stand for compact disc or corps diplomatique. PM could be Prime Minister or post meridian. It is useful to be aware of these potential confusions. cross-reference
Certain abbreviations are found in all types of academic writing. They include: cf. = compare e.g. = for example et al. = and others (used for giving names of multiple authors) Fig. = ﬁgure (for labelling charts and graphs) ibid. = in the same place (to refer to a source mentioned immediately before) i.e. = that is K = thousand NB = take careful note op. cit. = in the source mentioned previously p.a. = yearly pp. = pages re = with reference to
b) Other abbreviations are very subject speciﬁc and may be special to one article. In that case they need explaining: . . . the developing countries with the highest per-capita dietary energy supplies (DES) . . . one delegate expressed surprise that Call Centres (CCs) should . . . 6. Explain the abbreviations in the following sentences. a) The PM told MPs that the NHS needed reform. b) The failure rate among IT projects reaches 70% (Smith et al., 1997). c) The world’s most populous country, i.e. China, has joined the WTO. d) NB CVs must be no longer than three sides of A4.
e) See the OECD’s recent report on the UK. f) The EU hopes to achieve a standard rate of VAT.
g) The CEO intends to raise spending on R&D by 40%. h) Fig. 4. Trade patterns on the w.w.w. (1997–2001). i) j) The WHO is concerned about the spread of TB. Director of PR required – salary approx. $45K.
k) GM technology is leading to advances in many ﬁelds e.g. forestry. l) Prof. Wren claimed that the quality of M.Phil. and Ph.D. research was falling.
2.14 3.18 3.11
1. To read and write academic texts effectively students need to be familiar with the vocabulary generally used in this context. The following are examples of some of the more common items. Adjective analytical creative correlative deﬁnitive evaluative generalised hypothetical indicative predictive responsive signiﬁcant synthetic variable Noun analysis creation correlation deﬁnition evaluation generalisation hypothesis indication/indicator prediction/predictor response signiﬁcance synthesis variation/variable Verb analyse create correlate deﬁne evaluate generalise hypothesise indicate predict respond signify synthesise vary
Synonyms Verbs – Formality Nouns – Umbrella
Choose the most suitable word ending in each case. a) Arthur C. Clarke’s pred. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of earth satellites came true in 1957. b) A signif. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . number of students have chosen to do that project. c) The rate of increase var. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . between 5% and 8% during the period. d) The ﬁrst computer was creat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . during the Second World War. e) Scientists frequently need to ask hypoth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . questions. f) Green can be made from a synth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of blue and yellow.
g) The signif. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of vitamins in diet was understood in the early twentieth century. h) The essays were evaluat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in terms of content and accuracy.
3.2 Academic Vocabulary
i) j) 3.
Their research shows a strong correl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . between size and longevity. Her anal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . approach led her to propose six types of criminals.
Complete each sentence with a suitable word from the table in (1). a) First results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that this treatment beneﬁts patients in 70–80% of cases. b) Professor Strauss wrote the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . work on spiders in the Balkans. c) Most . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . need to be made with care. d) All the animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to the noise by becoming agitated. e) Over 3,500 questionnaires were . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in terms of social class. f) Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . need to be considered when predicting
Nouns and Adjectives
The following adjectives are best understood and learnt as opposites: absolute abstract logical metaphorical precise rational relevant subjective theoretical relative concrete illogical literal vague or approximate or rough irrational irrelevant objective practical or empirical or pragmatic
Faith, hope and charity are all abstract concepts. The metaphorical use of the word ‘key’ is probably more common than its literal one. The study of statistics is highly relevant to economics. Her study of women’s social position was criticised for being too subjective. In Europe, empirical research began in the sixteenth century.
Accuracy in Writing
Complete each sentence with a suitable adjective from the table in (4). a) The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . number killed in the war will never be known.
b) His . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . approach led him to ignore some inconvenient facts. c) Many . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ideas, such as astrology, are still popular.
d) It is sufﬁcient to give . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ﬁgures for national populations. e) f) Only after 200 years could an . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . biography be written. Although he was a qualiﬁed dentist it was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to his new job as a priest.
g) Cathedrals are a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . example of religious faith.
1. Adverbs are used in academic texts in a variety of ways. Among the most important are: a) to provide more detail, with verbs and adjectives: Reasonably good data are available for only . . . . . . decomposition eventually ceases in modern landﬁlls ... b) individually, often at the beginning of sentences, to introduce new points: Currently, the earth’s atmosphere appears to be . . . Alternatively, the use of non-conventional renewable energies . . . (These can be similar in function to conjunctions.) 2. Adverbs linked to verbs and adjectives usually fall into three groups. a) Time (when?) previously published retrospectively examined b) Degree (how much?) declined considerably contribute substantially c) Manner (in what way?) medically complicated remotely located
Adverbs used individually need to be employed with care. It is dangerous to overuse them, since they are often like the author’s ‘voice’, commenting on the topic. As the academic writer aims to be objective, adverbs like fortunately or remarkably may be unsuitable. However, other, less subjective adverbs can be useful for opening paragraphs or linking ideas. The following examples are often followed by a comma. Time recently increasingly originally presently currently traditionally Relating ideas clearly obviously (not) surprisingly alternatively similarly (more) importantly
Accuracy in Writing
Insert a suitable adverb from the table into the gaps in the sentences. a) Most houses do not have electricity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., then, there is little chance of improving living standards.
b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., the internet was mainly used for academic purposes. c) Some courses are assessed purely by exams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., coursework may be employed.
d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., there has been growing concern about ﬁnancing the health service. e) f) cross-reference
Many birds use bright colours to attract a mate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., ﬂowers advertise their position to fertilising insects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., the development should be acceptable environmentally.
The following adverbs are used to describe changes in the rate of something: small gradually slightly marginally slowly medium substantially signiﬁcantly steadily considerably large quickly sharply dramatically rapidly
Note that certain adverbs are mainly used to describe changes in time: Production in Russia rose slowly from 1920 to 1929. (a little every year) Others are commonly used to show changes in amount: The birth rate increased slightly after the revolution. (by a small quantity) The most suitable adverb depends on what is being discussed. For example, Over the period, the inﬂation rate fell signiﬁcantly from 6% to 4.5%. In 2004, sales dropped slightly, by 1.5%. cross-reference
Use a suitable adverb to complete the following sentences. a) Last year inﬂation increased . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . from 2% to 2.3%.
b) Life expectancy has risen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the last 20 years, by about 15%.
The price was reduced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., so that a £12 book was offered for £6.
d) Sales rose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . while he was chairman, averaging 14% per year. e) f) The numbers of people voting has declined . . . . . . . . . . . . . , from 80% to 65%. The crime rate climbed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the early 1990s, by 20–25% a year.
g) In the last four years unemployment has fallen. . . . . . . . . . ., from 5% to 2.5%. h) In the ﬁrst two years of the war the suicide rate dropped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., by over 30% each year.
1. Unless they are uncountable, all nouns need an article when used in the singular. The article can be either a/an or the. Compare: a) Research is an important activity in universities. b) The research begun by Dr Mathews was continued by Professor Brankovic. c) A survey was conducted among 200 patients in the clinic. In (a) research, which is usually uncountable, is being used in a general sense. In (b) a speciﬁc piece of research is identiﬁed. In (c) the survey is being mentioned for the ﬁrst time. 2. The rules for using the (the deﬁnite article) are quite complex. Decide why it is used, or not, in the following examples. a) The most famous ﬁctional detective is Sherlock Holmes. b) The USA was founded in the eighteenth century. c) The government changed its attitude in the 1980s. d) In many companies, the knowledge of most employees is a wasted resource. e) The moon orbits the earth every 28 days. f) The south is characterised by poverty and emigration.
Nouns – Countable and Uncountable
g) Charles Dickens, the English novelist, died in 1870. h) The River Trent runs through the middle of England. i) cross-reference
The World Health Organization was founded in 1948.
In general, the is used with: a) c) e) f) superlatives (most famous) unique things (government/moon/earth) regions and rivers (south/River Trent) very well-known people and things (English novelist) b) time periods (eighteenth century/1980s) d) speciﬁed things (knowledge of most employees)
g) institutions and bodies (World Health Organization) h) positions (middle) It is not used with:
names of countries, except for the UK, the USA and a few others abstract nouns (poverty)
k) companies/bodies named after people/places, e.g. Sainsbury’s, Shefﬁeld University 4. In the following sentences, decide if the words underlined are speciﬁc or not. Insert the if speciﬁc. Example: . . . . . . . . . . . . . inﬂation was the greatest problem for . . . . . . Brazilian government. Inﬂation was the greatest problem for the Brazilian government. a) . . . . . . . . . . engineering is the main industry in this region. b) . . . . . . . . . . moons of Jupiter were discovered in . . . . . . . . . . . eighteenth century. c) . . . . . . . . . . global warming is partly caused by . . . . . . . . . . fossil fuels.
d) . . . . . . . . . . Russian revolution was largely a result of . . . . . . . . . . First World War. e) f) . . . . . . . . . . fraud is costing . . . . . . . . . . banking industry millions of pounds a year. . . . . . . . . . . drought may have been a factor in . . . . . . . . . . decline of the Maya empire.
g) . . . . . . . . . . forests of Scandinavia produce most of . . . . . . . . . . world’s paper. h) . . . . . . . . . . French police have issued a warning about . . . . . . . . . . terrorist groups. i) j) . . . . . . . . . . computer crime has grown by 200% in . . . . . . . . . . last decade. . . . . . . . . . . Japanese emperor lives in . . . . . . . . centre of Tokyo.
k) Already 3% of . . . . . . . . US working population are employed in . . . . . . . . call centres. l) . . . . . . . . purpose of this paper is to evaluate . . . . . . . . intelligence tests.
m) Picasso, . . . . . . . . Spanish painter, was born in . . . . . . . . nineteenth century. n) . . . . . . . . best deﬁnition is often . . . . . . . . . . simplest.
Accuracy in Writing
Complete the following text by inserting a/an/the (or nothing) in each gap. THE ORIGINS OF @ Giorio Stabile, a). . . . . . . . professor of b). . . . . . . . history at La Sapienza university in Rome, has demonstrated that c). . . . . . . . @ sign, now used in email addresses, was actually invented 500 years ago. Professor Stabile has shown that d). . . . . . . . @, now e). . . . . . . . symbol of f). . . . . . . . internet, was ﬁrst used by Italian merchants during g). . . . . . . . sixteenth century. He claims that it originally represented h). . . . . . . . unit of volume, based on i). . . . . . . . large jars used to carry liquids in j). . . . . . . . ancient Mediterranean world. He has found k). . . . . . . . ﬁrst example of its use in l). . . . . . . . letter written in 1546 by m). . . . . . . . merchant from Florence. n). . . . . . . . letter, which was sent to Rome, announces o). . . . . . . . arrival in p). . . . . . . . Spain of ships carrying gold from South America. q). . . . . . . . professor argues that r). . . . . . . . @ sign derives from s). . . . . . . . . special script used by these merchants, which was developed in t). . . . . . . . sixteenth century. According to him, u). . . . . . . . loop around v). . . . . . . . ‘a’ is typical of that style. He found w). . . . . . . . evidence while researching x). . . . . . . . visual history of y). . . . . . . . . twentieth century.
1. A cautious style is necessary in many areas of academic writing: Primary products . . . usually have low supply and demand elasticities . . . . . . multiple factors may lead to a psychiatric consultation . . . some parameters might depend on the degree of water content in the sand . . . women tend to value privacy more than men . . . other studies suggest that some permanent modal shift will occur Areas where caution is particularly important include: a) outlining a hypothesis which needs to be tested (e.g. in an introduction)
b) discussing the results of a study, which may not be conclusive c) cross-reference
commenting on the work of other writers
Generalisations Verbs – Modal
Caution is needed to avoid making statements which are too simplistic: Poor education leads to crime. Such statements are rarely completely true. There is usually an exception which needs to be considered. Caution can be shown in several ways: (modal verb) (adverb) Poor education can lead to crime. Poor education frequently leads to crime.
(verb/phrase) Poor education tends to lead to crime. There is a tendency for poor education to lead to crime. Complete the box below with more examples. Modals can Adverbs frequently Verb/phrase tends to there is a tendency
Accuracy in Writing
Rewrite the following sentences in a more cautious way. a) Private companies are more efﬁcient than state-owned businesses.
b) Computer manuals are difﬁcult to understand. c) Older students perform better at university than younger ones.
d) Exploring space is a waste of valuable resources. e) f) English pronunciation is confusing. Global warming will cause the sea level to rise.
g) Science students work harder than those studying humanities. h) Concrete is the best material for building bridges. 4. Another way to express caution is to use quite, rather or fairly before an adjective. a fairly accurate summary quite a signiﬁcant correlation a rather inconvenient location NB Quite is often used before the article. It is generally used positively, while rather tends to be used negatively. Insert quite/rather/fairly in the following to emphasise caution. a) Charles was an insigniﬁcant king who reigned for only 3 years.
b) The survey was a comprehensive study of student opinion. c) e) His second book had a hostile reception. The ﬁrst-year students were fascinated by her lectures. d) The latest type of arthritis drugs are expensive.
Verbs of Reference
When referring to sources, the verb used indicates the degree of caution appropriate. Compare: Widmerpool (1999) states that junior doctors work longer than . . . (positive) Le Bas (1983) suggests that more training would result in . . . (cautious) Other verbs which imply tentative or cautious ﬁndings are: think/consider/hypothesise/believe/claim/presume
Rewrite the following text in more cautious language. A team of American scientists have found a way to reverse the ageing process. They fed diet supplements, found in health food shops, to elderly rats, which were then tested for memory and stamina. The animals displayed more active behaviour after taking the supplements, and their memory improved. In addition, their appearance became more youthful and their appetite increased. The researchers say that this experiment is a clear indication of how the problems of old age can be overcome. They state that in a few years’ time everyone will be able to look forward to a long and active retirement.
1. Study the following sentences. The storm affected large parts of northern France. An immediate effect of the price rise was a fall in demand. Affect and effect are different words which are often confused because they have similar spellings and meanings. However, affect is a verb, while effect is commonly used as a noun. Study the differences between other similar confusing pairs (most common use in brackets). accept (verb)/except (prep.) It is difﬁcult to accept their ﬁndings. The report is ﬁnished except for the conclusion. close (adj.)/close (verb) The town was built close to the gold mines. The library will be closed all weekend. compliment (noun/verb)/complement (verb) Her colleagues complimented her on her presentation. His latest book complements his previous research on neurotic behaviour. economic (adj.)/economical (adj.) Sharing a car to work was an economical move. Inﬂation was one economic result of the war. its (pronoun)/it’s (pronoun + verb) It’s widely agreed that smoking is dangerous. The car’s advanced design was its most distinct feature. lose (verb)/loose (adj.) No general ever plans to lose a battle. He stressed the loose connection between religion and psychology. past (noun/adj./prep.)/passed (verb) Demand has been growing for the past ﬁve years. The resolution was passed by 12 votes to 7. principal (adj./noun)/principle (noun) Zurich is the principal city of Switzerland. All economists recognise the principle of supply and demand. rise (verb – past tense rose)/raise (verb – past tense raised) The population of London rose by 35% in the century. The university raised its fees by 10% last year.
3.6 Confusing Pairs
quite (adv.)/quiet (noun/adj.) It was quite difﬁcult to explain her hypothesis. Everyone needs a quiet environment to work effectively. site (noun)/sight (noun) The site of the battle is now covered by an airport. His sight began to weaken when he was in his eighties. tend to (verb)/trend (noun) Young children tend to enjoy making a noise. In many countries there is a trend towards smaller families.
Choose the correct word in each sentence. a) His conclusions were quiet/quite interesting, but controversial. Sunspots have been known to affect/effect radio communication.
b) Millions of people are attempting to lose/loose weight. c)
d) Professor Poledna received their compliments/complements politely. e) f) The ancient symbol depicted a snake eating it’s/its tail. Both social and economical/economic criteria need to be examined.
g) It took many years for some of Freud’s theories to be accepted/excepted. 3. Some of the following contain mistakes. Find and correct them. a) c) The past has been described as like ‘a foreign country.’ Re-using old envelopes was one economic suggestion. b) One of the most famous sights in Paris is the Eiffel Tower. d) He was a man of strict principals, who never borrowed any money. e) f) Accept for two students they all spoke Arabic. The taste of lemon complemented the rich ﬂavour of the ﬁsh.
g) Only seven out of a class of sixteen passed the exam. h) Most oil companies plan to rise prices in the new year.
1.13 2.2 2.3 2.7 3.17
1. Conjunctions are words and phrases such as and or but which join parts of a sentence together. There are six main types of conjunctions: a) addition b) result c) reason d) time e) example Furthermore, child mortality rates must be examined. Prices are rising worldwide, thus encouraging investment. Due to the strike today’s classes are cancelled. Thirdly, the role of the architect will be reviewed. Various writers have examined the issue, for instance Van Exel (2000).
Organising the Main Body Cause and Effect Cohesion Examples Time Words and Phrases
f) opposition Although this study concentrates mainly on peak-time travellers . . . 2. Decide which type (a–f) the following sentences belong to. a) Before the Roman invasion the economy was mainly agricultural. ( ( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )
b) The results were checked because they were so surprising. c)
Estimates suggest that the effects will continue, but at a more moderate rate. ( ( ( ( ( (
d) Some Asian economies, for example Indonesia, are growing more slowly. e) f) Moreover, travel information is very important for route planning. The ﬁndings were ambiguous, therefore the study was revised.
g) The deadline is next week, so speed is vital. h) There is a serious problem in the district, namely unemployment. 3.
Conjunctions act as signposts for the reader, giving the main meaning of the phrase they introduce: Addition Result Reason Time Example Opposition
Ã Ô 6 ƒ X
Study the use of conjunctions in signposting the following paragraph. The Brazilian coast was hit by a strange storm in March 2004. It moved inland at speeds of over 150 k.p.h. Ã and caused considerable damage. Named Catarina, this storm behaved like a hurricane X but could not have been one. This was Ô because hurricanes do not occur in the South Atlantic. X However, Catarina was not an ordinary tropical storm Ô since it had a hurricane ‘eye’ and was of hurricane strength. 6 After checking their records, meteorologists decided that Catarina really was a hurricane, the ﬁrst ever recorded in the region. Their research suggests that sea temperatures are rising rapidly, thereby developing enough energy to cause hurricanes. 4. Underline the conjunctions in the following text and draw the ‘signposts’. Many Asian students chose the college because of its excellent reputation. Kim, for example, liked the spacious campus. He is self-funded and pays a tuition fee of £9,500 per year. But many students ﬁnd language a barrier, so that they only socialise with other overseas students, while others complain about the college facilities. Firstly, accommodation is said to be noisy and inconvenient, and furthermore the library is seen as poorly equipped. 5. Complete the table to show as many examples of conjunctions as possible. Result Reason Time Example Opposition
Insert a suitable conjunction in each gap. a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the course was voluntary, most students attended.
Accuracy in Writing
b) The longest day of the year, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 21st, was a time of festivity. c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . checking the equipment the experiment was repeated.
d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . most people use the train, a minority walk or cycle. e) f) Brick is a thermally efﬁcient building material. It is, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., cheap. Demand has increased for summer courses, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . extra ones are offered this year.
g) Many writers, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chekhov, have been doctors. h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the increase in residence fees more students are moving out. i) j) 7. The ﬁrst stage was to write a clear questionnaire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 people were interviewed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mustafa was in the lecture his car was being repaired.
Complete the following biography by inserting suitable conjunctions. THE BEATLES The group which became the Beatles was formed in 1960 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with George Harrison and Ringo Starr joining later. a). . . . . . . . . . . . playing in small clubs for 2 years their ﬁrst record, Love Me Do, was released. She Loves You, in 1963, broke all previous sales records in Britain. b). . . . . . . . . . . . their simplicity, the early Beatles songs c). . . . . . . . . . . . Yesterday and Paperback Writer are still seen as masterpieces of musical genius. d). . . . . . . . . . . ., the unusual haircuts and clothes worn by the Beatles ﬁtted well with the style of the mid-1960s. The popularity of the group soon spread to the USA and e). . . . . . . . . . . . around the world, f). . . . . . . . . . . . the media invented the term ‘Beatlemania’ to describe the excitement that was part of their tours. g). . . . . . . . . . . . their popularity the group were awarded the MBE by the Queen in 1965, h). . . . . . . . . . . . this caused anger among some of the older holders of this award. In 1966 the Beatles stopped live performances, i). . . . . . . . . . . . their music was becoming too complex to produce on stage. A year later Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released, j). . . . . . . . . . . .was immediately recognised as one of the most inﬂuential works in the
history of popular music. k). . . . . . . . . . . ., the pressures of fame were beginning to affect all the members of the band, l). . . . . . . . . . . . that they found it harder to work together. They played together for the last time in 1969 and m). . . . . . . . . . . . split up in 1970. 8. Conjunctions of opposition Note the position of the conjunctions in the following examples. The economy is strong, but/yet there are frequent strikes. Although/while there are frequent strikes, the economy is strong. In spite of/despite the frequent strikes, the economy is strong. There are frequent strikes. However/nevertheless, the economy is strong. Write two sentences in each case. Example: The equipment was expensive/unreliable. The equipment was expensive but unreliable. Although the equipment was expensive it was unreliable. a) The government claimed that inﬂation was falling. The opposition said it was rising. i) ii) b) This department must reduce expenditure. It needs to install new computers. i) ii) 9. Finish the sentences in a suitable way. a) c) In contrast to America, where gun ownership is common, The majority displayed a positive attitude to the proposal, but Although the spring was cold and dry b) Despite leaving school at the age of 14
d) While the tutor insisted that the essay was easy, e)
1. Most nationalities have a regular pattern of nouns and adjectives. Germany is a leading industrial economy. The German capital is Berlin. German is spoken by over 100 million. Germans/The Germans like wine. (country) (adjective) (language) (people)
(Most national adjectives end in -an/-ian/-ish/-ch/-ese/-i.) 2. Some nationalities are less regular. Holland/The Netherlands is located between Belgium and Germany. The Dutch capital is The Hague. Dutch is related to German. Dutch people often speak English well. Country Denmark Greece Poland People Danes Greeks Poles Country Iraq Pakistan Thailand People Iraqis Pakistanis Thais Country Switzerland Chile Portugal People Swiss Chileans Portuguese
Write similar sentences to those above about two of the countries below: France Japan Egypt India Ireland Mexico
i) ii) iii) iv)
i) ii) iii) iv)
The deﬁnite article is used with a few countries: The United Arab Emirates The United Kingdom The United States The Czech Republic
With national adjectives ending in -an/-ian it is possible to say: Italians/The Italians/Italian people have enjoyed opera for over 200 years.
3.8 Nationality Language
With other endings the ﬁrst form is not possible: The Japanese/Japanese people like watching sumo wrestling. NB England is not a political unit. Although it is possible to use English people/English food the nationality is British. The country’s name is Britain or the United Kingdom. 5. Complete the spaces in the following sentences with one word. a) c) e) f) Beijing is the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . capital. The largest city in . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is Sydney. Bill Clinton was the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . president. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . are the only South Americans who speak Portuguese. b) The rouble is the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . currency. d) Many . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . people enjoy going to bullﬁghts.
g) The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . capital is Baghdad. h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . speak Spanish and make ﬁne cigars. 6. Write sentences about some of the people in the box, giving their nationality. Ronaldo Koﬁ Annan Nelson Mandela Bill Gates Mao Tse-tung Josef Stalin Pablo Picasso Akio Morita Mahatma Gandhi Bob Marley Beethoven Yasser Arafat
Example: Ronaldo is a Brazilian footballer/Ronaldo comes from Brazil. a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h)
Nouns and Adjectives
1. Compare these sentences: The efﬁciency of the machine depends on the precision of its construction. Precise construction results in an efﬁcient machine. The ﬁrst sentence uses the nouns efﬁciency and precision. The second uses adjectives: precise and efﬁcient. Although the meaning is similar the ﬁrst sentence is more formal. Effective academic writing requires accurate use of both, which can be easily confused. 2. Underline and correct the mistakes in the following: a) Some areas of the capital are not safety. b) Various culture patterns in French society need to be considered. c) 3. The deep of the lake is calculated at 550 metres. d) A health diet includes fresh fruit and vegetables. Complete the gaps in the table below. Noun height width long Adjective strong probability dangerous Noun reliability Adjective conﬁdent necessity relevant Noun heat Adjective true
Academic Vocabulary Confusing Pairs
Insert a suitable noun or adjective from the table in each sentence. a) The building’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is due to its massive steel frame.
b) The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the matter may never be known since all the records are lost. c) There is a strong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that coffee prices will fall next year.
d) In some places the River Zambesi is more than 3 kilometres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . e) f) The results are so surprising it will be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to repeat the experiment. It is not easy to see the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of art history to engineering.
g) Regularly backing up computer ﬁles reduces the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of losing vital work. h) Revising for exams is a tedious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.9 Nouns and Adjectives
i) j) 5.
This data appears to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and should not be trusted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the banking system was destroyed by years of inﬂation.
Underline the adjective(s) in each sentence and write the related noun(s) in brackets. Example: Few patients are likely to suffer side-effects from the drug. (likelihood) a) Various methods of dealing with the spread of malaria were suggested. ( ) ) ) )
b) Dr Lee adopted an analytical approach to the inquiry. ( c) Antibiotics were not available in the ﬁrst half of the twentieth century. (
d) Her major contribution to the research was her study of folklore in Spain. ( e) f)
The precise number of people affected by the earthquake is unknown. ( ) ( ) Some progress was made in the theoretical area. ( )
g) A frequent complaint is that too much work is expected in the ﬁrst semester. ( ) h) We took a more critical approach to irrigation. i) j) 6. ( ) The Department of Social Policy is offering three courses this year. ( ) Finally, the practical implications of my ﬁndings will be examined. ( )
Complete the gaps in the table below.
Noun approximation superiority politics industrial exterior average Adjective approximate strategic economy cultural Noun reason synthetic Adjective particular
Complete the sentences with nouns or adjectives from the table above. a) The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . consequences of the war were inﬂation and unemployment.
Accuracy in Writing
b) 365.25 days is an . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the length of the solar year. c) One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of British weather is that it is very changeable. They attempted to make a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of all the different proposals. The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . length of time patients have to wait is 34.6 weeks.
d) All . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . doors are ﬁtted with security systems. e) f)
g) The traditional idea that the sun went round the earth was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., but wrong. h) Ancient Japanese . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . was highly developed in areas such as poetry and ceramics.
3.10 Nouns – Countable and Uncountable
1. Most nouns in English are countable, but the following are generally uncountable, i.e. they are not usually used with numbers or the plural ‘-s’. accommodation advice behaviour commerce data education equipment furniture cross-reference
information knowledge money news permission progress research rubbish
scenery staff trafﬁc travel trouble vocabulary weather work
Another group of uncountable nouns is used for materials: wood/rubber/iron/coffee/paper/water/oil/stone Little wood is used in the construction of motor vehicles. Huge amounts of paper are used to produce magazines. Many of these nouns can be used as countable nouns with a rather different meaning: Over twenty daily papers are published in Delhi. Most woods are home to a wide variety of birds.
Singular or Plural?
The most difﬁcult group can be used as either countable or uncountable nouns, often with quite different meanings (further examples: business/capital/experience). She developed an interest in bio-genetics. The bank is paying 4% interest on 6-month deposits. Other nouns with a similar pattern are used for general concepts (love/fear/hope). Most people feel that life is too short. (in general) Nearly twenty lives were lost in the mining accident. (in particular)
Note the importance of the type of noun in the following structures: QUESTIONS How much accommodation (U) is available for rent? How many rooms (C) are vacant next month?
Accuracy in Writing
Not much/Little equipment (U) was needed for the experiment. Not many/Few machines (C) were functioning in the IT room.
Complete the following sentences to show the differences in meaning. a) Three years’ work experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..............................
b) She had some exciting experiences while. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... c) Most small businesses have . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................................
d) In many countries it is normal to discuss business . . . . . . . . ......................... e) f) A number of capitals such as Washington and Canberra are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huge amounts of capital are needed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..............................
g) Two world wars in 30 years caused . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .......................... h) War is a feature of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .................................. i) j) .................................................. . . . . . . . . . . . was the cause of six deaths. Death is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........................................
k) New medicines are being developed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............................... l) 5. Studying medicine at university can be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............................... Little/few news reached the prisoners in the castle. Substantial experiences/experience of report writing are/is required.
In the following sentences, choose the correct alternative. a) c) b) He established three successful businesses/business in 1995.
d) It has often been claimed that travel broadens/travels broaden the mind. e) f) Paper was/papers were very expensive in the twelfth century. How much advice/many advices were they given before coming to Britain?
3.10 Nouns – Countable and Uncountable
g) She had little interest/few interests outside her work. h) The insurance policy excludes the effects of civil war/wars. i) j) 6. Irons were/iron was ﬁrst powered by electricity in the twentieth century. They studied the behaviour/behaviours of three groups of lions over 2 years.
Complete the gaps in the following paragraph with much/many/ little/few. Very a). . . . . . . . . . . . data is available to students of housing of the sixth to ninth centuries AD. No complete examples survive, and researchers are not certain how b). . . . . . . . . . . . information can be taken from the literature. It is not clear how c). . . . . . . . . . . . people lived in each house, and in the d). . . . . . . . . . . . sites that have been investigated (only four in the whole country) e). . . . . . . . . . . . progress has been made towards ﬁnding a standard ﬂoor plan.
3.11 Nouns – Umbrella
A range of ‘umbrella’ nouns is used to express basic ideas in academic writing: Molecular biology is an interesting new ﬁeld. The concept of class was ﬁrst discussed in the eighteenth century. Freud developed a new approach in his second book. They are rather formal and need to be used accurately. Read the following and ﬁnd a synonym for each word in italics from the box below. a) The second factor in the accident was the cold weather. b) Harvey’s concept of the circulation of the blood was ﬁrst presented in 1628. c) Snow is a rare phenomenon in Rome. d) The President’s resignation gave a new aspect to the national crisis. e) f) A barcode scanner is a device used at supermarket checkouts. Her ﬁeld is the history of life insurance.
g) The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is a body created to assess medical drugs. h) Mendel’s work on genetics provided new perspectives for biologists. i) j) Their main concern is to prevent pollution in rivers and lakes. Their new system allows errors to be detected in 12 seconds. The most serious issue raised at the meeting was student accommodation. organisation types machine consideration area feature cause problem theory
k) The survey identiﬁed three categories of bus user. l)
process event views
3.11 Nouns – Umbrella
Insert a suitable umbrella noun in the following sentences. a) The Students’ Union is a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . designed to promote students’ interests. Completion of the new building was delayed by safety ................
b) Rainbows are a common natural . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . c)
d) Environmental law is an increasingly popular . . . . . . . . . . . ..... e) f) In 1956 he patented a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for measuring the height of waves. Jung’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the ‘anima’ has been strongly criticised.
g) His paper examined three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the problem of tissue rejection. h) Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of father were identiﬁed; ‘involved’, ‘semi-detached’ and ‘disengaged’. i) j) The main . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . discussed was lack of support from tutors. One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the collapse of the business was the rise in oil prices.
k) The discovery of DNA created fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in medicine. 3. Keep a record of other umbrella nouns you meet. Umbrella noun Synonym
3.12 Preﬁxes and Sufﬁxes
1. Automatically and uncontrollable are examples of words containing preﬁxes and sufﬁxes. Words like these are much easier to understand if you know how preﬁxes and sufﬁxes affect word meaning. Preﬁxes change or give the meaning. Sufﬁxes show the meaning or the word class. The machine started automatically. The class of young boys was uncontrollable. Preﬁx autounMeaning by itself negative Sufﬁx -ally -able Word class/ meaning adverb ability
a) Negative preﬁxes. un-, in-, mis- and dis- often give adjectives and verbs a negative meaning: unclear, insane, mishear, disagree
b) A wide variety of preﬁxes deﬁne meaning, e.g. pre- usually means ‘before’, hence prefer, prehistory and, of course, preﬁx! 3. Common preﬁxes of meaning Find the meaning(s) of each preﬁx. (NB Some preﬁxes have more than one meaning.) auto co ex ex micro multi over post re autopilot co-ordinator ex-girlfriend exclusive microscope multinational oversleep postpone return The plane ﬂew on autopilot for six hours. The co-ordinator invited them to a meeting. He met his ex-girlfriend at the station. It is difﬁcult to join such an exclusive club. She studied the tiny animals with a microscope. Ford is a multinational motor company. After oversleeping twice she got an alarm clock. The meeting is postponed to next Monday. Return the letter to the sender.
3.12 Preﬁxes and Sufﬁxes
sub under under 4.
subtitle undergraduate undercook
Chinese ﬁlms have subtitles in Britain. Most undergraduate courses last 3 years. Undercooked meat can be a health hazard.
Preﬁxes allow new words to be created. Suggest possible meanings for the recently developed words in italics. a) Criminal activity seems to be very common among the underclass.
b) The passengers found the jet was overbooked and had to wait for the next ﬂight. c) The microclimate in my garden means that I can grow early tomatoes.
d) It is claimed that computers have created a post-industrial economy. e) f) 5. a) Most ﬁlm stars have ex-directory phone numbers. The class was underwhelmed by the quality of the lecture. Some sufﬁxes like -ion, -ive or -ly help the reader ﬁnd the word class, e.g. noun, verb or adjective.
b) Other sufﬁxes add to meaning, e.g. -ful or -less after an adjective have a positive or negative effect (thoughtful/ thoughtless). 6. Word class sufﬁxes Nouns -er often indicates a person: teacher, gardener -ee can show the person who is the subject: employee, trainee -ism and -ist are used with belief systems and their supporters: socialism/socialist -ness converts an adjective into a noun: sad/ sadness Adjectives -ion changes a verb to a noun: convert/conversion -ive: effective, constructive -al: commercial, agricultural Verbs Adverbs -ous: precious, serious -ise/-ize to form verbs from adjectives: private/ privatise -ly: most (but not all) adverbs have this sufﬁx: happily
Accuracy in Writing
A few sufﬁxes contribute to the meaning of the word: -able has the meaning of ‘ability’: a watchable ﬁlm, changeable weather -wards means ‘in the direction of ’: the ship sailed northwards -ful and -less: hopeful news, a leaderless army
Give the word class and suggest possible meanings for: a) c) e) cancellation uncooperatively protester f) unpredictable b) coincidental d) evolutionary g) saleable h) interviewee i) j) surrealism symbolically
Study each sentence and ﬁnd the meanings of the words in italics. a) The ﬁlm is a French–Italian co-production made by a subsidiary company.
b) When the car crashed she screamed involuntarily but was unharmed. c) Using rechargeable batteries has undoubted beneﬁts for the environment.
d) The unavailability of the product is due to the exceptional weather. e) There is a theoretical possibility of the cloth disintegrating.
Underline the prepositions in the following text. The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of the textile industry in Britain over the period 1750–1850. This clearly contributed to the nation’s industrialisation, and was valuable for stimulating exports. In conclusion, the paper sets out to demonstrate the relationship between the decline in agricultural employment and the supply of cheap labour in the factory context. The table lists the main ways of using prepositions. Find one example of each in the text. Noun + preposition Verb + preposition Adjective + preposition Phrasal verb Preposition of place Preposition of time Phrase purpose of
Verbs and Prepositions
NB the difference between phrasal verbs and verbs with prepositions: The cars are made in Korea. (verb + preposition = easy to understand) The writer made up the story in a night. (phrasal verb = hard to understand) 2. Study these further examples of preposition use and decide on their type. a) There are a number of limitations to be considered . . . . . . the data was gathered from a questionnaire (noun +) ) ) ) ) ) ( (
b) The results would be applicable to all managers . . .( c) e) f) d) All the items were placed within their categories
The results of the investigation are still pertinent . . . ( The respondents had spent on average 4.9 years . . . (
Accuracy in Writing
g) . . . most countries in sub-Saharan Africa . . . h) . . . within a short spell of four years 3.
Insert a suitable preposition before or after the nouns in the sentences below. a) Evidence is presented in support . . . . . the value of women’s work. Many examples . . . . . high levels of calcium were found. We tried to assess the feasibility . . . . . allowing children to choose their own subjects. The second point is their impact . . . . . developing countries. . . . . . the whole in respect . . . . . . e) f) g) h) in support . . . . . . . . the other hand . . . . . order to standard . . . . . living
b) A small change . . . . . demand can lead to large price rises. c) e) f) 4. d) No cure . . . . . malaria has yet been found.
Complete the following phrases with the correct prepositions. a) c) b) point . . . . . view d) . . . . . spite of
Complete the following sentences with suitable prepositions of place or time. a) . . . . . . . . . . . . the respondents, few had any experience of working abroad.
b) Industrial production declined gradually . . . . . . . . . . . . 1976 . . . . . . . . . . . . 1985. c) Most workers . . . . . . . . . . . . the European Union retire before the age . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.
d) Albert Einstein was born . . . . . . . . . . . . Germany . . . . . . . . . . . 1879. e) f) 6. Many ﬂowers open their petals . . . . . . . . . . the morning and close them . . . . . . . . . . . . . night. . . . . . . . . . . . . the surface, there is no difference . . . . . . . . . . . . . male and female responses.
Complete the following text with suitable prepositions. This study sets a). . . . . . . . . . . . to answer the controversial question b) . . . . . . . . . . . . whether increased food supply c) . . . . . . . . . . . . a country
makes a signiﬁcant contribution d) . . . . . . . . . . . . reducing malnutrition e) . . . . . . . . . . . . children. It uses data collected f) . . . . . . . . . . . . seventy-ﬁve countries g) . . . . . . . . . . . . 1969 and 1987. The ﬁndings are that there was a considerable improvement h) . . . . . . . . . . . . the majority i) . . . . . . . . . . . . countries, despite population increases j) . . . . . . . . . . . . the period. However, a clear distinction was found k) . . . . . . . . . . . . the poorest countries (e.g. l) . . . . . . . . . . . . South Asia), where the improvement was greatest, and the wealthier states such as those m) . . . . . . . . . . . . North Africa. Other factors, notably the educational level n) . . . . . . . . . . . . women, were also found to be critical o) . . . . . . . . . . . . improving childhood nutrition.
1. Capitals It is difﬁcult to give precise rules about the use of capital letters in modern English. However, they should be used in the following cases: a) b) c) d) e) f) 2. The ﬁrst word in a sentence Names of organisations Days and months Nationality words Names of people/places In the beginning. . . Shefﬁeld Hallam University Friday 21st July France and the French Dr Martin Turner from Edinburgh
Titles (capitalise main words only) The Uses of Literacy/ The Duke of Kent These are one of the most misused features of English punctuation. They are mainly used in two situations:
to show contractions
It’s generally believed ... The professor’s secretary (singular) Students’ marks (plural)
NB Contractions are not common in academic English. b) with possessives
Semi-colons (;) They are used to show the link between two connected phrases, when a comma would be too weak and a full stop too strong. Twenty people were interviewed for the ﬁrst study; thirtythree for the second. Semi-colons are also used to divide up items in a list when they have a complex structure: Among the presents received by the president were three oil paintings of himself, all ﬂattering; a pair of green parrots, which were very noisy; a solid gold medal; and three or four suits of clothes. NB Semi-colons are quite rare in most types of writing.
Colons (:) a) to introduce explanations The meeting was postponed: the Dean was ill.
to start a list
Two factors were discussed: cultural and social. As Orwell said: ‘all art is propaganda’.
to introduce a quotation
Quotation marks/inverted commas (“ “/’ ‘) a) Single quotation marks are used to emphasise a word, to give quotations from other writers and to show direct speech: The word ‘quiz’ was ﬁrst used in the nineteenth century. Goodwin’s (1977) analysis of habit . . . indicates that, in general, ‘it will be more difﬁcult to reverse a trend than to accentuate it’. ‘Can anyone ﬁnd the answer?’ asked the lecturer. NB Longer quotations are usually indented (i.e. have a wider margin) or are set in smaller type. b) Double quotation marks are used to show quotations inside quotations (nested quotations): As James remarked: ‘Martin’s concept of “internal space” requires close analysis.’ c) Quotation marks are used for the names of articles and chapters, but book or journal titles use italics: Russell, T. (1995) ‘A future for coffee?’ Journal of Applied Marketing 6 pp.14–17.
References and Quotations
Others Hyphens (-) are used with certain words and structures: well-engineered/co-operative/3-year-old Exclamation marks (!) and question marks (?): ‘Well!’ he shouted, ‘Who would believe it?’ Brackets ( ) are used to contain information of lesser importance: There were only thirty-one marriages (out of 13,829) in which ‘baker’ was listed.
Punctuate the following sentences. a) on tuesday june 6 1759 in the church at derby nicolas james married mary dewey
b) professor rowans new book the triumph of capitalism is published in new york
Accuracy in Writing
how many people would agree with john lennon when he said all you need is love
d) the probability was calculated for each of the three faculties physics biology and law e) f) as cammack 1994 points out latin america is creating a new phenomenon democracy without citizens thousands of new words such as website enter the english language each year
g) dr tanners latest study focuses on childrens reactions to stress in the playground h) she scored 56% on the main course the previous semester she had achieved 67% 8. Punctuate the following text. the london school of business is offering three new courses this year economics with psychology introduction to management and ecommerce the ﬁrst is taught by dr jennifer hillary and runs from october to january the second introduction to management for msc ﬁnance students is offered in the second semester and is assessed by coursework only professor wangs course in ecommerce runs in both the autumn and the spring and is for more experienced students
3.15 Relative Pronouns
Relative pronouns (who/whose/where/which/that) introduce a relative clause. Saturn, which is encircled by rings, is much larger than the Earth. The college where he studied has been closed down. The teacher who interviewed me was a specialist in ancient music. Dr Yamada, whose lecture I attended, presented the prizes. He wrote about the area that I was interested in. Which relative pronouns are used for: a) places? b) people? c) things? d) possession?
Insert a suitable relative pronoun in these sentences and underline the clause. a) The book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . he wanted had been borrowed by someone else.
b) Beijing, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . she studied for 6 months, used to be called Peking. c) Charlie Chaplin, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . was born in England, was a great ﬁlm comedian.
d) A hydrometer is an instrument . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is used to measure density in liquids. e) f) 3. Few people have heard of the man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . invented television. Mercury, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is a liquid element, is used in many industrial processes.
As can be seen from the examples above, there are two kinds of relative clauses: a) those which deﬁne the subject. In this case the relative clause must be included. The college where he studied has been closed down. b) those which give additional details. Here the relative clause could be removed and the meaning would still be clear. Saturn, which is encircled by rings, is much larger than the Earth. In type (b) the relative clause is surrounded by commas (,) brackets ( ) or dashes (–). Decide which of the sentences in (2) deﬁne the subject.
Accuracy in Writing
Decide if the following sentences contain deﬁning (D) or additional detail (A) clauses. a) Akio Morita was the person who invented the Walkman. b) The ﬁrst thing that he did was to introduce a new system of assessment. c) The medical school, which has a very good reputation, charges £20,000 per year.
d) The president (who enjoyed playing jazz) was elected for a second term. e) 5. A hurricane is a tropical storm which can do enormous damage.
In deﬁning clauses both that and which can be used with things: Toyota is a Japanese company that/which makes cars. But with clauses that provide additional detail only which can be used: Volkswagen, which is a German company, is a major car producer. Add relative clauses to the following sentences to provide additional detail. a) The main campus covers 29 hectares and houses six faculties.
b) The River Nile runs from the mountains of East Africa to the Mediterranean. c) e) 6. Moscow has a population of more than 8 million people. Apples are grown in many countries with temperate climates. d) Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for over 25 years.
In deﬁning clauses where the relative pronoun is the object its use is optional: She applied to the university (that/which) her tutor had recommended. The course (that/which) I wanted to take was not offered this semester. The tutor (who) she wanted to meet was away for two months. When the relative pronoun is the subject it must be included: The scientists who discovered DNA worked in Cambridge.
3.15 Relative Pronouns
Decide if the relative pronouns in the following are necessary. If not, cross them out. a) c) e) 7. It was not known who was responsible for the explosion. The book which the professor wrote was remarkably short. The article which she referred to was published last year. b) The man who I read about was born in Scotland. d) Squirrels are mammals that live mainly in trees. Insert suitable relative pronouns in the gaps below. Write X if the pronoun is optional. King Camp Gillette, a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . invention of the disposable razor blade made his name world-famous, was an American b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . had spent 40 years looking for a saleable invention. The idea c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . changed his fortunes occurred in 1895, but he met considerable difﬁculties producing a thin, sharp blade d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . could be made cheaply. He sold shares in the company to pay for the development work e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . his partner, William Dickerson, was doing. In 1903, f). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . was their ﬁrst year of business, they produced only ﬁfty-one razors. But due to intensive advertising, g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . potential Gillette quickly recognised, they rapidly increased sales to 250,000 two years later. The modern razor, h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is usually double-bladed, is directly related to the idea i) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gillette had over a hundred years ago.
3.16 Singular or Plural?
Generalisations Nouns – Countable and Uncountable
This can be a confusing area, but the following illustrate the main areas of difﬁculty: a) Nouns should agree with verbs, and pronouns with nouns. Those problems are unique. There are many arguments in favour. b) Uncountable nouns and irregular plurals have no ﬁnal -s. Most students receive free tuition. DNA is located in every part; hair, nails, teeth . . . c) General statements normally use the plural. State universities have lower fees. d) Each/every are followed by singular nouns. Every student gets ﬁnancial support. e) Two linked nouns should agree. Both the similarities and differences are important. Find the mistake in the following and decide what type (a–e above) it is. a) The proposal has both advantages and disadvantage. ( ) ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) b) A majority of children in Thailand is vaccinated against measles. c) e) There are few young people in rural area. Each towns have their own councils. d) Many places are experiencing an increase in crimes.
Study the following ‘group’ phrases.
singular + plural half the universities a range of businesses one of the elements plural + plural two types of institutions various kinds of courses many species of ants plural + uncountable three areas of enquiry several ﬁelds of research rates of progress
Note that if a verb has more than one subject it must be plural, even if the preceding noun is singular: Scores of students, some teachers and the president are at the meeting. Their valuable suggestions and hard work were vital.
3.16 Singular or Plural?
Certain ‘group’ nouns, e.g. team/army/government, can be followed by either a singular or plural verb: The team was defeated three times last month. (collectively) The team were travelling by train or bus. (separately) 3. Underline and correct the mistakes in the following extracts from student essays (one per sentence). a) More must be done to solve that problems of development.
b) The attitude towards this issue vary from person to person. c) e) f) Many culture from around the world are found in the city. It is common to move from the countryside to ﬁnd job. Huge number of cars use the motorway. d) In the country the people is more friendly.
g) The city have disadvantages such as a high rate of crime. h) Public transport lets us move to another places easily. i) j) 4. There are bad pollution due to trafﬁc congestion. People should not ignore important factors that affect their life.
Read the text and choose the correct alternative. A large number of company/companies has/have developed website/websites in the last few years. Trading using the internet is called e-commerce/e-commerces, and this/these is/are divided into two main kinds: B2B and B2C. Many business/businesses want to use the internet to sell directly to its/their customers (B2C), but large numbers have experienced trouble/troubles with security/ securities and other practical issues. In addition, the high start-up costs and the expense/expenses of advertising means/mean that this/these company/companies often struggle to make a proﬁt.
3.17 Time Words and Phrases
Study the use of the following: She went on a training course for 6 weeks. (with numbers) The report must be ﬁnished by June 12th. (on or before) He has been president since 1998. (usually with present perfect) They are studying in Bristol until March. (end of a period) The library was opened 2 years ago. (usually with past) The hotel is closed during the winter. (with noun) Before writing he studied over 100 sources. (often followed by -ing form; also after) He applied in May and was accepted two months later. (often used with numbers; also earlier)
Conjunctions Verbs – Tenses
Compare the tenses used with the following phrases: Recently, there has been a sharp rise in internet use. (present perfect) Currently, there is a vigorous debate about human rights. (present) Last year there was an election in Spain. (past) In the last year there has been a sharp rise in inﬂation. (present perfect)
Study Rachel’s schedule for her last business trip and complete the sentences below with a suitable word. It is now April 16th. March 12th March 13th–14th March 15th March 16th March 17th March 18th–19th March 20th Fly London–Milan Conference in Milan Train Milan–Paris Meeting in Paris ofﬁce Fly Paris–Hong Kong Tour of new development Fly HK–London
a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . month Rachel made a business trip. b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . her trip she visited three countries. c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 18th she had travelled 11,000 kilometres.
d) She was away from home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nine days altogether. e) A month . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . she was in Paris. f) She stayed in Hong Kong . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . March 20th. g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . she is writing a report on her trip.
3.17 Time Words and Phrases
Choose the best alternative in each case. a) Currently/recently she has been researching the life cycle of a species of wasp. b) She lived in France until/during the war broke out, and then she went home. c) Professor Yung has worked here since/for sixteen years. d) Last month/in the last month a new book was published on the subject. e) Applications must be received by/on November 25th. f) Since/during her arrival last May she has reorganised the department.
g) During/for the winter most farmers in the region ﬁnd work in the towns. 5. Complete the following text with a suitable word or phrase. EATING OUT a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the last few decades there has been a signiﬁcant change in eating habits in the UK. b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the early 1980s eating out in restaurants and cafes has increased steadily. There are several reasons for this trend. 50 years c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . most women were housewives, and cooked for their families every day. But d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., with more women working outside the home, less time has been available for food preparation. e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., 71% of women aged 20–45 are at work, and f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2015 it is estimated that this will rise to 84%. Another factor is the growth in disposable income, which has risen signiﬁcantly g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the late 1970s. With more money in their pockets people are more likely to save the trouble of shopping and cooking by visiting their local restaurant.
Accuracy in Writing
Study the details of Napoleon’s life, and complete the biography below. 1769 1784 1789 1793 1796 1799 1807 1810 1812 1814 1815 1821 born in Corsica entered military school in Paris French revolution started promoted to brigadier general appointed to command army of Italy; married Josephine returned from Egypt and became First Consul of France France controlled most of continental Europe divorced Josephine and married Marie-Louise, daughter of Austrian emperor forced to retreat from Russia exiled to island of Elba defeated at battle of Waterloo and exiled to island of St Helena died in exile
Napoleon entered military school at the age of 15, 5 years a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the start of the French revolution. He rose quickly, becoming brigadier general at 24 and commander of the Italian army three years b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At 30 he was effectively the French dictator, and due to his military genius France controlled most of Europe c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1807. When he divorced his ﬁrst wife, Josephine, in 1810, they had been married d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 years. His campaigns were successful e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1812, but in that year the disastrous retreat from Moscow marked the start of his decline. However, f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . his years of absolute power he had made signiﬁcant changes to European law and government. Although he died nearly 200 years g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., Napoleon’s inﬂuence is still felt throughout the European continent.
3.18 Verbs – Formality
A feature of most academic writing is a tendency to use rather formal verbs to express the writer’s meaning accurately: . . . supply of energy required to accelerate the growth . . . . . . the development that is envisaged here needs to be not only sustainable . . . In spoken English we would be more likely to use speed up and imagined. Study the list below and ﬁnd a synonym in each case. NB Some of these verbs, e.g. hold, are used in academic writing with a special meaning. Verb to adapt to arise to carry out to characterise to clarify Example of use the health system has been adapted from France a similar situation arises when we look at younger children the largest study was carried out in Finland developing countries are characterised by . . . . the project was designed to clarify these contradictions
to concentrate on that study concentrated on older children to be concerned with to demonstrate to determine to discriminate to emphasise to establish to exhibit to focus on to generate to hold to identify to imply to indicate to interact to interpret to manifest the programme is concerned primarily with . . . further research has demonstrated that few factors . . . the water content was experimentally determined a failure to discriminate between the two species the 1987 report emphasised energy efﬁciency the northern boundary was established ﬁrst half of the patients exhibited signs of improvement her work focused on female managers a question which has generated a range of responses Newton’s second Law, F=ma, holds everywhere three main areas have been identiﬁed previous research implies that size is a good predictor all the surveys indicate that employees prefer pay rises understand how the two systems interact the conclusion can be interpreted as a limited success as manifested in anti-social behaviour
Accuracy in Writing
to overcome to predict to propose to prove to recognise to relate to to supplement to undergo to yield
both difﬁculties were overcome in the ﬁrst week the study predicts that productivity will decline next year they propose that social class is the main factor the use of solar power is proving successful he is now recognised as a leading expert the pattern was related to both social and physical factors the diet was supplemented with calcium and iodine the system underwent major changes in the 1980s both surveys yielded mixed results
Select the better alternative in each case. a) The survey proved/yielded a surprising amount of information on student politics.
b) This question arose/manifested when older students were examined. c) Both writers attempt to demonstrate/imply that older employees are more reliable. It must be proved/emphasised that these results are only provisional. One of the chimpanzees supplemented/exhibited signs of nervousness.
d) Darwin held/indicated very strong views on this issue. e) f)
g) Freud was concerned/identiﬁed primarily with middle class patients. h) The study was generated/carried out to explore the issue of religious tolerance. 3. Insert a suitable verb from the box below into each gap. overcome discriminate predict recognise demonstrate clarify interpret focus on
The results clearly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that younger children learn quicker.
b) This paper attempts to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the confusion surrounding studies of infertility. c) Social class must be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . as a leading factor in educational success.
d) His study fails to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . between the various types of reinforced concrete.
3.18 Verbs – Formality
It seems proﬁtable to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the record of smaller companies. The noises made by whales have been . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in several ways.
g) This problem was . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by reversing the direction of the gas ﬂow. h) Most experts failed to . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the collapse of Soviet power in 1989.
3.19 Verbs – Modal
Modal verbs used in academic writing tend to have three main meanings: a) Ability May and can are similar but can is more common: The assessment . . . may be made in a variety of ways . . . with smaller samples this method cannot be used . . . . . . one faculty can have more than one academic programme . . . b) Degrees of certainty Will and should are used for predictions of near certainty (will is stronger): . . . in the knowledge that the parent will be there when needed. Improved facilities should lead to lower staff turnover. May and might both suggest possibility: Landﬁll carbon sequestration might supplement fossil fuel combustion . . . . . . multiple factors may lead to a psychiatric consultation ... Would and could are used in conditional situations (not always with if): . . . or would we conclude that the observation is uninformative? . . . estimates of the model’s parameters could conceivably be computed . . . c) Degrees of obligation Must suggests strong obligation, should is for recommendations: To obtain a total estimate . . . several approximations must be used A primary research emphasis . . . should then be on identifying . . .
Complete the following sentences with a suitable modal of ability. a) The question is whether democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . survive in such difﬁcult conditions.
b) Fifty years ago a new house . . . . . . . . . . . . be bought for £1,500.
3.19 Verbs – Modal
Students . . . . . . . . . . . . be expected to write more than one long essay a week.
d) The mistakes of past historians . . . . . . . . . . . . now be clearly seen. e) 3. Jenkins (1976) argued that aluminium . . . . . . . . . . . . be used in place of steel. It . . . . . . . . . . . . not be surprising if the company were bought by a rival.
Complete the following with a suitable modal of certainty. a)
b) Various social situations . . . . . . . . . . . . lead to a child’s loss of conﬁdence. c) Other studies conﬁrm that a permanent shift in transport use . . . . . . . . . . . . occur.
d) By 2020 most children . . . . . . . . . . . . have internet access by the age of 5. e) f) If the pressure is lowered, the reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . take place more quickly. In the long term, solar power . . . . . . . . . . . . make a signiﬁcant contribution.
g) Many seventeenth-century farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . write their names. 4. Use a suitable modal of obligation to complete the following. a) Students studying abroad . . . . . . . . . . . . take some of their favourite music with them.
b) All books . . . . . . . . . . . . be returned to the main library by June 19th. c) First-year undergraduates . . . . . . . . . . . . take at least three modules from the list below.
d) The second part of the essay . . . . . . . . . . . . focus on the differences in the results. 5. In the following sentences, the meaning changes according to the modal verb used. Find two possibilities, giving the meanings in each case. Example: Using the internet means the company can sell its products worldwide. (ability) Using the internet means the company might sell its products worldwide. (possibility) a) The poorest people . . . . . . . . . . . . be helped by improving the supply of water. ( )
Accuracy in Writing
The poorest people . . . . . . . . . . . . be helped by improving the supply of water. b) Tribal leaders of the ﬁrst century BC . . . . . . . . . . . . have used writing. Tribal leaders of the ﬁrst century BC . . . . . . . . . . . . have used writing. c)
( ( (
) ) ) ) ) ) )
Few people . . . . . . . . . . . . agree to take part in the experiment. ( Few people . . . . . . . . . . . . agree to take part in the experiment. (
d) Care . . . . . . . . . . . . always be taken when interpreting nineteenth-century data. Care . . . . . . . . . . . . always be taken when interpreting nineteenth-century data. e)
By the mid-twenty-ﬁrst century poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . be abolished. ( ) By the mid-twenty-ﬁrst century poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . be abolished. ( )
Repeating the study . . . . . . . . . . . . conﬁrm their ﬁndings. Repeating the study . . . . . . . . . . . . conﬁrm their ﬁndings.
3.20 Verbs – Passives
The passive is used when the writer wants to focus on the result, not on the cause: The book was written by my father. (passive) My father wrote the book. (active) In the ﬁrst sentence, the emphasis is on the book, in the second on the writer. So the passive is often used in written English when the cause (a person or thing) is less important or unknown. The treaty will be signed next year. (by someone) The tower was destroyed a century ago. (by something) The cause of the action can be shown by adding by . . .: The ship was launched in 1908 by Princess Mary.
The passive is also used in written work to provide a more impersonal style: The ﬁndings were evaluated. Change the following into the passive. a) c) We collected the data and compared the two groups. They checked the results and found several errors. b) I interviewed 120 people in three social classes. d) We will make an analysis of the ﬁndings.
An adverb is often inserted in a passive form to add detail: This process is commonly called ‘networking’. Change the following sentences from active to passive and insert a suitable adverb from the box below. Example: A storm damaged 40% of the houses in the port. 40% of the houses in the port were badly damaged by a storm. a) c) e) f) The Connors family ran the company until 1981. Picasso painted the portrait of the old man. Doctors tested over 550 people for the disease over a 3year period. The researchers calculated the percentages to three decimal places.
b) They had built the house near the station. d) They provided pencils for all students in the exam.
Accuracy in Writing
g) They called their business the Universal Trading Company. conveniently regularly optimistically precisely helpfully proﬁtably brilliantly badly
In most texts the active and the passive are mixed. Read the following article and underline the passives. BOOTS THE CHEMISTS When John Boot died at 45, he was worn out by the strain of establishing his herbal medicine business. He had worked his way up from his early years as a farm labourer to be the owner of a substantial business. He was born in 1815, became a member of a Methodist chapel in Nottingham, and later moved to the city. Concerned by the situation of the poor, who were unable to afford a doctor, in 1849 he opened a herbal medicine shop which was called the British and American Botanic Establishment. In the early stages John was helped ﬁnancially by his father in law, while his mother provided herbal knowledge. On his death in 1860 the business was taken over by his wife, and she was soon assisted by their 10-year-old son, Jesse. He quickly showed the business ability which transformed his father’s shop into a national business. He opened more shops in poor districts of the city and pioneered advertising methods. Another innovation was to do all his business in cash, rather than offering credit.
Could all the passives in the text above be replaced by the active? What would be the result if most of them were? The passive is used more in written than in spoken English, but should not be overused, as it can give a very formal tone. In the following text, which continues the history of Boots, passives are used throughout. Change some of them into the active.
3.20 Verbs – Passives
In 1889 he was introduced to Florence Rowe, the daughter of a bookseller, while on holiday. Her inﬂuence was felt by the business after they were married: the product range was enlarged to include stationery and books. In addition she was responsible for the introduction of the Boots subscription library and in-store cafes. During World War I the factories were used to make a variety of products from sterilisers to gas masks. But by 1920 Jesse was being attacked by arthritis and was worried by the economic prospects. Boots was sold to an American rival for £2m. This, however, was made bankrupt during the Depression and Boots was then bought by a British group for £6m, while Jesse’s son, John, was made chairman. The famous No. 7 cosmetics range was launched in the 1930s. In the 1939–45 war the saccharin equivalent to 700,000 tons of sugar was produced in the factories.
3.21 Verbs and Prepositions
Prepositions Verbs – Formality
The following verbs are generally used with these prepositions: Verb + prep. add to agree with associate with believe in blame for Example The bad weather added to the general’s difﬁculties. Yu (1977) agrees with Martin and Jenks (1989). Monetarism is an economic policy associated with Mrs Thatcher. The survey showed that 65% believed in life after death. He blamed unfair questions for his poor exam results.
concentrate on She dropped all her hobbies to concentrate on her work. (also: focus on) consist of depend on (also: rely on) derive from divide into invest in learn from pay for point out specialise in Parliament consists of two Houses: the Commons and the Lords. The company depends on IT for a rapid ﬂow of sales data. All modern computers derive from wartime decoding machines. Trees are divided into two main types: conifers and deciduous. Far more money needs to be invested in primary education. All successful students learn from their mistakes. Goods delivered in April must be paid for by June 30th. Goodson (2001) points out the dangers of overspecialisation. This department specialises in French-Canadian poetry.
Complete the following with suitable verbs and prepositions. a) The enquiry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the cause of the accident, not the consequences.
b) Dr Cracknell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that there were only two weeks before the deadline. c) Fewer British students are . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . foreign languages.
d) The theory of relativity will always be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Albert Einstein. e) f) A football pitch is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . two halves. A series of strikes were . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the decline in production during May.
3.21 Verbs and Prepositions
g) Millions of men died for the cause they . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... h) Every nation needs a public transport system it can . . . . . . . .............. 3. With certain verbs more than one preposition is possible (note the change of meaning in some cases). Verb + preposition compare to/with look at/into look for apply to apply for Example The stock market has been compared with/to a casino. The evidence needs to be looked at/into more carefully. Most students use search engines to look for information. He applied to the committee for a grant. To apply for the job three forms must be completed.
Choose suitable verbs and prepositions from (1) and (3) to complete the following text. The new model of camera, the Alpha 616, a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the previous model, the Alpha 615. The new model b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a standard camera with a small tape recorder c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . it. This allows the photographer to talk to the camera. The marketing unit d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the camera market carefully and discovered that many people forget where they take pictures. These people can now e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the Alpha 616 to remember for them. The Alpha company has f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . over £2 million . . . . . . . . . . the new product. g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . other projects this may seem a small amount, but it is not a large ﬁrm. It is hoped that customers will h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . over £100 . . . . . . . . . . the camera, which the company will i) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for signiﬁcant proﬁts next year.
3.22 Verbs of Reference
Referring verbs are used to summarise another writer’s ideas. Wilsher argued that the single play had been consigned to television history. Heffernan (1972) found that adaptation to prison was facilitated by . . . They may also be used to introduce a quotation. . . . as Peter Huber has observed, ‘Coal itself is yesterday’s landﬁll . . .’
References and Quotations Verbs – Formality
Most of these verbs are followed by a noun clause beginning with that. a) The following mean that the writer is presenting a case: argue suggest claim believe consider think hypothesise state
Martins (1975) claimed that many mergers led to lower proﬁts. b) A second group describe a reaction to another writer’s position: accept admit agree deny doubt Handlesmith doubts Martins’s claim that lower proﬁts resulted from . . . c) Others include: assume indicate conclude discover maintain explain imply show presume reveal
Patel (2003) assumes that inﬂation will remain low. Borovna implies a close relation between the Queen and her minister. 3. Write a sentence referring to what the following writers said (more than one verb may be suitable). Use the past tense. Example: Z: ‘My research shows that cats are cleverer than dogs’. Z claimed/argued that cats were cleverer than dogs. a) A: ‘You could be right. I may have made a mistake in my estimate.’ C: ‘Whales are very intelligent animals.’ E: ‘I’m not sure, but cows probably get cold in winter.’
b) B: ‘I did not say that sheep were faster than horses.’ c) e) d) D: ‘I support A’s position on cats and dogs.’
3.22 Verbs of Reference
F: ‘After much research, I’ve found that pigs can’t ﬂy.’
g) G: ‘On my travels in the jungle I found a new type of frog.’ h) H: ‘I think it unlikely that cats can learn to talk.’ i) j) 4. I: ‘Somebody should compare mouse behaviour with rat behaviour.’ J: ‘There may be a link between health and the seasons.’
A small group of verbs is followed by (somebody/thing + for + noun/gerund): blame censure commend condemn criticise Lee (1998) blamed foreign investors for the panic. NB All except commend have a negative meaning. A ﬁnal group is followed by (somebody/thing + as + noun/ gerund): assess characterise classify deﬁne describe present evaluate identify interpret portray
Terry interprets rising oil prices as a result of Asian recovery. 5. Rewrite the following statements using verbs from the lists in (4). Example: K: ‘X’s work is responsible for many of our current economic problems.’ K blamed X’s work for many of our current economic problems. a) c) e) f) L: ‘She was very careless about her research methods.’ N: ‘The cat family are the kings of the animal world.’ P: ‘Trying to estimate the number of animal species is like shooting in the dark.’ Q: ‘Darwin was the greatest naturalist of the nineteenth century.’
b) M: ‘There are three main species of bees.’ d) O: ‘I’m sure that dogs bark because they are nervous.’
g) R: ‘An insect is a six-legged arthropod.’ h) S: ‘Queen Victoria was a short, rather fat woman with dark eyes.’ i) T: ‘Gregor Mendel can be considered the founder of modern genetics.’
3.23 Verbs – Tenses
1. Decide which tenses are used in the following examples (verbs in italics) and complete the table to explain why. a) According to Hoffman (1996), small ﬁrms respond more rapidly to changes . . . b) Currently, inﬂation in the US is rising while imports are falling. c) Since November there has been a signiﬁcant increase in cases of inﬂuenza. d) In the last three years more students have been working part-time. e) After the war there was a sharp rise in divorce. f) During 1998 they were developing a new system.
g) The study was published in June. It showed that in 1998 and 1999 proﬁts had increased by 55%. h) The forecast concludes that interest rates will reach 7.5% next year. Tense a b c d e f g h Reason for use
NB In the last month/year/decade = present perfect (unﬁnished period). Last month/year/decade = simple past (ﬁnished period). 2. Complete the following sentences by selecting the most suitable tenses. a) Home ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (rise) steadily since 1950.
3.23 Verbs – Tenses
b) GM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (stand for) genetically modiﬁed. c) Last year the police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (record) a record number of crimes.
d) When she died in 1986 she . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (write) over ﬁfty books. e) f) By 2050 average temperatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (be) at least 2 degrees higher. At the moment the bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (consider) a merger proposal from Barclays.
g) When the market crashed the company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (build) three hotels in Asia. h) Lee (1965) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (dispute) Sakamoto’s theory. i) 3. In the last 6 years inﬂation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (fall) sharply in Europe. In general, the continuous is used to focus on the activity itself or to stress its temporary nature. Compare the following: She has been writing that report for 6 days. He is writing a travel article. (temporarily) She writes children’s books. (usually) b) Also note that certain verbs are rarely used in the continuous. They are state verbs like prefer, own and believe. Another similar group is known as performative verbs (assume, deny, promise, refuse, suggest). 4. Select either simple or continuous in each case: a) The team at Cambridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (work) on a rare type of brain disease. (activity)
Simple or continuous? a)
b) He . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (believe) he will ﬁnish the study early next year. c) This magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (look for) a writer on new technology.
d) In the late 1990s she was working on rice plants but now she . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (research) potatoes. e) f) The average age of marriage in Britain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (rise) by 6 years since 1970. The company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (own) factories in twelve countries.
Accuracy in Writing
g) Most people in the city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (live) within two kilometres of their work. h) Dr McPherson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (attend) a conference in South America this week. cross-reference
Time Words and Phrases Verbs – Passives
When writing paragraphs, it is important to be clear about which time phrases control the tenses of verbs: For years, the condition of the family has produced some of the strongest debate heard in America. The statistics of collapse have appeared simple and clear. The proportion of children born outside marriage rose from 18% in 1980 to 33% in 1999. The share of households made up of two parents and their children fell from 45% in 1960 to only 23% in 2000. In this case, the time phrase For years controls the tense of the ﬁrst two sentences (present perfect). The following two sentences are in the simple past because of the dates 1980, 1999, 1960 and 2000 which show ﬁnished periods.
Read the text below and select the most suitable tense for each verb in brackets, considering the time phrases in italics. For a long time gardeners a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (suspect) that using green ﬁngers is just as effective as talking softly to plants to encourage growth. Scientists b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (develop) a robot that strokes young plants to make them grow stronger and faster. But after research a year ago c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (conﬁrm) that plants need the human touch, scientists at Greenwich University d). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (develop) the stroking machine they call Dr Green. Dr Green e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (be display) at the last Chelsea Flower Show, where it f). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (demonstrate) the technique of brushing the tips of young plants to produce stronger specimens. David Carey, who is leading the research, g). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (say) that the machine could avoid the use of chemicals. Currently, Dr Green h). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (be test) on a large scale by a commercial grower. Stroking plants once a day i). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (make) them 30% stronger, which is what you need before you plant them out. When another kind of plant was stroked once a week, it j). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (develop) increased insect resistance. The research team hope that a cheap version of Dr Green k). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (be available) to amateur gardeners by 2007.
There are various possible formats for different types of essays, as well as non-academic texts such as letters and CVs. For instance, if a selection of formal letters is studied it will be seen that different styles of headings and layout are used by different organisations. However, the following models are provided so that students can use the outlines conﬁdent that they will be acceptable in most situations. Many courses require students to conduct a survey, so unit 4.3 Reporting and Designing Surveys provides a model for a survey report. Unit 4.4 Taking Ideas from Sources gives a model for the vital process of note-making, paraphrasing and referencing. Comparison and discussion are common components of essay titles, and the models given here show one way of answering the questions. However, it must be remembered that both comparison and discussion (plus other elements) may be needed in the same essay. Faculties and departments may give new students guidance (e.g. handbooks) about what is required in terms of style and layout, and if this is not available it is worth asking your teacher whether it is acceptable to use subheadings, numbering and other layout features.
1. You have applied for a place on an MA course at a British university. This is the letter you have received in reply. a)
Arts & Social Sciences Admissions Ofﬁce Wye House Central Campus University of Borchester Borchester BR3 5HT United Kingdom Ms P Tan 54 Sydney Road Rowborough RB1 6FD Ref: MB/373 3 May 2006 Dear Ms Tan Application for MA International Studies Further to your recent application, I would like to invite you to the university for an informal interview on Tuesday 21st May at 11 am. You will be able to meet the course supervisor, Dr Schmidt, and look round the department. A map of the campus and instructions for ﬁnding the university are enclosed. Please let me know if you will be able to attend on the date given. Yours sincerely M. Bramble Mick Bramble Administrative Assistant Arts & Social Sciences Enc.
c) d) e) f) g)
h) i) j) k) l)
Label the following features of formal letters with the letters (a–l) from the left margin above. (d) Date (. . . ) Request for response (. . . ) Address of recipient (. . . ) Further details (. . . ) Sender’s reference (. . . ) Signature (. . . ) Ending (. . . ) Greetings (. . . ) Address of sender (. . . ) Reason for writing (. . . ) Subject headline (. . . ) Writer’s name and title
Note the following points. a) When writing to somebody whose name you do not know, e.g. The Manager, use Dear Sir and Yours faithfully.
b) A formal letter generally uses the family name in the greeting (Dear Ms Tan). Certain organisations may, however, use a ﬁrst name with a family name or even a ﬁrst name alone (Dear Jane Tan/Dear Jane). c) 2. If the sender includes a reference it is helpful to quote it in your reply. You will attend the interview on the date given.
Write a reply to Mr Bramble making the following points: a) b) You would like to have the interview one hour later, because of train times. 54 Sydney Road Rowborough RB1 6FD
Study the following newspaper advert. You have decided to apply for this job. Make notes for your letter of application, then write the letter, paying attention to layout as well as content. STAFF REQUIRED FOR RECEPTION WORK AT CITY HOTEL We are looking for enthusiastic and helpful receptionists (m/f) to join our team. Candidates should be wellpresented and able to speak at least two languages. Hotel experience not necessary as training will be given. Ability to get on with people and work in a team more important. Some evening and weekend work. Good conditions and rates of pay. Apply in writing with CV and covering letter to: The Manager, Hotel Nelson, Queens Road, Rowborough RB2 4RN quoting Ref. EN2.
1. CV stands for curriculum vitae (also known as a résumé). A CV is a summary of your education and work experience, often requested by prospective employers. Most professionals store their CVs electronically so that they can be updated when necessary. There is considerable debate about the format of CVs, and much depends on your experience and the area you are working in. The example given below is relatively short, as would be expected for a recent graduate. Sarah Ann Atkins DOB 19.6.80 Email: email@example.com Career aim To develop my experience in marketing in a senior managerial role, using my knowledge of European languages. Career history 2004–present Marketing Assistant, Eastern Foods, Derby In my current post I am part of a team involved in marketing our products throughout the UK. I have helped organise several campaigns and given presentations in connection with these. 2000–1 English Teacher, Montpellier, France During my year abroad I taught English at a school in Montpellier, which not only helped strengthen my French but also gave me valuable lessons in self-reliance. Academic qualiﬁcations 2004 2003 MBA (Rowborough University Business School) BA (Hons) 2:1 in European Languages (University of Leeds) with distinction in spoken French knowledge of Spanish and French (advanced)/Italian (good) competence with the following applications: Word, Excel, Powerpoint I would describe myself as outgoing, friendly and a good communicator. I apply these qualities to establishing good customer relations and working with colleagues as part of a team.
Skills Languages: ICT: Personal
NB a) The above format is only one possibility and it is worth looking at other CVs to compare layouts.
b) Your address and phone number should be in your covering letter, not on the CV. c) List qualiﬁcations and experience in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent. Prospective employers are mainly interested in your latest achievements.
d) Do not clutter the CV with details of hobbies which are irrelevant to the job you are applying for. Similarly, your early education is unimportant. e) f) 3. Do not just give job titles but explain in detail what you did. Only give references if asked to do so.
Prepare a CV for yourself. First make notes of all the important information (with dates), using similar headings to those in the example above. Then organise it as clearly as possible. Finally, type it on a computer and store it so it can be updated in future.
Reporting and Designing Surveys
1. Surveys, in which people are asked questions about their opinions or behaviour, are a common feature of academic work, especially in ﬁelds such as education, psychology and social sciences. What are the reasons for carrying out surveys? List your ideas below. a) b) c) 2. Study the report of a survey carried out on a university campus. Complete the report by inserting suitable words from the box below into the gaps. sample random mentioned generally conducted questions interviewees minority slightly majority common respondents questioned questionnaire
STUDENT EXPERIENCE OF PART-TIME WORK Introduction With the introduction of course fees and the related increase in student debt, more students are ﬁnding it necessary to work part-time. The survey was a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to ﬁnd out how this work affects student life and study. The research was done by asking students selected at b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . on the campus to complete a c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (see Appendix 1). Fifty students were d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . on Saturday April 23rd, with approximately equal numbers of male and female students. Findings Of the e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., 30% currently had part-time jobs, 20% had had part-time jobs, but half had never done any work during university semesters (see Table 1). f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . who were working or who had worked were next asked about the reasons for taking the jobs. The most common reason was lack of money (56%), but many students said that they found the work useful experience (32%) and others g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . social beneﬁts (12%).
Table 1. Do you have or have you had a part-time job? Men 8 4 14 Women 7 6 11 Total 15 10 25 % 30 20 50
Have job now Had job before Never had job
The twenty-ﬁve students with work experience were next asked about the effects of the work on their studies. A signiﬁcant h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (64%) claimed that there were no negative effects at all. However, 24% said that their academic work suffered i) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., while a small j) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (12%) reported serious adverse results, such as tiredness in lectures and falling marks. Further k) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . examined the nature of the work that the students did. The variety of jobs was surprising, from van driver to busker, but the most l) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . areas were catering and bar work (44%) and secretarial (32%). Most students worked between 10 and 15 hours per week, though two (8%) worked over 25 hours. Rates of pay were m) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . near the national minimum wage, and averaged £5.20 per hour. The ﬁnal question invited students to comment on their experience of part-time work. Many (44%) made the point that students should be given larger grants so that they could concentrate on their studies full-time, but others felt that they gained something from the experience, such as meeting new people and getting insights into various work environments. One student said that she had met her current boyfriend while working in a city centre restaurant. Conclusions It is clear that part-time work is now a common aspect of student life. Many students ﬁnd jobs at some point in their studies, but an overwhelming majority (88%) of those deny that it has a damaging effect on their studies. Most students work for only 2–3 hours per day on average, and a signiﬁcant number claim some positive results from their employment. Obviously, our survey was limited to a relatively small n) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by time constraints, and a fuller study might modify our ﬁndings in various ways. 3. Question 1 is given above Table 1. What were the other questions in this survey? Using the report above, write possible questions 2–7.
4.3 Reporting and Designing Surveys
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 4. What is the main tense in (a) Introduction and Findings, (b) Conclusion? Explain the reason for the difference. 5. Questionnaire design. Which is the better question? i) ii) 6. How old are you? Are you (a) under 20, (b) between 21 and 30, (c) over 30?
What is the main difference between the two questions? i) ii) What do you think of university students? Do you think university students are (a) lazy, (b) hardworking, (c) average?
How many questions should your questionnaire contain? When designing your questionnaire: a) Limit the number of questions so the respondent can answer them in a minute or two. Long and complicated questionnaires will not receive accurate replies.
b) Questions should be clear and simple, and not be too personal. c) Closed questions (6ii) are easier to process, but open questions (6i) will collect a wider range of responses.
d) You should try asking the questions to a classmate before beginning the full survey, and be ready to modify any that were not clear. 8. You are preparing a survey on one of the following subjects. Write a questionnaire of no more than six questions to collect the most useful data. a) c) How overseas students learn vocabulary A comparison of undergraduate and post-graduate leisure activities b) Student attitudes to the cinema
Taking Ideas from Sources
1. You have been told to write an essay on the following title: Can money buy happiness? You have found the following text which seems relevant to this topic. It is part of an article by A. Penec in a journal called Applied Econometrics (volume 44, pages 18–27) published in 2003. Read it, and underline the key points. THE MEASUREMENT OF HAPPINESS In the last 50 years there has been no apparent increase in personal happiness in Western nations, despite steadily growing economies. In both Europe and the USA surveys have found no greater level of happiness since the 1950s, which seems strange since wealthier people generally claim to be happier than poorer people. In America, for example, more than a third of the richest group said they were ‘very happy’, while only half this number of the poorest made the same claim. Although it would be logical to expect that rising national wealth would lead to greater national happiness, this has not happened. Individually, more money does seem to increase happiness, but when everyone gets richer, noone appears to feel better. Economists have recently paid more attention to studying happiness, instead of the more traditional GDP per person. One suggestion has been that people rapidly get used to improvements, and therefore devalue them. Central heating is a good example: whereas 30 years ago it was a luxury item, today it is standard in nearly every home. 2. The text contains four key points: a) In the last 50 years there has been no apparent increase in personal happiness in Western nations, despite steadily growing economies. b) . . . which seems strange since wealthier people generally claim to be happier than poorer people. c) Individually, more money does seem to increase happiness, but when everyone gets richer, no-one appears to feel better. d) One suggestion has been that people rapidly get used to improvements, and therefore devalue them.
Selecting Key Points
4.4 Taking Ideas from Sources
The next step is to make notes of these points, using paraphrase: a) Although W. economies expanded since 1950s, no parallel growth in happiness. b) But most rich people say they are happier than poor. c) Money appears to make individuals happier but not society as a whole. d) People soon get accustomed to developments, so don’t appreciate them.
References and Quotations
These points can now be combined into one paragraph of your essay, using conjunctions where necessary, and including a reference to your source: Penec (2003) argues that although Western economies have expanded since the 1950s, there has been no parallel growth in happiness. Surveys indicate that rich people generally say they are happier than poor people, but it appears that although individuals may become happier society as a whole does not. One possible answer is that people soon become accustomed to improvements and so do not appreciate them.
Continue the same process with the next section of the text to produce another paragraph of your essay: A further explanation for the failure of wealth to increase happiness is the tendency for people to compare their own position to that of their neighbours. Studies show that people would prefer to have a lower income, if their colleagues got less, rather than a higher income while colleagues got more. In other words, happiness seems to depend on feeling better off than other people, rather than on any absolute measure of wealth. Further research suggests that having free time is also closely linked to happiness, so that the pattern of working harder in order to buy more goods is unlikely to increase well-being. Yet Western societies generally encourage employees to spend as much time at work as possible.
Notes on the second section might be: a) Happiness often depends on feeling wealthier than others. b) People believe that leisure = happiness, so working longer to get extra goods won’t lead to happiness. These points could summarised as: Another explanation Penec presents is that happiness is often dependent on a comparison with others, so that if neighbours are also getting richer there is no apparent
improvement. A further factor relates to leisure, which is widely equated with happiness. Consequently the idea of increasing workload to be able to purchase more goods or services is not going to result in greater happiness. 7. The entire section of your essay which makes use of this source is as follows: Penec (2003) argues that although Western economies have expanded since the 1950s, there has been no parallel growth in happiness. Surveys indicate that rich people generally say they are happier than poor people, but it appears that although individuals may become happier society as a whole does not. One possible answer is that people soon become accustomed to improvements and so do not appreciate them. Another explanation Penec presents is that happiness is often dependent on a comparison with others, so that if neighbours are also getting richer there is no apparent improvement. A further factor relates to leisure, which is widely equated with happiness. Consequently the idea of increasing workload to be able to purchase more goods or services is not going to result in greater happiness. The reference section at the end of the essay should include the following: Penec, A. (2003) ‘The measurement of happiness’ Applied Econometrics 44 p.18
Read the essay carefully and ﬁnd: a) c) e) f) a deﬁnition a generalisation a passive a phrase expressing caution COMPARE CLASSROOM LEARNING WITH INTERNETBASED TEACHING. IS THE LATTER LIKELY TO REPLACE THE FORMER? Since the late 1990s internet-based teaching (also known as e-education) has emerged as a potential rival to traditional classroom learning. It normally involves having access to a secure site on the internet where a graded series of lessons are available, and which have assignments sent and returned by email. Although on-line courses are now offered by many institutions, it is by no means clear that they offer real advantages compared to classroom education. Little research has been done so far on their effectiveness, but this essay sets out to examine the arguments on both sides and attempts to draw conclusions from them. Two main advantages of internet use in education are put forward. Firstly, it is seen as more economical, in that once a course is prepared, it can be used by large numbers of students. The savings made by not having to employ so many teachers should be reﬂected in cheaper course fees. The second beneﬁt is convenience; instead of having to attend classes at ﬁxed times and places, students are free to study when they choose and progress at their own pace. Furthermore, by studying from home there is no need to travel to the college or university, saving both time and money. A student living in a small town in China, for example, can now study a course at an American college without the worry of travelling, accommodation or homesickness. Despite the considerations mentioned above, classroom learning shows no signs of being replaced by e-learning. It seems that face-to-face contact with a teacher is still widely regarded as the best way for students to make progress, despite the expense and inconvenience involved. Not only the personal contact with a teacher, but also the support and encouragement gained from being b) an example d) a phrase expressing cause and effect
g) three synonyms for internet-based teaching
2.2 2.4 2.5 2.7 2.14 3.5 3.20
Cause and Effect Comparison Deﬁnitions Examples Synonyms Caution Verbs – Passives
part of a class may be one reason for this. Membership of a group may also create a useful spirit of competition, which stimulates learning. Given the increasing pressure on university places in many countries, internet-based teaching is often seen as a convenient development. However, e-learning eliminates personal contact and travel from education, which are possibly the aspects many students value. Sitting at home working on a computer may be economical, but clearly cannot replace the social experience of attending courses. However, there are many people who are unable, either through work or family commitments, or due to lack of funds, to go to classes, and who would clearly ﬁnd internet learning beneﬁcial. On-line courses can also be used to support taught courses, for instance by providing access to extra materials. In many ways these kinds of courses are similar to ‘universities of the air’, such as Britain’s Open University, which have developed distance learning so successfully in the last 40 years. Faced by growing demand for university places, more institutions are likely to develop on-line courses, but the apparent beneﬁts of e-learning may be less than are generally believed. Students seem to value the personal contact of the classroom highly, despite its cost and inconvenience. There may be a role for internet-based courses to supplement teacher-taught ones, and certainly for people with other commitments they will be the only practical option. There is an urgent need for research on the effectiveness of this type of learning, which should help maximise its advantages in the future. (Approximately 550 words)
1. Read the essay carefully and then decide which of the headings below match each of the paragraphs 1–7. A. The impact of education B. Discussion/example D. Conclusion E. Other factors F. Introduction – deﬁnitions G. Limits of education
C. Introduction – aims and overview EDUCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT – DISCUSS. cross-reference
Organising Paragraphs Discussion
Education must be considered on several different levels, so that today most Western countries are concerned with provision from nursery to higher education, while developing countries attempt to deliver basic education (e.g. reading and writing) to their people. ‘National development’ will be deﬁned in this essay as the development of a country’s economy, since this is most commonly seen as the function of education provided by the state. For example, many European countries began providing primary education for all citizens in the late nineteenth century, in the phase of early industrialisation. This paper attempts to evaluate the importance of these varying levels of educational provision in encouraging economic growth, compared to other factors such as national culture, natural resources and government. The role of education in fostering development will be examined ﬁrst, and then other factors affecting growth will be considered. At its simplest, education sets out to teach literacy and numeracy. People who can read and count are capable of being trained for many roles in the industrial or service sectors, as well as learning by themselves. Even in the simplest economies, dependent on agriculture, the education of women has been shown to lead to dramatic improvements in family welfare. In more developed economies further skills are required, such as languages, engineering and computing. Good education does not merely teach people how to function passively, but provides them with the skills to ask questions and therefore make improvements. At university level, education is closely involved in research which leads to technical and social advances. Yet education does not operate in a vacuum: cultural, religious, legal and other factors all inﬂuence the rate of economic growth. Soviet Russia, for
example, had an advanced educational system, but many graduates were under-employed due to the restrictions of the political system. Similar situations exist in many countries today because of political restraints on the economy which prevent fast enough expansion to create sufﬁcient jobs. Clearly, development requires efﬁcient and honest government to encourage a dynamic economy. 5. A strong work ethic, as found in the USA or Japan, also aids growth. In such societies children are brought up to believe that both the individual and society will beneﬁt from hard work. Natural resources such as oil are another consideration. Brunei, for instance, previously a poor country reliant on ﬁshing, today has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world. A clear and effective legal system also encourages development. It is difﬁcult to think of a situation where education has been the principal agent in fostering growth. For example, in the world’s ﬁrst industrial revolution, which occurred in eighteenth-century Britain, the majority of people were still illiterate (some pioneer industrialists themselves could not read or write). It seems that the availability of capital through the banking system, and a secure political and legal environment were more crucial in this case. However, despite these considerations, education clearly has an important part to play in developing the skills and abilities of the people. Ultimately, they are the most important resource a country possesses, and their education is a priority for all successful states.
(Approximately 600 words)
Underline all the conjunctions in the essay and list them in the table below. Addition Result Reason Time Example Opposition
These tests can be used to assess different aspects of writing performance. The accuracy tests (1 and 3) check the use of particular word classes such as conjunctions or prepositions. Students having difﬁculties with, for example, articles, should look at the relevant unit in Part 3. The second test assesses cohesion and test 4 is a comparison. They can be used in the classroom or for selfassessment.
WRITING TEST 1 (Accuracy)
Read the text for gist and then complete it by writing one word in each gap. Most overseas students who come to study a) . . . . . . . . . . English-speaking countries ﬁnd that their ﬁrst b) . . . . . . . . . . is listening. Understanding c) . . . . . . . . . . many forms of spoken English is more d) . . . . . . . . . . than they expected. e) . . . . . . . . . ., after a month f) . . . . . . . . . . two, the majority ﬁnd that their listening g) . . . . . . . . . ., and their next concern is speaking. This skill is more difﬁcult to practise, so improvement h) . . . . . . . . . . to be slower. But i) . . . . . . . . . . three or four months most students ﬁnd that j) . . . . . . . . . . can function quite k) . . . . . . . . . . in terms of shopping and travelling. A l) . . . . . . . . . . area of difﬁculty is writing, which is possibly the m) . . . . . . . . . . difﬁcult skill to master, n) . . . . . . . . . . it is more impersonal than oral/aural skills and depends o) . . . . . . . . . . the student learning a complex series of conventions. This explains p) . . . . . . . . . . many students ﬁnd it q) . . . . . . . . . . to attend r) . . . . . . . . . . intensive course in academic English s) . . . . . . . . . . they begin t) . . . . . . . . . . university studies.
WRITING TEST 2 (Cohesion)
The parts of sentences below make two paragraphs which compare speaking with writing. Some parts are already numbered. Fill in the remaining numbers. Use internal clues and punctuation to help you ﬁnd the correct order. SPEAKING AND WRITING 1) When we speak, it is normally to one or . . .) to study our listeners’ faces for expressions which tell
. . .) for example agreement, or amusement. . . .) they often ﬁnd the situation stressful. 3) As we speak, we are able . . .) For most people, speaking feels like a natural activity, . . .) a small number of people, who are often well known to us. . . .) If their expressions show incomprehension . . .) us their reaction to what we are saying; . . .) though if they have to make a formal speech . . .) we will probably restate what we are saying. . . .) Writers cannot check if the readers understand, or are interested . . .) to avoid the dangers of being misunderstood by readers . . .) who cannot look puzzled to
1) Writing, however, is much more like speaking to . . .) Unless we are writing a letter to a friend . . .) This is the reason why writing is more difﬁcult than . . .) make the writer explain what he means again. . . .) in what they are writing. . . .) we have no way of knowing who may read our words. . . .) It also explains why writing must be as clear and simple as possible, . . .) speaking, and often uses a more formal style. . . .) an unknown audience.
WRITING TEST 3 (Accuracy)
Read the text for gist and then complete it by writing one word in each gap. All students need a) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to live, so ﬁnding a suitable place is likely to be a priority when they arrive to start a new course. Apart b) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . the minority c) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . live with their parents, there
are only two d) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of accommodation which are generally affordable. e) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . all universities provide f) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of residence, which can help new students g) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . friends and develop a social life. They can be a h) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . choice, usually being close to other university facilities, i) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . some may ﬁnd that they are noisy, expensive and have j) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . small rooms. The alternative is to rent k) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . house or ﬂat from a private landlord with a group of other students. l) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . kind of shared accommodation m) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . offer greater independence and privacy, and can n) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . be more economical. However, it does mean taking o) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . more responsibility, p) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bills need paying and the rooms have to q) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cleaned. Wherever students choose to live, several things are r) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A quiet place to work, a sense of security and s) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . environment that allows t) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to sleep properly all contribute to academic success.
WRITING TEST 4 (Comparison)
Study the information in the table comparing two cities, which both have good universities. Use it to write a report on which would be the most suitable location for an overseas student planning a one-year course. (About 200 words.) Population Summer climate Winter climate City type Borchester 220,000 Warm and wet Cool and windy Old cathedral city with modern service industries Flat, lots of parks Quite high Bus service not very good Relaxed atmosphere University campus is 6 kms from city centre 230 kms Rowborough 1,560,000 Cool and quite dry Cold and wet 19th century industrial city with modern mixed industries Hilly with several lakes Medium Buses and trams, both good Good range of shops and sports facilities High rates of crime in some areas 125 kms
Terrain Cost of accommodation Public transport Main advantages Main drawbacks Distance from capital
Providing answers for a writing course is less clear cut than for other language areas. In some exercises there is only one possible answer, but in other cases several possibilities exist. Teachers need to use common sense, and accept any reasonable answer. In the case of exercises where students can choose their own topic and it is therefore impossible to provide an answer, students still appreciate having a model answer, and so some have been included.
Part 1 – The Writing Process
1.1 Background to Writing 1
notes report project essay thesis/dissertation article/paper to record reading or lectures to describe something a student has conducted, e.g. an experiment/a survey research conducted either individually or in group on subject chosen by student(s) piece of writing used to assess coursework/subject chosen by teacher long piece of writing on subject chosen by student for ﬁnal assessment in Master’s/PhD course writing published in academic journal 1,000–2,000 1,000–3,000 1,000–5,000 30,000–70,000 5,000–10,000
2bi 2bii 2biii 2biv 2bv 2bvi 2bvii 4a title
abstract acknowledgements appendix bibliography case study preface index
4b sub-heading 4c phrase 4d sentence 4e paragraph 5 Texts are divided into paragraphs to separate the main points and make them easier to read. Paragraphs usually vary in length from three to eight sentences. para 2 begins: The ﬁrst issue to . . . para 3 begins: Diversiﬁcation must also . . . para 4 begins: A further consideration . . .
Avoiding Plagiarism 1 2 3 (a), (b), (d) and (e) are plagiarism. (a), (b) and (c) are plagiarised, (d) is acceptable. NB (c) uses paraphrasing but contains a quotation not marked by quotation marks. Acceptable: some vocabulary kept from original/new sentence structure/use of summary Plagiarised: many phrases retained from original/minor paraphrasing/identical sentence structure
From Titles to Outlines 1a Deﬁne Outline 1b Compare Contrast 1c Evaluate 1d Trace Illustrate 2 Describe Examine State Suggest Summarise 4 (Sample plan) Title Introduction Evaluate the effects of mergers in the motor industry in the last ten years deﬁnition of merger background to motor industry Main body Conclusion outline of essay case studies of two mergers discussion of beneﬁts of each merger summary of ﬁndings: value of mergers depends on quality of management in merged ﬁrm
give a deﬁnition describe the main features examine the similarities look at the differences consider the value describe the main features give examples give a detailed account divide into sections and discuss each critically give a clear and simple account make a proposal and support it deal with a complex subject by giving the main points
The following sections are the most important:
5a An analysis of candidates for membership before 2020/A summary of the enlargement of the EU from 1975 to now. 5b A study of major privatisations in the UK/A discussion of the beneﬁts achieved by privatisation.
5c A report on the spread of TB worldwide/A case study showing how TB relates to social class. 5d A report on the development of children who remain at home until ﬁve/A discussion comparing speaking ability in both groups of children. 5e The beneﬁts of using books/The drawbacks of internet sources. 6a Identify means to select and explain. The writer must identify the chief reasons for poverty in the Chinese countryside. 6b Calculate means to make a mathematical estimate. Here the writer must look at patterns of coffee consumption and attempt to calculate how much difference a price decrease would make. 6c Classify means to put into categories. Different types of desert need to be described, and then methods of control should be proposed.
Evaluating Texts 2
a b c d e f opinion fact fact opinion fact fact and opinion false true false
5a Factual and mainly true until last sentence (In the future . . .) which is an opinion. 5b Most sentences mix facts and opinions. Most of the facts are untrue, e.g. the population is not two million. Clearly an unreliable source! 5c Although this begins with a generally accepted fact, the second sentence contains a totally untrue statement, and the speculation built on this is absurd! 5d Mainly factual, except for an opinion in the ﬁrst sentence (signiﬁcant). The penultimate sentence is speculation.
Understanding Purpose and Register 2a amuse/entertain 2b inform/persuade 2c inform 3 Academic English is found in academic journals and books. Archaic English is generally found in books published in the nineteenth century or earlier. Formal English is found in legal documents and similar. Jargon is often found in specialist publications.
Journalistic English is found in newspapers. Literary English may be found in poems, plays and novels. 4a academic 4b formal 4c jargon 4d literary 4e archaic 4f journalistic 5a euphemism 5b metaphor 5c proverb 5d paradox 5e analogy 5f idiom 5g irony 5h hyperbole 6a (hyperbole) Obesity is a growing problem in modern society. 6b (irony) High consumption of sugar and fats contribute towards it. 6c (idiom) Overweight people should attempt to become ﬁtter. 6d (idiom) They need to make the effort to take regular exercise. 6e (proverb) Ultimately, they need to take responsibility for their own health.
Selecting Key Points 2 3 Many possibilities, but should include the idea of ﬁnancial success and medical developments, e.g. Millionaire American medical inventor. 1. 2. 3. 4 1. 2. In many parts of the world hospitals have none of the modern health equipment ... Freeplay Energy. . . is planning to introduce a range of medical equipment which can . . . All the machines will be of simple, robust design which will use either solar power ... Lord May . . . has claimed that the world is facing a wave of extinctions similar to the ﬁve mass extinctions of past ages. He calculates that the current rate of extinction is between 100 and 1,000 times faster than the historical average.
. . . the present situation is caused by human consumption of plants, which has resulted in a steady increase in agriculture and a consequent reduction in habitat for animals. Lord May also pointed out that it was very difﬁcult to make accurate estimates as nobody knew how many species of animals lived on the planet.
5a . . . bottled water costs 700 times more than tap water, but is often of inferior quality. . . . although bottled water advertising often associated the product with sport and health there was no truth in this link. Labels on bottled water often referred to ‘spring’ and ‘natural water’, which were meaningless phrases. 5b Now the genetic code of the plague bacterium has been ‘read’ by scientists; a total of 465 million ‘letters’ of DNA. They believe that this will help in the development of vaccines for the plague . . .
Note-making 1 to keep a record of reading/lectures to revise for exams to help remember main points to prepare for essays 2 3 Before: listening/reading/selecting After: writing/speaking Source: Lee, Y. (2005) Computing Tomorrow 15 pp. 134–7. Computer passwords generally used to protect sites from hackers Drawbacks a) b) c) d) ofﬁce workers must remember av. 12 passwords many use simple words hackers can easily crack most use same one
expense of supplying replacements for forgotten passwords need to write down new passwords reduces security
Solutions Passfaces (Real User) a) b) c) d) user remembers set of photos of faces in order – selected from random pattern works because people can recognise large number faces more secure – cannot be passed on more easily remembered
Source: Nemecova, I. (1998) Medical Report 34 pp. 78–86. Malaria increasing esp. resistant strains 350 m+ cases p.a. (4 level 1970s) Causes: a) increase in poverty > less money for sanitation b) increased travel (migrants/tourists) c) overuse of antibiotics Vaccine? – difﬁcult because of different strains but in trials
Source: Pitnam, E.B. (1993) Volcanic Disasters p. 221. 1815 1816 Mt Tambora (Indonesia) exploded 100 km3 debris atmosphere affected weather around world NE USA and Europe cold summers destroyed harvests > prices rose > more emigrants to west of USA
Paraphrasing 2 4 (b) is the better paraphrase (in (a) changes in the weather and the region to the south are not as precise as a long dry period and the mountains at the river’s source). (A number of possibilities are acceptable here. These are suggestions.)
4b It started in France and Germany, but accelerated in the United States. 4c There Henry Ford modiﬁed the moving assembly line from the Chicago meat industry to car manufacturing, thereby inventing mass production. 5b After the Second World War the development of ‘planned obsolescence’ by the industry encouraged customers to buy new cars more often than they needed to by increasing the frequency of model changes. 5c Later, from the 1970s, environmental criticism of the industry focused on the production of inefﬁcient models which used too much fuel, contributing to global warming. 6b Some of the strongest brands in the world are today owned by the industry. 6c Many major car companies, however, struggle with falling proﬁts and stagnant markets. 7 (Again, there is a range of possibilities, of which the following is an example.) The expansion of contemporary capitalism matches the rise of the automobile industry. After starting in Germany and France, it accelerated in the United States. There the moving assembly line was modiﬁed by Henry Ford from the Chicago meat industry to manufacturing cars: the invention of mass production. General Motors dominated the world’s car companies in the 1920s, with help from the managerial theories of Alfred Sloan. The development of ‘planned obsolescence’ by the industry began after the Second World War, by which the frequency of model changes encouraged customers to buy new cars more often than necessary. Environmental criticism of the industry from the 1970s focused on the contribution to global warming made by the production of inefﬁcient models which used too much petrol. At this time increasingly militant
trades unions defended their members’ jobs. Although some of the world’s strongest brands are today owned by the industry, many major motor companies struggle with declining proﬁts and static markets. 8. (Sample paraphrase) Antarctica was unexplored until the twentieth century, and still has a tiny population in relation to its size. Yet it suffers from various pollution problems which have been described in a report by a New Zealand government agency. The low temperatures there impede the usual pattern of decay, though compared with most parts of the world it remains in pristine condition. Some long-established scientiﬁc bases have large piles of garbage around them. Few people realise that Antarctica has very little precipitation, so that in the current context of global warming the ice tends to reveal the rubbish that previously was slowly being buried under snow. For more than a decade the nations involved in Antarctic research have respected an agreement to repatriate their garbage, and this should gradually solve the problem. But there are a few items which will not be cleared up, since they belonged to the early period of exploration and have now acquired historic interest.
Summary Writing 1 2 3 3b key points 3c use your own words 3d order of ideas where necessary 3e important points 4 (a) is the best summary (b) fails to describe the experiment (c) describes neither the experiment nor its signiﬁcance 6 (Possible answers) 6a weather forecasting methods 6b blossoming of local tree 6c castor (for dry) 6d the monsoon can be quite accurately forecast by the time of the tree’s ﬂowering Features of good summaries should include: selection of main features/accuracy (i.e. not distorting the original)/clear expression. making detailed notes from sections of journal articles and books making global summaries of writers’ ideas and theses
Model answer Indian scientists are checking ancient weather forecasting methods, such as the old saying which links the date of the monsoon to the ﬂowering time of a local tree. This has been used by farmers to select either peanuts (for wet conditions) or castor (for dry). Dr Kanani of Gujarat Agricultural University has found that the monsoon can be quite accurately forecast using the time of the tree’s ﬂowering.
Model answer Recent Indian research conﬁrms the accuracy of an ancient method of forecasting the monsoon’s arrival used by farmers to choose crops.
Model answer It is planned to move South Korea’s capital from Seoul to a central site by 2012, at a cost of $45 billion. Although Seoul is crowded and too near the border, critics claim that this scheme will be too expensive and take too long. Businesses are unlikely to move away from Seoul when the government does. Other countries have experienced severe problems with capital relocation.
1.10 Combining Sources 1a 4 1b to introduce summaries 1c Others, however, 3a direct quote: ‘such procedures are now labelled “interfering with nature” ‘ summary: GM techniques are no different from breeding techniques which have been practised by man for thousands of years. 3b On the other hand 3c Source A states that Source B considers that He believes that 4 Model answer Source C claims that tourism creates a signiﬁcant amount of employment which provides a welcome alternative to traditional work such as farming. However, source D points out that many of these jobs are insecure and poorly paid, being likely to contribute to social tensions. This negative view is partly supported by source E, who insists that despite some positive examples the more common experience of developing countries is for tourism to exacerbate social ills such as crime and prostitution.
1.11 Planning Essays 1 Other possible ideas: tourism helps poorer countries develop pressure to offer ‘new’ countries tourist industry vulnerable to political/natural disasters package holidays helped to popularise foreign travel huge potential demand from developing countries 2 3 Most suitable structure would be based on time, since the title asks for study of past and present. (Sample plan) Main body: ii) package holidays helped to popularise foreign travel iii) tourism helped poorer countries to develop iv) constant demand for new destinations and new types of holiday v) danger of damaging environment through growth of visitors Conclusion: 4b Comparison 4c Time 4d For and against 4e Comparison 5 Main body: i) beneﬁts of TV advertising: reach large audience, have strong impact ii) drawbacks: expensive and can be ignored iii) beneﬁts of newspaper advertising: ﬂexible, cheap, focused iv) drawbacks: static Conclusion: 7 Introduction • In 1985 12% of young people went to university in the UK. Now the ﬁgure is over 30%. Similar growth has been experienced in many countries, developed and developing. Outline of essay: beneﬁts and drawbacks of expansion. Beneﬁts of expansion • Modern economies are based on knowledge. Therefore, every country needs to educate its workforce as highly as possible to compete with other economies. TV more effective in reaching large numbers but newspapers probably better for specialised markets industry has grown rapidly but faces variety of threats 4a For and against
University education may help students from poorer families to move into a higher social position. As student numbers rise, standards fall. Classrooms become more crowded, and overworked teachers are less able to give students personal attention. Because increasing numbers of young people are gaining a ﬁrst degree, their degrees are worth less. It is now necessary to have a second degree to compete in the labour market. Recent research (Jackson et al.) shows that employers are looking for personal skills rather than educational qualiﬁcations. The average student in Britain now leaves university with debts of £15,000.
Drawbacks of expansion • •
• • 3.
Discussion Higher education does not beneﬁt everyone. Advantages have to be balanced against time and money invested.
Conclusion Not clear that numbers in higher education can be expanded indeﬁnitely.
1.12 Organising paragraphs 3 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 4 Topic Deﬁnition Example Detail Detail Reason
Topic: London has been . . . Restatement: For many centuries . . . Reason: Its dominance is due . . . Example: The Romans were the ﬁrst . . . Information: Over 500 years ago . . .
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Topic 1: An English zoo . . . Topic 2: But when the English . . . Example: Even simple words . . . Reason: The zoo realised that . . . Information: Consequently, the keepers . . .
Model answers for (6–9) 6 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7 1. 2. 3. 4. 8 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 9 . . . was developed in the 19th century. . . . to isolate, punish and reform. . . . there has been a steep rise in the number of prisoners. . . . as being ‘universities of crime’. . . . how effective prisons are today. Prisons appear to offer society three beneﬁts. Firstly, they punish prisoners by depriving them of freedom. In addition, offenders are segregated from society so they cannot commit further crimes. Finally, they offer the possibility of reform through training programmes. Prisons, however, appear to many observers to be failing in the twenty-ﬁrst century. In most countries the prison population is rising steadily. Furthermore, many prisoners return to prison after their release; they are repeat offenders. This suggests that few prisons offer effective reform programmes. In addition, prison conditions can often be brutal and degrading.
Prisons have existed in their present form for about 200 years and are clearly necessary to deter and punish criminals. However, they are often no longer successful in this aim, as shown by the steady increase in the prison population, and the rise of reoffending. It would appear that more emphasis should be placed on reform and education, as well as examining alternatives to prison, such as community work.
1.13 Organising the Main Body 1a For and against/type 1 1b Comparison 1c Development 2 Structure: For and against/type 1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. many older students have lost interest in learning and disrupt classes problem students waste everybody’s time, including their own some students are more suited to work which doesn’t require qualiﬁcations in future, almost all jobs will require academic skills if they left at 14, students would be unlikely to ﬁnd proper jobs effort should be made in primary schools to prevent pupils falling behind
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Literature review – A synopsis of recent published research in this area Aims and methods – Aims of the survey and how the researcher conducted it Findings – A report of what the survey found, with statistical analysis Case study – An extensive study of two students . . . Discussion – Comparisons of the advantages and disadvantages that students mentioned . . . The main factor In the ﬁrst place Then Finally,
(Possible answers) Para 2
Turning to the subject of In the ﬁrst place Secondly Lastly,
Another important area Firstly in addition
1.14 Introductions 1 optional: a/c usual: d/e/g 2a v 2b i 2c iv 2d vi 2e ii 2f iii 4a Higher Education 4b depending on the country chosen, recent developments/debate on HE could be mentioned 4c reference could be made to rising student numbers/debate about costs (who should pay)/value of research for economic development 4d essay could focus geographically on one or two countries, either similar or different economically
historically the discussion could be limited to the past 10/20/50 years 4e plan will depend on decisions made in (c) above 5 Model answer The last two decades have seen a steady increase in demand for higher (i.e. university-level) education worldwide. Rising costs in this sector have put pressure on national budgets, causing many countries to attempt to shift some of the cost to the students, often in the form of loans. A degree generally remains the key to better jobs and opportunities, yet if students have to pay a greater share of the cost this will discriminate against poorer families. This essay examines the question of access to university by comparing the situation in a developed country, the United States, with that of a developing country, Turkey.
1.15 Conclusions 1a ii 1b iii 1c v 1d iv 1e ii 1f i 1g ii 1h iv 2 Neither conclusion is complete – synthesis is required 2a Summary of discussion/reference to related research 2b Limitations of study/proposals for future research 3 (Suggested order – variations possible) Summary of main ﬁndings Reference to how these ﬁndings compare with other studies or Implications of the ﬁndings Limitations of research Proposals for further research 4 Model answer Summary: The results suggest that culture was only one factor in determining successful adaptation. Older students, those with previous experience of living abroad, and those with better language proﬁciency all seemed to adapt better. Implications: The ﬁndings suggest that students should if possible study abroad when they are more mature, and that they should aim for a higher level of language ability before they leave home.
Limitations: Although this was quite a large survey only about 30% of overseas students at the university were involved. Some national groups were underrepresented. Proposals: As we are not aware of other previous research in this ﬁeld, it would be useful to replicate the study in another university, possibly with a different crosssection of overseas students, to see if similar results emerged. 5 Model answer It has been shown that despite the distinct beneﬁts that on-line learning can bring, especially cheapness and ﬂexibility, these are not always sufﬁcient to dissuade students from attending classroom lessons. They clearly value membership of a group and personal contact with a teacher. There is a sense that internet teaching may be seen as second-class education, where the student is isolated from fruitful contact with his or her peers, and a more useful approach may be to view e-learning as a helpful add-on to taught courses, rather than an avenue to be followed exclusively.
1.16 Rewriting and Proof-reading 4 Model answer Despite this, there are signiﬁcant differences between the structure and workings of the higher education system in the two countries. This essay attempts to compare the admission procedures, length of courses for ﬁrst and higher degrees, teaching methods, assessment procedures and systems of ﬁnancial support for students. These areas have been selected as being of central importance for a valid comparison. 5a v 5b iv 5c vii 5d ii 5e x 5f vi 5g i 5h ix 5i 5j iii viii
6a 50 years 6b its citizens/contribute to 6c teaches people/ knowledge 6d whether it is 6e There was
depends on/educational level (Corrected sections in italics) There are many similarities between the UK and Taiwan, for example course fees and assessment. Firstly, both UK and Taiwanese universities charge fees to students, and course fees in the UK are as expensive as those in Taiwan. In addition, teaching methods are very similar in both countries: students have to attend lectures and seminars. Moreover, they have the same system to assess students, who are examined at the end of each semester. Nevertheless, there are two main differences: how students can enter a university and what percentage of students are in higher education. There are twice as many students in higher education in Taiwan as in the UK.
6g the highest
Part 2 – Elements of Writing
2.1 Argument 3 Problem: Obesity is increasing rapidly in most countries. Cause A: . . . some doctors blame a sedentary lifestyle. Argument against cause A: This does not explain why only certain people suffer from this condition . . . Cause B: Another theory is that a high-fat diet . . . is to blame. Conclusion in favour of B: Recent research has shown that most obesity sufferers do eat this unhealthy diet. 4 Model argument Demand for university places is currently growing, which frequently leads to overcrowding of student facilities. It has been argued that fees should be increased to reduce demand for places, but this would discriminate against students from poorer families. Another proposal is for the government to pay for the expansion of universities, but against this is the view that this would unfairly beneﬁt the minority who in any case go on to earn higher salaries. A fairer solution might be for the government to subsidise the fees of the poorest students.
Cause and Effect 3a leads to/results in 3b Because of/Owing to/Due to 3c leads to/causes/results in/produces 3d therefore/consequently/which is why 3e led to/resulted in 4a because of/due to/owing to 4b because/since
4c consequently/therefore 4d due to/owing to/because of 4e because of/due to/owing to 4f 5 so/therefore/thus/consequently Model answer This results in people having more money to spend, and so leads to higher spending on goods and services. The increased demand for goods and services results in lower unemployment, and consequently the government has a higher income from taxation and spends less on social security.
Cohesion 2 they this the former the latter these 3 villagers kerosene and diesel not being affordable villagers kerosene and diesel from kerosene and diesel 4a They 4b he 4c them 4d This 4e his 4f he It her She him They/She Their 5A a 5A b 5A c 5A d 5A e 5A f
5A g 5A h 5B a 5B b 5B c 5B d 5B e 5B f
she his Their their They their Their the former
Comparisons 3a slightly more expensive than 3b considerably/signiﬁcantly cheaper than 3c slightly cheaper than 3d considerably/signiﬁcantly more expensive than 7a least 7b slightly 7c nearly/almost 7d as 7e most 7f than 7g half 7h as 8a most 8b less 8c more 8d than 8e slightly 8f on 8g as 8h smallest/least 9a shows 9b longest/highest 9c longest
9d On 9e than 9f the 9g slightly 10. Model answer The highest rate is found in Greece (8.3 per day), and the lowest is in Norway (1.7). Although many countries are close to the EU average of 4.5, the northern Scandinavian countries all have low rates of smoking. 11. Model answer Alcohol consumption in Europe averages 11.1 litres per adult per year, but within this there are wide variations. The highest consumption is found in France (14.1), while the Norwegians only consume one third of this ﬁgure (4.8).
Deﬁnitions 2a instrument/device 2b organs 2c organisation/corporation 2d material 2e behaviour 2f system/process 2g period/time 2h system 3a process 3b person/doctor 3c qualiﬁcation/degree 3d body/organisation 3e disease 3f cereal/grain 4a a failed project 4b development 4c electronic commerce 4d attachment 4e self-brightening Model answers 5a capital punishment execution carried out by state, often by hanging reﬁne liquids mental problems a dissertation/thesis its members’ interests a mosquito-borne parasite making ﬂour
5b department store
large shop which sells most types of goods in different areas
5c post-natal depression feeling of sadness experienced by some mothers after birth
Discussion 3 Model answer for title (a) pros: more security for children with mother, mother is able to take more care of home cons: children have less chance to mix with others, mothers have more limited role Title: Instead of going out to work, mothers should stay at home and look after their children until they are at least 5 – discuss. a) Introduction the growth in women’s participation in the workforce – increased use of nurseries more social mixing for children higher income for family more varied roles for women c) Disadvantages less security for children women have to deal with career and home d) Conclusion 5 Model answers It has been argued that staying at home gives children security, but the evidence suggests that there are more social advantages to attending a nursery. While fast food is often claimed to be unhealthy, there appears to be little ﬁrm evidence to support this. 7 Model answer Lomborg’s deﬁnition of air quality is limited to sulphur dioxide, and fails to take into account more recent threats. 8 Model answer pros: increases standard of living, reduces time spent working, people live longer cons: creates pollution, damages environment, causes stress and mental problems 9 Model answer using pattern (2i) a) c) Introduction: deﬁnition of industrial development, examples of process Disadvantages: development destroys countryside, causes pollution and stress b) Advantages: more leisure time, better medical facilities, more choices d) Discussion/conclusion: quality of life has improved due to industrialisation but damage has been caused on several levels depends on individual situation
Examples 2a e.g./such as 2b A case in point 2c particularly/especially (for example/instance also possible) 2d for instance/for example 2e such as/e.g. Model answers 3a A number of sports such as football/motor racing . . . 3b Certain twentieth-century inventions, for example television and antibiotics, . . . 3c In recent years many women, e.g. Indira Gandhi . . . 3d . . . most car makers, for instance Toyota/Volkswagen . . . 3e Certain diseases, particularly malaria/Aids . . . 3f 4 Many musical instruments such as guitars/violins . . . customs: holidays and festivals, ways of greeting people everyday patterns: types of shop, shop opening times inevitable differences: language, currency rapid changes of mood: depression, elation relatively short period: two/three months some aspects of their new surroundings: freedom, independence 5a His mother’s sister, i.e. his aunt . . . 5b When the liquid reached boiling point, namely 140 degrees . . . 5c It appears that Candlemas day, that is, February 2nd, . . . 5d The company’s overheads, in other words, the ﬁxed costs, . . . 3g Several mammals, e.g. pandas/tigers . . .
Generalisations Model answers 2b Flowers are usually a suitable present. 2c Cities are often affected by pollution. 2d Fresh fruit can be good for health. 2e Television has become an important medium. 3 Many international students attend British universities. Most welcome the chance to meet students from around the world, and all are pleased to have a chance to improve their English.
4a Unemployment in 1989 was higher than in 1979 or 1999. 4b Inﬂation was higher in 1979 than in 1989 or 1999. 4c House prices rose dramatically between 1979 and 1989. 4d Interest rates were slightly higher in 1989 than in 1979, and were much lower in 1999. 5a be over 60 5b double by 2100 5c young populations/a small proportion of over-60s 5d fall in its total population/a doubling of the population over 60 5e have a signiﬁcant population of older people/a larger proportion of over 60s Model answers 6a Two common dreams are being chased and falling. 6b A majority have dreamed about the dead. 6c Dreaming about the future is quite common. 6d Food dreams may be linked to dieting. 6e A minority dream of ﬁnding money.
Numbers 2a 50 2b 100 2c 400 3a Few people . . . 3b They received scores . . . 3c She made various . . . 3d He found dozens . . . 3e They made several. . . Model answers 4a Three quarters of the people interviewed said that they supported the president. 4b The average number of students on the course has been 22. 4c The price of petrol has increased eight times/eightfold since 1965. 4d Two thirds of the students in the group were women. 4e The new type of train halved the journey time to Madrid. 4f The majority of the students studied law. 4g There has been a 50% rise in the numbers applying to this department this year.
5b The numbers doubled every year between 1998 and 2000. 5c More than twice as many students complete their ﬁrst degree course in Britain, compared with Italy. 5d Tap water is much cheaper than bottled water. 5e Only a small percentage/proportion of women believed that they had the same rights as men. Over a third complained that they had far fewer rights. 5f Life expectancy for men in the UK rose by 50% during the twentieth century. 5g The cost of the same operation varies by 50% between hospitals in . . . 5h The area of forest in England fell by two-thirds between 1086 and 1870.
2.10 Opening Paragraphs 2 Model answer It is now widely accepted that global warming, caused by increased use of fossils fuels, is taking place. The debate now centres on the best approach to the phenomenon. Some scientists argue for a reduction in the use of fossil fuels, but others maintain that this is impractical or uneconomic. 3a acceptable 3b too vague 3c acceptable 3d vague and overgeneralised 5 a) Model answer In the past 50 years television has become one of the dominant inﬂuences on the upbringing of children. Most children watch it, and many spend several hours daily watching programmes specially made for children. There are, however, concerns that children are watching unsuitable programmes, and also that they are spending too long in front of the television and not taking part in more productive activities.
2.11 References and Quotations 2 5 (a), (d) and (e) need references Model answers
5a Orwell (1940) stated that Dickens rarely writes directly about work. He claimed that most of Dickens’ characters, except David Copperﬁeld, have shadowy occupations, and that Copperﬁeld works in areas very similar to Dickens’ own experience. 5b Orwell pointed out that Dickens infrequently described his characters’ jobs clearly: ‘In Dickens’ novels anything in the nature of work happens off-stage. The only one of his heroes who has a plausible profession is David Copperﬁeld . . . .’ (Orwell, 1940: pp. 54–5)
5c According to Orwell (1940), few of Dickens’ characters have a convincing profession, with the exception of David Copperﬁeld, who follows Dickens’ own career. ‘With most of the others, the way they earn their living is very much in the background.’ (pp. 54–5) 8a alphabetically 8b i 8b ii 8b iii 8b iv author/date of publication/title/place of publication/publisher author/date of publication/title/editor/main title/place of publication/publisher author/title/URL/access date author/article title/journal name/volume/page number
8c book and journal titles 8d for titles of books (but not articles) 8e under the title of the publication
2.12 Restatement and Repetition 2a In other words, this may lead to . . . 2b . . . universities, i.e. coursework and examinations 2c That is to say, the distribution of wealth . . . 4a Every country has a unique structure for its education system. 4b Similarly, China has expanded its higher education. 4c There are two differences between the UK and China in terms of higher education. Firstly, the entrance system. 4d In Spain only 40% of students can ﬁnd a job. 4e Students who graduate from secondary schools can send application forms to many universities. 4f Both UK and Chinese universities charge fees. 4g This essay will compare HE systems in the UK and China. Firstly, there are similar assessment methods. 5a a/c 5b d/e 5c b 5d g
Currently, fast food is growing in popularity. Fast food is food that people can buy or cook quickly. This essay examines the advantages and drawbacks of fast food. First, it is usually tasty. Most people who work in ofﬁces are very busy, so they do not have time to go home for lunch. But they can eat in McDonald’s restaurants. The second beneﬁt of fast food is cheapness. As it is produced in large quantities, this means that the companies can keep costs down. As a result fast food is usually less expensive than a meal in a conventional restaurant.
2.13 Academic Style Model answers 4a It is widely believed that the railways are deteriorating. 4b Serious crime, such as murder, is increasing. 4c The ﬁgures in that report are not reliable. 4d The second factor is that the majority of children in that district may become criminals. 4e There appears to be a signiﬁcant risk of further strikes and disorder. 4f Women were enfranchised in 1994. 4g The Russian inﬂation led to poverty and disease. 4h A malaria vaccine may be discovered in the next 10 years. 4i There were two main causes of the American Revolution. 5a Currently, signiﬁcant numbers of children are starting school at the age of four or less, whereas 30 years ago ﬁve was the normal age. There appear to be various reasons for the change; mothers, for example, need to rejoin the labour force. There are mixed views about the effects of this change on the children concerned. Jenkins (1989) claims that early school attendance causes social problems such as theft and drug taking. There seems to be considerable evidence to support his views and there may be an argument in favour of a state subsidy for women to stay at home with their children. 5b There appear to be two principal reasons for the growing trafﬁc congestion. Firstly, public transport has become increasingly expensive relative to the falling cost of motoring. In addition, car ownership is much more convenient than using public transport. Together, these factors result in higher vehicle density.
2.14 Synonyms Model answers 4a challenged/outcome/study 4b data or ﬁgures/demonstrate/increase 4c forecast/argument or debate 4d main disadvantage/method 4e focus/possibility
explain/idea or theory
4g topics/evaluated 4h structure/kept/targets/changed 4i 4j 5 reduce output/increase tendency/accelerated UK – British – this country agency – organisation – body advertising campaign – publicity programme – advertising blitz to raise – to improve British eating habits – regular hand washing to cut – reduction 6 ﬁrm’s plan cut expenditure or spending business intends or proposes earnings or salaries employees raised
2.15 Variation in Sentence Length Model answers 2 Worldwide, enrolments in higher education are increasing. In developed countries over half of all young people enter college, while similar trends are seen in China and South America. This growth has put ﬁnancial strain on state university systems, so that many countries are asking students and parents to contribute. This leads to a debate about whether students or society beneﬁt from tertiary education. It is widely recognised that a university degree beneﬁts the individual, since a graduate can expect to ﬁnd a better job with a higher salary. In the USA the average graduate will earn $1 million more in a lifetime than a non-graduate. Many governments now expect students to pay a proportion of tuition costs, although it is argued that this discriminates against poorer students. Some countries give grants to students whose families have low incomes because their education is seen to be beneﬁcial for the nation as a whole. China is one developing country (but not the only one) which has imposed fees on students since 1997. The results have been surprising: enrolments, especially in the most expensive universities, have continued to rise steeply, growing 200% overall between 1997 and 2001. It seems in this case that higher fees attract rather than discourage students, who see them as a sign of a good education. They compete more ﬁercely for places, leading to the result that a place at a good college can cost $8000 per year for fees and maintenance.
Developing countries are under the greatest ﬁnancial pressure. They may also experience difﬁculties in introducing loan schemes for students, since the lack of private capital markets restricts the source of borrowing for governments, which are often unable to raise sufﬁcient cheap funds, while a further restraint has been the high default rates by students unable to repay their loans.
2.16 Visual Information 1.1 dE 1.2 fB 1.3 aF 1.4 cC 1.5 bD 1.6 eA Model answers 2a grew slightly 2b rose steadily 2c fell sharply 2d increased slightly 2e sharp rise 2f 3 slight drop (a) is better because it selects the most important details. (b) simply repeats the data on the chart.
Model answers 4a density 4b illustrates/shows 4c between 4d emptier/less crowded 4e role/part 4f since/because 4g tend 5a table 5b range/variety 5c marriage 5d Britain 5e rate
5g half 5h proportion/ﬁgure 5i 7 result/consequence Model answer Table 4 shows the gender balance in the School of Computing from 1996 to 2000. Between 1996 and 1998 the ratio of men to women was about 1:3, but in the next two years the proportion of women increased, so that in 2000 women accounted for nearly 40% of the total.
Part 3 – Accuracy In Writing
3.1 Abbreviations 6a Prime Minister/members of parliament/National Health Service 6b Information technology/and others 6c That is/World Trade Organization 6d Take note/Curricula vitarum/A4 size paper 6e Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development/United Kingdom 6f European Union/value added tax 6g Chief Executive Ofﬁcer/research and development 6h Figure 4/Worldwide Web 6i 6j 6l World Health Organization/tuberculosis Public Relations/$45,000 Professor/Master of Philosophy/Doctor of Philosophy
6k Genetically modiﬁed/for example
Academic Vocabulary 2a prediction 2b signiﬁcant 2c varied 2d created 2e hypothetical 2f synthesis 2g signiﬁcance 2h evaluated
3a indicate 3b deﬁnitive 3c generalisations/predictions 3d responded 3e analysed 3f variables 5a precise 5b theoretical 5c irrational 5d approximate 5e objective 5f irrelevant 5g concrete
Adverbs 4a Obviously/Clearly 4b Originally 4c Alternatively 4d Recently/lately 4e Similarly 4f Clearly/Obviously 6a slightly 6b substantially/signiﬁcantly 6c dramatically 6d steadily 6e considerably/substantially/signiﬁcantly 6f rapidly/quickly 6g substantially/considerably 6h rapidly
Articles 4a – 4b The/the 4c –/– 4d The/the 4e –/the 4f –/the 4g The/the 4h The/– 4i 4j 4l –/the The/the The/–
4k the/– 4m the/the 4n The/the 5a a 5b – 5c the 5d the 5e the/a 5f the 5g the 5h a 5i 5j 5l the the a
5k the 5m a 5n The 5o the 5p – 5q The 5r the 5s the/a
5u the 5v the 5w the 5x a 5y the
Caution 2 (Others are possible) Modals: Adverbs: Phrases: 3 Model answers might/may/could/should often/usually/frequently/generally/occasionally/rarely/mainly in general/by and large/it appears/it seems
3a Private companies tend to be . . . 3b Computer manuals can be . . . 3c Older students frequently perform better . . . 3d Exploring space could be . . . 3e English pronunciation is often . . . 3f Global warming may cause . . . 3g Science students tend to work harder . . . 3h Concrete is usually . . . 4a Charles was a rather insigniﬁcant king . . . 4b The survey was quite a comprehensive . . . 4c His second book had a rather hostile . . . 4d . . . arthritis drugs are fairly expensive. 4e The ﬁrst-year students were quite fascinated . . . 6 Model answer A team of American scientists may have found a way to reverse the ageing process. They fed diet supplements, usually found in health food shops, to elderly rats, which were then tested for memory and stamina. The animals tended to display more active behaviour after taking the supplements, and generally their memory improved. In addition, their appearance became rather more youthful and their appetite increased. The researchers believe that this experiment is quite a clear indication of how the problems of old age may be overcome. They claim that in a few years’ time many people may be able to look forward to a fairly long and active retirement.
Confusing Pairs 2a quite 2b lose 2c affect 2d compliments 2e its 2f 3 economic (Others are correct) 2g accepted 3c economical 3d principles 3e Except 3h raise
Conjunctions 2a d 2b c 2c f 2d e 2e a 2f b 2g b 2h e 4 because (reason) for example (example) and (addition) But (opposition) so (result) while (addition) Firstly (time) and (addition) furthermore (addition) 5 (Others are possible)
Addition: moreover/as well as/in addition/and/also Result: therefore/consequently/so/that is why Reason: because/owing to/as a result of/as/since Time: after/while/then/next/subsequently Example: such as/e.g./in particular Opposition: but/yet/while/however/nevertheless/whereas 6 (Other answers possible) 6a Although 6b i.e./namely 6c After 6d Although/While 6e moreover/furthermore 6f so/therefore 6g for instance 6h Because of/Due to 6i 6j Secondly/Subsequently While
7a After 7b Despite/In spite of 7c such as 7d In addition/Furthermore 7e then/later 7f while 7g Because of/Due to 7h although/though 7i 7j 7l since/because/as and so
7k However 7m ﬁnally 8a While the government claimed that inﬂation was falling, the opposition said it was rising. Despite the fact that the government claimed (that) inﬂation was falling, the opposition . . .
8b This department must reduce expenditure, but it needs to install new computers. Although this department must reduce expenditure it needs . . . Model answers 9a In contrast to America, where gun ownership is common, guns are rare in Japan. 9b Despite leaving school at the age of 14 he went on to own a chain of shops. 9c The majority displayed a positive attitude to the proposal, but a minority rejected it. 9d While the tutor insisted that the essay was easy, the students felt it was too difﬁcult. 9e Although the spring was cold and dry the summer was warm and wet.
Nationality Language 3 Model answer Mexico is in central America. The Mexican capital is Mexico City. Mexicans speak Spanish. 5a Chinese 5b Russian 5c Australia 5d Spanish 5e American 5f Brazilians 5g Iraqi 5h Cubans 6 Model answers Pablo Picasso came from Spain and painted pictures. Bob Marley was a Jamaican musician. Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian politician and philosopher.
Nouns and Adjectives 2a safety – safe 2b culture – cultural 2c deep – depth 2d health – healthy 3 high/reliable/hot
strength/conﬁdence/truth wide/probable/necessary length/danger/relevance 4a strength 4b truth 4c probability 4d wide 4e necessary 4f relevance 4g danger 4h necessity 4i 4j unreliable Conﬁdence
5a various – variety 5b analytical – analysis 5c available – availability 5d major – majority 5e precise – precision/unknown – knowledge 5f theoretical – theory 5g frequent – frequency 5h critical – criticism or critic 5i 5j 6 Social – society practical – practice approximation/particularity superior/reasonable strategy/synthesis political/economic + economical industry/culture external/average 7a economic approximation particularity external
synthesis average reasonable culture
3.10 Nouns – Countable and Uncountable 4 Model answers 4a . . . of teaching is required 4b . . . travelling in the desert 4c . . . insufﬁcient capital 4d . . . during a meal 4e . . . mainly political centres 4f . . . are moved around the world daily 4g . . . huge loss of life 4h . . . many great ﬁlms 4i 4j 4l Her carelessness . . . . . . a great leveller . . . very demanding
4k . . . in those laboratories 5a Little 5b businesses 5c experience/is 5d travel broadens 5e Paper was 5f much advice 5g few interests 5h war 5i 5j Irons were behaviour
6a little 6b much 6c many 6d few
3.11 Nouns – Umbrella 1a cause 1b theory 1c event 1d feature 1e machine 1f area 1g organisation 1h views 1i 1j 1l consideration process problem
1k types 2a body 2b phenomenon 2c issues 2d ﬁeld 2e device 2f concept 2g aspects 2h categories 2i 2j concern factor
3.12 Preﬁxes and Sufﬁxes 3 auto co ex by itself together (i) previous (ii) outside
micro multi over post re sub under
small many too much later again below (i) below (ii) not enough
4a social class at bottom of society 4b more tickets sold than seats available 4c very local climate 4d economy based on information not production 4e not listed in the telephone book 4f disappointed 8a noun – something which is no longer offered 8b adjective – two related events at the same time 8c adverb – without cooperation 8d adjective – related to evolution 8e noun – person who protests 8f adjective – not able to be forecast 8g adjective – able to be sold 8h noun – person being interviewed 8i 8j noun – style of ultra-realistic painting adverb – in a way that suggests a symbol
9a joint production/junior company 9b without choosing to/not hurt 9c able to be reﬁlled/certain 9d cannot be provided/unusual 9e existing in theory/breaking into pieces
3.13 Prepositions 1. purpose of/development of/in Britain/over the period/contributed to/valuable for/In conclusion/sets out/relationship between/decline in/supply of/in the factory Verb + = contributed to
Adj .+ = valuable for Phrasal verb = sets out Place = in Britain/factory Time = over the period Phrase = In conclusion 2b adjective + 2c verb + 2d place 2e noun + 2f phrase 2g place 2h time 3a of 3b in 3c of 3d for 3e of 3f on 4a On 4b of 4c of 4d In 4e of 4f On 4g In 4h of 5a Among 5b from/to 5c in/of 5d in/in 5e in/at 5f On/between 6a out
6b of 6c in/to 6d to 6e among/in 6f from 6g between 6h in 6i 6j 6l of over in
6k between 6m in 6n of 6o in/to
3.14 Punctuation 7a On Tuesday June 6, 1759, in the church at Derby, Nicolas James married Mary Dewey. 7b Professor Rowan’s new book, The Triumph of Capitalism, is published in New York. 7c How many people would agree with John Lennon when he said: ‘All You Need is Love’? 7d The probability was calculated for each of the three faculties: Physics, Biology and Law. 7e As Cammack (1994) points out: ‘Latin America is creating a new phenomenon: democracy without citizens.’ 7f Thousands of new words such as ‘website’ enter the English language each year. 7g Dr Tanner’s latest study focuses on children’s reactions to stress in the playground. 7h She scored 56% on the main course; the previous semester she had achieved 67%. 8 The London School of Business is offering three new courses this year: Economics with Psychology; Introduction to Management; and e-commerce. The ﬁrst is taught by Dr Jennifer Hillary and runs from October to January. The second, Introduction to Management, for MSc Finance students, is offered in the second semester, and is assessed by coursework only. Professor Wang’s course in e-commerce runs in both the autumn and the spring, and is for more experienced students.
3.15 Relative Pronouns 1a where
1b who 1c which/that 1d whose 2a which/that 2b where 2c who 2d which/that 2e who 2f which 4a D 4b D 4c A 4d A 4e D 5 (Sample answers) 5a The main campus, which used to be a golf course, 5b The River Nile, the longest in Africa, 5c Moscow, the ancient capital of Russia, 5d Nelson Mandela, who became president of South Africa, 5e Apples, a fruit associated with many legends, 6a necessary 6b not 6c not 6d necessary 6e not 7a whose 7b who 7c which/that 7d which/that 7e X 7f which 7g whose 7h which
3.16 Singular/Plural 1a disadvantages – e 1b are – a 1c areas – c 1d crime – b 1e town has its own council – d 3a those problems 3b varies 3c cultures 3d are 3e a job/jobs 3f A huge/Huge numbers 3g has 3h other places 3i 3j 4 is lives companies have/websites/e-commerce/this is/businesses/their/trouble/security/expense/ mean/these companies
3.17 Time Words and Phrases 3a Last 3b During 3c By 3d for 3e ago 3f until 3g Currently 4a recently 4b until 4c for 4d Last month
4e by 4f Since 4g During 5a During 5b Since 5c ago 5d recently 5e Currently 5f by 5g since 6a before 6b later 6c by 6d for 6e until 6f during 6g ago
3.18 Verbs – Formality 2 (Possible synonyms) adapt = modify arise = occur carry out = conduct characterise = have features of clarify = explain concentrate on = look at closely concern with = deal with demonstrate = show determine = ﬁnd discriminate = distinguish emphasise = highlight establish = lay down/found exhibit = show
focus on = look at closely generate = create hold = be true identify = pick out imply = suggest indicate = show interact = work together interpret = explain manifest = show overcome = get over predict = forecast propose = suggest prove = turn out recognise = accept relate to = link to supplement = add to undergo = experience yield = produce 2a yielded 2b arose 2c demonstrate 2d held 2e emphasised 2f exhibited 2g concerned 2h carried out 3a demonstrate 3b clarify 3c recognised 3d discriminate 3e focus on 3f interpreted 3g overcome
3.19 Verbs – Modal (Others may be possible throughout this unit) 2a can 2b could 2c cannot 2d may/can 2e could 3a would 3b might/may/could 3c could/might/may 3d should/will/might 3e will 3f should/will 3g could not 4a should 4b must 4c must 4d should 5a would (conditional) should (suggestion) 5b may (possibility) could (ability) 5c will (prediction) would (conditional) 5d must (obligation) should (suggestion) 5e may (possibility) could (ability) 5f should (strong possibility) may (possibility)
3.20 Verbs – Passives 2a The data were collected and the two groups (were) compared. 2b 120 people in three social classes were interviewed. 2c The results were checked and several errors (were) found. 2d An analysis of the ﬁndings will be made. 3a The company was efﬁciently run by the Connors family until 1981. 3b The house was conveniently built near the station. 3c The portrait of the old man was brilliantly painted by Picasso. 3d Pencils for all the students in the exam were helpfully provided. 3e Over 550 people were regularly tested for the disease (by doctors). 3f 4 The percentages were precisely calculated to three decimal places (by researchers). (Passives) was worn out was born was called was helped was taken over was assisted 5 Not all – was born must be passive Compare some sentences changed into the active, e.g. ‘On his death in 1860 his wife took over the business, and soon their 10-year-old son Jesse assisted her.’ This reads rather clumsily compared to the original. 6 (Suggested changes – others possible) they were married – they married the factories were used to make – the factories made Boots was sold – he sold Boots Boots was bought by a British group – a British group bought Boots sugar was produced – the factories produced 3g Their business was optimistically called the Universal Trading Company.
3.21 Verbs and Prepositions 2a focused on/concentrated on 2b pointed out 2c specialising in
2d associated with 2e divided into 2f blamed for 2g believed in 2h rely on 4a derives from 4b consists of 4c added to 4d looked into 4e rely on/depend on 4f invested . . . in 4g Compared to 4h pay . . . for 4i rely on/depend on
3.22 Verbs of Reference (Others may be possible) 3a A admitted/accepted/agreed that he might have made a mistake in his estimate. 3b B denied saying that sheep were faster than horses. 3c C stated that whales were very intelligent animals. 3d D agreed with A’s position on cats and dogs. 3e E assumed that cows could get cold in winter. 3f F concluded that pigs could not ﬂy. 3g G discovered a new type of frog in the jungle. 3h H doubted that cats could learn to talk. 3i 3j I suggested that cat and mouse behaviour should be compared. J hypothesised that there might be a link between health and the seasons.
5a L criticised her for being careless about her research methods. 5b M classiﬁed bees into three main species. 5c N characterised the cat family as the kings of the animal world. 5d O interpreted dogs’ barking as nervousness. 5e P described trying to estimate the number of animal species as being like shooting in the dark.
Q commended/evaluated Darwin as the greatest naturalist of the nineteenth century.
5g R deﬁned insects as six-legged arthropods. 5h S portrayed Queen Victoria as a short, rather fat, dark-eyed woman. 5i T identiﬁed/presented Gregor Mendel as the founder of modern genetics.
3.23 Verbs – Tenses 1
a b c d e f g h Tense present simple present continuous present perfect present perfect continuous simple past past continuous past perfect future Reason for use general rule current situation recent event recent, with emphasis on action that continues for a long time ﬁnished, with time phrase ﬁnished, with emphasis on action that continues for a long time refers to a previous past period prediction
2a has been rising/has risen 2b stands for 2c recorded 2d had written 2e will be 2f is considering 2g was building/had built 2h disputes/disputed 2i has fallen/has been falling 4a is/are working 4b believes 4c is looking for 4d is researching
4e has risen 4f owns 4g live 4h is attending 6a have suspected 6b have developed 6c conﬁrmed 6d developed 6e was displayed 6f demonstrated 6g says/said 6h is being tested 6i 6j makes developed
6k will be available
Part 4 – Writing Models
4.1 Formal Letters 1a Address of sender 1b Address of recipient 1c Sender’s reference 1d Date 1e Greetings 1f Subject headline 1g Reason for writing 1h Further details 1i 1j 1l Request for response Ending Writer’s name and title
Model answer 54 Sydney Road Rowborough RB1 6FD Mr M Bramble Administrative Assistant Arts & Social Sciences Admissions Ofﬁce Wye House Central Campus University of Borchester Borchester BR3 5HT Yr Ref: MB/373 5 May 2006 Dear Mr Bramble Informal Interview Thank you for inviting me to interview on May 21st. I will be able to attend on that date, but it would be much more convenient if I could have the interview at 12, due to the train times from Rowborough. Could you please let me know if this alteration is possible? Yours sincerely P. Tan P Tan .
Model answer 54 Sydney Road Rowborough RB1 6FD Tel: 0122-354-751 The Manager Hotel Nelson Queen’s Road Rowborough RB2 4RN Yr Ref: EN2 16 October 2006 Dear Sir Vacancy for Reception Staff I am writing in response to your advert for reception staff (Evening News 15/10). I am currently studying at Rowborough University, but I am looking for parttime work, and believe that I have the qualities you are seeking. As you will see from my enclosed CV I have previous experience of working in a team, and speak Mandarin and Japanese as well as English. Having no family commitments I am quite prepared to work evenings or weekends. I believe that I could make a useful contribution to your business, which I am considering as a future career, and hope to hear from you soon. Yours faithfully P. Tan P Tan . Enc. CV
Reporting and Designing Surveys 1 (Other suggestions possible/in any order) Get up-to-date data Collect information about the behaviour of a speciﬁc group, e.g. overseas students in London Check/replicate other research 2a 2b 2c 2d conducted random questionnaire questioned
2e 2f 2g 2h 2i 2j 2k 2l 2m 2n 3 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7
respondents Interviewees mentioned majority slightly minority questions common generally sample Why did you take a job? What effect did the work have on your studies? What kind of work did you do? What hours did you work? How much did you earn? Do you have any comments on your work?
Model questions. (3–6 could use present tense)
4a past tense 4b present tense The survey is completed but the results are still valid. 5 6 7 (ii) is less embarrassing for most people to answer. (i) is an open question and has many possible answers. (ii) is a closed question with a limited range of responses. For casual interviews ten is probably the maximum most interviewees will cope with.
Comparison Essay (Other answers possible) a It normally involves having access to a secure site on the internet where a graded series of lessons are available, and which have assignments sent and returned by email. A student living in a small town in China, for example, can now study a course at an American college. Membership of a group may also create a useful spirit of competition, which stimulates learning.
d e f g
There may be many people who are unable, either through work or family commitments, or due to lack of funds, to go to classes . . . Although on-line courses are now offered by many institutions . . . . . . it is by no means clear that they offer real advantages compared to classroom education. e-education/on-line courses/internet use in education/e-learning
Discussion Essay 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2
Addition while and as well as also Result so that therefore Reason since due to because of Time ﬁrst then Example e.g. for example such as for instance Opposition but yet however
F C A G E B D
Writing Test 1 Note that in some cases, e.g. (1a), only one answer is acceptable; in other cases, e.g. (1b), a number of synonyms are possible, not all of which may be listed. 1a in 1b problem/difﬁculty/challenge/priority 1c the/so 1d difﬁcult/problematic/challenging 1e However/Next/Then 1f or 1g improves
1h begins/tends/seems 1i 1j 1l in/after they third/further
1k easily/well/effectively 1m most 1n since/because/as 1o on 1p why 1q necessary/better/useful/helpful 1r an 1s before 1t their
Writing Test 2 Speaking and Writing 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) When we speak, it is normally to one or a small number of people, who are often well known to us. As we speak, we are able to study our listeners’ faces for expressions which tell us their reaction to what we are saying; for example agreement, or amusement. If their expressions show incomprehension we will probably restate what we are saying. For most people speaking feels like a natural activity,
10) though if they have to make a formal speech 11) they often ﬁnd the situation stressful.
1) 2) 3)
Writing, however, is much more like speaking to an unknown audience. Unless we are writing a letter to a friend
4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9)
we have no way of knowing who may read our words. Writers cannot check if the readers understand, or are interested in what they are writing. This is the reason why writing is more difﬁcult than speaking, and often uses a more formal style. It also explains why writing must be as clear and simple as possible,
10) to avoid the dangers of being misunderstood by readers 11) who cannot look puzzled to 12) make the writer explain what he means again.
Writing Test 3 Note comments in Writing Test 1 above. 3a somewhere 3b from 3c who 3d kinds/types/sorts/categories 3e Almost/Nearly/Virtually 3f halls 3g make/ﬁnd 3h convenient/practical/sensible 3i 3j 3l but/although/though rather This
3k a 3m may/might/can/could/should 3n also 3o on 3p as/since/because 3q be 3r vital/important/essential/critical 3s an 3t them
Writing Test 4 Model answer A COMPARISON OF BORCHESTER AND ROWBOROUGH AS A STUDY LOCATION Rowborough is a large industrial city with a population of one and a half million, while Borchester is an old city with a much smaller population. These basic differences determine their suitability as centres for a university course. Rowborough can offer a wider range of leisure facilities but Borchester has a quieter character. Rowborough may have a worse climate, being cool even in summer and wet in winter, while winters in Borchester are less cold, though the summers tend to be wet. Rowborough is hillier than Borchester, which might be a drawback for cyclists. However, Rowborough does have a better public transport system, which may compensate for the hills. Borchester also has a rather remote campus, which might involve a lot of travelling. It is also likely to be more expensive in terms of accommodation, and is rather distant from the capital. On the other hand, some areas in Rowborough suffer from high crime rates. Clearly, each city has its advantages: Borchester is more likely to suit a student looking for peace and quiet, who can tolerate some inconvenience, while Rowborough would be suitable for someone keen to economise and wanting a more lively atmosphere.
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