Sunday, May 2, 2010

Response to the reading of Swales & Feak (1994)’s unit 7& 8: Constructing a Research Paper

This chapter introduces a typical organizational pattern for research papers including title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, acknowledgements, and references. I have learned how to write them academically through Swales & Feak’ (1994)’s chapters until now, not the whole structure of my research paper but the part of them. However, this chapter helps me to draw a big picture of my research paper since I am going to write my research paper soon.

The unit seven explains about methods and results deeply, and the unit eight focuses on the other parts. Many practical tips were introduced through these two chapters. Among them tenses, which can be used on each part of the research paper are very useful because I have been curious about them and complicated so far. As long as I work with academic writings, I need to come back to Swales & Feak (1994)’s book, like other reference books.

Having read these two chapters, I can start to construct my research paper. Of course, this process is a just start and I need to practice these tips and skills over and over again to get used to them!

Swales, J. & Feak, C. B. (1994). Constructing a Research paper I. Academic writing for graduate students: A course for non-native speakers of English (pp.155-172). Ann Arbor, MI: the University of Michigan Press.

Swales, J. & Feak, C. B. (1994). Constructing a Research paper II. Academic writing for graduate students: A course for non-native speakers of English (pp.173-217). Ann Arbor, MI: the University of Michigan Press

Response to the reading of Swales & Feak (1994)’s unit 5: Writing Summaries

This chapter introduces how to write summaries. As a graduate student, I am asked to read many articles and write reflections on them. Sometimes, I concern how I can read so many articles in a limited time because most of TESOL-MALL articles are quite long and students are supposed to read several ones in a week. According to Swales and Feak (1994), formal summaries need to be done by following guidelines (p.114);

  • Try to paraphrase except for technical terms
  • Include enough details to present the content clearly
  • Just cite specialized vocabularies or technical terms without paraphrasing
  • Do not include writers’ comments or evaluation

As I compare draft summary with rewrite summary (p.115), I recognized that readers will be difficult to understand summaries clearly if authors do not write summaries properly.


In addition, I realized that comparative summaries are different from traditional summaries. The one is more complicated and comprehensible. I need to write comparative summaries for my literature review and then “it needs to infer and make explicit the relationships among my sources” (Swales & Feak, 1994, p.127).


In conclusion, when we summarize articles, we need to paraphrase except special words and infer and explain clearly for comparative summaries!

Swales, J. & Feak, C. B. (1994). Writing Summaries. Academic writing for graduate students: A course for non-native speakers of English (pp.105-130). Ann Arbor, MI: the University of Michigan Press.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Response to the reading of Swales & Feak(1994)'s unit 2: Writing General-Specific Texts

As I read each chapter of Swales & Feak’s book, I realize how useful this book is for academic writers especially for EFL learners. This chapter introduces how to write “General-Specific texts” (Swales & Feak, 1994, p.33), using sentence definitions because GS paragraph usually begins with sentence definitions.

Having read this paper, I understood that how to define terms using sentences, and that there are various sentence definitions for GS texts such as extended definitions, contrastive definitions, and comparative definitions (Swales & Feak, 1994). Grammatical tips about deletion of relative clauses are very helpful for me. While doing some tasks in this chapter, I felt I do not only improve academic writing skills but also useful grammar skills as well.

Swales, J. & Feak, C. B. (1994). Writing general-specific texts. Academic writing for graduate students: A course for non-native speakers of English (pp.33-55). Ann Arbor, MI: the University of Michigan Press.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Response to the reading of Swales & Feak (1994)'s unit 4: Data Commentary

This chapter introduces how to integrate data in academic writing using ‘data commentaries’ (Swales & Feak, 1994, p.77). I have not used data commentaries in my academic writing because I did not know how to deal with various data in tables, graphs, figures and etc. Therefore¸ when I needed data for my writing, I have usually dealt with data to attach graphs or figures only, or to explain in sentences without the original data form like graphs or figures.

After reading this chapter, I started to understand how I can deal with those data in my writing. It is, of course, still complicated but Swales & Feak (1994)’s practical tips are quite helpful. There are also useful expressions to explain data effectively for academic writing. As long as I apply these practical tips in my writing properly, I may be a better academic writer!

Swales, J. & Feak, C. B. (1994). Data Commentary. Academic writing for graduate students: A course for non-native speakers of English (pp.77-103). Ann Arbor, MI: the University of Michigan Press.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Response to the reading of Anderson & Kanuka (2003)'s E-Research

I use computers a lot for typing, sending e-mails, searching information and reading articles on the internet. I hardly imagine doing anything without using computers and the internet. After reading this article, I realize I am one of e-researchers who use e-research a lot. I do not have time to visit libraries or people for information and discussion because of my multi roles like a mother, worker, wife, and a daughter.

When I was asked to do a literature review for the first time, I had this question in my mind, ‘Do I have to review the literature?’ I could not answer at that time but now I can say, “Yes, I need the literature review to explore topics efficiently and to justify rationale for research topics.”

As Anderson and Kanuka (2003) mentioned, the literature review can be a process and also a product. As a process, researchers get hints and suggestions for ways in their future researches when they read the literature carefully (Anderson & Kanuka, 2003). The more I review the literature, the more I clarify my research way. Whenever I write about the literature, I expect where I will arrive. I also agree with Anderson and kanuka (2003)’s saying, “As a product, the literature review will be a record of and a set of pointers to the research”(p.40). My literature review will be the rationale for my research and so it helps other researchers to understand my intention well.

Since e-researchers get information in ease, they also have more temptations to plagiarize. Anderson and Kanuka (2003) also explained, “The ease of cutting and pasting from the Web has been blamed for an increase in plagiarism” (p.52). As a writer, I must paraphrase or cite sources properly and also as a reader, I need to look through each literature carefully to prevent plagiarism.

In addition, this article introduced various useful tips for finding sources for the literature review. From now on, I will try to find them using those tips. I hope that they will save my time!

Anderson, T. & Kanuka, H. (2003). E-Research: Methods, strategies, and issues. Boston: Pearson (chapter 4 pages 39-55)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Thesis Topic: Bridging the Cultural Gap in the young EFL classroom by teaching Multicultural Children’s Literature

The picture from

EFL teachers often neglect intangible subjects like culture. But, as long as I teach English using storybooks, teachers cannot avoid teaching cultures in order that students understand the meaning of words properly in context because languages represent their culture all the time.

I would like to research into teaching cultures using the multicultural literature. Teachers use children’s literature such as storybooks in their English class, because those texts are familiar to young students and have rich vocabularies. They are not too much difficult and just right level. Some storybooks contain various cultures. Because of this, they are called ‘multicultural literature’. Students will learn various cultures together when they learn English with it. That is the reason why I choose the multicultural literature.

I will dig out various multicultural literature and research how to apply those materials concretely in the real English class. Problem-posing method is good to teach multicultural literature, some books of which are very unfamiliar and I need to localize them for young EFL learners, like changing contents or adding some supporting materials.
My rough sub topics are followed;

  • Culture in Foreign English Language Teaching and Learning
  • Teaching English in Korea
  • Understanding Multicultural Children’s Literature
  • Problem-posing with Multicultural Literature in the young EFL class room
  • Integrated Lesson Plans to localize Multicultural Stories

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My thoughts on APA Style

When I started academic writing in the first semester, I applied the 5th edition of APA Style but now I am using the 6th. Someday it will change again. Some APA rules for citing and referencing are still complicated therefore I always check those rules whenever I write assignments. The more I write TESOL-MALL assignments in APA Style, the better I get used to APA Style.