ENGLISH 101. ACADEMIC WRITING
Instructions for Lesson 2
1. Read the English 101 Final
Exam from Fall 2003.
The reading for
today's lesson is the English 101 Final Exam from Fall
2003. None of
you who are newcomers to English 101 would pass, if the exam were held today. I've written a sample answer
to the Fall 2003 Final Exam to help you realize how strange a
correct answer is! Take a look at it.
In addition to testing the MLA rules, the examiners evaluate English 101 final exams on the basis of essay content, essay organization, and technical correctness in using standard American academic English. They want to know that you can make logical, well-supported arguments in correct form.
What areas will you need to work on in order to pass the Final Exam? Include this work in your goals for this course.
Dr. G's Comment on Goals
In connection with the writing sample from Lesson 1, I would like to comment on goals in general, because the topic is so vital, and its profound importance is so often unrecognized.
The problem with the future is that the present appears to come first. Instead of pursuing critical long-term goals, most of us tend to get trapped in the distractions of the moment. When the present devours all of our attention, we have lost control, our environment has taken command, and our lives are leading us.
I had this problem in spades when I was president of a growing business with 200 employees. My job as leader required me to lead. That is, I was responsible for the future of the business, and there was a lot of future to address: development of facilities in other states, entry into new lines of business, expansion of sales into foreign countries, key personnel additions, and other ambitious changes. But each workday was a series of temptations to forget the future because of crises of the moment. There were always current sales problems, personnel problems, mechanical problems, quality control problems, financial problems, immediate issues of every sort. I worked very hard--long hours seven days every week--much of the time on the wrong things. It feels good to sweat, but never mistake sweating for doing your job.
In our personal lives, we hold all of the job titles, from laborer to president. We can't forget to labor, but we can't forget to lead our lives, either. Will we lead or be led? One of the two will occur.
Students often express their goals in generalities, such as these:
Vague goals of this sort are a dodge. They don't provide any accountability. That is, they are not specific enough for the goal-maker ever to know if they have been met or not, so in the end they don't matter. Business management books say that, to be effective, goals must be:
Review your writing sample and your actual plans for the future. Do your goals meet these three criteria? If they don't, redefine your goals. Sharpen them so that they can work to motivate you.
To achieve your full potential, sit down with yourself at least every year on a specific date (on New Years or a special anniversary date, for example) to review how well you achieved the past year's goals, and then plan the program for the coming year. Use a planner, personal organizer or calendar to establish a schedule of the practical steps that you will need to take to reach your goals. Writing can be extremely useful in this goal-setting and goal-reviewing process, as it forces you to articulate your goals clearly, and it leaves an undeniable record of them.
As was said in Lesson 1, we tend to believe what we say to ourselves. If you want something to happen, say it to yourself again and again. Tell your goals to yourself repeatedly, at least every day, if you want to accomplish them. Each day that goes by without hearing your goals is likely to be a day that ends no closer to them.
Lesson Acronym MAC: goals are measurable, achievable, challenging.
3. What's been accomplished in Module 1?
So far, active enrolled course participants should have learned:
If any item in this list is not clear to you, review the module before moving ahead. If questions remain after review, ask Dr. G.
Apology to Ladies in this course: I am sure that you have noticed that Raphael's School of Athens, my main image source for this web, is 98% male. (The other 2% are presented in the image to the left.) Gender discrimination was an ordinary feature of the ancient world, in Greece and in Athens as elsewhere. Yet Socrates respected minds, not the bodies that housed them, and he knew that women and men were equal in their abilities to learn and practice philosophy. One of his favorite teachers had been a woman named Philotima. Moreover, in the famous dialogue called The Republic, Socrates is the first European on record to state that women should be educated and should hold the same political offices as men. Maybe this revolutionary teaching of his was another reason that the Athenian jury (all male) did him in.
''Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem to characterize our age" (Albert Einstein).
goals should be MAC
"A goal without a plan is just a wish" (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Left: a classical bust of Plato.