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Online Course CEP 820

Survey 1. How do you feel when you write? How do you feel when you write? happy/excited/interested tired/bored frustrated/confused/lost It depends on the topic, time of day, my mood, etc. 2. What would you most compare writing to? What would you most compare writing to? Drawing Programming Manufacturing Networking Exercising Other (please try to specify) 3. What do you normally write? What do you normally write? E-mails

Letters

Text messages

Academic assignments (essays, articles, reports

Cards (greeting, holiday, etc.)

I hardly ever write.

Lists (shopping, things to do, etc.) Other (please specify)

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 4. What would be your favorite writing topic?

What would be your favorite writing topic? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using computers in the c Should animals be used for scientific research? Is it humanly? Should drivers of automobiles be prohibited from using cellular phones? What are some of the best ways to lose weight? Present the pros and cons of each. Other (please write your topic in the box below)

5. Where would be your ideal place for writing? Where would be your ideal place for writing? Home School library Class Outdoor (coffee shop, garden, etc.) 6. When would be the best time for you to write? When would be the best time for you to write? (early) morning Afternoon evening/night any time Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 7. I would like to write my next piece ... I would like to write my next piece ... to my teacher to my friends to my classmates for publishing (newspaper, magazine, website, blog, etc.) Other (please specify) 8. How often do you write essays? How often do you write essays? Once a week or more Once a month or more Once a year or more Never 9. How do you like to submit your writing assignment? How do you like to submit your writing assignment? I like to submit it as a hard copy. I like to submit it on a flash memory. I like to type it into an email and send it. Other (please specify)

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

INTRODUCTION Meet your instructor

Click on the link below to listen to the INTRODUCTION.

Audio version of the INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the Essay Writing Online Course First of all, I would like to welcome all those who are taking this course with us online. Before we embark on a long, and hopefully pleasant, journey towards essay writing, I have included some questions and answers that you might be interested in reading. If your question is not here, just send me an email and I will do my best to get back to you within the next 24 hours (it usually takes much less). 1. Why do I need this course? This course will improve your writing skills. No matter where you end up in life, at one point you will need to communicate with people in writing. Since communicating in writing is much harder than in speaking, you will need to acquire special skills to convey the exact message you have in mind. This course in particular will teach you how to write argumentative essays. This kind of essay helps you influence other people's decisions.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 2. How can we communicate with other participants in this course? Generally speaking, people communicate better when they know their interlocutor (the person they are talking to). So, the first step will be for you to introduce yourself to the rest of the class in the discussion forum. This is a good place to start communicating with other participants where you can also post a reply. Below is the list of all the communication tools and the time you can use each. Communication tool Cyber Cafe

Time to use Any time 1. Any time you feel you need help or would like to share something with the rest of the class.

Discussion forum

Purpose Exchange ideas with others freely. Not graded. Ask for help when facing problems during the course. Not graded.

2. Whenever required in the course.

1. At your own leisure.

Post the required assignments as indicated in the lesson. Graded. Chat synchronously with other participants about personal issues. Not graded.

Chat room

Chat synchronously with other participants 2. Whenever scheduled in the course. about issues highlighted in the course. Graded. 1. At your own leisure. Watch/Talk with other participants about personal issues. Not graded.

Skype

Participate in a live conference to discuss 2. Whenever scheduled in the course. specific parts of the course. Not graded.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 3. How can we communicate with the teacher in this course? Communication tool E-mail Face to face Phone Text messaging Skype

Time to use Any time By appointment only (send me an email for that) Between (period when I can answer calls 1 hour max) Any time Whenever scheduled in the course.

Purpose Help and inquiries. Discuss issues that are too long and hard to handle in writing. When no other communication tool works. For short and quick requests, like when unable to log on to a live conference. Discuss issues highlighted in the course, or other course relevant issues.

4. How long is this course? The entire course lasts 7 weeks; each lesson lasts 1 week, except for lesson 6 which lasts 2 weeks. This is due to submitting the final essay in parts before it is submitted for marking. 5. How good should my computer knowledge be? You don't need to be a computer expert to take this online course. You simply need to be familiar with your operating system (windows/MAC), know how to download and upload files, download some applications when necessary, and surf the web for information. 6. Who do I contact for technical support? You can contact the help desk at (phone number) or email them at (email address).

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 A final word regarding this online course. This is a learning experience, so mutual respect is expected in every part of the course. Below are a couple of tips to avoid unpleasant situations: 1. It's true people won't be able to see you, but remember that they know who you are. 2. Be careful about the tone of voice and choice of words you use when posting a comment or replying to someone; other people can't see your facial expressions or body language, so they solely rely on the 'sound' of your written words. 3. Be very considerate when giving feedback; it should be constructive to help others learn. This is not a place to settle scores. 4. Don't make fun of others, no matter how little knowledge they bring with them to the course. You all have different levels of expertise, so tolerance is a must. That's all. Now go on to the LECTURE and enjoy the course.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 LECTURE Click on the link below to listen to the LECTURE. Audio version of the LECTURE

What is BRAINSTORMING?

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Brainstorming is the initial stage of any writing activity. It consists of writing down as many ideas that come to mind as possible without worrying about whether you're going to use them all or not. If you start writing your essay immediately, you may forget what you wanted to write next, or how you were going to develop your topic. This is a weakness of human memory. To remedy this situation, you can start by brainstorming. Once your ideas are on paper, you can focus on developing your essay without worrying about ideas slipping away; you can always take a look at the paper where you brainstormed your ideas, or in our case, at the mind-mapping tool.

Think about brainstorming as the initial stage of any activity. Take an engineer for example. An engineer needs a blueprint before building a structure. Take a look at these blueprints made by designers from different fields.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

This is the modern blueprint of the French galleon La Belle commissioned by Louis XIV, King of France. Here is another complex blueprint developed by Keaton Batmobile and a picture of the real car below.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 Imagine what would happen if one of those engineers started the construction work, then somewhere in the middle they discovered that the brakes were not producing the required power, or that the exhaust system was inadequate. They would have to redesign the system or even re-manufacture the entire structure. This would cost time and money. oooooo Of course these are 2 extremely complex blueprints, but at least you realize by now the importance of thinking about the design before attempting any work due to the complex nature of the structure. Don't think any less of an essay. An essay could turn into a nightmare if not properly planned. If you start your essay without brainstorming, and somewhere in the middle you discover that you did something wrong (went off topic, mentioned an irrelevant idea, etc), you may have to rewrite your essay all over again. This will cost you valuable time, a luxury you don't have in an exam. You normally have between 30 to 40 minutes to develop a well-organized essay, and this is hardly enough time to write your essay and proofread it. We will tackle proofreading in a later lesson. So how much time should you spend on the brainstorming activity? In an exam, you may spend between 2 to 3 minutes. This should be enough for you to jot down as many ideas as you can think of pertaining to your topic. However, in the practice stage, doing it right is more important than doing it quickly. So for now I will ask you to take as much time as you need to work on your brainstorming skills. With practice, you will be able to reduce this time to 2 to 3 minutes. Beware: A lot of people consider brainstorming a waste of time. I can assure you it is not. There will come a time when you may be able to develop a well-organized essay without first brainstorming. This is possible only if you have already developed an essay on a similar topic or on a topic close to the one you are asked to develop. Still, I would always recommend spending a few minutes on jotting down ideas. Remember: Memory never serves us as well as we would like it to. Before you move on to the lecture, click on Assignment for some fun! Now that you know what brainstorming is all about, you should be ready to move on to the Lab.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 LAB Click on the link below to listen to the LAB.

Audio version of the LAB

What is MIND-MAPPING? 

In the Lecture part, you learnt that brainstorming consists of writing down as many ideas as you can that are relevant to your topic. Mind-Mapping consists of organizing those ideas around a central word. As Wikipedia defines it: "A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas,and as an aid in ... writing." To better understand the mind-mapping concept, listen to a talk by Tony Buzan on mind-mapping.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 Some more tips on mind-mapping.

You can read more about Tony Buzan at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Buzan and http://mindmapblog.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/tony-buzan-the-founder-ofmindmapping/ or watch this video to learn more about mind-mapping.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

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Once you become skilled in mind-mapping, brainstorming will become an integral part of mind-mapping. This means you will be able to start drawing diagrams with the different relationships between the ideas without having to brainstorm per se. This is called mind-map brainstorming.

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iMindMap is an excellent commercial mind-mapping tool that you can try for free. It allows you to draw mind maps right on your screen with a stylus. Here are a couple of Mind-Mapping samples. Notice the use of colors. Look at the shape of the branches; they aren't straight, rigid lines. They are curvilinear, just like the brain pictures the relationship between ideas. As Tony Buzan said, the brain 'thinks organically', not in lists or menus. Colors also help the brain make associations leading to stronger connections between the words.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

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However, for this course, we will be content to use a free mind mapping tool. There is a wide range of free mind mapping software that allows you to draw great diagrams. For a list of these applications, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mind_mapping_software.

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For this course, I would like you to download the free application Compendium. You won't be able to draw mind maps off your monitor using a stylus like with iMindMap, but you will be able to use your mouse and keyboard to draw branches and type words. What's important here is to understand the principle that lies behind mind-mapping. Once you have downloaded it, play with it and explore the richness of its features. For example, you can create nodes at any point and annotate them with signs, numbers, letters, and many other symbols to make your chart easier to read. Below is a screenshot of a possible mind map about different types of animals (central word). As you can see, I have decided that first I will write about mammals, then about reptiles, and finally about birds. These annotations become important when you have a lot of ideas on your map and need a way to organize them.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

My philosophy is that people learn best when they are having fun. So have fun and play with this free mind mapping tool. Once you are done, I would like you to create a similar mind map for each of these 3 central words: technology, pollution, sports. Take a snapshot of each map and post it in Assignment 2. I would also like you to post them in theDiscussion Forum on Mind-Mapping so others can see them easily and comment on them. I hope that this will give each of you some insight into the importance of mindmapping and how it differs from one person to another. It shows you how people can tackle the same topic from a different perspective/angle. Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 Hungry for more on mind maps? Good for you Click on the links below and enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJGpIhqzNBc&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz_2undwiqY&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVYDcTNI-_s&feature=related

See? That wasn't so hard after all, was it?

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Take the quiz and see how good you have become at mind-mapping.

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

Glossary A aid Here: A device that helps you organize your ideas. annotate Furnishing critical commentary or explanatory notes; provide a critical or explanatory note or commentary. B brainstorming A group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution of a problem.

C central word The word in the middle of your mind map from which other related words branch out. E essay A short piece of writing which is quite often written from an author's personal point of view.

M mind map A diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820 mind mapping software Software used to create diagrams of relationships between ideas or other pieces of information. It has been suggested that the mind mapping technique can improve learning/study efficiency up to 15% over conventional note taking. mind-map brainstorming Also known as mind-mapping; a brainstorming activity that helps you organize your thoughts around a central key word or idea. N node A point in a mind map at which words or ideas intersect or branch. P proofread Read a proof copy of a text in order to detect and correct any errors.

S stylus A small pen-shaped instrument that is used to input commands to a computer screen, mobile device or graphics tablet. With touchscreen devices a user places a stylus on the surface of the screen to draw or make selections by tapping the stylus on the screen.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Date: May 2010

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Online Course CEP 820

Assignment 1 For this assignment, you are going to write down as many words as possible that come to mind when you see a key word(s). For example, if the key word is 'animals', my list will consist of the following animals: cows, tigers, elephants, mice, whales, horses, etc. Spend some time brainstorming the 3 key words below: 1. technology 2. pollution 3. sports When you are done, post your 3 lists in the Discussion Forum on Brainstorming.

Assignment 1 Rubric 0 point None of the topics is properly brainstormed. The ideas are irrelevant and do not indicate a clear progression towards a logical development of the topic.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

1 point One of the topics presents ideas that are not wholly logical. The ideas presented are mostly irrelevant and do not indicate a clear progression of the development of the topic.

Date: May 2010

2 points All the topics are well brainstormed. The ideas presented are completely relevant to the topic and indicate a clear progression towards a logical development of the topic.

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Online Course CEP 820

Assignment 2 Draw a mind map for each of these central words: 1. technology 2. pollution 3. sports When you are done, post a snapshot of each mind map in the Discussion Forum on Mind-Mapping.

Assignment 2 Rubric Clarity of map 2 points

1 point

0 point

Map can be read easily. All the ideas are clearly stated and the font is legible. Map clearly conveys chain of thoughts. Map can be ambiguous is some places. Some ideas may be hard to follow.

Map is difficult to read. The font is illegible, and the ideas may not be clearly stated.

Created by: Jean-Claude Aura

Use of colors and labels Each idea has a separate color. Each idea is labeled indicating its priority in the development.

Relevance of ideas to topic

Sub-branching

All the ideas are relevant to the topic and can be easily developed.

Sub-branching is used skillfully. All the ideas have more or less an equal number of subbranches. All the ideas are equally weighted. Sub-branching may be used to some good effect. Some ideas are more weighted than others, causing unbalance in the overall development of the essay. Sub-branching may not exist at all or may cause a severe unbalance between ideas, causing bias in some cases.

Some ideas may have the same color. Labeling may not always be logical, and some ideas may not be labeled at all.

Some ideas may be irrelevant to the topic. Those included do not necessarily add any information to the topic.

Colors and labels lack consistency or may not exist at all.

Most ideas are irrelevant to the topic. Those presented may show a tangential approach to the development of the topic.

Date: May 2010

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Online Writing Course