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A new writing practice in 2014

Towards the year-end of 2013, I've been thinking about my English learning in 2014. What I've done to my English during the last two years is, to be honest, unsatisfactory in my standard. By that I mean that I haven't done the things I used to consider what is, or should be, English learning. I won't make any excuses here, such as "You know what? My job was extremely busy and I'm a freelancer (Human beings living in today's world are all busy by default)" or "You know, my publication projects were so much more overwhelming than expected. It was totally new to me that writing for work, whether in Japanese or English, consumes or deprives almost all of writing-for-pleasure energy (That may sound a bit more valid excuse because hard work accompanied with lack of sleep causes every kind of mental/physical malfunction. In fact, nightly three-hour writing is not an easy task to keep doing for two years, seriously.)".

These days, I often miss the days when I was into Quick Write. From June 2011 to October 2012, I wrote an English piece almost every day, which ended up as 375 blog posts (See Quick Write category if you're interested). Back then, I was in dare need of intensive writing practice to develop my limited writing skills and a range of active vocabulary. I could write somehow, but not as freely as I wanted and only in a very primitive and unsophisticated way. Plus, the university students that I was teaching were all assigned to do this daily free writing practice by the teacher from another class, so it was reasonable for "the other" teacher to do the same as they do. Now it's time to redevelop the habit of writing an English piece on a daily basis. Before anything let start, however, I need to know what the purpose of this daily writing, and where I'm head. This time, there should be a much clearer objective than "Keep-Writing-whatever-pops-into-my-mind" kind of purpose.
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Composition Practice 6: Revised Essay

Essay Topic: What are advantages and disadvantages of being constantly surrounded by advertisement? (30 minutes / 30 words)

Have you ever found those banner advertisements -- those ubiquitous ads on the Net that constantly appear on your computer screen -- annoying? (Attention grabber) Some would completely agree with me. Others woudldn't, saying they offer instant access to attractive products. (Argument in a nutshell) My own view is a qualified yes (Thesis statement) : admittedly, having access to the things that we need to buy or might be interested in purchasing while saving time and labor to look for such things is nice. On the other hand, the flipside of such convenience is that it prompts to buy unnecessary items. I think this is one of the disadvantages of constant exposure to advertisements.

Advertisements can be convenient when you need to buy things that you really want. (Topic sentence) These days, Internet advertisements with direct links crops up everywhere, constantly exposing us to product information. Certainly, it is convenient for us to visit Web sites with one click of the mouse and make purchases within a few minutes. (Explanation) For instance, I always buy nutrition supplements through the Internet because they generally have better deals than drug stores in town. When I am busy, and almost forget to buy the supplements that I need, Internet advertisements or recommendations of related links that enable me to purchase what I need instantly are truly convenient. (Example) That being said, ther are some adverse effects. (Bridge to the following paragraph)


The convenience we get from constant advertising on the Net can be much less beneficial when we fail to handle it properly. (Topic sentence) It elicits urges to buy things that are in fact unnecessary if you think carefully. Here is a case in point. (Introduction to Example) The other day, I was browsing my Facebook page and saw an advertisement of some new medicine. Although I had no intention to buy anyhting then, I was attracted by the product and almost clicked on a purchase button on their Web site. (Example) Advertisements are strategically deployed to attract potential customers, and we tend to succumb to such attraciton. In other words, we are constantly at the risk of wasting money on things we don't really need. We, therefore, should know how to handle advertisements in a way that we do not spend our valuable money on unnecessary things. Constant advertisements ca be dangerous.(Recap the topic sentence)

To sum up, when we are constantly surrounded by advertisements, we need to weight up the advantages and disadvantages, i.e. the convenience of being able to buy necessary items and the risk of spending money on unnecessary items. (Restate the thesis) One way to deal with it is that we raise our consciousness about such factors so that we may always make sensible decisions. (Close the essay)

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Composition Practice 5

1st essay draft (30 minutes/30 words)

Topic: What are advantages and disadvantages of being constantly surrounded by advertisement? 

Have you ever been annoyed by banner advertisement on the Internet constantly appearing on your computer screen? Some would completely agree. Others would say it is rather convenient to have access to products that look attractive to them. My own view is that one advantage of being surrounded by advertisement is the convenience to have access to the things that we need to buy or might be interested in purchasing while saving time and labor to look for what to buy. At the same time, I think that such convenience can elicit urge or demand to buy unnecessary items, which is one of the disadvantages of having advertisement always close to us.

Advertisement can be convenient when you need to buy the things that you really want. These days, Internet advertisement with direct links prevails everywhere, and we are constantly exposed to information of products. It is rather handy to visit the Web site by one click of a mouse and make purchases within a few minutes. For instance, I always buy nutrition supplements though the Internet because they generally have better deal than physical drug stores in town. When I am busy, and almost forget to buy the supplements that I need, Internet advertisement or recommendation of related links are truly convenient and useful for me to purchase what I need instantly. That being said, there would be an adverse effect of the convenience mentioned above.

Convenience of constant advertisement can be much less beneficial when we handle it improperly. It elicits urge to buy what is in fact unnecessary if you think carefully. The other day, I was browsing my Facebook page and saw the advertisement of some new medicine. Although I had no intention to buy anything then, I was attracted by the product and almost clicked on a purchase button on their Web site. Advertisement is skillfully crafted to invite potential customers to a product, and we are very vulnerable to such attraction. In other words, we are constantly at the risk of sending money unnecessarily. We, therefore, should know how to handle advertisement not to spend our valuable money on unnecessary things. This can be one disadvantage that constant advertisement could have.

To sum up, when we are surrounded advertisement constantly, we will need to face advantages and disadvantages thereof; the convenience to buy necessary items and the risk to spend money on unnecessary items. One way to deal with it is that we are conscious about what we are exposed to and decide our own way to deal with the convenience and the risk of advertisement. (432 words)

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Composition Practice 4

Writing multiple sentences:

There are several things that cats and I have in common; love for independence, short attention span, and affection for towels and soft fabrics. For starters, cats are known to be quite different from dogs. While dogs are a gregarious animal, cats love to act alone and don't usually need a group or pack to live in. Likewise, I'm the person who can spend her time alone as long as it gets. Also, I don't feel comfortable to be in a group or close-knit community. I do miss people, but online communication will basically suffice. Second, it is generally believed that cats are easily distracted because their attention span is short and limited. So is mine. To be more precise, I cannot stay focused on something I'm not very much into such as boring lectures or routine paperwork and house chores Finally, I have a feeling that I love towels and soft fabrics as much as cats do. I was a child who loves sleeping wrapped with her favorite blankets and hates them to be washed. So, I feel some kind of sympathy toward Linus from Peanuts who always holds his favorite security blanket.


Revised Version

Love for independence, short attention span, and affection for towels and soft fabrics - these are the things that cats and I have in common. For starters, cats are known to be quite different from dogs. While dogs are a gregarious animal, cats love to act alone and don't usually need a group or pack to live in. Some people, likewise, like to act like cats. In fact, I'm a person who can spend her time alone as long as it gets. I don't feel comfortable to be in a group or close-knit community. I, however, do miss people at times. On such occasions, online communication will suffice. As for the attention span, it is generally believed that cats are easily distracted due to their short attention span. This is where I come in. To be more precise, I cannot stay focused on something I'm not very much into, such as boring lectures or routine paperwork and house chores. Regarding the soft fabrics, I have a feeling that I also love these things as much as cats do. I was a child who loved sleeping wrapped with her favorite blankets and hated them to be washed. So, I, therefore, feel some kind of sympathy toward Linus from Peanuts, who always holds his favorite security blanket.

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Composition Practice 3

Consequently
Last summer, the weather was hot and dry in the region. Consequently, we expect the quality of the grapes for wine production to be extremely good.

Indeed
The CEO eventually succeeded in closing the deal with our long-time competitor. Indeed, it was a remarkable achievement.

Thus
Most of the evidence was lost in the plane crash. Thus, it is almost impossible to identify the cause of the accident.

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Author:Aya
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