MICHAEL AND CECILIA IBRU UNIVERSITY GST 111 USE
MICHAEL AND CECILIA IBRU UNIVERSITY GST 111: USE OF ENGLISH 1 LECTURER: MRS. CYNTHIA NKECHINYERE ODOGWU First Semester, 2017/2018 Academic Session
OBJECTIVES OF THE COURSE v. To acquaint year one students with the basic linguistic tools that will enable him/her cope with his studies. v. To enable students to know how to apply these linguistic tools which would in turn enhance their academic performance and productivity
OUTLINE Lecture 1: Effective communication in written English Lecture 2: Language skills (reading and studying skills) Lecture 3: Essay writing Lecture 4: Sentence construction Lecture 5: Outlines and paragraphs Lecture 6: Punctuation Lecture 7: Collection and organization of materials ad logical presentation of papers
LECTURE ONE: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN WRITTEN ENGLISH • The use of language in human communication is inevitable as long as one is a social being. • The term communication is believed to have been derived from the Latin word ‘communicare’ which means to ‘participate, share, and impart’. • Writing is a communicative tool which involves the putting down of our thoughts and ideas which we wish to share with people on paper through the use of alphabetical symbols. • Every writer must consider the following before writing and each of them is as important as the other: the content of what you have to say, the way you are to say it, the purpose of saying it and the person(s) whom the write -up is made for. • Every communicative process has an end goal and it varies according to the context and the speaker. It may be to inform and explain basic concepts, to persuade (by appealing to the emotions of the reader), to convince logically (appealing to sound reason) and finally to entertain.
LECTURE ONE: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN WRITTEN ENGLISH (CONT’D) • The use of appropriate diction while writing is paramount. By appropriate, we mean ‘is that word suitable for the occasion? ’ So the use of a suitable word is therefore dependent on the medium (written or spoken), the topic and even the time and place. • Avoid the use of verbosity/tautology when writing as it affects your diction. Verbosity is using more words than necessary to clearly express your thought. An example is: ‘The unmarried bachelor is here’. The fact that he is not married makes him a bachelor, so repeating the same idea twice is tautological.
Lecture 2: Language skills (reading and studying skills) • Language skills are of importance to every advanced learner of English as it enables a good mastery language which leads to effective reading, writing and study skills. The resources of written English are paragraph, sentence construction and word formation. • It is important to stress the fact that English has four language skills which every language user must master in other to be adjudged a competent user of the language. These skills are listening, speaking, writing and reading. • In this lecture, we will focus on three basic aspects of language skills: reading and studying skills; note taking and making.
LECTURE 2 CONT’D: READING SKILLS • Reading as a language skill has been taken for granted over the years by tertiary students and all students in general irrespective of the level. This trend has led to poor performances in both internal and external examinations and this continued trend is on the increase as students feel lackadaisical towards reading. • It is an essential tool for the acquisition of “all kinds of human knowledge” (Ogude 2010: 15). • There are different types of reading: reading aloud, silent reading (e. g skimming and scanning, proofreading), extensive and intensive reading and finally critical reading.
LECTURE 2 CONT’D: STUDYING SKILLS • There are different techniques and approaches one must follow when studying. These techniques' use varies according to the subject area of what one is studying. • SQ 3 R: This study strategy was developed by Francis Robinson for use in the social studies and sciences. The formula means Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Recapitulate. • PR 4: This strategy is akin to Robinson’s techniques. P stands for Preview, the first R is Reading, the next is Recall or Recite, followed by Re-read and the final R stands for Reviewing. • OK 4 R: This technique was developed by Paul in 1962. OK 4 R is an acronym for the steps: Overview, Key Ideas, Read, Recall, Reflect, and Review.
LECTURE 2 CONT’D: STUDYING SKILLS • 3 S 3 R: This strategy was developed by Unoh (1968). The acronym stands for Survey, Study-read, Speed-read, Recite, Review, Reflect. • SQR QCQ: This technique is specifically designed for mathematics because of its complex nature. S stands for Survey, Q is Questions, R is Reading, Q is Question again, C is Computation and lastly Q which is the final Question. • EVOKER: This method was developed by Walter Paul for studying Literature. E stands for Explore, V is Vocabulary, O is Oral reading, K is Key words, E is Evaluation, and R is Recapitulation. • It should be noted that these techniques are but for direction only when reading. Hence, strict observance to a particular technique is not encouraged. Nevertheless, a reader is entitled to choose any technique that best suits his aim of studying.
LECTURE 2 CONT’D: BAD READING HABITS • The following are bad reading habits which may lead to slow reading or even lack of comprehension even after reading. They should be avoided by all means. 1. Head movement 2. Haphazard movement of the eyes 3. Vocalization 4. Pointing at words 5. Subvocalization
LECTURE 2 CONT’D: SOME READING DEFICIENCIES 1. 2. 3. 4. Word recognition Lack of linguistic skills Word by word reading Poor visual perception
LECTURE 3: ESSAY WRITING • Essay writing is an important aspect of a student’s academic pursuit as this endeavor sometimes revolves around writing a piece: in written examinations and tests, term papers, project writing, etc. In all these, his thoughts must be grammatical, logical and coherent as anything short of this may mar the reader’s/lecturer’s comprehension. • What then is an Essay? It is a piece of continuous writing which maybe factual or non-factual.
LECTURE 3 CONT’D: STAGES OF ESSAY WRITING • There are basically three stages to writing an essay. They are: a. Pre-writing stage: In this stage, the writer needs to brainstorm so as to generate ideas, how to go about answering the essay question, how to get necessary information and how to arrange the information logically (drawing up an outline) and sequentially. In data gathering, the library and internet should be used, you can also distribute questionnaires and arrange interviews with people. b. Writing stage: This is where the information gathered in the first stage is arranged logically to form a unified whole. c. Re-writing stage: In this stage, errors committed while writing is corrected. The writer needs to proofread his work to detect these errors.
LECTURE 3 CONT’D: STRUCTURE OF AN ESSAY • Every essay has three basic structure: a. The introduction: It comes immediately after the title and carries thesis statement (what the essay is all about). In this stage, the topic should be paraphrased and then thesis statement follows suit. “The crime rate among teenagers has increased dramatically in many countries. Discuss some possible reasons for this increase and suggest solutions”. This is an essay topic whose introduction will be like this: ‘ The rate at which teenagers commit crimes has skyrocketed globally and this trend has become worrisome. This essay will discuss the reasons for this increase and suggest ways to curbing this menace’. The first sentence is the same as the topic but it was paraphrased while the second sentence carries thesis statement.
LECTURE 3 CONT’D: STRUCTURE OF AN ESSAY b. The Body: The writer develops in great detail his thesis statement. The ideas presented here should be logical and coherent. Each idea should be presented in a paragraph which should be introduced with a topic sentence and supported with facts. A topic sentence is the main idea of a paragraph. c. The Conclusion: The concluding part of an essay summarizes the writer’s opinion I one or two sentences.
LECTURE 3 CONT’D: TYPES OF ESSAY • Four types of essay are common in English language. They are the narrative, descriptive, argumentative and expository essays. • Narrative essay tells a story which could be real or imaginary of what happened in the past. A narrative can written in the first person or third person point of view. An example is ‘Write a story that ends with the saying: A bird in hand is worth more than two in the forest’. • Descriptive essay is a careful and detailed descriptions of a person, an object or an event. The essayist must be vivid in his description so as to create a lasting and memorable impression in the mind of the reader. An example is ‘Describe a wedding ceremony you attended’.
LECTURE 3 CONT’D: STRUCTURE OF AN ESSAY • Expository essay: In this kind of essay, the essayist is explaining or exposing the nature of an idea, object or concept. An example is ‘Cultism has become a trend amongst youths. What are the disadvantages of this trend and how can it be curbed? ’ • Argumentative essay: The essayist writes in support or against an idea or a topic. He needs fact to support his stance. An example is ‘Should students be allowed to use their mobile phones in universities? ’
LECTURE 4: SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION • A sentence is the highest unit in the grammatical rank-scale which is made up of one or more clauses. In writing, it begins with a capital letter and ends with either a full-stop, question mark or an exclamation mark. • The English Grammatical Units: English has five grammatical units and these units are in hierarchy. The highest of them all is the sentence which is closely followed by the clause, then the group (traditionally called a phrase), the word and finally the morpheme which is the lowest of these five units. • The relationship that exist amongst these five units is that of composition as each upper unit is directly composed of a lower unit.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION • The group of a sentence is a combination of words which do not make meaning on its own and it’s not an independent utterance. There are five groups or types of phrases in English. • Nominal Group (NMG): This group is headed by a noun or a nominal (any word that can function as a noun, e. g. pronoun). Examples are underlined in these sentences: The woman is beautiful, He drove the car. • Verbal Group (VBG): The VBG is headed by a verb. It is the only obligatory element in a clause structure. There are two types of verb phrase: the simple verb phrase and the complex verb phrase. Examples are: It barked till the break of dawn (simple verb phrase), Obinna has refused to do his home work (complex verb phrase).
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION • Adverbial Group (ADG): The ADG is headed by an adverb which is the most important element in the group. Adverbs are easily recognized with the presence of ‘–ly’ after them but not all adverbs have an ‘–ly’. They function as adjunct within the clause structure. E. g Musa talked to her rudely, Perhaps she may change her mind. • Prepositional Group (PRG): This group is headed by a preposition. Prepositions show the relationship between two entities. They function as adjuncts in the clause structure. An example is: The basket is under the table • Adjectival Group (AJG): It is headed by an adjective and it functions as the complement of clause structure. An example is: My mother is beautiful.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION • Elements of Clause Structure: A clause operates at rank 4 in the grammatical scale. A clause contains four elements: Subject, Predicator, Complement, and Adjunct (Halliday, 2004; Adejare and Adejare 2006). a. The Subject: It is realized by a noun, a pronoun or a nominalization (any element which can function as a noun). E. gs Tina reads her books, Stealing is a vice, The poor shall be great. b. The Predicator: This is the verb of the sentence and can be simple or complex in nature. E. g The boy stole a book (simple verb phrase), Tina has taken the money (complex verb phrase) c. The Complement: It completes the meaning of the verb. It can be intensive or extensive. Intensive complements refer back to the subject and can a noun phrase or an adjectival phrase whereas extensive complement is a nominal entity which is distinct from the subject. Examples are: Jane is beautiful (intensive), He was elected the president (intensive), She bought a necklace (extensive).
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION d. The Adjunct: It is realized by adverbial and prepositional groups. It has three main features in clauses where they occur: i. It is mobile and can occur either at the initial, middle or final positions of a clause. E. g. He climbed the rope carefully, Carefully, he climbed the rope, He carefully climbed the rope. ii. It is an optional element and it’s absence will still make the clause meaningful. E. g. He climbed the rope. iii. It can occur as many times as possible in a clause. E. g. In January 1967, the Civil War began in Nigeria. I kept the books on the bed beside the reading table.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: SOME REALIZATIONS OF CLAUSAL ELEMENTS IN SENTENCES S P C. e • She/ bought/ me/ a car A 1 S P A 2 In Janaury 1967/, the Cvil War/ began/ in Nigeria S P C. i A Muhammed Buhari/ is/ the President/ of Nigeria. S P C. e A 1 A 2 I/ kept/ the book/ on the bed/ beside the reading table.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: TYPES OF CLAUSES • Clauses are classified based on their structure or function. • The structural criteria for classifying clauses has two systems which are dependency and finiteness. • A clause can be dependent or independent. The former cannot stand on its own and make complete meaning whereas the latter can stand on its own and be meaningful. • Finiteness as a system categorizes clauses into finite and non-finite clause and this is based on the type of verb that occupies the predicator position in the said clause. • A finite clause is a verb whose main verb is a finite verb. It agrees with the subject in person, number and makes tense distinction. E. g I wrote a letter, She writes a letter. • A non-finite clause has a non-finite verb in the predicator position. It does not mark tense or person distinctions. E. g. “Going out of the room, he banged the door’ • The functional types of clauses are four in number. They are: declarative clause which is the basic of all the types, interrogative, imperatives and exclamatives.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: THE SENTENCE AND ITS TYPES • The sentence occupies the fifth position in the hierarchy of grammatical units. It is constituted by one or more clauses. Structurally, the sentence has four types: the simple sentence, compound sentence, complex and the double sentence. • The process of linking two main clauses with appropriate coordinating conjunctions to form a compound sentence is called coordination. Coordinating conjunctions include ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’ • The process of binding a dependent clause to an independent clause to form a complex sentence is called subordination. In this case the binders are subordinating conjunctions like however, if, when, until, etc.
LECTURE 4 CONT’D: THE SENTENCE AND ITS TYPES • Periodic sentence: This is a type of sentence in which the main idea is kept until the last point with the preceding clauses only acting as qualifiers of this main idea. It is used achieve emphasis and create suspense becomes the main idea is kept until the last part of the sentence. • A loose sentence on the other hand is the direct opposite of a period sentence. This is because the main idea is introduced at the beginning with the other parts of the clause only qualifying the key point.
LECTURE 5: OUTLINES AND PARAGRAPHS • An outlines is the breakdown of key points to be discussed in the main topic. It is the plan of how a piece of writing will be tackled in order to achieve a full piece. This is the last step of the pre-writing stage. • A paragraph can be gotten from a well prepared outline. It is the detailed explanation of each bullet point in an outline with supporting facts and examples. One idea/bullet point should be discussed in a paragraph. • A paragraph should have the following elements: unity, coherence and topic sentence. • A paragraph should have a central theme and this accounts for unity and coherence. If a paragraphs has so many themes, meaning will be lost and unity hindered. • Also, a paragraph should have a topic sentence. This is the main idea of a paragraph which could be in the initial, medial or final position depending on the artistic skill of the writer. When moving to a new idea, the appropriate transitional words/linking words should be used. Linking words include however, in addition, nevertheless, etc.
LECTURE 6: PUNCTUATION AND CAPITALIZATION • Punctuation is vital in writing because its use or misuse can later the meaning of a sentence. There are various types of punctuation marks: 1. The Full-stop (. ) 2. The Question mark (? ) 3. The Colon (: ) 4. The Semi-colon (; ) 5. The Exclamation Mark (!) 6. The Hyphen/Dash (-) 7. The Apostrophe (‘) 8. The Quotation marks (“ “) (‘ ‘)
LECTURE 6 CONT’D: PUNCTUATION AND CAPITALIZATION • The use or abuse of capital letters in writing can make students loose a great deal of mark. The right words should be capitalized. Capital letters are used in the following instances: 1. To indicate the beginning of a sentence 2. To show proper nouns like specific names of persons, places, rivers, mountains. 3. To indicate the titles of books 4. For days of the week, months of the year. 5. For abbreviations and acronyms like WHO, NECO, WAEC, ATM, etc.
LECTURE 7: COLLECTION AND ORGANIZATION OF MATERIALS AND LOGICAL PRESENTATION OF PAPERS 1 (RESEARCH WRITING) • A research is a systematic investigation towards increasing the sum of knowledge. Every research is intended to fill a lacuna in knowledge. In an academic environment, it is called a project at the undergraduate level. E. gs. B. A (Bachelor of Arts), B. Sc. (Bachelor of Science), B. Ed. (Bachelor of Education), etc. It is called a master’s thesis and at the Ph. D level it is a dissertation. • Basically, there are three types of research. They are historical, survey and experimental research. • It imperative for every researcher in an academic environment to have his/her research topic approved by a supervisor. Writing without your supervisor’s approval is detrimental.
LECTURE 7 CONT’D: RESEARCH WRITING • After your topic has been approved, begin gathering materials for your data and writing. You can visit the library, use the internet and even going out to the field. • The next step is to begin writing a research proposal which is a plan of the topic you intend undertaking. It should contain the following: a. Statement of the problem b. Purpose of the study c. Scope of the study d. Literature review e. Methodology f. conclusion
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