Academic Writing for Health Professions, Intermediate Level. Third Edition.
Teaching Academic Writing Skills for Health Professions at the intermediate level.
Academic Writing for Health Professions: Intermediate Level is designed for university students or professionals who are studying English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at an intermediate level.
The underlying philosophy of the book is the author’s conviction that basic organizational skills and modes of communication need to be taught at a very early stage to all students, regardless of whether they are native or non-native speakers of a language. Putting off this crucial concept until grammatical mastery has been achieved results, in my view, in the acquiring of a narrow focus on language which becomes difficult to rectify later in students’ careers, when they are expected to produce samples of extended writing that communicate coherently.
To this end, the text adopts from the first an approach to meaningful writing using step-by-step explanations and exercises that guide the student towards the desired goal. This is done using six practical and academic writing purposes: Giving Instructions, Telling What Happened, Classifying, Explaining Cause and Effect, Comparing and Contrasting, and Describing a Mechanism or a Process.
The text is designed so that the six writing purposes and the general content of the units gradually increase in complexity. While some degree of control is of course essential in any teaching situation, a conscious attempt has been made to allow also for student creativity and individuality. This is done by beginning each unit with clear examples and controlled exercises to learn specific organization and grammar skills. By the second part of each unit, the control gives way to looser guidance. Students use the skills they have learned to plan and write compositions that move from carefully guided to unguided.
A typical unit opens with Objectives and a short Introduction discussing the writing purpose and pointing out its academic and practical use. This is followed by several Writing Tips for addressing the rhetorical purpose in question.
Next comes a section on Planning (in the form of an outline, an idea map, informal notes, a chart, or an information table), followed by an Example Composition illustrating in clear and simple language the unit’s rhetorical purpose. The topics are designed to be diverse, relevant, and interesting to EFL students undertaking medical courses: How to wash your hands, Causes of ill health, Measles versus influenza, and so on.
A section on Functional Skills gives practice on logical relationships and other concepts related to the unit’s rhetorical purpose. This is followed by Organization Skills, which require students to actively work with introductions, main idea sentences, transitions, and conclusions, all of which are introduced in a simple and structured manner.
After that, the Grammar Skills and Punctuation Skills segments treat the grammatical structures and punctuation relevant to the writing purpose in question, and opportunities for controlled and freer practice are given.
At the end of each unit, a Guided Writing section provides students with an opportunity to consolidate what they have learned. Their writing is controlled by picture cues or information tables, and the guided composition is similar to the example composition in vocabulary and organizational principles. Finally, an Unguided Writing section encourages the students to experiment with the skills they have learned by writing on one of several suggested unillustrated topics.