Thursday, October 29, 2009

Final Thoughts

Recently, I clicked on Feedjit Live Traffic (it's installed on my blog) and I was surprised to discover that people actually ended up on my blog after typing several phrases. They are:

questions for final paper bel311

paper bel260

BEL260 final exam question oct 2009

how to score BEL311

how to answer final exam bel311

bel311 quote

Obviously, these 'people' are Part 2 and Part 3 diploma students from UiTM branch campuses. My guess is that they are doing last minute work and they chose the easy way: The Internet. Too bad my blog doesn't offer anything that they wanted because this blog is just for communicating with my students outside of class. I already gave tips for BEL311 final exam to D3D1 and D3D2 during the last day of lecture.

But look at the third phrase. Does this person really expect that the questions for BEL260 final exam (October 2009) can actually be found via the Internet before today? That's totally ridiculous! He/she must be really desperate indeed!

* * * * * * * * * *

The final exam for BEL260 were already conducted this morning, so I collected D2D1's bundle at 2.30 p.m. Even though they are now in front of me, I haven't started marking them. Instead, I spent the whole day preparing on-going marks for D3D1 & D3D2. This is because I haven't finished marking the remaining final drafts for D3D1 & D3D2. Marking the final draft is a very strenuous task! As for D2D1's on-going marks, they are already completed during the last class. That's a relief.

D3D1 & D3D2, I managed to check all of your blogs today because there are marks for them. Some of you didn't have all eleven entries that I had assigned, so please don't blame me if you received low marks for your on-going assessment. After all, it's your choice of not doing it. If you decided to do it after this entry is posted, then it is too late.

At 6 p.m. the on-going marks for D2D1, D3D1 and D3D2 were finally ready, so I went to print them at the lecturer's common room and later put them outside my office. So D2D1, D3D1 and D3D2, you may view your on-going marks. Don't forget to collect your final drafts. I put all of them outside my office.

Tomorrow is BEL311's final exam. To my D3D1 and D3D2 students, good luck. And don't forget to bring your dictionary!!

Looks like I'm going to spend the whole week marking papers starting tomorrow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Luck

It's the end of another semester (again!) and final examination is finally here! Therefore, I would like to wish good luck to all of my students this semester. D2D1 will be sitting for their BEL260 final exam this October 29th while both D3D1 & D3D2 will sit for their BEL311 final exam this October 30th. I know that BEL260/BEL311 is your first paper this semester and I felt honoured <---okay sebenarnya nak cepat habis tanda paper supaya boleh bercuti awal. Do your best, okay?

As I am positive that all of you are busy studying for the final exam, why don't you take a break from your books by watching this interesting video that I found on the Youtube. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paraphrase It

Dear D3D1 & D3D2,

One obvious mistake that all of you have in common (in the first draft) is that all of you tend to abuse use a lot of direct quotations in one paragraph. For your information, direct quotations are only used when 1) the original words from the author best expresses the idea and 2) the intended meaning might change if you paraphrase it. For example:

Cranwell-Ward (1990) defined stress as "the physiological and psychological reaction which occurs when people perceive an imbalance between the level of demand placed upon them and their capability to meet those demands."

In this example, it is all right to use direct quotation because the author's original words are good enough to define "stress". Don't forget to use quotation marks whenever you use direct quotations.

But having too much of direct quotations in one paragraph can really mar the effects when it is read. Direct quotations are like speed bumps on the road: the more you have them, the less you will enjoy driving. The same thing applies to academic writing. When I read your term paper, the reading momentum is lost when I encounter too many direct quotations. Therefore, try to use paraphrasing whenever possible and don't forget to quote the last name of the original author at the end. Since the idea is paraphrased, there is no need to use quotation marks.

Example of of Surriyah's work:

The other strategy to overcome stress is by having some exercise. Physical exercise will help to release tension, increase the flow of oxygen to the brain and consequently it will make you feel better. However, you need to avoid the exercise that requires a lot of stamina that can affetcs your health. As Cranwell-Ward (2007) stated, "Exercise regularly, at least three times a week, avoid violent exercise when you are unfit." There are several type of exercise that you can practice to overcome stress. It is the view of Newcombe (2002), "Aerobic activities such as walking or cycling will help your heart and lungs, vigorous exercise such as kickboxing could really help you to release anger or holistic practices such as yoga and tai chi can help calm both the body and mind."

It is better if the ideas are paraphrased instead of using direct quotations. Like this:

Another strategy to overcome stress is by exercising. It is a fact that physical exercise helps to relieve stress, increase oxygen supply to the brain and benefits the whole body in general. By exercising at least three times a week (Cranwell-Ward, 2007), it should be more than enough for your well-being. Newcombe (2007) had recommended several exercises that can help to relieve tension such as aerobic activities (such as walking and cycling), vigorous exercises (like kickboxing) and holistic practices (like yoga and tai chi). However, it is important to note that violent exercises should be avoided when you are not feeling well (Cranwell-Ward, 2007).

Please do your best for your final draft. Do a lot of proofreading. After all, it is worth 15% of the total assessment. The final draft, as I always said, has to be perfect.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Last weekend, I felt a mild fever coming but I didn't pay much attention to it, hoping it would go away by itself on Monday morning. However, yesterday it got worse and I also developed a very painful sore throat, along with the fever and a head-splitting headache. The sore throat (or so I thought) was so horrible. It was very painful whenever I tried to swallow food.

So this morning, I gave some work for D2D1 to do and I went to Penawar for a health checkup. The doctor said that the 'sore throat' was actually a swollen tonsillitis, and it is usually accompanied by fever. That explains the headache. So to cut the long story short, I was given an MC for two days and proper medication.

That also means no class for today and tomorrow, so I informed the class representatives of D3D1 and D3D2. (D2D1 will see me next Wednesday, so there is no need to inform them). The message that I sent to Lana remained pending [read: irritated], so I sent another to Kashfi.

An alarmed Kashfi immediately replied; asking me about my sickness so I explained to him. He had an eye infection last week (and I suppose he will feel extremely guilty if I caught the eye infection from him) so I reassured him that no, I didn't catch his eye infection and that it was not his fault. Thanks for your concern, Akmal and Kashfi.

For the time being, you can bet that I'm going to get proper rest, drink lots of water and take the prescribed medication.

So D2D1, D3D1 and D3D2, I guess I'll see all of you on Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Birthday Card

This morning, I received a very huuuuuuugeee birthday card from D2D1 right after class had ended. They offered to sing me Happy Birthday, to which I politely declined. (Getting older is not something to be celebrated when you are my age!)

Here's what the card looked like:

please click to enlarge

This is the second custom-made card that I ever received from my students. The first one was from D2B5 (now they are in Part 5 and the card is safely stored in my office) and like D2D1's, it is also huge.

This card might be made from low cost materials, but to me it's the thought and effort of putting it together with love for the receiver that makes it truly priceless.. something that even money won't be able to buy.

Thank you D2D1. I will always treasure it.

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