Returning to study or starting it for the first time can be daunting. Many students are frightened of writing essays, but it’s a craft that can be learnt. This album will help you to build confidence in all areas of essay writing. A student discusses with two tutors her writing methods and how she adapts her techniques for exams and assignments. With tips shared from Professor Richard Dawkins, TV personality Matthew Kelly, former MP Brian Walden, Baroness Helena Kennedy, journalist John Pilgner and radio presenters John Humphrys and Peter White. This material forms part of The Open University course A172 Start writing essays.
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|1||CleanStart writing essays||An introduction to this album.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|2||CleanTranscript -- Start writing essays||Transcript -- An introduction to this album.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|3||CleanResearching an essay||Open University tutors Tim Baugh and Lesley Hoose discuss essay titles, research and schedules with OU student Beth Lewis.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|4||CleanTranscript -- Researching an essay||Transcript -- Open University tutors Tim Baugh and Lesley Hoose discuss essay titles, research and schedules with OU student Beth Lewis.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||CleanEarly stages of essay writing||John Humphrys stresses how important it is to know your subject and know your position in the argument.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||CleanTranscript -- Early stages of essay writing||Transcript -- John Humphrys stresses how important it is to know your subject and know your position in the argument.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|7||CleanWhat is good writing?||There is a fine line between good and pretentious writing, John Pilger knows that getting your grammar right is essential.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|8||CleanTranscript -- What is good writing?||Transcript -- There is a fine line between good and pretentious writing, John Pilger knows that getting your grammar right is essential.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|9||CleanGetting the tone right||Professor Richard Dawkins describes his tone as simple as possible but not simpler. Don’t spell out every tiny detail.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|10||CleanTranscript -- Getting the tone right||Transcript -- Professor Richard Dawkins describes his tone as simple as possible but not simpler. Don’t spell out every tiny detail.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|11||CleanWriter's block||Baroness Helena Kennedy’s cure for writers block is to go to the meat of the argument, then come back to the start later.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|12||CleanTranscript -- Writer's block||Transcript -- Baroness Helena Kennedy’s cure for writers block is to go to the meat of the argument, then come back to the start later.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|13||CleanA student's approach to planning||Student Beth Lewis explains how she re-reads all her course notes, this helps her to adjusts and add to her research.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|14||CleanTranscript -- A student's approach to planning||Transcript -- Student Beth Lewis explains how she re-reads all her course notes, this helps her to adjusts and add to her research.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|15||CleanDifferent approaches to research||Brian Waldens approach is to research a variety of different points, if it is boring then he picks away at it until the process of elimination is complete.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|16||CleanTranscript -- Different approaches to research||Transcript -- Brian Waldens approach is to research a variety of different points, if it is boring then he picks away at it until the process of elimination is complete.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|17||CleanWriting your introduction||Using a subtle but powerful approach when writing an introduction will grab the reader’s attention.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|18||CleanTranscript -- Writing your introduction||Transcript -- Using a subtle but powerful approach when writing an introduction will grab the reader’s attention.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|19||CleanThe main body of the essay||It is important to write with the mindset that the reader is intelligent but misinformed.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|20||CleanTranscript -- The main body of the essay||Transcript -- It is important to write with the mindset that the reader is intelligent but misinformed.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|21||CleanGiving both sides of the argument||Matthew Kelly’s approach is to try and talk himself out of an argument, he often ends up switching sides.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|22||CleanTranscript -- Giving both sides of the argument||Transcript -- Matthew Kelly’s approach is to try and talk himself out of an argument, he often ends up switching sides.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|23||CleanWriting your conclusion||It is important to make sure it doesn’t sound like you have too much more to say, it should be conclusive.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|24||CleanTranscript -- Writing your conclusion||Transcript -- It is important to make sure it doesn’t sound like you have too much more to say, it should be conclusive.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|25||CleanA student's approach to drafting and revising||Student Beth Lewis writes her drafts by hand, this reduces her word count.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|26||CleanTranscript -- A student's approach to drafting and revising||Transcript -- Student Beth Lewis writes her drafts by hand, this reduces her word count.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|27||CleanDifferent approaches to drafting and revising:||Professor Richard Dawkins explains how important it is to spot what could be misunderstood or interpreted differently.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|28||CleanTranscript -- Different approaches to drafting and revising:||Transcript -- Professor Richard Dawkins explains how important it is to spot what could be misunderstood or interpreted differently.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|29||CleanGetting another perspective||Don’t get to close to your subject, keep your reader in your consciousness, pretend your someone else.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|30||CleanTranscript -- Getting another perspective||Transcript -- Don’t get to close to your subject, keep your reader in your consciousness, pretend your someone else.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|31||CleanA student's approach to examination essays and writing style||Beth Lewis believes her writing style changes in an exam room, a time limits forces her to a heed to a strict essay plan.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|32||CleanTranscript -- A student's approach to examination essays and writing style||Transcript -- Beth Lewis believes her writing style changes in an exam room, a time limits forces her to a heed to a strict essay plan.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|33||CleanDifferent approaches to examination essays||In an exam room Mathew Kelly gets his notes down straight away so he can refer to them quickly.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|34||CleanTranscript -- Different approaches to examination essays||Transcript -- In an exam room Mathew Kelly gets his notes down straight away so he can refer to them quickly.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|35||CleanHow to improve your writing||The way to familiarise yourself with good writing is to read a lot. Nothing is too boring to write about it’s about how you write about it that’s important.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|36||CleanTranscript -- How to improve your writing||Transcript -- The way to familiarise yourself with good writing is to read a lot. Nothing is too boring to write about it’s about how you write about it that’s important.||1/20/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
You see them everywhere: people with buds plugged into their ears running a local trail, surveying the cereal aisle, maybe planting a rosebush.
A decade ago, the assumption would be they’re listening to music, or maybe one of those new things known as a podcast. However, today odds are just as good they’re catching up on the latest best-seller.
While books on tape or CD have long been popular with commuters, smartphones have opened a whole new world of possibilities to when and where you can listen to literature. With access to what’s now a broad choice of fiction and nonfiction titles through commercial downloading services such as Audible, sales of adult audiobooks jumped 38 percent in 2015 alone, according to the Association of American Publishers. At the same time, public libraries have increased their offerings with a free program called OverDrive.
They’re the perfect solution for readers who say they love nothing more than to curl up with a good book — if only they had time.
“I used to be able to get through three or four (print) books a week,” says Rose Steele, a theater interior designer who lives in South San Jose and has a “moderately hellish” daily commute to Mountain View.
“Lately, I don’t have much concentrated time,” Steele explains. “I might only have 10 minutes at the end of the day, but if that’s all I have for a book, I pretty soon lose track of the threads of the story.”
But the blocks of time on the freeway let her sink into a story. Recent favorites include Jeremy Irons reading “Brideshead Revisited” or actor Gary Sinise bringing regional accents and a friendly, folksy tone to John Steinbeck’s first-person account of a trans-America road trip in “Travels with Charley.”
Caissie Stephens, a San Jose high school English teacher, says audiobooks enable her to indulge her two passions at once: running and reading. In fact, listening while running has become her preferred way to consume literature.
“I enjoy reading a book in hand,” she said, “but not as much as I do as escaping with the narrator and letting the author’s thoughts run wild.”
Perhaps inevitably, the growing popularity of audiobooks has fanned a debate over whether listening to a book, especially while engaged in such multitasking endeavors as driving or folding the laundry, is inferior to focusing one’s eyes on printed words.
Literary critic Harold Bloom has proclaimed that audiobooks don’t allow for the “deep reading” that’s needed for learning. Optimal comprehension, he said, “demands the inner ear as well as the outer ear. You need the whole cognitive process, that part of you which is open to wisdom. You need the text in front of you.”
Authors Neil Gaiman and Stephen King have dismissed Bloom as a snob, however, with Gaiman repeatedly voicing his love for the aural experience. In a 2005 blog post, he said he found that listening to a book can be a very intimate, personal experience.
“You’re down there in the words. … It’s you and the story, the way the author meant it.”
He also notes that the first way most people are exposed to language and stories is by being read to as young children.
In a 2012 New Yorker essay, author and journalist John Colapinto added to the debate, noting that the oral tradition may have developed along with human language. Humanity’s long history of storytelling — which predates written language by tens of thousands of years — supports the argument that our brains originally adapted to absorb long, complex fictions not by eye, but by ear, he said.
University of Virginia psychology professor Dan Willingham said research that breaks down how people learn to process written language suggests that once people master reading, their comprehension is the same, whether they are absorbing printed or narrated texts.
And, in the end, he said, if you’re not studying a text for school or work, when re-reading could help with memorization, what does it matter how you absorb the information?
“For leisure readers, the idea that audiobooks are somehow ‘cheating’ is kind of funny,” he said, adding that he regularly listens to audiobooks while driving or exercising.
Of course, audiobooks are beneficial for people for whom reading is a challenge, such as children and adults with dyslexia. Researchers also are investigating whether audiobooks can help people recover from strokes, insights that may illuminate why audiobooks are pleasurable for everyone else. According to a 2010 study from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, listening to narrated stories, similar to listening to music, can stimulate parts of the brain that are associated with attention, memory, language and mood.
After a stroke three years ago, David Enright, 63, of Los Gatos, has consumed more than 400 books, and his language skills and mood have improved dramatically.
“It’s an opportunity for him to look forward to something on a daily basis,” said his wife, Janice Enright.
Audiobook fans offer up a multitude of other intellectual or emotional benefits. Most say audiobooks are essential to reducing stress, boredom or fatigue while driving. Jane Divinski, of Los Altos, who has temporarily relocated with her husband to Peru, says listening to books keeps her calm while navigating the anarchic traffic of downtown Lima.
She and others agree that the choice of narrator makes a difference.
“It’s a treat to listen to an author read his or her own work — if they’re a good narrator, that is,” says Charlotte Cusack, of Oakley. In fact, listening to Jonathan Franzen read his memoir made Cusack rethink her earlier indifference to his novels.
Laura Weller, of Sunnyvale, has even found that a good narrator spoils her for reading the book in print. She was enthralled listening to Irish actor Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones” Littlefinger) narrate Roddy Doyle’s “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.” The book, set in an Irish town in the 1960s, is acclaimed for its use of vernacular and the stream-of-consciousness narration of its 10-year-old protagonist. Gillen’s narration made that language come alive. By comparison, whatever voice she conjured in her head while reading was flat, she said.
The human voice can be soothing in other ways. It quiets the racing thoughts that bedevil Lou Alexander when he wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. “(Audiobooks) are a cure for my insomnia,” said Alexander, of San Jose.
He’s not alone in touting this cure. Numerous blog posts are devoted to lists of best audiobooks to lull insomniacs back to sleep.
Alexander prefers the “gentle” stories about Edinburgh life, depicted in the Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith. “They put me right back to sleep,” he said.
For Fred Sharkey, of San Jose, audiobooks take him back to the pleasures of listening to radio dramas as a kid.
Now 65, he spends more time listening to books than reading, but that’s a matter of “accessibility,” not because one medium is more pleasurable than the other. “For me, the story is the story.”
OverDrive, a distributor of digital content for more than 33,000 public libraries, allows people to borrow and enjoy free audiobooks, as well as e-books and videos, that can be downloaded to their computers or mobile devices.
You can either stream books through your web browser, for which you need an internet connection. Or you can download MP3 audiobooks that are compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android Chromebook, Windows and other mobile devices.
One sweet feature of OverDrive is that it protects you from amassing late fees if you forget to renew or return your books. All audiobooks automatically expire and disappear from your library account at the end of their lending period.
Other features: a sleep timer for those who like to listen while going to sleep; the timer automatically stops the book after you nod off.
You can sign up for OverDrive through the website at www.overdrive.com or by downloading and opening the OverDrive app on your mobile device.