Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Academic essay writing (1)


Taking notes

Understanding essay topic:


Thesis statement


Task - read  and take notes of  one of the parts on academic essay writing (15 min.)- prepare a PP  (7 min.)present info from your part to the class (7 min.)


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  2. The facts about the topic
    Book: “Learned Optimism. How to change your mind and your life” By Martin E.P. Seligman
    The first part of the book focuses on the research into learned helplessness. There was given an example about an experiment with dogs to reveal topic of learned helplessness : three dogs were placed into different boxes giving them electro shocks, to see whether dogs will react or not. 2 of 3 dogs quickly jumped over the box and escaped the shock. One dog (with learned helplessness) continued laying down and done nothing to change the situation. This became the focus of author’s research into optimism.
    Second idea the book covers is that personal failure now is more harmful and depressing than it has been before – it shows common depressive viewpoint nowadays. Globalisation, crisis and other things affect our mood not in a positive way. However, optimists recover faster and are able to explain the failure to themselves. According to author, optimists see things as permanent, personal and pervasive, while pessimists – temporary ,external and specific. For example -> pessimistic view: “It’s my lucky day” optimistic: “I’m always lucky”. Also, book offers a test to measure your own level of optimism.
    The book finishes with the idea of a clever pessimist. Research says, that the mild pessimist had a more realistic world view than optimist. Author studied optimism in real estate agency and discovered that the group of working agents was stunningly optimistic. In 2000’s, 15000 applicants took a questionnaire to see their qualities to the career profile. 1000 agents were hired based on career profile as optimists, and 100 agents who scored below the border line. After 2 years optimists were outselling the pessimists by 31 %.
    All in all, by changing how we think, we can change how we feel.

    Tatjana Osokina