Today’s picture: Massey University Albany Library – old and new
Part 1: Today's word
‘Assume’ is a more formal word meaning ‘guess’. It can also mean ‘accept’ – especially in the expression ‘to assume a responsibility’. However, it can also be used for any theory or principle which is accepted without analysing or questioning it. It’s very common to do this in research reports, because you can’t research everything and, in order to make predictions, you need to imagine some elements of the situation. For example, ‘The model presented here assumes a steady inflation rate of 5%’ and ‘Assuming a continuing rise in electricity demand, Auckland will begin to suffer shortages by 2015.’ The noun is ‘assumption’. When you critique research, you will often question the assumptions made by the other researcher. For example, ‘Brown’s 2006 study assumed that domestic students had English as their first language. However, that is not strictly accurate.’
I wrongly assumed she was American because of her accent. Actually, she’d only been to college there.
Click here for interactive exercises on academic vocabulary and writing.
Part 2: Test
Here are FOUR sentences with the word of the day. But only THREE are correct. Which is the Odd One Out?
‘I assume this is your first day on the job’, she said, noticing the look of confusion on my face.
For the sake of argument, let's assume that everyone has perfect knowledge of their first language - although, as we shall see, this claim can be challenged on a number of grounds.
Is it fair to assume that as the manager you have full access to all company information?
After finding clear evidence in his file, I assumed he was telling the truth.
Part 3: Practice Questions:
Before you started your course, what assumptions did you make about ...
the way of teaching?
the level of difficulty of the course?
how well you would do?
How many of these assumptions were correct?
Part 4: The Phrasal Test – part 4
Academic research c _______ f ______a good deal of patience and hard work as well as interest in the subject.
Have you ever c ______ a ______ a book called ‘How to make friends and influence people’?
This college could d _____ w ______ some new computers.
When we insisted that the government provide us with more information, they f ______ b _______ o ______ the old excuses about national security.
Unfortunately, our research project f ______ t ______ due to a lack of funding.
I'm trying to f _______ o ______ why the results vary so much each time I run the experiment.
Unfortunately, her report was f _______ a _______ and never looked at again.
He was so busy in the laboratory that he didn’t
g ______ a ______ t ______ attending faculty meetings and
e _______ u _______ losing his research funding.
Conferences are important opportunities for researchers to g ______ t ______ and discuss their findings.
Part 5: Kiwi Quiz Question
Who are we hoping will open the new library building at Massey University, Albany?
Part 6: Interview with our own campus librarian, Valerie Cohen, here at Massey University, Albany
Vocabulary for the article:
a steep learning curve
Questions for the article:
1) What happened in 1993?
Valerie started working as a librarian
Massey University’s Albany campus was founded
500 students moved from Palmerston North
2000 books were bought for the first library in Albany
2) What incorrect assumption is often made about library work?
It is demanding
It is straightforward
It is old-fashioned
It is systematic
3) What arrives by truck five times a week?
up to twenty-five new books
book requests from other libraries
both returned and requested books
boxes of 10 to 25 books
4) How do extramural students obtain library books?
they can be requested from their nearest library
they are sent to their home address
they are reserved for collection at their convenience
they are available for free download in electronic format
5) Why is the beginning of the first semester a special time for the library?
They offer one-to-one support
New books need to be distributed
Usage of library services is at a peak
there are excessive demands on staff resources
6) Which of these innovations will be incorporated into the new library building?
an information desk
Today’s musical suggestion: from the USA
You can’t judge a book by its cover by Bo Diddley