by Professor Julia Keefer
Writing Workshop II NYU
Spring 2010 Y20 7503 200
Course Description: This course has both terminal and instrumental values: while the goal is to write an original, provocative, enlightening, thoughtfully-researched, well-written academic research paper, it is also an opportunity to develop your writing style and focus through the discipline of daily writing on a single topic all semester, and to learn more about the WAY you think, the process of research, and the best way to organize a long paper, particularly when you need to write a senior thesis, a novel or screenplay, a graduate dissertation, or even a long, complex business proposal.
Course Theme: Course themes change every semester, but all are multidisciplinary themes that allow students to pick individual topics suited to their major, career objectives, experience, and interests, while allowing the class to function as a cross-disciplinary community solving problems in these fields. In 2009, growth industries in America are health care, health clubs, and anything related to the study of health and disease. Many of you are health science and business majors who will benefit from thoughtful research in these fields. Creative writing and literature majors can deepen their understanding of character by analyzing how people deal with physical and psychological ailments, and how their fears and needs motivate dramatic structure. Social science majors can analyze how society handles health and disease in terms of community and exile. We can all analyse how language describes the body, whether it is the Latinate language of medicine, the slang of sex and violence, the poetry of figurative language, or the coded, common-usage vocabulary of certain communities. Understanding health and disease means deciphering the language attached to these conditions.
MLA/APA pocket manual latest edition, 2009
Critical Thinking and Communication: The Use of Reason in Argument by Inch/Warnick, Allyn and Bacon, 2009.
(This is a good argumentation book, although there are some errors, particularly in the definitions of inductive/deductive reasoning. Since it is more for oral communication, it advocates the short, crisp sentence structure and succinct paragraphs of public speeches, but for your work, you should develop complex, compound sentences, with varied, rich, professional vocabulary, that express detailed descriptions and thoughtful, well-developed claims.)
The Body in Pain by Professor Elaine Scarry. Extremely well-written, multidisciplinary,definitive study of pain from a Harvard English professor.
YOUR 3-PAGE BIBLIOGRAPHY of books, articles, audio-visual resources, interviews, web articles etc depends on the topic you choose, but you may add anything from the optional or required reading lists.
Optional literature list (Pick at least two books to analyze later in the semester and use for weekly quotes. Any edition will do.)
Exit the King (1962)by Eugene Ionesco
This Theater of the Absurd play was one of the ones I analyzed for my Masters' thesis at the Sorbonne, on La Chute de la Tradition Theatrale. At the age of nineteen, I was struck by how important it is to savor each second, when faced with the prospect of a "terminal" disease. If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you structure your last day?
Love in the Time of Cholera(1985)by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Florentino Ariza's lovesickness for Fermina can be compared to a kind of emotional cholera, since colera, in Spanish, can mean rage. Have you ever felt the destructive, contagious, even life-threatening powers of love?
Death in Venice (1912)and/or The Magic Mountain (1924) by Thomas Mann
Death in Venice charts a Narcissus/Goldmund infatuation as time is running out in Venice for Gustav von Aschenbach in his love addiction to the boy Tadzio, while The Magic Mountain also mixes love and death in another beautiful setting--the clean, crisp mountains of Davos, Switzerland--as the young Hans Castorp is sucked into a long stay in this tuberculosis sanatorium, only to escape at the end to death on the battlefield in World War I. Is it better to die a violent, heroic death at a young age, or wither slowly in a nursing home? Have you ever been sucked into a beautiful place that you know is not good for you?
Blindness by Jose Saramago (1995) charts the social breakdown that can occur from an unexplained mass epidemic, revealing how fragile the strings of humanity and compassion are. What social changes could you make to buttress a community against the onslaughts of an epidemic?
Ceremony (1977)by Leslie Marmon Silko
Tayo, a Native American plagued with alcoholism and post traumatic stress disorder from World War II, seeks healing through Native American rituals. Have you ever tried an alternative method of healing, and, if so, how did it compare to Western medical technology?
The Plague (1947) by Albert Camus
This narrative, secretly narrated by the Dr. Bernard Rieux, who tries to be objective, seeks existential meaning of life in the midst of a plague quarantine in Oran, Algeria. Faced with deadly disease, do you seek comfort in existentialism, carpe diem, and/or some kind of spirituality or religion that puts time into a different perspective?
This Blinding Absence of Light(2003)or The Sand Child (1985) by Tahar ben Jelloun
In This Blinding Absence of Light, initially healthy men vegetate and rot in a secret prison, slowly dying, except for a few survivors at the end. The Sand Child describes how an oppressive, prejudiced, society, that misinterprets the Koran, can turn a genetically healthy female into a diseased male transvestite. How can society's rules and norms contribute to your ill health, even if it is a fraternity's hazing policies?
The Cancer Ward (1968) by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
The theme of medical and political exile is so well-developed in this novel, that the book was banned by the Soviet Union in 1968. If exile exacerbates ill health, why do we lock people up in cancer wards? If someone has cancer, are they better off mingling with others, and if so, what about the lookist prejudices they must face?
How to Survive as an Adjunct Professor by Wrestling (2006) by Dr. Julia Keefer
In section III of this trilogy, the tandem-competitive narrators, the Quantum Chromodynamic Force (writing in long, complex sentences in a depressed mood) battles with the Electroweak Force (bouncing manically along in rhymed poetry), coloring the narrative with the ups and downs of bipolar illness. How can your moods, emotions, or even mental illness change the way you see disease, health, and/or exile?
Michener, James. Recessional. New York, NY: Random House, c1994. Young Dr. Andy Zorn abandons his practice to run a hospice in Florida. There he deals with the terrifying world of old age where the villians are doctors, children and medical science.
Albee, Edward. Three tall women. New York, NY: Dramatist Play Service, c1994. Tribute to the life of one woman seen at three different ages in her life who succumbs to Alzheimer’s disease
Kushner, Tony. Angels in America. Imaginative, postmodern, successful Broadway play about the AIDS crisis in New York.
Powers, Richard. The Echo Maker. Wakes up from a coma caused by an accident with a rare neurologic disease that drives his actions and the plot into surprising twists and torturous turns.
Plath, Sylvia. The Bell Jar.
The Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The Intensive Care Unit was published by Dar Sharqiyat and is available in Egypt.
Wiesel, Elie. The forgotten. Trans. by Stephen Becket. New York, NY: Summit Books, c1992. Survivor of the war, psychotherapist Elbanan Rosenbaum is forgetting things. To Elbanan the past is precious and losing it is devastating.
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of 12, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock- therapy machine could provide entertainment.
If you want to add literary books on this theme to the list, please let me know.
Optional Argumentation Books (any edition is fine--look for bargains) If you want to go to law school start reading now! These books require time and patience.
The Uses of Argument by Stephen Toulmin
The Realm of Rhetoric by Chaim Perelman
With Good Reason by S. Morris Engel
Fundamentals of Argumentation by Frans H. van Eemeren et al.
Encyclopedia of Rhetoric by Thomas Sloane
To complete a 15-20 page college research paper with a 3 page bibliography
To explore a personal methodology for creativity and research from brainstorming
To gather, organize and evaluate primary and secondary sources online, in the library, the community and through empirical research such as interviews and investigation
To engage in close and survey reading and to paraphrase, summarize, and integrate sources into personal research
To develop and refine a thesis
To structure the categories of an outline
To develop and refine critical and argumentative faculties
To establish credibility through research, audience analysis, (beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors), critical thinking, decision making and persuasive tactics
To learn the constructs of classical (Aristotle) and contemporary (Toulmin, Roger, Monroe, Boolean, Cyber) argumentation
To constructively question and defend a claim or syllogism, identifying logical fallacies
To practice debates in workshop (cooperative and adversarial) and improve oral communication skills
To understand advocacy through role-playing and argumentative writing
To analyze health care, media, politics, law, current events, religion, philosophy, literature, science, history in terms of controversy, conflict and conversion
To improve writing skills through improvisational, poetic, and personal writing through formal and task-based exercises
To create a distinctive, original expository style, using MLA or APA parenthetical documentation
To increase knowledge and understanding of content theme
To introduce you to great literature
To develop, refine, and edit a collaborative cyber-document such as a Wiki
To publish excellent papers in the Online Journals of EvergeenEnergy, Journal on Terrorism, or Journal of Online Education
Weekly writing assignments 2-3 pages (pass/fail), but you are encouraged to write more, as you prepare your long research papers. Since the weekly writing is pass/fail--you are free to make mistakes, brainstorm, and take chances, because we sometimes learn the most from failure and frustration; but if you submit nothing, you fail for real. Other assignments have letter grades. Weekly writing can be in different genre and styles, but must relate to your research topic, and include the readings you are choosing for your 3-page bibliography. Write down a quote from one of the literary books each week, and explain how it relates to your thesis.
Weekly attendance and participation: Points are deducted for absence or lateness. Do not miss more than one class if you want to get an A. If you miss more than three classes, you are in danger of failing. If you must be absent, do not email me personally. Continue research and reading, and contact study buddies for notes. Individual attention is to help you with your writing and research, not to repeat what happened when you weren't there. For online classes, attendance includes your participation in the forums, wikis, blogs, and live classroom. In an asynchronous environment, there is absolutely no excuse for inconsistent attendance or late papers.
Midterm paper--8-10 pages, 1 full page of bibliography
A-:Excellent effort, attendance, participation, original thinker, independent planner, excellent research skills, fully able to develop and refine thesis, work inductively and deductively, to identify and support claims, anticipate objections to arguments, to read closely and critically, using evidence to develop your thesis, to use abstract and concrete language effectively with mastery of English language, with a strong, coherent voice and range of discourse.
B+, B, B-: Good control of the above criteria
C+, C, C-: Inconsistent control of the above criteria
D: Only fulfills minimum requirements
Oral presentations have a letter grade. Length of presentation depends on student enrollment. Efforts will be made to include a team presentation of 2-4 people, depending on how the topics and class size break down. Presentations will be on interviews and field research, literary evidence for claims of value, and debates for claims of policy. On those days, your weekly writing should support your oral presentation.
Midterm and Final Papers have letter grades but are evaluated in the following way numerically by professor as well as by peers:
25% style--grammar, style, correct APA/MLA format, strong voice, use of abstract and concrete language, distinctive style
25% originality, independence, new insights into old problems, or new discoveries
25% depth and diversity of research sources and creative, critical use of such research
25% clarity, organization and argumentation (claims and counterclaims of fact, value, and policy.)
The assignments are simple for this class: submit 2-3 pages of writing every week, based on class lecture and discussion, contributing to your final paper. Otherwise, you choose your 3-page bibliography, which will be evaluated at the midterm, and developed throughout the semester.
Use any applicable style manual, APA, MLA, or Chicago, but make sure the paper is written for the Internet. This means that you should italicize, not underline books, use parenthetical documentation right after your quotes instead of end notes or footnotes, avoid title pages, and ideally convert the text and original pictures to a pdf document to be published at the end of the semester. Do not put WW2 or Professor Keefer on the paper--only your name, or an alias, the title, but no title page, and your email or contact information, if you like. Your bibliography must be included in this document, alphabetized and correctly punctuated according to your style sheet. You must proofread carefully as grammatical errors are cemented forever in a pdf document.
ONLINE PARTICIPATION: Whether it is through Epsilen, or a weekly listserv, or another online platform, students are required to submit at least one entry during the week, describing their personal reading and research activities for the week, articulating problems, questions, and needs related to their final project. In addition, they must comment on at least two of their colleagues' postings, analyzing material, helping with research, or commenting on their work in some constructive manner. We will also take a vote on which venues you prefer, such as forums, wikis, blogs, chat, the outside listserv, or even outside meetings at the museum, a school, a hospital, or a nature preserve. In the asynchronous platform, students are required to log on at least three times a week, participating in forums, Wikis, blogs, note-taking, Classroom, or whatever venues are alive and cooking!
http://www.brightplanet.com/resources/details/searching.html Guides to in-depth Internet searches
http://www.virtualchase.com/researchskills/ Tutorial to improve research skills
http://www.factchecked.org Verify information for accuracy.
http://www.criticalthinking.org The Critical Thinking community
http://www.creativequotations.com Quotations to help with focus and oral presentations
http://www.fallacyfiles.org Interactive site on bad arguments
http://www.cc.utah.edu/~sms5/wrtg3700/bgtexts/fallacies.htm#Appeals Fallacies in Aristotle's Rhetoric
http://www.coping.org/write/percept/fallacies/content.htm Common fallacies in everyday life
http://www.workingpsychology.com/into.html Social influence, persuasion, and propaganda
http://timsheppard.co.uk/story/index.html Storytelling sources, but use to design YOUR stories.
Policy on Absences: This semester, if you are plagued by the deaths of friends or family, or if you get the flu or have to have surgery, instead of emailing me with excuses, use these personal misfortunes to delve deeper into the course theme, and let the great literary writers soothe and enlighten you in your time of need. Make up some questions of your own in the Q and A forum, where you can also ask me questions about anything pertaining to the course. Theoretically, there is no excuse for spotty attendance or lack of participation in an asynchronous course.
PLAGIARISM is a criminal offense, so practice good habits by avoiding it from the beginning. You can be sued for borrowing more than three words in a row from an author without citation; you can also be sued for stealing ideas, concepts, patents, formulas etc. As you collect your bibliography, note all your sources in correct order with index cards so you will have the bibliography ready to go. The point of this course is to help you develop YOUR writing style so put everything in your own words, and go back to your own hypotheses after analyzing all data. To help avoid plagiarism, we must see DRAFTS of the final paper throughout the semester with concomitant oral reports, and final papers will be published in the online journal of health, humanities, fitness, and the environment so that you can take responsiblity for your work. Trust your own ideas: you have paid a lot of money and invested a lot of time to develop them in a university setting. Originality is always 25% of the grade of the two graded papers.
January 21: Diagnostics. Brainstorming research topics. Lecture on kinds of writing. Activities to develop kinds of writing, rubber ducking, cognitive domains. Lecture on thesis and claims of fact. Induction and Deduction. Cyber-rhetoric versus traditional rhetoric. Case studies. Narrative techniques in persuasive rhetoric. Activities to develop hypotheses.
Lecture on research strategies, and the use of evidence. Take a browsing trip to the library. Bobst aerobics!!
January 28: Lecture on Claims of Value--definitions, denotative and connotative meanings, literary analysis, critical thinking, compare/contrast, social norms. Go over literary reading list. Short lecture on all the books.
February 4: Lecture on Claims of Policy--procedures, classification, expository writing. Activities to develop Martian hypotheses.
February 11: Rough drafts of claims due. Individual conferences.
February 18: Individual conferences. Work on logic. Bring Outlines to next class.
February 25: Outlining and Organization. Expanding Research.
March 4: Midterms due.Cross-editing, peer-grading. Bring FIVE COPIES.
March 11: Asynchronous Field Research online. Take a trip to a hospital, hospice, health retreat, clinic, company that specializes in health, nature preserve. Describe it, interview people, and apply to your research topic.
March 25: Interview presentations.
April 1: Literary presentations for Claims of Value.
April 8: Literary presentations for Claims of Value.
April 15: Debate Claims of Policy.
April 22: Debate Claims of Policy. Rough Drafts due.
April 29: Cross-edit drafts.
May 6:Final research papers due. Online publication.
If you use Refwords at the Bobst library, it will order your bibliography for you, but since you need such a diverse collection of sources, it is best to work on the bibliography every day, entering the data every time you read a newspaper, see a movie, do an interview, or even browse in the library or bookstore. Always follow the correct bibliographic format of the latest APA or MLA manual.
I. Lesson One: Brainstorming Your Topic
This course has both terminal and instrumental values: while the goal is to write an original, provocative, enlightening, well-written academic research paper, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the WAY you think, the process of research, and the best way to organize a long paper, particularly when you need to write a senior thesis, a novel or screenplay, a graduate dissertation, or even a long, complex business proposal. Before you get chained down by the specificity of your claims, you must let your brain explode with ideas! I should also make clear that a professor is different from a boss. You are paid to agree with your bosses. My job is to stimulate you, challenge you, at times confuse you, and still give you As if you disagree with me. In this course, we will agree to disagree with each other!
Keywords: Brainstorming, disease, health, and exile, multi-, inter-, trans- or cross-disciplinary research, cognitive domains,descriptive, expository, argumentative, critical, lyrical/personal, narrative writing
Goals of the First Lesson:
A. Lectures on the following:
1) Introduce you to the course theme of Health, Disease, and Exile, the literary books, and the concept of multi-, inter-, trans- or cross-disciplinary research;
2) Describe the research paper towards which you will be working all semester;
3) Brainstorm ideas and problems on the theme for your topic through discussion, improvisation, and creative mapping;
4) Deepen your understanding of your cognitive domains, weaknesses, and strengths in order to plan a productive interior syllabus for your research;
5)Review different kinds of writing to help you further develop your ideas.
B. Activities are designed to introduce you to the features of the Epsilen environment that will help you with your research project, and create an online environment through activities.
C. Give examples of ways to do the weekly free writing assignment.
D. Pinpoint resources in the textbooks, the literature, the online journals, and Internet sites.
1) Irritating Socratic-style Questions on Course Theme:
How does it feel to be healthy, or sick? How hard do you have to work at being healthy, by exercising, eating healthy food, sleeping soundly, breathing fresh air and drinking clean water, avoiding alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, excessive coffee, junk food, visiting the doctor and dentist, following through with treatments, reducing stress with meditations, quiet times, fun activities, and developing meaningful goals for work and home life? Is it more fun to be sick? Sick children are pampered, sick students try to get more individual attention from the professor to make up for missed classes, patients get 24-hour attention in hospitals, the elderly are nursed more meticulously than babies in nursing homes. But when does disease exile us from society? How does it feel to be quarantined, or too ugly or unsightly to see? Can exile bring about disease, or greater knowledge and health? Consult books like The Plague by Albert Camus, The Magic Mountain or Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, and Love in the Time of Cholera by GG Marquez to see how Nobel Prize winners wrestled with these problems. Discussing the books, we'll trace relationships between physical sickness, psychological sickness, and spiritual sickness. What happens when a culture loses belief in God or trivializes God into a manageable deity? We'll examine the human tendency to glorify humans (believing that humans are the ones who create meaning).
We'll talk about beliefs, values, and attitudes that cause sickness. These include such obvious
visible things such as greed and selfishness, rampant consumerism, and mindless materialism.
Some environmentalists lump these bad habits together into the mindset ("dominant Western
paradigm") that sees the world divided up into me and them, inner and outer, objective and
subjective.We'll question this simplification, as well as others that say such a view is caused by religious "domination" terminology. Maybe the real cause is deeper-- spiritual alienation?
We'll get to know the anthropocentric mindset that places humans at the top of the heap,
justified in doing what they want because nature is "there for the taking." We'll also ask whether
nature is morally neutral, and what this means. Are humans morally neutral, for instance, in their
scientific dealings with the physical world?
How much do emotions, attitude, and expectations influence physical disease, especially in books like Ceremony or Love in the Time of Cholera? What part does luck play in illness, injury, or disability? How do different cultures define disease or health? How are disease and health related to the environment? Can you be healthier in the country where the air is fresher? What part do intellectual stimulation, growth, and creativity play in your physical health? Why do some beings achieve the greatest peace and happiness as they let go of their bodies in death? Read Exit the King to help you meditate on death. When do the quantitative tests of medicine interfere with the quality of life, enjoyment of the fragile moment, and the resources needed to live with pleasure? Why do we clutter death with so many unsuccessful procedures? Is it hard to stand by and do nothing, watching a loved one die? How do we make these end-of-life decisions with knowledge and compassion? What is the real terror of dying at home? What institutions really cure disease? How many simply prolong it, and why? How does technology interact in the ebb and flow of the body's growth and decay? How do the literary books give you a better perspective on this topic?
Humans oscillate between various levels of mental and physical health and disease. Dramatic motivation is often precipitated by an infirmity, a pathological addiction, or even a burst of excess health. Understanding health and disease can help us understand deep character beyond the items on a resume, which is crucial if you are planning a career in Human Resources, or dramatic writing! We all know how it feels to be part of a community. Some of us have been set apart as weird, oddball, geeky, stupid, crazy, fat, ugly, too energetic, or even too healthy. As a college student, I often didn't fit in because I wouldn't take drugs or consume excessive alcohol. Why do communities like fraternities encourage pathological behavior? In 2009, growth industries are health care facilities, health clubs, wholesale outlets, cheap, healthy dining, drugstores; while declining industries center around apparel, particularly expensive apparel, jewelry, home furnishings, upscale restaurants, and much of the advertising and public relations surrounding media. How can you evaluate the changing times in terms of your career goals and the course theme? How are your day job, your career objectives, and/or your major affected by health, disease, and exile?
Choose a research topic related to the theme of disease, health, and exile, as well as your major, your career objectives, your day job, and/or your interests. Make sure this topic lends itself to controversy and argumentation, that you can gather a 3-page academic bibliography, as well as do primary source interviews and/or field research, and that you can develop an original angle on this topic, based on your unique knowledge and experience. Once you choose your topic, your commitment must be complete so that you can work on it every day. If your goal is to publish the paper in one of the online journals, that will help.
Literature majors can tie the literary books together to investigate the thematic problem in a comprehensive, critical manner, advancing a clear claim of value that can grow into a claim of policy as it is applied to certain institutions, cultures and time periods; creative writing majors can use the research for a long project such as a novel, screenplay, or anthology of poetry or short fiction; business majors can use the research to understand how health, disease, and/or exile affect specific businesses in specific countries; health science majors can plummet these conditions in a more psychophysical, multidisciplinary manner; media majors can investigate how specific health issues are covered in specific media. Did I say specific? Yes, the claims of fact and policy must be as specific as a text to be analyzed, a defendant on trial, or a patient to be treated, although the claims of value can embrace centuries of thought if the definitions are clear.
NYU encourages the blending and fusion of different disciplines, another way to make your paper more original, and reach a wider audience. When publishing for specific disciplines, you may have to follow an extremely exact format, for example, in a nursing or sociology journal, or literary criticism publication. However, for this course, you are encouraged to include as many disciplines as possible, as long as your thesis is well-defined, refined, and developed throughout your paper, and your writing voice is strong and unique. The term 'multi-disciplinary' means to include several disciplines at once; "interdisciplinary" means to weave these disciplines together in a kind of marriage that puts a more integrated perspective on your problem; "transdisciplinary" approaches transcend disciplines or move across them to look at the problem from a wider perspective; and "cross-disciplinary," like Boolean logic, examines the place where disciplines intersect in order to solve a particular problem.
For example, my specialties are the literary arts and the medical arts, weaving language and the body together in an interdisciplinary fashion to create a new whole, when I write novels, screenplays and poems, finding analogies in the process and training of multi-disciplinary approaches to language study and personal training, studying the transdisciplinary aspects of disease and dying in pathology and Nobel Prize-winning literature to reach a deeper understanding of death, and tying personal narrative and medical case histories together in a cross-disciplinary manner to make diagnoses and treatment plans for patients. The blogs are the places where personal objectives, biases, peeves, and obsessions fuse with the methodology of your research journey.
B. Your final paper should be at least 15-20 pages (or longer) with a 3 page bibliography of books, academic articles, interviews, field research, and Internet sites. It will be evaluated, by peer-review, cross-editing, and my grades, with the following rubric:
WW2 Evaluation Rubric for Writing Style, Originality, Argumentation/Logic, and Depth and Diversity of Research Unsatisfactory Below 15
Adequate, but Needs Work 15-20
Very Good 20-23
|Adequate, but needs work(15-20)||Proficient,but could be improved (20-23)||Exemplary (23-25)|
|Writing Style||Sentence structure is incorrect, there are grammatical errors, word choice is limited, or cliche, paragraphs are too short or too long, and the paper lacks a strong, consistent voice, succumbing to the cut-and-paste reporting, or the repetition of simple words that are not developing the thesis.||Writing is clear but needs a richer and/or more technical vocabulary. There are some syntactical or style errors when quoting. Some sections resemble cut and paste. The paper lacks a unique writing style.||The writer exhibits a very good style, with a few proofreading errors, or inconsistencies in voice; vocabulary could be richer or more technical, sentence structure more complex.||The writer uses a strong, elegant, persuasive writing style,with a distinctive voice, varied sentence structure, well-developed, cohesive paragraphs, and complex, abstract, or technical vocabulary when needed, free of grammatical errors and proofreading mistakes, with correct parenthetical APA or MLA documentation.|
|Originality||The paper repeats cliche claims, lacks a unique voice or point of view, or a sufficiently provocative critical analysis of previous material. There are no primary sources, interviews, field research to contribute to the field.||The writer has a personal investment in the topic, but lacks a truly original point of view, organizing other people's research,without sufficient interpretation, and repeating present knowledge, rather than forging a new path.||The writer is beginning an original research journey with good primary sources, but still lacks the confidence, courage, and commitment to fully express and develop a completely original approach.||The writer presents a new angle on an old topic, or investigates something for the first time, or does investigative research to contribute to the field, or puts two or more disciplines together in a unique way, or presents the evidence in a novel way so that the findings could be publishable.|
|Claims may be omitted or misunderstood. The paper shows a lack of argumentation and logic; the thesis is not clearly articulated, or adequately developed, the thesis does not embrace the topic, or the thesis is non-existent.||Thesis and claims are there somewhere but the paper lacks consistent development and application to evidence. There may be some lack of clarity in definitions, or lack of specificity in the claim of fact, lack of analysis, hierarchy, and applications in the claims of value, or lack of imagination and procedural detail in the claim of policy.||Thesis and claims are clearly articulated, but more causality and detail are needed, as well as stronger rebuttals of counterclaims.||There is a clear, original thesis that is presented, developed, and refined as each piece of new evidence is analyzed. Claims of fact, value, and policy are causally related and organized appropriately.|
Counterclaims are expressed or considered and refuted with attention to pointing out logical fallacies and coming up with better solutions.
|Depth and Diversity of Research||The bibliography is inadequate or even non-existent. Important elements like books, professional journals, etc could be eliminated, or the sources are all biased in favor of one point of view.||There is a complete bibliography but more scholarly books or journals are needed, as well as diverse points of view. There could be a preponderance of secondary, as opposed to primary sources.||The bibliography is complete with all necessary elements, but needs a little more depth and diversity in order to really exhaust the subject to establish authority.||Research shows both depth, in terms of using the expertise of professional journals, the best books on the subject, as well as the timely articles, interviews, field research and case studies pertinent to the topic. All points of view are considered, especially those that go against the author's thesis.|
If your creativity is stultified by rubrics, aim higher by publishing in the online journals and garnering a global audience! Surf the Journal of Online Education, The Journal on Terrorism and Un-clashing Civilizations, and EvergreenEnergy, Health, Humanities, Fitness, and the Environment.
3) Improvisation and Creative Mapping to find a topic
Let your imaginations go wild, air your pet peeves, express your dreams, and explore your areas of interest before you narrow down your topic, which will allow you a deeper, more fruitful commitment to your project, once the details are set.
Start with the Socratic questions, do automatic writing on your topic and then break into discussion groups, but continue to map, draw, and take notes so that you have food for thought. Try to be silly, stupid, provocative, crazy, wild, in order to let your ideas flow, but make sure you are recording everything. To present your topic, you can draw a picture, write a poem, make a song or pick songs you like, do a dance, or tell a joke. Think of how cancer patients do drawings to represent their illness. As you explore the area, focus on finding problems and look for controversies. Research is about discovering new ways of doing and thinking, not repeating what was done in the past.
Here are some games that could be modified in chat, a live meeting, or the Live Classroom.
|Syntax||Dimensions||Sequences/Equations||Movement||Dynamics/Speed||Understanding self and others|
Since WWII is a writing class, the Brain Gymnasium is a way for you to develop your linguistic abilities using the other domains. For example, if you are more visual/spatial, use tables, graphs, collages, drawings, put original graphics into your webfolio, work on descriptive studies, and feel free to draw as much as you write. If you are more logical, always work with outlines, analyze your arguments, build your linguistic house and give yourself plenty of time. If you are more kinesthetic, work out hard before you sit down to write, and take exercise breaks, to get rid of excess energy, or you may become one of the millions of writers addicted to drugs, alcohol, and other evils. But don't exhaust yourself or you will fall asleep. Try working with two large computers at once to absorb more kinesthetic energy. When you jog, bike, and hike try to be alone as much as possible so you can think about your writing. Plan time to let it all come out at once like a cerebral snowstorm. If you are rhythmic, bring an audio recorder wherever you go, do oral presentations as much as possible and choose time-centered projects and genres. If your strengths are in the personal domain, do research with interviews, work on case studies and try collaborative writing. If you write best alone, try to find the silence, space and solitude or a very strong focus to block out noise and distractions.
None of the above hypotheses are truly scientific. They are only there to make you think, existing as rules to be broken or observations to be questioned.
What are your cognitive strengths and weaknesses? How are personal training or group fitness classes related to cognitive workouts?
|The ability to identify, analyze, examine and lift a thought and defend its meaning against the resistance of argumentation. This skill is best developed through Aristotelian rhetoric.||Mental endurance is required to sustain intellectual activity against boredom, lethargy, frustration, hyperactivity, overstimulation.||Coordination is the organization of parts into an efficient, working whole, which involves changes in speed, dynamics, resistance, spatial patterning and points of view.|
Focus is the ability to concentrate on one idea to the exclusion of others. A dancer focuses on a spot on the wall when executing pirouettes, a useful cognitive application when surfing.
|Flexibility is the ability to see all sides of an issue, exceeding the limits of dogma, fear, and prejudice.||Because of the vast amount of information we must get through, it is important to develop speed. Aerobic training can help increase our ability to read, write and think quickly.|
Posture refers to the body's alignment in relation to gravity, space and motion. Mental posture establishes voice or presence.
Read fellow WW2 student's paper on this: http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/waoe/rhanle.htm
The following PowerPoint Presentations summarize some of thes introductory concepts:
Interior syllabus: For every academic class you take, you should have your own syllabus. Look over the syllabus planned by the professor, peruse all the required reading, think about the assignments, and then, as you budget your time for the semester, make up your own syllabus around your research project, allowing time for library visits, field work, interviews, daily writing, and at least one long writing period a week.
5) Kinds of Writing
In Writing Workshop I, you may have explored different kinds of writing. You may be great at writing stories or memoirs, but freeze when it comes to working on a full-length academic paper. In fact, all kinds of writing can help you develop your topic. A case history in medicine is a narrative; poems are lyrical, but so are the emotional cries of someone in pain, and the experience of pain is crucial to our theme; whenever you read something you should always analyze and criticize it in terms of your thoughts; you've all engaged in some kind of arguments and now you must organize them formally to see the different points of view embedded in your topic; doctors, lawyers, and even tourist agents describe patients, defendants, or resorts, and so you must use descriptive writing to paint the pictures that bring your problem to life; and whenever you explain a procedure or skill to someone, you are engaged in expository writing. By using narrative, lyrical, analytical/critical, argumentative, descriptive, and expository writing to explore your topic, you can be sure you are covering all aspects as you develop and refine your unique voice.
Before the WWW, students, like myself, spent hours in the library browsing, then taking out books, poring over microfilm to look at articles, and then doing interviews and field research in the community. Now, with a click of the mouse, you can access thousands of entries on your subject, but which are the right ones? The authoritative sites linked to world encyclopedias, recognized medical, social science, or literary organizations, will give you the most socially accepted facts, but won't help you with originality. Wikipedia comes up first in most searches, but remember it is the consensus of popular opinion, written by hundreds of laypeople, rather than the team of specialists. Nevertheless, many of its entries are informative, correct, and concise. Wikipedia is the basis for the collaborative Wiki you will be designing in class, based on your weekly research journeys. Tell us exactly what you have done, the problems you had doing it, and how it helped or didn't help with your research. Read your classmates' entries, and edit them, not only for grammar or spelling, but, add your comments to a source that you know as well, or suggest other sources to solve their problems. Think of it as a class Wikipedia on research strategies.
1) FORUMS: Write down your interests, ambitions, beliefs, objectives, about any topics related to your major, your job, and the class theme as you Introduce Yourself in the forum.
2)BLOGS:Start your personal blog, linking all the subjective parts of your life to your research topic.
3) LIVE CLASSROOM: Rubber Ducking
Pick a partner and write or talk non-stop about your topic, while your partner draws on the eboard or a piece of paper. Then have the partner try to rephrase your conversation while you draw on the eboard or a piece of paper.
What personal stories are connected to your topic? (narrative)
How would you explain your topic to someone from another planet? (expository)
What kinds of arguments have you heard about this topic? (argumentation)
What emotions are connected to your topic?(lyrical)
Describe a typical person, text, or situation in detail that epitomizes the victim or site of your problem.(descriptive)
How would you analyze or break down the components of your problem in order to criticize the whys and wherefores?(critical/analytical)
5) WIKIS: Begin your research journey with at least one Internet search that leads to fruitful treasures, one library excursion where you find a good book on your topic, and one community event related in ANY way to your topic. Document all these activities in our colloborative Wiki every week, and edit those of your classmates.
Kinds of Writing: Once you have a general topic, write a paragraph to a page on this topic in each of the following genre--narrative, expository, argumentation, descriptive, lyrical, dramatic. It can be as long as six pages, because it can ramble, as it is a brainstorming document.
Google your topic, and search databases, and encyclopedias in the library and online to get an overview of your topic. Chapters in the Critical Thinking and Communication and Research Strategies book. Articles in the online journals.
II. Lesson Two: Introduction to Logic to find Hypotheses
A brief overview of the history of logic, focusing on Aristotle, Toulmin, and cyber-rhetoric can help you understand claims of fact, value, and policy, and develop a working hypothesis for your paper.
Keywords: Hypothesis, thesis, claims of fact, value, and policy, inductive and deductive reasoning, Aristotle's rhetoric, Toulmin's chain of reasoning, categorical, disjunctive, and conditional syllogisms, Keefer's cyber-logic boot camp
Goals of this Second Lesson:
A. Lectures on the following:
1) Understand the origin of claims
3) Inductive/Deductive Reasoning
4) Stephen Toulmin
6) Thesis as Steering Wheel for your research
B. Use the Epsilen environment for more pointed exchanges to develop argumentation.
C. Pinpoint resources in the textbooks, the literature, the online journals, and Internet sites.
D. Give examples of ways to do the weekly free writing assignment centered around your hypothesis.
Hypotheses and Theses
1) To understand the origin of claims: 25% of your grade is argumentation!
First of all, we must be able to distinguish arguments/propositions/claims from other sentences such as questions (Are suicide bombers ever afraid to die?), proposals (Let's kill them.), suggestions (We recommend that you workout every day.), commands (Don't shop at Shoprite.), and exclamations (The Middle East is a bloodbath!) An argument is a group of statements, one or more of which (the premises) are claimed to provide support for, or reasons to believe, one of the others (the conclusion.) So warnings, statements of belief or opinion, loosely associated statements, reports, expository passages, illustrations, conditional statements and explanations are not arguments by themselves although they may lead to arguments. For example, a conditional statement can form the major premise of a conditional or hypothetical syllogism, but it is not an argument on its own. "If cigarette companies publish warning labels, then smokers assume the risk of smoking. Cigarette companies do publish warning labels. Therefore, smokers assume the risk of smoking."
To find out if we really have an argument we should 1) rule out typical kinds of non-arguments, 2) examine indicators such as therefore, it follows that, because, since etc. and 3) most importantly, the presence of an inferential relationship between the statements. The purpose of logic is to allow us to develop methods and techniques to distinguish good arguments from bad. Here is an example: All crimes are violations of the law. Rape is a crime. Therefore rape is a violation of the law. Symbolically, it is stated as A equals B. C equals A. Therefore C equals B. But the following is bad: Some crimes are misdemeanors. Rape is a crime. Therefore rape is a misdemeanor. This is a valid form: All A are B. All B are C. Therefore, all A are C. This is invalid: All A are B. All C are B. Therefore all A are C. For example: All cats are animals. All dogs are animals. Therefore, all cats are dogs. Remember this again when we go into testing soundness of deductive arguments.
You must be able to distinguish premises or claimed evidence (Toulmin's data or grounds) from conclusion or what is claimed to follow from the evidence. An inference is the reasoning expressed in an argument. Some arguments have more than one conclusion or more than two premises and can be described syllogistically, horizontally, vertically, in clusters, symbolically as alphabetical letters or Venn diagrams.
Aristotle is one of my heroes, and, in a small way, I like to carry his triple-threat legacy (Rhetoric, Physic, Poetics) into the 21st century by being a cyber-rhetorician, a kinesiologist, and a screenwriter, although I could never control present knowledge the way he controlled knowledge in Ancient Athens. Traditional Rhetoric began in a confined place and time--Classical Athens-- with a specific audience of free men, thereby excluding women and slaves.Traditional logic first began with Aristotle (born 384 B.C.) who taught and wrote his treatises to explain his system of thinking and to refute the sophistry of emotional rhetoricians like Isocrates. A student of Plato and the son of a physician, Aristotle had a lifelong interest in empirically-based knowledge. He was a great categorizer and divided knowledge into four categories:1) theoretical, physics, math and theology, 2) practical, politics and ethics, 3) productive, arts, crafts and medicine, and 4) organa, or tools of methodology, logic and dialectic. He used his methodology to write the Poetics, the Physic, the Logic, the Metaphysic so that the content was multi-disciplinary, but his method of inquiry was similar. He divided rhetoric into three species: deliberative (future), judicial (past), and epideictic (not time-bound, but inciting the audience to praise or blame.) Rhetoric was an indispensable part of public life in Athens and remained a potentiality, a way of constantly evaluating knowledge through dialectic, not dogmatic means. Rhetoric deals with probabilities, and uses evidence and logic to convince.
The Syllogism (Deductive): All men are mortal. (the general principle)
Socrates is a man. (the case)
Therefore, Socrates is mortal. (the conclusion)
Premises must follow by NECESSITY, while in Inductive Syllogisms, they follow by PROBABILITY:
These candies come from that bag.
All the candies in that bag are chocolate.
Therefore, these candies are chocolate.
There are often fallacies in inductive syllogisms because that second clause cannot always be proven. One jumps from a case study to a general principle too quickly, as in many clinical medical trials with pharmaceutical sponsorship. As the world becomes more complex and invisible, deductive syllogisms are harder to prove.
Today we use rhetoric to sell our products and ourselves; Aristotle tried to use rhetoric to express logic which sincerely searched for the truth. Since truth in the twentieth century has been relative, to say the least, most leaders are really persuading people to worship the god of consumerism. Logical fallacies are exploited ruthlessly, as in courts of law. (Cases of O.J.Simpson, the Menendez brothers etc.)
3) Inductive/Deductive Reasoning
Once we have clearly recognized the argument, it is then important to categorize it into induction or deduction. While some people often generalize and say deduction moves from general to specific, and induction from specific to general, this is not always true.
A deductive argument is one in which the premises are claimed to support the conclusion in such a way that if they are assumed true, it is impossible for the conclusion to be false, so that the conclusion follows by necessity. An inductive argument is an argument in which the premises are claimed to support the conclusion in such a way that if they are assumed true, it is improbable that the conclusion is false. Five examples of arguments that are typically deductive are arguments based on math, arguments from definition, and categorical, hypothetical or conditional, and disjunctive syllogisms. Pure math is deductive but statistics are inductive. Toulmin's method is largely inductive because his system is a rebellion against the rigors of formal logic and his 6 part chain includes a qualifier.
A categorical syllogism is a syllogism in which each statement begins with one of the words "all, no, or some. "All cats are animals. Some cats are black and white. Therefore some animals are black and white." Or use the famous Socrates syllogism "All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal." Socrates falls into the "some" category. A categorical syllogism relates two classes or categories, denoted respectively by the subject term and predicate term, and the proposition asserts that either all or part of the class denoted by the subject term is included in or excluded from the class denoted by the predicate term. We have four forms: All S are P. No S are P. Some S are P. Some S are not P. A hypothetical or conditional syllogism is a syllogism having a conditional statement for one or both premises. A disjunctive syllogism is a syllogism having a disjunctive statement for one of its premises: "Either you are with the terrorists or you are with the US and its allies. You are not with the US and its allies. Therefore you must be with the terrorists." Then try to construct a conditional syllogism to determine how such rogue states might be punished. In everyday conversation it is hard to always detect the purity of syllogistic argument. An enthymeme is an argument missing a premise or conclusion, but usually the missing element is implied. "The corporate income tax should be abolished; it encourages waste and high prices." The missing element is whatever encourages waste and high prices.
In general, inductive arguments are such that the content of the conclusion is in some way intended to "go beyond" the content of the premises. Inductive arguments include predictions about the future, arguments from analogy, inductive generalizations, (because some beans from the bag are chocolate, it is likely they are all chocolate,) arguments from authority (he could be stupid or misinformed in spite of his rep!), argument based on signs (or coexistential), and causal inference which isn't exactly the same as a conditional statement or hypothetical or conditional syllogism. In science, the discovery of a law of nature is generally considered to be inductive, while its application is deductive, proceeding from a true, valid premise.
Once we categorize arguments, we must then analyze them. We need to look at two things: the claim that evidence exists, and what kind of evidence that is, and the claim that the alleged evidence actually supports that claim. Deductive arguments are analyzed as valid or invalid, sound, or unsound. To test the validity of an argument, we must examine whether the premises support the conclusion in such away that if they are assumed true, it is impossible for the conclusion to be false. Here is an example of an invalid argument having true premises and a true conclusion: "All banks are financial organizations. Wells Fargo is a financial organization. Therefore, Wells Fargo is a bank." Any deductive argument having true premises and a false conclusion is obviously invalid. But you can have a valid argument that is unsound such as: "All wines are soft drinks. Ginger ale is a wine. Therefore ginger ale is a soft drink."
A sound argument is a deductive argument that is valid and has all true premises.
Inductive arguments are evaluated as weak/strong or cogent/uncogent. Thus, a strong inductive argument is: "This barrel contains one hundred apples. 80 apples selected at random were found to be ripe. Therefore, probably all one hundred apples are ripe." A weaker version is as follows: "This barrel contains one hundred apples. Three apples selected at random were found to be ripe. Therefore, probably all one hundred apples are ripe." Hence, strength and weakness, unlike validity and soundness, relate to degrees. A cogent argument is an inductive argument that is strong and has all true premises, the inductive analogue of a sound deductive argument. Classically it is without qualification, but Toulmin added a qualifier to his reasoning chain. However for classical cogency, the premises must not only be true but also not overlook some important factor that outweighs the given evidence and requires a different conclusion.
When you are debating in a rush, keep asking these two questions: Do the premises (data, grounds) support the conclusion (claim)? Are all the premises true? As you write research papers or debate you will develop extended arguments such as: "American Doctors who attend elderly people in nursing homes in NY State in 2009 often prescribe tranquilizers to keep these people immobile. This practice is often unwarranted, and it often impairs the health of the patients. These tranquilizers often have damaging side effects in that they accentuate the symptoms of senility, and they increase the likelihood of a dangerous fall because they produce unsteadiness in walking. Furthermore, since these medications produce immobility, they increase the risk of bedsores. Doctors at the Center for Aging and Health say that physicians who care for the elderly are simply prescribing too much medication."
We often get snowed under in our evidence, drowning instead of resurfacing to test the premises or data we need to use to back up our claim or proposition.
4) Brief synopsis of Stephen Toulmin
In 1958 the British philosopher Stephen Toulmin realized that this form of argumentation is not what one encounters when listening to a public speech, arguing with a roommate about what music to listen to, or talking politics at a bar. Consequently, Toulmin developed his theory in order to explain how argumentation occurs in the natural process of everyday argument. Consequently, Toulmin wanted to explain how real people (not philosophers) argue. Although Toulmin's position on formal logic -- that formal rules of logic do not fit well with common practices of argument -- may seem obvious, one must remember the time period in which Toulmin developed his theory. Students of public speaking, rhetoric, and logic were only taught formal logic. Using a contemporary example to illustrate: Students were taught how to program a computer before they were taught how to click a mouse. When one recognizes the traditions of the time period, Toulmin's theory of argument seems even more revolutionary.
Toulmin developed his system of argumentation, in part to respond to twentieth century relativity, field specialization, and the need to attach data to every claim, especially in the areas of law and medicine. To understand the Toulmin model, think of the quck chain of reasoning you would need to make in an Emergency Room or a criminal trial, where you would move empirically from data to warrant to backing to qualifier to reservation to grounds to claim. An appropriate claim requires (a) initial grounds for the argument (b) a warrant that allows the speaker to move from grounds to claim (c) a qualifier that states the "strength" of the claim (d) reservations or rebuttals that state the exceptions to the claim. You can also reverse the order as follows:
The first element is the claim. The claim of the argument is the conclusion that someone is trying to justify in the argument.
The second element is the grounds. The grounds of an argument are the facts on which the argument is based.
The third element of the argument is the warrant. The warrant of the argument assesses whether or not the claim is legitimate based on the grounds.
The fourth element is the backing. The backing of the argument gives additional support for a warrant by answering different questions.
The modal qualifier is the fifth element of the argument. The modal qualifier indicates the strength of the leap from the data to the warrant.
The sixth and final element of the argument is the rebuttal. The rebuttal occurs when the leap from grounds to claim does not appear to be legitimate.
By creating this model for argument, Toulmin contradicted what philosophers have believed for centuries. For centuries, philosophers have believed that arguments can either be explained by relative means or by absolute means. Using either of these methods according to Toulmin is irrational to the modern argument. First of all, Toulmin claims that by using a relative method, no standards for the claims are made because the analysis of the argument is only relative to that particular argument. On the other hand, absolutism or foundationalism is irrelevant in the modern era according to Toulmin also. He claims absolutism is irrelevant for several reasons. First of all, this absolute logic is based in mathematics and geometry. Therefore the concepts which are contained in them are field dependent. Because of this fact, Toulmin argues that there is no room for these viewpoints in other areas of logic.
Another problem that Toulmin has with absolutism has to do with the fact that answers are either correct or incorrect. Toulmin believes that there is a definite gray area in some arguments that doesn't allow for this absolutism. This gray area has also been developed quantitatively in fuzzy logic. The overall problem that Toulmin has with absolutism is that its rules are so strict that it just doesn't apply to modern reasoning.
Another important belief of Toulmin is his evolutionary theory of rationality. Toulmin believes that ideas are constantly being created. He believes that these ideas are also constantly being argued over and the person who wins the argument persuades others of his beliefs. In this way, new ideas are constantly being evolved. It is Toulmin's interpretive nature of his concepts coupled with his strong emphasis on persuasion that lend itself so well to rhetoric.
The Toulmin model--data, warrant, backing, qualifier, reservation and claim--is more flexible and field dependent than formal logic, but there are some similarities. The data function like evidence and premises on which the argument is based. The claim is the conclusion. The warrant states the reasoning used to move from the data to the claim, and it functions like an inference. The backing consists of facts or information used to support the inference made in the warrant. The qualifier modifies the claim and indicates the rational strength the arguer attributes to it. The reservation states circumstances or conditions in which the claim would not be true. The Toulmin model often presents difficulties such as misidentifying unstated warrants, confusing the data and the warrant, confusing data and backing, and applying incorrect standards to diagrams of complex and subtle arguments. While this chain is still useful in many respects, the vast, unpredictable data of cyberspace, and its nonlinear spatial configuration and diverse global audience make the Toulmin method somewhat limited in the twenty-first century.
In an age when we are submerged with information twenty-four hours a day, the study of logic is essential-- not only traditional informal logic, but also simplified formal logic, so that we can evaluate the information we receive and create. The specific nature of web design with complementary graphics, bullets, different colors and fonts emphasizes lists and facts as opposed to linear connected thinking through traditional linguistic syntax has its own persuasive power, but like informal fallacies, it can also mislead and deceive. The hypertext links open up a multidisciplinary world which needs to be defined, limited and organized for purposes of research and understanding. Inter-, cross- and trans-disciplinary approaches can be clarified through Boolean logic and Venn diagrams, because visual/spatial models can represent intersecting areas of enormous amounts of knowledge. Cyber rhetoric exists in perpetual time and malleable space with an unpredictable global audience. The only sure thing is that everyone is trying to sell something-- either a product or themselves or their way of doing things. However rhetoric is still judged in terms of Aristotle's qualities of correctness, clarity, ornamentation and propriety in order to prove, to delight, and to move.
How has cyberspace turned our thoughts upside down?
What happens to traditional rhetoric on Web sites-- what are the new elements of persuasion?
What has hypertext done to our narrative structure?
How is global communication condensed into The Box?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of online education?
What happens to the organic professor tangled in the inorganic internet?
What does online communication due to our minds, our bodies and our communities?
Links: Technical Writing and the Internet
The Journal of Online Education
The Brain Gym
PROFESSOR KEEFER (COPYWRIGHT 1996)
A COMPARISON OF TRADITIONAL VERSUS CYBER RHETORIC:
PREDOMINANTLY LEFT BRAIN THINKING VERSUS RIGHT AND LEFT BRAIN COORDINATION.
SPECIALIZING IN AND EXHAUSTING ONE DISCIPLINE AT A TIME VERSUS FINDING THE PATHS WHERE A KALEIDOSCOPE OF DISCIPLINES INTERSECT.
CRITICAL THINKING VERSUS WINDOWS THINKING:
ANALYSIS VERSUS MULTIPLE SYNTHESES (different paths);
EVALUATION (assessing assumptions and discovering logical fallacies) VERSUS OPENING ANOTHER WINDOW.
ARISTOTELIAN LOGIC (syllogistic reasoning) VERSUS BOOLEAN LOGIC (intersecting circles of and, or and not):
DEFENDING ONE POINT OF VIEW WITH A STRONG THESIS VERSUS JANUSIAN PROCESSES OF LOOKING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS AT THE SAME TIME.
OBSERVING THE UNITIES OF TIME/SPACE/ACTION VERSUS SUPERIMPOSITION OF TIME/SPACE/ACTION (i.e. allowing two or more discrete objects to occupy the same space or time or action).
SPECIFIC, DEFINED AUDIENCE VERSUS UNPREDICTABLE GLOBAL AUDIENCE.
SELF-CONTAINED ORGANIZATION OF THESIS, DEFINITIONS, DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THIS, THEREFORE THAT, INDUCTIVE AND/OR DEDUCTIVE REASONING AND A CONCLUSION VERSUS INTERACTIVE ORGANIZATION AROUND IMAGES AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS.
TRADITIONAL PARAGRAPHS AND PAGE NUMBERS VERSUS NO PAGE NUMBERS BUT VISUAL BREAKS SUCH AS BULLETS AND DIFFERENT FONTS AND IMAGES.
LINEAR READING VERSUS CLICKING ALL OVER THE PLACE!
Keefer's Cyber-Logic Boot Camp
Next time you surf the web, work on the following:
1)Inductive/deductive accordion--be flexible about moving in and out of particulars and generalities, assessing probability and necessity, filling in the blanks of cyber-argumentation.
2) Pirouettes:Keeping your spot in a nonlinear world, developing speed and focus
3)Weaving: propositional logic through all evidence, refining and developing thesis
4)Searching for the Big 3 fallacies of ambiguity, presumption and relevance
5)Using Boolean logic and Venn diagrams to limit, expand and organize specific areas of research, especially online
6)Analyzing the Persuasive Power of Images, including the homospatial imagery of collages and how they affect the text
7)Using hypertext to make the surfer follow Your waves
8)Working collaboratively to develop, refine, and edit a consensual work such as Wikis
9)Moving from the fractured, space-efficient communication of text-messaging and Blackberry emails to the syntactical complexity of great literature without making grammatical or proofreading errors, or more importantly, misunderstanding in communication
Over the years rhetoric has become more complex. Authorities such as the Church, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung et al have had supreme persuasive abilities because of their institutional and/or personal power. "Do what I say because I say it." Rhetoric is also more directly connected to the manipulation of language. Ideally you want to be familiar with Aristotle's more formal reasoning, Toulmin's chain of reasoning from data to claim, and contemporary theories and applications of cyber-argumentation.
Please read the following article at http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/waoe/williams.html on cyber-argumentation, and http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/waoe/gingher.html on cyber-narrative.
6)Thesis as Steering Wheel for your Research
To avoid datasmog, you must have a steering wheel to drive your car through the data. This is the purpose of the thesis. When students are askedwhat their thesis is, they usually cite a descriptive clause as an answer: "My thesis is how we are addicted to the internet" or "My thesis is abouthow Rastas are different" or "My thesis is about Dorian Gray" or "My thesis is about how prisoners are denied a true home." These are topics, not theses. A thesis should be a complete sentence that contains a question, a statement and a dilemma that is big enough to grow throughout your paper and specific enough to limit your study to avoid excessive generalization. Some of you do have a thesis but it does not develop throughout the paper. A good thesis must weave itself around your evidence, making everything relevant. To do this, you must keep refining your thesis.
Think of a thesis as a long complete sentence: the noun, object and verb describe an action that contains the question and statement designed to solve the problem; the "or" encompasses the dilemma-- the juxtaposition of thesis and antithesis; and the subordinate clauses qualify the study to mitigate the logical fallacies incurred from too much generalization. For example: Should NYU Writing Workshop II Adjunct Professors in 2009 set high standards, seek to develop intellectual potential and demand rigorous, original work thereby risking bad evaluations, poor attendance, negative transferences to the professor, frustration, complaints to administration, and acting out or should they dumb down and pander to their adult degree students, reduce the complexity and ambiguity of the work and sell their courses like ice cream in order to be as popular as all the other products of a mass culture? Make sure your thesis is not a question that can be irrevocably answered "yes."
In 2009, very few questions can be answered that way. Even the statement "all men are mortal" can be contested with cloning. Do not pick a thesis and topic that is entirely materialistic. That is the danger and challenge of the home sweet home sweet. Home must be a metaphor, a symbol for more abstract intellectual issues. You are doing academic writing, not business writing or journalism, even though you may be doing timely interviews and field trips. Your thesis should contain words that are ideas that need defining, that must be interpreted.
Part of your introduction involves defining. In the example, "intellectual potential," "negative transferences," "rigorous, original work" and other phrases must be defined according to what the researcher means. The English language has a huge somewhat vague vocabulary and has been spoken by so many people for so many years in so many places that defining is essential. You must also look at the implications of the sentence as an action of a subject performed on an object by a verb. Professors are doing something to students and students are doing something to professors.
This complete sentence implies a teaching problem. Students come to a course that demands painful intellectual growth. Adult degree students may not have the time, the background, the aptitude nor the inclination to work as hard as they should. That is the problem. The researcher offers two hypothetical solutions, preferably a thesis and an antithesis in order to clarify the argument, although there are usually more than two solutions.
At the end of the research a compromise, an entirely different solution, or a question could be the new answer. However, working with a hypothesis allows you to explore your problem with a sharp focus, build your arguments and organize your evidence. The adjectives and subordinate clauses of the sentence qualify the study. You must use adjectives to be specific: for example, we are talking about NYU WWII adjunct professors in 2009, not any writing professor anywhere at any time. Most of you forget dates, places and demographics. This does not mean you could not have a historical or conceptual discussion in your paper that encompasses different times and places in order to emphasize the importance of the problem; it just means that your specific research is confined to a specific place, time and group of people.
It would therefore be possible to have a discussion about the theory and history of education, citing Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Dewey, contemporary cognitive scientists in order to give your problem depth and perspective. However, when you open up like that you must choose only the aspects of history and theory that relate to your thesis, that is what develops the most successful writing class. The purpose of limiting a study is not just to avoid fallacies but also to develop originality. In this age of recombinant and plagiarized Internet culture, originality is increasingly important. We are not interested in how well you paraphrase and regurgitate the work of others--we want to read about your original contribution to the field through experimental research in the medical or social sciences, which could be qualitative or quantitative, empirical or more theoretical, use of research for creative writing, or fresh interpretations of written material through close textual analysis. Therefore limit your study so that you can control the data, all the while being open to new knowledge and possibilities. In the example given, the researcher will obviously observe writing classes, interview students and professors, and record changes over a period of time, let's say 1995 to 2009.
You may also want to compare and contrast two or more studies, people, places, works of literature etc. in order to clarify and distinguish characteristics. In scientific drug studies researchers give one group the drug, another group the placebo and then they compare results. Many literary critics compare and contrast different works of literature. You may compare and contrast two or more nursing homes, prisons, hospitals.
In fact it is best if you do so. Likewise in the example, it would be more effective to compare writing classes in 2009 with writing classes in 1980 or writing classes in another country, or follow the same professor until 2014, which is what we will do in the example, all the while being solicitous of time, place and demographic limitations. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the comparison/contrast is the thesis however. For example, many literature majors say "My thesis is about how Keats differs from Shelley." This may be a good start but it is purely descriptive; it leads to a grocery list of categories, not the development of an argument with thesis and antithesis. If you don't control the comparison and contrast with a thesis, you will lose your focus as you collect more and more information. Remember that a thesis is a ribbon that must be wrapped around all your presents.
Once you get your thesis, you can then tailor it to wrap around claims of fact, value, and policy.
Hypothetical Claim of Fact as a Problem
Obviously, you don't want to jump to conclusions about your topic before the evidence is in, but developing hypotheses is a useful technique, as long as you have the wisdom and humility to change them as more knowledge is acquired. Develop an Issues map of the context, situations, participants, and issues around a given problem, looking at all the points of view. Imagine the problem getting better or worse; look at similar problems in history or other cultures, but make the problem very specific.
1) Forums. Write down a good hypothesis in the forum, and look at other students' hypotheses.
2) Blogs. Write down all the frustrating problems you are having developing a problem. Use narrative logic to connect the specifics of your case study with your daily schedule.
3) Live Classroom
Play "I'm the boss. But, why?" with study buddy, developing a plethora of hypotheses.
4) Note-taking:Summarize the work of Aristotle, Toulmin, and cyber-logicians in your own words, using your various hypotheses as examples.
5) Add to the Wiki document this week's research.
C. Assignments: Write an essay focused around one hypothesis related to your project.
D. Resources: CT text:Chapter Two, Three, and Four; R text: From JOE:
ARISTOTLE'S RHETORIC versus DATA SMOG by David Shenk
THE WIRED PROFESSOR by Joseph Hargitai and Anne Keating versus THE END OF EDUCATION by Neil Postman
THE GUTENBERG ELEGIES: THE FATE OF READING IN AN ELECTRONIC AGE by Sven Birkerts versus CHILDREN OF CHAOS by Douglas Rushkoff
HAMLET ON THE HOLODECK by Janet Murray (Literature/Creative Writing)
GLOBAL COMMUNICATION IN TRANSITION by Hamid Mowlana (International Studies)
NEUROMANCER by William Gibson (A sci-fi novel)
FROM ORALITY TO LITERACY: THE TECHNOLOGIZING OF THE WORD by Walter Ong
UNDERSTANDING MEDIA by Marshall McLuhan
CLICKING IN by Lynn Hershman-Leeson
III.Lesson Three RESEARCH STRATEGIES
Since 25% of your grade is based on the depth and diversity of research sources, it is crucial that you understand how to develop an excellent bibliography, and to punctuate your writing with salient quotes from primary and secondary sources in correct parenthetical documentation.
Keywords: Research strategies, primary and secondary sources, bibliography, MLA/APA parenthetical documentation, depth and diversity of research
Goals of Lesson Three:
1)Understand what it means to have diversity of research sources;
2)Understand what it means to have depth of research sources;
3)To think critically about web sources;
4)How to record, document, and set up bibliography.
B. Activities online, in the library, and in the community to explore research possibilities.
C. Assignments to prepare the one page bibliography.
D. Resources in the textbooks, online, the library and the community
1) Diversity of Research
Some people think of libraries as smelly, stuffy places filled with dead trees, akin to a morgue. Nowadays research occurs everywhere: online, in the community, socializing at bars, watching TV or films, reading newspapers, making field trips, and traveling to distant lands. One of my students did her best interview during a red eye trip from California when she nabbed Gloria Steinem and got her to discuss feminism for five hours! Libraries are also better organized now, and librarians are usually a lot less busy than they were when I was a graduate student.
Kinds of Research
Audiovisual sources such as film, television, radio, or audio recordings
a) How relevant is this resource to your topic?
b) When and where was it published? Is it timely, out-of-date, or just useful for comparison and contrast?
c)What are the author’s qualifications, such as educational background, experience, biography, age, places lived?
d) Who is the publisher? What do they normally publish?
e) Who is the intended audience, general public, professionals, scholars, global, American, any specific age groups, ethnicities or political persuasions?
f) How much of the information is fact, opinion, propaganda?
g) Is the author’s intent to inform, express him or herself, to get attention, persuade, stimulate (to pity, lust, tears), or to refute or criticize previous knowledge?
2) Depth of Research sources
If you are still considering this source, dig deeper:
a)What are the author’s claims of fact, value, and policy?
b)Does the author present one biased point of view, or multiple points of view?
c)How much solid evidence is used to back the author’s claims? What kind of quantitative or qualitative research have they done?
d)Is the work scholarly, with sources cited, technical vocabulary, standard formats, or is it professional or business with specialized language and specific points of view, or is it common interest for the general public, or sensational like tabloids? All these genre have their places, but your job is to evaluate the source for some kind of truth related to your topic.
e)How can the resource present counterclaims to strengthen your claims? In this case, you are encouraged to read and analyze writers who disagree with you.
3) Thinking Critically about World Wide Web Resources
The World Wide Web has a lot to offer, but not all sources are equally valuable or reliable. Here are some points to consider. For additional points regarding Web sites for subject disciplines, google Thinking Critically about Discipline-Based World Wide Web Resources.
Content & Evaluation
Who is the audience?
What is the purpose of the Web Page & what does it contain?
How complete and accurate are the information and the links provided?
What is the relative value of the Web site in comparison to the range of information resources available on this topic? (Note:
Be sure to check with a librarian.)
What other resources (print & non-print) are available in this area?
What are the date(s) of coverage of the site and site-specific documents?
How comprehensive is this site?
What are the link selection criteria if any?
Are the links relevant and appropriate for the site?
Is the site inward-focused, pointing outward, or both?
Is there an appropriate balance between inward-pointing links ("inlinks" i.e., within the same site)&
outward-pointing links ("outlinks" i.e., to other sites)?
Are the links comprehensive or do they just provide a sampler?
What do the links offer that is not easily available in other sources?
Are the links evaluated in any way?
Is there an appropriate range of Internet resources -- e.g., links to gophers?
Is multimedia appropriately incorporated?
How valuable is the information provided in the Web Page (intrinsic value)?
Source & Date
Who is the author or producer?
What is the authority or expertise of the individual or group that created this site?
How knowledgeable is the individual or group on the subject matter of the site?
Is the site sponsored or co-sponsored by an individual or group that has created other Web sites?
Is any sort of bias evident?
When was the Web item produced?
When was the Web item mounted?
When was the Web item last revised?
How up to date are the links?
How reliable are the links; are there blind links, or references to sites which have moved?
Is contact information for the author or producer included in the document?
Does the document follow good graphic design principles?
Do the graphics and art serve a function or are they decorative?
Do the icons clearly represent what is intended?
Does the text follow basic rules of grammar, spelling and literary composition?
Is there an element of creativity, and does it add to or detract from the document itself?
Can the text stand alone for use in line-mode (text only) Web browsers as well as multimedia browsers, or is there an option
for line-mode browsers?
Is attention paid to the needs of the disabled -- e.g., large print and graphics options; audio; alternative text for graphics?
Are links provided to Web "subject trees" or directories -- lists of subject-arranged Web sources?
How usable is the site? Can visitors get the information they need within a reasonable number of links (preferably 3 or fewer
Is appropriate interactivity available?
When it is necessary to send confidential information out over the Internet, is encryption (i.e., a secure coding system)
available? How secure is it?
Are there links to search engines or is a search engine attached to (embedded in) the Web site?
4) After examining each source, refine your claims in response to what you have learned from your sources.
a)Quote your sources accurately with parenthetical documentation.
b)Make sure all sources are alphabetized in correct MLA/APA format in your bibliography.
c)Professor Keefer’s three international online journals publish scholarly, technical, creative, professional, general interest, and sensational material in all disciplines for a global audience, in an effort to make scholarship more accessible, and to analyze and understand the vast amount of sensational material that controls our various cultures.
d)Review your bibliography to make sure you have multiple points of view, sources from all genre, so that you can be evaluated for both depth and diversity of research.
No matter how painstaking and tedious your research gets, never lose the wonder and joy of acquiring new knowledge. Every time I open a new book or article, or prepare an interview, I am as excited as a little kid at an amusement park. These intellectual treasure hunts are one of the great pleasures of being human. Share your joy and wonder with your readers as you describe your research journey, letting them know about your successes, failures, and frustration.
1) Forums: Debate the strengths and limitations of different research genre.
2) Blogs: Describe a particular person or place that embodies the problems you must resolve in your claim of fact.
3) Live Classroom or Chat: Online Search Games, Intellectual Scavenger Hunts, Library Aerobics
4) Note-taking: Begin recording bibliographic data on index cards.
5) Submit that bibliographic assignment to Wiki. Evaluate research for recency, objectivity, expertise, access, reliability, and relevance.
C.Assignments:Do at least one page of bibliographic sources related to your project. Analyze one of your most important sources in your weekly writing paper.
D.Resources: Read CT text Chapter Five, Research Strategies: Use entire book as a reference manual throughout course, as you see fit, but only for research sources: do not follow their language suggestions. Language should be complex, professional or poetic, never dumbed-down. http://www.mla.org/style/handbook_faq/whatsnew_7edhandbook
Internet versus Library Research
How the Internet Changes the Way We Think
Technical Writing and the Internet
IV. Limiting Time, Place, Person, Activity or Text in Your Claims of Fact
This lesson should help you pinpoint the major problems in your claims of fact and narrow down your topic to a time, place, and group of people that you can investigate through primary source research.
Keywords: Claims and counterclaims of fact, problem-solving, issue mapping, rebuttals, specific time, place, and group of people
Goals of Lesson Four
1) Prioritizing Problems
Find the most important problems in the extended arguments that support or oppose the arguments in your fact propositions.
2) Narrow down your topic to limit specifics in claims of fact, so you can then fill in the details.
3) Counterclaims of Fact
Interpret, analyze, criticize, and refute the arguments that go against what you believe to be true.
4) Issue mapping and rebuttals
Map the issues surrounding your claims of fact and posit a strong rebuttal to summarize fact propositions before moving to claims of value.
Claims of Fact
Since your goal is to write an academic research paper with elements of controversy, conflict, and conversion, the claim of fact is a misnomer, because it is, in fact a problem. By the time you finish, you should have a position stance on this problem that could be debated with a counterclaim, but don't think of facts, like the sun is shining, Obama is the first Afro-American president of the United States, or the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001, because these are indisputable facts. Instead, look at the data surrounding a condition or problem that you could eventually solve.
1) Prioritizing Problems
Find the most important problems in the extended arguments that support or oppose the arguments in your fact propositions. You have to establish that a problem exists. A problem could be as simple as a crime that has been committed, an injured patient on a gurney waiting to be treated, somoeone whose back hurts so much she can't go to work, abused women at a shelter suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, a group of people who don't receive proper benefits, financial compensation, or recognition because of their status, age, race, or whatever, or even a mysterious text that must be deciphered and analyzed.
Remember the last time you watched a courtroom drama? The burden of proof rests on the prosecution because in America, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. It works differently in other countries, and even Americans, have often presumed "terrorists" guilty until proven innocent, witness Guantanamo. In terms of your case construction, society protects the status quo, so you are obliged to overcome presumption with your reasoning and evidence. I am sure you have heard the term, prima facie case, in your courtroom dramas, and that is what you do when you provide good reasons for weighing an alternative to the status quo.
2) Narrow down your topic to limit specifics in claims of fact, so you can then fill in the details.
In order to prove that a problem exists in your claim of fact, you have to be specific--who, when, where, and why? Don't be afraid to narrow it right down, because you can open up your discussions in the claims of value.Remember how the two attorneys argue over circumstantial evidence in a murder trial, or how several doctors may argue about what the patient really has, before they prescribe treatment? Certain signs point to a particular diagnosis in the Physicians Desk Manual, but health professionals could disagree about what is really causing the pain. For example, someone with back pain could be suffering from a herniated disc, a spinal tumor, piriformis entrapment syndrome, fibromyalgia, or a facet impingement. More meticulous testing will help make this diagnosis, but sometimes people must discuss, argue, and interpret.
At times you must make people aware of the importance of a problem in order for them to pay attention to an expensive solution you may propose later on. On the other hand, doctors may not really know what is causing the pain, so they proceed to the claim of policy by prescribing a treatment, and if it works, then they move backwards to an assumption of the claim of fact. For example, a cat presents with a mouth tumor, which could be eosinophilic granuloma, an auto-immune disease, or squamous cell carcinoma, a lethal cancer. If it is a lethal cancer, the case is lost, so the doctor prescribes the treatment for the former--prednisone and antiobiotics--with the assumption that if it works, then the cat only had this auto-immune disorder.
Likewise, you may find that you have a solution before you really know the full implications of your problem. Or in literature, that you have interpretive claims of value before you understand all the problems embedded in the text you are analyzing. In these cases, simply document the process of your thinking.
3) Counterclaims of Fact
Interpret, analyze, criticize, and refute the arguments that go against what you believe to be true. You can use the five general refutation strategies presented in your textbook, such as exploratory refutation, examining arguments for incompatibilities or discrepancies, using tests of evidence to weaken or disclaim arguments, and making note of this to help you suggest your rebuttals.
4) Issue mapping and rebuttals
Map the issues surrounding your claims of fact and posit a strong rebuttal to summarize fact propositions before moving to claims of value. As stated in your textbook, "An issues map is a synthesis of the context, situation, participants, and issues associated with a proposition." (272)
Looking for Details
Be as observant as a physician taking a case history, or a detective recording a crime scene.
1) Forums and Blogs: Write down your objective claim of fact in the forum, and all the what ifs and but ifs and oh nos associated with it in your blog.
2) Live Classroom or Chat: Role-playing with circumstantial evidence. Study buddy plays devil's advocate with counterclaims of fact.
3) Wikis: Record the new research you need to further focus your claim of fact.
C.Assignments: Write a narrative based on a case study or field trip to investigate a problem, or the first analysis of a given text.
D.Resources: Critical Thinking:Read Claims of Fact.
V.Claims of Value
It takes a good writer to define, develop, and defend pertinent claims of value in a paper. This is where you make a strong position stance, analyze abstract language, and identify the biases in your own judgments as well as those of different cultures related to your topic.
Keywords: Claims of value, assumptions, judgments, abductive logic, comparison/contrast, bias
The goals of Lesson Five are to:
2)Standards and judgments
3)Societal and cross-cultural claims of value
4)Supporting value claims by evaluating assumptions and evidence around judgments.
5)Identifying bias with counterclaims
6)Abductive Logic and Comparison/Contrast
1) Value claims assert a writer's sense of values--right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust, the beautiful and the ugly. Value claims make judgments, and like all claims readers need to evaluate the evidence and assumptions supporting such claims. Value claims try to prove that some idea, action, or condition is good or bad, right or wrong, worthwhile or worthless.
"Education offers the greatest chance for people to realize their full potential."
Others express our beliefs about beauty. "Madonna is more beautiful than Britney Spears." "The most important side-effect of exercise is a beautiful body." "Shakespeare's poetry is beautiful."
Value claims, as you can see, reveal much about a writer's personal beliefs. And so it is that many value claims are defended or attacked because different people have different sets of values, based on family and religious background, age, experience, education, personal proclivity, and the society to which they belong.
2)Value claims also rest upon some sense of a standard of justice, beauty, or goodness. They are also defended or attacked on the basis of differing standards between people. Some people, Nobel Prize judges, for example, feel that great literature must have "universal validity, visionary power, a humanity beyond and below the reigning civilization, poetic adventure and import, extraordinary linguistic ingenuity, new departures, and humanistic integrity." Those are their standards by which they make value judgments about an author's work. By those standards, therefore, those people argue that writers like Danielle Steele or John Grisham will never be considered great writers. For others, the standard is different: if we consider how popular and how widely imitated a writer is, then Steele and Grisham are the greatest!
3)Since we cannot be certain of the values of our readers, it is necessary for us as writers to be sensitive to, and anticipate the reactions of, different people with different sets of values. In that way, we are better able to see the issue from our readers' points of view and offer our readers evidence to support a different set of values or to adopt a new set of values.
Much of the critical writing in literature, ethics, and even history, revolves around claims of value. Throughout the semester, copy down quotes from the literary books that might pertain to claims of value in your project. Feel free to write poetry, and look at it for unconscious values related to your topic.
4)Supporting a Value Claim
It may seem impossible to convince another that your values are superior to the others. It is natural to feel that your values are the "best" ones or the "right" ones, but we all know of times in our lives when we were effective at getting someone to do something (or not to do something) simply by persuasion alone. At those times we did succeed at changing another's values. At other times, it may have been us who had our attitudes changed about a subject.
Although it may seem impossible, it does happen, both on the small scale and on the large scale. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is testimony to the fact that large scale shifts in attitude do take place. As writers, if we are to have any chance of succeeding, we must give good reasons why we think one thing is better than another.
To achieve such a transformation, classical rhetoricians give the following advice:
Try to demonstrate that the values or principles you advocate should have priority on a scale that includes the reader's values. It is usually easier to have the reader reorganize priorities rather than adopt a completely new value system.
Demonstrate that the values you advocate have a desirable, beneficial outcome — an outcome that cannot be achieved without your set of values.
Use specific examples that illustrate the values you advocate. Values are abstract notions and it is often easier to win another's assent if you put those abstract ideals in concrete terms. This is why all your abstract terms must be defined. For example, if you are trying to advocate national health care in your claim of policy, you need to analyze the value and kind of health care people should get. Giving specific examples of how hard-working, educated people are deprived of health care because it isn't covered at their job, it is too expensive for them to buy, or they just lost their livelihood in the recession. To persuade people to cross the fence on this issue isn't easy unless they can develop sympathy for these disenfranchised people, something you must do with claims of value.
Finally, use ethical appeal in the form of testimony or quotes from highly knowledgeable or highly regarded people who share your values.
One of the goals of the EvergreenEnergy journal is to be aware of the ecological setting of any analysis or argumentation, realizing that geography, culture, and history color the claims of value in any discussion. Imagine an alien landing in your territory. What would it think of your problem, your values, and your solution, and the society in which the problem occurs? One society's problem is often another's solution.
5) Identifying Bias with Counterclaims
What is good, bad, better, or worse about your topic? We are often blind to our own biases, so analyze the counterclaims of value of the writer with whom you disagree the most. This may make you more aware of your own prejudices, but also enable you to better defend your claims.
6)Comparison/Contrast and Abductive Logic:
In Latin, abduct means to move away from, so in order to open up your topic through comparison/contrast, you must move away from the specifics of your claims of fact. This abductive logic, however, must still adhere to the same claims of value, simply extending time and place, in order to get a more universal perspective. Many students say that "my thesis is to compare AIDS in New York with AIDS in Senegal," but this is not a thesis, because it is descriptive, without a position stance. Therefore, you can certainly compare New York and Senegal, but before you do that, you must have a particular problem to solve around the AIDS crisis on which you have an opinion, and then open it up in the claim of value.
1) Forums: Write down your claim of value in the Forum; present a counterclaim to at least two of your classmates' claims.
2)Blogs:but discuss all the bias and prejudice associated with it in your blog.
3)Live Classroom: Improvise dramatic scenes to exaggerate biases by role-playing friends and enemies.
4)Note-Taking:Write down a list of abstract words associated with your claims of value.
5)Wikis:What other research sources could support your claims of value? Record them in the Wiki.
C.Assignments: Write as expansive and theoretical a paper as you want this week, as long as it discusses the good and bad values associated with your topic.
D.Resources: CT:Chapter 10;
VI. Claims of Policy
While it may be premature to advance a definitive claim of policy at this stage of your research, it is important you understand the causal relationship between fact and policy, and that you let your imagination conceive of hypothetical solutions to your claim of fact, if only to better focus your research.
Keywords: Claims of policy, causal relationships, solutions, procedural thinking, Utopian claims of policy, obligation or necessity
The goals of Lesson Six are to
1)Writer's sense of obligation of necessity
2)Solutions to problems in claims of fact
3)Supporting claims of policy
4)Utopian claims of policy
1)Policy claims argue that a certain condition should exist. They express a writer's sense of obligation or necessity. Consequently, we can recognize policy claims fairly easily since a specific class of verbs, the modal verbs, convey the meanings of obligation or necessity. The modal verbs that convey a sense of obligation and necessity are "should, must, need, ought to, got to, and have to." Some examples of policy claims are
"The United States should adopt national health care by 2010."
"Drivers with even the slightest amount of alcohol in their blood should have their licenses revoked for 5 years."
"We need to tax alcohol and tobacco more heavily."
Supporting a policy claim can be very difficult. The writer must first convince the reader that current policy on some issue is not working,then convince the readers that the writer has a better policy, and finally move the readers to act on the writer's suggestion, being aware of competing counterclaims that might better solve the problem.
If you have made the reader cringe from the implications of the problems embedded in your claims of fact, they will surely be expecting the solutions from the claims of policy. Make sure you have established causality, however, so that your solution will really solve the problem.
3) Supporting the Policy Claim
A writer's chances to persuade a reader that current policy has failed and that s/he has a better alternative improve dramatically if s/he defines all terms and proposal clearly and precisely (the reader is more likely to agree if the reader know exactly what s/he is agreeing with), (claim of value) establishes the need for a chance factually, (claims of fact)considers the opposing arguments and explains why his/her alternative is the best approach, (counterclaims) demonstrates to the reader that there are distinct advantages to accepting the writer's alternative, and supports the policy change not only with data (rational appeal) but also with evidence that appeals to the readers' need to feel that the change is the right thing to do (emotional appeal) and with evidence that makes the readers trust the writer (ethical appeal).In business debates on policy claims determine the success of the contract and product, which is one reason business thinking often jumps from fact to policy, without spending enough time analyzing claims of value. While a rigorous, detailed, methodical policy claim can insure success for a business, it must be buttressed by a thorough investigation of all the cultural, ethical, long-term implications of its adoption.
4) In this class, feel free to let your imagination go with utopian claims of policy, that may ignore the bottom line; however, make sure your claim is thoughtful, methodical, and comprehensive enough to solve your problem. Since this is a multidisplinary course, note that a claim of policy can be a theory you develop in philosophy, an interpretation you posit in literature, or a medical treatment, business plan, or education policy you advocate in more concrete disciplines. Re-examine your causality between fact and policy. After searching profoundly, you may come to the conclusion that your policy is wrong, incomplete, inadequate, or that making a compromise with a counterclaim is a better solution. Your conclusion may simply point the way to more questions and different kinds of research. For these reasons, it is important to expose the process of your thinking to your readers; however, this is no excuse NOT to try to move through logical thinking.
5) Procedural Thinking
Some people, like myself, enjoy the non-sequitur, free-wheeling brainstorming of creative thought, and this is an excellent way to begin a research paper. But by the time you are formulating your claims of policy for the final draft, you want to be as organized, procedural, and methodical, as experts presenting a billion-dollar plan to a CEO. To do this you must have all your evidence properly classified in your outline, your imagination must have finished the visualization of the entire plan, and then you must have the patience to write it down in all its detail.Those of you who are doing creative writing projects must submit your structural outline, showing how the research you have done will improve the foundation of the project. For example, in my last novel, I had to research terrorism, Islam, and particle physics. I did this empirically through travel and interviews, but I also read a plethora of books and articles, and even took a course on particle physics. For my current novel, I am researching geology, through academic study and hands-on field work, small-town politics, casinos, and rural universities. Great literature has depth of content as well as beauty of form, and that must come from some kind of thoughtful research as well as imaginative construction.
1) Forums: Write down your claim of policy in the forum.
2) Blogs: Associate this claim with a personal dystopia or utopia.
3) Live Classroom: Review the Martian dystopias and utopias you created before the midterm, analyze them and then debate your claims of policy with study buddy. Record the debate for us to view on our own time.
4)Make a list of the points of your claims of policy in note-taking.
5) Finish annotating your bibliography, with all the resources that have helped you develop your claims and especially, counterclaims of policy.
C. Assignments: Prepare Midterm, at least 8-10 pages in correct APA/MLA style, with at least a full page of alphabetized sources.
D. Resources:CT Chapter 11;
Lesson Seven is a special class because you will cross-edit and peer-review each other's papers, based on the evaluation rubrics. See below for more details of how to evaluate the work. Even though we must adhere to these rubrics because administrators like them, all the claims may not be cemented at this stage. Look for a unique writing style and a strong voice where the writer lets us know what he or she is thinking, how they are exploring their research, investigating problems, even acknowledging failure and frustration, or asking questions. As long as they understand what claims are, and what they are looking for, it is okay to document the incompletion of something. But don't be so enthralled with your self-expression that you can't pursue rigorous logic and careful organization. It's a balance between your subjectivity and the demands of academic scholarship.
Keywords: Originality, depth and diversity of research, writing style, argumentation
25% of your grade is originality.
Ways to be More Original:
In the Brain Gymnasium, we work on mindbody conditioning, assessing and understanding our cognitive domains, and changing our cerebral grooves for more potent creativity.
Creativity has three stages: 1) Childlike play and wonder where we become as free and careless as a child playing;
2) Working in our cognitive domain with the appropriate combination of logical and translogical thinking such as homospatial and Janusian processes, (which can lead to frustration, and angst as repressed unconscious drives are uncovered,) and designing our structure with right and left brain synchronicity;
3) Completing and presenting our work to an audience which can necessitate courage and fearlessness if the work is truly creative because it would go against the status quo. Creativity is closely related to destruction and therefore the mind must be constantly erased through meditation and cognitive colonics. Don't get into a rut!
Proofread! You can't edit enough. There are always mistakes to correct, and better ways of expressing yourselves.
Check MLA/APA Documentation
25% of your grade is language and style, your eloquent, unique writing style framed in correct parenthetical documentation. Proofread meticulously. Consult a thesaurus for synonyms. Work on sentence structure and paragraph progression.
MLA Documentation: Use parenthetical documentation (23) after the quotes: Descartes wrote "I think therefore I am." (23) Then in the bibliography, (make sure it is alphabetized) put in full publication or production details.
Tannen, Deborah. The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialogue. New York: Random, 1998.
Kaplan, Robert D. "History Moving North." Atlantic Monthly Feb. 1997: 21+.
Cheuse, Alan. "Narrative Painting and Pictorial Fiction." Antioch Review 55 (1997): 277-91.
France, Peter. "His Own Biggest Hero." Rev of Victor Hugo, by Graham Robb. New York Times Book Review 15 Jan. 1998:7.
Spanoudis, Steve, Bob Blair, and Nelson Miller. Poets' Corner. 7 June 1999. 13 June 1999 <http:www.geocities.com/~spanoudi/poems>.
Blue Note Records . 9 June 1999. Blue Note Records. 9 June 1999 <http:www.bluenote.com>.
Coontz, Stephanie. "Family Myths, Family Realities." Salon 12 Dec. 1997. 3 Feb.2000 <http://www.salonmagazine.com/mwt/teature/1997/12/23coontz.html>.
Schubert, Josephine. "Re: Culture Shock." E-mail to the author. 14 Mar. 2000.
The English Patient. dir. Anthony Minghella. Perf. Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Miramax, 1996.
TV: Primates. Wild Discovery. Discovery Channel. 23 Mar. 1998.
Use APA documentation for health and social sciences. Consult your style book for exceptions.
B. Activities: Cross-edit and peer-review each other's papers.
C. Assignments:Write down irritating questions, look for holes in your research, expand your bibliography, and write a paper about your weaknesses for next week.
D. Resources: Grading and Evaluation Rubric
Chapter Eight and Nine in CT book.
VIII. Outlining and Expanding Your Research
You may have felt frustrated at the midterm because so much of your work is incomplete. How can you expand your vision and develop an outline for a full-length academic paper, without getting hopelessly disorganized, stymied by structure, or caught in a meaningless rut of repetition without development?
Keywords: Traditional versus creative outlines, Roman and Arabic numerals, bibliography, organization versus logic, mental housekeeping
The goals of Lesson Eight are to
1)Write down your 3-Page Bibliography
2)Understand a traditional outline
3)Create a creative outline
4)Distinguish between organization and logic
1) Your 3-page bibliography
You can have a longer bibliography if you like, but remember you are graded on depth and diversity. Do you have books, articles, Web sites, media that work for and against your topic? Is your research timely, relevant, expert, informative?
2)Arabic and Roman Numeral Outline
ORGANIZATION AND OUTLINING
An outline just helps you organize your research, the way empty drawers would help you do housework. It should be more like a Matryoshka doll than a grocery list. However you make the outline logical by using complex, compound sentences as often as possible. The outline is an organization of the topic paragraphs, with the thesis refined and developed in I, II, III, IV, and V. For example:
I. Introduction: State thesis as a complex, compound sentence
II. Claim of Fact--Restate thesis around major problem.
A. Description of specific time, place, demographics, etc of your study
B. Counterclaim to your claim of fact
III. Claim of Value--Refine thesis in terms of values, what certain groups of people, religion, culture deem better or worse.
A. Description of your angle on the claim of value.
B. One or more counterclaims to your claim of value.
IV. Claim of policy-- Develop thesis in terms of potential solutions to your problem.
A. Present a methodical plan to solve your problem.
B. Counterclaim(s) to your policy claim. For example, I may present a therapeutic model to solve back pain, and the counterclaims might be what other therapists do in their rehab centers.1)
A. Summarizing and evaluating your evidence.
B. Identifying unsolved problems and giving suggestions for future research.
Note that this model is rather rigid, and therefore should not be a writing model. You should write as creatively as possible, but you need some kind of structure that organizes your data and develops your argumentation. As you gather more information, you will then be able to evaluate it in terms of the thesis you are developing.
You can also do an outline like the above, as well as your own creative outline, in any form you want.
Your Creative Outline
Difference between Organization and Logic
You can be an organized housekeeper, spatially arranging everything in different boxes, but logic requires syntactical and intellectual connections that are not just visual/spatial. I am a terrible housekeeper, but fairly good at logic, and I know impeccable housekeepers who can't understand any aspect of logic.
1) Submit a concise version of a traditional outline to the Forum.
2) Discuss your personal problems with organization in your blog.
3) Live Classroom. Experiment with free drawing, different colors, anything that connotes or suggests aspects of your topic. Save the drawings to show the rest of the class.
4) Note-taking on format.
5) Wikis: Review your research journey to see that you have included everything in your outline.
C.Assignments: Perfect your traditional and creative outlines for next week; research your interviewees and write their bios.
IX. X. Interviews and Field Research
Interviews and field research are excellent ways to develop your own primary sources. The goals of these lessons are to help you with interview techniques, the description of field research, and ways to integrate these into your papers.
Keywords: Interviews, field research, listening, controversy, conflict, conversion, qualitative versus quantitative data
The goal for Lessons Nine and Ten are to:
1)Find suitable interviewees
3)Improve interview technique
4)Choose and describe field research
5)Incorporate interview and field research into your paper
1) Choosing and Enlisting Experts
What books or articles have they written in the field and when? What are their biases? How do they differ from yours?
Identify the interviewee. Is the interviewee reserved, talkative, shy, in pain, hysterical, a friend or stranger, a slick politician you must cut through, an expert you must impress or what? How does the person differ from you in terms of experience and beliefs about your topic? Ideally, you are doing many interviews, so pick people for and against you. How can you get the most out of them? You are NOT representing NYU, but yourself. As an excellent global university, NYU wants you to engage in rigorous scholarship, but also have the courage to question critically, to have the imagination to go against the tide, to risk positing unpopular theories, but then to present your findings in a linguistically correct style that still reflects your unique voice and point of view. In other words, if you really challenge yourselves, work critically and creatively, then both NYU and the professor should be pleased. Your goal however is never to please, admire, respect, or worship the professor but to develop your mind and advance scholarship in the field. Obviously you must come to class and fulfill requirements, but controversy, conflict, and conversion are part of most academic reseach papers. Agree to disagree with me, the people you interview, your preconceived notions, and your peers.
2)Preparing for the Interview
How can this person help you solve problems related to your topic?
Research the personal elements of their biography as if you were inviting them to spend the weekend at your home. What questions do you want to ask them? What is the most important thing in their lives? Is there any way you can interview them in their home or office?
3) Interview Techniques
Look at famous interviewers such as Larry King and Barbara Walters to analyze how they listen and ask questions. See how they use eye contact and body language to listen. Observe how and when they interrupt or redirect the conversation. Whether the interview is relaxed or combative, they make the person feel she/he is the center of the world.
Interviews provide in-depth information about a particular research issue or question. Because the information is not quantifiable (i.e., not amenable to statistical analysis), the interview often is described as a qualitative research method. Whereas quantitative research methods (e.g., the experiment) gather a small amount of information from many subjects, interviews gather a broad range of information from a few subjects.
When we analyze the results from an interview we look at how all the statements made by the interviewee are inter-related. What are the contradictions and consistencies? What is the "big picture" of what the interviewee is trying to say - and how does every individual statement from the interviewee relate to this big picture? The interview is a "holistic" research method: all the bits of data from the interviewee provide you this "big picture" that transcends any one single bit of data.
The information from the interview is not objective data as in quantitative research methods. If the interviewee is an expert on some particular topic or possesses some special skill or experience, his or her responses may be "facts" or "opinions" depending on how you look at it. A good interview is the art and science of exploring the subjective knowledge, opinions, and beliefs of an individual.
The structured interview consists of a list of specific questions. The interviewer does not deviate from the list or inject any extra remarks into the interview process. The interviewer may encourage the interviewee to clarify vague statements or to further elaborate on brief comments. Otherwise, the interviewer attempts to be objective and tries not to influence the interviewer's statements. The interviewer does not share his or her own beliefs and opinions. The structured interview is mostly a "question and answer" session.
The "unstructured" interview is more free-wheeling. You may ask the same sort of questions as in the structured interview, but the style is free-flowing rather than rigid. It is more conversational. You adjust your questions according to how the interviewee is responding. You may even inject your own opinions or ideas in order to stimulate the interviewee's responses. Therefore, the unstructured interview requires much more skill, is much more complex, and is a far more fascinating process.
The "content" of the interview is WHAT the interviewee says. This is the easiest component of the interview to study, and tends to be what the novice focusses on. The most accurate way to record the content of the interview is by using a tape recorder.
The "process" of the interview is a much more elusive but powerful component of the interview. It involves reading between the lines of what the interviewee says. It involves noticing HOW he or she talks and behaves during the interview. HOW the interviewee responds will give you more insights into the content of what he or she says. Your observations of the interview process may confirm, enrich, and sometimes even contradict the content of what the person says. This is particulary important when taking medical case histories, or in creating and describing characters for a novel or screenplay.
Think of the interview (especially the structured interview) as a standardized situation to which interviewees are exposed. The questions you ask everyone may be exactly the same, but everyone will react to the interview situation differently. These differences can be very informative! They reveal the "process." They will tell you much about the holistic picture (the "big picture") of each interview session.
To explore the interview process, consider these sorts of questions:
Interviews can be exploratory, explanatory, developmental, critical, evaluative, or just plain fun! It's your job to get the most out of the person, so be sympathetic and present.
ESTABLISH RAPPORT: Introduce yourself. Be polite, friendly, but also professional. Establishing good rapport will help the interview along. Give them enough information so that they respect you. Establish common interests or bonds.
DESCRIBE THE PROJECT: Tell the person who you are: that you are a student at NYU, what requirements the project fulfills for you, what professor is working with you on the project, why you are interested in this project, etc. Or tell them you are publishing an article in an international online journal. Tell the person what your project is about, what the interview entails, and the purpose of the interview for your project. Ask the person if it is O.K. to tape record the interview. If they say no, just drop the topic, although you may want to try to persuade them another time.
OBTAIN INFORMED CONSENT:Ethical standards do not require that informed consent be written. Many researchers in the past have simply relied on a verbal consent. Feel out how your interviewees will react to written consent. To make sure the interviewee understands the project, it's often best that they see the information about the project in written form. It's usually best to have written consent.
GO AHEAD WITH THE INTERVIEW: The goal is to get the person to express their ideas about particular issues. Everyone is different and everyone reacts to an interview differently. As the interviewer, your learning how to deal with these differences is an ART. You will be trying to help the interviewees to: (1) open up and express their ideas, (2) express their ideas CLEARLY, (3) explain and elaborate on their ideas, (4) focus on the issues at hand rather than wander to unrelated topics.
Clarification: Getting the person to clearly explain himself.
"Could you tell me more about the part about xxx"
"I'm not sure I understood the part about xxx - could you explain that some more?"
Even experts take things for granted. Without being obnoxious, clarification is crucial to help everyone understand the breadth and depth of the claims.
Reflection:Reflecting back something important the person just said in order to get them to expand on that idea.
"So you believe that depression is hereditary."
"Then you do disagree with Dr. Smith."
Reflection will help you analyze later on, and encourage the interviewee to say things that you can quote.
Encouragement: Encouraging them to pursue a line of thought.
"The part about xxx is interesting. Could you say more about that?"
"I find that fascinating! Tell me more."
Everyone likes to be admired. I have always enjoyed being interviewed, especially when the interviewer is fascinated with me.:) Make the interviewee the center of your world.
Comment: Injecting your own idea or feeling to stimulate the person into saying more.
"I always thought that ..."
"That part about xxx scares me."
"If I were in that situation, I would ..."
Sometimes disclosing intimate details of your life, can trigger a like response in the interviewee, if that is what you are looking for. Many people are not comfortable exposing themselves to strangers, particularly with audio recorders and a critical eye. If you are interviewing rape victims or something similar, you can increase sympathy through mutual exposure.
Spur: Saying something to tease, spur, or challenge the person (in a friendly way) to say more.
"But isn't it true that ...?"
"But some people would say that ..."
"Do you honestly believe that?"
You don't have to be like Fox News or Crossfire, but some subjects, especially slick politicians, need a more incisive approach to jar them out of their beaten track.
When I was sixteen, I interviewed the Prime Minister of Canada for the CBC radio. I was so nervous that when he arrived and asked if he knew our parents, I said, "I am Bob Keefer's son," instead of daughter. Then my companion, my age, said, "I am George Allison's father." These faux-pas disarmed him so much, as well as our blunt, deceptively naive questions, that we spurred him on to tell us things he never told journalists, and then to suddenly blurt out in frustration, "The Prime Minister is not God?" The CBC LOVED it and broadcast the interview nationally!
Summary: Try to summarize the person's ideas to see if you really understood what he or she was saying.
"So what your saying is ..."
"So your major point is that ..."
"Let me see if I can summarize what you've said..."
Some people get mad when you summarize, but that is okay. Treat their rebuttals with respect as they will help you END ON A POSITIVE NOTE: Make the interviewee feel great about themselves. See if you can summarize their major points. Ask them again if they have any questions about the project. Let them know how to contact you if they need to. Thank them for their help.
TAKE NOTES: Always sit down immediately after an interview and jot down your impressions of the interview - things that the audio recorder could not pick up. These notes will help you remember and explore the "process" of the interview. They can be as biased and personal as you like, as they are notes to help you recall the interviewee.
Once you have made the contact and done the interview, don't be afraid to follow up with pointed questions by email that will clarify their point of view and give you exact quotes.
4)Descriptive and Narrative Techniques for Field Research
When you visit a hospice, prison, hospital, school, or whatever for your research, pretend you are a naturalistic novelist recording all the sensory details of the environment, and telling a story about what happened. Go back to the literary books to see how Thomas Mann, Camus, Solzhenitzen et al do this in their hospices or sanatoriums.
5) Integration: Where does it go in your outline? Prepare interview and field research. What quotes do you want to use? You can use the full interview as an appendix, but you must integrate quotes around your thesis.
The interview data should be an important part of your final paper. Brief quotes or references to what people said is a great waste of the interview. Quotes that are out of context in your paper are also insufficient. Your goal is to thoroughly INTEGRATE the interview data into the topics and themes of your paper. Consider these questions:
Identifying the Interviewees. In your paper you should describe who each of the interviewees are, why you asked them to participate in the study, and how you located them. Interviewees who are professionals or "experts" on some topic should be identified by name, profession, where they work, the details of their expertise, and any other information about them that is relevant to your project. Other interviewees should be identified by name, age, health status, occupation, and why specifically they were selected for your project.
In some projects the identities of the interviewees must NOT be mentioned in your paper. You must always obtain permission (as part of the informed consent) to mention their names in your paper. For people who wish to remain anonymous, you can mention their real age, marital status, occupation, and any other information about them that is relevant to your project. BUT USE A FALSE NAME. Also, never mention ANY information (like occupation) if that information is so specific or unique that it could reveal who they are.
Most medical case histories have fake names. You can even use an alias when you publish your paper, if you like.
Some of my students have interviewed famous people like Bill Gates and Hilary Clinton. Once public figures give you the interview, you can write it all down.
Qualitative versus Quantitative Data
While the quantitative data of statistics, charts, graphs, are very impressive, qualitative research using language, logic, and critical thinking expressing your unique point of view is also valid. Just let the reader know which is which, and how they support your claims. I wrote a qualititative, critical, descriptive PhD combining dance history with kinesiology, using hundreds of interviews.While it is one of the best ways to get primary source, original research, it can lead to excessive subjectivity, disorganization, and logical fallacies, if you don't focus, organize, and analyze critically, and integrate everything around YOUR thesis. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data is useful in the social sciences, while the literary arts demand a precise, inventive use of language and cognitive development.
1) Keep brief bios and intros to interviewees in the forum, but discuss all their strengths and weaknesses and your like or dislike of them in your uncensored blog.
2) Live Classroom: Prepare a list of questions. Mock interviews with classmates.
3) Describe the interview and field research in the wiki.
C.Assignments:Bring in interviews and descriptions of field research, but gracefully integrated into your paper, and woven around your thesis.
D.Resources:Use this opportunity to investigate community resources related to your interviewee.
XI Claims of Value and Literature
The goal of Lesson Eleven is to
By using quotes from the literary books to strengthen your claims of value, you connect yourselves with a wider audience, and make the reader think more deeply about the implications of your position stance. This lecture will help you analyze those quotes, as well as understand the aesthetic and psychological aspects of the literary books for your oral presentations. Creative writing and literature majors have been using these terms all semester, hopefully, so now you can go into more detail, linking the analyses to your claims. All students should become more sensitive to the aesthetic aspects of language that you can use to help you develop your rhetorical powers of persuasion.
Keywords: Close textual analysis, denotative and connotative language, implicit and explicit claims, figures of speech, tone color, dramatic structure, meter, rhythm, rhyme, onomatopoeia, personification
1) Make connections between claims of value, different cultures, conscious and unconscious, natural and human.
2) Claims of value and literary books
3) Close Textual Analysis
4) Application to your claims and counterclaism; using language more creatively in your paper
D. Resources: Your literary books, and the CT analysis here
1)To delve deeply into values, you need to understand values different from your own because of differing cultural, religious, ethical, and/or historical backgrounds; that ability to detect your own biases, prejudices, and misunderstandings; and the capacity to formulate and express well-constructed criteria to make appropriate choices in a value hierarchy. Definitions of values can be nebulous, but they relate to the goals and principles, by which people live, either focusing on instrumental values, like making money, or terminal values, like being happy, creative, enlightened, knowledgeable etc. For our purposes, the values should be more specific, applying to the problems you have described in your claims of fact. The combination of terminal and instrumental values make up value content, or motivational goals, the value structure, or dynamic relationships among the values in our system, and the value hierarchy is the organization of ways of conduct and prefered states of existence determined by the relative importance of the different values, allowing individuals to make choices about whether it is better to lie to protect one's family, or to give more weight and responsibility to religion on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (Muslim, Jewish, Christian) than work. The value system is developed through conscious and unconscious consensus, and changes according to the natural and human influences on this environment.
2)The reason you are reading the literary books, besides the value of improving your language and thought through the study of great works of art, is to analyze values in the books that are similar to the ones that you are developing in your thesis. For example, if your claim of fact centers around solving the deforestation problem in Haiti in 2009, then you could compare the opening chapters of Gardens in the Dune by Leslie Marmon Silko, in which the Native Americans welcome the rain in the Southestern desert with a sacred skinny dip, while the Haitians dread the rain because it means mudslides, and consequent loss of life and property.
Throughout the semester, you have opened your weekly papers with literary quotes: now is the time to re-examine them to see how they can help you redefine your values. Because of the connotative nature of most abstract terms, and the figures of speech, such as metaphor, simile,personification, that are used, the expression of claims of value can be implicit or explicit, and their appearance in your work, or the literary book, can be predetermined, or emergent.
The following notes are suggestions on how to do a close textual analysis. Read everything, but use only the parts that relate to your discussion.
Close Textual Analysis
Write out a passage from the book, approximately one page, triple-spaced, numbering every line. Then analyze for intrinsic and extrinsic meaning, relationship to the rest of the text, rhetorical devices, structure and aesthetics. Even though you are concentrating on a single passage, it is important that you read the entire work to understand its relationship to the whole. First of all you must understand the denotative and connotative meanings of every word in the text. Use your thesaurus and dictionary frequently so that you understand every possible meaning even when you think you know what is being said. Then analyze sentence structure (simple, complex, compound, compound-complex) and paragraph structure and progression in a novel or short story, dialogue and action in a play, prosody if a poem.
Does the passage describe a natural or artificial scene and what is the degree of plausibility, suspension of disbelief? How vivid and explicit is the descriptive language? Does it describe character as monologue or dialogue, explicit or unconscious? Does it describe an action, develop an argument or an idea connected with the larger world of the fiction? How is the passage sequenced, in other words, what comes before and after, and why? How does this relate to the overall dramatic structure? Is this a passage devoted to exposition, complication, turning point, crisis, climax or resolution? What are the levels of empathy or emotional involvement, comedic techniques or devices to increase suspense and drama? In what person is the novel told? In a drama, how successfully are the characters orchestrated? How is language used aesthetically to develop theme and how his theme related to the central dramatic question and the protagonist's objectives? How do style and structure reflect the taste of the indigenous culture? How does this passage compare with another one on the same content, but from a different culture? For whom is the story written? How does the narrative voice relate to audience?
When you analyze language, place close attention to both diction, or choice of words, (formal, informal, colloquial, concrete, abstract) and rhetorical devices. Meter is analyzed in terms of metric feet--iamb,u_ trochee,_u anapest, uu_dactyllic, _uu, spondee, __pyrrhic,uu. Even prose passages can be scanned to determine rhythm. It is not enough to identify these devices-- you must relate them to the whole, and evaluate their impact on dramatic structure, aesthetics, meaning, and objective.
Put all your passages in one document and feel free to compare and contrast three passages with a similar theme, style or objective. Discuss any socio-political or philosophical knowledge necessary to enhance meaning of these passages. See that you are relating to genre, dramatic structure, timespace constraints, setting, sets and sequencing, levels of realism and plausibility, narrative styles and techniques, didacticism, themes and premises, character transformation and orchestration, descriptive language, concreteness of imagery, relationship of imagery to plot, character and structure, and finally stylistic techniques.:
What is the THEME of the book?
The theme can be implicit or explicit as it relates to the author's attitude towards the subject matter. It can also color the sequencing and the subliminal messages. In God Dies by the Nile, the theme is related to the sun, to the invisible god who sees and does not see the atrocities committed by the humans. Each chapter focuses on a different position of the sun. The stoning occurs in the dark. At the end, Zakeya says she killed god, implying that she killed the Mayor. Just as Mahfouz' Gebelaawi is not the real Muslim God, the god who dies in el Saadawi's book is not the real God either.
Analyzing the theme of a book leads to discussion of POINT OF VIEW.
Long, complex novels may have a number of themes but if you analyze carefully you may find only one or two prevailing themes.
First person: I (some limitation. You may not have balanced character orchestration, as in a memoir like Red Azalea or Soul Mountain.)
Second person: You (rare, usually secondary) In Soul Moutain, some chapters are written in the second person as a way to deconstruct the self. I use it to connect with the Reader.
Third person: She, He, They; limited, (Hemingway), omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent (Tolstoi).
Narrators as characters or narrators as invisible seams. Pamuk uses 18 narrators, some non-human. In Un-Clashing Civilizations, part II of my triology, I use 18 non-human narrators in a linear pass-the-ball narrative. Distinguish between omnipresent paychological narrators who move in for interior monologues like Molly Bloom's soliloquy and a real first person narrator.
Degrees of psychological penetration. Is the narrator reporting action like a camera or delving into the thoughts or even unconscious fantasies (Joyce) of the characters?
Multiple or single narrators: Pamuk and Mahfouz versus Nabakov (Arabic versus Russian and some Western)
Is the point of view consistent?
SEQUENCING: Evemts arramged in time and space
Linear (Ironically Ulysses is linear--one day in the life of three Dubliners but when it goes into stream-of-consciousness monologues if appears to be Linear with flashbacks)
Jumbled traditional dramatic structure, like Pulp Fiction
Recursive--(spokes of a wheel like psychoanalysis) Oedipus Rex is caught in the static present, investigating the horrors of his past where he killed his father and married his mother. The past then forces desperate action in the static present.
Description, Setting, Locales
What senses are evoked? Olfactory, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory For example, Pamuk is more visual than Mahfouz. Many Arab writers are auditory. Tahar ben Jalloun is very kinesthetic. Proust is very gustatory. You can also have synesthesia as in surreal poetry or Satanic Verses or a kind of psychic sense.
Detailed, Distracting, Spare, Symbolic, Suggestive, Minimal, Insufficient
My Name is Red has such detailed imagery that it does slow the pace, but so what? Is the description artistically integrated, linguistically and thematically? How does this description enhance the theme?
Analyze language in terms of denotative and connotative meanings, syntax or sentence structure, paragraph length and progression, rhythm, meter, rhyme, tone color, figures of speech (simile, metaphor, personification etc)
How does the THEME differ from the CENTRAL DRAMATIC QUESTION?
The Central Dramatic Questions classically is stated at the Inciting Incident in a traditional dramatic structure and is not answered until after the Crisis/Climax. Novels may have more thna one question for different plot lines. In My Name is Red, the CDQ is "Who committed this murder?"
Dramatic Structure is the orchestration of conflict, first based on Aristotle's Poetics, developed by Shakespeare and eventually Hollywood plot points.
Inciting Incident: Catalyst
Plot Point One: Commitment
Plot Point Two: Chaos, (all is lost)
CDQ is refined and developed and re-asked at every plot point which involves protagonist-antagonist conflict. In some non-Euro-American literature, multiple protagonists can confuse the dramatic structure but there is still usually one or two throughlines.
Throughline: Harry wants so badly to get Sally that he is willing to go through a sex change to pretend to be her guardian. John wants so badly to unclash civilizations that he is willing to go to Iraq and hang out in the streets, thereby risking his life. Throughline includes major objective through work as well as the potentially greatest sacrifice. Warren wants so badly to get his degree he is willing to wake up early every Saturday morning. But this throughline must last throughout the entire work. Every scene usually has minor conflicting objectives.
Campbell myth of Ordinary versus Special World
In God Dies by the Nile you have the Ordinary World of the town versus the Special World outside the town where the stoning, necrophilia, wild dances and exorcism occur. The threshold is seen with Zakeya's supposed madness.
Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Crossing the Threshold, Allies and Enemies, Approach the Inmost Cave or Belly of the Whale, Ordeal, Reward, Cross the Return Threshold, Resurrection, Elixr
This paradigm is similar to the Aristotelian mountain but it is a paradigm of space and resembles a circle while the former is a paradigm of time resembling a mountain.
Analyze characters in terms of archetypes: Hero or Heroine, Herald who announces the Call to Adventure, Threshold Guardians, Tricksters, Shapeshifters to complicate plot, The Shadow or antagonist who can also be aspects of the darker self, Allies and Enemies, Love interests
Archetypes differ from other ways of analyzing character because they relate to the Journey.
Are characters 3-dimensional, stereotypes, or what?
Balanced character orchestration
Character transformation---how, why and when do they change
Analyze dialogue: Is it naturalistic? Is it authentic to the actual character? Slang and expletives, informal and formal, jokes, plays on words,
Interaction: give-and-take, degree of listening and misunderstanding, coded conversation, interrupted or codependent conversation.
Evaluate empathy for characters, vulnerability and jeopardy
Character's layers of imperfections, secrets, lies, epiphanies, transformations, character development and choices
Dreams, nightmares, fantasies
Researching the World
Analyze degrees of reality: Documentary. Naturalism. Realism. Romanticism. Fantasy. Sci Fi.
Analyze subject matter: its accuracy, its relevance, levels of didacticism
For example, the subject matter in God Dies by the Nile ranges from ancient religious rituals, Islam, village politics, female mutilation, abuse of Sharia laws, necrophilia, bestiality, incest, adultery, family values, farming
How well did the author do the research?
Americans often reject didactic digressions as seen in Victor Hugo, Orhan Pamuk, preferring to show rather than tell. Many Americans and Europeans want all exposition to be ammunition.
Using selections from All Quiet on the Western Front as examples, please review the following to help you with close textual analysis:
Humor, with metaphor: "My arms have grown wings and I'm almost afraid of going up into the sky, as though I held a couple of captive balloons in my fists."
Personification: "The wind plays with our hair; it plays with our words and thoughts."
"Over us Chance hovers."
Euphemism: "At the same time he ventilates his backside." "All at once he remembers his school days and finishes hastily:'he wants to leave the room sister.'"
Imagery: "To no man does the earth mean so much as to the soldier. When he presses himself down upon her long and powerfully, when he buries his face and his limbs deep in her from the fear of death by shell-fire, then she is his only friend, his brother, his mother; he stifles his terror and his cries in her silence and her security; she shelters him and releases him for ten seconds to live, to run, ten seconds of life; receives him again and often forever." (and personification) "The front is a cage in which we must await fearfully whatever may happen."
Antithesis: "A man dreams of a miracle and wakes up to loaves of bread."
Parallel Construction: "My feet begin to move forward in my boots, I go quicker, I run."
Simile: "He had collapsed like a rotten tree."
Metaphor: "Immediately a second [searchlight] is behind him, a black insect is caught between them and tries to escape--the airman.]
Liturgical prose: "Our being, almost utterly carried away by the fury of the storm, streams back through our hands from thee, and we, thy redeemed ones, bury ourselves in thee, and through the long minutes in a mute agony of hope bite into thee with our lips!"
Apostrophe: "Ah! Mother, Mother! You still think I am a child--why can I not put my head in your lap and weep?"
Allusion: "The guns and the wagons float past the dim background of the moonlit landscape, the riders in the steel helmets resemble knights of a forgotten time; it is strangely beautiful and arresting."
Hyperbole: "They are more to me than life, these voices, they are more than motherliness and more than fear; they are the strongest, most comforting things there are anywhere: they are the voices of my comrades."
Rhetorical question: "If one wants to appraise it, it is at once heroic and banal--but who wants to do that?"
Aphorism: "...terror can be endured so long as a man simply ducks--but it kills, if a man thinks about it."
Symbolism: "I pass over the bridge, I look right and left; the water is as full of weeds as ever."
Foreshadowing: "On the landing I stumble over my pack, which lies there already made up because I have to leave early in the morning."
Doggerel: "Give 'em all the same grub and all the same pay."
Short Utterances: "Life is short." (Analyse for rhythm and effect.)
Cause and Effect: "They have taken us farther back than usual to a field depot so that we can be re-organized."
Irony: "...a high double wall of yellow, unpolished, brand-new coffins. They still smell of resin, and pine, and the forest."
Appositive: "Thus momentarily we have the two things a soldier needs for contentment: good food and rest."
Caesura: "It is all a matter of habit--even the front-line."
Onomatopoeia: "The man gurgles."
Alliteration: "The satisfaction of months shines in his dull pig's eyes as he spits out: 'Dirty hound.'"
Euphony: "Now red points glow in every face. They comfort me: it looks as though there were little windows in dark village cottages saying that behind them are rooms full of peace."
Cacophony: "The storm lashes us, out of the confusion of grey and yellow the hail of splinters whips forth the child-like cries of the wounded, and in the night, shattered life groans painfully into silence."
Slang: "And now get on with it, you old blubber-sticker, and don't you miscount either." "That cooked his goose." "Fuck a duck, you shit-faced asshole."
Rhetorical devices also include the syllogisms, logical fallacies, twisted and turned to stabilize a thesis.
Critics analyze in reverse of how many writers create, except poets, who often start with language and word games::
Meter in poetry or grammar, sentence length, paragraph progression in prose
Rhythm in stressed and unstressed syllables
Rhyme where applicable
Tone Color including alliteration, assonance, consonance and onomatopoeia
Figures of Speech including metaphors, similes, personification, analogy
Word choice: complex, simple, synonyms, denotative and connotative as they relate to meaning
Description: the density, detail, and degree of sensuality--olfactory, gustatory, kinesthetic, auditory, visual, synesthesia
Narrative sequence: the connection between events in time and space, whether linear, recursive, tandem-competitive, superimposed
Narrative voice: first, second, third, singular or plural, limited, omniscient, personified, multiple or single, point of view
Theme is the way the author relates to the material, combining the form and content for aesthetic or didactic purposes. It is not the same as the Central Dramatic Question.
Characters can be multi-dimensional, stereotypes, archetypes, secrets, lies, flaws, objectives, needs, desires, conflicts, fantasies, nightmares, dreams, what is the worst or the best that could happen?
Dramatic Structures: the orchestration and the organization of conflict. Paradigms: the mountain, the circle, egg shaped ( Campbell monomyth) or wheel stuck in mud (recursive). Classic Aristotelian structure asks a Central Dramatic Question at the Inciting Incident that is resolved by the Climax and Resolution.
Research the World: Level of reality, documentary, naturalism, realism, fantasy-enhanced memoir, sci fi, fantasy, use of imagination. Suspending disbelief. Science. Technology.
Story: What happens to specific people at a certain time in a certain space, before it is orchestrated into dramatic conflict.
4)Application to Your Claims of Value
Use pertient literary quotes throughout your paper. After understanding the author's world and language, focus on the specific connotative definitions of concepts related to your project, analyzing how they differ from your interpretation.
Rebutting the Counterclaims of Value
Find a source that disagrees vehemently with your position, and analyze all their values in depth. Pretend that you are one of their followers to see it from their point of view. Then turn around, find the fallacies in their arguments, analyze, and critize what you find missing or unacceptable.
Strengthening Your Position vis a vis Your Audience
Look again at your claims of value. Do you want to change them, make compromises, explain more clearly, or develop them more thoroughly? Explain the process of your thinking to your readers.
We can all analyze how language describes the body, whether it is the Latinate language of medicine, the slang of sex and violence, the poetry of figurative language, or the coded, common-usage vocabulary of certain communities. So much of understanding health and disease means deciphering the language attached to these conditions. Rewrite your claims with special attention to language.
1) Forums:Debate some of the issues inherent in the most popular books you chose.
2) Blogs: Give a brief synopsis of your two books, discussing at least ten of the terms you use to strengthen your claim of value in the forum, but write down what you really like or dislike about the books in your uncensored blog.
3) Live Classroom: Present your literary books for analysis, and then synthesize some of these concepts into your claims of value through quotes. Do an oral presentation in the Live Classroom for us to listen to later.
4) Note-taking: Write down all your literary quotes on index cards.
5) Wikis: Add your literary books and why you chose them to the collaborative research sources.
C.Assignments: Prepare your claims of policy, articulated in your own style with a clear, organized plan, integrated into your final research paper.
D.Resources: Review CT Chapter 10.
Lessons Twelve and Thirteen: Debating Claims of Policy
Now that you have formulated a claim of policy, it is important to be aware of counter-claims so you can formulate rebuttals, which will then strengthen your claim and appeal to a wider audience. In business, the work goes to the company that has the best plan, so even if you have great claims of fact and value, but weak policy, your work will be usurped by those with more methodology. In this lecture, we review logical fallacies so you can poke holes in opponent's arguments as you strengthen your own.
Keywords: Claims of policy, fallacies of ambiguity, relevance, and presumption, logic, rhetoric, and ethics, needs-analysis, comparative-advantages and goals case, composition, division, appeal to fear, pity, authority,mob etc.
To persuade someone to adopt your claim of policy requires a combination of logic, rhetoric, and ethics, as Aristotle would say. Think of the reasons why people adopt a certain program or belief: They could be compliant, because of a reward-punishment behavioral approach, or military or legal necessity; they could emulate you as a role model, or identify with you if their situation is similar; they could find your knowledge is expert, and your character trustworthy; and they could be persuaded by the brilliant, methodical logic of your argument. When you publish online, you are presenting your work to an unpredictable, anonymous audience, so you need to use as many logical and rhetorical strategies as possible to strengthen your position stance.
Since a claim of policy is often a solution to a problem with a clear proposal for future action, you may want to address the ill, wrong, or harm that must be resolved, the blame for this ill because of problems in the present system, the cure, and the cost benefits with a needs-analysis approach or a comparative-advantages and goals case. Obviously if you change one part of a system, the whole system changes, which is why you need to look into benefits and costs. In a humanities paper, you may be evaulating the benefits and implications of the interpretations of literature or history you advanced during the claims of value. At the midterm, you may have played around with utopian claims of policy, simply to feed your imagination, but now you must fill in the gaps in order to propose a workable plan, even if it is advanced in the future or in a different environment.
For the claim of fact, you analyzed qualitative and quantitative significance--how the problem diminishes life, and what the scope of the problem is in terms of how people are affected. While the problem may relate to millions of people, you narrowed down your study to a specific group in a specific time and place. Now you want to return to these specifics, after opening up in the claim of value, in order to find viable solutions to the problems you analyzed. If you are doing a humanities project, it simply means returning to the original text with your definitive analysis, recommendation, or interpretation.
Not only do you have to defend your plan against the present ill, but also against counterproposals. To do this effectively, look for logical fallacies in the opponent's argument.
Fallacies of Ambiguity
Equivocation: An ambiguity caused by a shift between two legitimate meanings of a term. "If you believe in the miracles of science, you should also believe in the miracles of the Bible."
Amphiboly: An ambiguity caused by faulty sentence structure. "SLOW CHILDREN CROSSING!"
Accent: A statement that is ambiguous because 1)its intended tone of voice is uncertain; 2) its stress is unclear; or 3) it is quoted out of context "President Clinton really knows how to wag his dog."
Hypostatization: The treatment of abstract terms like concrete ones, sometimes even the ascription of human-like properties to them (similar to personification) "The city is so polluted that it belches out smog, burping poisons, and farting toxins,and, and, until we ban cars from the streets, this diseased urban giant will die a long, slow, cancerous death."
While you should be aware of the poetic, persuasive, and connotative aspects of language, you should also know how to poke through them to detect deliberate fallacies in opponents' arguments. You can also use language elegantly, eloquently, and emotionally to advance your rhetoric; but sometimes, you need to translate a passage into plain prose to find out what is really being said. For these reasons, it is important to define all your connotative terms in the claims of value, so that you are ahead of the game when presenting and rebutting your claims of policy.
Fallacies of Presumption
Division: The assumption that what is true of 1) the whole or 2) the group must be true of the parts or members. "This is the snobbiest eating club on campus; John, who is a member of it, must therefore be a terrible snob."
Composition: The assumption that what is true of 1) a part of a whole or 2) a member of a group must be true of the whole or the group. "By the year 3500 the human race will be extinct because we know that all of us now living will be dead."
Sweeping Generalization: Applying a generalization to an exceptional case by ignoring the particularities of the case. "Since step aerobics is good for the heart, they should make it mandatory in nursing homes."
Hasty Generalization: Using insufficient evidence or an isolated example as the basis for a widely general conclusion. "I was raped by an Eskimo, therefore all Eskimoes are rapists." (This fallacy is often the basis for racism.)
Bifurcation: Considering a distinction or classification exclusive or exhaustive when other alternatives exist. "You're either for me or against me!"
Begging the Question: 1) Offering, as a premise, a simple restatement of the desired conclusion. "Immortality is impossible because when we die that's it." 2) A circular argument. "I'm always right." Why/" "Because I'm your mother and I say so." "How do we know that mothers are always right?" "Because I'm your mother and..." 3) (Wider generalization) "He must be depressed: he's an existentialist!"
Question-Begging Epithets: Using strongly emotional language to force an otherwise unsupported conclusion. "Democrats are amoral, lustful, greedy politicians who don't care about foetuses and family values."
Special Pleading: Applying a double standard that is exemplified in the choice of words "Horses sweat, men perspire, women glow."
False Analogy: Reaching a conclusion by likening or comparing two significantly incomparable cases. "How can you tell your children not to take money from others when the government they live under does it all the time?"
False Cause: Inferring a causal link between two events when no such causal connection has been established. "The only reason crime went down was because Giuliani became mayor." (Crime also went down in every other city.)
Slippery Slope: Assuming, unjustifiably, that a proposed step will set off an undesirable and uncontrollable chain of events. "Today it's Kevorkian, tomorrow everyone over 85 will be euthanized, and by 2010 we'll have a BRAVE NEW WORLD!"
So much research is muddied by fallacies of presumption as we jump to conclusions prematurely. Advertising and politics are swamped with fallacies of presumption, so review your own evidence to make sure you have enough solid support for your claims.
Fallacies of Relevance
Irrelevant Thesis: Seeking, perhaps succeeding, to prove a conclusion not at issue. "Hunting isn't cruel because it makes so many people happy and well-employed."
Genetic Fallacy: Attacking a thesis, institution, or idea by condemning its background or origin. "Classical Greek philosophy is anachronistic because it was created by Dead White Males."
Abusive ad Hominem: Attacking the character of the opposing speaker rather his or her thesis. "We shouldn't elect her because she's a lesbian."
Circumstantial ad Hominem: Attacking the opposing speaker by implying vested interests.
Tu Quoque: Attempting to show that an opponent does not act in accord with his or her thesis. "How can my father tell me to stop drinking when I know he's an alcoholic?"
Poisoning the Well: Attempting to preclude discussion by attacking the credibility of an opponent. "President Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky therefore he must be lying about social security, education and the environment as well."
Mob Appeal: Using emotion-laden terminology to sway people en masse. "Stand up for Afro-American civil rights! If it doesn't fit, you must acquit!"
Appeal to Pity: Seeking to persuade not by presenting evidence but by arousing pity. "Don't send the Menendez brothers to the gas chamber because their father abused them."
Appeal to Authority: Seeking to persuade not by giving evidence but merely by citing an authority, in the form of an: 1) appeal to the one, 2) appeal to the many, 3) appeal to the select few, 4)appeal to tradition. "Use this mouthwash because Madonna uses it." "Everybody owns a car so buy one soon." "If you use this perfume, you will be set apart from the crowd." "Marriage is sacred because it's been around for ages."
Appeal to Ignorance: Emphasizing not the evidence for a thesis, but the lack of evidence against it. "There must be an afterlife because no one has proven for sure that there isn't."
Appeal to Fear: Seeking to persuade through fear. "Fuzzy, if you don't stop meowing, Mommy won't give you any yum yum."
Some of these fallacies may seem obvious and literal, when in fact your opponent's work may be cleverly couched in brilliant rhetoric. Even deductive categorical, disjunctive, and conditional syllogisms can be rendered formulaic with quasilogical arguments that use transitivity, incompatibility, and reciprocity to make things seem simple and clear when, in truth, there may be serious problems with the project. The more you know about a field, the easier it is to see what a certain researcher gives or takes from that field, but you can also analyze faulty methodology in a field with which you are unfamiliar.
Writers and speakers, especially American lawyers, often use logical fallacies on purpose to enhance their power of persuasion. When I was an expert juror on the Menendez case on Court TV, I realized how cleverly Leslie Abramson used fallacies of relevance to put Jerome Oziel, the psychiatrist, on trial, in order to distract the jurors from the culpability of the brothers. Johnny Cochran used similar fallacies in the O.J.Simpson case. In the following anecdote, "Mother's Logical Fallacies" by Lori Manning, WW2 student, gives a more endearing, at-home example:
Rhetoric, the art of persuasion, was first established as an art by Aristotle. He believed that his predecessors "limited themselves to working up ideas on how to arouse in the hearers emotions (pity, indignation, anger) that would influence their judgement in a favorable way to the orator's case." (194) Aristotle categorized rhetoric into three categories or pisteis. These categories are ethos, logos and pathos, the speaker's reputation, the argument itself, and the play on emotions. I often use these three categories along with a few logical fallacies to get my niece to obey me. My niece, Lavel is a curious child who responds to most of my statements with "why" so I always make sure that I have a good argument. I gather facts about the situation and mentally prepare for a battle. For example, I was walking down the hall when I heard Lavel jumping on the bed so I yelled to her to stop jumping on the bed. She quickly dismounted and assured me that she had not been engaged in that act. I instructed her not to lie because I had seen her. She continued to deny my allegations because I often proclaimed that I had seen her doing a wrong act so that she would confess. Unfortunately she had caught on so I was forced to describe her action at length, which included raising her hands in an attempt to touch the ceiling and then falling onto her knees. Finally she admitted to the wrong doing and asked in a whiny voice why she couldn't jump on the bed. I just ignored her.
After she had asked me over five times, I implemented a fallacy of presumption, begging of the question in particular. I told her that she could not jump on the bed because I, her aunt, said so. She continued to ask why so I responded "I'm the adult and you are the child so you have to do whatever I say!" Lavel asked me why again so I decided to try another tactic. I attempted to establish my reputation with her by asking her a series of questions which were guaranteed to produce the responses that I needed to build my argument. I asked her who I was to her and she responded that I was her aunt. Next, I asked her if I was older and she answered "yes" in a mistrustful way. Then I asked her if she thought that I knew more than her and she responded "yes," but then quickly changed her response to sometimes. I stared at her intently and she said "I guess so."
Satisfied, I asked her if she thought that I cared about her and she said "yes." Having gathered the responses that I was looking for, I stated, "Even you said that I care about you and know more than you so trust me when I tell you not to jump on the bed." "No, you just don't want me to have any fun! You never want me to have fun," she yelled as she stormed to her room. Well that tactic alone did not work so I decided to appeal to her emotions. I followed her to her room, sat on the edge of her bed and said, "You know Lavel, I try really hard to be patient and understanding with you but you're never willing to do the same for me. Why is that? When you failed your math exam, I was the one who dried your tears and helped you explain the grade to your parents. When Junior said you couldn't play with his PlayStation, I talked him into letting both of us play. When Tevy didn't let you go to the mall with her and her friends, you and I did something cool." In a solemn voice, I told her that she could have broken the bed, as my older nephews as well as her father had done, or injured herself and that I as her aunt would have felt very bad and would have been responsible.
As I walked out of the room, I said, "I love you, you are my favorite niece but yet you don't feel the same way. Fine! I'll just leave you alone. If that's the way you want it, then that's the way you got it." She yelled, "Wait, Aunt Lori!," as she ran in front of me and hugged me around the waist. I ignored her and but she held on. She began to cry and promised that she would not be so difficult in the future. None of the three components of pisteis worked for me individually but only as a unit. By gathering the facts, witnessing her actions, building my reputation, as an adult, her aunt and someone who cares, and playing on her emotions, I was able to persuade her to behave in the way that I wanted. I never realized that these tactics they worked as a unit until I came across Aristotle¹s theory. As a result, I will use the unit as a rule of thumb in every situation, as it can only benefit me.
Formulating the Counterclaim
If you don't have clear counterclaims, imagine them, in order to strengthen your own claim through a mock rebuttal. This is what lawyers do to prepare their clients for trial.
Rebutting the Counterclaim to Strengthen Your Claim
Treat your opponent's claim as a new one, looking for logical fallacies, and re-examining your research to provide better solutions.
B. Activities: Debate your claims of policy with an opponent. We will try both adversarial and co-orientational approaches, even pretending you have to present to a hostile audience.
C. Assignments: Rewrite the claims of policy section of your research paper, using counterclaims to strengthen and clarify your point of view.
D. Resources: CT book: Review Chapter 11.
XIV XV Preparing Your Final Paper
For the last few classes, lessons fourteen and fifteen, concentrate on YOUR research paper, using Epsilen to review work, to help you when you are stuck, or to clarify problems, but do most of your writing on your research paper. At this point, you can make your paper more discipline specific, putting in an abstract or keywords for APA, adding appendices, and making sure you have a plethora of literary quotes. Creative writing projects should include an expository paper that describes the research used for the project, an outline of the project, and a sample of the creative writing.
Keywords: Editing, proofreading, cut and paste, plagiarism
1)Reviewing Your Outline
As you work on your final edit, occasionally step back and review your outline to insure that you stay organized as more evidence and resources are acquired. This way it is easier to integrate the material.
2) Editing and Connecting Previous Content with a Strong Personal Voice
Avoid the "cut and paste" look by constantly working on your own personal style, your sense of audience, and the refinement of your thesis. Every time you finish analyzing a source, ask yourself how this content affects the development of your thesis. Develop your unique writing style throughout the paper, using your thesaurus and dictionary to improve and refine your vocabulary, reworking your sentences for maximum effect, and focusing and connecting paragraphs for fluid sequences.
Proofread meticulously by reading aloud, and following a pen left to right slowing over the page, aided by a thesaurus and a dictionary.
Make sure you document all sources, and quote directly when borrowing three words from another source. Let the reader know what ideas belong to you, and when you are analyzing the ideas of others. It helps if you have a strong personal voice throughout the entire paper.
1) Forums: Ask questions about anything you don't understand.
2) Blogs: Simply review everything in the blogs to see what you can use to help you now.
3) Live Classroom. Listen to any playbacks that may prove useful.
4) Write long complex compound sentences in your final draft--forget about note-taking.
5) Feel free to add last-minute entries of brilliance to the Wiki.
C. Assignments: Keep working on drafts until you get the best one! Read aloud to friends and family.
D. The resources are your own now!