Please review all lessons for the week, such as “Help with Creating an Arguable Thesis,” to help you complete this.

1.    The research question that my paper is going to answer is: If you are having trouble thinking of a research question, think about whether the topic you have in mind will fit into any of the structures that we have discussed, such as such as searching for causes, proposing solutions, or arguing a position.  See also #6 below.  For example, are you thinking about a trend that may have a main cause or a problem that needs a solution? (Example: Why has online learning become so popular?)
What impact of the graphic violence in video games does to teenager’s moral value.

2.    Possible answers to this question are (If you just have YES or NO here, you may have started off too narrow). You may need to do some research before you can generate answers to this question. (Example: Lives are busy; people are lazy; more non-traditional students are coming to college; more people need college to get a better job; more people are changing careers; technology has improved)
There is no impact for the teenagers.
They only enjoy the violent scene in games not in the real life.
They start to like violent things and becoming violent in the real life.

3.    Do I need to keep brainstorming/narrowing?  Would a reasonable person disagree with any of the statements that you have made in #2? If not, you need to keep narrowing your topic by asking questions like “how” and “why.” (Example: I think that online learning has become more popular because our lives are busier, but I wonder if people would disagree with that. So, I might ask WHY our lives are busier and see if that question gets me to a more interesting place)
I think I still need to narrowing my topic and I need more time to think about it.

4.    The answer that I have chosen to argue for is: (Example: Online learning has become more popular because technology has made our lives busier)
I think that some of the teenagers are deeply affected by the graphic violence in video games. They start to behave violently in the real life.

5.    Is this a debatable issue, ie., would someone disagree with you? If so, list ONE CA (counterargument) here. If the answer you have chosen is not debatable, you may need to select another answer to argue for or ask questions to narrow (such as why, how) and start again.  (Example: some might argue that technology makes our lives easier or that the main cause for online learning being popular is that more people are going back to school)
Some people might argue that people can identify the games and reality. They wouldn’t act like the violent video game characters in the real life.

6.    What type of argumentative structure would best support this argument? Look at the lesson on argumentative essay types for guidance on this (see also page 27 in your coursepack for possible structures).  Keep in mind, these are basic formats, not formulas. Variations are acceptable, but knowing what goes into each type of argument will help you decide on a structure.   For example, if the point you are trying to make is complicated, perhaps a “Making Arguments” paper would be best so you could tell the reader all the different reasons why your stance is best.  Do you/can you take a stance on a trend/phenomenon that might have several causes? If so, a searching for causes paper might be best. In this paper, you choose a main cause for a trend/phenomenon, defend that in 1-2 paragraphs, and then aIDress other alternative causes as CAs. Could you propose a solution to a problem?  If the solution is complicated and needs lots of explanation, the first organizational strategy listed for proposing solution would work. If there are several possible solutions to your problem, the second strategy would work.  If more than one solution is needed to solve the problem (because it is a complicated problem) the last structure listed on the organizational sheet would fit best.

I think to make an argument would be good for the topic I pick.

What kind of argumentative paper are you going to write and why? (My example could be a Making Arguments paper or a Searching for Causes paper)

Making arguments or Searching for causes.

7.    List your WORKING thesis here: Remember, avoid listing.  In a causes paper, you need to choose ONE most probable cause.  In a solutions paper, you need to choose ONE effective solution or a SET of solutions to argue for. (Example: Online learning has become more popular because technology has made our lives busier). If your topic changes, I will look at it on your proposal.

Graphic violence in video games poses a threat to teenager’s moral value.

Some important basics from the assignment sheet
Failure to meet these requirements will result in a penalty ranging from the following: a grade reduction, the paper not meeting proficiency to pass, failing the course (in the case of plagiarism)
o Clear stance in thesis regarding the argument
o Article is clearly identified and summarized at the beginning of essay
o Purpose/audience of article is identified
o Quotes and paraphrases from the original article are used to back up assertions
o There is an intro and conclusion
o Criteria used are clear/explained/ appropriate
o Material used from original article is cited with at least a page number and there is a works cited
o There is a CA that is responded to and that relates to criteria
o Body paragraphs focus on evaluation using clear and reasonable criteria (in general, try to cover only one criterion per paragraph)
o Paper is properly formatted (MLA)
o At least 1000 words
PERSONAL RESPONSE/REFLECTION QUESTIONS Include answers to these reflection questions typed into the comment box when submitting on blackboard
A) Explain the purpose of your paper:
B)Explain why you chose the audience you did and what strategies you employed to relate to your audience/avoid offending them.
C) Reflect on your writing process. What steps did you follow? Did you try anything new or different? If you did, how did it go? How did your writing change in light of or in spite of comments from peers and the instructor or other editors (such as the writing center)? What did you do to help yourself succeed? How could you do even better next time?
D) How did you employ critical thinking while working on this essay? For example, perhaps you approached the topic in a new way. Or perhaps you thought critically while using sources or engaging your audience or were otherwise creative or surprising.
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 17
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SYNTHESIS: The verbs and transitions listed under each type can be used to indicate synthesis in writing
Agreement Clarification Example Cause & Effect Disagreement
Agrees Clarifies Portrays Causes Contradicts
Allows Elucidates Illustrates Effects Condemns
Affirms Illustrates Represents Induces Disagrees
Approves Interprets Depicts Produces Differs
Accommodates Specifies Paints a Picture Provokes Dissents
Confirms Simplifies Provides a case Creates Disputes
Concurs Explicates Cites a Brings about Denies
Concedes Shows Model/lesson Makes (this) Debates
Consents Expounds upon Notes a pattern Happen Questions
Complies Makes clear Explains by example Gives rise to Opposes
Grants Further For instance Since Conflicts with
In agreement with That is (to say) Such as Due to (the fact that) In disagreement with
Similarly As a matter of fact Namely In view of (the fact that) Alternatively
Likewise More Specifically For the reason that On the other hand
In the same way More importantly Especially Therefore In contrast
In a like manner After all Particularly Consequently Conversely
By the same token Besides this For one thing Thus/Hence While
Equally Not only (this) To illustrate For this reason Whereas
but also (this) As a result of (this) Rather
Speaking about (this) Because of Instead
Considering But
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 18
You may choose from these articles to complete your quotation analysis and response paragraph.
Your quotation analysis and response paragraph can be from the same article if you like, but the quotations you choose to discuss must be different in each assignment. All page numbers are from you Perspectives on Contemporary Issues textbook.
? “Critical Thinking? You Need Knowledge” page 303, by Diane Ravitch
? “Social Connections,” pages 413-415, by Steven Johnson
? “Stuff Is Not Salvation” by Anna Quindlen, pages 500-502
? “Art Form for the Digital Age” pages 199-203, by Henry Jenkins
? “Women Sell Their Eggs, So Why Not a Kidney?” pages 429-430, by Deborah Kotz
? “Accounting 101 for the 21st Century: A Liberal Arts Education in Carbon” pgs 479-482, by John Petersen
? “Global Public Goods and Health” pages 451-52, by Richard Smith
? “In Defense of ‘Sweatshops’ “ pages 526-531, by Benjamin Powell
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 19
What it is and isn’t
Synthesis occurs when two or more sources combine in a meaningful way to back up an author’s own point or counterarguments. That seems simple enough, right? Well, I have faith in you, but no one is perfect. Following are a few guidelines that should prevent you from committing the o-so-common errors of synthesis.
WHAT It is:
For synthesis to occur there must be:
? Two sources that work together to support a particular point, counterargument, or rebuttal.
? A true relationship between the two sources. This is usually shown with connecting words such as agree or disagree, but synthesis is certainly more than a sentence-level connection.
What it isn’t:
-Two or more sources in a paragraph—period. Although this is an excellent step towards synthesis, true synthesis only occurs when a relationship between the two sources is apparent.
Example: Chocolate comes to us from South America, where it was once
consumed as a bitter, hot beverage, according to Joe Schmoe,
author of “Ahh! Chocolate” (12). Schmoe goes on to state that the beverage quickly gained favor in Europe. Ima Goodbar points out that Queen Isabella had an elaborate hot chocolate set that she used on important state occasions (276.)
This is only two sources used close to each other. This is not synthesis.
Revised: Chocolate comes to us from South America, where it was once
consumed as a bitter, hot beverage, according to Joe Schmoe,
author of “Ahh! Chocolate” (12). Schmoe goes on to state that the beverage quickly gained favor in Europe. Ima Goodbar seems to support Schmoe’s point when she points out that Queen Isabella had an elaborate hot chocolate set that she used on important state occasions in her article “Guilty Pleasures of Nobility” (276.)
This revised edition shows the relationship between the two sources when it says that Goodbar “seems to support” Schmoe.
-One source related only to itself. When you mention a source early-on in a paragraph, and then again at the end, that is not synthesis, even if you have quoted different people. Synthesis must occur between two sources.
Example: In Susan Smith’s article “Milton Hershey Should be Canonized,”
Ivana Llama states, “I love chocolate” (Smith 14). Amanda Hugnkiss agrees with this sentiment, stating, “Chocolate is the greatest discovery humankind can claim.” (Smith 17)
Notice that both quotes come from the same source. This shows some sophisticated thinking, with appropriate connections being made, and it is a type of synthesis since a relationship is being demonstrated, but it is not
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 20
what we are trying to develop in this class since there is only one source is being used.
-Random synthesis words thrown in for good measure. Sometimes you can see linking words in a text and assume that synthesis is taking place. However, sometimes linking words can be used to introduce a source or to show how the author agrees or disagrees with the author.
Example: One reason chocolate should be on every elementary school lunch
menu is that is makes students feel so good. Rita Dove, president of the
Dove Chocolate Corporation, agrees, stating, “Chocolate is the perfect
end to a satisfying luncheon” (Smith 12).
Here, “agrees” is being used, but not to develop synthesis.
-False relationship between sources Synthesis should not be created by making up connections between sources.
Example: Perhaps the biggest reason taxpayers should be given a standard
chocolate deduction is the importance that this commodity has to
our entire economic system. Nicole Kidman, author of “If I Ate
Anything, It Would be Chocolate,” writes, “So much in our society is dependent upon our ability to attain chocolate.” (42). But in his article “I eat everything, including chocolate,” I. M. Weird disagrees. He states, “Chocolate is important to American life, but I like vanilla, too.” (67).
Although there is a relationship to be seen between the sources here, it is not as simple as Weird disagreeing with Kidman.
-Too much of a good thing Lots and lots of unnecessary synthesis is not more effective than some well-placed, select instances. Make sure your voice is present throughout your paper and that is doesn’t get taken over by sources. Choose sources wisely by selecting only those that relate specifically to what you are trying to say; don’t just pile up quotations to make your essay meet the length requirement. You might think about highlighting places in your essay where you quote or summarize source material. If your essay turns up all yellow, that is probably a clue that you should slim down your source use.
-Too much of one source. Even if you find one really good source that agrees with you, still make sure it doesn’t take over your essay. Try to balance which sources you use and how often.
Improving synthesis
Use the following checklist to check for proper synthesis:
1. Is the relationship between sources made clear?
2. Is the relationship between the sources logical, or is it forced?
3. Are synthesis words or phrases used to link two or more different sources?
4. Does the synthesis word or phrase accurately summarize the relationship between/among sources?
5. Does the synthesized material overwhelm the author’s voice?
6. Is once source synthesized or otherwise used more than the other sources on the works cited page?
Adapted from Craigo
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 21
Value: 5 points
Assignment: This assignment requires you to create a single, argumentative paragraph that explains the meaning of an interesting quotation in detail. Your job is to make a claim about what you think a quotation means and support it with a critical discussion using textual evidence (the quotation itself and other quotations from the article). In other words, you will dig deeper to defend your claim about what the quote means. This skill is critical in making strong synthesis and detailed and developed paragraphs, which is important in an argumentative essay such as your upcoming research assignment.
1. Pick an article on the Article Options page (page 20) in your coursepack that seems interesting to you. Read the article critically. This can be the same article that you use for the response paragraph (but as you are analyzing here and not responding, the quotations/passages should be different!).
2. Pick a provocative quotation (one that spurns further thinking/interpretation) from the article that you could like to explore. Type out quotation in full. Stay away from straightforward statistics and thesis statements. The first are rarely hard to interpret and the second can’t really be aIDressed in a paragraph.
Example: “Meaning: the duty of black Americans is no longer to maintain, at all costs, a retired front in the face of white establishment, or to adopt a permanently defensive crouch against a mythical ‘racist’ backlash” (McWhorter 263).
2. Make a claim about what the passage means. Consider that you are making a mini-argument or interpreting the passage for the reader.
Example: Here, McWhorter makes clear that Black Americans MUST change the way that they respond to white establishment.
3. Work directly with the quote. One way is to re-quote it in whole or in part. Elaborate on your mini-argument using the quote and also YOUR own explanation. Think about the claim, example, explanation structure we talked about in class.
Example: When McWhorter says that black Americans can no longer have a “retired front” and “permanently defensive crouch,” he is specific on what changes need to take place. Black Americans can no longer be complacent or overly-defensive. This is true in part because racism perhaps has even changed, as McWhorter refers to a “mythical ‘racist’ backlash” (263).
4. Use other evidence from the article to make and support your points.
Example: McWhorter thinks that a change is necessary in the attitudes of blacks partly because the attitude of society has changed: “Upward striving [is not] seen any longer as being antithetical to being ‘really black’ ” (263). This means that blacks do not have to keep themselves down to be seen as a part of their race. Society has changed and so must blacks: “ […]integration is not an ideal at all but a living reality, in the sense that it is now perfectly ordinary for black performers to be cast in ‘white’ lead roles with neither producers, reviewers, nor audiences batting an eye.” (268).
Format: Follow MLA format guidelines. All copies should be typed, titled, double spaced and follow MLA page format . Minimum- 160 words.
Grading: Heavy emphasis on MLA format, correct source integration, and critical thinking and clarity. Avoid “I think” and “I feel” statements and other unnecessary fillers.
Coursepack; Wiess; ENG 112; 22
Critical Skill Building Assignment
VALUE: 5 points
The assignment: Your job is to create an argumentative paragraph that is supported by 2 different sources and synthesis. The argument or main claim that your paragraph will start with and defend will be your response to a claim (argumentative point) made in an academic article.
1. After reading the article carefully, choose a point that is made in one of our readings from the Article Options Page (page 20 CP). I would not choose the thesis, as that is too much to cover in one paragraph; so, a main claim that supports the thesis might be more manageable. This should be a claim that you have a personal opinion on/some interest in. The claim that you choose to respond to for this assignment should be different from the quotation analysis, but the articles could be the same.
2. Research the topic. Find other sources that discuss it so that you understand the topic better before coming to your conclusion/response.
3. Decide on your response to the passage. This is the main claim/topic sentence of your paragraph. (which could be “The author makes a good point when he says that…” or “The author fails to make a persuasive point when…”)
4. Develop your paragraph using passages from the original source and other sources that you have found, ultimately supporting your claim. This then, is an argumentative paragraph in which you defend your claim with at least one instance of accurate and clear synthesis. Use the synthesis verbs/transition sheet if you need help in deciding what the relationship is between the two sources. Don’t let the sources take over your argument!
Format: Follow MLA page format/citation guidelines. Think of a creative title. Works Cited required. Minimum- 175 words
Grading: Grading will be based on the organization, clarity, and persuasiveness of your paragraph overall. I will be looking for logical, critical development. I will also be looking at the thoroughness of your synthesis and how smoothly/ accurately you integrate/cite source material. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count!
Hints and tips:
? All copies should be typed, titled, double spaced and follow MLA format
? Avoid “I think” and “I feel” statements and other unnecessary fillers.
? Use a topic sentence that clearly tells the reader your position on the passage (is it persuasive or not?)
? Credibility of sources count.
? Paragraphs are never just for the sake of synthesis. This paragraph is meant to give you practice with supporting your own ideas/arguments with synthesis (as you will do in your final essay). This means your synthesis should be related to/ help you prove your claim.
? The goal here is an argumentative paragraph that is supported using synthesis. That doesn’t mean that your paragraph is over as soon as you have synthesized sources. You can aID more commentary/development. All quotations you use don’t have to be synthesized.
? Make sure your response is not simply a summary, although some brief summary of the original might be necessary for audience clarity.
? Don’t be afraid to use your opinion; that is what arguing is all about, but be sure to back up your claims with evidence and assertions.

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