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Instructor’s Manual to Accompany

The Longman Writer Rhetoric, Reader, Handbook
Fifth Edition


The Longman Writer Rhetoric and Reader
Fifth Edition Brief Edition

Judith Nadell Linda McMeniman
Rowan University

John Langan
Atlantic Cape Community College

Prepared by: Eliza A. Comodromos
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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Senior Acquisitions Editor: Joseph Opiela Senior Supplements Editor: Donna Campion Electronic Page Makeup: Big Color Systems, Inc. Instructor’s Manual to accompany The Longman Writer: Rhetoric, Reader, Handbook, 5e and The Longman Writer: Rhetoric and Reader, Brief Edition, 5e, by Nadell/McMeniman/Langan and Comodromos

Copyright ©2003 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Instructors may reproduce portions of this book for classroom use only. All other reproductions are strictly prohibited without prior permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Please visit our website at: ISBN: 0-321-13157-6 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 - D O H - 05 04 03 02


THEMATIC CONTENTS vi COLLABORATIVE AND/OR PROBLEM-SOLVING ACTIVITIES TEACHING COMPOSITION WITH THE LONGMAN WRITER A SUGGESTED SYLLABUS ANSWER KEY 19 PART 1: THE READING PROCESS Ellen Goodman, “Family Counterculture” PART 2: THE WRITING PROCESS Chapter 2: Getting Started Through Prewriting 20 Chapter 3: Identifying a Thesis 22 Chapter 4: Supporting the Thesis With Evidence 24 Chapter 5: Organizing the Evidence 26 Chapter 6: Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft 28 Chapter 7: Revising Overall Meaning, Structure, and Paragraph Development Chapter 8: Revising Sentences and Words 34 Chapter 9: Editing and Proofreading 37 PART 3: THE PATTERNS OF DEVELOPMENT Chapter 11: Description Opening Comments 38 Activities 39 E. B. White, “Once More to the Lake” Maya Angelou, “Sister Flowers” 42 Gordon Parks, “Flavio’s Home” 45 Chapter 12: Narration Opening Comments 48 Activities 49 George Orwell, “Shooting an Elephant” Audre Lorde, “The Fourth of July” 53 Sophronia Liu, “So Tsi-Fai” 55 19 8 1 x





Chapter 13: Illustration Opening Comments 58 Activities 59 Beth Johnson, “Bombs Bursting in Air” 61 Susan Douglas, “Managing Mixed Messages” Joyce Garity, “Is Sex All That Matters?” 66 Chapter 14: Division-Classification Opening Comments 69 Activities 70 Ann McClintock, “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising” Deborah Tannen, “But What Do You Mean?” 74 William Lutz, “Doublespeak” 77 Chapter 15: Process Analysis Opening Comments 81 Activities 82 Diane Cole, “Don’t Just Stand There” 84 Bill Bryson, “Your New Computer” 86 Richard Rhodes, “Watching the Animals” 88 Chapter 16: Comparison-Contrast Opening Comments 93 Activities 94 Toni Morrison, “A Slow Walk of Trees” 96 Dave Barry, “The Ugly Truth About Beauty” 99 Joseph H. Suina, “And Then I Went to School” 102 Chapter 17: Cause-Effect Opening Comments 106 Activities 107 Stephen King, “Why We Crave Horror Movies” 110 John M. Darley and Bibb Latané, “Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis” Brent Staples, “Black Men and Public Space” 116 Chapter 18: Definition Opening Comments 118 Activities 119 K. C. Cole, “Entropy” 120 James Gleick, “Life As Type A” 122 John Leo, “Absolutophobia” 124





Chapter 19: Argumentation-Persuasion Opening Comments 127 Activities 129 Mary Sherry, “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word” 133 Clifford Stoll, “Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom” 135 Camille Paglia, “Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know” 137 Susan Jacoby, “Common Decency” 140 Yuh Ji-Yeon, “Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s Cultures” 142 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., “The Cult of Ethnicity: Good and Bad” 145 PART 4: THE RESEARCH PAPER Chapter 20: Selecting a Subject, Using the Library and the Internet, and Taking Notes 148 Chapter 21: Writing the Research Paper 153

PART 6: A CONCISE HANDBOOK (Full version only; not in Brief Edition) Correcting Sentence Fragments 155

Correcting Comma Splices and Run-Ons 156 Correcting Faulty Parallelism 157 Correcting Problems With Subject-Verb Agreement Correcting Problems With Verb Tense 159 159 160 161 158

Correcting Problems With Pronoun Case

Correcting Problems With Pronoun Agreement Correcting Problems With Pronoun Reference Correcting Problems With Modification Correcting Comma Errors 162 163 161

Correcting Problems With Punctuation

Correcting Problems With Mechanics and Spelling




Communication and Language “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou 178 “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 “Managing Mixed Messages,” Susan Douglas 251 “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising,” Ann McClintock “But What Do You Mean?” Deborah Tannen “Doublespeak,” William Lutz 295 322 329 367 371 484 489 “Don’t Just Stand There,” Diane Cole “Your New Computer,” Bill Bryson 288 281

“The Ugly Truth About Beauty,” Dave Barry “And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word,” Mary Sherry 480

“Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom,” Clifford Stoll “Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know,” Camille Paglia “Common Decency,” Susan Jacoby Education and Work “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou “So Tsi-Fai,” Sophronia Liu 221 322 371 178 209 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell “Don’t Just Stand There,” Diane Cole “Absolutophobia,” John Leo 438 480 494

“And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word,” Mary Sherry

“Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom,” Clifford Stoll “Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s Cultures,” Yuh Ji-Yeon Ethics and Morality “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell 209 499



“The Fourth of July,” Audre Lorde “So Tsi-Fai,” Sophronia Liu 221


“Managing Mixed Messages,” Susan Douglas 251 “Is Sex All That Matters?” Joyce Garity “Doublespeak,” William Lutz 295 322 334 398 401 407 489 256 281 “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising,” Ann McClintock “Don’t Just Stand There,” Diane Cole

“Watching the Animals,” Richard Rhodes

“Why We Crave Horror Movies,” Stephen King “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples “Absolutophobia,” John Leo 438 494

“Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis,” John M. Darley and Bibb Latané

“Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know,” Camille Paglia “Common Decency,” Susan Jacoby Family and Children “Family Counterculture,” Ellen Goodman “Once More to the Lake,” E. B. White “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou “So Tsi-Fai,” Sophronia Liu 178 “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 221X 245 362 371 398 “Bombs Bursting in Air,” Beth Johnson “A Slow Walk of Trees,” Toni Morrison 7 171

“Managing Mixed Messages,” Susan Douglas 251 “And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” Stephen King “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word,” Mary Sherry 480 484

“Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom,” Clifford Stoll Government and Law “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell “The Fourth of July,” Audre Lorde “Doublespeak,” William Lutz 295 216 209


Human Groups and Societies “Family Counterculture,” Ellen Goodman “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou “The Fourth of July,” Audre Lorde “So Tsi-Fai,” Sophronia Liu 221 256 288 367 371 398 407 322 178 216 “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 7

“Is Sex All That Matters?” Joyce Garity “Don’t Just Stand There,” Diane Cole

“But What Do You Mean?” Deborah Tannen “The Ugly Truth About Beauty,” Dave Barry “And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina

“Why We Crave Horror Movies,” Stephen King “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples “Absolutophobia,” John Leo 438 480 “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word,” Mary Sherry

“Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom,” Clifford Stoll “Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know,” Camille Paglia “Common Decency,” Susan Jacoby 494 499 “Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s Cultures,” Yuh Ji-Yeon

484 489

“The Cult of Ethnicity: Good and Bad,” Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 503 Meaning in Life “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou 178 209 245 256 362 371 480 “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell “The Fourth of July,” Audre Lorde 216 “Bombs Bursting in Air,” Beth Johnson “Is Sex All That Matters?” Joyce Garity “A Slow Walk of Trees,” Toni Morrison “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word,” Mary Sherry

“And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina


Memories and Autobiography “Once More to the Lake,” E. B. White “Sister Flowers,” Maya Angelou “The Fourth of July,” Audre Lorde “So Tsi-Fai,” Sophronia Liu 221 245 362 371 407 178 209 216 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell 171

“Bombs Bursting in Air,” Beth Johnson “A Slow Walk of Trees,” Toni Morrison

“And Then I Went to School,” Joseph H. Suina “Black Men and Public Space,” Brent Staples Men and Women “But What Do You Mean?” Deborah Tannen “The Ugly Truth About Beauty,” Dave Barry “Common Decency,” Susan Jacoby Nature, Science, and Health “Once More to the Lake,” E. B. White “Flavio’s Home,” Gordon Parks 184 “Watching the Animals,” Richard Rhodes “Entropy,” K. C. Cole 428 433 334 171 494

288 367 489

“Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know,” Camille Paglia

“Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis,” John M. Darley and Bibb Latané “Life As Type A,” James Gleick Media and Technology “Your New Computer,” Bill Bryson 329 367 398 484 “The Ugly Truth About Beauty,” Dave Barry “Life As Type A,” James Gleick 433


“Why We Crave Horror Movies,” Stephen King

“Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom,” Clifford Stoll


COLLABORATIVE AND/OR PROBLEM-SOLVING ACTIVITIES Exercises and activities on the following pages encourage students to work together to tackle a variety of rhetorical tasks. In addition, many writing assignments for the professional selections lend themselves to group work. Chapter 2: Getting Started Through Prewriting—Activity 3, p. 36 Chapter 5: Organizing the Evidence—Activities 5 and 6, p. 62 Chapter 6: Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft—Activity 6, p. 90; Activities 11 and 12, p. 91 Chapter 7: Revising Overall Meaning, Structure, and Paragraph Development— Activities 1 and 3, p. 102; Activity 5, p. 104 Chapter 8: Revising Sentences and Words—Activities 11 and 12, p. 132 Chapter 9: Editing and Proofreading—Activity 1, p. 142 Chapter 12: Narration—Writing Assignment 5, p. 215; Writing Assignment 3, p. 220 Chapter 13: Illustration—Activity 3, p. 243; Writing Assignment 5, p. 250; Writing Assignment 5, p. 256; Writing Assignment 3, p. 260 Chapter 14: Division-Classification—Activities 2 and 3, p. 280; Writing Assignments 3 and 5, p. 294; Writing Assignment 5, p. 300 Chapter 15: Process Analysis—Activity 6, p. 320; Writing Assignment 4, p. 333; Writing Assignment 5, p. 342 Chapter 16: Comparison-Contrast—Writing Assignment 3, p. 369 Chapter 17: Cause-Effect—Activity 2, p. 395; Writing Assignments 4 and 5, p. 401; Writing Assignment 1, p. 406 Chapter 18: Definition—Activity 3, p. 427; Writing Assignment 1, p. 436; Writing Assignment 3, p. 440 Chapter 19: Argumentation-Persuasion—Activity 3, p. 476; Activity 9, p. 479; Writing Assignment 1, p. 482; Writing Assignment 3, p. 483; Writing Assignment 1, p. 488; Writing Assignment 5, p. 494; Writing Assignment 5, p. 499; Writing Assignment 1, p. 506; Writing Assignment 5, p. 507



Teaching offers many pleasures. Among the foremost, for us, is the chance to get together with colleagues for some shoptalk. Trading ideas, airing classroom problems, sharing light moments, speculating about why some assignments set off fireworks and others fizzle—all of this helps us in our day-to-day teaching. In this Instructor’s Manual, we would like to share with you some thoughts about teaching freshman composition and about using The Longman Writer. We’ll explain our approach for introducing each pattern of development and indicate what we emphasize when discussing the professional essays in each section. We’ll provide suggested answers to the activities that conclude each of the writing process chapters and to the prewriting and revising activities that follow the introductions to the patterns of development. We’ll also offer suggested answers to the “Questions for Close Reading” and “Questions About the Writer’s Craft” found after each professional essay. These responses aren’t meant to be definitive. Although we purposely avoided open-ended, anything-goes questions, we intend the responses to represent our views only. You may not agree with all our interpretations. That’s fine. If nothing else, our answers may suggest another way of viewing an essay. At the Start of the Course Frankly, many students dread freshman composition—a bitter pill to swallow for those of us who have made the teaching of writing our life’s work. But it’s important to understand that many students’ past experiences with writing have not been positive. Rather than trying to pretend that all our students are pleased about being in a writing class, we work to get out in the open any unhappiness they may have about writing and writing teachers. Here’s how we go about airing any negative feelings that may exist. On the first day of class, we acknowledge students’ feelings by saying something like: “I guess some of you wish that you didn’t have to take this course. In fact, you may feel that the only thing worse would be having to take a course in public speaking.” Our remark elicits smiles of self-recognition from many students, and the whole class seems to relax a bit. Then, we ask students to talk about why they have such uneasy feelings about taking a writing course. Many have sad tales to tell about previous writing classes and writing teachers. Here are summaries of some of the comments we’ve heard over the years. — In the past, my papers were returned so covered with red ink that I could barely make out my own writing. I felt discouraged to see how much I had done wrong and angry to see my work covered over with comments. — I could never figure out what my teachers wanted. Different teachers seemed to look for different things. Since there were no clear standards, I’ve never understood the qualities that make up good writing. — Writing papers always took me too much time and felt like an endless chore. Getting a first draft done was hard enough, but revising was even worse. And the payoff for writing several drafts didn’t seem worth the effort. — I knew in my head what I wanted to say but didn’t know how to get my thoughts down on paper. My ideas never came out quite right. 1

— I had writer’s block whenever I sat down to put pen to paper. I started at the desk, daydreamed, fidgeted, and had real trouble getting started. Finally, just before an assignment was due, I dashed off something to hand in, just to get it over with. As such sentiments are aired, students discover that their experience has not been unique; they learn that others in class have had similar frustrating experiences. In addition, we tell the class that each semester many of our students recount comparable sagas of woe. We reassure the class that we understand the obstacles, both inner and outer, that they have to face when writing. And, we tell them that we will work to make the freshman writing course as positive an experience as possible. But we also say that we’d be dishonest if we told them that writing is easy. It isn’t. And, unfortunately, we have no magic formula for turning them into A-plus writers. On the other hand, because we are writers and because we work with writers, we know that the composing processes can be satisfying and rewarding. We tell the class that we hope they’ll come to share our feelings as the semester progresses. From here, we move to an activity that continues the ice breaking while also familiarizing the class with the workshop format we use frequently during the semester. Students form groups of two and then four, chatting with each other for about five minutes each time. To get them moving, we put some questions on the board: what are their names, where are they from, where are they living while attending college, what other courses are they taking, what is their intended major, and so on. After a few seconds of nervous silence, the class begins to buzz with friendly energy. When ten minutes or so have passed, we stop the activity and explain why we have devoted some precious class time to socializing. During the semester, we explain, the class will often meet in small groups and respond to each other’s work, learning a good deal from each other about writing as they do so. So it makes sense for them to get to know each other a bit right at the outset. Also, we explain our hope that they will find sharing their writing as interesting and enjoyable as chatting together. Then, as a final step in building a spirit of community, we create a class phone directory by circulating a piece of paper on which all the students write their names and phone numbers. Before the next class, we have the sheet typed and reproduced so that everyone can have a copy. Assigning the First Chapters in the Book During the first or second class, we emphasize to students that the course should help them become sharper readers as well as stronger writers. With that in mind, we assign the chapter on “The Reading Process” before moving on to work on the writing process. When students come to class having read the reading chapter, we answer any questions they may have and go over the “Questions for Close Reading” and “Questions About the Writer’s Craft” that follow the selection from Ellen Goodman (see page 19 of this manual). After this discussion of reading, we begin introducing the writing process, explaining how helpful it is for a writer to break down the task of writing into stages. We’ve found that many students have never viewed writing as a process, and our explanation of the steps is a great revelation to them. We are careful to emphasize that not everyone writes the same way; we explain that, after trying out our recommendations about each stage of the process, students will most likely vary the process in a way that works best for them. We then assign the first part of Chapter 2, “Getting Started Through Prewriting” (up to “Discovering Your Essay’s Limited Subject”). In the next class, we discuss and practice prewriting. We tell the class that prewriting loosens a writer up. Exploratory and tentative, prewriting helps reduce the anxiety many people feel when facing the blank page. With prewriting, a writer doesn’t have to worry, “This better be good.” After all, no one except the writer is going to read the prewritten material. We work briefly with activities, such as Activities 1 and 3 at the end of Chapter 2, but we tell our students that the best way for them to discover what prewriting is like is for them to try it for themselves. So, we say, “Let’s suppose you had to write an essay on why students dislike English classes or what teachers could do to make English courses more interesting.” Then, we ask them to select one prewriting technique discussed in the book (questioning the subject, 2

brainstorming, freewriting, or mapping) to generate the raw material for such an essay. Often, we distribute scrap paper or yellow lined paper for them to use, reinforcing the message that prewriting is tentative and vastly different from finished work. Instructors who ask students to keep a journal might instead have them write a first journal entry in class. At the end of the class, we ask students to save the prewriting just prepared in class for possible use as the basis for an essay later in the term. And we assign the rest of the prewriting chapter and an additional end-of-chapter activity; we also ask them to begin keeping a journal. In the next class, we finish the discussion of prewriting and work again in class on getting familiar with the various prewriting techniques. After this, we introduce the patterns of development as invaluable aids to the writing process, from prompting ideas to organizing them coherently to easing the flow during the writing of a draft. For the next class, we assign either Chapter 11, “Description,” or Chapter 12, “Narration,” as the first in-depth study of a pattern of development. We have found both patterns invaluable in helping beginning writers attend to detail, discover appropriate sequencing, and become aware of the reader’s needs. Throughout the course, we alternate in-depth study of the stages of the writing process with work on the patterns of development. And we frequently have students reach back to material generated in the early prewriting sessions and, after feedback from other students, use it as the basis for more polished work. Ways to Use the Book The Longman Writer is arranged in six sections; most writing courses will emphasize Part Two, the nine chapters on the writing process, and Part Three, covering the nine patterns of development: description, narration, illustration, division-classification, process, comparison-contract, cause-effect, definition, and argumentation-persuasion. The study of the writing process can be handled in at least two ways. You might wish to spread in-depth work on each of the writing process steps through the semester, while also assigning professional selections and discussing some of the patterns of development. Or you may wish to devote the first unit of the course to work on the writing process before moving into the selections and the patterns of development. In Part Three, the introduction to each pattern shows how the writing process applies to the pattern; the more accessible experiential patterns are presented first, before moving on to the more demanding analytic patterns. If you organize your course according to the patterns of development, you need not feel confined by the order of patterns in the book; each chapter is self-contained, making it possible for you to sequence the modes however you wish. And, of course, there’s no need to cover all the essays in a chapter or even all the patterns. You may wish to concentrate on one or two of the selections demonstrating a pattern rather than attempt to cover them all in depth. A word of warning: If you tell the class which of several assigned selections will be emphasized, some students will read only those. You’ll probably want to explain to students that there are many ways to use a pattern and that reading all the assigned essays will give them an understanding of the options available. For courses organized according to the patterns, we suggest that you emphasize early in the semester that professional writers don’t set out to write an essay organized a particular way. Rather, the patterns emerge as writers prewrite and organize their ideas; writers come to see that their points can best be made by using a particular pattern of development or combination of patterns. It’s helpful, we’ve learned, to assign selections before and after students write an essay. For example, if students are going to write a causal analysis, you might have them read “Why We Crave Horror Movies” and “Black Men and Public Space.” Then, after reviewing their drafts and seeing the problems they have had, for example, with a chain of causes and effects, you might have them exam ine the way Darley and Latané handle the interplay of causes and effects in “Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis.” Some instructors using the patterns of development approach in their courses place a special emphasis on exposition. If this is your orientation, you might want to focus early on the illustration chapter. That chapter stresses the importance of establishing a point. Then, you might move to the 3

description and narration chapters; these underscore the importance of, respectively, a dominant impression and a narrative point, both developed through specific supporting details. If you prefer to design the course around themes rather than development patterns, the thematic table of contents (at the front of the textbook) will help you select essays on timely issues. For such a course, we recommend that you have students read a number of essays on a given theme. The fact that several essays on the same theme use different patterns of development helps students see that the patterns are not ends in themselves, but techniques that writers use to make their points. Creating a Process-Oriented Class Environment We’ve found that creating a workshop atmosphere in the classroom helps students view writing as a process. When a new paper is assigned, we try to give students several minutes to start their prewriting in class. In other classes, time may be set aside for students to rework parts of their first draft. We may, for instance, ask them to sharpen their introductions, conclusions, sentence structure, or transitions. In our experience, it’s been especially productive to use class time for peer evaluations of first drafts. For these feedback sessions, students may be paired with one other classmate, or they may meet with three or four other classmates. (We’ve found groups of more than five unwieldy.) Feedback from someone other than the course instructor motivates students to put in more time on a draft. Otherwise, some of them will skip the revision stage altogether; as soon as they’ve got a draft down on paper, they’ll want to hand it in. Hearing from other classmates that a point is not clear or that a paragraph is weakly developed encourages students to see that revision involves more than mechanical tinkering. They start to understand that revision often requires wholesale rethinking and reworking of parts of the essay. And, after a few feedback sessions, students begin to identify for themselves the problem areas in their writing. You’ll find that many students squirm at the thought of reacting to their classmates’ work. So it’s not surprising that they tend to respond to each other’s papers with either indiscriminate praise or unhelpful neutrality. To guide students, we prepare a brief checklist of points to consider when responding to each other’s work. You might, for example, adapt the checklists on pages 98, 100, 128, and 134 to fit a particular assignment. With such a checklist in front of them, students are able to focus their impressions and provide constructive feedback. There are a number of ways to set up peer feedback sessions. Here are a few you may want to use: — After pairing students or placing them in small groups, have each essay read aloud by someone other than the author. Students tell us that hearing another person read what they’ve written is invaluable. Awkward or unclear passages in a paper become more obvious when someone who has never before seen the essay reads it aloud. — Place students in small groups and ask them to circulate their papers so that everyone has a chance to read all the essays. Then, have each group select one especially effective paper to read aloud to the rest of the class. Everyone discusses each paper’s strengths and what might be done to sharpen the sections that miss the mark. — Ask one or two students to photocopy their drafts of an assignment, making enough copies so that everyone can look at the papers. In class, the other students—either as a whole or in groups—react to the papers up for scrutiny that day. A quick aside: At the start of the course, students are reluctant to “offer their papers up for sacrifice”—as one student put it. But, once they’re accustomed to the process, they are not at all skittish and even volunteer to be “put on the chopping block”—another student’s words. They know that the feedback received will be invaluable when the time comes to revise. 4

As you can no doubt tell, we have a special liking for group work. Since it gives students the chance to see how others approach the same assignment, they come to appreciate the personal dimension of writing and develop an awareness of rhetorical options. The group process also multiplies the feedback students get for their work, letting them see that their instructor is just one among many readers. Group activities thus help students gain a clearer sense of purpose and audience. Finally, we have found that peer review encourages students to be more active in the classroom. When students assume some of the tasks traditionally associated with the instructor, the whole class becomes more animated. Some Cautions About Group Work If you are new to group work, you may have the uneasy feeling that the group process can deteriorate into enjoyable but unproductive rap sessions. That can happen if the instructor does not guide the process carefully. Here are several suggestions to steer you clear of some traps that can ensnare group activities. First, we recommend you give very clear instructions about how students are to proceed. Providing a checklist, for example, directs students to specific issues you want them to address. Second, we believe in establishing a clear time schedule for each group activity. We might say, “Take five minutes to read to yourself the paper written by the person on your left,” or “Now that all the papers in your group have been read, you should vote to determine which is the strongest paper. Then, take five minutes to identify one section of the essay that needs additional attention.” Third, although we try to be as inconspicuous as possible during group work, we let students know that we are available for help when needed. Sometimes we circulate among the groups, listening to comments, asking a question or two. But, more often, we stay at the desk and encourage students to consult with us when they think our reaction would be helpful. Responding to Student Work Beyond the informal, in-class consultations just described, we also meet during the course with each student for several one-on-one conferences of about fifteen to thirty minutes. Depending on our purpose, student needs, class size, and availability of time, a number of things may occur during the individual conferences. We may review a paper that has already been graded and commented on, highlighting the paper’s strengths and underscoring what needs to be done to sharpen the essay. Or we may use the conference to return and discuss a recent essay that has or has not been graded. In the last few years, we have tended not to grade or write comments on papers we’re going to review in conference. Instead, we take informal notes about the papers and refer to them when meeting with students. We’ve found that this approach encourages students to interact with us more freely since their attention isn’t riveted to the comments and grade already recorded on the paper. Finally, we end each conference by jotting down a brief list of what the student needs to concentrate on when revising or writing the next assignment. Students tell us this individualized checklist lets them know exactly what they should pay attention to in their work. When students hand in the final draft of a paper, we ask them to include their individualized checklists. Having a checklist for each student enables us to focus on the elements that typically give the student trouble. And, candidly, having the checklist in front of us tames our not-so-noble impulse to pounce on every problem in an essay. In our oral and written comments, we try to emphasize what’s strong in the essay and limit discussion of problems to the most critical points. Like everyone else, students are apt to overlook what they’ve done well and latch on to things that haven’t been so successful. If every error a student makes is singled out for criticism, the student—again like everyone else—often feels overwhelmed and defeated. So unless a student is obviously lackadaisical and would profit from some hard-hitting 5

teacherly rebukes, we try to make our comments as positive and encouraging as possible. And, rather than filling the paper with reworked versions of, let’s say, specific sentences and paragraphs, we make liberal use of such remarks as these: “Read these last three sentences aloud. Do you hear the awkwardness? How could you streamline these sentences?” or “Doesn’t this paragraph contradict what you say at the beginning of the preceding paragraph? What could you do to eliminate the confusion?” When responding to a paper, we often suggest that the student review or reread a professional essay, the introduction to a rhetorical pattern, or a specific chapter on the writing process. And, we always end our comments with a brief list of points to be added to the student’s personalized checklist. Using Portfolios to Assess Student Progress You may wish to have your students present a portfolio of their work for grading at the conclusion of the course, instead of giving grades for each paper in succession. Using such a portfolio system alters somewhat the way you respond to individual student papers as they are submitted, because you assign no grades to them. The written and oral feedback on a paper is geared solely to making the essay a more effective piece of communication rather than to justifying a particular low or high grade. This forces all concerned—instructors and students—to stay focused on how to improve writing rather than on what might pull a paper down or on what score a paper should get. If students balk at “floating free” of grades for the whole course, you might occasionally supply a tentative grade or give students grades on one or two essays so they get a feel for the standards. As the course progresses, however, the issue of what a strong paper is like should be resolved. The students will be reading the successful papers in the text, examining and commenting on the essays of other students, and hearing a plenitude of helpful comments about writing. You should indicate clearly at the start of the course that students must complete each essay as well as all other practices, journal entries, and so forth that you assign, but that the writing component of their final grade will be based upon a portfolio of polished work. Clearly establish the minimum number of essays to be included in a completed portfolio. Typically, a course might be represented by four final-draft essays, plus some late-in-the-term in-class writing. In addition, you may wish to examine the successive drafts for one of the revised papers. To receive a grade, each student meets with the instructor for a conference about the writing progress demonstrated in the portfolio. After a dialogue about the writing’s strengths and areas needing improvement, the instructor and student agree on a grade. Such a portfolio system has several advantages. It stresses to students that writing well is an ongoing process and encourages them to make subsequent revisions of their essays as they acquire new insights into writing. It forces them to take responsibility for their progress beyond the achievement they reach in the first submitted version of an essay. It instills the notion of a writing community, for once they have gotten beyond the initial series of structured feedback sessions that you have built into the course, students must initiate feedback from their peers and from the instructor on any revisions they do. Finally, such a system dramatizes the reality that writers write for other people, and that reaching the audience, not jumping hurdles to get a grade, is the goal of writing. At the End of the Course Since our students keep all their papers in a folder, they have no trouble retrieving essays written weeks or even months earlier. So, near the end of the semester, we ask students to select—for one more round of revision—three or four essays, with each paper illustrating a different rhetorical pattern. We use these reworked versions of the essays to assign a final grade to each student. If you structure your course around themes and issues, you’ll probably want to require that each paper deal with a different theme. 6

As the semester draws to a close, we also ask students to complete the questionnaire at the back of the book. Their responses let us know which selections worked well and which did not, helping us make adjustments in what we assign in future semesters. So that you too can find out how the class reacted to the assigned selections, you might ask students to give the completed forms to you rather than having students mail their questionnaire to the publisher. If you do collect the forms, we hope that you’ll forward them on to us at Longman after you’ve had a chance to look them over. This kind of student feedback will be crucial when we revise the book. An especially rewarding way to end the semester is to have the class publish a booklet of the best writing. Students revise and then submit two of their strongest papers to a class-elected editorial board. This board selects one essay from each student in the class, making an effort to choose essays that represent a mix of styles and rhetorical approaches. After a table of contents and a cover have been prepared, the essays are retyped, duplicated, and stapled into booklet form. Depending on the equipment and funds available, the booklet may be photocopied or designed on a computer. Students respond enthusiastically to this project. After all, who can resist the prospect of being published? And knowing that their writing is going public encourages students to revise in earnest. The booklets yield significant benefits for us, too. They help build a bank of student writing to use as examples in subsequent semesters. As a bonus, the booklets allow us to reconnect with the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of the students passing through our classes year after year. Such booklets have been an ongoing source of pleasure.



On the following pages we present a syllabus that will give you some further ideas on how to use The Longman Writer. Note that the syllabus assumes the course meets twice a week for an hour and a half per session over the course of fifteen weeks. The syllabus can, of course, be adjusted to fit a variety of course formats. WEEK 1 Class 1 • • • • Provide an introduction to the course and handle necessary business matters. Direct a “getting to know each other” activity (see page 2 of this manual). Have students prepare an in-class writing sample to get an initial sense of their writing needs. Assignment—Ask students to read Chapter 1, “Becoming a Strong Reader.”

Class 2 • • • Return the in-class papers. Review common sentence skills and mechanical problems. Introduce the writing process, with emphasis on prewriting. Assignment—Have students read up to “Discover Your Essay’s Limited Subject” (p. 25) in Chapter 2, “Getting Started Through Prewriting.” WEEK 2 Class 3 • • • • Discuss and answer questions about the first part of Chapter 2, “Getting Started Through Prewriting.” Have students do some practice prewriting or a practice journal entry; ask for a few volunteers to submit their writing to be read aloud anonymously. Have students, in groups or as a class, do Activities 1 and 3 at the end of Chapter 2. Discuss answers as a class. Assignments—Have students: a. Finish Chapter 2, “Getting Started Through Prewriting.” Do Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 2. b. Begin keeping a journal, number and length of entries to be specified by the instructor. 8

Class 4 • • Discuss and answer questions about the second part of Chapter 2, “Getting Started Through Prewriting.” Go over Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 2. Have students do in class Activity 5 at the end of the chapter. Discuss results as a class; have volunteers read their prewriting aloud or submit for anonymous reading. Or have students share their prewriting with each other in groups. Introduce the first pattern of development, “Description” (or “Narration,” as you choose). Assignment—Have students read Chapter 11, “Description,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 162), or alternatively, Chapter 12, “Narration,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 201). WEEK 3 Class 5 • • Discuss descriptive or narrative writing and answer student questions. Have students do in class Activities 1 and 6 at the end of Chapter 11, “Description.” Alternatively, have them do Activities 1 and 3 at the end of Chapter 12, “Narration.” Discuss the results as a class, or have student groups share the results of Activity 6 if done individually. Assignments—Have students: a. Finish Chapter 11, “Description,” or Chapter 12, “Narration.” Complete Activity 2 or 3 at the end of Chapter 11 or Activity 2 or 5 at the end of Chapter 12. b. Read “Once More to the Lake” by E. B. White or another selection in Chapter 11. Alternatively, read “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell or another selection in Chapter 12. Prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions following the assigned selection. Class 6 • • Discuss the assigned selection. Finish discussion of Chapter 11, “Description,” or Chapter 12, “Narration.” Have students do Activities 5 and 6 at the end of Chapter 11 or Activities 4 or 6 at the end of Chapter 12. Arrange groups so students may share their revisions of Activity 6 in Chapter 12 or Activity 6 in Chapter 12. Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned description or narration selection or at the end of Chapter 11 or 12. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and get feedback. Assignments—Have students: a. Read a second assigned selection from Chapter 11 or 12 and prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions following it. b. Prepare a draft of the description or narration essay.

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WEEK 4 Class 7 • • • Discuss the assigned selection. Initiate group feedback on students’ description or narrative essays (see pages 4–5 of this manual). Give students the option of handing in their papers now or revising them by the next class. Assignments—Have students: a. Revise the description or narrative essay (optional). b. Read Chapter 3, “Identifying Your Thesis.” Class 8 • • • • Pass back and discuss students’ description or narrative essays; collect essays from students who chose to revise. Discuss and answer questions about Chapter 3, “Identifying Your Thesis.” Have students do Activities 1, 3, and 4 at the end of Chapter 3. Discuss the results. Assignments—Have students: a. Do Activities 2 or 5 and 6 at the end of Chapter 3, “Identifying Your Thesis.” b. Read Chapter 13, “Illustration,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 235). WEEK 5 Class 9 • • • • Discuss assigned Activities 2 or 5 and 6 at the end of Chapter 3, “Identifying Your Thesis.” Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 13, “Illustration.” Have students do in class Activities 1 and 2 at the end of Chapter 13. Use groups or pairs to share responses to both activities. Read aloud responses to Activity 2. Assignments—Have students: a. Do Activity 4 at the end of Chapter 13, “Illustration.” b. Read “Bombs Bursting in Air” by Beth Johnson or another selection in Chapter 13 and prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions following it. c. Read Chapter 4, “Supporting the Thesis With Evidence.” Complete Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 4.


Class 10 • Have students share results of Activity 4 at the end of Chapter 13, “Illustration,” either in groups or by reading aloud to the class. If there is not enough time for group work, collect student responses and review quickly at home, without marking. Discuss the assigned reading selection. Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 4, “Supporting the Thesis With Evidence,” and on Activity 1. Have students do in class Activity 2 at the end of Chapter 4. Also arrange groups and have them do Activity 3 or 4. Discuss the results. Assignment—Have students finish Chapter 13, “Illustration,” and do Activity 5 at the end of the chapter. Also do Activity 5 at the end of Chapter 4. WEEK 6 Class 11 • • • • Go over Activity 5 at the end of Chapter 4. Discuss and answer questions on the rest of Chapter 13, “Illustration.” Discuss the results of Activity 5 in Chapter 13. Have students do Activity 6 or 7 at the end of Chapter 13; arrange groups so students may share their revisions. Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned selection or at the end of Chapter 13. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and get feedback. Assignments—Have students: a. Prepare a draft of the illustration essay. b. Read a second assigned selection from Chapter 13, “Illustration,” and prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions at the end of the selection. Class 12 • • • Initiate group feedback on students’ illustration essays (see pages 4–5 of this manual). Give students the option of handing in their papers now or revising them by the next class. Discuss the assigned reading selection. Introduce Chapter 5, “Organizing the Evidence.”

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Assignments—Have students: a. Revise the illustration essay (optional). b. Read Chapter 5, “Organizing the Evidence.” WEEK 7

Class 13 • • • Pass back and discuss students’ illustration essays; collect essays from students who chose to revise. Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 5, “Organizing the Evidence.” Have students do Activities 1, 2, and 4 at end of Chapter 5. Assignments—Have students: a. Do Activity 5 at end of Chapter 5, “Organizing the Evidence.” b. Read Chapter 14, “Division-Classification,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 271) and do Activities 1 and 2 at end of Chapter 14. Alternatively, read Chapter 15, “Process Analysis,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 310) and do Activities 1 and 2 at the end of Chapter 15. c. Read “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising” by Ann McClintock or another selection in Chapter 14. Alternatively, read “Watching the Animals” by Richard Rhodes or another selection in Chapter 15. Prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions at the end of the selection. Class 14 • • Discuss Activity 3 at the end of Chapter 5, “Organizing the Evidence.” Discuss and answer questions about Chapter 14, “Division-Classification.” Go over Activities 1 and 2 at the end of Chapter 14. Have students do in class Activities 3 and 4 at end of Chapter 14. Alternatively, discuss and answer questions about Chapter 15, “Process Analysis,” and go over Activities 1 and 2 at the end of Chapter 15. Have students do in class Activities 3, 4 or 5 at the end of Chapter 15. Discuss the assigned reading selection. Assignments—Have students: a. Finish Chapter 14, “Division-Classification,” or Chapter 15, “Process Analysis.” b. Read “Doublespeak” by William Lutz or another reading selection in Chapter 14. Alternatively, read “Don’t Just Stand There” by Diane Cole in Chapter 15. Prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions at the end of the selection.

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WEEK 8 Class 15 • Discuss the rest of Chapter 14, “Division-Classification,” and have students do Activity 5 at the end of the chapter. Alternatively, discuss the rest of Chapter 15, “Process Analysis,” and have students do Activity 6 at the end of Chapter 15. Use groups to share results. Discuss the assigned reading selection. Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned divisionclassification or process analysis selection or at the end of Chapter 14 or 15. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and get feedback. Assignments—Have students: a. Prepare a draft of the division-classification or process analysis essay. b. Read Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft,” up to “Write Other Paragraphs in the Essay’s Body” (p. 76), and do Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 6. Class 16 • Initiate group feedback on students’ division-classification or process analysis essays (see pages X–X of this manual). Give students the option of handing in their papers now or revising them by the next class. Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft.” Go over Activity 1. Have students do in class Activity 2 or 3 at the end of the chapter. Assignments—Have students: a. Revise the division-classification or process analysis essay (optional). b. Finish Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft,” and do Activity 2 or 3 at the end of the chapter if not assigned in class. c. Read Chapter 10, “An Overview of the Patterns of Development.” WEEK 9 Class 17 • • • Pass back and discuss students’ division-classification or process analysis essays; collect essays from students who chose to revise. Continue discussing Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft,” and Activities 2 and 3 at the end of the chapter. Have students do Activities 4 and 5 or 6 at the end of the chapter. Discuss Chapter 10, “An Overview of the Patterns of Development.”

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Introduce “Comparison-Contrast.” Assignment—Have students: a. Read Chapter 16, “Comparison-Contrast,” up to “Revision Strategies (p. 351). Do Activity 2 at the end of the chapter. b. In Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft,” do Activity 9 at the end of the chapter.

Class 18 • Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 16, “Comparison-Contrast,” and go over Activity 2 at the end of the chapter. Have students do in class Activity 1 and either 3 or 4 at the end of the chapter. Use groups to share responses to Activity 3 or 4. Go over Activity 9 at the end of Chapter 6, “Writing the Paragraphs in the First Draft.” In class, read “A Slow Walk of Trees” by Toni Morrison in Chapter 16. Discuss the selection as an example of “one-side-at-a-time” format. Assignments—Have students: a. Read an additional selection in Chapter 16, “Comparison-Contrast,” and prepare to discuss the selection’s use of the “point-by-point” format. Also prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions following the selection. b. Finish Chapter 16, “Comparison-Contrast,” and do Activity 6 at the end of the chapter. WEEK 10 Class 19 • • Discuss the assigned selection. Discuss the rest of Chapter 16, “Comparison-Contrast,” and go over Activity 6 at the end of the chapter, perhaps using groups to share revisions. Have students do in class Activity 5 at the end of the chapter. Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned com parison-contrast selections or at the end of Chapter 16. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and get feedback. Assignments—Have students: a. Prepare a draft of the comparison-contrast essay. b. Read Chapter 7, “Revising Overall Meaning, Structure, and Paragraph Development.”

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Class 20 • Initiate group feedback on students’ comparison-contrast essays (see pages 4–5 of this manual). Ask students to use the guidelines and checklists on pages 98 and 100 in Chapter 7 during the feedback process. Require students to revise their essays by the next class. Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 7, “Revising Overall Meaning, Structure, and Paragraph Development.” Have students do in class Activities 1 and 3 at the end of the chapter. Assignments—Have students: a. Revise the comparison-contrast essay, using the revision checklist on pages 351–352. b. Bring in journal entries, previously written essays, or material generated for Activity 6 at the end of Chapter 6 for revision practice in class. WEEK 11 Class 21 • • • Collect the comparison-contrast essays. Go over Activity 3 at the end of chapter 7, “Revising for Overall Meaning, Structure, and Paragraph Development,” or use groups to share revisions of journal entries or previous papers. Assignment—Have students read Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words,” up to “Make Sentences Emphatic” (p. 114).

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Class 22 • • • • Pass back and discuss the students’ comparison-contrast essays. Discuss the first part of Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” Have students do Activities 1 and 2 at the end of the chapter. Introduce “Cause-Effect.” Assignments—Have students: a. Finish Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” Do Activity 13 at the end of the chapter. b. Read Chapter 17, “Cause-Effect,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 386). WEEK 12 Class 23 • Discuss and answer questions on the rest of Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” Go over Activity 13 at the end of the chapter. In class, have students do Activities 3 and 4 at the end of the chapter. 15

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Discuss and answer questions on Chapter 17, “Cause-Effect.” In class, have students do Activities 1 and 2 at the end of the chapter. Assignments—Have students: a. Do Activity 5 at the end of Chapter 8. b. Finish Chapter 17, “Cause-Effect,” and do Activities 3 and 5 at the end of the chapter.

Class 24 • Go over Activity 5 at the end of Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” Have students do in class Activity 6 at the end of the chapter and discuss results. Using groups, have students work on Activity 8 at the end of the chapter. Discuss and answer questions on the rest of Chapter 17, “Cause-Effect.” Go over Activities 3 and 5 at the end of the chapter. Have students do in class Activity 4 at the end of the chapter. Assignments—Have students: a. Do Activity 11 at the end of Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” b. Read two selections in Chapter 17, one emphasizing causes, “Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis,” by John Darley and Bibb Latané, and one emphasizing effects, “Black Men and Public Space,” by Brent Staples. Prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions following the selections. WEEK 13 Class 25 • • • Go over Activity 11 of Chapter 8, “Revising Sentences and Words.” Have students do in class Activity 9 or 10 at the end of the chapter. Discuss the assigned selections in Chapter 17, “Cause-Effect.” Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned causeeffect selections or at the end of Chapter 17. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and get feedback. Assignment—Have students prepare a draft of the cause-effect essay.

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Class 26 • • Initiate group feedback on students’ cause-effect essays (see pages 4–5 of this manual). Ask students to use the checklists on pp. 98, 100, 128, and 134 during the feedback session. Introduce “Definition” or “Argumentation-Persuasion,” as you choose.


Assignments—Have students: a. Revise the cause-effect essay using the checklists on pp. 98, 100, 128, and 134. b. Read Chapter 18, “Definition,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 419). Alternatively, read Chapter 19, “Argumentation-Persuasion,” up to “Revision Strategies” (p. 464). WEEK 14

Class 27 • • Collect the cause-effect essays. Discuss and answer questions about Chapter 18, “Definition,” and have students work in class on Activity 2 at the end of the chapter and share responses in groups. Also, do Activity 1 at the end of the chapter. Alternatively, discuss Chapter 19, “Argumentation-Persuasion,” and have students work in class on Activity 2 at the end of the chapter and share responses in groups. Also, do Activities 1 and 3 at the end of Chapter 19. Ask students to read “Entropy” by K. C. Cole or another selection in Chapter 18. Alternatively, assign “Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom” by Clifford Stoll or another selection at the end of Chapter 19. Discuss the reading and craft questions following the selection. Assignments—Have students: a. Finish Chapter 18, “Definition,” and do Activity 3 at the end of the chapter. Alternatively, finish Chapter 19, “Argumentation-Persuasion.” Do Activity 4 at the end of the chapter. b. Read “Absolutophobia” by John Leo or another selection at the end of Chapter 18. Alternatively, read “Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know” by Camille Paglia and “Common Decency” by Susan Jacoby at the end of Chapter 19. Prepare to discuss the reading and craft questions for the assigned selection(s). c. Read Chapter 9, “Editing and Proofreading.” Class 28 • • Pass back and discuss students’ cause-effect essays. Discuss and answer questions about the rest of Chapter 18, “Definition.” Go over Activity 3 at the end of the chapter. Have students do in class Activity 4 at the end of the chapter. Alternatively, discuss the rest of Chapter 19, “Argumentation-Persuasion.” Go over Activity 4 at the end of Chapter 19. Have students do in class Activities 6 and 7 at the end of the chapter. Discuss the assigned reading selections. Have students do prewriting for one of the writing assignments at the end of the assigned definition or argumentation-persuasion selections or at the end of Chapter 18 or 19. Using groups, have students share their prewriting and use the checklists on pages 98, 100, 128, and 134 when providing feedback.

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Assignments—Have students: a. Prepare a draft of the definition or argumentation-persuasion essay. b. Do Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 9, “Editing and Proofreading.” WEEK 15

Class 29 • • • Go over Activity 1 at the end of Chapter 9, “Editing and Proofreading.” Initiate group feedback on students’ definition or argumentation-persuasion essays. Have students work in class on Activity 5 at the end of Chapter 18, “Definition.” Alternatively, have students work in class on Activities 8 and 9 at the end of Chapter 19, “ArgumentationPersuasion.” Assignment—Have students revise the definition or argumentation-persuasion essay.

Class 30 • • • Pass back and discuss students’ definition or argumentation-persuasion essays. Have students submit their folders of revised work. Conclude the course.




FAMILY COUNTERCULTURE Ellen Goodman Questions for Close Reading (p. 11)

1. According to Goodman, parenting today entails a constant struggle against what the popular marketplace presents as attractive to children. She asserts, “What the media delivers to children by the masses, you are expected to rebut one at a time” (paragraph 14). In the past, she tells us, parents raised their children “in accordance with the dominant cultural message” (2). But today, they must “raise their children in opposition” (14) to it. Responsible parenting, Goodman feels, is now a matter of resistance, making child raising an increasingly difficult task. 2. Both the grocers’ association and PR people “assembled under the umbrella marked ‘parental responsibility’ ” (5) protested the ban. Goodman takes the PR people more seriously because she considers them a symptom of a dangerous phenomenon: the tendency to call for more parental responsibility precisely at the time the marketplace becomes more irresponsible. To Goodman, this demand for an unrealistic degree of parental accountability absolves the marketplace of its responsibility. Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 11) 1. In the first two paragraphs, Goodman uses the second-person point of view to establish the fact that she is aiming her essay at parents: “All you [italics added] need to join is a child” and “At some point between LaMaze and the PTA, it becomes clear that one of your [italics added] main jobs as a parent is to counter the culture.” The specific parents Goodman addresses are those struggling to raise their children in opposition to mainstream culture. Goodman’s use of “we” and “our” (16) makes it clear that she allies herself with these beleaguered adults. She argues that it’s unfair to think that parents should be considered successful only if they can counter the culture. Such a standard, she asserts, is impossible to attain, given the pervasive power of media messages. 2. In paragraph 16, Goodman repeats the word “it’s” four times. Goodman may repeat this word to illustrate just how familiar readers are with the problem: It is no longer necessary to identify the problem by name; it is so much a part of their daily lives that they already know, perhaps too well, to what she is referring. This repetition also reflects the ongoing nature of the struggle, the short, clipped assertions summing up the problem succinctly. 19

ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 2 “GETTING STARTED THROUGH PREWRITING” (p. 15) Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 2 (p. 35). In some cases, other responses are possible. 1. Set A 3 2 5 4 1 Abortion Controversial social issue Cutting state abortion funds Federal funding of abortions Social issues

Set B 4 3 1 2 5 Business majors Students’ majors College students Kinds of students on campus Why students major in business

2. “Day care,” “male and female relationships,” and “international terrorism” are clearly too broad to be used as topics for a 2- to 5-page essay. 3. Here are some descriptions of possible purposes, tones, and points of view for the various topics and audiences. Overcoming shyness — for ten-year-olds Purpose: to reassure them, help them feel safer Tone: lively, optimistic Point of view: ex-shy adult — for teachers of ten-year-olds Purpose: to help teachers encourage shy children Tone: explanatory Point of view: psychologist — for young singles Purpose: to show how easy talking to others can be Tone: pep-talk Point of view: an extroverted young single


Telephone solicitations — for people training for a job Purpose: to motivate Tone: up-beat Point of view: high-powered successful phone salesperson — for homeowners Purpose: to advise how to handle Tone: angry Point of view: experienced homeowner — for readers of a humor magazine Purpose: to make fun of telephone sales pitches Tone: mocking Point of view: call recipient Smoking — for people who have quit Purpose: to reinforce their decision with benefits Tone: supportive and informative Point of view: medically informed quitter — for smokers Purpose: to demolish their reasons for smoking Tone: sarcastic Point of view: a smoke-hater — for elementary school children Purpose: to warn them of dangers Tone: serious Point of view: a concerned parent 5. Here are some possible patterns that might work with these topics and purposes: a. Topic: the failure of recycling efforts on campus Pattern: cause-effect b. Topic: the worst personality trait that someone can have Pattern: description or illustration c. Topic: the importance of being knowledgeable about national affairs Pattern: argumentation-persuasion


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 3 “IDENTIFYING A THESIS” (p. 38) Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 3 (p. 43). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. a. Limited Subject: The ethics of treating severely handicapped infants FS TB OK A Some babies born with severe handicaps have been allowed to die. There are many serious issues involved in the treatment of handicapped newborns. The government should pass legislation requiring medical treatment for handicapped newborns. This essay will analyze the controversy surrounding the treatment of severely handicapped babies who would die without medical care.

b. Limited Subject: Privacy and computerized records TB FS OK A Computers raise significant questions for all of us. Computerized records keep track of consumer spending habits, credit records, travel patterns, and other personal information. Computerized records have turned our private lives into public property. In this paper, the relationship between computerized records and the right to privacy will be discussed.

2. Here are some possible thesis statements for the topics: a. Topic: Thesis: b. Topic: Thesis: c. Topic: Thesis: the failure of recycling efforts on campus Campus apathy about recycling results from poor planning by the campus housing department. the worst personality trait that someone can have Bossiness is an intolerable trait in a friend. the importance of being knowledgeable about national affairs Gaining awareness of current events is a significant part of becoming a responsible adult.


3. Below are possible thesis statements for each pair of general and limited subjects. General Subject Psychology Limited Subject The power struggles in a classroom Possible Thesis The classroom is often a battlefield, with destructive struggles for power going on among students and teacher. In hospitals, doctors often treat patients like robots rather than human beings. Television sitcoms either ignore or trivialize the elderly The minimum wage is too low to inspire young people to work hard and advance themselves.


Doctors’ attitudes towards patients Television’s depiction of the elderly Minimum-wage jobs for young people

The elderly


4. Below are possible thesis statements for each set of points. Set A Possible thesis: Set B Possible thesis: If not closely monitored, experiments in genetic engineering could yield disastrous results. Students in college today are showing signs of increasing conservatism.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 4 “SUPPORTING THE THESIS WITH EVIDENCE” (p. 46) Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 4 (p. 52). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. Thesis: OK TG IA OK OK IA Colleges should put less emphasis on sports.

High-powered athletic programs encourage grade-fixing. Too much value is attached to college sports. Athletics have no educational value. Competitive athletics can lead to extensive and expensive injuries. Athletes can spend too much time on the field and not enough on their studies. Good athletic programs create a strong following among former undergraduates.

2. Below are possible supporting points for each of the thesis statements. Thesis: Rude behavior in movie theaters seems to be on the rise. — People feel free to chat loudly with their companions during films. — Some shout out humorous or vulgar comments about the characters and events on the screen. — Others smoke and visit the popcorn stand without any concern for those they disturb. Thesis: Recent television commercials portray men as incompetent creatures. — College male washing colors and whites together, to horror of older woman in laundromat. — Father caring for child but unable to cope with emergency. — Men concerned only with taste of product, while wives are knowledgeable about healthfulness.


Thesis: The local library fails to meet the public’s needs. — The hours are limited and inconvenient. — The part-time, inexperienced staff provide insufficient assistance. — The collection is outdated and incomplete. Thesis: People often abuse public parks. — Litter spoils picnic and other recreation areas. — Off-road vehicles and dirt bikes destroy fields, seashores, and woodlands. — Illegal camping, hunting, and fire-making can cause long-term damage.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 5 “ORGANIZING THE EVIDENCE” (p. 54) Below we provide suggested response to selected activities at the end of Chapter 5 (p. 61). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. Thesis: Our schools, now in crisis, could be improved in several ways. III. Schedules A. Longer school days B. Longer school year III. Teachers A. Certificate requirements for teachers B. Merit pay for outstanding teachers III. Curriculum A. Better textbooks for classroom use B. More challenging course content 2. Set A Thesis: Traveling in a large city can be an unexpected education. Purpose 1: To explain, in a humorous way, the stages in learning to cope with the city’s cab system. This purpose would clearly require a chronological approach to depict “the stages in learning to cope. . . .” Purpose 2: To describe, in a serious manner, the vastly different sections of the city as viewed from a cab. This purpose would require a spatial approach, moving from section to section. Set B Thesis: Purpose 1: The student government seems determined to improve its relations with the college administration. To inform readers by describing efforts that student leaders took, month by month, to win administrative support. This purpose would require a chronological approach. Purpose 2: To convince readers by explaining straightforward as well as intricate proadministration resolutions that student leaders passed. This purpose would require a simple-to-complex approach.


Set C Thesis: Purpose 1: Supermarkets use sophisticated marketing techniques to prod consumers into buying more than they need. To convince readers that positioning products in certain locations encourages impulse buying. This purpose would require a spatial approach, covering the locations in order. Purpose 2: To persuade readers not to patronize those chains using especially objectionable sales strategies. This purpose would require an emphatic approach. 4. Set A Thesis: Friends of the opposite sex fall into one of several categories: the pal, the confidante, and the pest. Overall pattern of development: Division-classification — Frequently, an opposite-sex friend is simply a “pal.” Pattern of development: Definition — Sometimes, though, a pal turns, step by step, into a confidante. Pattern of development: Process analysis — If a confidante begins to have romantic thoughts, he or she may become a pest, thus disrupting the friendship. Pattern of development: Cause-effect Set B Thesis: What happens when a child gets sick in a two-income family? Numerous problems occur. Overall pattern of development: Cause-effect — Parents often encounter difficulties as they take steps to locate a baby sitter or make other child care arrangements. Pattern of development: Process analysis — If no child care helper can be found, a couple must decide which parent will stay at home-a decision that may create conflict between husband and wife. Pattern of development: Cause-effect — No matter what they do, parents inevitably will incur at least one of several kinds of expenses. Pattern of development: Division-classification or illustration


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 6 “WRITING THE PARAGRAPHS IN THE FIRST DRAFT” (p. 63) Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 6 (p. 85). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. a. The topic is the final sentence of the paragraph: “Clearly, being an expert doesn’t guarantee a clear vision of the future.” b. There is no explicit topic sentence in this paragraph. The point of the paragraph could be expressed this way: “Several cities have resorted to drastic measures to limit automobile traffic.” c. The first sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence: “A small town in Massachusetts that badly needed extra space for grade school classes found it in an unlikely spot.” The final sentence identifies this “unlikely spot” as a saloon. d. The topic sentence of this paragraph appears in the middle: “New research, though, shows that neurotics are indeed likely to have physical problems.” e. The topic sentence is the first sentence: “Many American companies have learned the hard way that they need to know the language of their foreign customers.” 2. Below are possible revised versions of the paragraphs. a. Other students can make studying in the college library difficult. For one thing, some students spread out their books, coats, backpacks, and other paraphernalia so that they take up a whole library table, leaving no room for anyone else. Whispering and giggling with friends, chomping gum, even eating sandwiches, others indulge in thoughtless behavior that makes concentration impossible. Still others, tapping their feet, clicking their pens, shifting noisily every two minutes, disrupt the quiet. Worst of all, some students remove books and magazines from their assigned locations and don’t return them. Some even tear out pages, making it impossible for another person to find needed material. b. Some people have dangerous driving habits. Acting as though no one else is on the road, they blithely drop into a lane without giving other motorists any warning. Others seem unsure of where they’re going; they move around the road without signaling, hustling into the turn lane and then veering back to their original position. The truly confused, of which there seem to be many, conscientiously blink for a right turn and then turn left. Finally, some motorists drive ten or even twenty mph over the speed limit, while others mosey along at 25 in a 55 mph zone. Both speedballs and slowpokes cause accidents.


c. Things people used to think were safe are now considered dangerous. Foods once thought healthy, such as eggs and even milk, are now under suspicion of causing heart disease. Similarly, some habits people thought were harmless are not considered risky, like smoking or having a few drinks. Even things in the home, in the work place, and in the air have been found to be harmful. Recent reports show that asbestos, radon gas, and perhaps even electromagnetic waves cause lung disease and a variety of life-threatening cancers. So much has been discovered in recent years about what is harmful that it makes you wonder: What additional dangers lurk in the environment? d. Society encourages young people to drink. For one thing, youngsters learn early that their parents and other relatives find alcohol consumption a necessity on birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations. They see their parents buying scotch to give as presents to clients and ordering liquor by the case for business functions. Memorial Day, Independence Day, and other national holidays also cause adults to break out the Budweiser, the Johnny Walker, and even the champagne. But, the place where youngsters see alcohol depicted most enticingly is on television. Prime-time shows, like major sports events and popular sitcoms, are typically sponsored by beer and wine commercials and show healthy, jubilant people drinking liquor and having the time of their lives. 3. The major flaws in each paragraph are indicated below. a. This paragraph lacks unity (U). Sentences five and nine (“Of course, participants’ observations . . .”; “Such findings underscore . . .”) are digressions from the main point. b. This paragraph lacks unity (U); it moves from the children’s cheating to children growing up with “distorted values” to adult cheating. It also lacks specific support (S) throughout. c. The support consists of the same point about brain size repeated over and over (R). The paragraph needs tightening. d. A problem in coherence (C) is caused by the lack of a transition between the first and second sentences as well as by insufficient transitions to signal the second and third steps that adults can take to reduce their cholesterol level. Unity (U) is spoiled by the digression of the fifth sentence (“Physicians warn . . .”). The placement of the sixth sentence (“for those unwilling . . .”) leads to another problem in coherence (C). Since this sentence develops the point about vegetarianism, it should go after the third sentence (“Since only foods . . .”), the sentence that first discusses vegetarianism. 4. Here is one way to revise the paragraph. (Transitional signals are italicized.) As a camp counselor this past summer, I learned that leading young children is different from leading people your own age. I was president of my high school Ecology Club, and I ran it democratically. When we wanted to bring a speaker to the school, we decided to do a fund raiser. I solicited ideas from everybody, and then we got together to figure out which was best. It became obvious that a raffle with prizes donated by local merchants was the most profitable. So, everybody got behind the effort. This summer, on the other hand, I learned that little kids operate differently. With them I had to , be more of a boss than a democratic leader. Once, I took suggestions from the group on the main


activity of the day. Everyone then voted for the best suggestion. Some kids got especially upset, especially those whose ideas were voted down. As a result, I learned to make the suggestions myself and allow the children to vote on them. That way, no one was overly attached to any of the suggestions. Usually, they felt the outcome of the voting was fair, and I basically got to be in charge. 5. Below are the patterns of development implied by each topic sentence. Thesis: Definition Description Narration DivisionClassification Illustration Cause-Effect The college should make community service a requirement for graduation. “Mandatory community service” is a fairly new and often misunderstood concept. Certainly the conditions in many communities signal serious need. Here’s the story of one student’s community involvement. There are, though, many other kinds of programs in which students can become involved. Indeed, a single program offers students numerous opportunities. Such involvement can have a real impact on student’s lives.

Process Analysis This is the way mandatory community service might work on this campus. ComparisonContrast ArgumentationPersuasion However, the college could adopt two very different approaches—one developed by a university, the other by a community college. In any case, the college should begin exploring the possibility of making community service a graduation requirement.

9. It’s a good idea to have students share their analysis of Harriet’s first draft with each other in small groups. Such group discussion can help students understand all the ways in which Harriet’s draft is working well. Here are the strengths of Harriet’s draft: — An explicit statement of the thesis appears at the end of the introductory paragraph: “But being a parent today is much more difficult because nowadays parents have to shield/protect kids from lots of things, like distractions from schoolwork, from sexual material, and from dangerous situations.” — Numerous details and examples are provided to support the development of the three points. — The essay follows the emphatic organizational pattern established in the thesis: “distractions from schoolwork, from sexual material, and from dangerous situations.”


The essay does have some problems, however, besides those Harriet noted as she wrote. For example: — The first body paragraph lacks unity because it contains a digression: the sentence beginning, “Unfortunately, though. . . .” — The second paragraph contains a digression at the end: “The situation has gotten so out of hand that maybe the government should establish guidelines. . . .” — The third paragraph organization could be improved by using chronological order, beginning with little children, moving to slightly older children, and ending with teenagers. — The conclusion contains a vague reference to a fictional character; this unexpected allusion dilutes the impact of the ending.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 7 “REVISING OVERALL MEANING, STRUCTURE, AND PARAGRAPH DEVELOPMENT” (p. 92) Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 7 (p. 102). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. Students profit from working in a group on this activity; if you have students work alone, then set aside some time for them to share their evaluations of the draft. If students worked on Harriet’s draft for activity #9 on page 91, they may wish to refer to their notes. Here are the problems, in addition to the ones she noted as she wrote, that Harriet will have to correct as she revises her essay. — The first body paragraph lacks unity because it contains a digression: The sentence beginning “Unfortunately, though . . .” has nothing to do with her thesis. — The second paragraph contains a digression at the end: “The situation has gotten so out of hand that maybe the government should establish guidelines. . . .” — The third paragraph’s organization could be improved by using chronological order, beginning with little children, moving to slightly older children, and ending with teenagers. — The conclusion contains a vague reference to a fictional character; this unexplained allusion dilutes the impact of the ending. 3. The annotations below describe some of the essay’s problems in meaning, structure and development. The Extended School Day Imagine a seven-year-old whose parents work until five each night. When she arrives home after school, she is on her own. She’s a good girl, but still a lot of things could happen. She could get into trouble just by being curious. Or, something could happen through no fault of her own. All over the country, there are many “latch-key” children like this little girl. Some way must be found to deal with the problem. One suggestion is to keep elementary schools open longer than they now are. There are many advantages to this idea. Parents wouldn’t have to be in a state of uneasiness about whether their child is safe and happy at home. They wouldn’t get uptight about whether their children’s needs are being met. They also wouldn’t have to feel guilty because they are not able to help a child with homework. The longer day would make it possible for the teacher to provide such help. Extended school hours would also relieve families of the financial 32

Vague phrases. Thesis should be more specific.

Support is weak, repetitive. 2nd point

belongs in next paragraph. Support too personal, inadequate. Digression. Support repeats ideas already discussed. Support too personal; inadequate. Here support is specific. Irrelevant support. Vague. Give specifics. Digression. Digression. Good summary. Strong concluding image.

burden of hiring a home sitter. As my family learned, having a sitter can wipe out the budget. And, having a sitter doesn’t necessarily eliminate all problems. Parents still have the hassle of worrying whether the person will show up and be reliable. It’s a fact of life that many children dislike school, which is a sad commentary on the state of education in this country. Even so, the longer school day would benefit children as well. Obviously, the dangers of their being home alone after school would disappear because by the time the bus dropped them off after the longer school day, at least one parent would be home. The unnameable horrors feared by parents would not have a chance to happen. Instead, the children would be in school, under trained supervision. There, they would have a chance to work on subjects that give them trouble. In contrast, when my younger brother had difficulty with subtraction in second grade, he had to struggle along because there wasn’t enough time to give him the help he needed. The longer day would also give children a chance to participate in extracurricular activities. They could join a science club, play on a softball team, sing in a school chorus, take an art class. Because school districts are trying to save money, they often cut back on such extracurricular activities. They don’t realize how important such experiences are. Finally, the longer school day would also benefit teachers. Having more hours in each day would relieve them of a lot of pressure. This longer work day would obviously require schools to increase teachers’ pay. The The added salary would be an incentive for teachers to stay in the profession. Implementing an extended school day would be expensive, but I feel that many communities would willingly finance its costs because it provides benefits to parents, children, and even teachers. Young children, home alone, wondering whether to watch another TV show or wander outside to see what’s happening, need this longer school day now.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 8 “REVISING SENTENCES AND WORDS” (p. 105) Below are suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 8 (p. 129). In many cases, other responses are possible. 1. Below are possible revisions of the sentences. Other versions are possible. a. Before subletting an apartment, a person should have a formal sublet contract. b. High school students often deny liking poetry because they fear mockery of others. c. Since college students are rare in my neighborhood, going to college gave me instant status. d. Many people observed that the new wing of the library resembles several nearby historical buildings. e. The professor aptly noted that students who complain about heavy course requirements tend to hold jobs. 3. The revisions below show one way the sentences could be made more emphatic. a. The old stallion’s mane was tangled, his hooves chipped, his coat scraggly. (Parallelism) b. Most of us find it difficult to deal with rude salespeople. (Important item last) c. “I’ll solve all your problems,” promises the politician. (Inverted order) d. In the movies, we meet the gold digger, the dangerous vixen, and the “girl next door.” Female stereotypes all. (Fragment) e. Wise teachers encourage discussion of controversial issues in the classroom. (Important item first) 4. Here is a version of the paragraph that eliminates murkiness and gets straight to the point. Other versions might work equally well. Since its founding, our student senate has had one main goal: to improve its student services. Two years ago, consultants from the National Council of Student Governing Boards agreed with the senate that its services were basically strong but also felt that additional funding from the administration would further improve student services. This has turned out to be true; services have significantly improved in the last fifteen months since the administration began contributing more money.


5. Here are some ways to use each word in a sentence that reinforces its connotations. Other versions are possible. a. On her chubby legs, the toddler stiffly lurched across the room. Proud of her voluptuous figure, the bride-to-be asked the dressmaker to lower the neckline and tighten the bodice of her gown. The portly lawyer eased himself into his desk chair and slowly went over the will with his client. b. The engaged couple strolled on the riverbank, breathing in the fragrance of the spring blooms. Dripping wet under their uniforms, the mail carriers trudged determinedly through the summer heat. Loitering near the liquor store, the vacant-eyed man beseeched passers-by for money to buy a sandwich and soup. c. The students were in turmoil over the suspension of the class president for cheating on an exam. The demonstration turned into anarchy as bands of youths began throwing rocks, robbing vendors, and smashing car windows. When the “Sold Out” sign was posted, the movie fans created a hubbub by jeering the manager and jostling each other. 8. The examples below show some ways to enliven the sentences. a. With a fever of 101 degrees, I shivered and coughed my way through the tour of the California wineries. b. In his new silver convertible, the balding middle-aged man glided to a halt at the crowded intersection. c. A yellow finch, feathers damp with rain, alighted on the wooden fence rail. d. Shifting in their seats, the math students doodled on their notebooks and restlessly tapped their pencils. e. Natasha Miles, the seasoned network reporter, put on a shocked face and assumed a hushed tone as she announced the crash of the international flight.


9. Below is a possible revision of the paragraph. The situation at Paul Godfrey’s farm illustrates the problem of rural vandalism. Godfrey estimates that motorcyclists speeding over his land the past few weekends have destroyed over three acres of his crops. Such vandalism results from the suburbs encroaching on rural areas. 10. Here are non-sexist versions of the sentences. a. The manager of a convenience store has to guard the cash register carefully. b. When I broke my arm in a car accident, a nurse, aided by a physician’s assistant, treated my injury. c. All of us should contact our congressional representatives if we’re not happy with their performance. d. The chemistry professors agree that students shouldn’t have to buy their own Bunsen burners.


ACTIVITIES FOR CHAPTER 9 “EDITING AND PROOFREADING” (p. 133) Below we provide a suggested response to a selected activity at the end of Chapter 9 (p. 142). Other versions are possible. 1. Here is a corrected version of the letter. Dear Mr. Eno: As a sophomore at Harper College, I will be returning home to Brooktown this June, hoping to find a job for the summer. I would prefer a position that would give me further experience in the retail field. I have heard from my friend, Sarah Snyder, that you are hiring college students as assistant managers. I would be greatly interested in such a position. I have quite a bit of experience in retail sales, having worked after school in a “Dress Place” shop at Mason Mall, Pennsylvania. I started there as a sales clerk; by my second year, I was serving as assistant manager. I am reliable and responsible and truly enjoy sales work. Mary Carver, the owner of the “Dress Place,” can verify my qualifications. She has been my supervisor for two years. I will be visiting Brooktown from April 25 to 30. I hope to have an opportunity to speak to you about possible summer jobs at that time, and will be available for an interview at your convenience. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely,

Joan Ackerman



Opening Comments Some colleagues tell us they prefer to omit description when they teach freshman writing. Emphasizing the analytic side of exposition, they consider descriptive writing a digression, a luxury in an already crowded syllabus. To them, descriptive writing belongs in a creative writing course, not in freshman composition. On the other hand, some instructors do include description, but they discuss it after narration. We feel that descriptive writing should be included in freshman composition. And we’ve found that description can be covered before narration with excellent results. In other words, we recommend that description be the first pattern studied in the course. Why do we feel this way? For one thing, when students begin by writing descriptive essays, they learn the importance of specific details, and they start to develop the habit of observation. (The sensory chart illustrated on page 163 is one way to encourage such attention to detail.) Also, since descriptive writing depends on creating a dominant impression, description helps students understand the concept of focus early in the semester. Descriptive writing also teaches students to select details that enhance an essay’s central point. Finally—and most importantly—students can discover real pleasure in writing descriptive pieces. They are challenged by the possibility that they can make readers feel as they do about a subject. They enjoy using words to share a place, person, or object that has personal significance to them. Every semester, we have students who admit that descriptive writing changed their attitude toward composition. For the first time, they see that writing, though difficult, can be rewarding and fun. The selections in this chapter represent a wide range of techniques found in descriptive writing. You may wish to start with White’s essay, “Once More to the Lake,” celebrated for its clear rendering of natural details and poetic evocation of remembered events and scenes. Angelou’s essay (“Sister Flowers”) demonstrates the power of sensory details, while the imagistic power of Parks’s essay (“Flavio’s Home”) dramatizes the way vivid sensory details support a dominant impression.


ACTIVITIES: DESCRIPTION Below we provide suggested responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 11. Of course, other approaches are possible. Prewriting Activities (p. 169) 1. There are many ways to use description in these two essays; below we’ve listed some of the possibilities. In classroom use of this activity, we suggest you have students share their responses. They’ll be surprised and often delighted to discover their neighbors have devised quite different uses for description in the essays. Sharing and comparing such prewriting conveys the invaluable point that writers are individual and their writing is unique. Topic: How students get burned out Describe ineffective studying methods: cramming, skimming Describe student with 6 courses struggling with homework Draw portrait of aloof professor assigning too-difficult work Describe student working and carrying full load Topic: Being a spendthrift is better than being frugal Describe allure of some purchase: dress, sneakers, etc. Describe appeal of shopping center or mall Describe gourmet meal at expensive restaurant Topic: Being a spendthrift is worse than being frugal Describe shocked clerk ringing up your large purchase Describe empty pockets and meager lunches after a spree Describe sleepless night after charging a lot Revising Activities (p. 169) 4. Here are some possible ways to revise the sentences to create distinct, contrasting moods. Other versions are, of course, possible. a. Around the filthy, lopsided table slouched four grubby, droopy-eyed old men. Alert and eagle-eyed, the four natty, old poker players sat tensely around the felt-topped table. b. Enticed by media attention to the movie’s special effects, hordes of boisterous teenagers thronged the street outside the theatre showing “Race to Doom.” Snaking down the alley beside the theatre, a line of silent, slouch-hatted customers waited to see the notorious film. c. The skinny twelve-year-old girl teetered, wobbled, and finally tripped as she walked into church in her first pair of high heels. With head held high, hips swaying, and eyes roving to see if anyone noticed, Mary Beth strolled down Main Street in her first pair of high heels.


5. Here are some ways to revise the sentences. Other versions are possible, of course. Encourage students to avoid other, similar clichés (“dull as dust,” “jealous as sin,” and so on). a. The workers were as quiet as children waiting for recess. The cafe cooks were suddenly quiet as water waiting to boil. b. My brother used to become as envious as a four-year-old at someone else’s birthday party if I had a date and he didn’t. My brother would look as if he just drank sour milk if I had a date and he didn’t. c. Andrea is as proud as an Olympic champion of her new Girl Scout uniform. The little girl dressed in her new Girl Scout uniform twirled like a music box ballerina. d. The professor is as dull as a dead snail. Professor Tomari is as dull as an iceberg lettuce sandwich on white bread. 6. We suggest that you offer your students the chance to read each other’s revisions of this paragraph. Such exposure to the versions of others helps them see a variety of possibilities in improving a piece of writing. Here are the main problems in the paragraph: — Details about driving on Route 334 are irrelevant and should be eliminated. — Statement that car has been “washed and waxed” detracts attention from arrival at farm. — Short, choppy sentences could be combined with others nearby: “Its paint must have worn off decades ago”; “They were dented and windowless.” For example, such combined sentences might read: “Then I headed for the dirt-colored barn, its roof full of huge, rotted holes”; “As I rounded the bushes, I saw the dirt-colored house, its paint worn off decades ago”; “A couple of dented, windowless, dead-looking old cars were sprawled in front of the barn.” — Spatial order is broken by placing description of house in between details about what is near the barn.


ONCE MORE TO THE LAKE E. B. White Questions for Close Reading (p. 175) 1. White’s thesis is implied. One way of stating it is as follows: “In taking his son to revisit the lake where he experienced so many significant childhood events, White learns that he can only partly recapture the feelings and the atmosphere of days long past. Instead, he gets in touch with a premonition of his own death.” 2. White suggests that his return to the lake was rather casual and impulsive (1). While he normally preferred the ocean, he says, sometimes the turbulence of the sea made him long for the calm of a placid lake in the woods. In addition, he could take his son along and introduce him to fresh water fishing. On a deeper level, he seems to have longed to revisit a place of significance from his own youth and to share its pleasures with a son. 3. In paragraph 4, the author lies in his bed, hearing his son sneak out in the dawn light to take a motorboat out on the lake, just as White had himself done as a boy. His son’s behavior is so similar to his own as a youth that he suddenly feels as if “he was I, and therefore . . . that I was my own father.” Another significant transposition occurs when they are fishing (5). A dragonfly, an unchanging element of nature, alights on his rod and gives him the dizzying feeling that he has moved back in time, until he “didn’t know which rod [he] was at the end of.” Finally, in paragraph 10, he identifies deeply with his son’s attempts to gain mastery over the motorboat; he feels again all the same feelings he had in his youth as he grew to have a “spiritual” relationship with the motor. 4. The visit shows that much has remained the same through the years. Nature has not changed much, nor has the town or the accommodations. In fact, White feels that the visit reveals the “pattern of life indelible” (8). In keeping with the times, however, some details have changed. The road has only two tracks, from the tires of automobiles, not three from horse-drawn carriages (7); also, the boat is a modern outboard, not the one- and two-cylinder inboard motors of his youth. The waitresses are still country girls, but, impressed by actresses in the movies, they keep their hair cleaner than the girls of the past (7). Finally, the store serves Coke rather than old-fashioned sodas like Moxie and sarsaparilla (11). 5. incessant (1): continuous, not stopping placidity (1): peacefulness, calmness primeval (3): primitive transportation (4): a reversal or switching of place undulating (6): rippling, moving in wave-like fashion indelible (8): permanent, unerasable petulant (10): irritable, grouchy languidly (13): lifelessly, spiritlessly, without energy Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 176) 1. White describes the present-day life objectively. For example, he writes: “There was a choice of pie for dessert, and one was blueberry and one was apple, and the waitresses were the same country girls . . . the waitresses were still fifteen; their hair had been washed, that was the only 41

difference—they had been to the movies and seen the pretty girls with clean hair.” But White’s descriptions of the past are sensuous and evocative, and full of imagery suggesting his memories are more powerful than the scenes of the present. 2. In paragraph 2, White calls the lake a “holy spot” and recalls a memory of the lake at dawn, when the woods along the shore seems to form a “cathedral.” Later, in paragraph 10, he describes the experience of learning to operate a motorboat as getting “really close to it spiritually.” He uses prayer-like language to evoke the summer at the lake in paragraph 8: “pattern of life indelible,” “summer without end.” These images convey White’s almost religious reverence for nature: its beauty, peace, and permanence. 3. This passage uses the metaphor of a melodrama for the storm, a comparison that points out that the storm is full of noise and turbulence but, in reality, is not dangerous. The storm’s “audience,” the children, in particular, get all excited about it, but to White, an old hand at the lake, the storm’s “drama of electrical disturbance” is familiar. The “gods grinning” suggests a pagan image of nature gods playing with the elements just to tease and scare humans, putting on a show for them, in a sense. The campers run about and swim in the rain, enjoying the harmless imitation of danger. Nevertheless, the violent storm sets the stage for White’s premonition of death in the next paragraph. 4. The feeling grows out of a complex of events. The mock-danger of the storm has intensified everyone’s reactions. White has enjoyed the storm as a piece of theater; he remains on the sidelines wittily analyzing the scene. But, the storm arouses the vitality of his son, who joins the frolicking campers. This action is the final example of how the son is growing up and away from his parent. (The boy takes the boat out by himself, for example.) When White feels a “sympathetic” iciness in his groin as his son dons a cold wet swimsuit, White is identifying sensuously (again) with the boy’s experience. In “biblical” terms, a child is the fruit of its father’s “groin,” and so the iciness also represents White’s sudden awareness that his vitality is decreasing; to use the image of the melodrama, his scene is ending, while his son is center-stage. The many transpositions of identity between father and son have hinted at this final thought; White feels more and more like his own father, who, we can assume, has died.

SISTER FLOWERS Maya Angelou Questions for Close Reading (p. 181) 1. The dominant impression is implied and can be stated as, “The care and attention of a loving mentor is crucial to a child’s healthy development, particularly in times of crisis.” In addition, Angelou seeks to draw a portrait of beloved Mrs. Flowers, the essence of whom Angelou expresses when she writes, “[Mrs. Flowers] was one of the few gentlewomen I have ever known, and has remained throughout my life the measure of what a human being can be” (paragraph 5). 2. Mrs. Flowers represents for Angelou the gentility and sophistication as well as the benevolence that she has read about in novels and seen in films, but has never encountered first-hand, especially not among her fellow townspeople. She says, “She appealed to me because she was like people I had never met personally” (11) and calls her “the aristocrat of Black Stamps” (2). Flowers’s 42

stunning beauty and impeccable grooming (2–4) powerfully impress Angelou, who lives in a community of relatively poor and minimally-educated people. Still more fascinating is Flowers’s refined grace (12), dazzling intellect, and stirring eloquence (22), all of which inspire Angelou to strive for a standard she previously thought accessible only to privileged whites. Angelou reflects, “She made me proud to be Negro, just by being herself” (11). Most of all, Angelou is profoundly honored and grateful that Flowers would not only spend time with her but also impart to her the “lessons for living” that would form the foundation of Angelou’s subsequent existence. 3. Angelou humorously describes her frustration and embarrassment when witnessing her unrefined Momma speaking to the highly-educated and proper Mrs. Flowers. In particular, Angelou is ashamed of Momma’s calling Mrs. Flowers “Sister Flowers.” To the young Angelou, such an informal appellation is inconsistent with what she considers the obvious superiority of her elegant neighbor. In Angelou’s opinion, “Mrs. Flowers deserved better than to be called Sister” (7). Worse still is Momma’s flawed grammar as she speaks to Flowers; Angelou agonizes over Momma’s incorrect and missing verbs and says that she “hated [Momma] for showing her ignorance to Mrs. Flowers” (7). Despite Angelou’s intense embarrassment over Momma, Momma and Flowers share an amicable and mutually respectful friendship—a fact which perplexes Angelou, who calls their relationship “strange” (6). Flowers does not object to Momma’s calling her “Sister” and in fact might be pleased to be included in the community of women; similarly, Momma feels enough kinship with Flowers to call her “Sister.” The two women often engage in “intimate conversation” with each other (10), and it is implied that Momma has asked Flowers’s assistance in mentoring the withdrawn young Angelou. Years later, Angelou finally realizes that Momma and Flowers were indeed “as alike as sisters, separated only by formal education” (7), a notion reinforced by Flowers’s insistence that Angelou appreciate the wisdom of “mother wit,” such as that of Momma (35). 4. The first significant lesson Mrs. Flowers teaches Angelou is about the beauty and power of language. In the process of convincing young Angelou that she needs to participate verbally in class, Flowers explains that “it is language alone which separates [man] from the lower animals,” a notion that was “a totally new idea” to Angelou (23). Soon after, in a statement that Angelou remembers as “valid and poetic,” Flowers says, “It takes the human voice to infuse [words] with the shades of deeper meaning” (24). Flowers’s melodic, invigorating reading of A Tale of Two Cities convincingly illustrates to Angelou the vast power of words. (Clearly, this lesson had a tremendous impact on Angelou, presently a renowned writer not only of novels but also of poetry.) The next important lesson concerns the nature of wisdom and intelligence. Probably perceiving Angelou’s embarrassment at Momma’s lack of refinement, Flowers informs her that many unschooled people are more knowledgeable and intelligent than some highly educated scholars. “Mother wit,” she asserts, is every bit as valuable (if not more so) as book knowledge, for it contains “the collective wisdom of generations” (35). Flowers’s lesson on knowledge is summed up when she advises Angelou to “always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy” (35). Following this advice, it seems likely that young Angelou would think twice before judging Momma harshly again. Beyond these explicitly-stated lessons, Angelou also receives the invaluable understanding that she is a unique and likable individual worthy of the attention of an exemplary woman, a realization that will help rebuild her wounded self-confidence. 5. taut (2): tightly pulled or strained voile (2): a light, sheer fabric benign (4): kind and gentle unceremonious (8): informal gait (8): particular way of walking moors (11): broad area of open land, often containing patches of wetness incessantly (11): continuing without interruption 43

scones (11): small biscuit-like pastries crumpets (11): small, round, cake-like breads heath (11): large area of land containing low-growing shrubs chifforobe (17): tall piece of furniture containing drawers and space for hanging clothes sacrilegious (17): disrespectful of something held sacred infuse (24): to introduce into as if by pouring couched (35): expressed aura (42): an invisible atmosphere seeming to surround something or someone Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 182) 1. Angelou relies primarily on visual and occasionally on both tactile and auditory impressions to convey Flowers’s “aristocratic” appearance. In paragraph 2, Angelou describes her graceful bearing that never evidences extremes of weather and her thin frame which lacks the “taut look of wiry people.” Flowers’s attire is the next object of Angelou’s attention as she observes the elegant woman’s airy “printed voile dresses,” “flowered hats,” and gloves (2). Angelou then describes Flowers’s “rich black” complexion, comparing it to the visual and tactile image of an easily peeled plum (3). Angelou also details Flowers’s “slow dragging” smile (15), thin black lips, “even, small white teeth” (4) and “soft yet carrying voice” (6). Later, she mentions Flowers’s “easy gait” (8). In general, Angelou organizes these details of Flowers’ appearance spatially, moving first from her physical carriage and attire up to her face and zeroing in on her smile (although she returns to Flowers’s “easy gait” later in the essay). To describe her reaction when she first arrived at Flowers’s home, Angelou invokes the sense of smell when, for example, she cites the “sweet scent of vanilla” (29). She then draws upon the visual sense to describe what she observes: “browned photographs” and “white, freshly done curtains” (32). The next part of the visit calls upon the visual as well as the taste faculty as Angelou describes eating Flowers’s delectable cookies (“flat round wafers, slightly browned on the edges and butter-yellow in the center”) and drinking the refreshing, cold lemonade (34). The tactile sense is appealed to when she mentions the “rough crumbs” of the cookies scratching against her jaw (34). And the sense of sound is evoked as Angelou remembers Flowers’s reading voice, “cascading” and “nearly singing” (37). Overall, Angelou organizes this last set of richly-textured sensory impressions spatially as well as chronologically; that is, she presents the details as she moves through the house and as the afternoon progresses. 2. The first figure of speech is the simile Angelou uses in comparing herself to an old biscuit (1). This image establishes young Angelou’s shame and withdrawal following the rape; indeed, her depression is what prompts Flowers to find time to talk with the child. Angelou then employs a series of striking figures of speech to describe Flowers’s character and demeanor. The most pow erful appear in paragraph 11. There Angelou provides a series of similes using “like” to compare Flowers with the gentle, elegant “women in English novels who walked the moors . . . with their loyal dogs racing at a respectful distance” and “the women who sat in front of roaring fireplaces, drinking tea incessantly from silver trays full of scones and crumpets.” The final simile of the paragraph is an implied one; although it lacks “like,” it deliberately mirrors the structure of the previous two similes: “Women who walked over the ‘heath’ and read morocco-bound books and had two last names divided by a hyphen.” The function of these similes comparing Flowers to female British gentility is to reinforce the notion of Flowers as “the aristocrat of Black Stamps” (2). The basis of Flowers’s allure for Angelou is her otherworldly elegance and sophistication, particularly when juxtaposed with the ordinary citizens of Black Stamps. That this elegant and gracious woman actually seeks out the young Angelou is enough to transform the child from an “old biscuit” into one who excitedly runs down the road, flush with the pleasure of being liked.


3. The technique of imagined conversation injects humor into Angelou’s portrait of herself as a child, while also allowing readers greater insight into her character by giving them access to her mental processes. The young Angelou’s imagined scoldings of Momma resoundingly illustrate her embarrassment with “uncouth” Momma. Here, Angelou seems caught between two worlds: that of “backwards” Momma and Black Stamps and that of education and opportunity seemingly offered by the outside world. As Mrs. Flowers instructs, however, much wisdom resides in “mother wit” like Momma’s, and given this lesson, young Angelou would probably be led to re-evaluate her embarrassed attitude toward Momma. 4. From Angelou’s very first statement about Mrs. Flowers, it is apparent that race is a significant facet of life in Angelou’s town. Flowers is said to be “the aristocrat of Black Stamps,” a statement that draws its power from the notion that aristocrats have traditionally been white. This depiction of Flowers as being uniquely regal is heightened by Angelou’s comparing her to British female gentry (11) and by her observation that Flowers behaves differently from the average “Negro woman” (14) in town. Most significantly, Angelou states that Flowers made her “proud to be a Negro, just by being herself” (11), a difficult feat given the racist climate of the day. The town’s appellation “Black Stamps” (12) implies the existence of a “White Stamps,” a fact later confirmed when Angelou mentions “powhitefolks” (13). Angelou indicates that no Negro, not even the elegant Flowers, is immune to the disrespect of the town’s self-aggrandizing poor whites. Indeed, even Angelou’s reverence for Flowers “would have been shattered like the unmendable HumptyDumpty” (13) if the “powhitefolks” had called this revered idol by her first name, Bertha. Angelou lives in a world that would sanction such racially-inspired disrespect and insult. In paragraph 42, Angelou refers to “Southern bitter wormwood,” a subtle reference to racism. In such a world, it is difficult for a black child-especially one so traumatized and wounded-to develop a strong sense of self. But that is just what the encounter with Mrs. Flowers achieves; it makes young Angelou “feel proud” to be a Negro, and with that comes the loosening of trauma’s hold on her.

FLAVIO’S HOME Gordon Parks Questions for Close Reading (p. 189) 1. The dominant impression is implied. While Parks is explicit about his overall attitude to poverty in paragraph 1, this material is not the thesis. Rather, the dominant impression pertains more specifically to Flavio. It might be stated as, “Even in the midst of the worst afflictions of poverty, the human spirit survives in certain optimistic, energetic, caring individuals such as the twelveyear-old boy Flavio.” 2. In Flavio’s family, there’s no sense of understanding or emotional nurturing of children; rather, all the family’s focus is on survival. At twelve, Flavio is the oldest child of eight, ranging down to infancy. His parents work, leaving him with the care of the household and the other children. His mother is a laundress who washes clothes in the river, and the father sells bleach and kerosene at a small stand. The parents seem too fatigued to be interested in their children; the father relates to them primarily by giving commands and demanding instant obedience. 3. The neighborhood is on a steep, difficult-to-climb mountainside. Paragraphs 2–3, 14, and 21 describe the sights and sounds Parks encounters on this arduous climb. He reports encountering 45

“mud trails, jutting rock, slime-filled holes and shack after shack propped against the slopes on shaky pilings.” The trail is also crowded with people going up and down; “bare feet and legs with open sores climbed above us,” Parks writes (21). While the mountainside is “a maze of shacks,” from it one can see the beaches with the “gleaming white homes of the rich” (2). Flavio’s home is described in paragraph 6. It is a one-room shack, six by ten feet, constructed of miscellaneous boards with numerous gaps in the walls. The wooden floor is rotten and spotted with light leaking in through the holes in the roof. One corner has a hole dug for a toilet; it lets out onto the side of the mountain. 4. Flavio seems well aware that hosts should not eat in front of guests, but he is probably afraid that his domineering and skeptical father would be angered by an offer to join them. He may also be reluctant to be a good host because there isn’t enough food to go around; his family lives on the brink of starvation, and he knows the guests do not need the food as much as his family. Parks and Gallo understand that Flavio really can’t or shouldn’t offer food, and so they refuse. 5. barrios (1): Latin-American term for districts jacaranda (2): tropical tree having clusters of pale purple flowers jaundiced (3): yellow-toned, ill with a disorder of the bile (liver) spigot (14): faucet Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 189) 1. The dominant impression we receive of Flavio is of a child ravaged by poverty yet who possesses an open and persevering soul. Throughout the essay, Parks reveals Flavio’s character by describing what Flavio says and does rather than what the boy is like as a person. He gives us numerous details of Flavio’s physical appearance (3, 11, 23), pointing out the boy’s thinness, stick-like limbs, sunken eyes, jaundiced coloring, wrenching coughs, and filthy, skimpy clothing. Parks also notices one other thing—the brilliant smile that instantly crosses Flavio’s face as he sees the strangers. Parks details each time the smile reoccurs—when the boy opens the door (4), offers food (10), carries Parks’s camera (22), recovers from a coughing spell (23), and enters the doctor’s office (29). The nobility of the boy’s spirit also comes through in other details: his competence in household tasks and care of his siblings (5, 7, 9, 23–26) and his refusal to let Parks carry wood for him (22). 2. Parks describes how household tasks are made difficult by the need to conserve water. In paragraph 7, we see the process by which Flavio gets the rice washed, the children bathed, and the floor scrubbed, with only one pan of water. In paragraph 10, the boy serves dinner, a task complicated by the existence of only three plates and two spoons. He prepares breakfast in paragraph 23, making a fire and reheating the dinner. These processes add to the dominant impression of Flavio by showing us his discipline, ingenuity, and steadiness. 3. Parks conveys strong sensory images in such phrases as “a rusted, bent top of an old gas range,” “a piece of tin,” “grimy walls,” “a patchwork of misshapen boards,” “other shacks below stilted against the slopes,” “rotting,” “layers of grease and dirt,” “shafts of light slanting down,” “spaces in the roof,” and “large hole.” We are able to flow from image to image because Parks uses numerous transitions of spatial organization: “beneath it,” “between them,” “under layers,” slanting down through,” “in the far corner,” and “beneath that hole.” Parks also uses a clear organizational pattern in the description; he begins describing the room with one important object, the stove. Then he moves from the walls to the floor; he ingeniously indicates the roof’s condition by pointing out the sunlight dappling the floor from the holes above. He concludes by describing a hole in the “far


corner” which serves as a toilet and which empties out on to the slope of the mountain. This detail, that the latrine empties essentially into thin air, conveys the precariousness and primitiveness of the home. 4. The effect of this scene is to dramatize the huge disparity between the rich and poor in Rio, between not only their dress, but their emotional lives, the one basic and elemental, the other extravagant and romantic. The hotel lobby is filled with people dressed up for the evening in formal attire; Parks finds himself hoping the elevator will be empty since he has just been in the slums and is not very presentable. But a couple in evening clothes enter the elevator and embrace romantically, totally ignoring him. This action symbolizes the way in which the moneyed classes so easily ignore the “stink of the favela,” even when it is right in the elevator with them.



Opening Comments In our classes, we introduce narrative writing after description because we have found that descriptive writing helps students acquire many of the skills needed to write engaging narratives. For example, through descriptive writing, students discover the need to generate evocative details, use varied sentence structure, and establish a clear point of view. At the start of the course, however, we often find students reluctant to write a narrative. Schooled to believe that lightning will strike them if they use “I” in an essay, they are more comfortable starting with description because it lends itself easily to the objective third-person point of view. (Obviously, both narration and description can use either the first or third person, but beginning writers tend to associate narration with the first and description with the third person.) Even if it is not the first pattern covered, we suggest that narration be introduced near the beginning of the course. Everyone, after all, likes a good story. Also, most students have written narratives in high school and so feel comfortable tackling them in college. Despite some students’ familiarity and seeming ease with the narrative pattern, it helps to keep in mind that narration requires a sophisticated repertoire of skills. Pacing, choice of details, telescoping of time, point of view—all offer a real challenge. Students seem to have particular trouble understanding point of view. Because they tend to be more familiar with the first rather than the third person, we’ve found it useful to ask them to write two versions of the same narrative—one in the first and one in the third person. Such an assignment shows students how point of view changes a story and makes them aware of the advantages and limitation of each perspective. Although each narrative in this chapter is filled with drama and tension, students find special power in the conflicts underlying Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant.” In “The Fourth of July,” Lorde uses narration to explore the anger and confusion created by her parents’ silence in regard to prejudice. And Liu’s poignant account (in “So Tsi-Fai”) of the pressures and debasement heaped on a peasant boy demonstrates the connection between effective characterization and carefully selected dialogue.


ACTIVITIES: NARRATION Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 12. Of course, your students are bound to come up with their own inventive approaches. Prewriting Activities (p. 207) 1. There are numerous ways to use narration to open these two essays. Below we’ve listed some of the possibilities. In going over this activity in class, we suggest you have students trade responses or read them aloud to each other, so that they are all aware of the diversity of responses to the assignment. Topic: The effect of insensitive teachers on young children Teacher being sarcastic to student making a mistake Teacher joking about student’s clothes choices Child’s reading mistakes increasing as teacher corrects Child crying after a teacher’s cruel remark Teacher punishing harshly for small transgression Name-calling or labeling of a child for being different Topic: The importance of family traditions Family seated at Sunday dinner Sugary donuts for all at breakfast for a family birthday Generations gathered at a holiday for a yearly reunion Fourth of July kite-flying with all the cousins Gathering at year’s end to view selected family videos 3. Here are some possible conflicts for each situation: a. Friend criticizes your food choices as unhealthy Friend embarrasses you by snacking on food throughout store b. College choice is on the other side of the country College choice does not offer the major your parents wish you to take c. Counter-demonstrators accost your group Some protestors break the law by trespassing and are arrested d. Fighting the desire to go to the gym instead of studying Telling friends to be quiet or go away Revising Activities (p. 208) 5. Here are some ways to revise the sentence sets to create first a negative connotation and then a positive connotation. Other versions are possible, of course. a. The raucous clanging of the bell signaled that the last day of lectures and homework was finally over. With a gentle dinging sound from the school bell, the last day of high school quietly ended. 49

b. We strode over to admonish our neighbors for polluting the air with burning leaves. We had a neighborly chat with the Joneses, while the autumn leaves burned fragrantly in their yard. c. The sun slicing through my window jolted me upright in bed, and I was forced to admit that daylight had come. The lemony-yellow sunshine poured across my bed, and I sat up, grateful the new day was finally here. 6. It’s a good idea to set aside some time for students to exchange their versions of the paragraph with others. Seeing how others handled the assignment can open their eyes to techniques they haven’t thought of. Students should keep in mind as they revise that this is an introductory anecdote. It needs to be brief and pointed. Here are the main problems in the paragraph: — The reference to the type of car the writer was driving is irrelevant and should be deleted. — The speeding car should be described. — The description, “The car didn’t slow down . . .” is slow-paced and indirect; rewrite to state that the car “sped. . . .” — Description of car coming, light changing, couple crossing, is too slow; condense and make more dramatic. — “Dressed like models” is irrelevant, unless other details are added later in the paragraph to indicate how rumpled and bloody their clothes now are. — The sentence about the man “jump[ing] to the shoulder” is short and choppy. — Describe man’s and woman’s locations and injuries more visually, instead of saying he “wasn’t hurt” but “it was clear she was.” — Narrator’s calling police is a digression; condense events to get to the point: she died. — Give more visual details of speeding car stopping, driver getting out, instead of saying he “looked terrible”; give us a picture of him drunk. — Use his repeated offenses as a lead-in or stronger transition to the final sentence, the thesis.


SHOOTING AN ELEPHANT George Orwell Questions for Close Reading (p. 214) 1. Orwell’s thesis is implied. One possible way of stating it is: “Imperialistic rulers must behave so as not to lose face or power over the populace, even if it means doing something against their better judgment.” 2. Orwell felt pressured by the people, almost overwhelmed by their power over him through their mere presence. In theory, he explains at the start of the selection, he “was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British” (2). But, in reality, Orwell says, he felt the common people of the country were “evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible” (2). During the shooting incident the people were “happy and excited,” and they watched him “as they would a conjurer about to perform a trick.” He resentfully saw himself as having to spend his life “trying to impress the ‘natives’ ” (7). He reports later that, as he fired a shot, the crowd emitted a “devilish roar of glee” (11). His choice of words shows that he resented and disliked the Burmese. 3. Orwell shoots the elephant because the two thousand native people standing behind him expect him to. They want vengeance for the man it killed, the meat the carcass will provide, and the entertainment of watching the shooting. “The people expected it of me and I had got to do it” (7), he writes. There is an implication that if he decided not to shoot the elephant, both he and the empire would suffer a loss of prestige, but the main concern in Orwell’s mind is the “long struggle not to be laughed at” (7). He is even afraid to “test” the animal’s mood by going closer for fear it might attack and kill him before he could shoot, thus giving the crowd a sight it would enjoy as much as the slaughter of the beast. 4. Despotic governments result from the need to maintain power over subtly resistant people. Such a government can rule only by fulfilling the people’s expectations and responding to every crisis with the expected force. Orwell points to the irony that he stood armed in front of an unarmed crowd, yet he was powerless to do as he wished or as his judgment told him. Instead, he felt himself “an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind” (7). 5. imperialism(2): a country’s policy of gaining power by acquiring and ruling territories prostrate (2): lying face down, as in submission or adoration despotic (3): tyrannical, all-powerful mahout (3): the keeper and driver of an elephant miry (5): swampy, muddy conjurer (7): magician futility (7): uselessness, ineffectiveness sahib (7): “Master”; Indian title of respect when addressing Europeans Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 214) 1. What Orwell calls a “tiny incident” lasted only a short time, perhaps only an hour. Orwell uses clear transitions of time to keep us oriented as to what is happening, but he provides no specific clock time. “Early one morning,” the narrative begins (3); after the death of the coolie, the action steps up and the transitions indicate things are happening at a rapid pace: “he could not have been dead many minutes” (4): “As soon as I saw the dead man” (4); “The orderly came back in a few 51

minutes” (5); “meanwhile some Burmans had arrived” (5); “As soon as I saw” (6); “I thought then” (6); “But at that moment” (7); “And suddenly I realized” (7); “And it was at this moment” (7); “I perceived in this moment” (7); “But I had got to act quickly” (8); “For at that moment” (9); “When I pulled the trigger” (11); “In that instant, in too short a time” (11); “He looked suddenly stricken” (11); “At last, after what seemed a long time-it might have been five seconds” (11); “And then down he came” (11). Orwell then describes the refusal of the animal to die: “I waited a long time”; “Finally I fired”; “but still he did not die” (12). The incident ends with Orwell leaving the scene but learning later that the animal took half an hour to die. 2. The first two paragraphs introduce us to the alien, far-off world where the narrative took place. In addition to setting the scene, Orwell explains what he was doing in Burma and, more importantly, gives us an emotional perspective from which to view the event. We learn in a general way about the bitterness between the colonialists and the native inhabitants and about the psychological effect his job as a policeman had on him. His confession that he was “young and ill-educated” and not even aware the British Empire was collapsing helps us feel empathy for him in the incident that follows. Without this information, we might not be willing to forgive him for shooting the elephant or for its horrible death or be able to comprehend the sense of victimization he felt despite his position as an “authority.” 3. Orwell uses analogies in three important places. Two of the analogies are from the theatre and relate to the sense of falseness that Orwell feels about his role in the colony. With the crowd watching him, he compares himself to “a conjurer about to perform a trick” with “the magic rifle.” Then, he helps us to understand his own psychological state at that moment by using another theater image: “Here was I . . . seemingly the lead actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces . . .; in the East, he says, the white man “becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy. . . . He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it” (7). Paragraph 10 continues this analogy, as Orwell describes the crowd breathing “a deep, low, happy sigh, as of people who see the theatre curtain go up at last.” The third analogy compares the elephant to an elderly person; as he watches the beast in the rice paddy, he feels it has a “preoccupied grandmotherly air.” 4. After he fires the first shot, he says the elephant “looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old. . . . His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old” (11). Orwell vividly evokes the suffering of the elephant by carefully observing the animal’s movements after the shot. He notices the subtle but “terrible change” that came over it, in which “every line of his body had altered.” The analogy with an old man helps structure his observations that the elephant seemed paralyzed, then sagged to his knees and slobbered. Other trenchant details include the image of the animal standing “weakly upright” again and the image of him toppling “like a huge rock,” “his trunk reaching skywards like a tree and trumpeting once” (11). In paragraph 12, Orwell provides a graphic description of the beast’s death agony. He reports firing over and over; into a picture that has so far been in blackand-white, he interjects colors. He remembers that the elephant’s “mouth was wide open” so that “he could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat,” and that “the thick blood welled out of him like red velvet.” In this paragraph, too, we hear sounds: the “dreadful noise” and the “tortured gasps” that continued “steadily as the ticking of a clock.”


THE FOURTH OF JULY Audre Lorde Questions for Close Reading (p. 218) 1. Here is one possible way of stating the essay’s implied thesis: “Lorde’s eighth grade graduation was supposed to mark the end of her childhood. But it was her Fourth of July graduation-present trip to Washington, D.C. that truly marked the end of her innocence, because there she encountered the harsh reality of racism.” 2. This picnic is Lorde’s mother’s idea of what it means to take care of her family, even to the extent that she provides different pickles (one type for the father, another type for the kids), wraps peaches separately so they won’t bruise, and puts in a tin of rosewater for messy hands. Being a good mother also means packing the things your family enjoys, like “ ‘marigolds’ . . . from Cushman’s Bakery . . . and rock-cakes from Newton’s” (paragraph 4). All these domestic details of a caring mother underscore the injustice, the horrific irony of the way the family is treated at the ice cream counter. Although Lorde’s mother probably believed in her heart that packing the picnic was a way to keep her family safe from food touched by the hands of strangers, more importantly, it was also a way to keep her children away from the racist situation they would most likely encounter in the railroad dining car. In short, these elaborate picnic preparations were evidence of the mother’s avoidance of unpleasantness at all cost. 3. There are two reasons Lorde gives us for her inability to comprehend her parents’ admonitions against white people. First of all, Lorde’s parents never gave her any reasons; they just expected her “to know without being told” (7) the logic behind their warnings and the source of their feelings regarding white people. In addition, she has difficulty accepting such a dictate when her mother, as she tells us, “looked so much like one of those people we were never supposed to trust” (7). The fuzziness of the dictate leaves Lorde doubly vulnerable to the experience she encounters at the ice cream counter. 4. In paragraphs 5 and 6, Lorde illustrates her mother’s attempt to sidestep racism and her father’s attempt to make up for it. By packing an elaborate picnic for the trip, Lorde’s mother successfully avoids subjecting her family to the racism they would surely have encountered had they attempted to eat in the dining car. And when Lorde’s sister is denied access to her own senior class trip because, truth be told, they would be staying in a hotel that “did not rent rooms to Negroes,” Lorde’s father tries to offset Phyllis’s disappointment by planning a family trip instead. In paragraph 7, Lorde explains her parents’ behavior more fully. She writes: “They handled it as a private woe. My mother and father believed that they could best protect their children from the realities of race in america and the fact of american racism by never giving them name, much less discussing their nature.” In the picture Lorde draws for us in paragraph 18, her family does not so much deal with the situation as ignore it. After the waitress delivered her message, Lorde tells us, “Straight-backed and indignant, one by one, my family got down from the counter stools and turned around and marched out of the store, quiet and outraged, as if we had never been Black before.” But when she questions her parents about this obvious injustice, they don’t answer her. In fact, they never address the incident, “not because they had contributed to it, but because they felt they should have anticipated it and avoided it” (19). Lorde gets increasingly angry not only because her parents do not share her heated emotions, but also because they seem to accept responsibility for what happened. Also, her sisters mimic her parents’ pretense of denial, and this invalidation of her response from all members of the family just heightens Lorde’s fury and anger. Moreover, while she is given 53

the freedom to articulate her fury in a letter to the President of the United States, because her father insists upon reviewing the letter before she sends it off, we wonder whether she will be permitted to fully express her righteous rage. 5. fabled (1): famous; legendary injunction (7): order or demand progressive (8): favoring progress or reform dilated (9): enlarged vulnerable (9): unprotected travesty (10): a ridiculous representation of something decreed (13): ordered pretense (19): false appearance Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 219) 1. Lorde uses transitions of time and place to let us know when and where events occur. In the first sentence of the essay, Lorde establishes a general time frame when she writes that events occurred “on the edge of . . . summer.” The final sentence of paragraph 1 narrows that time frame down to the Fourth of July. In paragraph 2, we learn that Lorde’s family took the trip “during the day” and that it was made by train. We know that the train leaves New York City and passes through Philadelphia; Lorde writes, “I remember it was Philadelphia because I was disappointed not to have passed by the Liberty Bell” (3). In paragraphs 8 and 12, she signals the family’s arrival at their destination (“In Washington, D.C., we had one large room with two double beds and an extra cot for me”) as well as the family’s movement out of the hotel to see the sites (“I spent the whole next day after Mass squinting up at the Lincoln Memorial”). Paragraph 13 reveals the passage of time (“Later that Washington afternoon my family and I walked back down Pennsylvania Avenue”), while paragraphs 15 and 16 set the scene at the ice cream parlor (“Two blocks away from our hotel, the family . . . stopped . . . at a . . . soda fountain. . . . Corded and crisped and pinafored, the five of us seated ourselves one by one at the counter”) and indicate Lorde’s place in the scene (“There was I between my mother and father”). Paragraph 18 reveals the family’s response to the waitress’s refusal to serve them (“. . . one by one, my family . . . got down from the counter . . . and marched out of the store”). That day ends with Lorde’s writing a letter to the President of the United States, which her father promises she can type out on the “office typewriter next week” (19). The “whole rest of that trip,” Lorde writes, she felt sick to her stomach (20). 2. In paragraphs 5–7, 9–11 and 19–20, Lorde moves from the events of the day to other discussions. Nevertheless, the information she provides in these instances is critical. The last sentence of paragraph 5 and the whole of paragraphs 6 and 7 are used to convey the way her parents handle racism and how their behavior affects her. Although the information in these paragraphs does not advance the narrative itself, what she reveals here has much to do with the experience she is describing. Her parents’ failure to explain “the realities of race in america and the fact of american racism” leaves her open to the confusion and pain she feels while in Washington. In paragraphs 9–11, we learn that Lorde has trouble seeing clearly every summer; her eyes are unable to adjust to the “dazzling whiteness” of July. At first, this little aside about squinting seems arbitrary and unnecessary, but later we find that it is actually a metaphor for being blinded to racism: Just as her parents “did not approve of sunglasses, nor of their expense” (thus forcing her to squint her way through each summer, never seeing clearly), they also did not approve of racism discussions, nor of the cost of exposing their children to the reality of racism (thus forcing Lorde into a sort of blindness that made the day of clarity all the more painful).


In paragraph 19, Lorde tells us that her sisters, like her parents, behaved as though nothing was wrong with what happened in the ice cream parlor. In fact, her whole family seemed to have a tacit agreement that denial was the best way to handle-or not handle-racism. Lorde feels alone in her inability to accept injustice. As a result, Washington, D.C. becomes a solid block of whiteness that makes her sick to her stomach, and the trip itself proves to be “[not] much of a graduation present after all” (20). 3. Lorde’s use of the lower case is appropriate. Given the soul-searing incident she experiences in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, on the holiday commemorating that nation’s declaration of independence and its promise of freedom and justice for all, the use of lower-case letters conveys her lack of respect for a country and a leader that fail to uphold those promises implied in the celebration of the Fourth of July. 4. In paragraph 20, Lorde repeats the word “white” over and over again: “The waitress was white, and the counter was white, and the ice cream I never ate in Washington, D.C., that summer I left childhood was white, and the white heat and the white pavement and the white stone monuments of my first Washington summer made me sick to my stomach for the whole rest of that trip and it wasn’t much of a graduation present after all.” Like Lorde, who feels overcome by the prevalence of racism, we too are overcome by the word “white” and can understand Lorde’s experience: Racism is constant and exists everywhere.

SO TSI-FAI Sophronia Liu Questions for Close Reading (p. 223) 1. Liu’s narrative point is implied. It could be stated as, “The author has been haunted all her life by the memory of a peasant youth who, tormented by the inequities of Chinese society, took his own life.” The first paragraph lays the groundwork for the idea that Liu was “haunted” by So Tsi-fai’s story, although we wait until paragraph 13 to learn that the children in her class experienced a ghost shortly after his death. Within the telling of the boy’s story, we learn, in paragraph 9, that the assumption that he “didn’t care” about his studies or anything else was questionable. In the conclusion, Liu explicitly reports her concerns about his death, that he was misunderstood and victimized by others because of his family’s disadvantages: their poverty, illiteracy, and crudeness. 2. So Tsi-fai killed himself after he brought home a weak report card with three failed subjects, English, Arithmetic, and Chinese Dictation (4). His father reacted with fury to “the report card with three red marks on it” (6). The boy had had a history of failure, but this report card was particularly important. He had reached the upper age limit for grade six, and he needed to do well in order to be recommended to take the Secondary School Entrance exam (SSE). Without such a recommendation, he could not even try to qualify for high school. His family counted on him, their oldest child, to get an education, because they were poor and illiterate. His educational success thus counted for his whole family’s future, not just his own. He had not only failed himself; he had failed them. So, instead of returning to school with his parents’ signatures on the report card, he went out to his father’s fields where the farming materials were stored, and drank insecticide. This act suggests So Tsi-fai’s low image of himself, that he would kill himself with a chemical designed to eradicate insects. 55

3. Liu came from a more middle-class family. Her mother woke her in the mornings and hustled her out of bed (7); she woke to find the house filled with the smells of the breakfast her mother had prepared. Liu was nagged a great deal, to get up, to eat her food, to be clean; clearly this haranguing was an unpleasant aspect of her life but one which meant she was on time and properly clean and dressed. As a result, she surely made a more positive impression on her teachers than So Tsifai did on his. Equally important, she had older brothers who helped her with her homework and supported her academic efforts. So Tsi-fai’s life was quite opposite. There is no evidence in the essay to indicate that So Tsi-fai was not intelligent enough to do well in school, but he was lacking in every advantage that might have made school work easier for him. His hardworking parents required he work in their fields, cook the food for his three younger siblings, and pretty much fend for himself. His clothes were unironed because he himself would have to iron them. His parents were illiterate. Although they wanted him to go to high school and be the “hope” of the family, they couldn’t help him be successful in school. 4. So Tsi-fai tells the class that “I died a tragic death. I have as much right as you to be here. This is my seat” (14). His words indicate that he felt he had a right to continue his education, that in fact an injustice was done him. His death is tragic because it was caused by a process of exclusion that demeaned him to the point of despair. By killing himself, he took the matter into his own hands and removed himself from the class by dying. Yet, he affirms, “This is my seat.” He claims the place that the system denied him. 5. defiant (3): exhibiting a resistant or provocative behavior or attitude incorrigible (3): bad beyond reform scourge (4): a person or thing that harasses or annoys; a pestilence subsidized (5): financially assisted dilated (11): opened wider or larger ether (12): a highly volatile liquid, used as a solvent or anesthetic imperceptible (13): very slight, gradual, or subtle lusterless (13): dull or dim arbitrates (18): decides or judges Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 223) 1. In the essay, two narrative times are braided together: the “present” of 23 years ago, when the narrator heard about the death of So Tsi-fai, and the story of how the boy killed himself. Paragraphs 1 and 2 start the essay out in the schoolroom just after the boy’s death. Then paragraph 3 abruptly shifts further back in time to the story of how he died. This is the core narrative, one which will be picked up in paragraphs 4, 6, and 9–11. Paragraph 4 returns to the classroom just after his death, signaled by the giving of the date (“It was a Monday in late November when . . .”), but quickly moves to fill in additional details about scenes in So Tsi-fai’s family just before his death. (Paragraph 5 provides background to the educational system of Hong Kong at that time.) Paragraph 6 returns to the story of the suicide, cueing us only by describing the father examining the boy’s report card. In paragraphs 7 and 8, Liu gives brief details from the past to compare her own life with that of So Tsi-fai; she signals this interlude by using questions (“Who woke him . . .”). Paragraph 9 picks up the narrative of how he died, using the word “when” to cue the reader that the essay is returning to this narrative. Paragraphs 10–11 continue the story. Using the time signal, “In class that Monday morning . . . ,” paragraph 12 returns us to the school room where a postlude to the suicide story occurs: the visit of So Tsi-fai’s ghost. This visit occupies the essay through paragraph 16. Extra space before paragraph 17 and the use of questions signals the author is moving to a conclusion.


2. The essay is replete with conflicted relationships. So Tsi-fai’s relations with his father are full of strain, a fact that comes out clearly in paragraph 6: “his father was furious. . . .” The boy’s relationship with the teacher and his classmates is no better. The school and the teacher consider him “a hopeless case. Overaged, stubborn and uncooperative; a repeated offender of school rules, scourge of all teachers . . .” (4). He is in conflict with the entire school system, which forbids an older child such as he to continue in school. Beyond these conflicts in the main plot, there are conflicts in the secondary narrative about the students who see the ghost. The teacher is in subtle conflict with her students: “Disciplinarian, perfectionist, authority figure: awesome and awful in my ten-year-old eyes.” The author herself has conflicts with her own parents, indicated by the nagging she cites in paragraph 7. The nun’s prayer for So Tsi-fai, started in paragraph 2 and continued in paragraph 12, indicates that even his death has not leveled the conflicts, for the nun prays for God to forgive the “boy’s rash taking of his own life” and to “forgive him for his sins.” For the author, this prayer only serves to call up images of death and finality rather than of hope: “I sat in my chair, frozen and dazed, thinking of the deadly chill in the morgue, the smell of disinfectant, ether, and dead flesh” (12). The ghost’s appearance indicates that the conflict is not resolved; the boy still wants to be in the class. The nun’s reaction to the ghost is to deny it, while her actions indicate that she is aware of it. She scolds, “Don’t be silly!” yet also crosses herself and slams the door shut firmly. 3. The quotations in parentheses are similar in that they are spoken by authority figures to children and are intended to correct the children’s behavior. They are also generalized reports of typical statements rather than quotations of something said at a specific time and place. The content of the quotations is the basis for a significant contrast. In the first, Mung Gu-liang shames the boy and commands him to wash out his mouth with soap. In response to this cruelty, the boy returns more defiant than ever. The second parenthesized quotation occurs in paragraph 6, where again we hear the cruel criticism of Mung Gu-liang: “Grime behind the ears, black rims on the fingernails, dirty collar, crumpled shirt. Why doesn’t your mother iron your shirt?” In the third parenthesized quotation, the author’s mother nags her to get up and get ready for school. The nagging is harsh and forceful, but the mother does not shame her child. Also, the mother has cooked wonderful food for her children’s breakfast. The image here is of discipline tempered by love and nurturance. The quotations help establish the contrast between the love and support the author received from her family and the debilitating degradation experienced by So Tsi-fai. This contrast creates differences in how their lives turned out. 4. The author tells us twice about So Tsi-fai’s last words, in paragraphs 3 and 9. In the first instance, we are surprised by the words, for the previous paragraph indicated that the boy was dead, but we don’t know that it was by his own hand until we read this quotation. The quotation is followed by the list of So Tsi-fai’s flaws, a shocking juxtaposition, because usually people emphasize the positive about those who have died. The second repetition occurs when the narrator returns to the story of So Tsi-fai’s suicide and helps the reader to pick up the thread of the story. But here, the quotation is followed by a comment, that his remark that he had “drunk enough insecticide” was “just like another one of his practical jokes” (9). This repetition tells us a great deal about the character of So Tsi-fai-that he was ironic and bitter to the last. It Finally, Liu repeats the boy’s last words in her conclusion, in paragraph 19, where she muses on the injustice done to an unlucky child. Her essay confirms that So Tsi-fai was right; he did have just as much right as she to be there. Liu also repeats a catalogue of negative characteristics in paragraphs 3 (“Bright black eyes, disheveled hair, defiant sneer, creased and greasy uniform, dirty hands, careless walk, shuffling feet. Standing in the corner for being late, for forgetting his homework, for talking in class, for using foul language. . . . incorrigible, hopeless, and without hope.”) and 15 (“Standing in the corner for being late, for forgetting his homework, for talking in class, for using foul language. . . . grimy shirt, disheveled hair, defiant sneer . . . incorrigible, hopeless, and without hope”). Repetition underscores the intensity of scorn heaped on So Tsi-fai as well as his fierce defiance.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 13 “ILLUSTRATION” (p. 228) Opening Comments When we first started teaching, we were caught off guard by students’ seeming inability to provide detailed, specific examples in their papers. But we soon uncovered the reason for the vagueness of their writing. Many of them arrived in college with the notion that good writing is abstract and full of highfalutin language. Warned over and over not to pad their papers, many students had come to regard specific details and “for instances” as fluff. We’ve found an almost sure-fire way to help students appreciate how powerfully examples can affect a reader. We have them react (see pages 233–234) to two versions of some student writing, one enlivened with specifics, the other flat, lifeless, and sorely in need of supporting details. When we question students about their reactions (“Which version is more interesting? Which gives you more of a sense of the writer?”), we actually see them coming to grasp the full importance of vigorous supporting details. Next, we spend some class time on prewriting activities. This helps students learn how to generate examples for their essays. That skill mastered, some of our eager-to-please students then give us too much of a good thing. They force readers to wade through a mass of specifics that don’t add focus or drama to the essay’s idea. When this happens, we emphasize that writers need to be selective and choose only the most striking, telling examples to support a point. Varied in subject and mood, the professional selections in this chapter illustrate the power writing derives from rich supporting detail. In “Bombs Bursting in Air,” Johnson illustrates, through a series of poignant personal experience examples, the precarious nature of the human condition. Douglas tackles the barrage of conflicting messages the media creates, citing numerous examples to illustrate her struggle (“Managing Mixed Messages).” Finally, Garity (“Is Sex All That Matters?”) provides an extended example as well as numerous small details to identify and explore a societal problem.


ACTIVITIES: ILLUSTRATION Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 13. Of course, your students are bound to come up with their own approaches. Prewriting Activities (p. 243) 1. There are many ways to use illustration in these two essays; the lists below only begin to name the possibilities. We suggest that you have students share their ideas for examples, perhaps with a partner or in small groups. Seeing what others have come up with makes the point clearly that writing involves invention and individuality. Topic: Why public school teachers quit Teacher who has to work a second job to support family Ex-teacher now a mail carrier, better paid Science teacher recruited by industry Teacher resenting blame and criticism of education today Teacher toiling late at night over tests and lesson plans Topic: Defining a preppie Female wearing pearls with baggy shorts on a chilly day Male wearing rugby striped shirt with a crest and loafers Preppies’ conversation centering on grades and careers Preppie male going out for crew or tennis Preppie female playing intramural lacrosse or field hockey Revising Activities (p. 244) We suggest you offer students the chance to read each other’s revised versions of the paragraphs in activities 5, 6, and 7. Such exposure to others’ work helps them to see new ways of handling the revision and can encourage them to be more creative. 5. Here are the main problems with the paragraph: — Needs examples of how stores might be modernized: new signs, more professional window display, interior renovation. — Nature of the improvements to streets should be shown by examples: potted plants, outdoor sculptures, decorative benches, outdoor cafes. — Examples needed of how town could be made more “fun to walk.” — Examples of the “attention-getting events” should be provided. 6. Here are some notes about the problems in the paragraph: — “When we act foolishly or wildly” is general and self-evident. — The “qualms” felt later are vague.


— The situation behind someone’s wanting “revenge” is obscure, making this detail unconvincing. — What it is like to “feel bad” because of the superego’s influence needs to be shown by illustration. Here’s the way an extended example might work in this paragraph: The superego is the part of us that makes us feel guilty when we do something that we know is wrong. A young person might feel guilt after an evening of carrying on. For example, suppose a group of bored young men get “a fun idea” driving into town late one Saturday night. They buy cartons of eggs and bombard semi-conscious homeless men and haggard-looking prostitutes with raw eggs and unprintable names. Feeling superior, they laugh themselves silly. The next day, how ever, they might wake up depressed at the thought of their treatment of unfortunate human beings. Their superego is finally at work, making them recognize their own evil side. I can affirm the power of the superego, because in my senior year of high school I was involved in just such a caper. 7. It’s a good idea to provide time in class for students to read over each other’s revisions of this paragraph. Seeing how others handled the revision can give students a stronger sense of their revision options. Here are the main problems with the paragraph: — Vague descriptions (“trendy,” “fine”) need replacement by vigorous images. A strong example or two is needed here. — Point about trendy clothes should be tied in to the idea of the costliness. — Singling out women is sexist; at the very least such a charge needs supporting examples. Indeed, more thought may well show that men are similarly vulnerable. — Shampoo example should occur at the end of the paragraph, because the movement of the paragraph is from things that don’t wear out to things that do wear out. Change the opening words of the sentence to fit it into its new location. — “Slight changes” is vague; an example is necessary. — Statement that men are “naive” and are “hoodwinked” is sexist and irrelevant; this point also needs to be more clearly tied in to the point that the desire for the new is costly to the consumer.


BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR Beth Johnson Questions for Close Reading (p. 248) 1. The thesis is stated through a metaphor at the very end of the essay: “[Bombs] can blind us, like fireworks at the moment of explosion. . . . But if we have the courage to keep our eyes open and welcoming, even bombs finally fade against the vastness of the starry sky” (15). In other words, life’s unexpected tragedies can seem devastating and insurmountable when they occur; but we must courageously live on, recognizing that even these misfortunes are part of life’s greater mystery and beauty. 2. Johnson states directly, “News that reached me today makes me need to feel her [Maddie] near” (2), referring to the revelation that Maddie’s five-year-old playmate, Shannon, was unexpectedly diagnosed with a brain tumor. This jarring discovery reminds Johnson of the fragility of life and the randomness of misfortune, for Maddie could just as easily have been the one stricken with the tumor. Compelled by the maternal impulse to protect her child from impending harm, Johnson draws Maddie near. Though Johnson knows she has no power over the bombs that might explode in life, she feels slightly more secure having her daughter nearby. 3. The reactions of Maddie, Sam, and Johnson to the news of Shannon’s illness provide a snapshot of the process of evolving maturity. Only five years old, Maddie fails to understand the gravity of Shannon’s condition, and she is too young to be “faze[d]” by bombs in general (8). Johnson sees her younger self in Maddie, recalling her own “childhood . . . feeling of being cocooned within reassuring walls of security and order” (8). Maddie declares her certainty that Shannon “will be okay,” having learned in school about a boy who recovered from an illness (5, 7). Maddie’s confidence in Shannon’s recovery and her willingness to change the subject—“Can we go to Dairy Queen?” (7)— contrast with the response of thirteen-year-old Sam, who is “not so easily distracted” (6). Perched between childhood and adulthood, Sam is aware of how serious Shannon’s condition is, yet he still seeks his mother’s guarantee that the child will recover: “She’ll be okay, though, right?” (6). Just like his mother in her adolescence, Sam struggles as “the protective curtain between us and the bombs” (10) is slowly being drawn away from him. Finally, Johnson represents the adult stage of awareness, for she is most shaken by the news and is least confident that a happy ending is in sight. This essay itself serves as a testament to how much the news has affected her, for Shannon’s “bomb” has inspired Johnson to reflect on life’s bombs in general. Having lived through numerous occasions when very bad things have happened to very good people, Johnson lacks any illusions about life’s fairness. During Johnson’s adolescence, the sudden death of her best friend taught Johnson the life-changing lesson that “there was no magic barrier separating me and my loved ones from the bombs. We were as vulnerable as everyone else” (11). Because the friend died in her sleep without contributing to her own demise in any way, Johnson as a teenager was forced to realize that no rules of logic or fairness govern the bursting of bombs. Nevertheless, as an adult, she demonstrates the need for comfort that characterizes children; she draws her child close to her and takes solace in the conclusion that despite the bombs that potentially may burst, life must be lived and people must be loved. 4. Given the knowledge that “the greater our investment in life, the larger the target we create” for life-bombs, individuals may respond in one of two ways. One option is to withdraw from life and scale back commitments to others, reducing the potential for pain and loss. In Johnson’s words, people may “refuse friendship, shrink from love, live in isolation, and thus create for ourselves a nearly impenetrable bomb shelter” (13). The other option is to immerse oneself in life, willing to 61

brave potential bombs in order to experience life’s joys and beauties, “to truly live, to love and be loved” (13). Johnson advocates the latter path, and she marvels at the resilience of the human spirit, which inspires people to live on: “I am moved by the courage with which most of us, ordinary folks, continue soldiering on. We fall in love, we bring our children into the world, we forge our friendships, we give our hearts, knowing with increasing certainty that we do so at our own risk” (13). Those who isolate themselves from life, she implies, lose far more in the end than those who say “yes, yes to life” and only periodically suffer. 5. ferrying (4): transporting shrapnel (6): fragments from exploded artillery faze (8): disturb; disconcert cocooned (8): sheltered; protected tremors (9): vibrations incantations (10): charms or spells ritually recited vulnerable (11): susceptible to harm or injury intertwining (12): joined together; interrelated impenetrable (13): unable to be entered or understood soldiering on (13): bravely moving forward prognosis (14): predicted outcome of a disease fragility (14): state of being breakable Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 249) 1. The first example that Johnson emphasizes—and the one that frames her essay—is the anecdote about Shannon. (Johnson ponders the sad news about Shannon’s illness, then delivers the news to her children.) This incident receives so much attention for several reasons. It reminds Johnson of how fragile life is, how randomly calamity strikes, and, therefore, how easily one of her own children could have been the target of a “bomb” like the one that hit Shannon. This news then triggers a series of memories about tragedies that Johnson witnessed in the past and jars her into meditating on the occurrence of misfortune in general. These memories are ordered chronologically, beginning with incidents in Johnson’s youth that affected her least and progressing to events in her adolescence and adulthood that impacted her most. In paragraph 9, she briefly catalogues “tiny shockwaves”—incidents that were peripheral to her life. She does not describe these memories in great detail because, as she admits, she was unaware of the gravity of these incidents as a child and young adolescent. In paragraph 10, how ever, she says, “As we got older, the bombs dropped closer.” She goes on to catalogue more harrowing events, ones that were closer to her life, such as a peer’s suicide and the deaths of a carful of acquaintances. Yet, she says, “we still had some sense of a protective curtain between us and the bombs.” But in paragraph 11, Johnson de-scribes the single most destructive bomb, the one that changed her life. Here she develops at great length the example of her best friend’s sudden death at the age of sixteen. She focuses on this crisis because of her degree of intimacy with this friend (as opposed to earlier acquaintances) and because this tragedy marked a turning point for Johnson, a rite of passage from innocent childhood into knowing maturity. After this event, she “found [herself] shaken to the core of [her] being” (11), more worldly-wise and less secure in the world around her. Johnson then quickly catalogues bombs that dropped in her late-adolescent and adult life. She does not focus special attention on them because, as an adult, she was more equipped to handle the bar-rage of misfortune that she witnessed—secondhand, in one instance (her professor’s loss of two children), and firsthand, in others (the pain of love, the failure of her marriage, and the death of her father). She says, “I became more aware of the intertwining threads of joy, pain, and occasional tragedy that weave through all our lives” (12); as a result, she came to regard misfortune as part of life’s cycle and was not as rattled when it ran its course. 62

2. In paragraph 6, Johnson contrasts how she wishes life could be with how life actually is. She begins by describing a more ideal world, signaled by a series of sentences beginning “I want.” She wishes she could, in all honesty, assure her son that Shannon will be fine; that her children could “inhabit a world where five-year-olds do not develop silent, mysterious growths in their brains” to begin with; that the medical terms being applied to Shannon were “words for New York Times crossword puzzles, not for little girls” (6). However, this fantasy is cut short by the blunt, bleak admission, “But I can’t,” followed by her reason for abandoning illusions: “the bomb that exploded in Shannon’s home has sent splinters of shrapnel into ours as well, and they cannot be ignored or lied away” (6). This stark contrast between wish and reality supports Johnson’s main idea that in life, we have no control over when and where bombs will drop; all we can do is live fully and love each other in order to weather life’s inevitable misfortunes. 3. Johnson uses repetition in these two paragraphs, usually to emphasize magnitude and/or quantity. In paragraph 9, the similarly-structured “There was the little girl who . . . ,” “There was the big girl who . . . ,” and then “A playful friendly custodian . . . ,” and “A teacher’s husband . . .” appear consecutively as Johnson itemizes the different people affected by bombs in her youth. The repetitive syntax emphasizes the number of bomb victims while also demonstrating how a wide range of people were equally vulnerable. Johnson employs repetition for the same reason at the beginning of paragraph 10, where she again itemizes bomb victims: “A friend’s sister . . . ,” “A boy I thought I knew. . . ,” “A car full of senior boys . . . .” Later in the same paragraph, she reiterates “if only” four times to illustrate how she and her peers were powerless in the face of such tragedy, left only to repeat the same futile phrase over and over again. 4. The title, “Bombs Bursting in Air,” introduces the central image of bombs, an image that reverberates throughout the essay. The title is derived from the line in “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung expressively by Johnson’s daughter, Maddie, at the athletic event that opens the essay (2). Maddie’s lively emphasis on the “b’s” triggers a series of painful reflections for the author, who is still reeling from the devastating news about young Shannon’s brain tumor. Johnson comes to refer to such unanticipated tragedies in life as “bombs,” which burst in air—and in life—without warning and with lasting effect. She goes on in the essay to delineate the impact and aftermath of bombs in her own past, using terms like “exploded” (3), “shrapnel” (6), “shockwaves”, and “tremors” (9), in showing how she grew out of youthful naiveté and into painful awareness of life’s dark realities. The more one opens oneself up to life and love, she observes, “the larger the target” one becomes for devastation and loss (13). Despite her dark awareness, Johnson emerges with a renewed faith in the human spirit that inspires “ordinary folks [to] continue soldiering on” (13). At the end of the essay, she says that humans are faced with a choice: we may either withdraw from life in order to avoid potential bombs, or we may courageously “keep our eyes open and welcoming,” realizing that “even bombs finally fade against the vastness of the starry sky” (15). Overall, the metaphor of bombs is effective not only because it captures the explosive impact that life’s calamities may have, but also because it is a highly accessible image for readers.


MANAGING MIXED MESSAGES Susan Douglas Questions for Close Reading (p. 254) 1. Douglas states her thesis in the second paragraph: “Having grown up with the mass media myself, and considering what that has done for me and to me, I bring all that to bear as I raise my own little girl, who will, in her own way, and with her own generation, have her hopes and fears shaped by the mass media too.” She restates it in the final paragraph, where she expresses her outrage as well: “Like us, they will have to work hard to fend off what cripples them and amplify what empowers them. But why, after all these years, should they still have to work so hard and to resist so much?” 2. As Douglas sees it, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast make only small steps in the right direction. She tells us that although The Little Mermaid’s main character, Ariel, “is indeed brave, curious, feisty and defiant” (3), the movie still propagates images of women that are either unrealistic or derogatory. For instance, Ariel has a waist “the diameter of a chive, and her salvation comes through her marriage—at the age of sixteen, no less—to Eric. And the sadistic, consummately evil demon in the movie is, you guessed it, an older, overweight woman with too much purple eyeshadow and eyeliner, a female octopus who craves too much power and whose nether regions evoke the dreaded vagina dentate” (3). Likewise, Beauty and the Beast serves to maintain the notion that a woman’s “dreams of a more interesting, exciting life” can be “fulfilled through marriage alone” (6) According to Douglas, nonanimated movies like Home Alone and Free Willy do not do much better in providing girls with positive role models. Movies such as these, she asserts, all have “little boy leads, little boy adventures, and little boy heroism,” which means “. . . gutsy, smart, enterprising, and sassy little girls remain, after all this time, absent, invisible, denied.” According to Douglas, these movies reflect the fact that “Hollywood simply takes it for granted that little heroes, like big ones, are always boys” (4). Girls, like Douglas’s own daughter, can only imagine themselves in the hero role. The ultimate effect is that while boys come to accept as a given their “hero” status, girls continue to yearn for movies in which they take center stage. 3. Unlike the other movies Douglas mentions, The Wizard of Oz presents a positive female image, one in which the girl does not have to compromise her femaleness in order to be strong or assertive, nor does the movie have love and romance as the heroine’s ultimate goal and final reward. As Douglas proclaims in paragraph 5, “. . . here’s a girl who has an adventure and doesn’t get married at the end. She runs away from home, flies to Oz in a cyclone, kills one wicked witch and then another—although never on purpose—and helps Scarecrow get a brain, Tin Man get a heart, and Lion get some courage, all of which Dorothy already has in spades. Throughout the movie, Dorothy is caring, thoughtful, nurturing, and empathetic, but she’s also adventuresome, determined, and courageous.” The only problem Douglas finds with this movie has nothing to do with the story line itself, but with what went on in the background in order for the movie to be made. According to Douglas, “Judy Garland had to have her breasts strapped down for the part and was fed bucketfuls of amphetamines so she’d remain as slim as the studio wanted.” 4. On a number of occasions, Douglas refers to her daughter’s reactions to the media’s presentation of gender roles. We witness her daughter either accepting, rejecting, or questioning what the media present. In each case, Douglas’s references to her daughter’s reactions reinforce her thesis: that her daughter’s hopes and fears are being “shaped by the mass media too” (2). 64

In the first paragraph, Douglas’s point is that the media dictate what toys are appropriate for girls and boys; she uses her daughter’s Saturday-morning requests as evidence of the media’s success in dictating gender-appropriate toy preferences. Paragraphs 2–4 illustrate the ways in which television programs and movies support either the age-old notion of female success through beauty and marriage or the idea that only boys can be adventuresome and heroic. To help make the point that the presentation of such concepts makes girls feel invisible, at the close of paragraph 4, Douglas refers us to her daughter’s comment: “Mommy, there should be more movies with girls.” The information she provides in paragraph 6—her daughter’s insistence upon dressing like a girl, her love of games like “wedding” and “family,” and her abandonment of blocks and trucks for Barbie—anticipates the focus of paragraph 7: the nature-nurture debate. Finally, in paragraph 9, Douglas focuses for the last time on her daughter’s struggle to manage “the mixed messages around her.” At times, she resists the messages and asserts her desire to be in control (“she dictates the precise direction of her pretend games with the authority of a field marshal”); other times she succumbs because “it is also important to her that she be pretty, desired.” For Douglas, her daughter’s struggle is evidence of the truth that media imagery “holds out promises of female achievement with one hand and slaps her down with the other.” 5. implores (1): begs semiotics (1): the analysis of the nature and relationship of signs in language consummately (3): totally nether (3): lower arbitrary (4): based on one’s preference, notion, or whim flourishes (4): displays resurgence (5): rising again retrograde (7): a throwback to or reminder of the past succumbs (9): gives in demurs (10): objects impart (10): convey unharried (11): not bothered exhortations (11): appeals Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 254) 1. Although Douglas switches back and forth from one genre to the other, she signals her moves clearly. The first paragraph focuses on television commercials, but we know that the following paragraph will cover the gamut of media genres because she states in paragraph 2, “Ever since she was old enough to understand books, kids’ movies, and Sesame Street, I have looked, in vain, for strong and appealing female characters for her to identify with.” In paragraph 2, she indicates movement from TV shows to books with “Children’s books are not much better” and then returns to television shows (“Television cartoons . . . still treat females . . . as nonexistent or . . . ancillary afterthoughts”). To indicate her switch to a discussion of movies, she begins paragraph 3 with the words “And then there are the movies.” To make sure readers stay focused on films, she begins paragraph 5 with “The one movie that I was happy to have . . . .” And in paragraph 8, she once again aims her sights at kids’ Saturday morning television: “In fact, kids’ TV is worse than ever . . . .” 2. Douglas seems both exasperated by and disgusted with the media’s depiction of girls. In the first paragraph, these emotions are conveyed in the words and phrases she uses to describe both the situation with her daughter and the items advertised on television. She wakes on a Saturday morning as her daughter “implores” her to come see the thing she wants on television. She has to “drag” her “hungover and inadequately caffeinated butt over to the TV set.” Her daughter’s eyes “shine 65

like moonstones” as she gazes at the screen. What Douglas sees before her is “some hideous plastic doll, or pony, or troll,” “pitched” to her daughter by “elated little girls, flashing lights, and rap music.” And the colors seem to be the same for “everything,” from “a troll doll in a wedding dress” to “Kitty Surprise or Cheerleader Skipper.” Her daughter doesn’t want that “Pentagon-inspired stuff” for boys; she wants “nothing more in the whole wide world” than “Rollerblade Barbie.” Douglas’s choice of words and phrases establishes her disdain for what the media present to young girls. We understand how she feels about the situation before she actually articulates her position. 3. In paragraph 1, we hear Douglas’s daughter talk. Her words (“Mommy, Mommy, hurry, come quickly, now!” and “Can I get that, Mommy, can I, puleeze? Please, Mommy”) convey how caught up she is. Her urgency illustrates that she accepts the media messages totally and underscores how infuriating it is that parents have to counter these forces. We hear Douglas speak in paragraph 4. As she tells us, when the media at long last actually present a worthy depiction of a female, parents are reduced to didactic commentary (“See how strong she is, honey?”) in an effort to counterbalance the media’s insidious influence. 4. The question posed at the end of the piece reinforces the exasperation and frustration Douglas establishes in the opening paragraph. The question also forces readers—presumed to be parents (“Like us, our daughters . . . ”)— to confront the responsibility they have for countering the corrosive effects of the gender conditioning promoted by the media. In short, the question encourages readers to come up with a solution, which is probably what Douglas wanted, for certainly the essay as a whole encourages us to action.

IS SEX ALL THAT MATTERS? Joyce Garity Questions for Close Reading (p. 259) 1. Garity’s thesis is implied. It might be stated, “Overly sexualized imagery in ads and popular culture gives teenagers a false message: that sexual activity is to be sought and practiced with abandon.” The essay provides numerous examples of ads that use sex to sell products and, in addition, sell a sexy lifestyle as well. 2. Elaine is filled with envy at the lifestyle depicted in ads, a lifestyle where beautiful, scantily clad young people dally in luxurious surroundings (4). Garity says that while Elaine lived with her, she saw how much the young woman “yearn[ed] after magazine images, soap-opera heroines and rock goddesses” (6). To Elaine, the ads showed “the way life—her life—is supposed to be. . . . a world characterized by sexual spontaneity, playfulness, and abandon” (6). Garity sees through the ads, however, because she is older and more experienced, and therefore knows that the photos are not real. They are “a marketing invention.” She writes, “I know that the moment the photo shoot was over, the beautiful room was dismantled, the models moved on the next job, and the technicians took over the task of doctoring the photograph until it reached full-blown fantasy proportions” (5). The ads and soap operas omit the “unsexy” realities of relationships: birth control, unwanted pregnancy, AIDS, and “shattered lives.” They ignore the issues of “commitment or whether [people] should act on their sexual impulses” (6), and despite the extreme titillation that often goes on in the ads, the issue of rape is ignored (6). 66

3. Garity complains that our culture “parades sexuality at every turn and makes heroes of the advocates of sexual excess.” Clothing stores sell “hooker-style” clothes for girls of all ages, and children are taken to see concerts of pop stars who are famous for their sexy style and suggestive dance on stage. Sports heroes, the idols of young boys, boast of obsessive sexual conquest. The accused boys in a criminal case involving the systematic rape of girls were rewarded with talkshow appearances and excused by their parents as exhibiting their manhood (9). 4. Garity points out that most sex education focuses on the biology and excludes discussion of values, of “sexuality as only one part of a well balanced life.” The biological dangers of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are discussed, but the emotional components of sexuality—“love and stuff like that,” in the words of a Spur Posse member— are ignored. Garity indicates that she feels the schools should teach specific ideas about sex: that abstinence can be “an emotionally or spiritually satisfying option,” that sex should be saved for “an emotionally intimate, exclusive, trusting relationship” (10). 5. waif (3): a lost child croon (4): sing spontaneity (6): quality of acting on impulse abandon (6): freedom from constraint pedestrian (6): ordinary irony (7): an outcome opposite to what might have been euphemisms (8): mild indirect terms for vulgar or ordinary things innuendo (8): shade of meaning vestige (9): remnant simulated (9): imitation copulation (9): sexual intercourse abstinence (10): avoidance of sexual activity exclusive (10): shutting out all others from participation Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 259) 1. The case of Elaine, a girl so childlike and romantic, and so very irresponsible and pregnant, dramatizes the problems created in a culture where sex is portrayed as necessary, wonderful, and glamorous. The author’s personal experience with this girl adds immediacy, even a sense of emergency, to the point that young people’s lives are shattered when they innocently try to live like the kids in the ads. Elaine’s situation, described in depth, provides a springboard for all the issues that Garity raises: the naive response of youth to media images, the cruel reality that can result from irresponsible sex, the failure of sex education to stem the sexual tide. Finally, the use of Elaine as an example helps the reader to understand that Garity’s message is rooted in her humane and even maternal concern for the real suffering of young people; it lends her credibility, in a sense, for it implies that Garity is not just another anti-sex media critic. 2. Garity makes clear that she and Elaine would not see eye-to-eye on the subject of the way ads portray relationships. Elaine, in her unsophisticated way, would find the ads romantic and beautiful (4). Garity, while acknowledging the strong impact of the ads, would see through them to the false message they convey about the role of sex in relationships; she would also be aware of the craft that has created the illusion of perfect bodies, luxurious surroundings, and spontaneity (5). Garity also contrasts the way ads used to be and the way they currently are. Although it is a constant that ads have always used sex to lure unsuspecting consumers, older ads were more veiled and discrete, putting the focus on “popularity” or “lovableness.” But today’s ads explicitly suggest that happy sex results from consuming certain products (8). A third contrast occurs in the biological focus of 67

sex education and Garity’s preference for sex ed to highlight values, especially traditional values about sexual abstinence and committed relationships (10). 3. Garity suggests a cause-effect relationship between the excessively sexualized advertisements that inundate young people in our culture and Elaine’s irresponsible sexual behavior and pregnancy. She writes, “Years of exposure to this media-invented, sex-saturated universe have done their work on Elaine” (7). In paragraph 8, Garity points out that the lure of lovableness or popularity has always caused “the masses” of ordinary people to be “susceptible to the notion that a particular product will make them more sexually attractive” and that this fact has resulted in advertisers’ use of sex in ads. In addition to pointing out a cause-effect relationship between ads and sexual behavior, Garity suggests that other cultural factors have caused young people to be more sexual at an earlier age: sexy children’s clothes, children’s attendance at sexy rock concerts, sports heroes’ boasts about their sexual appetites, and the rewards of publicity for those who commit sexual crimes (9). In addition, Garity implies that sex education that is limited to the hows of sexual biology can cause young people to ignore or be ignorant of the emotional or spiritual sides of intimacy (10). 4. Garity’s essay bristles with concern and indignation about the forces that have victimized Elaine and other young people. The essay begins with her neutral description of Elaine’s situation, but as the essay moves on, Garity’s tone becomes more heightened. As she focuses on the media causes of her anger, she invokes her memories of Elaine using a repeated phrase: “I think about her often . . . I think of her as I page through . . . I think of Elaine . . .” anger blares through. As she describe the ads she sees in a fashion magazine, she uses strong, even harsh, images: the magazines “trumpet sexuality page after leering page”; models wear “snug” dresses cut to “just below the crotch”; a “naked,” “waif-thin” girl wears a look of “startled helplessness” (3). Her tone become sarcastic as she uses short, curt sentences to elaborate on the beauty that Elaine would perceive in the ads: “The faces and bodies they show are lovely. The lighting is superb. The hair and makeup are faultless” (4). Elaine “could only want to be the girl in the ads,” Garity writes, adding, again sarcastically, “Heck, I want to be her” (4). The sarcasm crops up again when Garity describes the factors omitted from this “marketing invention” of a world: “Nor, apparently,” she complains, “do [these people] spend much time thinking about such pedestrian topics as commitment. . . .” She uses heightened language to contrast their “clean sunlit rooms” with the ignored realities of “AIDS, of unwanted pregnancy, of shattered lives” (6). In paragraphs 7-8, Garity continues her strong condemnatory imagery: “this media-invented, sex-saturated universe”; Elaine “melts over images from a sexual Shangri-la” (7) and is “not the first to be suckered by the cynical practice of using sex to sell underwear . . .” (8). As she describes more sexualized ads, she again grows sarcastic: an ad “coyly invites” a magazine’s readers; a jeans ad shows “a jolly gang-bang fantasy in the making.” (8). Her tone becomes blunt in paragraph 9’s description of the sexual mores of today’s youth: “virginity is regarded as an embarrassing vestige of childhood, to be disposed of as quickly as possible.” Again she relies upon strong imagery and straight-forward assertion of the facts to convey her anger: our culture “parades” sexuality and rock concerts feature “simulated on-stage masturbation” or a “pretended act of copulation”; boys “charged with systematically raping girls as young as 10 . . . were rewarded with a publicity tour.” She accuses sex education of being a “late, lame attempt to counterbalance” the “sexual overload” (10). Her pounding series of questions in paragraph 11 is indignant and capped by her complaint: “No one has told Elaine” (12).


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 14 “DIVISION-CLASSIFICATION” (p. 263) Opening Comments We sometimes feel slightly uneasy about teaching division-classification as a distinct pattern of development. After all, the logic at its core comes into play often during the writing process. For example, when students generate and group ideas during the prewriting stage and when they outline their material, they necessarily draw on the ordering principles of division-classification. Even though many students can instinctively use it, we still teach division-classification as a discrete pattern of development. Understanding it helps students appreciate the demands of logical analysis. We recommend covering division-classification early in the semester, although work on this pattern can be deferred. Students weak in analysis profit from an explicit discussion of the way to break down ideas and establish categories. And, all students gain from analyzing essays to determine whether division and/or classification forms the main organizational principle. Working with division-classification can cause two problems for students. First, they sometimes become confused about the difference between division and classification. They think they’re classifying when they’re dividing and dividing when they’re classifying. On page 264, we state as succinctly as we can the difference between these two related but separate processes: Division involves taking a single unit or a concept, breaking the unit down into its parts, and analyzing the connection among the parts and between the parts and the whole. Classification brings two or more related items together and categorizes them according to type or kind. Second, some students view division-classification as a pointless exercise designed by overly particular composition teachers. When they learn that they’ve been using division-classification all along (when brainstorming, when outlining, and so on), they begin to understand that division-classification is a valuable tool for logical analysis. In this regard, the student essay, “The Truth About College Professors” (pages 273–76), will provide the class with a good laugh (perhaps even at your expense) and help students see how to use classification to make a point. This chapter’s professional essays show how division-classification can help writers shed light upon a subject. In “Propaganda Techniques in Today’s Advertising,” McClintock uses classification to sort the types of Madison Avenue tactics. Tannen (“But What Do You Mean?”) classifies our most common forms of verbal interaction to explore the different ways men and women communicate. And Lutz (“Doublespeak”) organizes evidence into four overlapping categories to illustrate his point about the deceptive nature of “doublespeak.”


ACTIVITIES: DIVISION-CLASSIFICATION Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 14. Of course, other approaches are possible. Prewriting Activities (p. 279) 1. Division-classification can be used in a variety of ways in these two essays. Below are a few suggestions. It’s a good idea to have students share their ideas on the use of division-classification with each other; this will provide a concrete demonstration of the possibilities. Topic: How to impress college instructors Divide brown-nosing techniques into types Classify students according to their favorite technique Classify instructors according to what impresses them Topic: Why volunteerism is on the rise Divide to obtain motivations for volunteerism Classify people needing help Classify kinds of people who are apt to volunteer 2. Here are some possible principles of division for each of the topics. Other principles of division and theses are possible. a. Prejudice Principle of division: According to how prejudice develops Thesis: A prejudice against a group may be learned from one’s parents, absorbed from society, or based on a bad experience of one’s own. Principle of division: According to whether the prejudice is dangerous Thesis: Most of us have prejudices; some are trivial, such as a bias against broccoli; others are harmless, such as an intolerance for whiners; still others are hurtful, such as a mistrust of a racial, ethnic, or religious group. Principle of division: According to the motivation for the prejudice Thesis: Prejudice against another group of people can be motivated by fear, jealousy, or ignorance. b. Rock Music Principle of division: According to era Thesis: Rock music styles fall into distinct eras: music of fifties, sixties, seventies, and eighties. Principle of division: According to audience Thesis: Rock music appeals to many audiences: the middle-aged, the yuppie, the college-aged, and the teenaged.


Principle of division: According to its origin Thesis: Rock music has diverse influences: country music, rhythm and blues, and jazz. c. A Shopping Mall Principle of division: According to time of day at mall Thesis: At different times of the day, different groups of people inhabit the mall: senior “mall-walkers” in the early morning, business People grabbing lunch at midday, mothers and babies in the early afternoon, and teenagers in the early evening. Principle of division: According to what is sold Thesis: The types of stores that prosper at Garvey Mall tell much about today’s consumer; the majority of shops sell apparel, quite a few sell audio and video tapes, but only one sells books. Principle of division: According to places people congregate Thesis: The fountain, the fast-food arcade, and the movie theater patio at Garvey Mall are all social spots, but for different types of people. d. A Good Horror Movie Principle of division: According to person being victimized Thesis: In Kennel Horror II, the victim is either an unsuspecting innocent, a helpless poor person, or a law-enforcement officer. Principle of division: According to attack location Thesis: The victims in Kennel Horror II are attacked in their own homes, in pleasant public places, or in isolated rural areas. Principle of division: According to film shots Thesis: Director Logan Bettari uses extreme close-ups, rapid pans, and jarring cuts to increase the tension in Kennel Horror II. 3. Here are some possible principles of classification and thesis statements for this topic. Your students, of course, may come up with different ones. Topic: The effects of expanding the college enrollment Principle of classification: According to which groups expansion would affect Thesis: Expanding the college enrollment would severely affect the student body, the faculty, and the local townspeople. Principle of classification: According to effects on various aspects of college life Thesis: Expanding the college enrollment would have serious economic, social, and academic effects. Principle of classification: According to consequences for various academic departments Thesis: Expanding the college’s enrollment will minimally affect most departments, somewhat affect departments with popular majors, and seriously affect departments offering many required courses.


Revising Activities (p. 280) 4. The essay is based on a principle of division; “experience” is divided according to areas: employment, academic, social. The principle of division is applied incorrectly in the second point. Instead of being about an area of experience, this point focuses on “negative” experiences, a broad division that doesn’t fit with the other areas. Second of all, the point refers only to “optimists,” while all the other points refer to everyone. The problem can be remedied by eliminating the second point, since there are already three other solid points to be made in the essay. 5. Make time for your students to share their revisions with each other. Seeing the work of others helps students see all the possibilities in revising. This paragraph divides the concept of “play” using as a principle of division how much the child’s peers are involved in the play. The paragraph’s organization is based on the chronological appearance of the stages in the child’s growth. The principle is applied consistently, but there are some problems in organization and in the support offered. Here are the specific problems with the paragraph: — The discussion of the first stage (“babies and toddlers”) needs a specific example or two of “their own actions.” — The fourth sentence, about elementary children’s play, is incorrectly located in the paragraph, which discusses the play of preschool children. Delete this sentence. — The discussion of the second stage (“parallel play”) could use an example of the “similar activities” the children engage in and how the children might “occasionally” interact. Note the specific examples provided for the third stage. — The last sentence is irrelevant and contradictory because no connection is made between the “special delight in physical activities” and the social aspect of children’s play. In addition, the second part of the sentence contradicts the topic (first) sentence. This point must be more thought out and more details should be added.


PROPAGANDA TECHNIQUES IN TODAY’S ADVERTISING Ann McClintock Questions for Close Reading (p. 286) 1. McClintock’s thesis is located at the end of the first paragraph: “Advertisers lean heavily on propaganda to sell their products, whether the ‘products’ are a brand of toothpaste, a candidate for office, or a particular political viewpoint.” 2. Propaganda is the “systematic effort to influence people’s opinions, to win them over to a certain view or side” (2) in terms of product choices, political candidates, or social concerns. Many people associate propaganda solely with the subversive campaigns of foreign powers or with the spreading of outrageous lies to an unwitting, innocent populace. But actually, propaganda is all around us; it is used by all the special interests that vie for our attention, our dollars, and our votes. American advertising is pervaded with propaganda in its attempt to sell us commercial products, and our political climate suffers from blizzard after blizzard of propaganda before each election. 3. Advertisers use “weasel words” to “stack the cards” and distort facts so that their products appear superior. Weasel words are words that say more than they mean and suggest more value than they actually denote. For example, an ad might say a shampoo “helps control dandruff,” but we might understand this to mean that it cures dandruff (19). 4. Consumers should be aware of propaganda techniques so they can resist the appeal of ads that distort the truth or pull at our emotions. Only when we can separate the actual message and evaluate it for ourselves are we doing the hard work of clear thinking: “analyzing a claim, researching the facts, examining both sides of an issue, using logic to see the flaws in an argument” (23). 5. seduced (1): enticed warmonger (5): person who attempts to start wars elitist (17): an exclusive or privileged group Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 286) 1. The definition of propaganda informs us about the term’s true meaning and also clears up misunderstandings about the extent to which average Americans are subjected to propaganda. The broader purpose of providing us with this definition is to persuade us that advertising is indeed propaganda. McClintock hopes to motivate us to learn more about the various techniques of propaganda, so we can protect ourselves from its daily onslaughts. 2. “Seduced” and “brainwashed” are both words with strong negative connotations; we are likely to be shocked or disbelieving when we read that “Americans, adults and children alike, are being seduced. They are being brainwashed” (1). By using these terms, McClintock challenges our belief in our independence and free will. Through the use of these and other terms (“victims”), she provokes us to continue reading the essay. Ironically, this use of loaded words manipulates the readers’ reactions in a manner similar to that of propaganda.


3. Questions appear in the discussions of glittering generalities and card stacking and in the conclusion to the essay. In both sections on propaganda techniques, the questions are rhetorical, in that they need no answers. They are questions used to make a point. For example, McClintock asks, “After all, how can anyone oppose ‘truth, justice, and the American way’?” (6). The implied answer is, “No one can.” In her discussion of specific empty phrases, the author asks questions to point out the meaningless of such statements as “He cares” and “Vote for Progress” (7). These questions are meant not to be answered, but to show the vagueness of glittering generalities. In the section on card stacking (18–20), the author suggests that readers ask questions to test the validity of a political accusation such as “My opponent has changed his mind five times.” The questions in the essay’s conclusion (23), however, are real questions to which McClintock provides answers. 4. Tied to McClintock’s explanation of why propaganda works is a warning: that to remain blind to the power of propaganda is to consent “to handing over to others our independence of thought and action” (24). To prevent this fate, McClintock advises us to do the work that clear thinking requires. This ending is an example of a call-for-action conclusion.

BUT WHAT DO YOU MEAN? Deborah Tannen Questions for Close Reading (p. 293) 1. Tannen’s thesis appears in paragraph 2. She explains there that “conversational rituals common among women are designed to take the other person’s feelings into account” while the “rituals common among men are designed to maintain the one-up position, or at least avoid appearing onedown.” These conversational differences, Tannen affirms, often place women at a disadvantage, particularly in professional situations. She writes: “Because women are not trying to avoid the one-down position, that is unfortunately where they may end up” (2). 2. Tannen finds that “women are often told they apologize too much” because, in men’s speech, “apologizing seems synonymous with putting oneself down” (4). But women, Tannen explains, do not perceive apology as self-negating. They see it as a means “of keeping both speakers on an equal footing” (4). To illustrate this point, Tannen recounts in paragraph 4 a personal anecdote involving an apology (“Oh, I’m sorry”) that isn’t an admission of wrongdoing, but an attempt to provide reassurance of equality. This drive to foster equality often carries over into apologies that are intended to acknowledge wrongdoing. Frequently, Tannen states, a woman claims fault in expectation that the other speaker will also share the blame (5). In this way, both speakers apologize for some component of a mishap, and neither party loses status (6). To men unschooled in sharing blame, a woman’s frequent apologies unfairly place her—again and again—in the onedown position (8). 3. As Tannen reports, in “straight” criticism an evaluator delivers commentary directly—“Oh, that’s too dry! You have to make it snappier!” (10), while in “softened” criticism the evaluator offers reassuring markers—”That’s a really good start” (10). Tannen believes that “women use more softeners” (11) in delivering criticism, but she states that “neither style is intrinsically better” (12). To those familiar with softened critiques, a straight approach can be too blunt. However, to the straight talker, softened criticism is evasive and overly concerned with providing reassurance and 74

protecting feelings (12). As Tannen sees it, the straight talker imagines that the subject of criticism does not need reassurance and “can take it” (12). Recipients of either approach, Tannen suggests, should recognize straight or softened criticism as first and foremost an approach—a style with a specific logic and goal (12). Such a view is consistent with Tannen’s aims and conclusions. As she writes in the end of her essay, “There is no ‘right’ way to talk” (30). Problems in communication are better seen as problems in style, “and all styles will at times fail with others who don’t share or understand them,” just as English won’t help one communicate with a speaker of French (30). One must learn to recognize the different speaking styles (just as English speakers traveling in France will find it advantageous to learn some French). 4. Tannen believes that men discuss ideas through a “ritual fight” or “verbal opposition”: Men “state their ideas in the strongest possible terms, thinking that if there are weaknesses, someone will point them out, and by trying to argue against those objections, they will see how well their ideas hold up” (16). In short, for men, this battle-like scenario of proposal and interrogation is seen as a means of helping speakers sharpen and clarify their views. Women, however, may view such “verbal sparring” as a personal attack and consequently “find it impossible to do their best work” (18). As Tannen points out, “If you’re not used to ritual fighting, you begin to hear criticism of your ideas as soon as they are formed” (18). As a result, a woman may doubt and not sharpen her ideas. She may also equivocate or “hedge in order to fend off potential attacks” (18), thereby making herself and her proposals look weak. This perceived weakness may, in turn, invite actual criticism and attack. 5. synonymous (4): having the same meaning self-deprecating (4): self-critique (often negative) reciprocate (14): to give and receive mutually contentious (18): prone to argument dumbfounded (20): speechless with surprise soliciting (23): asked repeatedly commiserating (23): sympathizing malcontent (26): a discontented person Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 293) 1. Although Tannen divides her essay into the seven “biggest areas of miscommunication” (3) between men and women—apologies, criticism, thank-yous, fighting, praise, complaints, and jokes—her categories actually describe two gendered tendencies. As Tannen explains, “conversation rituals common among women are designed to take the other person’s feelings into account,” while those “common among men are designed to maintain the one-up position” (2). As a result, Tannen’s seven areas are not mutually exclusive, but demonstrate different instances of the same behaviors. Within each category, women’s speech involves reciprocity, placing speakers “on an equal footing” (4)—one speaker apologizes, thanks, or complains, and the second speaker responds in kind—while men’s verbal fighting, problem-solving, and teasing, conversely, function to determine a speaker’s status. For example, when Tannen asks a female columnist for a forgotten telephone number, the columnist responds, “Oh, I’m sorry,” even though she had not forgotten anything (4). However, when men fail to thank in turn, like the male assistant who did not return the novelist’s pleasantry (14), they are following their status-seeking goals. Demonstrating the difference between women’s exchanges and men’s positioning across her categories, Tannen reveals repeatedly that women, who “are not trying to avoid the one-down position” (2) in conversation, often end up there anyway.


2. In paragraphs 7–9, Tannen explores several branching effects that she considers damaging to women. Earlier, in paragraphs 4–5, she demonstrates how women use apology not to acknowledge mistakes but to preserve parity. Having established that point, she introduces the anecdote about Helen. When Helen frequently apologized at a company meeting, her attempts to foster parity set in motion a series of effects. Her apologies fell on completely male ears, “mask[ed] her competence” (8), placed her in a one-down position, decreased her status in the company (the prime concern of men’s conversations), and ultimately compromised her compensation. This causal chain supports Tannen’s concern that in male-dominated contexts, women’s conversational rituals effectively relegate professional women to subordinate positions. 3. Tannen’s essay focuses on conversational rituals—“things that seem obviously the thing to say, without thinking of the literal meaning” (1). In detailing how these obvious but empty words are used differently by men and women, Tannen tries to evoke the everyday world where such language happens. Her aim is not to explain scientific or sociological data; instead, she uses the firstperson point of view to comment directly on those social interactions we all share. Refusing to be a distant observer, the essay’s “I” becomes an active participant in the described behaviors. Tannen places herself in rituals like apology (4) and criticism (11), demonstrating what the behaviors signify to each speaker. Through her example and that of the world she knows, Tannen wants readers to recognize their own conversational approaches and understand those of others. Seen in this light, Tannen’s use of the first person is not unlike a woman’s conversational ritual: her aim is to establish parity between herself and readers and not to assert or secure her status. She does not, as a man might, propose her categories “in the strongest possible terms” (16), bracing the prose for interlocutors to examine holes or flaws in her theory. Instead, the first-person point of view builds rapport and supports Tannen’s thesis: that speech is not “a question of being ‘right’; it’s a question of using language that’s shared” (30). 4. Tannen’s purpose is to explain how conversational rituals often place women at a professional disadvantage, yet she never adopts a strident tone to make her point. Rather than employing language rich in invective or anger at women’s linguistic bind, Tannen remains non-abrasive and impartial throughout. When she writes, she always keeps clarity and common ground in mind. She begins the essay with a simple definition of conversation itself (1), and then moves on to observe that “unfortunately, women and men often have different ideas about what’s appropriate, different ways of speaking” (2). While she emphasizes each sex’s “different ideas”—that women seek rapport in conversation while men seek status—Tannen is at pains to distinguish these differences from notions of right and wrong. As she emphasizes in her conclusion, “there is no ‘right’ way to talk” (30), only various styles of talking. Since she suggests that conversation is “not a question of being ‘right’; it’s a question of using language that’s shared—or at least understood” (30), Tannen does the same. Speaking in the first person and drawing on informal anecdotes, Tannen tries to explain how conversational rituals can cause “miscommunication” (3) between men and women. In explaining each of the seven categories, she sometimes addresses women directly; for example, in discussing ritual fighting in paragraph 19, she writes: “Although you may never enjoy verbal sparring, some women find it helpful to learn how to do it.” Other times, she addresses men by implication, pointing out why Lester’s employees might be dissatisfied with his lack of praise (20). In this way, Tannen works to explain to each sex, in a deliberately objective and fair fashion, the gendered speech of the other. Tannen’s tone—personal, informal, engaging—suits her purpose; because she threatens neither men nor women, readers remain open to her analysis and leave with a clear understanding of gendered miscommunication.


DOUBLESPEAK William Lutz Questions for Close Reading (p. 299) 1. Paragraph 2, in its entirety, constitutes a statement of Lutz’s thesis. And several sentences in paragraph 19 restate the thesis: Doublespeak “is carefully designed and constructed to appear to communicate when in fact it doesn’t. It is language designed to distort reality and corrupt thought.” The body of Lutz’s essay illustrates this thesis by identifying four categories of doublespeak— euphemism, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language. 2. The four questions are stated in paragraph 3: “Who is saying what to whom, under what conditions and circumstances, with what intent, and with what results?” In certain contexts, one must consider the desired outcome of language. In such cases, evasive or esoteric language may be permissible—for example, the euphemism “passed away” to express condolences or the special language used within the medical profession. According to Lutz, language is doublespeak when its intent is to confuse, mislead, or deceive—in other words, when it does exactly the opposite of what language is meant to do: communicate. Thus euphemisms such as “radiation enhancement device” (the neutron bomb) and jargon used outside the special group that understands it are doublespeak; gobbledygook and inflated language, which invariably evade or confuse the issue, are always doublespeak. 3. Lutz divides doublespeak into four categories—euphemism, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language—and illustrates each with many examples. As a result, individual responses to the question will vary, but here are some possibilities. Euphemism is “an inoffensive or positive word or phrase” designed “to mislead or deceive” a listener about a “harsh, unpleasant, or distasteful reality” (4). The State Department uses euphemism when it substitutes “unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life” for “killing” to cover up damaging political evidence in a human rights’ report (6). Jargon, “the specialized language” of a particular group, can be used outside that group context to confuse a listener. Lutz points to “the involuntary conversion of a 727” as an example of the legal jargon National Airlines used to conceal the source—a plane crash in which three people died— of a profitable insurance settlement (11). With gobbledygook, a speaker tries to “overwhelm an audience with words,” and Lutz cites long examples from Alan Greenspan (12), Dan Quayle (14), and Jesse Moore (15). Quoting such impenetrable language, Lutz wonders if any of the men “had any idea what he was saying” (15). Finally, inflated language “make[s] everyday things seem impressive,” as when mechanics become “automotive internists” and used cars are reborn as “preowned” or “experienced cars” (16). 4. In Lutz’s schema, gobbledygook and inflated language are always doublespeak. In contrast, Lutz suggests that euphemism and jargon can have legitimate uses. As a “tactful word or phrase which avoids directly mentioning a painful reality,” euphemism respects social convention and demonstrates concern for a listener’s feelings (3–5). Euphemism becomes doublespeak only when it is used to thwart expectations and deliberately deceive a listener (6). Similarly, jargon has a useful purpose in the appropriate context. Jargon is the “specialized language” of a particular group, and Lutz concedes that “Within a group, jargon functions as a kind of verbal shorthand,” allowing members “to communicate with each other clearly, efficiently, and quickly” (8). Jargon becomes doublespeak only when it is used outside of the group context, either to “impress” listeners or to confuse them willfully (10–11).


5. variance (6): difference or disagreement esoteric (9): specialized and restricted to a small group profundity (9): deep or profound dividend (11): a sum to be divided; money paid to stockholders initiative (14): beginning plan of action Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 299) 1. Lutz’s four categories overlap considerably. For example, the Chrysler corporation’s use of the term “career alternative enhancement program” to signal that they are “laying off five thousand workers” (17) is an illustration of inflated language. But the term could also be considered a euphemism, which Lutz defines as an “inoffensive or positive” wording meant “to avoid a harsh, unpleasant, or distasteful reality” (14). The same is true of “negative patient care outcome,” meaning “the patient died” (17). Although Lutz describes this example as inflated language, it also seems euphemistic— as does a “discontinuity,” meaning a crack in a beam, which is cited to illustrate jargon (9). In the same vein, “radiation enhancement device,” the Pentagon’s term for a neutron bomb (7), is classified as euphemism, but it might also be seen as a kind of military jargon. And “rapid oxidation,” classified as inflated language (17), could be considered jargon or euphemism as well. Lutz’s classifications overlap because of the nature of his subject: doublespeak. People who resort to doublespeak, as Lutz shows, may do so in different situations (a corporate or military context), and their specific motivations may differ (to hide something embarrassing, to puff themselves up). But their basic intent is always to deceive, and their basic technique is to use confusing, misleading words. Therefore, it is not surprising that the particular words they choose cannot be strictly or rigidly categorized. 2. In addition to classification, Lutz uses exemplification, comparison-contrast, and definition. He gives numerous and specific examples of doublespeak, such as the Pentagon’s use of “backloading of augmentation personnel” (18) for “retreat” and “unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life” (6) for “killing.” These are examples of doublespeak in actual situations, and so they support Lutz’s thesis that one can learn to spot doublespeak by paying close attention to the context in which such language is used. Lutz uses comparison-contrast when he “translates” doublespeak into plain language. For instance, he explains that “rapid oxidation” means “a fire in a nuclear power plant” (17). With such contrasts, he not only reveals the truths that euphemism, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language are meant to conceal but also points up the absurdity and slyness of doublespeak. Lutz also contrasts harmless doublespeak with dangerous doublespeak: for instance, he makes a sharp distinction between euphemism that is simply tactful or sensitive, such as “passed away” for the harsher “died” (5), and euphemism that is designed to mislead, such as “incontinent ordnance” (7). The effect of this contrast is to emphasize the purpose of doublespeak: deception. Lutz uses definition as well. At the outset of his discussion of each category, he carefully defines the type of doublespeak under examination (4, 8, 12, and 16). 3. Greenspan’s words quoted in paragraph 12 are gobbledygook. If they mean anything at all, it seems impossible to say what. But the remark that Lutz quotes in paragraph 13 is plain language—in fact, the only plain language quoted in the entire selection. Lutz probably included it to show two things: first, that Greenspan was capable of speaking coherently if he so chose; and second, that Greenspan, able to speak clearly, was guilty of deliberate deception when he used doublespeak.


4. Unlike an activist or radical reformer, Lutz presents an even, distanced, and objective tone. While he believes that some doublespeak “can have serious consequences” (18), he does not call it “dangerous” or “evil” or “oppressive”; instead, doublespeak is described as “mislead[ing]” (6). Avoiding polemic, Lutz breaks his topic into four constituent parts. He supports his divisions with ample citations from official statements and documents, and it is only in the discussion of these citations that Lutz’s distanced voice gives way to something sharper. By the third kind of doublespeak, Lutz seems ready to poke fun at gobbledygook speakers like Alan Greenspan and Jesse Moore, noting that “Mr. Greenspan’s doublespeak doesn’t seem to have held back his career” (13) and wondering “if Mr. Moore had any idea what he was saying” (15). Generally though, Lutz’s tempered tone ensures that his examples stand out; by choosing this tone and restraining his own response to the material, he seems certain that doublespeak will speak for itself. As Lutz notes in paragraph 3, “Most of the time you will recognize doublespeak when you see it or hear it.”


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 15 “PROCESS ANALYSIS” (p. 303) Opening Comments Like many of our colleagues, we cover process analysis early in the semester. This pattern of development teaches students a great deal about selectivity (“Which steps should I cover?” “How many examples should I provide?”), organization, and transition signals. Process analysis also highlights the importance of audience analysis. To explain the steps in a process clearly, the writer must identify what readers need to know and understand. Students often expect process analysis to write itself; they expect it to unfold naturally and automatically. But, once they get feedback on their first draft, they realize that the sequence of steps was self-evident only to them and that they need to work harder to make the process accessible to their readers. This chapter includes process analysis that vary widely in subject. You may want to start with Cole’s “Don’t Just Stand There,” a directional process analysis essay that provides readers with a number of methods to address prejudicial comments made in casual conversation. And students will enjoy Bryson’s “Your New Computer,” a spoof on the typical “how-to” computer manual. Rhodes’s (“Watching the Animals”) frank and detailed portrayal of the slaughter process creates a powerful impression of the casual cruelty inherent in our meat-eating culture.


ACTIVITIES: PROCESS ANALYSIS Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 15. Of course, your students are bound to come up with their own approaches. Prewriting Activities (p. 319) 1. Process analysis lends itself to these essay topics in several ways. Below are some possibilities. In class, we suggest you have students share their responses. They will be delighted to discover that their neighbors have devised different uses for process analysis in these essays. Topic: Defining comparison shopping How a person might use a consumer magazine to compare VCRs’ quality How a person might compare sneakers at a mall How someone might call up car dealers to get the best price Topic: Contrasting two teaching styles How two teachers respond to student questions How two teachers deal with students who don’t understand How two teachers convey complex information 2. Many students will find a way to treat each topic both directionally and informationally, and you’ll need to sort out in class what the most likely approaches would be in terms of a particular audience. a. Going on a job interview: Primarily directional, possible informational, or both b. Using a computer in the college library: Directional c. Cleaning up oil spills: Informational d. Negotiating personal conflicts: Primarily directional, possible informational, or both e. Curing a cold: Directional, informational, or both f. Growing vegetables organically: Primarily informational, possible directional, or both. Revising Activities (p. 320) 6. Encourage students to work together on this activity or have them share their revisions. Other students’ responses will help them discover weaknesses in the paragraph they otherwise might overlook. Here are the main problems with the paragraph: — The chronology is disorganized. The second and third sentences, about keeping customers on the phone, should come later in the paragraph, after the opening of the phone call is discussed.


— How one performs the steps in the process of making such a call is left vague. More details are needed to explain such aspects of the process as “setting the right tone,” “in a friendly way . . . keep[ing] the prospective customer on the phone,” “determin[ing]— in a genial way—why the person is reluctant to buy,” “encourag[ing] credit card payment,” and “end[ing] . . . in an easy, personable way.” — The sentences discussing the loneliness of the typical person are a digression. The two sentences from “Maintaining such a connection . . .” through “a sad fact of contemporary life” should be deleted. — Throughout the paragraph, the caller is variously referred to as “you” and as “the salesperson.” This shift in person should be corrected by choosing one or the other and sticking to it. The third person (“salesperson”) may be more appropriate since few readers will be telephone solicitors. 7. We suggest you offer your students the chance to read each other’s revisions of this paragraph. Exposure to other versions helps them see many more possibilities in revising. Here are the main problems in the paragraph: — To preserve the paragraph’s chronology, the sixth sentence (beginning “Before heading to class . . .”) and the seventh should come earlier in the paragraph. These two sentences should be placed after “lessen the trauma.” — Throughout the paragraph, there’s a shift in person; for instance, “they” is used in the second sentence, but the third sentence shifts to “you”; it goes back and forth from there. The writer should choose one or the other and stick to it. — The tenth and eleventh sentences, running from “A friend of mine . . .” to “volunteers to participate” are irrelevant and should be deleted. — The point that you should “never, ever volunteer to answer” should be moved up to occur immediately after the advice about where to sit in sentences 8 and 9. — The transition, “however” (sentence 12), doesn’t work when the paragraph is reorganized as described above. A transition such as “also” would work well. — The last two sentences, though in keeping with the paragraph’s light tone, nevertheless seem a bit jarring. Furthermore, since they don’t develop the essay’s overall point, they probably should be eliminated.


DON’T JUST STAND THERE Diane Cole Questions for Close Reading (p. 326) 1. Cole expresses her thesis in paragraph 5: “Speaking up may not magically change a biased attitude, but it can change a person’s behavior by putting a strong message across.” The rest of the essay supports this idea by providing “strategies” for how to state opposition to biased remarks and jokes. 2. According to Michael McQuillan, a source quoted by Cole, one major reason to speak up is that jokes based on ethnic stereotypes can cause listeners to accept the prejudicial attitudes on which the jokes are based. Keeping our society free of such attitudes and even of offensive acts means striking out against the offensive “jokes” that we hear (4). In addition, speaking up can have the positive result of changing people’s behavior, even if it does not affect their underlying attitudes; such change can result when a person receives multiple messages opposing prejudiced remarks (5). In the main, people wish to make a positive impression; learning that others find their comments offensive may cause a toning-down of the problematic behavior (6). For example, later in the essay Cole describes a man who threw out some guests who began singing offensive songs; they never again attempted to repeat this action (29). Finally, responding to offensive behavior by others in an effective change-promoting manner can increase a person’s sense of competence and self-esteem (7). 3. Cole recommends that if you find yourself offended by such remarks, you state your feelings in a concrete way (11). It is crucial that you express yourself concretely, by describing what you feel, rather than elaborate upon abstract ethical principles or rules of politeness. You should also give the person the benefit of a doubt—restate the meaning of what you think you have heard, so that the person may correct or alter the impression you received. Sometimes, people just don’t realize the effect of what they have said (12). Cole then provides strategies for dealing with people who dismiss your reaction. She quotes LeNorman Strong, a George Washington University official in charge of campus life, who recommends creating a dialogue. He suggests listening first and then reiterating your position (14). For comments made in a public situation, Cole provides additional steps; speak to the person privately, not in public, or pass the speaker at a large gathering a note expressing your feelings (16–18, 19). 4. “Striking back” is not a useful strategy when you have been the target of prejudiced comments, although an outburst can make you feel better at the time. Later, however, you might regret having “lowered yourself to that other person’s level,” according to Michael McQuillan (9). Also, responding with anger or prejudice of your own might further convince the person that you and the group you are a member of “are not to be taken seriously.” Finally, responding with anger might escalate the situation and lead to further insults or even violence (9). 5. ebullience (1): exuberance anti-Semitic (1): hostile to Jews slurs (4): disparaging remarks; put-downs discounts (6): disregards; minimizes lashing (9): attacking harshly with words ante (9): the stake added by each poker player in turn; price of something (slang) abstract (11): general, unspecific personalize (11): to make personal 84

rift (17): split or break grievance (21): complaint volatile (33): tending toward violence; explosive Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 327) 1. Cole’s purpose is primarily persuasive. Early in the essay (paragraphs 4–6), she confronts the reader with the reasons one should speak up and refutes the reasons people have for ignoring offensive remarks. Throughout the essay, the information Cole provides about the process focuses on effectively refuting offensive points of view. She conveys that people themselves should be persuasive in their approach to racism and other hurtful remarks. She coaches the reader in how to refute others; if one is countered or “dismissed,” one should “continue the dialogue,” listen, and restate one’s own view (14). Likewise, with bosses, one should use persistence and politeness (23). Cole’s consistent use of “you” throughout the essay also adds to the persuasive effect. By hypothetically proposing the reader’s appropriate behavior, she makes the process of responding to prejudice seem already a part of the reader’s life: “Make sure you heard the words and their intent correctly . . .” (12) she writes, and later says, “You can also raise the issue with other colleagues . . .” (23). 2. Throughout the essay, Cole provides numerous examples of what to say in order to speak up effectively. The first instance of this occurs in paragraph 10: “I don’t know if you realize what that sounded like to me. If that’s what you meant, it really hurt me.” Then, she provides an alternative through a quotation from LeNorman Strong: “Personalize the sense of ‘this is how I feel when you say this’ ” (11). Then in paragraph 12, she describes what you might say to make sure you heard the remark correctly: “This is what I heard you say. Is that what you meant?” She also gives examples that clarify the many possible situations you might find yourself in: at a public meeting, at a private dinner, with a prejudiced boss (23), close relative (27), acquaintance (28), or prejudiced friend who comments about your other associations (32). She also provides examples showing the contingencies that might occur once you begin to state your side and demonstrating additional modes for responding. The many uses of “if” or “even if” in the essay set up hypothetical situations for which Cole provides a suggested resolution. In paragraph 14, she gives an example of how a person might reply defensively if you spoke up. “Oh, you’re just being sensitive. Can’t you take a joke?” such a person might say. Then Cole provides an example of your best response to such a person: “I’m not sure about that, let’s talk about that a little more.” 3. Cole quotes from numerous experts in psychology and human relations to convince us that speaking up, while difficult, is beneficial and effective. The experts also provide support for the various strategies that she recommends. Clearly, the process she suggests is to some extent based on interviews with these people. The quotations are effective in that they show that concern about offensive jokes is not just a private obsession of Cole’s but an issue that numerous prestigious people in the field of human interaction are seriously concerned about. It changes the issue from just “personal offense” to a societal problem. The weight of all the experts might also truly persuade a reader to try the process the next time a situation occurs. 4. The three sections separate and introduce three different occasions or situations in which one might have to deal with offensive remarks. Using a different typeface calls attention to these hypothetical offensive situations and to their role as themes of major sections of the essay. In addition, using such examples works well to plunge the reader into the conflict; the examples make the offending situations concrete in a way that just using headings as separators would not do. In the first example, remarks are made which are personally offensive to a group of which one is a member: “When the ‘joke’ turns on who you are . . .” (8). The second section introduces a discussion of 85

how to handle remarks that offend but that are not directed at a group personally present or represented: “. . . one guest starts reciting a racist joke. Everyone at the table is white, including you. The others are still laughing, as you wonder what to say or do” (25). The last section poses a situation among children’s friends into which racism intrudes (30). This final section seems jarring and less well connected to her theme than the other two. Cole might have included this material on how to help children counter racism because the essay was written for a supplement to the New York Times as part of a nationwide campaign against bigotry.

YOUR NEW COMPUTER Bill Bryson Questions for Close Reading (p. 332) 1. The thesis is implied and may be stated as: “Computers and their accompanying users manuals are incomprehensible, illogical, and utterly frustrating.” The reader can infer the thesis through the highly wry and sarcastic nature of the selection, which parodies the impenetrable and circular language of computer manuals. 2. Both paragraphs emphasize the contradictions and maze-like illogic of computer instructions. Paragraph 6 opens with “Unpack the box and examine its contents. (Warning: Do not open box if contents are missing or faulty . . . . Return all missing contents in their original packaging with a note explaining where they have gone . . .).” Of course, if the box cannot be opened, then the contents cannot be examined, and if the contents are missing, they cannot be explained for or returned. Through this exaggerated example, Bryson accuses computer manufacturers of perhaps deliberately confusing consumers and establishing irrational and unjust policies regarding their products. Similar circular illogic is targeted in paragraph 13. First, “Disc A” is nonsensically labeled “Disc D” or “Disc G.” Then, the paragraph goes on to explain a vicious circle where in order to operate the computer, the user must enter a “License Verification Number,” which can be found by “entering your Certified User Number, which can be found by entering your License Verification Number.” Hence, the user makes no progress. Here, Bryson again emphasizes manufacturers’ utterly confusing, impenetrable configurement of computers, as well as the lack of assistance provided by computer manuals. 3. In paragraph 8, Bryson accuses computer manufacturers of dishonesty as they force consumers to buy additional equipment that they hadn’t been told about before purchasing the computer. The heading for this paragraph, “Something They Didn’t Tell You at the Store,” highlights consumer misinformation. The paragraph itself then goes on to list the highly technical-sounding auxiliary software needed “[b]ecause of the additional power needs of the preinstalled bonus software.” Bryson intends the irony that the preinstalled software, itself auxiliary, necessitates much additional software—and additional money spent by consumers. 4. The essay opens by congratulating the reader for purchasing the “Edsel/2000 Multimedia 615X Personal Computer with Digital Doo-Dah Enhancer.” However, after a lengthy explanation of how to set up and operate the computer, the selection finally acknowledges that the computer “is a piece of useless junk” (31). The manual concludes, “You are now ready to upgrade to an Edsel/3000 Turbo model, or go back to pen and paper” (32). This ending completes a vicious circle in which the user buys the Edsel/2000 only to discover that it is faulty and then is encouraged 86

to buy the Edsel/3000. Bryson condemns the luring of consumers to buy a state-of-the-art computer which immediately has to be replaced by a newer model which will, in all probability, be no more user-friendly than the earlier model. The ultimate irony rests in the conclusion that the owner can either buy the Edsel/3000 or return to pen and paper, the latter of which (Bryson implies) may very well be the better option. 5. diversion (1): entertaining distraction configured (4): designed or arranged for specific uses invalidate (6): nullify, make unacceptable miscellaneous (7): various auxiliary (8): supplementary, extra convention (11): accepted or prescribed practice pylons (24): steel towers supporting high-tension wires Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 332) 1. On the most basic, superficial level, this selection appears to guide the reader in setting up the new Edsel/2000 computer, and, as such, is ostensibly directional. But the obviously ironic and parodic underpinnings of the selection reveal that the selection is not meant to provide actual instruction. Through humorous exaggeration of manuals’ impenetrable, useless information, Bryson shows how poor and misleading the guides are. By entertaining his readers, Bryson is able to achieve his larger objective: instructing readers in the pitfalls of computer ownership. 2. Bryson knows that playful irony and humor can win the attention and sympathy of readers—and let him make his point clearly. Rather than lecturing readers on his position, he allows the problems he cites to reveal themselves by means of his parodied computer manual. Though bursting with hyperbole, this mock user’s manual also contains a strong semblance of reality, enough to deliver Bryson’s point effectively. In addition, though Bryson’s complaints are legitimate, they are not of dire significance to the human race; hence, it is appropriate that he use humor to poke fun at the problem he targets. 3. The selection’s entire format signals Bryson’s parodic intention, with the selection posing as a step-by-step guide to setting up a new computer. Bryson’s manual voice mimics the detached, instructional tone of computer guides, while also using the kind of technical language (though exaggerated) found in computer guidebooks. Additional features that mimic computer manuals include the selection’s title (“Your New Computer”), its question-and-answer troubleshooting section, and, perhaps most effectively, its subheads. Computer manual writers usually employ subheads to organize information, particularly when outlining step-by-step instructions. But Bryson, besides imitating this subhead format, also manipulates the subheads to playful, satirical ends. While some of the headings are legitimate and conventional (“Getting Ready,” “Setting Up,” “Saving a File,” and “Troubleshooting Section”), others are highly ironic and humorous (“Something They Didn’t Tell You at the Store” and “Advice on Using the Spreadsheet Facility” followed by the one-word reply, “Don’t”). In short, the subheads serve as valuable weapons in Bryson’s arsenal of humor. 4. The word “Congratulations” appears six times in the course of the selection. Bryson includes the word as part of his parody of computer manuals, which often begin by congratulating the new computer owner on his or her purchase, hence, the first “Congratulations” (1). Yet, as with most other features of the user’s manual, Bryson derisively and hyperbolically twists this convention of congratulations. In paragraph 3, the user is congratulated for having “successfully turned the page.” Congratulations may indeed be in order; given the complexity of the manual, turning the 87

page is perhaps the only thing the reader can do. Similarly, in paragraph 9, the user is congratulated for being “ready to set up,” even though he or she has done nothing more than unpack the contents of the box and learn that additional equipment must be purchased. By this point, the congratulations have begun to ring with a patronizing, inauthentic note, as users are praised for the most basic and inane of actions. This condescending use of praise is heightened in paragraph 18, where the new owner is congratulated after having submitted personal information to a variety of consumer-hungry businesses, and then in paragraph 19, where the owner is praised for typing a short, simple letter and signing his or her name. The final and most stinging repetition of the word appears in the final paragraph (32). There the selection acknowledges that the computer “is a piece of useless junk” (31) and smugly concludes, “[C]ongratulations. You are now ready to upgrade to an Edsel/3000 Turbo model, or go back to pen and paper” (32). This instance of congratulations is particularly biting because the reader is congratulated for realizing that he or she has been duped into buying the inherently defective Edsel/2000 and can be duped again into buying the next, probably similarly-flawed model, the Edsel/3000.

WATCHING THE ANIMALS Richard Rhodes Questions for Close Reading (p. 340) 1. Rhodes implies his thesis. It might be stated as, “Today’s modern process for butchering pigs is humane but still shocking, and keeps us ignorant of the bloody realities involved in eating meat.” The essay presents a detailed description of how hogs are butchered today. Furthermore, Rhodes indicates that he views the butchery of animals as emblematic of other savagery in our modern world: “It had to remind me of things no one wants to be reminded of anymore, all mobs, all death marches, all mass murders and extinctions, the slaughter of the buffalo, the slaughter of the Indian, the Inferno, Judgment Day, complicity, expensive races, race living at the expense of race” (11). 2. First, the pigs are kept briefly in a holding pen, which at I-D is state of the art—the steel fencing is painted “tinner’s red to keep it from rusting” and the floor is of smooth cement with drains so water can be flushed through after each set of pigs (8). Then, the pigs are shunted through a gate one at a time, to be tattooed with identifying lot numbers by a man holding a hammer-like tool (8). Held once again in a red-fenced pen, the pigs are showered from every angle with water. The pen funnels the pigs into a moving ramp where both the sides and the floor move so as to prevent bruising (8). The ramp takes them upward, where, at the top, a man electrocutes each pig by stabbing it with electrodes on tools “that looked like enlarged curling irons.” The unconscious pig then drops a foot down onto a steel table (12). The pigs are then chained to hang by their rear legs on a line which lifts them into the air (14). Ten feet along, a man slices open the pig’s throat so the blood can run out onto the floor below, where another worker sweeps it down a drain (15). Then each pig’s carcass is dipped and rolled in a vat of hot water, so that the hair can then be whisked off by revolving brushes. Workers at the end of this line complete the hair removal with knives. Then the carcasses are flamed to harden the skin and polished by more brushes (17). At this point, the actual butchering begins (19). The workers act impersonally, each performing his assembly-line style job with great efficiency. In the actual butchery areas, however, the workers seem more agitated. As Rhodes notes, “It cannot be heartening to kill animals all day “ (23). In the butchery, he hears “shouts back and forth from the men, jokes, announcements, challenges. . . . everyone keen” (19). One of the men 88

gutting the carcasses sees Rhodes taping and “begins shouting at us something like ‘I am the greatest!’ A crazy man, grinning and roaring at us, turning around and slipping in the knife . . .” (19). Rhodes points out that “it gets harder and harder to hire men for this work, even though the pay is good” (23). Many workers are minorities. The men get breaks of ten minutes, but they obviously work hard, so hard that a break down in the line brought on cheers, reminding Rhodes of how “convicts might [cheer] at a state license-plate factory when the stamping machine breaks down” (23). He comments that while he could see that the animals are treated humanely at I-D, “where the workers are concerned, I’m not so sure. They looked to be in need of lulling” (24). 3. They are quite intelligent, “the most intelligent of all farm animals, by actual laboratory test,” he writes. They learn quickly and are not as docile as other farm animals, such as cows. They don’t have the herd instinct, but instead “squeal and nip and shove,” each wanting “the entire meal for himself.” They “shoot out all over the place” when let out of a pen, and are likely to explore and wander (5). They “talk a lot,” he writes, and express emotions: “low grunts, quick squeals, a kind of hum sometimes, angry shrieks, high screams of fear” (6). They are curious, watching the humans even while lined up in the holding pen (10). And they do express fear; “they scream, never having been on such a ramp, smelling the smells they smell ahead” (11). They have, in other words, many characteristics similar to humans. 4. Rhodes points out that when he was a child, he assisted butchering on the farm where he lived, and that the event “had the quality of a ceremony” (25). The boys felt pride at performing “this important work,” Rhodes says. “It was part of a coherent way of life, . . . It had a context . . . “It was part of producing food, every bit as much as “plowing or seeding or baling hay” (28). And it was part of the whole process of life and death which everyone on the farm experienced. “You saw the beginning and the end on the farm, not merely the prepackaged middle” (30). People then felt “humility, and sorrow that this act of killing must be done, which is why in those days good men bowed their heads before they picked up their forks” (30). In contrast, the slaughter of pigs at the I-D plant is impersonal and technological; it is broken up into numerous small tasks, with the result that no one person or people are “responsible” for the deaths. The actual butchering is accompanied by agitation: “shouts, . . . jokes, announcements, challenges” 19). There is an irreverence, even a craziness, about the men performing the bloodier tasks (19). 5. defunct (3): no longer functioning or existing monolithic (3): uniform, massive, rigid hygienically (8): in a healthy and clean manner complicity (11): partnership or involvement in wrongdoing affluence (11): wealth hawser (15): a heavy rope used to moor or tow ships deft (19): quick and skillful chitterlings (20): small intestines of pigs, eaten fried or in a sauce lulling (24): causing quietness or sleep winched (26): hoisted by a rope and pulley system differential (26): a type of gear pizzle (26): penis of an animal coherent (28): consistent or logical sacrificial (28): offered up to a higher force or power


Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 340) 1. Rhodes mostly avoids using the most obvious kind of transition device for explaining process, that is, using enumeration or “first, second, then, next,” to indicate the steps. But he does use transitions of time and narrative to hold the process together; often, pointing out the physical movement of the pigs or of his own movement serves to cue the reader that one part of the process is finished and another one beginning. In addition, he also anticipates stages of the process ahead of time to let the reader know what is coming up. The first step is the delivery of the animals, indicated in paragraph 4 and the first sentence of paragraph 5: “Down goes the tail gate and out come the pigs. . . .” Paragraph 8 begins with the word “once,” which signals to the reader that Rhodes is picking up the process after several paragraphs of digression in which he has expounded upon the personality of pigs. The next step, tattooing, is introduced by beginning a new paragraph: “The pigs come out of the first holding pen through a gate that allows only one to pass at a time”(9). The use of the word “first” here also helps the reader to get on track with the process at this point and indicates that there will be other holding pens. In fact, as soon as this tattooing is over, the pigs’ movement “to one of several smaller pens” signals the next stage; the rest of this sentence—”where each lot is held until curtain time”—prepares the reader for the upcoming killing (9). The transition to the next stage of the process is indicated by the author’s physical movement: “We crossed a driveway with more red steel fencing” (10). In paragraph 11, Rhodes uses a narrative transition, “Before they reach their end . . .” to move into the shower stage. Again, the reference to “their end” sets the reader up to hear about the slaughter. paragraph 11 contains other transitions of time: “Then they begin to feel crowded. . . . Now they scream. . . .” Paragraph 12 again uses movement or spatial location to indicate a new stage: “At the top of the ramp. . . . As a pig reached the top. . . . Up came another pig. . . . And another, and another, . . . ” In paragraph 14, Rhodes describes another physical motion, “They drop to the table,” and through a spatial transition and a direct announcement indicates that a major transition in the process occurs at this point: “and here the endless chain begins.” The steps involved in attaching the pig to the “endless chain,” what might be called the “disassembly line,” are provided using spatial indicators of what motions the workers perform. At the start of the next paragraph, we encounter the narrative transition, “Now the line ascends . . . ” (15). Then spatial indicators mix with narrative ones: “The pig proceeds a distance of ten feet, where a worker. . . . Then all hell breaks loose. . . . Down on the floor below, . . . (15). Paragraph 16 begins without official transition, indicating a change in the process by motion: “The line swings around a corner . . . around the drain floor, turns left, . . . and begins to ascend . . .” The next step comes along as changes in movement: “the line lowers the carcass. . . . The line ascends again, up and away, and the carcass goes into . . .” (17). Rhodes and his guide then move “to the other side of the chamber” to observe another stage. Finally, Rhodes uses the narrative transition “then” and the phrase, “the last step” to conclude this phase of the process: “The carcasses then pass through great hellish jets. . . . The last step is polishing . . . ” (17). Rhodes indicates the change to the butchering stage by pointing out movement and directly announcing the event: “The polished carcasses swing through a door . . . and there . . . the action begins” (19). Narrative and spatial indicators help the reader follow this action: “Men start slicing. . . . A carcass passes me. . . . Around a corner, up to a platform . . .” After this point, Rhodes , points out, many things happen at once as the animal’s carcass is cut up: “And here things divide, and so must our attention . . .” (19). In paragraphs 20 and 21, Rhodes again uses a mixture of narrative actions and spatial indicators: “a worker separates . . . and shoves. . . . Another worker finds one end . . . Others trim off. . . . The intestines shimmer along . . . and come out the other side . . . A worker drops them. . .” (20). “The remaining organs proceed down a . . . conveyor; on the other side of the same walkway, the emptied carcasses pass; on a line next to the organ line the heads pass. By now, all the meat. . . . A worker sockets them one at a time. . . . and at the end of the line . . .” (21). 90

2. The prefatory quotation from Emerson is cryptic, because there is no indicator of who loves these items and because “flint” and “iron” seem unusual objects of love. In effect, what this quotation means in relation to the essay’s subject is not revealed until the last paragraph (30). But the quotation from Emerson in paragraph one is clear and pointed. In this quotation, Emerson accuses his Victorian audience of being an “expensive race,” a “race living at the expense of race” even though “the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles.” Rhodes wishes to use this revered American essayist to support his own challenge to our complacency and ignorance about eating animals. By revealing what occurs in the slaughterhouse these days, Rhodes can inform his audience of the bloody truth about their diet, which is “expensive” in that it costs other animals their lives. In paragraph 11, at the point where he describes the pigs wedged onto a ramp taking them up to be electrocuted, Rhodes echoes this quotation about expense. He says the sight of the pigs going to slaughter reminded him of “things no one wants to be reminded of anymore . . . all mass murders and extinctions, . . . the Inferno, Judgment Day, complicity, expensive races, race living at the expense of race. . . . That we are the most expensive of races, able in our affluence to hire others of our kind to do this terrible necessary work of killing another race of creatures so that we may feed our oxygen-rich brains” (11). Here Rhodes adds another dimension to the idea of “expensive race” by extending it to refer to our affluence which allows us to afford the expense of paying other people to kill our food. At the end of the essay, after Rhodes has described the way farm animals used to be killed, with a shotgun, he repeats the imagery of the first Emerson quotation: “Our loves are no longer the loves of flint and iron, but of the nightingale and the rose, and so we delegate our killing. . . . Flint and iron, friends, flint and iron” (30). Here the “flint and iron” imagery obviously refers to the personal killing of one’s meat with a gun, the way people obtained food in a time past when there was “coherence” and “context”—the unity of growing and eating food (29), of knowing “the beginning and the end on the farm” (30). “Flint and iron” thus represent a hard reality, one that people were in touch with in the past, so that they “bowed their heads before they picked up their forks.” But these days, we are more in touch with “the nightingale and the rose,” two romantic and soft images representing our avoidance of the realities of killing to eat. Incorporating this imagistic material from Emerson reinforces Rhodes’s point that we have dulled ourselves to an important aspect of our true nature and dwell in a “graceful” evasive ignorance. 3. These early descriptions in the essay focus less on the process of slaughter and more on background and context so that the killing of pigs has more meaning. Paragraph 3 details the ruins of the old packing houses that were criticized in Upton Sinclair’s novel; the author’s comparison of the defunct buildings to “monolithic enlargements of concentration-camp barracks” introduces a sinister element to the meat-packing industry, one which the essay suggests endures, even though many elements of the industry have changed. One of those changes is explained in paragraph 4, where we learn that stockyards are a thing of the past; the animals are butchered quickly after they are delivered by truck. Paragraph 5-8 provide information about what pigs are like. We learn they have personality and intelligence. They are “enthusiastic after their drive,” Rhodes writes. He explains that their superior intelligence has been established by “actual laboratory test,” but then provides numerous descriptive details about how they act with intelligence on the farm. They run less on instinct than on responsiveness to the moment. They don’t herd, they fight to get more for themselves, they wander and explore if let loose. Rhodes attributes some human characteristics to them also: “They talk a lot, to each other, to you if you care to listen,” he writes, and lists some of the emotions they express through different sounds (6). He points out that in the holding pen, they “mill around getting to know each other,” an irony since they will soon be killed (8). These descriptions force the reader to recognize that pigs are living beings who enjoy life and for whom slaughter is terrible; this is one of the hidden realities that Rhodes wishes to bring forth in the essay.


In paragraph 9, Rhodes describes the first event in the process, the tattooing of the pigs so that contaminated or diseased lots can be traced. This detail creates an allusion to Nazi Germany’s treatment of Jews, who were tattooed with serial numbers in the concentration camps. This allusion is reinforced in paragraph 11, where the pigs receive a shower, “a real one”; in the death camps, the prisoners were lured into the gas chambers by the fiction that they were going to “the showers.” Throughout paragraph 9, the details reveal the crudeness of the process—the pigs are thunked with a big hammer holding an inked set of numbers on the end. Yet it is considered humane, because the animals have such thick hides. This combination of crudeness and consideration foreshadows all the other processes and presents the reader with the double-edged complexity of the slaughter as a whole—that it is horrible and shocking but not unnecessarily cruel. In addition, the very technology that permits this balance of death and humaneness also plays off human health with impersonal control: the tattooed numbers. Through this imagery, Rhodes connects animal slaughter with mass murder of humans, again forcing recognition that meat-eating comes at a terrible expense. 4. Other examples of colloquial language include: paragraph 7, “they [I-D Packing] do a dirty job . . .What are you hiding, Wilson people?”; “where each lot is held until curtain time’ ” (9); “this man jabbed the electrodes in to the pig’s butt and shoulder” (12); “pink and clean as a baby” (17); “keeps them hopping” (23). Some of Rhodes’s colloquial language creates drama or heightens the effect: the pigs “shooting out all over” and the company doing a “dirty job” well are examples of ordinary language that enlivens. But other examples of slangy language are actually euphemistic: the colloquialisms seem at first to soften or lighten the seriousness of what he is describing. But, when considered, this glibness heightens the horror all the more: “Curtain time,” jabbing the pigs’ “butts,” the pigs looking pink as babies, and the workers being kept hopping are examples of this kind of language. Other expressions are just downright smart-alecky: “didn’t give them much leeway, did it?” (3); “What are you hiding, Wilson people?” (7); “It would be more dramatic, make a better story, if the killing came last, but it comes first” (10); “I got to be a foreman” (10); “a shower, a real one” (11); “Feed our children, for that matter” (11); “You are what you eat” (21); “And that is a tour of a slaughterhouse, as cheerful as I could make it” (22). These comments, blunt and sometimes comical, introduce a kind of double awareness; on the surface, Rhodes seems to be trying to be cheerful, even chipper, in the face of an atrocity. But it is a hollow cheer, one which mocks those in the public who would rather ignore than confront the horror of a process that is a commonplace in our society.



Opening Comments Students learn early that comparison-contrast questions are one of the mainstays of essay exams: “Compare and/or contrast the organization of the Senate and the House of Representatives”; “Discuss the similarities and/or differences between psychotic and neurotic behavior.” We’ve found that students’ familiarity with comparison-contrast doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to structure their answers. On the contrary, many students tend to prepare helter-skelter papers that ramble every which way and back. Yet, once they are introduced to some basic strategies for organizing a comparison-contrast discussion, their overall ability to write clearly and logically often takes a quantum leap. When first learning to use comparison-contrast, students may be overly concerned about making their ideas fit into a neat symmetrical pattern; they may try to squeeze their points into an artificial and awkward format. We find it helpful to remind students that comparison-contrast is not an end in itself but a strategy for meeting a broader rhetorical purpose. Our reminder loosens them up a bit and encourages them to be more flexible when organizing their papers. The student essay, “The Virtues of Growing Older” (pages 355–57), helps students appreciate that a well-organized comparison-contrast paper does not have to follow a rigid formula. We selected the readings in this chapter because, in addition to being just plain interesting, all of them illustrate key points about the comparison-contrast format. In “A Slow Walk of Trees,” Morrison uses the one-side-at-a-time structure to explore the divergent opinions within her own family about the prospects for blacks in America. To illustrate his point that men and women view their looks differently, Barry gives both sides equal time, balancing the humorous with the serious in this point-by point method of analysis. Suina (“And Then I Went to School”) employs both comparison-contrast strategies to evoke a confusing and painful time of adaptation in his childhood.


ACTIVITIES: COMPARISON-CONTRAST Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 16. Of course, other approaches are possible. Prewriting Activities (p. 359) 1. There are numerous ways to use comparison-contrast in these two essays. Below are some possibilities. In going over this activity in class, we suggest you have students trade responses so that they can see how diverse the responses are. Topic: The effects of holding a job in college Comparing/contrasting job-holders’ and non-job-holders’ grades Comparing/contrasting on-campus and off-campus jobs Comparing/contrasting part-time and full-time jobs Comparing/contrasting job-holders’ and non-job-holders’ involvement in campus activities Topic: How to budget money wisely Comparing/contrasting formal and informal budgets Comparing/contrasting following a budget to buying on impulse Comparing/contrasting those who budget and those who don’t Comparing/contrasting reasonable and unreasonable budgets 2. Here are some possible purposes for the topics. a. Audio tapes and compact disks To guide student purchases To explain the technologies b. Paper or plastic bags at the supermarket To contrast the environmental impact of each To help students decide which to use c. Two courses taught by inexperienced and “pro” instructors To argue a novice may convey more enthusiasm for a subject To give students information for choosing courses d. Cutting class and not showing up at work To illustrate the consequences of irresponsibility To show the similarities and differences between college and the “real world” Revising Activities (p. 360) 5. a. This statement works well as a thesis. b. This statement is unworkable as a thesis; it is too vague and broad since “assistance” could refer to academic, financial, or other kind of aid. A possible revision: “This college provides much more comprehensive job placement services to students than other colleges in the area.”


c. This statement would be effective as a thesis if revised to state an attitude toward the candidates’ use of television, for example, if one made legitimate use of the medium and the other none. A possible revision: “Joe Cooper’s overwrought campaign tactics gained extensive media coverage, while Cooper’s opponent, Nancy Ashbury, conducted a more subdued campaign that emphasized issues and failed to attract much attention.” d. This statement would not work as a thesis. First of all, it points out the obvious and sets up the writer for a pedantic recital of known information. Secondly, the statement is far too inclusive; in attempting to cover the topic, the writer would have to use a ream of paper. A possible revision: “Applying their technological know-how, Japanese car manufacturers learned how to make small engines more powerful, while American companies, showing very little foresight, simply added power to their cars by reintroducing larger engines.” 6. Have students read each others’ versions of this paragraph so that they get a stronger sense of what changes needed to be made and the revision strategies possible. Here are the main problems with the paragraph: — Since the paragraph discusses a boss and then a manager, the topic sentence should be reversed to read, “A boss discourages staff resourcefulness and views it as a threat, while a manager encourages creativity and treats employees courteously.” — The second sentence (“At the hardware store . . .”) begins abruptly; a transition, such as “for example,” would be helpful here. — The boss’s helter-skelter system is introduced awkwardly: “What he did was. . . .” Something like this might be more effective: “He organized overstocked items. . . .” — The phrase “created chaos” is vague, possibly a bit extreme, and also somewhat slangy. Briefly describing the actual problems his system created would be helpful, as long as the paragraph doesn’t veer off-track and focus entirely on the chaos. — Some language is possibly too judgmental: “helter-skelter” (4), “slapdash” (7), and “eccentric” (9). Students may want to describe the system with enough telling details so the readers can see for themselves the system’s inefficiency. — No reason is given for the boss’s anger at the new system—or perhaps there was no reason other than that his ego was deflated. In either case, the source of his objections should be clarified. — Some ideas are repeated at the end; sentences 8 and 9 (“I had assumed he would welcome my ideas. . .”) repeat material conveyed at the beginning of the paragraph. — The phrase “to scrap” is perhaps a bit slangy in tone.


A SLOW WALK OF TREES Toni Morrison Questions for Close Reading (p. 364) 1. Morrison’s thesis concerns whether despair or optimism is the more accurate attitude for African Americans to hold regarding the “possibilities of life for black people in this country” (3). She implies that she herself takes a middle ground or complex view, when she sums up the differences between her grandparent’s attitudes by saying, “each would have selected and collected enough evidence to support the accuracy of the other’s original point of view. And it would be difficult to convince either one that the other was right” (3). The rest of the essay explores the evidence for both points of view. 2. Morrison’s grandmother and grandfather were very different in personality and had had quite different experiences relating to their race, leading to a divergence of opinion about the future for blacks. Her grandfather had owned inherited land, but had had it confiscated by whites through some legal connivings. Throughout his life, he couldn’t find decent or significant work, despite his accomplishments as a craftsman, because of his race. As a result of these experiences, Morrison says, “he was an unreconstructed black pessimist who . . . was convinced for 85 years that there was no hope whatever for black people in this country.” To get by, he worked as a traveling violinist, sending money back to his family (1). He believed that whites were out to get blacks and would prevent any real progress (5). Morrison’s grandmother, on the other hand, “was of a quite different frame of mind,” and she had, through her own efforts, experienced the improvement of her situation. She rescued her children from apparent threat of murder by sneaking them out a window in the middle of the night, and moved her family out of a town in which “the teacher didn’t know long division” (2). Her temperament was as optimistic as his was pessimistic, and she “would see what she expected to see . . . the signs of irrevocable and permanent change.” It was she who provided the image that gives the piece its title: “like the slow walk of certain species of trees from the flatlands up into the mountains,” progress would occur (5). 3. Morrison confesses, “I grew up in a basically racist household with more than a child’s share of contempt for white people.” Her parents felt that blacks had to take care of themselves, because whites were “in some way fundamentally, genetically corrupt” (6). Morrison’s parents disputed whether white people could be decent, even whether they were fully human, and this atmosphere of distrust and antipathy taught her to dislike whites. As Morrison puts it, her parents “assumed that black people were the humans of the globe, but had serious doubts about the quality and existence of white humanity.” Here, as in the grandparents’ generation, the man is more pessimistic; Morrison’s father was completely suspicious of every white person and white behavior in relation to blacks. Morrison’s mother, on the other hand, “believed in them—their possibilities.” When she began to have her own experiences, she found that “for each white friend I acquired who made a small crack in that contempt, there was another who repaired it.” She admits to a “racial vertigo” a disorientation, caused by the disparate and contradictory behavior of whites. She notes that “for each [white person] who related to me as a person, there was one who in my presence at least, became actively “ ‘white.’ ” Making sense of these conflicting experiences was difficult to impossible, and so Morrison says she pulls from her ancestors “what [she ] needs”: the grandfather’s “cynicism and deployment of his art as both weapon and solace,” her grandmother’s “faith in the magic that can be wrought by sheer effort of the will”; her mother’s open-mindedness . . . and . . . reasonableness”; her father’s “temper, . . . impatience,” and avoidance of whites. She admits, thus, to being filled with “widely disparate and sometimes conflicting views,” and suggests most blacks are likewise, because, in fact, history and present day life contains evidence for 96

all these views. “There is repetition of the grotesque in our history. And there is the miraculous walk of trees” (7). So, while she does not claim to have overcome her antipathy for whites, whatever racist tendencies she has are complicated and balanced by a recognition that there are good people and positive events out there. 4. Morrison cites much evidence on both sides. On the negative side, she points to the horrific parallels in our history: Lincoln’s and Kennedy’s assassinations, the Civil War matched by the battle for civil rights a hundred years later, the murder of pioneering black college students a hundred years apart, and riots over racial progress in the streets of NY in 1865 and in Boston a century later (4). But she also list much positive evidence; “the number of black college graduates jumped 12 percent in the last three years, 47 percent in 20 years.” Major gains have come in government, with the numbers of black mayors, judges, congress-persons, senators, and police chiefs all rising. Likewise, blacks have won numerous and significant awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Prix de Rome, the Guggenheim (5). And the image of blacks in the media has improved; she cites O.J. Simpson advertising Hertz rental cars, but wonders if today’s television shows, “Good Times” being an example, are better than the Stepin Fetchit stereotype. Her final attitude is one of questioning: “Has the first order of business been taken care of? Does the law of the land work for us?” (7). 5. unreconstructed (1): stubbornly maintaining earlier positions rancor (1): bitter resentment or ill will sharecropper’s (2): a tenant farmer’s lobotomized (3): having had a cut made across a brain lobe to control severe mental illness virility (5): masculinity irrevocable (5): not able to be revoked or recalled hinder (6): cause delay or difficulty arrears (6): being late with a payment fastidious (6): characterized by excessive care or delicacy succor (6): timely aid in distress vertigo (7): a feeling of whirling deployment (7): a stationing systematically Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 365) 1. The numerous contrasts include: the contrast between the 99.2 percent of blacks who were native born in 1912 and the 60 percent of whites who were (2); the contrast between the two grandchildren, one a tenured Princeton professor (Morrison herself), and the other a man shattered by his time in reformatories and mental hospitals (3); her white friends and acquaintances, some of whom rectify her image of white people and some who justify it (7); the contrast between the “repetition of the grotesque in our history” and “the miraculous walk of trees” (7); the contrasts of O.J. Simpson and the Gold Dust Twins, of “Good Times” with Stepin Fetchit (7). All of these contrasts highlight the issue that is for Morrison the main concern and that prompts her central question. This issue is the potential contrast between “then”—the way it was for blacks— and now, and the question is whether the contrast is real, or whether life for blacks today is just a small variation on the past. Morrison sets up these contrasts and then interrogates them. The questions in paragraphs 7: “Has the first order of business been taken care of? Does the law of the land work for us?” she wonders (7). Each seeming contrast between then and now could be, underneath, just more of the same. The contrasts thus weave a texture of mind-boggling complexity around the issue of whether life for blacks has improved or not.


The essay does also contain some comparisons. In paragraph 4, Morrison points out that “Some of the monstrous events that took place in John Solomon’s America have been duplicated in alarming detail in my own America.” Also the title of the essay results from the comparison of progress in racial justice to the “slow walk of trees” (5). 2. At the start of the paragraph, Morrison repeats the word, “hopeless,” as a sentence fragment, doubling its effect and creating a flatness of tone. Then Morrison moves into a series of long sentences beginning with a coordinating conjunction, either “for,” as in the second sentence, or “and.” The tone becomes more flowing, as if the negative events of black history are overtaking, flooding the paragraph: “For he was certain . . . And a hundred years after . . . And not long before that. . . .” The second sentence also contains a series that conveys a sense of overwhelming odds: “white people of every political, religious, geographical and economic background would bank together. . . .” Morrison puts the word “promise” in quotation marks, adding irony to the image of “the white man’s ‘promise.’ ” She concludes the section of the paragraph with a sentence that stresses the image of the grandfather by repeating the sentence subject and of his despair by depicting a series of actions: “If he were here now, my grandfather, he would shake his head, close his eyes, and pull out his violin . . .” As Morrison moves to discuss her grandmother in this same paragraph, some sentences again begin with “and,” creating a flowing effect. One sentence, the first about Ardelia, uses a complex sentence with an appended description that breaks the mold of sentence structure to produce a unique statement. This introduces us to the unusual and poignant image that represents the grandmother’s view of racial progress: “the slow walk of certain trees from the flatland up into the mountains.” The paragraph concludes with a series of sentence fragments, all flowing from the statement that “it wouldn’t surprise her in the least to know that. . . .” These fragments provide statistics about recent black successes in America, successes strung together and pounded home: “That there are 17 blacks in Congress, one in the Senate; 276 in state legislatures—223 in state houses, 53 in state senates. That there are 112 elected black police chiefs and sheriffs, 1 Pulitzer prize winner; 1 winner of the Prix de Rome . . .” Here the sentences create a tone that is assertive and celebratory. “Oh, her list would go on and on,” Morrison concludes. “But so would John Solomon’s sweet sad music.” These two final short sentences cap the paragraph and balance the two forces of despair and optimism that have flowed through it—neither side wins out, the complexity of our racial situation is underscored. 3. Morrison begins paragraph 6 with a linking sentence that summarizes the conflict between her grandparents and then flows into a succinct preview of her parents’ differences: “While my grandparents held opposite views on whether the fortunes of black people were improving, my own parents struck similarly opposed postures, but from another slant.” In handling the earlier contrast between the grandparents, Morrison began by using separate paragraphs for each person, but here she instead provides an analysis of the differences before she moves to the specifics of each parent’s position. “Quite a different argument,” she comments, and then repeats the theme of the grandparents’ conflict and follows it with another summary of her parents’ main point of contention: “whether it was possible for white people to improve.” She then moves to her father’ ideas with the transitional word, “Thus,” and provides a specific example of his views in action. She switches to her mother, appropriately using a transition of change: “My mother, however, . . .” and then brings in examples, using transitions of addition, “So when the meal we got on relief was bug-ridden . . .”; “And when white bill collectors came. . . .” Later in the paragraph, she moves back to her father abruptly: “My father loved excellence. . . .” and then uses a transition to return to a discussion of their common values: “Both my parents believed. . . .”


4. Morrison uses the italicized “is” to convey her certainty of a few things, in an essay that is itself focused on the uncertainty and ambiguity of racial progress. So, she acknowledges and asserts that John Solomon was right: “There is repetition of the grotesque in our history”; and, Ardelia Willis was right, “there is the miraculous walk of trees.” And, she is sure that the image of blacks in today’s advertising is a gain over the past: “O.J. Simpson leaning on a Hertz car is better than the Gold Dust Twins on the back of a soap box.” But there are still numerous racial issues that are not resolved, that one cannot be certain about. Her statement of this does not italicize the word “is”: “The question is whether our walk is progress or merely movement.” She thus follows with the example of the Hertz ads, where she feels a judgment is possible, and then with questions about some of the “movement” that may or may not be actual progress. “But is ‘Good Times’ better than Stepin Fetchit? Has the first order of business been taken care of? Does the law of the land work for us?”

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT BEAUTY Dave Barry Questions for Close Reading (p. 368) 1. The selection’s main idea is expressed in the fourth paragraph: “The problem is that women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do.” Throughout the essay, Barry addresses a serious topic—the way men and women develop their self-images—with tongue-incheek humor. Most men, he argues, “think of themselves as average-looking,” and “being average does not bother them” (paragraph 5). He illustrates this claim with the humorous observation that men’s “primary form of beauty-care is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same form of beauty-care that they give to their lawns” (5). Most women, on the other hand, believe that their appearance is simply “not good enough” (6) and obsessively seek to narrow the gap between themselves and the images of ideal beauty that pervade society. Women “grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible” or “like Cindy Crawford, who is some kind of genetic mutation” (8). Though he pokes fun at the behaviors of both men and women regarding how they view themselves, Barry implies that women’s obsession with how they look can be highly detrimental to the psyche as well as a colossal waste of time. 2. The reason for men’s unwavering unconcern with their appearances, Barry states, is that men are not inundated with images dictating how they should look. For instance, while girls grow up subjected to an impossibly-proportioned, utterly-unrealistic model of female beauty—the Barbie doll—boys, through their “hideous-looking” but “self-confident” action figures, are socialized to value physical perfection to a much lesser degree (7). So, as women grow up “thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible” (8), men aren’t encouraged to spend much time at all considering their looks. In fact, to look presentable—which, Barry implies, is good enough for most men—men only need engage in a “four-minute . . . beauty regimen” of shaving, “which is essentially the same form of beauty care that they give their lawns” (5). Ultimately, Barry argues, men can content themselves with an average appearance because, unlike women, they are not subject to a “multibillion-dollar beauty industry devoted to convincing [them] they must try to look perfect” (8).


3. From a woman’s point of view, Barry argues, personal beauty is a matter of measuring up to the “difficult appearance standard” that pervades society (7). He says that “women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible, although there is a multibillion-dollar beauty industry devoted to convincing women that they must try” (8). TV shows, such as Oprah, perpetuate these negative values in featuring “supermodel Cindy Crawford” and her ludicrously-detailed lessons on make-up application (8). Eventually, women become convinced they must strive for what is actually an unattainable image, and they “spen[d] countless hours . . . obsessing about the differences between [themselves] and Cindy Crawford” (13), whose apparent flawlessness Barry identifies as “some kind of genetic mutation” (8). Because the image that women pursue is virtually impossible to achieve, most women feel they fall far short of the mark when it comes to attractiveness. Thus, women believe that their appearance is simply “not good enough” (6), and they often wind up developing negative self-images and low self-esteem (7). In addition to Barbie dolls, the all-powerful beauty industry, and the media (represented by TV shows like Oprah), Barry addresses another potential source of women’s obsession with their appearance: men. He says that “many women will argue that the reason they become obsessed . . . is that men WANT them to look that way” (10). But he then undermines this claim in two ways. First, he says that women should know better than to be misled by men, that “just because WE’RE idiots, that does not mean YOU have to be” (11). Next, he claims that “men don’t even notice 97 percent of the beauty effort you make anyway” (12). Ultimately, despite his humorous take on his subject, Barry seeks to point out the negative consequences of women’s obsession with beauty and to persuade women away from this misguided mentality. 4. Barry implies that, ideally, women should not align their sense of self-worth with their appearance and should reject the unrealistic beauty standards with which they are bombarded in society. Though this is not an easy feat, Barry implies that women have the intelligence and strength of character to resist society’s damaging messages about beauty: “just because WE’RE [men are] idiots [in appreciating supermodels], that does not mean YOU have to be” (11). In fact, though Barry cautions that he’s “not saying that men are superior” (9), he does imply that men’s indifference to matters of their own appearance is a worthwhile model for women to emulate. 5. regimen (5): routine or process municipal (6): community or public societal (7): shared by society or by the group dispensed (8): handed out genetic (8): inborn, hereditary mutation (8): alteration or deviation from the norm demeaning (9): humiliating bolster (9): reinforce, strengthen Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 369) 1. Barry uses the point-by-point method of organization to contrast how men and women perceive their personal appearances. Paragraphs 4 and 5 explore how men evaluate their appearance, and then paragraph 6 looks at how women do. Paragraph 7 begins by exploring how girls’ toys affect their self-perception and ends by showing how boys’ toys affect theirs. Paragraph 8 illustrates women’s embracing of beauty role models, while paragraph 9 outlines men’s rejection of the same. This animated alternation between women’s and men’s attitudes toward personal attractiveness


both heightens and lends immediacy to the contrast between the two. Barry’s point-by-point contrast, maintained with a great deal of humor, encourages both women and men to laugh at themselves and their efforts (or lack thereof) to be good-looking. Yet the sharply-delineated disparity between men’s and women’s self-evaluations emphasizes the fundamental absurdity of what women put themselves through. 2. Throughout the selection, Barry tends to overstate ideas in order to maximize their impact on readers. For example, to demonstrate men’s quandary when women ask how they look, Barry suggests that men should “form an honest yet sensitive opinion, then collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure” (3). In this and other instances, Barry’s humor draws upon highly-exaggerated visual images. For example, when illustrating men’s unchanging, generally positive opinion of their looks, he says that men who decide early on that they are “stud muffins” remain steadfast in this opinion “even when their faces sag and their noses bloat to the size of eggplants and their eyebrows grow together to form what appears to be a giant forehead-dwelling tropical caterpillar” (4). Barry likewise employs exaggeration in demonstrating that women are perpetually dissatisfied with their appearances. He says that “no matter how attractive” a woman may be, “when she looks at herself in the mirror, she thinks: woof” and that “at any moment a municipal animal-control officer is going to throw a net over her and haul her off to the shelter” (6). To demonstrate the negative impact on women of Barbie’s unrealistic figure, he provides another humorous overstatement: If the doll were a human, “it would be seven feet tall and weigh 81 pounds, of which 53 pounds would be bosoms” (7). Similarly, in conveying the unattainable beauty standards set by supermodels, Barry calls Cindy Crawford “some kind of genetic mutation” (8). And in dismissing the claim that men encourage women’s painstaking efforts to be beautiful, he claims that “[t]he average woman spends 5,000 hours per year worrying about her fingernails, while [m]any men would not notice if a woman had upward of four hands” (12). The most obvious purpose of this repeated exaggeration is to engage readers by making them laugh. At the very least, Barry shows, people should laugh at themselves for taking their looks and society’s standard of beauty too seriously. Yet Barry’s overstatement has a serious purpose: to demonstrate how women’s obsession with society’s inflated beauty standards undermines women’s and, by extension, men’s psychological well-being. Sadly, Barry’s exaggerations may have much in common with many people’s distorted mindset about the subject of personal beauty. 3. Barry points out a number of cause-effect relationships in order to make us aware of how our selfperceptions are formed and to persuade us to stop subjecting ourselves to society’s impossible standards. The central causal analysis of the selection explores the reasons for and effects of women’s appearance-consciousness. Barry begins by illustrating some of the effects of this fixation, the first of which is women’s need to know “How do I look?” (2). This question, which strikes fear in the hearts of men who don’t know how best to respond, reflects women’s need for external affirmation of their appearance. Barry goes on to state that, unlike men, women generally appraise their appearance as “not good enough” (6) and that most women suffer from “low self-esteem” (7). He then proceeds to explore the complex psychological and societal reasons for women’s poor self-image, which, he half-jokingly proposes, are summed up in the Barbie doll (7). The doll, complete with its outrageous, unnatural physical proportions, brainwashes young girls about the way a real woman should look. It is no wonder, then, that women would “grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie, which for most women is impossible” (8). Other sources of women’s beauty ideals include the “multibillion-dollar beauty industry” (8) as well as the media (represented by the Oprah show), which fuel women’s insecurity and beauty-obsession by constantly imposing new standards of beauty. As a result, women squander “countless hours”—and, presumably, dollars—as well as precious self-esteem in “obsessing about the differences” between themselves and the newest unattainable beauty ideal (13).


Since Barry’s thesis is that “women generally do not think of their looks in the same way that men do” (4), he offers a second series of cause-effect chains; these focus on men’s relative comfort with their appearance and provide a crucial counterpoint to his analysis of women. Unlike women, men “never ask anybody how they look” (5). This is because most men, Barry argues, see themselves as “average-looking” (5); they “form an opinion of how they look in seventh grade, and they stick to it for the rest of their lives” (4). The reason for this mentality, Barry reveals later, is that young boys, unlike young girls, are not taught to emphasize their physical appearance. He illustrates this claim with the example of his son’s “hideous-looking” but “extremely self-confident” action figure, which contrasts sharply with the inhumanly-beautiful Barbie dolls with which girls are socialized to play (7). As a result, men are not conditioned to obsess about their appearance. Unlike women, men spend very little time and energy on grooming, their greatest exertion being a “four-minute beauty regimen” of shaving, “which is essentially the same form of beauty care that they give their lawns” (5). In fact, men’s freedom from beauty-brainwashing causes them aggressively to reject any models of male beauty. Barry argues that men would recognize as “pointless and demeaning” (9) women’s eager desire for Cindy Crawford’s beauty tips on the Oprah show. If men were presented with the challenge to look like Crawford’s male equivalent, Brad Pitt, they would respond by making reference to their capabilities—“Oh YEAH? Well, what do you know about LAWN CARE, pretty boy?”—not by trying to mirror the beauty standard placed before them (9). Barry does acknowledge an intersection point between the female and male causal chains when he addresses women’s claim that men “WANT women to look like supermodels” (10). Barry, however, debunks this claim by humorously arguing that women should know better than to listen to men, and that “[m]en don’t even notice the beauty efforts women make anyway” (12). Yet despite Barry’s light-hearted dismissal of women’s claim, the fact still remains that men are indeed a cause of women’s beauty-mania. Ultimately, a larger effect of both women’s and men’s attitudes is their different expectations regarding beauty—hence, Barry’s advice that when a woman asks “How do I look?” a man would do best to “collapse on the floor with some kind of fatal seizure because he will never come up with the right answer” (3). 4. The title, “The Ugly Truth About Beauty,” suggests that our concept of beauty itself is not beautiful. Throughout the essay, Barry outlines the highly detrimental psychological effects to women of the appearance-consciousness they are taught. Women’s obsessive pursuit of beauty, in effect, has disastrous—and ugly—consequences on their mental and emotional well-being. Thus, in spite of the humor with which Barry addresses his subject, his title indicates that he takes the matter seriously and wants his readers to do the same.

AND THEN I WENT TO SCHOOL Joseph H. Suina Questions for Close Reading (p. 374) 1. Suina’s thesis is implied by the comparison of his preschool lifestyle with his life after school begins. It could be stated as, “Attending school began the destruction of Suina’s strong Indian selfimage and of his attachment to Indian customs and values.” Paragraph 16 also provides a thesislike statement: “life would never be the same again. . . . the ways of the white man. . . . would creep more and more into my life.”


2. Values were instilled through story-telling, praise, and direct instruction. Suina mentions several typical story-telling sessions; for example, his grandmother would tell him about “how it was when she was a little girl” (3). When the relatives gathered, a nightly occurrence, they too would tell stories to “both children and adults” (4). Praise was showered upon him by his grandmother so that he would be proud of his accomplishments; “her shower of praises,” he writes, “made me feel like the Indian Superman of all times” (6). Finally, his grandmother teaches him about his culture by taking him along with her to various ceremonies and teaching him “appropriate behavior” for these occasions. She also models how to pray, so that he learns both the words and the proper attitude (7). When Suina goes to school, he is shocked by the very different methods of teaching. Instead of praise, he receives “a dirty look or a whack with a ruler” when he speaks his native language (13). Personal hygiene is impressed upon him through a cruelly administered shampoo and caustic, embarrassing comments about his background (12). The language barrier meant that he couldn’t comprehend all the lessons, but “yet [he] could understand very well when [he] messed up . . . The negative aspect was communicated too effectively. . .” (11). 3. The village begins to take in some non-Indian influences. There are automobiles, albeit very few of them. Suina’s grandmother possesses a dresser in which she keeps some of her possessions; the dresser, a European type of furniture, was acquired by trading some of her famous hand-made pottery. And, in the dresser, she keeps goodies, which include “store bought cookies and Fig Newtons.” (3). Even the tradition of going nightly to visit relatives to chat and tell stories is on the decline as radios and televisions cause people to stay home instead of going out (4). And, the children have access to some 10-cent comic books, which they read and use as the basis for fantasy games when their families get together at night. They imitate the cowboys-and-Indians plots in the comics, with, ironically, all the children wanting to be cowboys because they always won the conflicts. Suina sums up the encroachment of white culture in paragraph 16: “The schools, television, automobiles and other white man’s ways and values had chipped away at the simple cooperative life I grew up in. The people of Cochiti were changing.” 4. In paragraph 13, Suina indicates that the adults around him wanted him to attend school so that he “might have a better life in the future” (13). This idea is in itself confusing to him, because he felt he “had a good village life already” (13). Near the end of the essay, he recognizes that “there was no choice but to compete with the white man on his terms for survival” (16). Many elements of the school lifestyle are confusing to him. The teaching style, with whacks of a ruler, dirty looks, scoldings and embarrassing comments, is very alien to him. “The strange surroundings, new concepts about time and expectations, and a foreign tongue” were other elements that bewildered him (8). The teacher is so different in appearance from his grandmother that he thinks she is ill; she is also unfriendly and, he thinks, not very smart, because she couldn’t speak his language. The classroom is so large it seems cold and ominous; the artificial building style and the fluorescent lighting also seem forbidding and alien. Instead of running freely, he must sit all day long. The most confusing thing to him, however, is that he must give up his language and speak English. Going to the boarding school clinches his separation from his native village culture. He lives in a white-style building and learns the comforts of indoor plumbing, spacious rooms, and ventilation. By the time he returns for a four-day break at Thanksgiving, the village lifestyle does “not feel right anymore” (15). Now living with whites 24-hours a day, he finds himself unaccustomed to the culture he was raised in. He soon “gets back with it” (15), he says, and then finds returning to school extremely difficult. His life has been transformed; he “could not turn back the time just as [he] could not do away with school and the ways of the white man” (16).


5. adobe (5): sun-dried clay, usually in bricks ego (12): sense of self-importance belittled (15): to criticize something as unimportant or trivial Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 374) 1. The essay is predominantly organized according to the one-side-at-a-time pattern. First, Suina discusses his life as a preschooler residing in his grandmother’s house (1–7). Then, he discusses what life was like for him after he was required to attend school (8–16). This pattern works well because the essay compares “before” and “after” stages of Suina’s childhood, stages that occurred one after the other. The one-side-at-a-time strategy allows Suina to maintain the chronological order of events. There are some places within the description of his school life where he returns to talk about Indian ways; in these places he uses the point-by-point strategy. For example, at the start of paragraph 9, he describes his teacher, comparing her with his grandmother. In paragraph 10, he compares the fluorescent lighting to “the fire and sunlight that my eyes were accustomed to” and sitting at a desk all day with his previous life of “running carefree in the village and fields, . . .” In paragraph 13, he compares the attitude of the school towards his native language and his own childhood view of it: “This punishment was for speaking the language of my people that meant so much to me. It was the language of my grandmother and I spoke it well. With it, I sang beautiful songs and prayed from my heart” (13). Later, Suina compares the beloved home cooking that his family brings to him once a month with the school food: “I enjoyed the outdoor oven bread, dried meat, and tamales they usually brought. It took a while to get accustomed to the diet of the school.” Finally, the last paragraphs of the essay use point-by-point organization to express the conflicts he felt when he returned home from boarding school for four days. In 16, he describes how disappointed he felt with his old home: “Home did not feel right anymore. It was much too small and stuffy. The lack of running water and bathroom facilities were too inconvenient. Everything got dusty so quickly and hardly anyone spoke English. I did not realize I was beginning to take on the white man’s ways, the ways that belittled my own.” 2. The numerous places where Suina evokes the Pueblo lifestyle and values include paragraph 3, where he describes the inside of his grandmother’s one-room house in great detail. Most of the details here are visual, although Suina does mention the “sharp odor of mothballs” in the dresser and the flour sack containing the “ goodies,” which made a “fine snack” at night. We also learn that he frequently hears stories or a softly sung song from a ceremony in the house. There are further references to the foods they shared with relatives in paragraph 4, and in the next paragraph he notes the sound and glow of the fire and the smell of stew cooking. He contrasts these sensory descriptions with details about the school he attends. There, he notices the teacher’s appearance is very different from his grandmother’s; he smells her odor, which makes him sick (9). He provides details of the classroom: its “huge” size and medicine-like smell, its artificial walls and ceiling, its “eerie” and blinking fluorescent lights. He feels the hardness of the desk to which he is confined. Towards the end of the essay, he returns to some beloved details about his Indian culture, things that he savors when his parents visit him at boarding school: “outdoor oven bread, dried meat, and tamales” (14). Yet, once home for a four-day break, he discovers he longs for some of the conveniences of the school, for his home “was much too small and stuffy. The lack of running water and bathroom facilities were too inconvenient. Everything got dusty so quickly . . .” (15). 3. Into the simple factual information of the first two sentences, Suina inserts a word with strong negative connotations: “invade.” This word is used metaphorically to suggest that the coming of


electricity to the pueblo began a conquest of the Indian culture by that of the whites. Portraying the Indians as “unsuspecting” suggests their innocence in not being aware that they were being transformed. These images establish an ominous tone and convey Suina’s ambivalence about the material goods and other elements of white lifestyle that altered his native culture. However, while suggesting negative forces are at work in the pueblo, Suina’s tone remains calm, almost matter-offact. There is no sense of blaming or rage; because of this tone, the changes seem inevitable changes. 4. The last four sentences of paragraph 14 all begin with the phrase, “I longed for. . . .” This repetition drums into the reader the grief and yearning Suina felt at being parted from his home culture. The sentences seem to cry out with pain. In addition, the shortness and simplicity of the sentences effectively convey the depth and sense of unallayed need. The final sentence moves away from specific needs for his grandmother and siblings, his home, and the familiar ceremonies to asserting that he needs to be free to be himself, instead of being confined in the alien world of the boarding school.



Opening Comments Along with comparison-contrast, cause-effect writing (often called “causal analysis”) is frequently required of college students—especially in exam situations (“Analyze the causes of the country’s spiraling divorce rate”; “Discuss the impact of the revised tax laws on middle-income families”). Since students can’t deny that an ability to write sound causal analyses will serve them well, they’re generally eager to tackle this pattern of development. Not surprisingly, though, many students run into problems with their analyses. Although they enjoy the intellectual challenge of tracing causes and effects, they sometimes stop at the obvious— overly concerned as they are about getting closure on an issue. We’ve found a classroom activity that helps counteract this urge to oversimplify. Here’s what we do. We put on the board a broad, noncontroversial statement. (For example, “In the United States, many people work hard to keep physically fit.”) Then, we ask students to take five minutes (we time them and announce when the time is up) to brainstorm the reasons why (causes) people are so involved in physical fitness. Then, we ask students to spend another five minutes brainstorming the consequences (effects) of this concern with physical fitness. Next, we put students in pairs and then in groups of four; each time, they exchange, first, their causes and then their effects. As you’d expect, this activity generates a good deal of energy. We hear a number of comments, such as, “That’s interesting. I never thought of that.” Such a reaction is precisely what we hope for. The activity sensitizes students to the complexity of cause-effect relationships and encourages them to dig deeply and not settle for the obvious. For this chapter, we chose professional selections that dramatize the power of causal analysis to make the reader think. In his essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies,” King, a master of horror himself, considers both the obvious and the underlying reasons for the horror film’s popularity. Darley and Latané’s “Why People Don’t Help in a Crisis” provides a well-researched analysis of the causal factors behind bystanders’ typical inaction. And Staples (“Black Men and Public Space”) describes the corrosive effects of racism on his life.


ACTIVITIES: CAUSE-EFFECT Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 17. Of course, other approaches are possible. Prewriting Activities (p. 395) 1. There are many ways to use cause-effect in these two essays; the lists below suggest only a few of the possibilities. We suggest that you have students share their ideas on ways to use cause-effect in these essays. Seeing others’ ideas makes the point dramatically that writing involves invention and individuality. Topic: The need for a high school course in personal finance Causes of many young people’s casual attitude to money Causes of parents’ reluctance to teach about finance Effects of a young person bouncing checks Effects of overspending Topic: How to show appreciation Causes of people’s callous disregard for each other Causes of an appreciative approach to good manners Effects of appreciation in everyday life Effects of not showing appreciation 2. Here are some possible causes and/or effects for the various topics. Others are possible. In the second part of the activity, outlining will depend upon the points generated. a. Pressure on a student to do well Causes: High career ambitions Parental demands Inner pressure; self-esteem Effects: Restricted social, campus, and physical activities Emotional instability, anger Less effective academic performance b. Children’s access to soft-core pornography on cable TV Causes: Lenient parents Failure to purchase a TV lock Children visiting friends’ homes Effects: Children grow up too soon Children get unrealistic view of adult relationships Children dating at too early an age


c. Being physically fit Causes: Media attention to health concerns Trend to engage in sports Desire to look attractive Effects: Better health Growing enrollments in health clubs Preoccupation with fitness d. Spiraling costs of college education Causes: Growing costs of faculty and staff Modernization going on: computers, for example Inflation Cutbacks in state and federal funds Effects: Students burdened with more loans Concern about paying back loans influences career choices More students work during college Some students drop out Revising Activities (p. 396) 4. a. The growing Latin American immigrant population and the crime rate may be correlated, that is, there may be some connection between the two. That both figures are increasing, however, does not mean that the rise in immigration has caused the rise in crime. To say so is post hoc thinking. b. This statement shows post hoc thinking because it assumes that one of two parallel events is causing the other; that is, that more women working is causing the divorce rate to rise. However, there are other possible reasons for the increase in the divorce rate: a change in American values regarding the family, for instance, or the “sexual revolution.” Moreover, one could cite the same two facts—more women working and the divorce rate rising—and argue the opposite, that the divorce rate is causing more women to work outside the home. In any case, disregarding these other possible points of view and arguing that a clear-cut relationship necessarily exists is an example of post hoc thinking. c. These two parallel situations do not have a proven causal relationship. To say that one has caused the other is post hoc reasoning, unless other proof exists. Such proof might consist of information about what chemicals exist in the landfill, whether they are cancer-causing, whether the chemicals have leached into the soil, water, or air of the town, and whether other causes for the cancer might exist. 5. It’s a good idea to provide time in class for students to read over each other’s revisions of this paragraph. Seeing how others handled the activity can give students a stronger sense of their revision options.


Here are the main problems with the paragraph: — Overall, the paragraph asserts that the bank machines have caused certain behaviors and attempts to support such a claim with broad generalizations stated in absolute terms. For example, the fourth sentence asserts that automatic tellers have negatively influenced the “average individual.” Similarly, the next three sentences state—almost categorically—that people, once they have cash readily in hand, invariably spend their lunch hours shopping. Equivalent absolutes can be found throughout. The paragraph could be rescued if the writer toned down the absolute tone and provided qualifications that suggest that “for some people” or “for many people” these machines present problems. — The writer assumes causation explains the circumstances (use of ATM cards and people shopping during lunch hour) when these may simply be correlated, that is, they may happen at the same time because they are a two results of some other earlier event. Or, the simultaneous appearance of increased spending and ATM card use may be a coincidence, meaning that the writer has committed the post hoc fallacy. — Another problem with the paragraph is its lack of supporting examples. Although it isn’t necessary for the writer to provide hard evidence in the form of research, he or she should have supported the paragraph with specific references to friends, family, etc., for whom automatic tellers have created problems. — The point that children don’t appreciate the value of money is an unfounded generalization; it also digresses from the paragraph’s point and so should be eliminated. — The last sentence categorically asserts (“There’s no doubt. . .”) that banking machine fraud is a cause of the “immoral climate in the country.” This is an unsupported causal statement and would need evidence to be considered valid. It should be deleted.


WHY WE CRAVE HORROR MOVIES Stephen King Questions for Close Reading (p. 399) 1. King states the topic of his essay clearly in the title, which proposes to explore not only why we watch or enjoy horror movies, but why we crave them. He does not, however, state his thesis explicitly, but, rather, develops over the course of the essay his main idea: that the horror movie satisfies a type of “insanity in us.” He begins with the provocative opinion, “I think we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylum only hide it a little better” (paragraph 1). For King, sanity is only “a matter of degree,” and we are all on the same continuum as “Jack the Ripper or the Cleveland Torso Murderer” (8). While King is sure that “the potential lyncher is in all of us” (9), he also knows that society works very hard to hide or repress this fact. As a result, “every now and then, [the lyncher] has to be let loose” (9). It is what King calls the “dirty job” of horror movies to satisfy “all that is worst in us” (12). Watching these movies is like “throwing a basket of raw meat to the hungry alligators swimming around in that subterranean river beneath” (12). King concludes that horror movies keep the dangerous psychological gators “down there” and a more ostensibly sane “me up here” (13). 2. In paragraph 8, King wants to collapse the separation between the sane and the insane. Watching a horror movie, we are all invited to “lapse into simplicity, irrationality, and even outright madness” (7) as we enjoy the spectacle of “seeing others menaced—sometimes killed” (6). Our eager participation in this “modern version of the public lynching” (6) proves that “we are all insane” and that, by extension, “sanity becomes a matter of degree” (8). The infamous killers are now invoked to demonstrate this point. Using the second person, King directly addresses the reader, placing him or her on a continuum with famous killers. King writes, “if your insanity leads you to carve up women like Jack the Ripper or the Cleveland Torso Murderer, we clap you away in the funny farm . . . if, on the other hand your insanity leads you only to talk to yourself”—or to crave horror films—“then you are left alone” (8). The extreme examples of the serial murderers are necessary to illustrate King’s main thesis: the presence of a shared “insanity of man” which the horror movie satisfies (11). Linking the psychopath and supposedly normal, everyday people (like us) is King’s project, and the references to the murderers in paragraph 8 establish this uncomfortable bond. 3. What King calls the “conservative” nature of horror movies should not be understood in terms of politics. Instead, King uses the term more strictly to mean “cautious,” “traditional,” and “staid.” While horror films may challenge us to face the darkness, they provide no new understanding of it. King argues that horror movies “re-establish our feelings of essential normality” (4). By watching monsters on the screen, we reassure ourselves that we are not monsters ourselves. As King writes, horror movies remind us that “no matter how far we may be removed from the beauty of a Robert Redford or a Diana Ross, we are still light-years from true ugliness,” such as that of the grotesque creatures featured in many films (4). Furthermore, King argues that horror movies encourage us to “put away our more civilized and adult penchant for analysis” and to see the world in “pure blacks and whites” (7). In reinforcing basic definitions like “us” and “them,” horror movies touch on the “reactionary,” restoring us to primal, absolute attitudes and emotions. Yet some of these same impulses inspired by horror movies render the films “anarchistic, and revolutionary” (11)—quite the opposite of conservative. Reveling in the dark fun of horror movies, we “exercise” our inherent, universal “anticivilization emotions” (11)—the ones that society attempts to quash out of us, as in the example of the child being punished for deliberately hurting “the little rotten puke of a sister” (10). The “dirty job” of horror movies is highly subversive 110

in nature: “It is morbidity unchained, our most basic instincts let free, our nastiest fantasies realized (12). As we watch these films, we may allow our emotions a free rein . . . or no rein at all” (7). So, while horror films may restore our conservative sense of humanity (as opposed to the extreme monstrousness on the screen), they also incite an anarchy of the psyche, where our delight in the grotesque is free from regulation. In spite of the “civilized forebrain,” horror movies feed “the hungry alligators swimming around in that subterranean river beneath” (12). 4. Alligators symbolize the latent, uncivilized tendencies that King argues we all possess but are compelled, by society, to repress. Throughout his essay, King develops his theory that sanity is only “a matter of degree” and that we are all on the same continuum as “Jack the Ripper or the Cleveland Torso Murderer” (8). Society, however, militates against “the potential lyncher . . . in all of us” (9). It encourages actions based on feelings like “love, friendship, loyalty, kindness” while actively discouraging their opposites (10). To King’s mind, however, sanctioned emotions are only half of the equation; the rest of our emotions—the aberrant ones—won’t disappear, and they too “demand periodic exercise” (11). So, while love may be the sort of emotion endorsed by society, this and other benevolent sentiments cannot be sustained unless we periodically satisfy the other, darker elements in our psyche—the “gators.” King argues that one safe way to “feed” these gators is to indulge in horror movies, which function as a safety valve for our potentially destructive emotions. 5. hysterical (1): characterized by nervous, emotional outbursts reactionary (4): extremely conservative; opposed to progress voyeur (6): one who is highly stimulated by watching others lynching (6): illegal mob action against a person; a murder carried out by a mob penchant (7): a strong preference, inclination, or liking immortalized (9): made eternal anarchistic (11): lawless, wild morbidity (12): an interest in gloom, disease, and death Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 400) 1. King may be seen, at different points in the essay, as encompassing each of the three purposes. In explaining why we crave horror movies, King proposes a theory of the human psyche. Unlike a scientific researcher, he offers no statistical, biological, or clinical data. He does not aim to inform us about new psychological discoveries. Instead, he acts like a philosopher and speculates about the nature of human emotions and, more specifically, about why we crave horror movies. He develops a theory about the existence of a shared “insanity of man” which the horror movie satisfies (11). But he then attempts throughout the rest of the essay to persuade us of this claims validity, providing an abundance of vivid examples and analogies. His purpose may also be interpreted as informative; King wants to show us the dark, repressed part of ourselves as well as a benign means of keeping it at bay: watching horror movies. King’s theory also functions as a defense of his own craft—of not only why we crave horror movies, but why King writes them. In persuading us of our psychological need for horror movies, he simultaneously (and implicitly) seeks to persuade us of our practical need for horror writers— like King himself. 2. The task of King’s essay is to spell out the dark psychological tendencies satisfied by horror movies. In order to explain the “simple and obvious” (3) reasons for the horror films attraction, King begins by comparing it to a roller coaster. Like roller coasters, horror movies pose a challenge. As King argues, in both cases “we are daring the nightmare” (2), and we do so “to show that we can, that we are not afraid” (3). In both, we enjoy the sheer thrill of the ride—the possibility 111

that a movie, like a coaster ride, might “surprise a scream out of us” (3) or might just be “fun” (5). But, according to King, horror films fundamentally differ from roller coasters in the source of all that fun. Our enjoyment of horror movies, he demonstrates, originates in a far darker and more complex part of the psyche. In the horror movie, the fun comes not from twists and turns but from “seeing others menaced—sometimes killed” (6). The horror movie returns us to child-like thinking, shutting down adult analysis and recasting the world in “pure blacks and whites” (7). In this way, horror movies invite us “to lapse into simplicity, irrationality, and outright madness” (7). Roller coasters, by implication, do not serve nearly as complicated a function. King then turns to a second comparison-contrast to explain our response to horror movies. He says that “the horror film has become the modern form of the public lynching” (6). In both cases, spectators derive “a very peculiar sort of fun . . . from seeing others menaced—sometimes killed” (6). This malignant pleasure in morbidity always lurks beneath our socially-adjusted surfaces, King argues, but society systematically represses these “anticivilization emotions” (11). The implied difference between the two is that public lynchings are no longer sanctioned by society, while horror movies still are, even though they exercise the same emotions. As King concludes, horror movies keep the dark side “from getting out, man” (13). King develops a final comparison-contrast to explain the phenomenon of horror movies: the same “anticivilization emotions” that fuel our enjoyment of the films also incite us to delight in “sick jokes” (11). Sick jokes “may surprise a laugh or a grin out of us even as we recoil” (11)—a response much like the one King attributes to horror-movie watching. He goes a step further in stating that “[t]he mythic horror movie, like the sick joke, has a dirty job to do. It deliberately appeals to all that is worst in us” (12). Our morbid enjoyment of the two serves as evidence of King’s larger observation that “we’re all mentally ill” (1) and “share in an insanity of man” (11). Another similarity between them is that they both are particularly attractive to young people. Early in the essay, he identifies horror movies as “the special province of the young” (3). Later in the essay, King cites the example of the dead baby joke that he heard “originally from a ten-year-old” (11). Ultimately, both horror movies and sick jokes attest to the “potential lyncher” (9) that we all harbor within. 3. In explaining our attraction to horror movies, King builds a theory about the shape of our emotional life, a theory that fundamentally includes children. He begins by observing that “horror movies, like roller coasters, have always been the special province of the young” (3). Ostensibly, this youthful appeal owes to the raw thrills provided by both, but King goes on to suggest several less innocuous reasons for young people’s attraction to horror films. In discussing society’s repression of malignant human emotions, he cites the example of our youthful reactions to a little sister (10). King demonstrates how “society showers us with positive reinforcement” (often in the form of sweets) when we exercise valued emotions like love or kindness—“emotions,” King explains, “that tend to maintain the status quo” (9). However, when we deliberately hurt “the rotten little puke of a sister,” “sanctions follow” (10). King explains the problem of such sanctions in paragraph 11, reminding us that, even after a series of punishments, “anticivilization emotions don’t go away.” We still harbor destructive desires, a fact evidenced in King’s example of the “sick joke” told by a ten-year-old. The child’s implied enjoyment of the gory “dead baby” joke points to the shared “insanity of man”—King’s main point. “We’re all mentally ill” (1), he believes, and the perverse impulses that society tries to repress in its young nevertheless remain with us forever. In King’s view, children are not innocents; instead, they are an amoral nature run amuck. The use of children as examples simply underscores King’s belief that “the potential lyncher is in almost all of us” (9). 4. Each of these paragraphs consists solely of one brief sentence or, in the case of paragraph 14, one sentence fragment. In each case, King’s compressed writing style adds emphasis and directs our attention to a single idea. In paragraph 2, King places us in the darkened theater, “daring the nightmare,” in order to establish the horror movies conscious and unconscious challenge to viewers. 112

Not only does the film dare us to sit through it, as King will explain in paragraph 3, but the horror movie also dares our darker side to come out and express itself (9). The second brief paragraph—“And we go to have fun” (5)—forces us to think about the unconscious challenge to seek the kind of fun that excites “the potential lyncher . . . in almost all of us” (9). This short paragraph introduces King’s thesis about the inherent plea-sure involved in “seeing others menaced—sometimes killed” (6). King hopes to deliver the same kind of punch in his sentence-fragment conclusion. In the preceding paragraph, he acknowledges that you, the reader, are taught to believe that civilized emotions are “all you need” (13). But, as his striking conclusion asserts, this is true only “[a]s long as you keep the gators fed” (14). This pithy conclusion, with its vivid imagery, memorably captures King’s thesis and promises to resonate in the minds of readers.

WHY PEOPLE DON’T HELP IN A CRISIS John M. Darley and Bibb Latané Questions for Close Reading (p. 405) 1. Darley and Latané state their thesis at the end of their introduction, as an answer to the question, “Why, then, didn’t they [witnesses to an emergency] act?” (8). They write, “There are three things the bystander must do if he is to intervene in an emergency: notice that something is happening; interpret that event as an emergency; and decide that he has personal responsibility for intervention” (9). They then indicate that the rest of the essay will explains the research that has led the authors to this conclusion: “As we shall show, the presence of other bystanders may at each stage inhibit his action” (9). 2. People need to notice that a problem is occurring before they can help, which means they must be disturbed out of their mental distractions. In addition, Americans are taught to keep their eyes to themselves, to “close our ears and avoid staring,” the authors write (10). This principle of polite behavior can cause people to ignore or not really see a critical situation happening near them (10). Then, after an event has attracted their attention, people must realize that someone needs help. But the presence of others can delay the realization that a problem is going on. Darley and Latané explain that people take their cues from those around them—“if everyone else is calm and indifferent, [a person] will tend to remain so” (14). People simply get the message that there’s no problem because, in our culture, people usually try to remain cool and calm in public; “it is considered embarrassing to ‘lose your cool’ ” (15). The collective nonchalance of a crowd can suppress anyone’s urge to help, that is, to go against the prevailing passivity and rush to aid. Finally, even when a person has determined that aid is required, he or she will not feel the personal requirement to perform the assistance if there are many others nearby. Darley and Latané call this the “diffusion of responsibility theory” (21). Such people are not hard-hearted but just confused about what to do when others around them are doing nothing (27). People’s “reactions are shaped by the actions of others,” be it response or passivity. 3. The researchers wanted to eliminate the possibility that the presence of others would prevent awareness of the emergency, so they designed an experiment in which an obvious crisis occurred and in which the subjects’ awareness would not be blunted by others being in the room with them. The subjects were told to discuss with each other over headsets, used with the rationale of protecting everyone’s privacy. In this way, the researchers could determine whether, even when one of the students reported a medical crisis, the knowledge that several people knew it was happening 113

and could take responsibility would blunt the individuals’ willingness to act. The experiment showed that, indeed, the response of subjects to the emergency deteriorated rapidly when the number of people linked by microphones increased. “The responsibility diluting effect of other people was so strong that single individuals were more than twice as likely to report the emergency as those who thought other people also knew about it” (25). 4. The authors indicate that any one of us could be that unresponsive bystander, because being unresponsive is not a defect of character or a sign of the decay of civility in urban life (5). Rather, the failure to respond occurs in particular situations which could befall any of us. When people are surrounded by others, they notice less (10), they conform to norms of public behavior (14), and they take less responsibility for events around them (20). As Darley and Latané write, “If we look closely at the behavior of witnesses to [emergencies], the people involved begin to seem a little less inhuman and a lot more like the rest of us” (7). Any person could be influenced by the “apparent indifference of others” to “pass by an emergency” (28). “We are that bystander,” they conclude (28) and suggest that being aware that groups or crowds might encourage our passivity could help us to “see distress and step forward to relieve it” (28). 5. megalopolis (5): an urban region consisting of several adjoining cities apathy (5): lacking involvement or interest indifference (5): without interest or concern alienated (6): to cause to become indifferent or hostile depersonalized (6): to make impersonal inhibit (9): to block or hold back corroborates (11): supports with additional proof coronary (13): of the human heart slavish (14): deliberately dependent or slave-like nonchalance (15): coolly unconcerned or indifferent diffused (20): spread widely or thinly blandly (27): unemotionally or indifferently Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 405) 1. From the way the thesis is introduced to the way the essay is organized, the authors make it easy for the reader to determine the causes of inaction. Darley and Latané introduce their thesis in a dramatic way, as the answer to a one-paragraph question (paragraph 8). Setting off the question in one paragraph creates surprise in the reader. They then follow this with a clear and direct answer. In this sentence, the three causal factors are italicized to call attention to them (9). They follow up this listing with a direct announcement of their intentions in the essay: “As we shall show, the presence of other bystanders may at each stage inhibit his action” (9). The rest of the essay is divided into sections, the next three of which reflect the three causes: “The Unseeing Eye,” “Seeing Is Not Necessarily Believing,” and “The Lonely Crowd.” Each one of these sections begins with an anecdote about a hypothetical situation in which help is needed. Then after presenting the ambiguities in this situation, the authors present a hypothesis suggesting why people avoid or delay acting and then cite psychological research that has shown the hypothesis to be valid. In addition, the authors use bridging sentences, the beginnings of which link back to previous material. For example, paragraph 13 begins, “Once an event is noticed . . .” which repeats the idea of the previous section. And paragraph 20 uses the beginning clause, “Even if a person defines an event as an emergency . . .” to remind the reader of the previous point.


2. Using the present tense creates a dramatic introduction to draw readers in—or at least, not scare readers away—from a serious and analytic essay. Narratives of crime and danger are intrinsically interesting, but the style used here heightens the shock-effect of the situations. Each narrative begins bluntly, with no lead-in, using a direct statement of the victim’s situation: “Kitty Genovese is set upon by a maniac”; “Andrew Mormille is stabbed in the head”; “Eleanor Bradley trips and breaks her leg.” The present tense adds a sense of urgency, while the direct style seems almost like a narrative voice-over, telling us events as they happen. In addition, the present tense circumvents the need to provide background data, such as the year of occurrence and so on, data that would slow the reader down and introduce the analytic style too early in the essay. Finally, the present tense conveys the timelessness of the events, in the sense that given human nature, these past responses would hold true at any point in time. 3. The experiments are described in paragraphs 11–12, 16–19, and 22–25. Each experiment is introduced by a clear announcement, and throughout the description of the experiment and the results, numerous transitions make each stage of action crystal clear. In paragraph 11, Darley and Latané write, “Experimental evidence corroborates this. We asked college students to an interview. . . .” Paragraph 16 begins, “To determine how the presence of other people affects a person’s interpretation of an emergency, Latané and Judith Rodin set up another experiment.” And the third experiment is introduced in paragraph 21: “To test this diffusion-of-responsibility theory, we simulated an emergency . . .” and picked up again in paragraph 22: “For the simulation. . . .” Within each description of an experiment, the authors use numerous clear signals to indicate the stages of the process. In paragraphs 11—12, they use signals of time, as well as the colon, effectively: “as the students waited. . . . As part of the study, we staged an emergency: smoke was released. . . . Although eventually all . . .—when the atmosphere grew so smoky. . . . ” In the injured-researcher experiment (16-19), narrative and spatial signals help the reader along: “An attractive young market researcher met them . . . and took them to . . . where they . . . Before leaving, she told them she would be working next door in her office, which was separated from. . . . She then entered . . . where she. . . . After four minutes. . . . “ In the group-discussion experiment (21-25), narrative transitions predominate, along with spatial indicators and enumeration: “Each student was put in an individual room. . . Each person was to talk in turn. The first to talk . . . Then . . . Other students then talked . . .in turn. When it was the first person’s turn . . .” (22-23). The authors interrupt the process to explain the hidden reality of the experiment, using transitions of contrast: “But whatever the apparent size . . . only the subject; the others, as well as the instructions . . . were present only on . . . tape” (23). Returning to the process of the experiment again in paragraph 24, the authors use a narrative transition plus an enumeration and a signal of repetition: “When it was the first person’s turn to talk again. . . .” The authors also often use balanced sentence structure to compare the reactions of subjects who were alone with those who were in groups of various sizes. In the leaking-vent emergency (11–12), they write, “Solitary students often glanced idly about while filling out their questionnaires; those in groups kept their eyes on their own papers” (11); “two thirds of the subjects who were alone noticed the smoke immediately, but only 25 percent of those waiting in groups saw it as quickly” (12). In the injured researcher experiment, the results are presented in two separate paragraphs, one for those who were alone (18), and one for those who were in groups of various sizes (19). Short direct sentences which put in the foreground the percentages of how many subjects responded in what way make the data easy to follow, and signals of contrast help the reader sort out the details: “Seventy percent . . . offered to help. . . . Many pushed back the divider . . . ; others called out to offer their help” (18). “Among those waiting in pairs, only 20 percent . . .” (19).


In reporting the results of the group-discussion simulation, Darley and Latané again rely upon direct statements that list the percentages explaining who responded how: “Eighty-five percent of the people who believed themselves to be alone. . . . Sixty-two percent of the people who believed there was one other bystander. . . . Of those who believed there were four other bystanders, only 31 percent reported. . . .” 4. At the start of the essay, the reader is likely to think of witnesses who do not help a victim as monsters, as aberrant and mean-spirited human beings. Darley and Latané wish to show that inaction is in fact a natural result of ordinary human psychology; as they write in paragraph 7, “If we look closely at the behavior of witnesses to these incidents, the people involved begin to seem a little less inhuman and a lot more like the rest of us.” One of their goals is to show that the failure to take action is typical in certain situations, situations, in fact, in which there are multiple bystanders. “As we shall show, the presence of other bystanders may at each stage inhibit his action” (9). At the end of the essay, they indicate that their ultimate purpose is to create the awareness that inaction is the norm when people are in a group. With this awareness, people might be able to counteract the paralyzing effect of other people and get involved in helping in a critical situation. “Caught up by the apparent indifference of others, we may pass by an emergency without helping or even realizing that help is needed. Once we are aware of the influence of those around us, how ever, we can resist it. We can choose to see distress and step forward to relieve it” (28).

BLACK MEN AND PUBLIC SPACE Brent Staples Questions for Close Reading (p. 409) 1. The closest thing to a direct statement of the thesis occurs in the second paragraph, in the second sentence: “I first began to know the unwieldy inheritance I’d come into—the ability to alter public space in ugly ways.” 2. Staples first discovered that other people considered him a threat during his first year away from his hometown, when he was a graduate student in Chicago. There, he found that “nighttime pedestrians—particularly women” would run away (2) or cross to the other side of the street (3); people in cars would lock their doors as he crossed the street in front of them (3); doormen, policemen, cabdrivers, and other such workers were unpleasant to him (3). He says he felt “surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed all at once” and “like an accomplice in tyranny” (2). Over time, he gained an awareness that he himself is in danger when he is perceived as dangerous (2). Later in the essay he remarks that there is a “kind of alienation that comes of being ever the suspect” (5). 3. In general, Staples says he has become aware of situations that can be hazardous to him: turning “a corner into a dicey situation” or crowding “some frightened, armed person in a foyer somewhere,” or making “an errant move after being pulled over by a policeman” (2). Specifically, Staples recounts the most frightening incident when he was mistaken for a burglar; rushing into a magazine office to deliver an article on deadline, he was pursued through the halls by “an ad hoc posse” of employees. In another case, he stopped in a jewelry store to kill time and was confronted by a


silent store owner with a huge Doberman pinscher. He handled these nonconfrontationally; in the first case, he dashed to the office of the editor who knew him and could vouch for his honesty. In the second, he simply nodded goodnight and left the store. He is clearly a nonviolent person. 4. At night and when he is dressed casually, Staples takes care to move slowly and keep a distance from people who look nervous. He avoids giving the appearance of following people when entering buildings. And, if he is pulled over by police, he acts extremely friendly and nonthreatening. His final tactic when taking late-night walks is to whistle classical music, communicating that he is educated and has a love of beauty, and thus is not a mugger (11–12). These precautions telegraph his real identity: a law-abiding nonpredatory, nonviolent, educated and cultured person. 5. uninflammatory (1): not arousing strong emotion dicey (2): risky or uncertain (informal ) bandolier (5): belt with loops for carrying bullets worn over shoulder and across chest lethality (6): ability to cause death bravado (7): swaggering show of courage; false bravery berth (11): (as in “give a wide berth to”) avoid constitutionals (12): a walk taken for health reasons Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 410) 1. The essay concludes with discussions of effects; in paragraph 11, Staples focuses on the effects on him of the perception that he is a mugger. In the last paragraph, he describes the effects on other nighttime pedestrians of his whistling classical melodies. By discussing these effects, Staples shows the inconvenience and foresight necessary for him, and other black men, to go about their daily lives. By mentioning his “excellent tension-reducing measure”—whistling Vivaldi and “the more popular classical composers”—Staples returns to the issue that he began with in the first paragraph and also shows that he has handled a potentially humiliating problem with grace and style. 2. The phrase, “my first victim was a woman,” is certainly an attention getter, and it may suggest to the reader that the essay narrates a criminal’s confession. That Staples goes on to relate a story of misperception shows how quickly people are to assume the worst, both on the street and in reading the essay. 3. Staples’ audience would seem to be primarily white. Most blacks would know first-hand the problem he writes of; it is the whites who, in encountering him anonymously on the street, need to be told that he, like most black men, is harmless. He signals that his audience is white when he reveals, “Black men trade tales like this all the time” (10). In addition, the essay relies on many references to European tradition: “bandolier” (5); “bravado” (7); “posse” (8); Beethoven, Vivaldi, “cowbells” and “bear country” (12). There are no similar references to black culture. 4. Staples’ tone is sad and conciliatory but also tinged with irony. He uses many terms that indicate his unhappiness with his perpetual role as “would-be mugger”: “surprised, embarrassed, and dismayed” (2); “feel like an accomplice in tyranny” (2); “a vast, unnerving gulf” (2); “alienation” (5). He is conciliatory in that he has smothered his rage (11); he attempts to see the other side (5) and the wider perspective (2). That a self-confessed “softy” like him (2) should be taken for a criminal prompts several ironic notes; certainly, his last image, in which he likens himself to an innocent hiker wearing a cowbell to protect himself from “the bears,” is strongly ironic.



Opening Comments In high school and certainly in college, students are frequently asked to answer questions that call for definitions: “Define ‘mitosis’ ”; “Explain what ‘divestiture’ means.” Even so, we hold off discussing definition as a method of development until the last quarter of the course. Our rationale for delaying definition is based on the need for other patterns of development in fleshing out an extended definition. At the very least, students need to know how to incorporate wellchosen examples so that their definitions can be grounded in specifics. Similarly, the comparisoncontrast format can show students how to go about organizing a definition by negation. And process analysis, explaining how something works, can be essential when developing a definition. Once students feel comfortable with these and other strategies, they can approach definition essays with confidence, knowing that they have a repertoire of techniques to draw on. For this chapter, we selected readings that illustrate a variety of approaches for writing definition essays. Touching on a wide range of topics, the pieces show how definition can explain difficult-tounderstand scientific concepts, expand the meaning we attach to everyday words, and help us view our society in a new light. We often start with Cole since she mixes a number of strategies (examples, facts, personal anecdotes) to develop her definition of “Entropy.” Gleick (“Life As Type A”), in a careful analysis of behavioral research, asserts that the traits typically associated with Type A behavior are actually characteristics we all exhibit. Finally, Leo provides compelling examples, as well as a causal analysis, to clarify what is meant by the term “Absolutophobia.”


ACTIVITIES: DEFINITION Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 18. In many cases, other responses are possible. Prewriting Activities (p. 427) 1. There are many ways to use definition in these two essays. Below we’ve listed some of the possibilities. In classroom use of this activity; we suggest you have students share their responses. They will be surprised and often delighted to discover that their neighbors have different answers. Topic: How to register a complaint Define “effective” complaining Define a “no-win situation” Define “conflict resolution” Define “diplomacy” Topic: Contrasting two stand-up comics Define “black humor” Define “improvisational humor” Define “political humor” Define “put-down” humor 2. For this activity, as for #3, students will, of course, each have individual responses. When introducing the activity and discussing students’ material, make students aware that their goal is to frame a definition that goes beyond “dictionary meanings” or the commonly understood sense of the term. An essay-worthy personal definition is one that discovers or affirms some lessunderstood dimension of a word. Revising Activities (p. 427) 4. Here’s our appraisal of the effectiveness of the definitions: a. This definition is circular because it repeats the words of the term itself. In addition, the “is when” format is awkward if not ungrammatical. Here’s one way to revise the definition: “Passive aggression is a personality disorder in which a person chronically performs poorly as a way of unconsciously showing resentment of the demands of an employer, teacher, or other person.” b. This definition is also ineffective because of its circularity. One way to rewrite it might be: “A terrorist uses violence against innocent people to intimidate those in power.” c. This definition is effective and clear. d. This is a circular definition that tells us nothing about the term being defined. A better version would be: “Pop music typically contains simple lyrics, a strong beat, and appealing harmonies.” e. This definition needs rephrasing to eliminate the awkward “is when”; otherwise, it is a workable definition. “Standing by another person during difficult times is the essence of loyalty.” 119

5. It is a good idea to have your students read each other’s revisions of this material. Doing so gives them helpful exposure to alternative ways of rewriting a problem paragraph. Here are our recommendations for rewriting the paragraph: — The opening sentence is weak; relying on the dictionary only tells us (boringly) what we already know. The sentence should be rewritten to catch the reader’s interest. — Since the second sentence states the obvious, it should be deleted. — The listing of times people feel tense (sentences 3, 4, and 5) consists of obvious, general situations. Dramatic examples would be appropriate here. — Similarly, “Wear and tear on our bodies and on our emotional well-being” is overly general. “Wear and tear” is a cliché as well. Specifying some actual damage that can result from tension would be an effective revision strategy. — The thesis (how to relieve tension with walking) seems tacked on. A transitional phrase or lead-in is needed to build more naturally to the thesis.

ENTROPY K. C. Cole Questions for Close Reading (p. 430) 1. Cole’s thesis is located at the start of paragraph 3, after her two-paragraph introduction: “Disorder, alas, is the natural order of things in the universe.” 2. Entropy is unique in being irreversible; most physical processes “work both ways” (3). In nature, things fall apart and decay, and they do not naturally reverse and come together. The “arrow of time” image helps us understand that entropy occurs in relation to time; as time passes, disorder naturally accompanies it. Entropy is the “arrow” also in the sense that it is the weapon time uses to destroy things. 3. The creation of life is the ordering of the particles of matter into a living thing, be it a plant or a person, and so represents the major contradiction to entropy. Such creation, however, requires energy in the form of nutrients such as, for a plant, soil, sun, carbon dioxide, and water, and for a person, “oxygen and pizza and milk” (9). Cole’s other examples show that countering entropy does generally require energy in the form of physical work, the work of cleaning up children’s rooms, painting old buildings (4), or maintaining skill at flute-playing (12). Cole points out that creating order and countering entropy require energy whose expenditure causes an increase in entropy in another part of the system; she uses as an example our society’s creation of electricity by burning oil and coal, only to produce smog. 4. Entropy is “no laughing matter” because it is inevitable, and it operates not only in nature, but in society as well. There are “always so many more paths toward disorder than toward order,” Cole 120

writes (14), and unless we are diligent, entropy will get the better of us individually and societally. This ever-present threat of disorder is especially distressing in the area of social institutions and international events. Cole believes that the ultimate randomness of entropy endangers us—the “lack of common purpose in the world” (15) threatens to create more and more disorder. 5. futility (1): sense of uselessness dissipated (6): scattered, spread out buffeted (7): hit, slapped, pushed tepid (7): lukewarm atrophied (12): deteriorated Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 431) 1. Entropy is a phenomenon we surely have noted—rooms getting messy, wood rotting, metal rusting—but it is not likely we have understood it to have a name or be a “principle” of the universe. So Cole’s definition is informative about this scientific law. In explaining the need for energy to counteract entropy (10–12) and in relating entropy to societal and world events, however, Cole adopts a persuasive tone. In paragraph 16, she cautions, “Friendships and families and economies all fall apart unless we constantly make an effort to keep them working and well oiled.” Clearly, she is making a pitch for us all to work harder at keeping order in our world. 2. Speaking like a common person with average concerns, such as her refrigerator breaking and her tooth needing root canal work, Cole encourages a reader to follow her into a discussion of entropy as an explanation for these ordinary problems. She achieves a friendly, almost breezy tone by using the first person, contractions, short sentences, and colloquialisms such as “lukewarm mess” (5), “to get ourselves together” (10), and “the catch is” (10). The question in the second paragraph is another example of her personable, casual tone. 3. These terms are blunt and jarring and carry an intense impact. Throughout the essay, Cole uses these emotional words to keep us aware of the personal dimensions of entropy. While entropy is a scientific concept, she wants us to understand that it also pertains to our personal lives and has effects we can respond to emotionally. Some other similar terms are “unnerving” (4), “lost and buffeted” (7), “distressed,” “afraid,” “terrified,” and “upset” (15). 4. This sentence pattern emphasizes contrasts—it contains an inherent opposition between the elements of the first and second half. Cole may find this pattern useful because she is trying to dramatize the effects of entropy and convince us to counteract its power as best we can. The first example compares the two “roads” to disorder and creation, finding one downhill, the other uphill. The second example compares ways to do “a sloppy job” and a “good one.” Other examples occur throughout the essay: “Once it’s created, it can never be destroyed” (3); “When my refrigerator was working, it kept all the cold air ordered in one part of the kitchen. . . . Once it broke down, the warm and cold mixed into a lukewarm mess that allowed my butter to melt . . .” (5); “Though combating entropy is possible, it also has its price”; “That’s why it seems so hard to get ourselves together, so easy to let ourselves fall apart” (10); “creating order in one corner of the universe always creates more disorder somewhere else”; “We create ordered energy from oil and coal at the price of the entropy of smog” (11); “The chances that it will wander in the direction of my refrigerator at any point are exactly 50-50. The chances that it will wander away from my refrigerator are also 50-50” (13); “There are always so many more paths toward disorder than toward order. There are so many more different ways to do a sloppy job than a good one, so many more ways to make a mess than to clean it up” (14); “The more pieces in the puzzle, the harder it is to put back together once order is disturbed” (17). 121

LIFE AS TYPE A James Gleick Questions for Close Reading (p. 435) 1. The thesis is clearly stated in the first sentence of paragraph 4: “We believe in Type A—a triumph for a notion with no particular scientific validity.” Prior to paragraph 4, Gleick illustrates the cultural pervasiveness of the Type A category and traces its identification to Friedman and Rosenman’s studies; these studies attempted to link heart disease to a set of personality traits clustered around the “theme of impatience” (paragraph 2). Following the statement of his thesis, Gleick challenges the scientific validity of Type A, while observing its compelling cultural relevance. He concludes the essay in paragraph 12 by reiterating the thesis; he says that linking the Type A phenomenon to cardiac problems “made for poor medical research,” but “it stands nonetheless as a triumph of social criticism.” 2. Friedman and Rosenman’s study, “Association of Specific Overt Behavior Pattern with Blood and Cardiovascular Findings,” looked at connections between heart disease (including high blood pressure) and Type A behaviors. Gleick gives several reasons why the study was “obvious and false” and “a wildly flawed piece of research” (5). First, only a small number of people were studied. Group A consisted of only 83 people. Second, the subjects were all men. Third, the research subjects were not chosen at random. Instead, Friedman and Rosenman selected subjects who shared similar professional and personal characteristics. They were generally “white-collar male employees of large businesses” (5) who exhibited stressed behavior, who smoked, and who were overweight. Fourth, rather than acknowledging these shared characteristics and the possibility that they might be associated with heart disease, Friedman and Rosenman instead claimed that the Type A personality—rather than the subjects’ unhealthy behaviors—was responsible for Group A’s medical problems. Gleick also cites the researchers’ amorphous definition of Type B as evidence of their flawed understanding of Type A. 3. “The notion of Type A has expanded, shifted, and flexed to suit the varying needs of different researchers,” writes Gleick in paragraph 7. He calls Type A a “grab-bag” of traits; researchers pick and choose those characteristics that reinforce their predetermined conclusions. Such researchers, each with a definite agenda, jump on the Type A bandwagon, producing sometimes alarming, sometimes ludicrous, but usually problematic results. For instance, researcher V. A. Price associated hypervigilance with the Type A personality. And researcher Cynthia Perry applied her interest in the study of daydreams to the Type A phenomenon and was able to conclude that Type A’s daydream less often than other people. Similarly, National Institutes of Health researchers looking at the effects of petlessness on particular groups connected the incidence of heart disease in Type A people with the condition of petlessness. Further, researchers interested in the behavior of children—even babies—have extended the reach of the phenomenon to include this group: babies who cry more are Type A (7). Gleick concludes that even before they begin their studies, these researchers already have in mind how Type A will be tied into their findings, and they manipulate the studies “until they find some correlation, somewhere . . .” (8). He concludes: “The categorizations are too variable and the prophecies too self-fulfilling” (9). 4. Gleick demonstrates that the Type B personality has been “defined not by the personality traits its members possess but by the traits they lack” (10). He remarks somewhat disparagingly that Friedman and Rosenman were able to find only eighty men—municipal clerks and embalmers— “in all San Francisco” who, unlike Type A sufferers, did not feel that they were under any time 122

constraints (10). The researchers labeled these men as having the Type B personality. Gleick implies that this identification by default of a small, nonrepresentative sample is further evidence of the researchers’ unscientific practices. As the “shadowy opposites” of Type A’s, Type B’s, according to Gleick, “do not wear out their fingers punching the elevator button. They do not allow a slow car in the fast lane to drive their hearts to fatal distraction; in fact, they are at the wheel of the slow car” (10). In essence, Gleick implies that scientists’ vague, amorphous definition of Type B reinforces the dubious scientific validity of Type A. 5. coinage (1): an invented word or phrase harrying (2): harassing, annoying canonical (2): authoritative, officially approved circuitously (2): indirectly sanctimoniously (4): hypocritically righteous overt (5): open, observable, not hidden incipient (5): beginning to exist or appear sedentary (6): inactive hypervigilance (7): excessive watchfulness correlation (8): mutual relation of two or more things strident (9): loud, harsh, grating, or shrill staccato (9): disjointed, abrupt foil (10): opposite totem(12): venerated emblem or symbol Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 436) 1. Although Gleick questions the scientific basis of Friedman and Rosenman’s link between heart disease and Type A behavior, he seeks to show the universality of many of the Type A personality traits ascribed to Paul. Gleick counts on the fact that we’ve all met a Paul and could well have some of Paul in us. As Gleick goes on to argue, Paul’s Type A personality is shaped not by personal psychology, but by the society in which he lives—the same society that, to some extent, has engendered Type A traits in us all. 2. The three fragments—“Excessive competitiveness. Aggressiveness. ‘A harrying sense of time urgency’ ”—are, according to Gleick, how Friedman and Rosenman describe the Type A personality. Gleick likely intended these choppy, clipped fragments to mimic the hurried, fast-paced lifestyle of the Type A person. 3. Gleick uses the personal pronouns “we,” “us,” and “our” throughout his essay. In the first paragraph of the essay, for instance, he asserts that Type A “is a token of our confusion” and asks, “[A]re we victims or perpetrators of the crime of haste? Are we living at high speed with athleticism and vigor, or are we stricken by hurry sickness?” These queries involve and hook us; they are about us; they cause us to want to read on. Because he knows that most readers will identify with these Type A characteristics, he seeks to show that Type A is less a medical condition than a cultural one. We are members of the society that has embraced the Type A phenomenon. We are Type A people because of the high-intensity society in which we live. It is also important to note that the pronouns “us,” “we,” and “our” also include Gleick himself; he, too, is a member of the society that has embraced and perpetuated the Type A lifestyle. 4. Gleick’s sarcasm reflects his frustration and annoyance with the medical establishment’s attempts to find scientific correlations where no valid ones exist. Other examples of sentences, phrases, and words which strike a similar tone include: “standard medical knowledge untainted by 123

research” (4), “cardiovascular comeuppance” (4), “the original Type A grab-bag” (7), “This is sweet, but it is not science” (7), “even more bizarrely” (11) and the last sentence of paragraph 11, which asserts: “No wonder they omitted Type C from the subsequent publicity.” Considered together, these sentences and phrases establish the author’s stance: one of bemused dismay, even disappointment, at the unscientific treatment the scientific community has given the Type A phenomenon.

ABSOLUTOPHOBIA John Leo Questions for Close Reading (p. 439) 1. In an opening paragraph, Leo presents the dilemma of Professor Robert Simon: While Simon’s students do not deny the existence of the Holocaust, they are unwilling to condemn genocide as morally wrong. This example leads to Leo’s thesis statement that “nonjudgmentalism is a growing problem in the schools” (2), with students thinking “that no one has the right to criticize the moral views of another group or culture” (2). Several phrases found later in the essay echo this initial statement of Leo’s thesis—for example, when he refers to multiculturalism as “spreading the vapors of nonjudgmentalism” (5); when he indicates that “moral shrugging” (6) is increasing on campus; and when, borrowing Simon’s term, he cites students’ lamentable “‘absolutophobia’—the unwillingness to say that some behavior is just plain wrong” (7). 2. Jackson’s story depicts an ancient fertility ritual inexplicably practiced in an American small town: Each June, a townsperson is chosen to be sacrificed so that crops will grow. What concerns Haugaard and Leo is the students’ nonjudgmentalism—their inability to object to the story’s central action. While a woman is stoned to death by her husband and children, Haugaard’s students refuse to condemn the ceremony. Questioned by Haugaard, one student would not oppose the practice, explaining that it might be “a religion of long standing” (4). The student’s attempt at multicultural understanding worries both Haugaard and Leo, who see in it a troubling moral relativism. Haugaard likens it to another student’s diversity training, wherein hospital staff “are taught not to judge” an action “if it is part of a person’s culture” (5). Leo worries that such “moral shrugging” creates a generation “unwilling to oppose large moral horrors, including human sacrifice” (2). At the same time, both Leo and Haugaard note that students are not too reluctant to express “oldfashioned and rigorous moral criticism” on certain issues like smoking, environmentalism, and animal rights (4, 6). In Haugaard’s and Leo’s view, the student readers of “The Lottery” swing between cultural relativism and strident belief: As Leo explains, students hesitate to condemn egregious evils if such acts reflect cultural mores (2), but they don’t hesitate to “say flatly that treating humans as superior to dogs and rodents is immoral” (6). To Leo, students’ inability to experience moral outrage about historical evils is evidence that they have lost their moral compass. 3. According to Leo, multiculturalism plays a key role in developing student reluctance to denounce clearly immoral acts. While Leo mentions Simon’s plea to “welcome diversity rather than fear it” (5), he uses both Simon and Haugaard to demonstrate the dangers of multicultural thinking. From Haugaard, Leo highlights the example of a nurse who teaches “multicultural understanding” to her staff, instructing them “not to judge” actions if they are “part of a person’s culture” (5). From Simon, Leo cites students “so locked into their own group perspectives of ethnicity, race, and gender” that


judgment outside the group view “is impossible” (5). As Leo describes it, multiculturalism replaces moral judgment with cultural relativism: Although another culture’s practices (for example, the Aztec practice of human sacrifice) may seem cruel or barbaric to our view, we cannot impose our view on that culture. Moreover, Leo also finds multicultural thinking to be inconsistent. While the Aztecs might not be condemned, contemporary practices like whaling or female circumcision are routinely attacked by “white multiculturalists” (6). In short, Leo sees multiculturalism as both flawed and dangerous. As his opening example illustrates, without the ability to condemn another culture, students might find themselves “unwilling to oppose large moral horrors” like the Holocaust, slavery, or ethnic cleansing (1, 2). 4. According to Leo, what “trends feed” (7) “absolutophobia”? According to Leo, several distinct developments in our culture contribute to “the unwillingness to say that some behavior is just plain wrong” (7). In colleges, postmodern theory instructs students to question any claim to objective truth (like a definite evil) in favor of “clashing perspectives” (7). Outside the campus, the general “pop-therapeutic culture” (“I’m OK, you’re OK”) fosters acceptance rather than disapproval of offensive attitudes and behavior (7). Additionally, Leo finds other factors in “intellectual laziness and the simple fear of unpleasantness” (7): Assuming that one moral view “is as good as another” lets us appear tolerant and avoid antagonism; such a relaxed stance perfectly suits a people whose only goal is to “get on with our careers” (7). Finally, Leo points to “values clarification” education as a dangerous trend in schooling. Under these programs, teachers “leave the creation of values up to each student” (8) so that they will not “indoctrinate other people’s children” (8) with their own views. Ultimately, Leo believes that these trends make “values emerge as personal preferences, equally as unsuited for criticism or argument as personal decisions on pop music or clothes” (8). As a result, students never learn that some actions are unequivocally wrong. 5. conformity (4): compliance, agreement, acquiescence perspective (5): point of view rigorous (6): extremely strict, rigidly observed, or disciplined dogmatically (7): unthinkingly held or observed relativism(7): the comparative or relational (as opposed to objective) quality of knowledge or truth phobia (7): irrational fear antagonizing (7): causing opposition to indoctrinate (8): to teach or instruct (often negative: to teach without analysis, reflection, or room for dissent) Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 440) 1. Leo opens his essay dramatically. As opposed to the neutral language of a dictionary entry, the first paragraph presents a disturbing moral problem: Professor Robert Simon’s students “acknowledge” the historical existence of the Holocaust, but they cannot condemn the genocide (1). As one student explains, “Of course I dislike the Nazis . . . but who is to say they are morally wrong?” (1) This opening example—of students unwilling or unable to condemn horrible acts—is echoed throughout the essay. In an extended discussion of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” a story about ritual sacrifice, Leo tells us that “a class discussion of human sacrifice yielded no moral comments” (4). Leo’s purpose seems clear: He is outraged by the students’ lack of moral outrage and wants to readers to share his shock and disbelief. Formal definitions would blunt the essay’s impact, switching attention from the students’ disconcerting moral relativism to the more cut and dry issue of definition. Leo wisely introduces definition only after the major work of his essay—establishing protest, shock, and disbelief at students’ being “taught not to judge” (5)—has been accomplished. 125

2. Cause and effect are crucial to Leo’s essay, as he strives first to demonstrate the shocking results of absolutophobia and then to unravel the genesis of the absolutophobia phenomenon. The first part of the essay (1–4) can be seen then as an inventory of effects, with Leo presenting examples (drawn from Simon and Haugaard) of students “unwilling to oppose large moral horrors” (2). After describing students who can neither judge the Nazis nor condemn human sacrifice, Leo moves to the sources of this growing moral quagmire. He offers a list of linked causes, beginning with “multicultural understanding” and its injunction “not to judge” the practices of another culture (5). Postmodern theory and therapy closely follow, as each replaces objective judgments with divergent perspectives and points of view. Before citing the role that “values clarification” programs have had in eroding a strong moral sense (8), Leo suggests that “laziness” and “fear” (7) also feed absolutophobia. In short, all these factors create a culture where “values emerge as personal preferences” (8), with the failure to judge leading to moral paralysis. At the end, Leo suggests that the series of linked causes feeding absolutophobia have—ironically—paved the way for a counter-development: “character education.” Noting that “the wheel is turning” (9), Leo implies that character education’s emphasis on objective standards of morality has the potential to produce students who don’t exhibit absolutophobia. 3. In paragraph 8, Leo focuses on “values clarification” instruction in schools: a pedagogy that “leave[s] the creation of values up to each student” (8). At one level, these programs are simply one more addition to Leo’s litany of forces feeding absolutophobia. At another level, values clarification constitutes a final word on or summation of the essay’s thesis: Absolutophobia is not only a manifestation of multicultural tolerance but also a “paralyzing fear” of moral commitment (9). In his final paragraph, Leo contrasts what he considers the insidious nature of values clarification programs with a better model: “character education.” According to Leo, this second approach is rooted in the belief that there are agreed-upon standards by which the morality of actions can be judged. By focusing on the contrast between values clarification and character education, Leo is able to end his essay on a hopeful note. He says that “the wheel is turning” and “the search is on for a teachable consensus rooted in simple decency and respect” (9). The emergence of this counter-movement indicates that “the paralyzing fear of indoctrinating children” is ending (9). 4. Leo pulls no punches in his discussion of absolutophobia. His aim is clear: to describe and condemn the “growing problem” of nonjudgmentalism (2). In so doing, Leo does not hide his disdain. He uses figurative language to cast the absolutophobia phenomenon in a most unfavorable light. In paragraph 2, he describes students as “overdosing on nonjudgmentalism,” evoking the unsavory world of drugs and addiction. He also describes multiculturalism as “spreading the vapors of nonjudgmentalism” (5), calling to mind strong odors, pollution, and disease. As he discusses Kay Haugaard’s experience in teaching “The Lottery,” he includes sarcastic asides and caustic descriptions. When Haugaard states that the story’s “message about blind conformity always spoke to my students’ sense of right and wrong” (4), Leo responds: “No longer, apparently” (4). He also makes sure to include Haugaard’s dismissive description of one of her students as a “50-something redheaded nurse” (5). Finally, Leo uses language emphasizing his own judgments and moral beliefs. He calls absolutophobia both “moral shrugging” (6) and a “fashionable phobia” (7). All these examples of loaded, highly charged language clearly underscore Leo’s belief that absolutophobia does not merit respect.



Opening Comments First-year composition courses often end with argumentation-persuasion. There are good reasons for this. Since an argumentation-persuasion essay can use a number of patterns of development, it makes sense to introduce this mode after students have had experience working with a variety of patterns. Also, argumentation-persuasion demands logical reasoning and sensitivity to the nuances of language. We’ve found that earlier papers—causal analysis and comparison-contrast, for example—help students develop the reasoning and linguistic skills needed to tackle this final assignment. When teaching argumentation-persuasion, we stress that the pattern makes special demands. Not only do writers have to generate convincing support for their positions, but they also must acknowledge and deal with opposing points of view. Having to contend with a contrary viewpoint challenges students to dig into their subjects so that they can defend their position with conviction. Students should find the material on pages 453–57 helpful; it illustrates different ways to acknowledge and refute the opposition. Despite their initial moans and groans, students enjoy the challenge of argumentation-persuasion. To help them become more aware of the characteristics of this pattern of development, we often ask them to look through current newspapers and magazines and clip editorials and advertisements they find effective. In class, these items provide the basis for a lively discussion about the strategies unique to argumentation-persuasion. For example, the endorsement of a health club by a curvaceous television celebrity raises the issue of credibility, or ethos. An editorial filled with highly charged language (“We must unite to prevent this boa constrictor of a highway from strangling our neighborhood”) focuses attention on the connotative power of words. We often conclude our composition courses with an assignment based on a controversial issue. Depending on the time available and the skill of our students, the assignment may or may not require outside research. If it does call for research, we begin by having the class as a whole brainstorm as many controversial social issues as they can. Then, for each issue, the class generates a pair of propositions representing opposing viewpoints. Here are a few examples of what one of our classes came up with: Controversial Subject School Prayer Drug abuse in professional sports Adoption Propositions Prayer in public schools should/should not be allowed. Professional sports should/should not implement a program of mandatory drug-testing. Adopted children should/should not be given the means to contact their biological parents.


If the statement doesn’t include research, we focus attention on more immediate local problems. Using the sequence just described, we start the activity by asking the class as a whole to brainstorm as many controversial campus problems as they can. Here are some argumentation-persuasion topics that have resulted. Controversial Subject Cheating Fraternities and sororities Drinking Propositions A student found guilty of cheating should/should not be suspended. Fraternities and sororities should/should not be banned from campus. The college pub should/should not be licensed to serve liquor.

Once the propositions have been generated, the activity can go in one of two directions. We might ask students to pair up by issue, with the students in each pair taking opposing positions. Or, we might have the students in each pair select the same position. Although students often end up qualifying their propositions, starting with a definitive thesis helps focus students’ work in the early stages of the activity. We try to schedule the assignment so that there is enough time for students to write their essays and deliver their arguments orally. The presentations take about one class; we call this class either “Forum on Contemporary Social Issues” or “Forum on Critical Campus Issues.” Students tell us that they enjoy and learn a good deal form these brief oral presentations. (By the way, we grade only the papers, not the talks.) We have been pleased by the way this final activity energizes students, pulling them out of the inevitable end-of-semester slump. The forum creates a kind of learning fellowship—not a bad way to end the course. This chapter’s professional readings illustrate the mix of logical support and emotional appeal characteristic of argumentation-persuasion. To develop her assertion that the threat of failure should be regularly utilized to motivate students to work up to their potential, Sherry (“In Praise of the ‘F’ Word”) relates her experiences as a teacher and a mother and thus establishes her ethos on the subject. Similarly, Stoll cites his experience as a scientist and teacher as he makes his argument that computers can be detrimental to students’ educational development. The remaining essays are particularly helpful for illustrating different ways of dealing with opposing arguments. Paglia (“Rape: A Bigger Danger Than Feminists Know”) accuses feminists with spreading ignorance and falsehood regarding men and sex, and Jacoby (“Common Decency”) directly refutes Paglia’s position, charging her with being an apologist for rapists. Arguing from personal experience as well as detailed knowledge of Asian contributions to our culture, Yuh (“Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s Cultures”) gently argues for multicultural education, while Schlesinger’s “The Cult of Ethnicity: Good and Bad” analyzes the factors creating our multi-ethnic nation and the effects of multiculturalism and warns against excessive emphasis of ethnic origins.


ACTIVITIES: ARGUMENTATION-PERSUASION Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 19. Of course, your students will devise their own inventive approaches. Prewriting Activities (p. 475) 1. Listed below are some possible approaches to each of the topics. We recommend that you have students share their responses to this activity in groups or pairs. Seeing how others handled the assignments can provide inspiration for their own work. Topic: Defining hypocrisy Possible Audience: Employers Essay might argue the merit of these ways of behaving: Some employees react negatively to the hypocrisy of bosses not practicing what they preach. Employers should be careful to dispense advice that they themselves are willing to follow. For example, they shouldn’t reprimand staff for taking office supplies if they also “borrow” such supplies; they shouldn’t write memos outlawing personal phone calls if they themselves make such calls. Topic: The difference between license and freedom Possible Audience: College students Essay might argue the merit of these ways of behaving: While license involves nothing more than indulging one’s every whim, freedom means acting with thoughtful regard for consequences. Students, then, should think before going out to party before an exam, should reconsider substituting an easy course for a difficult one, and so on. 2. Here are the audience analyses for each thesis: a. Low-income employees: Supportive Employers: Hostile Congressional representatives: Wavering b. College students: Hostile Parents: Wavering or hostile College officials: Wavering or supportive c. City officials: Hostile Low-income residents: Supportive General citizens: Wavering d. Environmentalists: Supportive Homeowners: Hostile Town council members: Wavering e. Alumni: Wavering or supportive College Officials: Supportive Student journalists: Hostile 129

Revising Activities (p. 477) 6. a. Implied warrant: Strict quality control is necessary to produce cars that have superior fuel efficiency and longevity. This warrant is clearly implied and probably does not need to be stated explicitly. The warrant does not need additional support, nor does the claim need qualification. The writer might, however, add more specific data to the argument. b. Implied warrant: Gifted children require special educational programs, just as do the learning impaired. This warrant should be made explicit, and it should be backed up with additional data that proves that gifted children need special programs. The claim might also be qualified to state that “sometimes” or “often” the educational system is unfair to the gifted. c. Implied warrant: Prejudice plays a major role in determining how citizens vote for president. This warrant should be made explicit; additional data should be provided to show that prejudice has actually influenced voters’ behavior in specific contests. d. Implied warrant: Minors should be treated consistently under the law. If they are thought to be too young to vote, marry, or sign contracts, then they should be considered too young to be punished to the same extent as adults. This warrant needs to be made explicit so it can be examined for its validity. The claim should probably be qualified to refer to “some minors,” “minors who are first offenders,” or “minors who commit crimes against property” (as opposed to minors who murder, rape, or otherwise harm people). 7. a. Inductive reasoning, moving from the events in the computer lab to a general conclusion. The conclusion is invalid because there may be other causes of the problems in the lab; for example, perhaps the support staff need better training or perhaps the writer needs further instruction in the use of the programs. b. Inductive reasoning, moving from the evidence of the dented cars to a general conclusion. The conclusion is invalid because there may be many reasons for the dents in the cars. For example, perhaps many students cannot afford new cars and thus drive used cars that were dented by previous owners. c. Deductive reasoning, applying a general, true statement about the qualities shown by children of two-career families to a particular situation—specifically, that of the increase of such families in a nearby town. This conclusion is invalid because the conclusion is much broader than the evidence supports. It would be more valid to say that “Some children” or “More children than ever” in the nearby town are likely to develop confidence and independence. d. Inductive reasoning, using the evidence of changes in two organizations to support a general statement about the larger class of organizations. The conclusion is invalid because only two organizations are cited as evidence; the sample is too small. It would be more valid to state that “Some traditionally conservative male groups are starting to accept women’s role in business.”


e. Deductive reasoning, applying a general rule about how sexual harassment is handled at XYZ Corporation to a particular case—that of Curt A. The conclusion is invalid because it fails to consider that there are other possible reasons why Curt A. could have been fired. Perhaps he frequently arrived late, did sloppy work, or was hostile to his boss or co-workers. Since these alternative explanations are not taken into account, the conclusion is rash. 8. a. Begging the Question. The statement that “Grades are irrelevant to learning” requires proof, but this argument skips over this debatable premise. The second statement is also debatable; some students, those wishing to attend graduate school, for example, are in college to “get good grades.” b. Over-generalization; Either/or; Begging the Question. Both statements are debatable; for example, that jail provides a “taste of reality” is questionable, and that juvenile offenders will repeat crimes “over and over” unless jailed needs to be proven. Moreover, the argument presents only two alternatives: “either” a juvenile offender is jailed, “or” the offender will repeat crimes. It is possible to imagine other outcomes from not jailing juvenile offenders: with therapy, community service, job training, or suspended sentences, some may “go straight”; others may commit different crimes instead of “repeating” their initial crimes. c. Questionable Authority. This argument relies on the appeal to the authority of “legal experts.” These “experts” are unnamed and thus cannot be given much credibility. A much stronger argument could be made by citing the experts by name and pointing out specifically how the provisions of the bill would curtail rights that consumers now have. d. Over-generalization; Begging the Question; Card-Stacking. The first statement in this argument is an overly general description of the programs: they “do nothing to decrease the rate of teenage pregnancy.” In addition, the argument begs the question of whether the programs truly fail to curtail teen pregnancies. The argument also fails to address whether there are other valuable accomplishments of the programs that might make them worth keeping. (For example, such programs most likely help reduce instances of sexually transmitted diseases.) Finally, the phrase “so-called sex education programs” is also a way of card-stacking; this term denigrates the programs without saying what’s wrong with them. e. Either/Or; Card-Stacking. This argument admits of only two possibilities; “either” our country should use coal “or” become “enslaved” to the countries that sell oil. In reality, there are many more options, including developing other fuel sources such as solar, wind, or water power and increasing our ability to find, recover, and process oil in our own country. In addition, the use of the highly connotative word “enslaved” stacks the cards by predisposing people towards unthinking agreement with the argument. f. False Analogy; Non-Sequitur. By likening abortion to killing the homeless and pulling the plug on sick people, this argument commits a false analogy. In reality, these are all quite different situations with differing moral issues, motivations, and outcomes. Secondly, it is a nonsequitur to assume that if abortion is permitted that people “will think it’s acceptable” to commit the other actions mentioned. There’s actually no demonstrated causal connection between society’s permitting abortion and its accepting the murder of unfortunate people. g. False Analogy. This argument compares two unlike things: locally imposed curfews on teenagers (often parentally supported) and curfews imposed by totalitarian governments on some or all of their population.


h. Non-Sequitur. Even though Americans throw away tons of food each day, it does not follow that there are no starving people in America. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that many Americans have more food than they can eat. This argument is a non-sequitur, that is, the conclusion has no logical connection to the evidence. i. Ad Hominem. This argument attacks the background of those who support gun control instead of dismantling the arguments for their position; it attempts to destroy the credibility of those who hold the anti-gun point of view. In fact, even if the credibility of the anti-gun legislators were negligible, there still may be valid reasons for supporting their point of view. j. Red Herring. This argument distracts from the issues at hand by inviting debate about how well health insurance is regulated instead of presenting evidence that car insurance should not be regulated. k. Post Hoc. This argument assumes a causal relationship between a few students cheating on their parking fees (cause) and the rise in parking fees the next year (effect). However, the parking fees might have been increased for any number of other reasons: to provide higher salaries for campus guards, to improve parking facilities, or to discourage students from bringing a car on campus. 9. It’s a good idea to set aside some time for students to see how others went about revising this paragraph. They may discover options they hadn’t considered. Here are some of the problems with the introduction: — Throughout the paragraph there’s a hostile, confrontational tone that undercuts the impact of the position being advanced. Sarcastic descriptions of the administrators amount to an ad hominem attack: “acting like fascists” and “in their supposed wisdom” (both in sentence 2) and “somehow or another they got it into their heads” (sentence 5). These accusatory descriptions of the way the administration came to impose the dress code should be replaced with a more realistic explanation of why they made the decision they did. A more objective tone is called for. — Inflammatory language used in the first two sentences stacks the cards in favor of the writer’s point of view: “outrageously strong,” “issued an edict,” “preposterous dress code.” Similar card-stacking occurs in the fourth sentence when the writer refers to the administrators’ “dictatorial prohibition.” Such phrases need to be replaced by more neutral language. — The writer’s point that students will lose their “constitutional rights” (sentence 2) is not substantiated in any way. A brief explanation of this point would be appropriate. — The statement (sentence 3) that “Perhaps the next thing they’ll want to do is forbid students to play rock music at school dances,” is a non-sequitur ; instituting a dress code has no causal relationship to restricting music at school dances. This statement might also be considered a red herring because it brings in an unrelated issue about which the reader might have strong feelings. In any case, this unfounded prediction should be eliminated. — There is no sound basis for the recommendation (sentence 6) that students and parents should protest all dress codes. Any such recommendation should be reserved for the end of the essay, after a logical, well-reasoned argument has been advanced. At that point, it would be appropriate to name specific actions parents could take, such as calling the principal or speaking out at a PTA meeting. 132

— The final statement that if dress codes are implemented, “we might as well throw out the Constitution” embodies at least two fallacies. It is an either/or statement, admitting of no lesser or even other consequences. It also is a non-sequitur, because no cause-effect relationship has been shown to exist between dress codes and the end of constitutional rights. This closing statement should be eliminated. — Finally, the paragraph uses the cause-effect pattern but presents no evidence for the causal relationship it claims. The writer discounts the causes of the administrators’ decision (the current dress habits of the student body) and predicts extreme and unsubstantiated effects of the dress code. In revising, students might choose some of the following options: dispute the administration’s claims that the lack of a dress code creates problems; discuss other possible ways of handling these problems, or analyze possible negative effects of a dress code. Of course, not all of these options could be pursued in the introductory paragraph, but they point the way to possible strategies for developing the rest of the essay in a thoughtful, logical manner.

IN PRAISE OF THE “F” WORD Mary Sherry Questions for Close Reading (p. 482) 1. Sherry’s thesis, implied, is a combination of the assertions she makes in paragraphs 2 and 4. In paragraph 2, after describing what brings students to adult literacy programs, she tells us that the real reason they wind up there is that “they have been cheated by our education system.” She rounds out this point in paragraph 4 when she asserts that poor academic skills are less a result of “drugs, divorce, and other impediments” than they are a result of teachers’ unwillingness to use the threat of failure as a motivating tool. Bringing these two points together, one may state Sherry’s thesis as follows: Students are cheated by an educational system that refuses to make the possibility of failure a reality. 2. Deliberately shocking, this statement gains our attention immediately. Most of us should be appalled that so many students—tens of thousands—will receive diplomas that mean nothing. We wonder how such a thing could occur. But we also wonder what Sherry means by the term “meaningless.” Later in the essay, this question is answered. Meaningless diplomas have no substance. They are useless slips of paper for those students who have been ushered through to graduation despite the fact that they have failed to achieve passing grades. Sherry concludes that passing students along in this manner cheats them in a sort of slippery-slope way. To begin, they feel increasingly inadequate as they move to higher levels without having mastered the material meant to prepare them for more advanced subject matter. Some continue on in this manner, realizing only later how little they really have learned—their lack of skill resulting, among other things, in limited job opportunities or disgruntled employers. For others, failure becomes a state of mind. Never imagining they have the power to learn and thus to move ahead, they abandon the idea of learning altogether. 3. According to Sherry, educators don’t give reasons for passing students with poor achievement records; educators make excuses instead. For instance, they say “kids can’t learn if they come from terrible environments” (8) or have experienced such things as “unemployment, chemical 133

dependency, abusive relationships” (9). In other words, neither teacher nor student is responsible for achievement, or the lack thereof; the world at large is responsible. What excuses like this amount to is a “Why bother?” attitude, which is particularly destructive because it results in a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: If little is expected from students, there is little incentive for either teachers or students to work hard. Such a cavalier view of students’ ability to succeed falls short of addressing what Sherry sees as the real problem: the dearth of incentive in education today. She writes, “No one seems to stop to think that—no matter what environments they come from—most kids don’t put school first on their list unless they perceive something is at stake. They’d rather be sailing” (8). It is not that students can’t be educated, but that students are not encouraged to see education as necessary to their future success, something ultimately worth their time and energy. 4. Regardless of distractions, be they homelife- or peer-related, in order to get students to concentrate, teachers must gain students’ attention. Most educators would agree that this is often easier said than done. And Sherry doesn’t provide any specifics as to how this might be accomplished other than to say that teaching style has much to do with it (4). Since most instructors would rather not resort to turning cartwheels to keep students focused, Sherry gives another option when “style alone won’t do it.” She writes that “there is another way to show who holds the winning hand in the classroom. That is to reveal the trump card of failure.” In other words, acrobatics are not necessary to move students to concentrate. What is needed is a clarification of the road to success: stay focused on schoolwork, or fail. Adult students, having the wisdom that comes with experience, understand the importance of education, Sherry tells us. Often their livelihood depends upon success in the classroom this time around. Thus, what lies at the heart of their motivation is “a healthy fear of failure” (9). And this—the understanding that something is at stake—can and must, Sherry believes, be instilled in all students. 5. validity (1): soundness, effectiveness semiliterate (1): partially educated equivalency (2): equal to in value impediments (4): hindrances, obstructions composure (6): calmness and self-possession radical (6): extreme, revolutionary priority (6): of utmost importance resentful (7): angry or bitter about testimony (9): public declaration motivate (10): stir to action merit (11): value conspiracy (11): plot illiteracy (11): having little or no formal education, esp. the inability to read and write

Questions about the Writer’s Craft (p. 482) 1. To convince readers that she knows of what she speaks, Sherry establishes her qualifications early on. She tells us in the first sentence of paragraph 2 that many of the students awarded meaningless diplomas eventually find their way into adult literacy programs such as the one where she teaches basic grammar and writing. In other words, as an adult-literacy teacher, she knows firsthand the type of student she refers to in the selection. Moreover, as we learn in paragraph 3, her experience as an educator has taught her “a lot about our schools.” And what she has learned, as her examples make clear, directly relates to the issue of passing students through the system 134

regardless of achievement. But Sherry doesn’t stop there. To make sure her audience does not lose sight of her credibility, throughout the essay, she refers either to herself as a teacher or to her teaching experiences (paragraphs 4, 7, 9). Still, being a teacher is not the sum of Sherry’s qualifications. Her home-life credentials her further. She is the parent of a student whose teacher used the “trump card of failure” to get him to succeed. Identifying herself at the outset and establishing her qualifications so often (and in more than one way) indicate that Sherry anticipates a possibly skeptical audience—one that requires a knowledgeable and credentialed voice if they are going to consider what she has to say, much less be led to her way of thinking. 2. The title probably makes readers think of a well-known scatological term. And Sherry probably hoped for this effect, for as outlandish as it seems, we might then assume she is going to argue the attributes of this term and its usage. This thought alone is likely to arouse readers’ curiosity; they will want to read on to find out why Sherry applauds the “F” word. This is probably why Sherry chose this play on words for a title. Through it, she gets our attention. 3. Sherry quotes her students in paragraphs 3 and 7. By using these direct quotations, Sherry lets us experience directly how these students feel about their educational experiences and their own abilities. Through their words, Sherry demonstrates that the problem she sees is very real. She has come to understand the problem by listening to the statements she now shares with us. The students’ direct testimony is her most valid proof that a problem exists. Although Sherry articulates the issue and argues the point, her students’ comments illustrate that there is no one better than the students themselves to convey the reality of the problem. 4. Sherry’s main proof that the threat of failure can work comes in the form of a personal example. We learn that although nothing could move Sherry’s son before, he was motivated to succeed in his English class by the threat of flunking (5–6). Although Sherry concedes that one piece of proof is hardly enough—“I know one example doesn’t make a case” (7)—this one example helps her support her position in a number of ways. To begin, using a personal example brings her readers closer to her and thus closer to her subject matter. In addition, this particular example has special power because it consists of a parent, a student, a teacher: There is someone in the example for almost any reader to identify with. Parents can imagine themselves in Sherry’s shoes, having to accept that the threat of failure is the best way to motivate their child. Teachers can envision themselves as Mrs. Stifter, adhering to a an unpopular policy because it brings about the hoped for results. And students can ally themselves with Sherry’s son, a boy who chooses to succeed when the only alternative is to fail.

WHY COMPUTERS DON’T BELONG IN THE CLASSROOM Clifford Stoll Questions for Close Reading (p. 487) 1. Though his position is evident from the outset of his essay, Stoll does not explicitly state his thesis until paragraph 12: “Computing’s instant gratification—built into the learning-is-fun mindset—encourages intellectual passivity, driven mainly by conditioned amusement. Fed a diet of insta-grat, students develop a distaste for persistence, trial, and error, attentiveness, or patience.” Students may wish to refine this statement using their own words; here is one possibility: 135

“Computers—and the learning-is-fun mentality they instill in kids—cannot and should not replace the hard work and discipline required in the educational process.” 2. In paragraph 15 and then again in paragraph 26, Stoll emphasizes that “to learn and to teach” are “the two most important things we can do.” He states, in no unclear terms, that “[t]urning learning into fun”—by over-emphasizing the use of computers in educating children— “denigrates” teaching and learning. Stoll’s strong pronouncement hinges on the notion that learning is a very serious business and that education isn’t (and shouldn’t be) necessarily fun. In paragraph 21, for example, he cites educational topics that include the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, and American slavery, all of which should be treated with gravity and care rather than with the superficiality and flippancy inculcated by using flashy, “fun” computers. 3. Stoll says he noticed that fellow visitors immediately gravitated toward a professional computer graphics display, while the teacher busily assisted children using the computer. Apart from these parties, a single child sat alone at a crafts table, “frustrated” while fashioning a firehouse by “clumsily” cutting, folding, coloring, and pasting paper by himself. When the child finished his project, he excitedly attempted to show it to the teacher and the visitors, all of whom ignored him, causing the child’s face to “drop.” What Stoll seems to imply with this incident—he doesn’t explicitly say it—is that the teacher and the other adults are doing a profound disservice to children by valuing computer know-how over original creativity. These adults are completely overlooking the crucial mental and physical faculties developed by arts-and-crafts creativity; they mistake computer keyboard manipulation for true skills. In addition, Stoll may be suggesting that the artistic child, crushed by adults’ lack of recognition, may in the future choose to manipulate a computer rather than create original art. 4. In paragraph 19, Stoll targets “new teachers, fresh out of college” and their affinity for “the connection between gizmos, classrooms, and fun in learning.” He quotes one such “representative” educator, Jennifer Donovan—a student teacher still in college—who cites the tech-oriented shift of the changing job market as the reason why students need to be computer-savvy at a young age. She is quoted as saying that “students are hard-pressed to find well-paying jobs that do not involve computer technology.” It should be noted, however, that Stoll’s logic perhaps falters here; he never directly refutes the claim made by Donovan. Instead, he simplifies her position in a syllogism (paragraph 20) which in turn springboards to an entirely different point in paragraph 21—that many subjects which need to be learned are not fun. 5. mantra (1): a commonly repeated word or phrase adrenaline (9): a hormone secreted into the blood in response to stimulation scholarship (11): persistent study conditioned (12): made accustomed through repetition denigrates (15): reduces in esteem; belittles animatrons (16): electronically motorized puppets (animation + electronic) gizmos (19): mechanical devices whose names are forgotten or unknown; gadgets maximizing (26): increasing as much as possible capacity (26): innate potential for growth, development, or accomplishment Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 487) 1. Based on the information conveyed about Stoll, he appears to have airtight credibility in writing on the topic of computers and their effect on children’s education. As an astronomer and programmer of computers “since the mid-sixties,” Stoll has both an intimate working knowledge of computers and a highly informed long-term perspective on their effects on society; this expertise indicates that 136

he is a well-reasoned and well-intentioned computer user, not a fanatical technophobe. As a teacher of children and young adults, he has accumulated firsthand observations of the increasing emphasis on computers in the classroom and the effects of this emphasis on young people. Finally, as a father, he has likely seen the impact of computers on the various facets of children’s lives as they grow. His passionate desire to stave off the crippling effects on children of computer overuse is therefore legitimized by his roles as scientist, teacher, parent—and avid computer user. 2. Stoll’s tone can be generally characterized as somewhat dismissive and occasionally sarcastic. In paragraph 2, he refers to a promotional advertisement from IBM as “fluff.” He refers to computers—and by extension, their proponents—in derogatory terms when he calls computers “glitzy gadgets” (10) and “gizmos” (19). Stoll says that lessons aided by computers are “sugarcoated with dancing animatrons and singing cartoon characters” (16), an absurd and demeaning image. By referring to educational computers and their supporters in such dismissive terms, Stoll diminishes the stature of computers as a viable vehicle for teaching children, and he reinforces the central idea that computers are flashy distractions from the serious work of learning. 3. In quoting promotionals for software from IBM (2), the Texas Agricultural Service (3), and Western Michigan University (6), Stoll provides concrete evidence that marketers claim computers make learning fun—a claim that attracts many schools across the country. It is likely that Stoll thinks the claims about what computers can do for students are so outrageous that they speak for themselves. If he had paraphrased these advertisements, he would have run the risk of readers thinking he was exaggerating or misrepresenting the claims of advertisers; instead, he offers direct, unquestionable proof of how they market their products to schools. In paragraph 5, Stoll quotes a student from Oregon who defends “the fun way of learning” facilitated by computers. But Stoll seeks to make a point by reproducing the typos and errors the student creates in his letter: saying “fun matter” rather than “fun manner”; “traditial” rather than “traditional”; and “I would choice” rather than “I would choose.” The flawed writing abilities of the student, Stoll seems to imply, exemplify the substandard education that students receive when they rely on computers for an education. 4. In these two paragraphs, Stoll very clearly lays out what he believes to be the direct and very negative impact on children when educators rely on computers in the classroom. Essentially, he argues that computers distract students from reading and writing—from scholarship in general; dull students’ creative thinking; and promote the expectation of quick and easy results at the expense of hard work. In all, according to Stoll, computers encourage “intellectual passivity” and instill a “distaste for persistence, trial and error, attentiveness, or patience” (12). This clearly stated list of highly undesirable effects serves to powerfully reinforce the assertion that computers do not belong in the classroom.

RAPE: A BIGGER DANGER THAN FEMINISTS KNOW Camille Paglia Questions for Close Reading (p. 492) 1. Paglia states the thesis clearly in her first paragraph: “feminism, which has waged a crusade for rape to be taken more seriously, has put young women in danger by hiding the truth about sex from them.” In the rest of the essay, she explains what she means by the “truth” about sex and men. 137

2. “Once,” Paglia writes in paragraph 4, “fathers and brothers protected women from rape,” but today people do not live in such close-knit clans and families. Also, rape was once punishable by death, but today the penalties are lighter. The author cites as evidence what she calls typical behavior in the “fierce Italian tradition”: “a rapist would end up knifed, castrated and hung out to dry.” 3. According to Paglia, “feminism . . . keeps young women from seeing life as it is” (5). By this, she means that there are truths “we cannot change” (6) about the nature of men and sex, truths that should be told, not hidden. There are quite a few generalizations about sex and men in the article that appear to be the “truths” that she is speaking of. One is the commonness of “rape by an acquaintance” throughout history (3). Another is the “sexual differences that are based in biology” (6), which cause men to rape in order to create their masculine identity (7, 14). “Masculinity,” she says, “is aggressive, unstable, combustible” (18). Another “truth” the idea that women need protection, by the “clan” (3–4), by the “double standard” (11), and by their own self-awareness (19). Later, Paglia talks about the truth embodied in the “sexual myths of literature, art, and religion” which “show us the turbulence, the mysteries and passions of sex. . . .” (14). She insists “there never was and never will be sexual harmony” (15). 4. Paglia believes that women must be more vigilant and guard against male aggression. In paragraph 8, Paglia writes that women going to fraternity parties are putting themselves in danger; in her view, a women who goes alone, gets drunk, or goes upstairs is asking for trouble (8). In paragraph 15, she writes that “every woman must be prudent and cautious about where she goes and with whom.” In her conclusion, Paglia explicitly states that date rape can only be solved by “female self-awareness and self-control.” A woman must rely on her own resources to prevent rape and should involve the police if a rape does occur. 5. inquests (2): judicial inquiries, often before a jury testosterone (8): male sex hormone constituted (13): set up or established grievance (15): complaint against an unjust or illegal act judiciary (19): the system of courts in a country Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 493) 1. Both paragraphs begin with statements that seen incontestable; in using these ideas, Paglia is establishing common ground, an area of agreement between herself and the reader. In paragraph 6, most readers will fully accept the first statement, “we must remedy social injustice whenever we can.” They would also agree with the next assertion, that “there are some things we cannot change,” and with the third, “there are sexual differences that are based in biology.” Many readers, however, would debate the nature of those differences; some would feel that biology ordains only the physiological distinctions, while Paglia obviously means that people’s psychology and behavior are also determined by their sex (7–8, 14). Other statements in paragraph 6 are equally debatable: that feminism “believes we are totally the product of our environment” and that it is incorrect to believe that our environment can override biology. Paglia offers no proof for these assertions. Paragraph 8 also begins with some general assertions which most readers would accept: “College men are at their hormonal peak. They have just left their mothers. . . .” Many readers will also agree that college men “are questing for their male identity.” (Of course, some readers will add that college women are likewise questing for their identities, sexual and otherwise.) After this point, however, Paglia draws some conclusions which many readers will contest and which are not proven: that “in groups [college men] are dangerous,” that fraternity parties are treacherous for women, that “a girl who lets herself get dead drunk at a fraternity party is a fool” (some readers 138

would call anyone that drunk a fool), and that “a girl who goes upstairs alone with a brother . . . is an idiot.” The latter two statements are judgments; as such, they are impossible to “prove,” and Paglia offers no evidence regarding them. 2. Paglia uses numerous comparisons and contrasts in the essay. First, she describes the way acquaintance rape was handled in the past, in contrast with today’s means of handling it (3–4). Throughout she contrasts the “feminist view” of sex with what she considers the accurate view. In paragraph 6, for example, she contrasts the position of “academic feminism” regarding sexual differences— that all but the biological are produced by society—with the correct view, her own. She concludes the paragraph with an analogy: “Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog vacation at the taxidermist’s.” A few paragraphs later, she contrasts the “sugar-coated Shirley Temple nonsense” of the feminists (9) with the idea that “aggression and eroticism, in fact, are deeply intertwined” (10). Then she contrasts the “broken promises” of the 1960s view of women with the “cold reality” of rape (11). Paglia also develops a contrast between the feminist response to date rape and her own view of how to cope with it. The feminists show outrage and shock, according to her (2, 19; 15, 19). She contrasts male and female sexual appetite in paragraph 14, concluding that “it takes many men to deal with one woman.” Then she compares the “high-energy confrontation” style of dealing with male vulgarity with the “dopey, immature, self-pitying women walking around like melting sticks of butter” (16). And in her conclusion, Paglia compares two ways of coping with date rape, calling the police or “complaining to college committees” (19). 3. This blunt style is found in paragraph 4, beginning with “Feminism has not prepared them for this.” In paragraph 6, only the second sentence uses a transitional word (“but”). Paragraphs 7 and 8 also rely on a sequence of mostly short sentences without any transitional phrases. In paragraph 11, only the phrase “in short” introducing a summary statement provides any formal coherence. The first few sentences in paragraphs 15 and 16 (up to “In general”) and most of paragraph 19 also lack transitions. Paglia’s avoidance of transitions creates emphasis for what she has to say. She seems to pound her ideas into us, not wasting time with smoothing the way or being gradual. This style portrays the writer as extremely sure of her position, to the point of being aggressive, almost relentless. 4. There are numerous instances of highly connotative language in the essay. Paglia tends to emphasize or exaggerate the negative elements of feminism and men’s behavior. For example, in her introduction she calls rape an “outrage,” and asserts that feminism has “waged a crusade.” In paragraph 3, she pronounces acquaintance rape “a horrible problem” and in the next paragraph calls young women “vulnerable and defenseless.” She describes a fraternity party as “Testosterone Flats, full of prickly cacti and blazing guns” and says men are “dangerous.” Later in the same paragraph, she labels girls who trust fraternity men “fools” and “idiots” (8). Her descriptions of feminism are particularly negative: she says its “sugar-coated Shirley Temple nonsense” (9) has brought “disaster” on young women. Strongly worded absolute statements also occur frequently in relation to both men and feminism. Her very first sentence is an example: “Rape is an outrage that cannot be tolerated in civilized society.” Other examples of extreme negative judgments include: “No, they can’t” (4), “He was wrong” (6) and “There never was and never will be sexual harmony” (15), “Women will always be in sexual danger” (4), “The sexes are at war” (7), “When anything goes, it’s women who lose” (11), “men and women misunderstand each other” (13), “feminism cut itself off from sexual history” (14), “to understand rape, you must study the past” (15), “The only solution to date rape is female self-awareness and self-consciousness” (19). Paglia’s use of pathos makes the essay exciting to read and adds electricity to her ideas, and some readers will find her stimulating and convincing. However, many readers will find her pitch to our emotions an offensive tactic which decreases her credibility in their eyes.


COMMON DECENCY Susan Jacoby Questions for Close Reading (p. 497) 1. Jacoby expresses her thesis in paragraph 3: “What seems clear to me is that those who place acquaintance rape in a different category from ‘stranger rape’—those who excuse friendly social rapists on the grounds that they are too dumb to understand when ‘no’ means no—are being even more insulting to men than to women.” In the rest of the essay, Jacoby shows the absurdity of the notions that men simply can’t distinguish between “no” and “maybe” and that “mixed signals” cause date rape. 2. Gratitude is not necessary or appropriate, Jacoby feels, because her old boyfriend was acting in a normal responsible manner, as one does in “civilization” (6–7). In a parallel situation, if he had led her on, and she had restrained herself from stabbing him, she would not expect him to be grateful for her restraint. She would have simply been acting in a civilized and normal way. People don’t need to be “grateful” when others treat them correctly instead of immorally. 3. For Jacoby, civilization is the condition in which men and women can understand each other, even though there may be mixed signals. She explains in paragraph 7 that her old boyfriend was civilized because he accepted what she said as her true meaning, that she did not want sexual intimacy, and left her apartment. He was angry, but he did not violate her. As civilized creatures, men and women are capable of understanding and respecting each other’s wishes and relating to each other on more than just a physical level. 4. Jacoby believes that “even the most callow youth is capable of under-standing the difference between resistance and genuine fear; between a halfhearted ‘no, we shouldn’t’ and tears or screams; between a woman who is physically free to leave a room and one who is being physically restrained” (14). If men couldn’t tell the difference, Jacoby implies, they would have to be pretty stupid creatures, and to insist they can’t make these distinctions is therefore to insult their intelligence. As she points out in paragraph 4, those who insist that date rape is understandable or natural (the “apologists for date rape”) (4) think “men are nasty and men are brutes.” These are certainly insulting terms to apply to half of civilization. And if these apologists (such as Camille Paglia) were correct, women would have to “regard every man as a potential rapist” (10). As a result, a woman would have to decide very early in a relationship, perhaps before ever being alone with a man, whether to have a sexual relationship with him or not, because any slight hint of interest on her part might trigger the “rampaging male” to rape her (18). Such extreme suspicion and caution would also be insulting to a civilized person. 5. apologists (4): people who make a defense baser (4): morally lower deluded (10): believing something false to be true unsubtle (12): unintelligent; lacking in fine distinctions implicit (16): implied; hinted at benighted (18): intellectually ignorant erotic (18): arousing sexual desire or love rampaging (18): rushing furiously and violently ambivalent (19): of two minds; unable to make a choice


Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 498) 1. In paragraph 4, Jacoby interprets the belief of date rape “apologists” that men can’t understand “no.” She says this belief implies that men have no “impulse control” and are “nasty . . . brutes” at heart. If this is true, Jacoby says, then it logically follows that a woman would have to be “constantly on her guard” to prevent men from raping her. “If this view were accurate,” Jacoby continues, “few women would manage to get through life without being raped, and few men would fail to commit rape.” (5). In this sentence, Jacoby draws out the extreme logical consequence of the premise that men can’t understand “no.” Since it is obviously not true that practically all women are rape victims and practically all men rapists, the premise appears to be untrue. In paragraph 15, Jacoby uses reductio again; “the immorality and absurdity” of the mixed signals excuse for date rape is apparent, she says, when the phenomenon of gang rape is examined. If a woman gives a leading sexual signal to a fraternity brother, then how is that an excuse for a whole bunch of them to gang rape her? She concludes the paragraph by asking a question pointing to the absurdity of the premise: since the girl showed interest in one brother, “how could they have been expected to understand that she didn’t wish to have sex with the whole group?” 2. Jacoby bases much of her argument on the premise that men and women are not so different (while Paglia’s view is that men, with their uncontrollable passions, are very different from women). In paragraphs 5, 6, and 7, Jacoby compares the situations and behaviors of men and women and finds them similar: “all of us, men as well as women, send and receive innumerable mixed signals in the course of our sexual lives” (5), “men . . . manage to decode these signals . . . and most women manage to handle conflicting male signals” without resorting to violence (6), “I don’t owe him excessive gratitude for his decent behavior—any more than he would have owed me special thanks for not stabbing him through the heart if our situations had been reversed” (7). Jacoby’s thesis is, in fact, essentially a comparison-contrast statement; she believes date rape is the same as, that is, is comparable to, “stranger rape.” She is critical of those who contrast them. She thus develops the contrast between the “apologists’ ” view of date rape and her own in the essay as a whole. Also implicit throughout the piece is the contrast between her ex-boyfriend, who left in a huff but who did not rape her even though she led him on, and those men who do rape women they are seeing socially. In the conclusion (19), this contrast appears as that between “real men,” who “want an eager sexual partner,” and men who prefer a “woman who is quaking with fear.” Finally, there are two contrasting views of sex discussed in paragraphs 12–13 and 19: sex as “an expression of the will to power,” as involving “domination” (12), and “sex as a source of pleasure” (12). 3. The introduction consists of an anecdote, described in the third person and presented very objectively and dramatically. The opening line could be that of a romantic short story: “She was deeply in love with a man who was treating her badly.” Only after she explains the plot of this little story does she admit it is autobiographical: “I was the embarrassed female participant” (3). This anecdote vividly portrays the reality that is one of Jacoby’s main points: that “mixed signals” between males and females are common, and that if such confusions were the natural cause of rape, rape would be much more common than it is. That Jacoby herself has an example of a potential “daterape” situation from her own life makes her credible on the subject of the usual course of malefemale relations and also reveals her as an honest, thoughtful writer; that is, it contributes to a positive ethos. 4. For the most part, Jacoby’s tone is even and balanced, and this makes her a very credible commentator on her subject. Even her sentence style demonstrates a balance of phrasing in which sequential statements are expressed using similar sentence structure. For example, she writes that “those who place acquaintance rape in a different category from ‘stranger rape’—those who excuse friendly social rapists . . . are being even more insulting to men than to women” (3); “men are nasty and men are brutes . . .” (4). Other parallel statements occur in paragraphs 5, 6, 7, 12, 141

13, 16, 18, and 19: “all of us, men as well as women, send and receive . . . and that is as true in marital beds at age 50 as in the back seats of cars at age 15” (5); “Most men somehow manage to decode these signals without using. . . . And most women manage to handle conflicting male signals without. . . .” (6); “I don’t owe him excessive gratitude for his decent behavior—any more than he would have owed me special thanks for not stabbing him. . .”; “Most date rapes do not happen because a man honestly mistakes a woman’s ‘no’ for a ‘yes’ or a ‘maybe.’ They occur because a minority of men . . . can’t stand to take ‘no’ for an answer” (7); “no distinction between sex as an expression of the will to power and sex as a source of pleasure”; “the act of rape is defined not by a man’s actions but by a woman’s signals” (12); “It is true, of course, that some women (especially the young) . . . And it is true that many men (again, especially the young) . . .” (13); “the difference between resistance and genuine fear; between a halfhearted ‘no, we shouldn’t’ and tears or screams; between a woman who is physically free to leave a room and one who is being physically restrained” (14); “a woman has the right to say no at any point in the process leading to sexual intercourse—and that a man who fails to respect her wishes should incur serious legal and social consequences” (16); “it would be impossible for a woman (and, let us not forget, for a man) . . .” (18); “neither the character of men nor the general quality of relations between the sexes is that crude” (19); “feminists insist on sex as a source of pure pleasure rather than as a means of social control” (19); “Real men want an eager sexual partner—not a woman who is quaking with fear or even one who is ambivalent. Real men don’t rape” (19). These numerous balanced statements convey an impression of writing that is carefully crafted and of ideas that are well thought-out. There are, however, a few places where Jacoby’s word choice seems judgmental and almost mocking; this style predominates when she is discussing the position of the antifeminists. She speaks derogatorily of their views: “This is the line adopted by antifeminists like Camille Paglia” (10) (even her invented term, “antifeminists,” is derogatory to her opposition). “According to this ‘logic,’ ” she sneers in paragraph 11, calling Paglia’s analysis “unsubtle” (12). In her view, “using mixed signals as an excuse for rape” is immoral and absurd (15). In addition, Jacoby’s portrayal of the thought process of gang rapists is very satirical: “Why she [the victim] may have even displayed sexual interest in one of them. How could they have been expected to understand that she didn’t wish to have sex with the whole group?” (15). Finally, she burlesques Paglia’s point of view with a description of a “rampaging male misreading” a woman’s intentions (18).

LET’S TELL THE STORY OF ALL AMERICA’S CULTURES Yuh Ji-Yeon Questions for Close Reading (p. 501) 1. Yuh states her thesis in paragraph 10, after a long and tantalizing introduction. She writes, “Educators around the country are finally realizing what I realized as teenager in the library. . . . America is a multicultural nation, composed of many people with varying histories and varying traditions who have little in common except their humanity, a belief in democracy and a desire for freedom.” She restates it in paragraph 19: “The history of America is the story of how and why people from all over the world came to the United States, and how in struggling to make a better life for themselves, they changed each other, they changed the country, and they all came to call themselves Americans.” The essay as a whole argues that students should receive information about the many streams of ethnicities that compose our country so that they can appreciate the contributions and struggles of all types of Americans. 142

2. The history books she was assigned in school portrayed America as formed by and developed through the efforts of white people such as “Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Carnegie, presidents, explorers, and industrialists” (2). These portrayals are limited and place white European-descended people as the central players in our history. Her own research as a teenager determined that many other nonwhite groups had made contributions, but these were left out of the history. In the field of agriculture, she discovered that immigrants from Asia had cultivated California’s deserts and worked the sugar cane fields in Hawaii; an Asian had developed the popular breed of cherry that now carries his name, Bing. Asians had also served in the U.S. armed forces in the first world war, but were denied citizenship nevertheless (4). In looking into history texts, she discovered that the only references to nonwhites were over-simplified and one-dimensional. African Americans were discussed only as slaves. Native Americans were portrayed as “scalpers” (2), as wild and violent. Her investigations thus led her to the conclusion that “the history books were wrong” (9). She has a special interest in righting the wrong because she herself is a nonwhite immigrant from Asia. Her evidence includes numerous examples of Native American (3, 15), Asian (4), African American (5, 15), and Hispanic (6) contributions to American life. 3. Yuh believes that history courses should teach about the various cultural groups that helped shape the nation (10, 14). More than this, however, students should “be taught that history is an ongoing process of discovery and interpretation of the past, and that there is more than one way of view ing the world” (14). What might look like a “heroic” achievement from one point of view, for example, could be considered barbarism from another, she notes, referring to the American domination of the Native American lands of the west (15). She believes all the various points of view about events in the American past should be presented. 4. Yuh believes that the truth about American history is multiple and that “there is more than one way of viewing the world” (14). But the most important reason for rewriting American history is that given by a New York State Department of Education report: students should learn how to “assess critically the reasons for the inconsistencies between the ideals of the US and social realities.” In addition, they should gain the knowledge and skills that can help them participate in “bringing reality closer to the ideals” (16). 5. albeit (1): even if or although tinged (1): with a slight trace of coloration galore (2): in plentiful amounts multicultural (10, 13, 18): drawing from many ethnic and cultural groups interdependence (12): reliance on connected groups indigenous (15): native or original dissenting (18): disagreeing with the majority ethnicity (18): membership in a cultural group based on ancestry bolster (19): prop up or support Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 501) 1. Yuh waits until paragraph 18 to mention that some people have concerns about multicultural education being divisive. By this time in the essay, she has expansively rendered her own position in concrete and convincing terms. Delaying the mention of opposing views allows her to develop her rather complex reasons for advocating multicultural curricula: that exposing the ethnic forces and achievements in our history is more accurate (10), that it presents history as interpretations rather than dogma (14), that it will help students understand the discrepancies between our great American ideals and our current social realities (16), and give students the skills to help them 143

improve our nation (16). Coming so late in the essay, the dissenting view of multiculturalism seems simplistic in comparison to Yuh’s argued position, and so it is easier for Yuh to dispose of it as off the mark. 2. Yuh’s examples demonstrate her point that schoolbook American history has restricted students’ knowledge about what really happened in our past. She offers some specifics of traditional American history in paragraph 2: “Founding Fathers, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Daniel Boone, Carnegie, presidents . . .” and then contrasts this list with numerous more detailed examples of ethnic contributions to and viewpoints about America’s past. Invoking images of Iroquois government, Asian agricultural talents, and black initiatives toward freedom from slavery, the author shows concretely that there is more to the building of America than the heroic efforts of white men. Recalling the massacre of the indigenous tribes, the denial of citizenship to Asians despite their honorable World War I service, and the American overtaking of Mexican populations in California and New Mexico, Yuh dramatically pictures how our history plowed under nonwhite peoples. These specifics indicate that there are additional facts and alternative viewpoints to those traditionally taught as our history. These specifics also fill in knowledge gaps that readers may harbor and that may leave them poorly equipped to understand and appreciate her position. Placing them before the thesis renders the reader more aware of the complexity of our history and thus more open to her position. Hence, supplying these details is crucial to the success of her argument. 3. Much of the introduction consists of the author’s personal recounting of what education she received (1–2) or failed to receive (3–6) regarding ethnic forces in our history. In paragraph 7, Yuh shocks us by revealing the degrading but inevitable taunts of her childhood peers (“So when other children called me a slant-eyed chink and told me to go back where I came from . . .”). This personal approach tells us what the educational and emotional consequences are of ignoring the diversity of people who have helped build America, and so sets the groundwork for Yuh’s argument in favor of multicultural curricula in history. She returns to the personal at the end of the essay. Here she affirms that focusing on ethnicity in our country’s past is a way of demonstrating that “out of many” comes the “one” (20). She then underscores the link between her, a Korean immigrant, and her white-bread childhood “tormentors”: the American-ness they have in common. 4. Yuh’s stylistic repetitions begin immediately in the first paragraph, where she parallels two relative clauses: “I grew up . . . almost believing that America was white . . . and that white was best.” The second paragraph uses this same device, paralleling the two last sentences and repeating the phrase, “the only”: “The only black people were slaves. The only Indians were scalpers.” These short parallel clauses and sentences are emphatic and create a sense that “that was that,” a sense of finality about the impressions she gained. The following four paragraphs open with the same repeated phrase: “I never learned one word about. . . .” And the sentences that follow within each paragraph begin, “Or that . . .” or repeat the words, “I never learned that. . . .” By using these repetitions, Yuh creates a catalog of her enforced ignorance. Each repeated opening signals the reader that more historical omissions are coming, and more, and even more. Through the repetitions, the reader understands that what has been left out of American history is not just one or two details, but whole vistas and vantage points from which our past looks very different. In paragraph 15, Yuh resumes the cataloging of omissions, again using repetitions. The first sentence sets the pattern: “the westward migration . . . is not just an heroic settling of an untamed wild, but also the conquest of indigenous peoples.” The following two sentences use this “not just . . . but” structure, with small variations in wording, to convey the multiplicity inherent in our history.


THE CULT OF ETHNICITY, GOOD AND BAD Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Questions for Close Reading (p. 505) 1. Schlesinger’s thesis is conveyed in a number of places. In paragraph 4, he quotes Margaret Thatcher approvingly: “No other nation has so successfully combined people of different races and nations within a single culture.” Then he cites the observations of Hector St. John de Crevecoeur on America’s long-standing multiethnicism, “a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans and Swedes . . . this promiscuous breed” (5). And at the start of paragraph 6, Schlesinger himself states his main idea: “The U.S. escaped the divisiveness of a multiethnic society by a brilliant solution: the creation of a brand-new national identity.” The rest of the essay argues the benefits of such mixing and cautions against the “cult of ethnicity,” which works against the sense of national unity. 2. Schlesinger quotes the Latin motto, E pluribus unum (5), and explains through the words of George Washington that our country forged “a brand-new national identity” because immigrants “get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws, in a word, soon become one people . . . through “intermixture with our people.” That this theme of joining a new culture has been important throughout our history is reinforced by the fact that an early twentieth-century playwright, Israel Zangwill, titled one of his plays, “The Melting Pot” (6), creating a phrase we have all heard from childhood. He sees our educational system as “a means of creating ‘one people’ ” (9). The American school, Schlesinger believes, is the most important force in molding the diverse immigrant population into one culture (6). This culture has always been overwhelmingly English in “language, ideas and institutions,” but still very different from Great Britain (7). Finally, Schlesinger notes that “most American-born members of minority groups . . . see themselves primarily as Americans rather than primarily as members of one or another ethnic group.” He continues, “A notable indicator today is the rate of intermarriage across ethnic lines, across religious lines, even (increasingly) across racial lines” (12). 3. Schlesinger sees that some positive results can come from emphasizing the ethnic background of people. In our century, we have finally begun to acknowledge that “the pot did not melt everybody” and that we have treated racial minorities very poorly. We have to some extent begun to cast off the deep racism that excluded some groups from full membership in our culture. We have begun “to give shamefully overdue recognition” to these groups. And, as a result, our culture has been invigorated with a new sense of its own complexity and richness (8). On the other hand, however, ethnicity breaks up nations, as we currently see happening around the globe. Schlesinger cites a long list of countries from every corner of the globe which are undergoing ethnic strife and collapse (3). In our own country, Schlesinger sees that too much focus on ethnicity “gives rise . . . to the conception of the U.S. as a nation composed not of individuals making their own choices but of inviolable ethnic and racial groups” (9). It also deflects emphasis from “historic American goals of assimilation and integration.” Boosters of ethnicity also have tried to educate children to have ethnic pride, but this effort causes a perpetuation of ethnic identities. As Schlesinger writes, “The balance is shifting from unum to pluribus” (9). Overall, he sees that “group separatism crystallizes the differences, magnifies tensions, intensifies hostilities” (10). He explicitly warns that “unchecked,” separatism will cause the “fragmentation, resegregation, and tribalization of American life” (11).


4. He believes that most minority group members still feel more American than ethnic, despite the increasing claims that ethnic background make on people today. As a sign of this solidarity, he cites and celebrates the increase in intergroup marriage, across ethnic, religious, and racial lines. He quotes Theodore Roosevelt on this score, “We Americans are children of the crucible” (12). 5. salient (1): conspicuously noticeable sovereignty (2): national authority ideological (2): pertaining to a strict body of political or social doctrines unprecedented (4): without previous similar cases or instances promiscuous (5): characterized by frequent indiscriminate sexual activity assimilated (6): mixed in without distinctions crystallized (6): to cause to assume a definite form; articulated potent (6): powerful infusion (7): introduction reconfigured (7): changed, rearranged spurned (8): repudiated Anglo (8): of English, or more broadly, European derivation inviolable (9): incapable of being violated or desecrated zeal (9): enthusiasm apocalyptic (11): pertaining to or predicting the end of the world ferment (11): agitation or unrest Kleagle (11): leader in the Ku Klux Klan crucible (12): a severe test rent (13): torn

Questions About the Writer’s Craft (p. 506) 1. In paragraphs 7 and 8, Schlesinger acknowledges some of the complaints the opposition holds about the melting-pot theory of America and grants that our country has been far from perfect in its handing of diversity. He notes sympathetically that the melting “pot did not melt everybody,” and states outright that some minority groups were severely shortchanged. But in paragraph 9, Schlesinger begins to discuss those who take ethnic pride too far, here mounting a strong but polite attack on those who over-emphasize ethnicity. He cites the “unhealthy consequences” that result: viewing the U.S. as a nation of groups rather than a nation of individuals, rejecting assimilation as our national goal. He refers to his opponents in a polite way, acknowledging their positive goals; he describes them as “well-intentioned people,” who have an “excess of zeal,” implying they are not malicious or evil but mistaken. Throughout the next two paragraphs he avoids giving too much power to the opposition by using terms that downplay the problem. In 10, he refers to the “hullabaloo” over multiculturalism, using a term that suggests “fuss” and “turmoil” but not “crisis.” Likewise, in paragraph 11, he comments “I don’t want to sound apocalyptic” about the new stress on ethnicity in our culture. He puts quotation marks around “multiculturalism,” “political correctness,” “Eurocentric” (10) and “Afrocentric” (11), setting them apart from our regular vocabulary and treating them as a specialized and perhaps temporary terminology of the current debate. In 12, he somewhat dismisses the ethnicity problem as in part a “superficial enthusiasm stirred by romantic ideologues” and by “unscrupulous con men,” “self-appointed spokesmen” for particular groups. Schlesinger handles his opposition by both treating them with respect—thus maintaining our respect for him as a rational and civil person— and by suggesting their claims are less weighty than they at first seem. Since Schlesinger’s goal is to reinforce the theme of inclusion and assimilation in American history, his dubious tone when discussing the ethnic helps him achieve his purpose. 146

2. Schlesinger uses questions to help render his abstract topic, “the cult of ethnicity,” accessible to his mainstream readers. If he had been writing for an academic audience of historians, used to abstract discussions, he would not have had to use this technique. The questions focus the reader’s attention upon the central issue of his essay, whether diversity and unity can coexist. In paragraph 2, Schlesinger asks, “What happens when people of different origins . . . inhabit the same locality and live under the same political sovereignty?” His answer, that all too often, bloody conflict results, sets the stage for his argument that emphasis upon ethnicity is divisive and creates more problems than it solves. Paragraph 3 bursts with the names of countries troubled by ethnic division, and ends in the question that might lie unformulated in a reader’s mind: “Is there any large multiethnic state that can be made to work?” Here, Schlesinger uses the question to focus more specifically on whether any exception to ethnic breakup can be found, thus leading the reader along to the next point, for “the U.S.” is the answer. The question at the end of paragraph 4, “How have Americans succeeded in pulling off this . . . trick?” opens the doors for Schlesinger to argue that creating a common culture, rather than fostering ethnic groupings, is America’s strength. In addition to pointing the reader toward the author’s main ideas, this second question is phrased colloquially, almost jovially, using the slangy idiom, “pulling off this . . . trick.” This tone invites the reader to continue on, to find out the solution to the “trick.” 3. Other examples of such connotative words are “multiculturalism” (10), “political correctness” (10), and “Afrocentric” (11). Schlesinger doesn’t define these terms because, most likely, he believes his audience is aware of the issues and already understands the terms. Furthermore, used without definition, the terms have greater emotional impact. In fact, each of these terms ignites the exact divisive passions which Schlesinger deplores. 4. Schlesinger quotes a variety of people—Margaret Thatcher, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, Israel Zangwill, George Washington, and Theodore Roosevelt—but all the quotations are about the successful multiethnic amalgam that America has become. The female British Prime Minister (4), the eighteenth-century French visitor to America (5, 6), a Jewish-American twentieth-century playwright (6), the first U.S. president (6), and an important twentieth-century president (12) all agree that our nation’s significance lies in its forging of a new national culture from many strands. Providing statements from a diverse group effectively broadens Schlesinger’s viewpoint, for through them we can realize that many thinkers, across the centuries and across the ocean, have perceived just what Schlesinger is pointing out.


ANSWERS FOR CHAPTER 20 “SELECTING A SUBJECT, USING THE LIBRARY AND THE INTERNET, AND TAKING NOTES” (p. 513) Below we provide possible responses to selected activities at the end of Chapter 20 (pp. 561– 63). We hope these suggested responses convey the range of answers possible. 1. Here are possible answers to 1a and 1b and the correct answers for 1c: a. These are the titles and authors of some books on the four subjects. Many other answers are possible. Adoption: United States. Families for Black Children: The Search for Adoptive Parents. Washington: GPO, 1971–2. Sorosky, Arthur, Annette Baran, and Reuben Pannor. The Adoption Triangle. Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1984. Feigelman, William and Arnold P. Silverman. Chosen Children: New Patterns of Adoptive Relationships. New York: Praeger, 1983. The Internet: Cassidy, John. Dot.con: The Greatest Story Ever Told. New York: HarperCollins, 2002. Garfinkel, Simson. Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly, 2000. Lewis, Michael. Next: The Future Just Happened. London: Norton, 2002. Urban Violence Anderson, Elijah. Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of Inner City. Norton, 1999. Decker, Scott H. et al. Life in the Gang: Family, Friends, and Violence. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. Pinderhughes, Howard. Race in the Hood: Conflict and Violence Among Urban Youth. Minnesota: U of Minnesota P, 1997. Genetic Research Cherfas, Jeremy. Man-Made Life: An Overview of the Science, Technology, and Commerce of Genetic Engineering. New York: Pantheon, 1982. Kant, P. W., ed. New Approaches to Genetics: Developments in Molecular Genetics. Stocksfield, UK.: Oriel, 1978. 148

Lipkin, Mack, Jr., and Peter T. Rowley, eds. Genetic Responsibility: On Choosing Our Children’s Genes. New York: Plenum, 1974. b. Betty Friedan’s titles include The Feminine Mystique, The Second Stage and others. John Kenneth Galbraith’s titles include The Great Crash 1929, The Nature of Mass Poverty, The Affluent Society, and many others. c. Invisible Man was written by Ralph Ellison. (There is another book with a similar title, The Invisible Man, by H. G. Wells.) A Swiftly Tilting Planet was written by Madeleine L’Engle. 2. a. This library uses the Library of Congress catalog system. b. The book’s title is Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching. c. This book has two authors: Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt. d. The book is listed under four headings: “Adult education,” “Teaching—Computer network resources,” “Computer-assisted instruction,” and “Distance education.” e. The book was published in 2001. f. No, because according to the subjects listing, the book seems to focus on adult learners, especially those who take distance-learning classes. There’s no indication that this book contains any information about using computers the classroom with young children, particularly not deaf children. 3. Here is the information necessary to write a bibliography card for each title: a. Tuchman, Barbara. Practicing History. New York: Knopf, 1981. b. Jacobs, Lewis, ed. The Documentary Tradition. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1979. c. Mead, Margaret. Coming of Age in Samoa: A Psychological Study of Primitive Youth for Western Civilization. NY: Blue Ribbon Books, 1928. d. Bank, Stephen and Michael D. Kahn. The Sibling Bond. New York: Basic, 1982. e. Gross, Ronald, Beatrice Gross, and Sylvia Seidman, eds. The New Old: Struggling for Decent Aging. Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1978. f. Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge UP, 1960. 4. The goal of this assignment is to induce students to explore various reference books; the answers to the questions must be sought in specialized reference works, not general encyclopedias. The answers that follow include some hints as to where the answers may be found.


a. The Persian Gulf War began on January 17, 1991, and lasted until February 28, 1992. (Possible source: Facts on File). b. Kodachrome film was invented by L. D. Mannes and L. Godowsky in 1935. (Possible source: Focal Encyclopedia of Photography) c. Rosacea is a chronic disease of the skin of the face. Its symptoms include redness and pimples; it was once called acne rosacea. (Possible sources: Oxford Companion to Medicine; Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary) d. Will & Grace was the winner of the 2000 Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy. (Possible source: The World Almanac) e. John Sartain was an engraver and oil painter. (Possible sources: Dictionary of American Biography; National Cylopedia of American Biography) f. The first black was elected to Congress in 1868 during Reconstruction. (Possible source: The American Negro Reference Book) g. Pareto’s Law is a law of economics that states that no matter what a nation’s institutionalized economic structure, the distribution of income among citizens will be the same. (Possible source: The Dictionary of Banking and Finance; The Dictionary of Business and Economics; The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Modern Economics) h. An écorché figure is a drawing of the human body without skin, displaying all the musculature. The word comes from the French for “flayed.” Such drawings were once standard studies for art students. (Possible sources: The Oxford Companion to Art: The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms) i. The mbira is an African instrument played with the fingers; it is also called a thumb piano, kalimba, marimba, sansa or sanza, and lamellaphone. (Source: The New Harvard Dictionary of Music) j. Kachinas are supernatural beings and also their masked impersonations at rituals and ceremonies. (Possible source: The Encyclopedia of Religion) 5. Below are some indexes, in addition to the Reader’s Guide, Social Sciences Index, and New York Times Index, that might be helpful in locating periodical articles on the various topics. a. Drug abuse in health-care professions Health Index Government Publications Index Nursing Abstracts b. Ethical considerations in organ transplant surgery Philosopher’s Index Abridged Index Medicus c. Women in prison Criminal Justice Abstracts Sociological Abstracts 150

d. Deforestation of the Amazon rain forest Environment Index International Political Science Abstracts e. The difference between Sense and Sensibility as a novel and as a film MLA International Index, vol. 4, under “Motion Picture Criticism and “Motion Picture ” Review” Film Literature Index 6. Answers will vary. 7. Answers will vary. 8. Here are examples of possible note cards taken from the paragraphs in McClintock’s article: Direct Quotation

A broad view of propaganda

McClintock, p. 278

McClintock points out that the word propaganda is typically associated with a “totalitarian regime or brainwashing tactics practiced on hostages.” But, she argues, “the concept can be applied fruitfully to the way products and ideas are sold in advertising.”


Specific Propaganda Techniques

McClintock, p. 283

The transfer technique bolsters the credibility of a product in consumers’ eyes by linking it with a traditionally respected symbol. One example: naming an insurance company Lincoln Insurance and having a corporate logo that features a profile of the celebrated president.


Combined note card

The consumer’s challenge

McClintock, p. 285

The corporate advertiser knows that pitches based on essentially propaganda techniques get the job done. They work by bypassing rational thought and appealing to “our emotions [. . .], our prejudices and biases.” As consumers, we must educate ourselves about advertising techniques so we can rigorously examine the logic of an advertisement’s claims. If we fail to do so, we end up “handing over to others our independence of thought and action.”



1. Here is the correct Works Cited list for this paper: “Adolescents and Sexuality.” Voices in the Family. Host Dr. Daniel Gottlieb. Prod. Laura Jackson. WHYY-FM, Philadelphia. 2 Oct. 2000. Center for Adolescent Studies at Indiana University. “Normal Adolescent Development.” Adolescence Directory On-Line. 29 Sept. 1998. 27 Mar. 2002 . DiPrisco, Joseph, and Michael Riena. “Distress, Depression, and Danger: This Is Not a Test.” Field Guide to the American Teenager: A Parent’s Companion. Cambridge: Perseus, 2000. 257–76. Herrenkohl, Ellen, C., et al. “The Relationship Between Early Maltreatment and Teenage Parenthood.” Journal of Adolescence 21.3 (1998): 291–303. 19 Dec. 1998. . Parker-Pope, Tara. “Rise in Early Puberty Causes Parents to Ask, ‘When Is It Too Soon?’ ” Wall Street Journal 21 July 2001: B1+. Steinberg, Laurence. “Ethnicity and Adolescent Achievement.” American Educator Summer 1996: 28–35, 44–48. - - - . You and Your Adolescent: A Parent’s Guide for Ages 10–20. Pennsylvania: HarperCollins, 1997. 2. The attribution may occur at the beginning, the middle, or the end of the sentence, but the citation should be placed at the end. The examples below show some possible responses; your students will undoubtedly have different ones. a. Journalist James Gleick argues, “If the Type A phenomenon made for poor medical research, it stands nonetheless as a triumph of social criticism. [. . .] No wonder the concept has proven too rich [. . .] to be dismissed” (435). “If the Type A phenomenon made for poor medical research,” journalist James Gleick argues, “it stands nonetheless as a triumph of social criticism. [. . .] No wonder the concept has proven too rich [. . .] to be dismissed” (435). “If the Type A phenomenon made for poor medical research, it stands nonetheless as a triumph of social criticism. [. . .] No wonder the concept has proven too rich [. . .] to be dismissed,” argues journalist James Gleick (435).


b. Journalist James Gleick argues that despite its failure as a scientific principle, the notion of Type A is an accurate social observation (435). c. Here are typical sentences quoting and summarizing two of the experts that Gleick cites: Direct Quotation Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman offer an example of “the canonical Type A,” whom they call “Paul.” In describing Paul, they say, “A very disproportionate amount of his emotional energy is consumed in struggling against the normal constraints of time. ‘How can I move faster, and do more and more things in less and less time?’ ’ is the question that never ceases to torment him” (qtd. in Gleick 433). Summary Cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman describe the characteristics of the typical Type A personality. The most dominant of these is a hyper-consciousness about time resulting in an obsessive desire to get as much done as possible in the least amount of time. This concern borders on torment for the Type A personality (qtd. in Gleick 433).


ANSWERS FOR PART 6: “A CONCISE HANDBOOK” (Full version only; not in Brief Edition)

Correcting Sentence Fragments (p. 655) Below are examples of how to rewrite the sentences that contain errors. Other answers, in some cases, are possible. 1. Even though there must be millions of pigeons in the city, you never see a baby pigeon. It makes you wonder where they’re hiding. 2. Children between the ages of eight and twelve often follow teenagers’ trends and look up to teens as role models, mimicking their behavior in frequently disconcerting ways. 3. The least expensive remote-controlled toy car costs over fifty dollars, which is more than many budget-conscious parents want to pay. Such high costs are typical in the toy industry. 4. Correct 5. Because they feel urban schools are second-rate, many parents hope to move their families to the suburbs, even though they plan to continue working in the city. 6. Pulling the too-short hospital gown around his wasted body, the patient wandered down the hospital corridor. He was unaware of the stares of the healthy people streaming by. 7. Last year, the student government overhauled its charter and created chaos. It produced a confusing set of guidelines that muddled already contradictory policies. This year’s senate has to find a way to remedy the situation. 8. Out of all the listed apartments we looked at that dreary week, only one was affordable and suitable for human habitation. 9. My grandfather likes to send off-beat greeting cards, like the one with a picture of a lion holding on to a parachute. The card reads, “Just wanted to drop you a lion.” 10. About a year ago, my mother was unexpectedly laid off by the restaurant where she had been hired five years earlier as head chef. The experience made her realize that she wanted to go into business for herself. 11. Occasionally looking up to see if anyone interesting had entered the room, the students sat hunched over their desks in the study carrels. They were cramming for final exams, scheduled to start the next day. 12. As prices have come down, compact disc players have gained great popularity. With the development of these sophisticated sound systems, listening to concert music is more enjoyable than ever. Indeed, it is nearly as pleasurable as being at the concert itself.


13. Through the local adult education program, my parents took a course in electrical wiring last spring. They plan to enroll in a plumbing course this winter. Their goal is to save money on household repairs, which cost them hundreds of dollars last year. 14. For breakfast, my health-conscious roommate drinks a strange concoction that consists of soybean extract, wheat germ, and sunflower meal. It doesn’t look very appealing. 15. Last night, I went to the hospital to visit my uncle, who had been hospitalized four days earlier with a heart attack. I was relieved to see how healthy he looked. 16. The B-B gun has changed dramatically over the last few years. Today’s top-of-the-line gun can fire B-Bs or pellets 800 feet per second, almost as fast as some handguns. 17. The hyacinths and daffodils in the garden were blooming beautifully until a freakish spring storm blasted their growth. Within hours, they shriveled up and lay flat on the ground. 18. During last week’s heated town meeting, several municipal officials urged the town council to adopt a controversial zoning ordinance that had already been rejected by the town residents. 19. Strategically placed pine trees concealed the junk yard from nearby residents, who otherwise would have protested its presence in the neighborhood, well-known for its lush lawns and colorful gardens. 20. In an effort to cover his bald spot, Al combs long strands of hair over the top of his head. Unfortunately, no one is fooled by his strategy, especially not his wife, who wishes her husband would accept the fact that he’s getting older.

Correcting Comma Splices and Run-On Sentences (p. 659) Below are examples of how to rewrite the sentences that contain errors. Other answers, in some cases, are possible. 1. Since the town appeared to be nearby, they left the car on the side of the road and started walking toward the village. They soon regretted their decision. 2. As we rounded the bend, we saw hundreds of crushed cars piled in neat stacks. The rusted hulks resembled flattened tin cans. 3. With unexpected intensity, the rain hit the pavement. Plumes of heat rose from the blacktop, making it difficult to drive safely. 4. According to all reports, the day after Thanksgiving is the worst day of the year to shop. The stores are jammed with people, all looking for bargains. 5. Plants should be treated regularly with an organic insecticide; otherwise, spider mites and mealy bugs can destroy new growth. 6. Have you ever looked closely at a penny? Do you know whether Lincoln faces right or left? 156

7. As we set up the tent, flies swarmed around our heads. We felt like day-old garbage. 8. If the phone rings when my parents are eating diner, they don’t answer it. They assume that, if the person wants to reach them, he or she will call back. 9. The library’s security system needs improving. It allows too many people to sneak away with books and magazines hidden in their pockets, purses, or briefcases. 10. Ocean air is always bracing. It makes everyone feel relaxed and carefree, as though the world of work is far away. 11. In the last few years, many prestigious art museums have developed plans to add on to buildings designed by such legendary architects as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. However, many irate museum-goers want the buildings to stay just as they are. 12. The salesperson stapled my bag in six places. I must have looked like a shoplifter. 13. Throughout the last decade, publishing companies doled out huge advances to lure big-time authors. Now many publishers, struggling with massive losses, regret the strategy. 14. Several communities in the country sponsor odd food festivals. In fact, one of the strangest takes place in Vineland, New Jersey. This small rural community celebrates spring with a dandelioneating contest. 15. Only the female mosquito drinks blood; the males live on plant juices. 16. Every Friday evening, my parents go out to eat by themselves at the local diner, and then they do their marketing for the week. 17. TV commercials are valuable because they give everyone a chance to stretch, visit the bathroom, and get a snack. 18. I start by wetting my feet in the lake’s cold water, and then I wade up to my knees before plunging in, shivering all the while. 19. In this country, roughly three hundred new pizza parlors open every week. This shows that pizza has become a staple in the American diet, exceeding even hamburgers and hot dogs in popularity. 20. Correct

Correcting Faulty Parallelism (p. 661) 1. The professor’s tests were long, difficult, and anxiety-producing. 2. Medical tests showed that neither a dust allergy nor seasonal hay fever caused the child’s coughing fits. 3. One option that employees had was to accept a pay cut; the other was to work longer hours.


4. The hairstylist warned her customers, “I’m a beautician, not a magician. This is a comb, not a wand.” 5. The renovated concert hall is both beautiful and spacious. 6. My roommates and I are learning not only Japanese but also Russian. 7. The game-show contestants were told they had to be quick-witted, friendly, and enthusiastic. 8. Correct 9. While waiting in line at the supermarket, people often flip through the tabloids to read about celebrities, the latest scandals, and weight-loss tricks. 10. Eventually, either society will make smoking illegal or people will give it up on their own.

Correcting Problems With Subject-Verb Agreement (p. 664) 1. There are many secretaries who do their bosses’ jobs, as well as their own. 2. Correct 3. Each of the children wears a name tag when the play-group takes a field trip. 4. Next week, the faculty committee on academic standards plans to pass a controversial resolution, one that the student body has rejected in the past. 5. Correct 6. Correct 7. The human spinal column, with its circular disks, resembles a stack of wobbly poker chips. 8. Both the students and the instructor dislike experimental music. 9. In most schools, either the college president or the provost is responsible for presenting the budget to the board of trustees. The board of trustees, in turn, is responsible for cutting costs whenever possible. 10. Nobody in the two classes thinks that the exam, which lasted three hours, was fair. 11. Chipped ceramic pots and half-empty bags of fertilizer line the shelves of my grandparents’ storage shed. 12. In the middle of the campus, near the two new dorms, is a row of spindly elms. The trees, especially the one at the end, were badly damaged in last week’s storm.


13. A strong, secure bond between parent and child is formed when the parent responds quickly and consistently to the baby’s needs. 14. The crowd, consisting of irate teachers and parents, was quiet, but the police were alerted anyway. 15. The guidelines issued by the supervisor state that personal calls made during the business day violate company policy.

Correcting Problems With Verb Tense (p. 666) 1. I parked illegally, so my car was towed and got dented in the process. 2. Correct 3. Although the union leaders had called a strike, the union members voted not to stop working. 4. Dr. Alice Chase wrote a number of books on healthy eating. In 1974 she died of malnutrition. 5. By the time we hiked back to the campsite, the rest of the group had collected their gear to go home. 6. Correct 7. As a boy, Thomas Edison was told he would never succeed at anything. 8. The Museum of Modern Art once hung a painting upside down. The mistake went unnoticed for more than a month. 9. When doctors in Los Angeles went on strike in 1976, the death rate dropped 18 percent. 10. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath conveys the horrors of poverty. 11. Correct 12. The aspiring comic walked to the front of the small stage. As he looked out at the audience, a wave of nausea swept over him.

Correcting Problems With Pronoun Case (p. 670) 1. At this college, neither the President nor the Dean automatically assumes that, on every issue, the faculty is automatically better informed than we students. 2. Between you and me, each of the dorms should have its security system replaced. 3. The theatre critic, who slipped into her seat right before the curtain went up, gave him and the other actors favorable reviews.


4. Neither of the boys impressed her or me with his musical ability. 5. The salesperson explained to my husband and me that each of the videocassette recorders had its drawbacks. 6. Correct 7. After enjoying prosperity through most of the 1980s, she and he were unprepared for the rigors of the next decade. 8. Correct 9. Correct 10. The people who lived next door, my roommates and I concluded, had no intention of being neighborly. 11. Correct 12. The plot twisted and turned so much it was difficult for my sister and me to keep track of who cheated on whom.

Correcting Problems With Pronoun Agreement (p. 672) 1. We proponents of the recycling plan challenged everyone on the town council to express his or her objections. Or: We proponents of the recycling plan challenged the town council members to express their objections. 2. Correct 3. All job applicants must call for an appointment, so that the personnel office can interview them. 4. The committee passed its resolution that each of the apartments was to be free of asbestos before occupancy. 5. The committee passed its resolution that each of the apartments was to be free of asbestos before occupancy. 6. I like living in the same small town where I was raised because there’s always someone who remembers me as a child. 7. The instructor reminded the class to pick up their term papers before leaving for semester break. 8. Correct 9. Despite poor attendance last year, the library staff decided once again to hold its annual part at the Elmhurst Inn.


10. Many amateur photographers like to use one-step cameras that they don’t have to focus. Or, Many amateur photographers like to use one-step cameras that don’t require focusing.

Correcting Problems With Pronoun Reference (p. 674) 1. In her novels, Ann Tyler gives us a picture of family life—at its best and at its worst. 2. Lock dangerous chemicals in a storage closet to keep children away from them. 3. The student sat down glumly as soon as the professor began to criticize the student’s research paper. After a few moments, though, the student turned away in frustration. 4. Many patients’ lawsuits against doctors end when the patients receive out-of court settlements. 5. All too often, arguments between a big and little sister are ended by the younger one, who threatens to blackmail her older sister with some violation of household rules. 6. In A Doll’s House, Ibsen dramatizes the story of a woman treated as a plaything. 7. The swirling cape of the magician distracted the audience as he opened the trap door slowly. 8. Since the old man planned his morning around reading the newspaper, he became upset when it was delivered late. 9. The supervisor explained to the employee that the employee would be transferred soon. 10. . . . The members decided to continue the discussion the following week.

Correcting Problems With Modification (p. 677) 1. While I was cooking dinner, the baby began to howl. 2. Swaying from the boughs of a tall tree, the ape displayed an agility and grace that intrigued the children. 3. When pondering her problems, Laura finally realized that her life was filled with many pleasures. 4. At the end of the semester, I realized that I needed tutoring in only one course. 5. While we were waiting for the plumber, the hot water tank began to leak all over the basement floor. 6. Correct 7. Wandering loose, dogs and cats can scare small children.


8. With difficulty, we read the old newspaper clipping, which was faded and brittle with age. 9. The reporters indicated that they wanted only a few minutes of the candidate’s time. 10. With disgust, I threw the greasy hamburger that had been dripping all over me into the trash. 11. Correct 12. An outfit that can be worn only once or twice a year isn’t a practical investment. 13. The boys noticed an old copper weathervane spinning wildly on the barn roof. 14. We bought our dining room table, which cost less than one hundred dollars, at a discount store. 15. Correct

Correcting Comma Errors (p. 685) 1. The local movie theatre, despite efforts to attract customers, finally closed its doors and was purchased by a supermarket chain. 2. Correct 3. Their parents, always risk-takers, divorced in August and remarried in February, just five months later. 4. Shaken by the threat of a hostile takeover, the board of directors and the stockholders voted to sell the retail division, which had been losing money for years. 5. Despite my parents’ objections, I read Stephen King’s novels The Shining and Carrie when I was in junior high. The books terrified me. Nevertheless, I couldn’t put them down. 6. We skimmed the chapter, looked quickly at the tables and charts, realized we didn’t know enough to pass the exam, and began to panic. 7. After years of saving his money, my brother bought a used car, and then his problems started. 8. I discovered last week that my neighbors, whose friendship I had always treasured, intend to sue me. 9. Late yesterday afternoon, I realized that Dan was lying and had driven my car without permission. 10. Although it can be annoying and frustrating, forgetting things usually isn’t an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, as many people think. 11. “Going to New York,” Maria said, “was like walking onto a movie set.”


12. The long, pretentious report, issued at the end of May, neither analyzed the problem adequately nor proposed reasonable solutions. 13. By going to a party alone, a single person stands a better chance of meeting someone and of having a good time. 14. Janet and Sandy, her younger sister, run three miles each day, even in the winter. 15. Al pleaded, “Let me borrow your notes, and I’ll never ask for anything again. I promise.” 16. Mumbling under his breath, the man picked over the tomatoes and cucumbers in the market’s produce department. 17. All too often these days, people assume that a bank statement is correct and that there’s no need to open the envelope and examine the statement closely. 18. In the last two seconds of the game, the quarterback seized the ball and plunged across the goal line for a touchdown, scoring the game’s wining point. 19. After the uprising was quelled, numerous dissidents were imprisoned, but an unknown number remained at large, waiting for the right moment to stage a revolution. Or: After the uprising was quelled, numerous dissidents were imprisoned. An unknown number remained at large, however, waiting for the right moment to stage a revolution. 20. Our psychology professor, who has an active clinical practice, talked about the pressures and rewards of being in a helping profession.

Correcting Problems With Punctuation (p. 698) 1. The New Madrid fault, which lies in the central part of the country, will be the site of a major earthquake within the next thirty years. 2. In the children’s story, the hero carries a fresh yellow rose rather than a sword. 3. I asked, “Wasn’t Uncle Pete drafted into the army in 1943?” 4. “Branch offices and drive-in windows,” the bank president announced, “will be closed January 4, the day of the governor’s funeral.” 5. Some people avoid physical work. Others seek out and enjoy it, but probably no one likes it all the time. 6. The scientists said that they wondered how anyone could believe stories of outer-space visitors. 7. On the office’s paneled walls, the executive had a framed copy of the poem “If.” 8. Correct


9. Shoplifters often believe they are doing no harm; nevertheless, shoplifting is stealing and, therefore, illegal. 10. The young people fell in love with the house that stood next to a clear, cold stream. 11. The kennel owner sent birthday cards and small gifts to all the dogs she had boarded during the year. 12. The polished floor in the hallway and dining room lost its sheen after only a week. 13. According to the lawyer, the property is clearly ours and not the other family’s. 14. The celebration was loud and unruly; finally, police arrived at the scene around 11 pm. 15. Correct 16. Did the visiting journalist make her speech, “Preserving a Source’s Confidentiality”? 17. In the student handbook, the Dean wrote, “A student may be suspended for any of the following: using drugs, plagiarizing papers, cheating on exams, vandalizing college property. . . .” 18. They asked us what courses we planned to take during the summer. 19. In the closet (which hadn’t been opened for years), we found three baseball bats and half a dozen badminton sets. 20. Whose notes will you borrow to study for tomorrow’s exam?

Correcting Problems With Mechanics and Spelling (p. 709) 1. Emerging Nations in Today’s World, one of the supplementary texts in Modern History I, is on reserve at the library. 2. Last year, while visiting my parents in central Florida, I took a disastrous course in sociology. 3. The analysts of the election-eve poll concluded, “It’s a toss-up.” 4. For some reason, spring tends to have a depressing effect on me. 5. Reverend Astor’s teeth chattered at my brother’s outdoor wedding, held in March in northern Massachusetts. 6. Weighing in at 122 pounds was Tim Fox, a sophomore from a community college in Alabama. 7. In the fall, when the foliage is at its peak, many people pack their hiking gear and head for the country. 8. Three hundred students signed up for the experimental seminar that Prof. Julia Cruz plans to offer through the Business Department. The class is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. on Monday.


9. Senator Miller, who was supposed to end the press conference once the subject of the environment came up, got embroiled in an argument with several reporters. 10. Listen to nutritionists; many of them contend that there are advantages to limiting the amount of protein in your diet. 11. My roommate, whose native language is French, received an award for writing a provocative series of articles on student pressures. 12. The president of the company distributed to key management thirty copies of the book How to Win in Business. Many employees, though, are offended by the book’s emphasis on what it calls “economic opportunism.” [or economic opportunism ] 13. My parents always reminded me to watch my p’s and q’s. Not surprisingly, they were frequently complimented on my good behavior. 14. Correct 15. Professor Mohr accepts no if’s, and’s, or but’s when a student tries to hand in a paper past its due date.


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