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Sample One: Analysis Using Three Viewpoints
SPECIAL NOTES: This paper is written in MLA style. It also has a “Summary” section that summarizes the reading that the essay analyzes.
Inver Hills College
Eng 1108, College Composition
© 2002 by Joe Delgado
Concerning the Death Penalty
by Joe Delgado
In the article “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” which shows up in Crime and Criminals: Opposing Viewpoints, Eric Freedman argues that the death penalty not only does not deter violent crime but also works against reducing the crime rate. Freedman says, “The death penalty not only is futile in itself, but counterproductive. ” (140). This paper will analyze Freedman’s article from the viewpoints of a middle-age working man, a poor person, and a politician.
Freedman argues that the death penalty does not deter crime. In his article, he argues that states that use the death penalty have crime rates almost indistinguishable from those states that do not have the death penalty. He also adds that criminal cases in which the death penalty is sought are much more expensive to investigate and attempt, thus denying much-needed funds to programs that have been proven to reduce crime.
A Middle-Age Working Man
A middle-age working man would very likely agree with Freedman’s point of view with relation to the financial aspect of capital penalty because Freedman talks about how much more the death penalty costs than life imprisonment. He says, “In Florida, each execution costs $Trio,200,000, six times the expense of life imprisonment” (141). The workingman would most likely be amazed at how much the execution actually costs compared to how much life imprisonment costs. The workingman would very likely wonder why the death penalty is even sought when life imprisonment seems to accomplish the same objective for much less money.
The working man would also very likely agree with Freedman because the workingman would rather see his tax money spent on more productive programs. Freedman says, “The reality is that, in a time of immobilized or declining budgets, those dollars are taken away from a range of programs that would be beneficial” (142). The workingman would add that with the government taking so much of his income in taxes, it could at least do something more productive than killing people.
A working man would most likely be upset at how much money is spent on just attempting a person in a capital penalty case. Freedman says, “Thus, the taxpayers foot the bill for all the extra costs of capital pretrial and trial proceedings and then must pay either for incarcerating the prisoner for life or the expenses of a retrial, which itself often leads to a life sentence” (142). The workingman would be upset because not only is the government using his money to attempt these criminals, but it is using more of his money to retry these criminals just because they didn’t get the verdict they desired in the very first place.
The working man might also be upset that more money has to be spent on extra expenses that would not be incurred if it was not a capital penalty trial. Freedman says, “Much more investigation usually is done in capital cases, particularly by the prosecution” (141). The working man might be upset that just because the prosecution wants to kill the defendant, he has to pay the extra cost so the prosecution can build up more evidence even tho’ it often leads to a life sentence instead of an execution.
A poor person would agree with Freedman because of how discriminating the death penalty is. Such a person would look at Freedman’s article and agree that many poor people are discriminated against because they do not have the money to receive a high quality of defense. Freedman says, “ Most capital defendants cannot afford an attorney, so the court must appoint counsel. Every major probe of this issue. has found that the quality of defense representation in capital murder trials generally is far lower than in felony cases” (144). The poor person might see poor people as being targeted for capital penalty simply because of the fact that they won’t be able to defend themselves decently.
He might also be outraged at the fact that people to whom he can relate are not getting a decent defense because they cannot afford the best. Freedman says, “[T]here is an breathtaking record of poor people being subjected to convictions and death sentences that identically or more culpable—but more affluent—defendants would not have suffered” (144). Mark Costanzo, author of Just Vengeance, agrees. He argues, “If you or someone you cared about was accused of murder, you would surely want a defense team as skillful and thorough as [a wealthy person]” (73). A poor person would add that if poor people had the money to defend themselves decently, fewer of them would receive the death penalty.
A poor person would see the death penalty as a way to rid the world of poor people because people might think they are different and don’t deserve to live. Freedman says, “Jurors are more likely to sentence to death people who seem different from themselves than individuals who seem similar to themselves” (144). A poor person would very likely view most people as having more money and better things than he and that because he doesn’t have the best things, he is different than everyone else. He might feel bad because it seems like the world is against him and wants to get rid of him.
He may also see the death penalty as attempting to take away money from programs that would benefit him and people like him. Freedman says, “Despite the large percentage of ordinary street crimes that are narcotics-related, the states lack the funding to permit drug treatment on request. The result is that people who are motivated to cure their own addictions are relegated to supporting themselves through crime, while the money that could fund treatment programs is poured down the death penalty drain ” (142). The poor person might be sad that he does not have access to beneficial programs because people are putting so much money into the death. He may conclude from Freedman’s statement specifically that if the death penalty were abolished, there would be fewer drug-related crimes because states would have more money to fund treatment programs.
A politician would most likely disagree with Freedman because he would believe a price tag cannot be put on doing the things that are right. He would very likely see the statistics Freedman gave as irrelevant. Freedman says, “In Florida, each execution costs $Trio,200,000, six times the expense of life imprisonment” (141). The politician would see these costs as very high but taken out of context. He would most likely look to the statistics of how the death penalty has actually been a crime deterrent, as proven by Jay Johansen in his article “Does Death Penalty Deter Crime?” Johansen says that the “[h]omicide rate is a mirror picture of the number of executions. Consistently as the number of executions goes down, the homicide rate goes up, and when the number of executions goes up, the homicide rate goes down” (138). He would see this as proof that capital penalty is a deterrent, and it should remain legal as long as it resumes to deter crime.
A politician might use Johansen’s statistics to prove that the death penalty should not be abolished. He might see that even tho’ a capital penalty case costs more, if the crime rate goes down than we have fewer criminals to take to trial. If we have fewer criminals to take to trial, we are actually saving more money in the long run by keeping capital penalty legal. A politician might be angry that Freedman does not display the actual statistics of the crime rate as executions were outlawed and then when executions were again legalized. He might see Freedman as attempting to divert people’s attention away from the actual statistics by displaying how much one capital penalty case compared to one non-capital penalty case.
A politician might also disagree with Freedman because Freedman proposes to take a state’s right away. He would agree with Michael Levin that a state should have the right to enforce its laws however it sees fit. Levin says, “Well, the state must be able to enforce whatever it directives, or it is a state in name only” (83). Levin also states, “Once the state is granted the right to administer lesser penalties, it cannot be denied the right to kill” (83). The politician would strongly agree that a law abolishing capital penalty would be a law that is limiting a state’s right to pass judgement.
This paper has shown how three different types of people might interpret Eric Freedman’s article “The Case Against the Death Penalty,” which appeared in Crime and Criminals: Opposing Viewpoints. Freedman argues that the death penalty does nothing to deter crime but uses valuable resources that could help control crime. Freedman says, “The death penalty is not just useless—it is positively harmful and diverts resources from genuine crime control measures” (145). Freedman argues his point very well and logically and makes it very effortless for people to understand all of the harm capital penalty can inflict. Whether capital penalty is ethical is still unclear, but what becomes more demonstrable is this, that the social class of a person may directly influence his or her opinion about capital penalty.
NOTE: This is an MLA research paper using three different psychological theories about one subject in a reading.
Inver Hills College
Psychological Perspectives on a Missionary Woman
by Tamara Hill
David Bergner’s non-fiction work In the Land of Magic Soldiers gives a very detailed account of what it has been like in Sierra Leone for the past duo of decades. There are many graphic and gruesome pictures, and the character that stands out the most is Mary Kortenhoven; she is like an angel among murderers. She is a missionary from Michigan who went to Foria, Sierra Leone with her family to help out with the well being of the native tribal people. One can only wonder why she would leave a land so beautiful and free to go to a sad and desolate place like Sierra Leone. According to Bergner, Sierra Leone “is a place where the arch in a path—just that, a slight curve in a narrow de-robe of mud—can produce an ache, a longing, a leaning of the heart” (Trio). We may determine her motives by analyzing them from the psychological perspectives of the theory of planned behavior, the empathy-altruism theory, and the negative state ease theory.
In Bergner’s book, Mary Kortenhoven is a missionary. She leaves a wonderful life here in the United States to go help the Africans in Sierra Leone. She, her hubby, and her three children go to Foria; they all give up running water, violet wand, and the safety net of America. They are subjected to diseases, harmful animals, and a lack of civilization. She takes much time, trains the women fresh ways to be more sanitary while providing birth and helps clear up and prevent deadly diseases. Mary Kortenhoven brings in fresh medical technologies and devices. She travels by herself through the jungle to stop the Malaria epidemic. She spends over two decades in Foria, Freetown, and other puny villages, so she and her entire family become a part of Africa.
Theory of Planned Behavior
According to the theory of planned behavior, a person’s behavior is shaped because his or her attitude towards something is integrated with subjective norms and perceived control (Brehm, Kassin, and Fein 191). So, in the view of this theory, Mary may have moved to Foria because she believes that is what society thinks she must do, along with her own belief that she should go.
It was Mary’s idea originally to possibly do some mission work in Africa before she and her spouse left for Africa, but what truly influenced her to go was pressure from society. Someone advocating for the theory of planned behavior would argue that that is one of the criteria to “shaping the final behavior” (Bergner 66). In order to form the behavior, one must have some sort of intention; one must want to do the initial behavior. Normative social influence is when someone gives way to societal pressures to build up support from their peers or to avoid some type of disapproval (Myers 705). From the view of the theory of planned behavior, Mary may have wished to go, and was also strongly persuaded by society.
One must also have a strong belief about the behavior as well; Mary strongly believes that she “needed to treat the children of Foria” (66). Need is a very strong word; rather than wanting to treat them, she needed to treat them. She attempts to portray this motivation through her kind deeds.
Another one of the criteria for shaping behavior, according to the theory of planned behavior, is that people will only integrate the behavior into their lives if they believe it is within their control. This may explain why Mary does not attempt to persuade the women that clitoris cutting, the female circumcision, was very detrimental to their health because she believes “she could do little” (76) about the situation since “in Africa alone. an estimated 60-90,000,000 women are circumcised” and “female circumcision is an ancient blood ritual” (Lightfoot-Klein). She only does what she can, and what she thinks she cannot switch she leaves alone. Someone analyzing this from the theory of planned behavior would conclude that Mary Kortenhoven goes to Africa because she feels subjected to do so and only helps where she thinks she will be an influence.
According to the empathy altruism theory, compassionate concern for a person in need produces a selfless desire for helping that person (Brehm, Kassin, and Fein 361). Mary out of the graciousness of her heart, goes to Foria in order to “gain the trust, to instruct rather than impose, to introduce the petite, sustainable beginnings of a fresh and lighter life” (Bergner 73). Mary puts herself into the footwear of the people from Sierra Leone, and according to Brehm, Kassin, and Fein, “The major cognitive component of empathy is perspective taking: using the power of imagination to attempt to see the world through someone else’s eyes” (361). The empathy altruism theory would say Mary Kortenhoven does not judge and undoubtedly cares for others.
That is exactly what Mary does; she sees the world through the eyes of the people of Foria. She realizes that some people are blessed with their religious beliefs and do not wish to switch them at all. She does not impose her beliefs on the villagers; she just suggests better ways of living. Mary is not forceful in any way. The way she presents her ideas is in an empathetic manner.
Even however Mary is not a nurse, she still attempts very hard and reads books in order to learn more. She would “listen with her stethoscope to lungs that crackled like cellophane” (Bergner 68). She also patiently instructs the Kuronko what to feed their sick children, how to prevent infection during pregnancy, and about many other health related issues because, according to Davis-Floyd and Sargent, “of every 1,000 child born in a given year, over a quarter [die] by their very first bday, and more than half [do not] reach their fifth birthday” (Davis-Floyd and Sargent 424). Mary sees a flawless chance where she can be of help, and she does entire heartedly.
Looking at Mary’s behavior from this point of view one can conclude that Mary is a kind, selfless woman who feels the need to help others simply because they need her help, and because she has the resources to help them. Even when living in Sierra Leone became enormously dangerous, Mary stayed and set up a women’s shelter (Bergner 84). She is not a needy person whatsoever. She simply loves providing, with no expectation of reciprocation.
Negative State Ease Theory
According to Brehm, Kassin, and Fein, the negative state ease theory states people are motivated to help someone to increase their own welfare, to make themselves feel better. They say, “Empathy highlights the potential prizes for helping others. [H]elping makes [the helper] feel good” (363). For example, if person A is in need of help, it may cause distress for person B, so person B in turn will help person A in order to counteract his or her own sadness. According to Rogers, “Genuineness, acceptance, and empathy are the water, sun and nutrients that enable people to grow like vigorous oak trees. For as persons are accepted and prized, they tend to develop a more caring attitude towards themselves” (Myers 588). According to the negative state ease theory, Mary only helps others to be accepted and to feel better about herself.
From the perspective of this theory, Mary also very likely only helps because she feels saddened by the Kuronko people, so she helps them to relieve her anxiety that their agony causes. Mary was “not propelled by fanatic devotion” (Bergner 67). Mary is propelled by the depressed feelings she has; she is propelled to get rid of those negative feelings by helping others. This, in turn, makes her feel better.
In compliance with the negative state ease theory, she is only looking out for her own private interest, which is to relieve her own anxiety. Mary often seeks refuge, and the “refuge she needed was from disease, from the village woman. wailing” (Bergner 66). She cannot stand the agony that she sees the villagers going through. In order to make herself feel like a competent person, she helps the villagers. Rogers proclaimed that empathetic concern strengthens relationships; any relationship inbetween two human beings (Myers 588). The only motivation for Mary’s deeds is to relieve her anxiety and for her to feel more competent among the villagers.
In addition, Mary is also subjected to many depressed people in Africa. For example, the female circumcisions that many of the women in Africa suffer result in “a severely depressed self-image, lack of confidence, feelings of sexual inadequacy and worthlessness, repressed rage and anorgasmia” (Lightfoot-Klein). When Mary sees these depressed and distressed feelings in the women, it causes her to become upset, and that may be why she is more inclined to help these women. She does not want to be around that kind of depressing situation, but since she is, she deals with it by helping others in order to relieve her agony, her sadness, and it makes her feel like a better person.
There are many different ways to analyze Mary Kortenhoven’s motivations for helping out the people of Foria. We have looked at her deeds from three psychological perspectives. However one may never know her true motives, by analyzing them from the perspectives of the theory of planned behavior, the empathy-altruism theory, and the negative state ease theory, there are several explanations for her genuine intentions. She may have felt pressured by society, she may have just wished to help out of the kindliness of her heart, or she may have dreamed to rid herself of her distressing feelings and that is what made her help. As Bergner states,
To step inwards those chambers [of the buttress trees], to have the massive growths enclose you, to lean with your feet on the spongy ground and your back to the cool damp bark, with almost all the sounds of the world absorbed by the misty air and the immensity of wood, is to exist in some other atmosphere, some softer medium, some fluid capable of sustaining you inbetween this world and another. (Three)
Mary Kortenhoven is existing in this other atmosphere; she was possibly caught inbetween this world and another.
[NOTE: This bibliography uses some features of the older MLA format—from before 2009.]
Bergner, Daniel. In the Land of Magic Soldiers. Fresh York: Picador, 2003.
Bitong, Liliane. “Fighting Genital Mutilation in Sierra Leone.” Bulletin of the World HealthOrganization 83.11 (2005): 806-807. Academic Search Premiere. EBSCOhost. Inver Hills Community College Library, Inver Grove Heights. 28 Oct. 2006 <http://web.ebsco- host.com>.
Brehm, S.S. Kassin, S. and Fein, S. Social Psychology. 6 th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
Davis-Floyd, Robbie E. ed, and Carolyn F. Sargent, ed. Childbirth and Authoritative
Skill: Cross Cultural Perspectives. Los Angeles: University of California, 1997.
Lightfoot-Klein, Hanny. “Prisoners of Ritual: Some Contemporary Developments in the History of Female Genital Mutilation.” 2nd International Symposium on Circumcision 30 April,1991.
Myers, David, G. Psychology. 7 th ed. Fresh York: Worth Publishers, 2004.
SPECIAL NOTES: This is a comparison/contrast paper requiring research. It uses MLA style. The bibliography at the end would, in a normal manuscript, begin on a separate page.
Inver Hills College
Hum 1110, Humanities I
© 2001 by Melanie Pelzel
A Comparison and Contrast of Three Ancient Roman Philosophies
by Melanie Pelzel
This paper compares and contrasts three different views of philosophy of Roman times: Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Neo-Platonism. These three philosophies were created out of a need for explanations about the meaning of life. According to Lamm, “Epicureanism and Stoicism, two eminent Athenian schools of philosophy of the third century BC, developed ethical systems that could help individuals feel more secure in an unstable and hostile world. Materialistic and practical, both philosophies suited thoughtful, educated Romans who chose to confront the problems of living an ethical life in a society plagued by dissension, vice, and corruption” (241).
It was the era that sprouted such philosophies. According to Shapiro, “The moral and emotional conditions in the very first true ‘Age of Anxiety’ suffered in the western world—the Hellenistic Age—called forward and nourished three good philosophical responses: Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Neo-Platonism” (1).
Purpose in Life
This section will compare and contrast the three philosophies regarding the question “What is one’s purpose in life?” In Epicureanism, securing tranquility is the reaction. The followers of this particular philosophy also believed the highest good in one’s life is secure and lasting pleasure. According to Lamm, “Epicurus considered pleasure the ultimate good and adhered, with remarkable consistency, to the consequences of this view” (241). The only way a person could achieve tranquility and pleasure is, as De Lacy says, “through the philosopher. Intelligent choice is also needed, and practical wisdom is more to be prized than philosophy itself. Practical wisdom measures elations against agonies, accepting agonies that lead to greater elations and rejecting elations that lead to greater aches. It counts the traditional virtues (justice, temperance, and courage) among the means for attaining the pleasant life; they have no other justification” (Four).
The followers of Epicureanism also felt that if a person were total of fear and anxiety, he or she would be hindered in achieving her purpose in life. Religion and the fear of death were viewed as the two fine sources of fear for mankind. To rid mankind of these fears, De Lacy says, “Epicurus stated that peace of mind is achieved when the probe of natural philosophy has eliminated all fear of the gods, when death is recognized to be merely the limit of practice and therefore irrelevant to the quality of practice, and when the gratification of desires that go beyond what is necessary and natural is seen to result in greater anguishes than pleasure” (Four).
This brings up an interesting point, one that should be addressed. Epicureanism has been given the reputation of telling that voluptuous enjoyments are the highest good and this is what a person should strive for. This view is actually mistaken. According to Burkhardt, “Intense bodily pleasure has consequences which are painful. In the long run, therefore, the highest good lies not in bodily pleasure but in the maximum of equilibrium or absence of pain” (272). The highest good is not in accomplish bodily pleasure, but in creating a total balance inbetween pleasure and agony.
How do the Stoics response the proposed question “What is one’s purpose in life?” They viewed purpose in life as the pursuit of virtue. According to Lamm, “It was seen that virtue was the foot good in an individual’s life; health, happiness, possessions are of no account. Because virtue resides in will power, everything good or bad in a person’s life depends entirely on that person” (242). Lamm goes on to say, “Virtue is seen as a detached silent, and one must guard himself from permitting others from interfering with this silent. One can eventually achieve freedom by freeing oneself from all non-important desires” (242). We can now see that Stoicism and Epicureanism have a common thread: to achieve ones purpose in life, she must look within. Clark expands on this idea by telling, “to desire the unlikely is irrational; and we should concern ourselves only with what is in our power—not wealth, pleasure, or reputation, but our inward reaction to the circumstances of life” (539).
The Stoics’ also wished to abolish passions, which were thought of as a mental disturbance. According to Sandbach, “The passions came in four generic kinds: fear, eagerness, mental ache, and mental pleasure” (60). A person who truly followed the Stoic philosophy attempted to achieve a detached tranquil in any situation. This person could have lost his wifey and children in a fire, but would take care not to let it disrupt his tranquil. He would attempt to view such a circumstance as of no account to him. If he did let it divert him, then he would worry that he was jeopardizing his ultimate objective of achieving virtue.
Last is the Neo-Platonic view of one’s purpose in life. This philosophy is somewhat different from Epicureanism and Stoicism. According to Lamm, “The main idea of one’s life is to treatment as near as possible to an understanding of reality while on earth so that, upon death, one is fit to inject the City of Good and contemplate the True Reality” (243). In Neo-Platonism, there is the belief that nothing exists in its unspoiled form. Unspoiled form is seen as unlikely to practice it in this life. According to Sweeney, “Neoplatonism tends, then, to put little emphasis on the material universe and reuses all value to the unique, distinguishing characteristics of an individual human person; for Plotinus these are unreal and unworthy accretion and must be put aside when one attains the One” (297). The idea then, is to live this life as ideally as one would live after death. By doing this, a person is more ready when faced with the True Reality.
This section will compare and contrast the three philosophies regarding the question “Is there a God?” De Lacy states, “Epicurus preferred the view, like all other atomic compounds, fellows have come into being when the necessary conditions have been met. They have no creator and no destiny” (Four). It was his belief then that no God did, in fact, exist. But Epicurus was influenced by society’s belief at that time that there was a multitude of gods. Even however he himself believed that there was no creator, he devised a way to explain the possibility of the existence of these gods. According to Armstrong, “The gods live in the gaps inbetween the universes. They are peculiar atomic structures, immortal in that the flow of atoms into them exactly balances the outflow” (505). Armstrong explains this state as goes after: “Nothing exists but atoms and the empty space in which they endlessly budge. Universes, including our own, and all in them are just chance concatenations or chains of atoms, which are always coming into existence and being dissolved infinite space” (505). To compromise his own view with society’s, Epicurus further stated that the gods have no power over mortals and do not interfere in our lives or affairs.
In Stoicism there was a belief in God. According to Hallie, “The Stoics defined God as a rational spirit having itself no form but making itself into all things” (21). Hallie also states, “ he key words in the Stoic vocabulary are all basically synonymous: God, Zeus, creative fire, ether, the word (logos), reason of the world, soul of the world, law of nature, providence, fate, and order. The Stoics were monists. There is no qualitative difference inbetween God and the rest of the universe” (21). In their view then, God is made up of everything; without Him nothing would exist.
Neo-Platonists supported belief in a multitude of gods. However, according to Shapiro, “the gods have no power over the universes. They must exist because humans believe in them, but there is no need to fear them. Philosophers can derive peace and joy from contemplating the ideal existence of gods” (334). Therefore, even in their existence, they remain totally separate from mortals. There is a point that does need to be clarified, however. In Neo-Platonism there is often the use of the words “The One.” This has led many to mistakenly interpret this philosophy as arguing for the existence of God or a Creator. However, according to Dillon, “The One can be defined as a principal superior to Intellect and being, total, unitary and simple” (95). Another way of defining The One is, according to Sweeney, as goes after: “The One is cause and final purpose that unifies us and our love terminates in it. No one knows for sure what The One is, but it’s beyond being, skill, and language” (297). Therefore, The One does not represent the idea of God, but in fact an idea in itself.
This section will compare and contrast the three philosophies regarding the question “Is there a soul?” In Epicureanism there was the belief in a soul, but it was not seen as living forever. In order to have a clearer picture of this, it is necessary to understand how this philosophy viewed the workings of the assets. According to De Lacy, “The human organism is composed of atoms undergoing characteristic patterns of switch. Bod and soul are interdependent; neither can get through without the other. The soul’s atoms are of four kinds. Three are the same as the atoms that constitute air, wind, and warmth; the fourth, the smallest and most mobile, is sui genesis and nameless” (Four). Thus it is that the soul is intertwined with the body’s functions, and has no purpose once the figure dies. In this regard, Epicureanism spotted religion and the concept of eternal life as a threat. According to Lamm, “Religion was not a consolation but a threat [to Epicureans]; it was a supernatural interference with nature and a source of terror because immortality denied release from agony. Death was both extinction and liberation” (241).
Stoics also believed in a soul. They used the word pneuma. which is “breath” or “seed.” Pneuma is what we now consider the soul in modern terms. According to Reesor, “The Romans considered the pneuma to be a tensional movement within each entity, a spreading or tightness responsible for the entity’s coherence” (735). Another interpretation of the Stoic’s understanding of soul is explained by Clark. He says, “According to a biological analogy that was proposed, the particular things of the world are governed in their emergence and development by the inherent power of seed—sparks, as it were—of the divine reason. The underlying substance of the world, this divine reason, is an intelligent fire that directs all events” (539). Without this pneuma. soul, or fire, nothing would exist.
Neo-Platonism also voices the view that humans have souls. They also believed that the soul proceeds on after the assets dies. Lamm says, “The aim [in Neo-Platonism] is to treatment as near as possible to an understanding of reality while on earth so that, upon death, one is fit to inject the City of Good and contemplate the True Reality” (243). This illustrates the Neo-Platonic view that there is a life after death, which–in this philosophy–is dearly embraced because it frees the soul for better things. Concerning this, Shapiro says, “Plotinus voices contempt for all that is of sense, blames the commerce of soul with figure as enchainment, an entombment, and upholds as a fine truth the telling of the mysteries that the soul is here a prisoner” (280).
There is a point that needs clarification, tho’. Many have confused the use of the word “soul” in Neo-Platonism. According to Dillon, “The Soul is regarded as a level that generates time, and receives the forms into itself as reason principles (logoi ). Our physical, three-dimensional world is the result of the lower aspect of the Soul (nature) projecting itself upon a kind of negative field of force (matter). Matter has no positive existence but is simply the receptacle for the unfolding of the Soul in its lowest aspect, which project three-dimensional space” (95). Therefore, the use of Soul in Neo-Platonism refers to one of the levels of the universe, and not to what resides inwards humans.
As we can see, these three philosophies share some common threads of thought, and greatly diverge on others. Tho’ modern technology has proven some of the ideas that held these structures together as incorrect, some we still have yet to disprove. As Hallie says, “Stoics compared their logic to the wall, their physics to the tree, and their ethics to the fruit of a fertile field” (21). This passage holds very true; many wonderful things and ideas have sprouted out of these three philosophies, and many more will surely go after.
Armstrong, Hilary. “Epicureanism.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1998.
Burkhardt, Fredrick. “Epicureanism.” Collier’s Encyclopedia. 1996.
Clark, Gordon H. “Stoicism.” Collier’s Encyclopedia. 1996.
De Lacy, P.H. “Epicureanism.” Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 1967.
Dillon, J.M. “Neoplatonism.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1998.
Hallie, Phillip. “Stoicism.” Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 1967.
Lamm, Robert C. The Humanities in Western Culture. Fresh York: Random, 1996.
Reesor, Margaret E. “Stoicism.” Encyclopedia Americana. 1998.
Sandbach, F.H. The Stoics. Fresh York: Norton & Company, 1975.
Shapiro, Herman. Hellenistic Philosophy. Fresh York: Random, 1965.
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This section explains the basics of writing and revising a summary–why summarizing exists and how to embark, organize, and edit it. You may want to very first see the “Introduction ” before reading this page. Be sure, before or after reading this “Basics Page,” to see “Sample Papers ” by students. For more advanced information, go to “Advanced Methods .”
The heart of a summary is a totally logical, unbiased, unemotional reflection, in shorter form, of a text (or whatever else is being summarized). It never is an chance to disagree or be upset with what is being summarized, nor to conveniently (or even accidentally) leave out something the author of the text might consider significant. It is an photo of the text it summarizes, much like looking through the wrong end of binoculars or a telescope: someone looking at your summary will see a smaller picture of the original reading itself, just as the author would see it. In real life, of course, being this flawlessly objective is unlikely. However, the purpose of good summary writing is to put aside one’s own beliefs and feelings about a text and, to the extent possible, write the summary as the author herself would. At very first glance people think summary writing is a plain skill. However, because a person must put aside her own prejudices and also see with the eye, mind, and heart of the author of a text, writing a good summary can be a sophisticated intellectual undertaking.
Summary writing has many uses in college and the professional world. In academic courses, it is useful for shortly describing the contents of a text, speech, or similar activity or event. In college, for example, there are summaries of social or psychological interactions and cases, of experiments (e.g. a “lab report”), and of scientific and engineering activities (a “scientific poster”). Sometimes, when you read a book and write about it, you are expected to embark your paper with a brief summary of it (e.g. see “Critical Review ” and “Literary Review “). There are at least three good reasons why such descriptions are significant in academic writing. Very first, they let your audience know what you have read or observed. 2nd, they convey this material to your audience in a brief, lightly understandable form. Third, your rigorous accuracy in summarizing demonstrates your academic commitment to fairness, balance, and reason–all of which are significant academic qualities that improve your capability to think and demonstrate your thinking to your instructors.
In the professional world, summary writing also is an significant skill. The summary-writing abilities of accuracy, brevity, and fairness also are significant to companies and service organizations in business reports and proposals, case management, and other professional writings. You may be called upon to summarize business or professional writings, research, or raw data, or you may be asked to summarize events, activities, people’s resumes, or professional or workplace problems. Summaries of academic texts, court documents, business documents, people, places, and events are needed frequently, and some professional papers in science and in business, in particular, require “abstracts,” which are simply a type of summary (see “Recommendation Report “). Whichever you may need to do, learning to summarize fully and fairly will give you a reputation for being balanced, efficient, and accurate.
In addition, in their private lives, people regularly summarize practices when talking with others. Even in private life, knowing how to suggest a thorough, balanced, logical summary is fairly helpful in understanding and explaining events to others and in knowing how to ask questions of others in order to get accurate summaries from them.
The major section of WritingforCollege.org called “Embarking ” offers a number of useful ways to commence thinking, speaking, and writing about a subject. The advice here, which goes after, is for this chapter’s type of paper in particular.
Embarking by Reading
Generally your very very first concentrate should be on the text of the reading (or on the other subject) you will summarize. To embark, you may find your paper lighter to write if you find a text that you understand lightly and scrupulously. You should be able to understand the text well enough not only in content, but also in structure, such that you can lightly see its individual points. You also must be able to treat it very objectively, without finding it upsetting.
This major section of WritingforCollege.org has, within it, five chapters discussing how to react to texts in five specific ways. Because you always must begin with a text, all five chapters of these chapters have these three paragraphs in common. To see more about how to embark with a text, please go to the brief summary and resource page “How to Embark Your Paper by Reading .”
If you are not embarking with a text but rather a subject, much of the same advice still applies. In other words, be sure that you know your subject well.
Writing Your Summary
When embarking a summary paper, begin with a thorough reading. If you have not yet cautiously read “How to Begin Your Paper by Reading ,” please do so now. In a summary in particular, you need to read cautiously for the structure the author is using. Look for the main thesis or subject of the paper and the primary supporting reasons for this thesis. Also take note of the author’s tone, style, and intended audience.
Once you have read your text, brainstorm your summary. Imagine that you are a mirror on the wall, a unspoiled observer who sees all and knows all without reacting. Then provide the highlights of what you are summarizing. If the author of what you are reading uses an emotional tone or style, do not reflect this. You may mention it, especially if it is strong or evident; however, your own tone should be objective, balanced, and logical.
You may brainstorm your very first draft by simply writing as quickly and spontaneously as you can, recalling what you have read, or by writing a quick outline of the highlights of your text. However, in writing a summary, it also is generally allowable to write step by step as you look at your text, if that is a comfy way for you to embark.
Some people find it helpful to imagine the audience–or one member of it–for whom you are writing, and then write the very first draft as if to this group or person. The style, tone, and voice you use in your very first draft can be anything you want. However, if you work better by focusing on an suitable tone and style in a very first draft, then for a summary paper, you should choose a tone of stringent objectivity, balance, and reportage.
You may begin your summary as you read. either in your very first or 2nd reading. One way to work is to find, in any given paragraph of your text (or at the beginning of any given assets section in it), a sentence that already summarizes that paragraph or section. In long, well-developed paragraphs, this summarizing sentence may be at the very beginning or, sometimes, at the very end. If you cannot find it in either of these places, then you can look for key words across the paragraph to figure out what that paragraph is telling. Then all you have to do is switch the wording of what you have found so that your summary is in your own words. Observe how this structural treatment works in the following example:
Example of How to Find the Summarizing Elements in a Text
Step 1: Look at the very first sentence or two of each paragraph: does the very first sentence summarize the paragraph?
Example from Original Essay, “Fall Leaves,” Paragraph 1: The trees in Minnesota in the fall can be beautiful. They turn flamy shades of gold, crimson, and orange, flaming a bushy bundle of incandescence. They flutter in the wind like a sea of flames.
Example of Summary Sentence 1: The leaves on Minnesota trees can be beautiful in the fall.
Step Two: If Step 1 doesn’t work, look at the last sentence of the paragraph. Does it summarize the paragraph?
Essay Paragraph Two: Sometimes only an even shade of orange-yellow comes in the l. Worse, sometimes the leaves build up only a abate yellow-green and then drop as if fatigued. When this happens, it is because freezing temperatures have come leisurely. A hard freeze–or “cold snap”–is needed.
Summary Sentence Two: A hard freeze is needed.
Step Three: If the very first or last sentence don’t summarize, then use a few key words to summarize the overall intent of the paragraph.
Essay Paragraph Trio: Go outside, especially where children live. See how they leap into the piles of leaves and pour them over each other’s goes. Look at the stark beauty of the final few colorful emblems of brightness as they fall from the barren trees. Take delight in it all.
Summary Sentence Three: Hopping in leaf piles and watching the final ones fall also are delightful.
Step Four: Place the summary sentences together and revise them using your own wording as much as possible. Also fix the flow of the sentences, and add the name of the author and/or title.
Example of Final Summary:
“According to Richard Jewell in “Fall Leaves,” looking at the beautiful leaves on Minnesota trees in the fall is pleasurable. Only a hard freeze can create the more vivid colors. Playing in the leaves and watching the last ones fall also are joy.”
Also be sure–as you build your paper–that you have slew of quotations from the author so that the reader can see exactly how the author develops his/her thinking. If you are assigned to do so, you may need quotations from other sources, as well, primarily to help support the points you are making. Because you, yourself, are not a professional pro, you are depending–in a research paper–on quotations and paraphrases from the professional experts.
When organizing a summary, you may want to consider three practical matters. Be aware of (1) the typical visual/textual design, (Two) the central key to organizing this type of paper, and (Trio) dangers to avoid. General principles of organization are described in detail in the “Organizing ” chapter. Specific details for this type of paper are below.
The “Introduction ” has already shown you the following organization for a summary paper:
The Visual Plan or Map
Notes about the Above Structure:
*In a summary, a typical title often states “Summary of” and then the name of the text you have read. The part of the title that names the text should use underlining (if the text is book) or quotation marks (if it is an essay). Otherwise, in most academic disciplines, the title is typed simply: no quotation marks, underlining, or bold marking. It is centered, and the font size and style are those used in the rest of the paper–normally a 12-point font in a style such as Times Fresh Roman, Garamond, or CG Times. In a professional situation, you may use academic style or whatever is commonly acceptable in your workplace.
**Stating the structure can be as elementary as telling, for example, that the text has a thesis structure (or, for example, that it is a psychological case explore), or as elaborate as stating the three or four main supporting sections in a sentence each. If something is to be said about a particularly noticeable tone, style, or set of details, it should be done as part of the discussion about structure (for example, “The tone of the paper is light-hearted and humorous, the style is more like that of a newspaper article than an academic paper, and the author uses numerous examples from her own practice”). However, be absolutely objective in such comments: never let your own opinion or feelings affect your summary of tone, style, or details.
***A very brief summary needs only a very brief introductory sentence or two–and a very brief concluding sentence or two–that do not stand alone in their own paragraph.
****Some summaries–such as an abstract or a prйcis–may be so brief that they are written as one long paragraph (or possibly two). If this is so, simply go after the directions above but join the sections together. (Another alternative is to have a brief two-three sentence introduction, a figure section of one long paragraph, and, optionally, a final two-three sentence conclusion.)
The Key to Building a Summary Paper
The key to the overall organization of a summary of a text is to take a structural treatment in your 2nd draft (and in your very first, if you wish):
Very first, determine how many sentences in length your summary should be. If you’re not sure, ask your instructor or coordinator. (However, a summary should never be more than a third of the length of the text you have read and usually is much shorter.)
Third, divide to detect the number of sentences you should use to summarize each major section of the text. For example, if your summary should be about twenty sentences in length and your text has four major sections, then your summary should use about five sentences per section.
Dangers to Avoid as You Organize
There are several dangers to avoid as you write a summary. One of the dangers is copying the words of the text. Academically, it is acceptable to use a key word when no other word will work; however, you should at all cost avoid using long phrases from the text, and even more so entire sentences. If you do use them, you are guilty of plagiarism. Plagiarism is the copying of someone else’s work and claiming it as your own. You commit plagiarism whether you do so on purpose or accidentally. Plagiarism is considered a strong breach of academic ethics, and many instructors give students failing marks for plagiarism, even if unintended. And if you are summarizing something in the professional world, you may be liable to lawsuit and other unpleasant consequences at work.
Another danger is not providing the author utter credit. Be sure to include both the title of the work (in your own summary’s title or in its introduction) and the total name of the author (in the introduction).
A third danger is quoting a text. In general, it is better to avoid quoting it–especially if your summary is short–as the entire idea of a summary is to use much briefer language than does the text. Periodically, the text may have a sentence that summarizes itself in a very brief, clear form; in that case, you may be permitted to quote the text. If so, be sure to use the decent form for quoting: [Author] says, “Quote” (page number). See the chapter on “Quoting and Paraphrasing .”) If you are in doubt about whether an occasional quotation is acceptable, ask your instructor.
A fourth danger is making a summary too long–or choosing a text that is too brief. There is little purpose in reading a summary if it is near the length of what it summarizes. Generally, to be effective, a summary needs to be–at most –no more than one-third the length of what it summarizes, preferably much shorter. If you are permitted to choose your own text to summarize, this means that you should be careful to choose something that is at least three times to five times as long as the length of your summary your instructor requires, and possibly fairly longer. Again, if you are unassured of the lengths of a required summary or the text you originally must read, ask your instructor.
A final danger is permitting your own opinion to creep in. Write objectively, fairly, and logically as if your paper were being written by the author of the text himself.
As you finish your later drafts, look cautiously at the visual map above and the sample papers in this chapter. Rearrange the order of your assets sections and of your paragraphs as needed. Consider your use of major organizing devices: for example, have you placed the correct key sentences in your introduction and conclusion, and have you developed a subtitle and topic sentence at the beginning of each major figure section?
Are There Special Revising and Editing Needs?
Samples (on separate web page)
This chapter shortly presents the “case probe.” The chapter offers three styles or methods. The very first two are formal methods, each with a good example in the “Samples ” page. The third is a problem-solving method using a diversity of informal or semi-formal observation or profiling.
A case probe is a specialized type of paper used in some social sciences, medical, legal, and other fields. It often is found especially in client/patient services settings such as in medical, social services, or legal work.
A case probe usually describes the problem or illness of a patient or client, and it details a system or therapy for helping that patient. Even however its specific use is in such fields, it has a more general application of dealing logically and rationally in a step-by-step manner with any kind of general problem in most professional workplaces and in many private difficulties. In so doing, it goes after a common critical-thinking pattern of examining
(a) the background of a problem
(b) the problem itself
(c) a plan for solving the problem
(d) the application of the solution
Here are two different patterns for a formal case explore. The very first is a case explore of an individual client or patient. The 2nd is a research survey. Here is a chart of the basic organizational pattern for both:
TWO FORMAL CASE Explore PATTERNS
Case Explore of an Individual
Brief Intro Parag.
Brief Conc. Parag.
Case Investigate of an Individual: There are many different versions of case studies in different disciplines and different professions. However, here is a general pattern that is somewhat typical for developing a case investigate:
Introduction. A very brief introduction mentioning the client/patient, the clinic/organization treating him/her, the person(s) in charge of providing the examinations and therapies or other assistance, and the purpose of the case examine (for medical records, a research explore, etc.).
Patient/Client . A thorough profile—a description—of the client or patient, the aspect he/she presents at the very first meeting(s), and/or the general background. In this section, use such devices as the five W’s of journalism (who is the patient; what is he/she; where does she live, work, play, etc.; when; and how or why?); the five senses (e.g. how a patient looks, sounds, smells, moves, slurps/smokes, etc. is significant in psychological profiles); social and family relations, work and individual history; etc. Do not yet discuss the problem or illness in this section.
Symptoms/Problem(s) & Diagnosis . A thorough discussion of the person’s problem, or a set of symptoms and a diagnosis.
Treatment Plan . Divide this into three subsections sub-subtitled as goes after:
COMPONENTS OF TREATMENT—a description of the system of help, or of the therapeutic method, that you or your organization chose for the person. Do this in the abstract, relatively or
entirely: do not yet discuss how you or others applied the help or therapy.
APPLICATION OF TREATMENT–a description of how the treatment was given and/or what happened during (not after) the process of treatment.
RESULT/PROGNOSIS—a description of the results after the primary treatment cycle was ended, and/or what the prognosis–the long-range expectations–is.
Conclusion. a very brief conclusion reiterating the name of the patient, his/her problem or illness, the assistance, and the result.
Use these sections to break information about the client or patient into the suitable parts.
Research Survey: There are different versions of the case probe called a research survey, as well. Be sure to talk with your instructor or supervisor about what categories he or she wants. Here is one type of pattern:
Introduction. a very brief introduction summarizing the problem or need for the examine, the background, the methodology of the present explore, the findings, and what the findings mean.
You should keep this very brief unless you are expected to have a more thorough “abstract” (an official long paragraph summarizing each of the sections of your paper) or “prйcis” (much the same as an abstract–but be sure to create a key topic sentence for each section and major subsection of your paper, and then repeat these topic sentences in your prйcis). This abstract or prйcis then might be either a part of your very first paragraph in the paper, or a separate, longer, one- or two-paragraph section right after a brief introductory paragraph.
Background . Provide the research background that prompted your research survey. Why is it good for the field to have your survey or probe? If you are writing a total research paper, this is one of the points at which you should quote and/or paraphrase a number of up-to-date, relevant resources to help demonstrate the need for your probe and the particular parameters you are using for your methodology. Especially with a number of resources named, this section sometimes can be fairly lengthy.
Client/Patient/Client . a thorough profile—a description—of the client or patient, the aspect he/she presents at the very first meeting(s), and/or the general background. In this section, use such devices as the five W’s of journalism (who is the patient; what is he/she; where does she live, work, play, etc.; when; and how or why?); the five senses (e.g. how a patient looks, sounds, smells, moves, slurps/smokes, etc. is significant in psychological profiles); social and family relations, work and private history; etc. Do not yet discuss the problem or illness in this section.
Present Examine . Divide this into three subsections sub-subtitled as goes after:
SAMPLE—Describe in detail the group of people you chose for your survey or investigate, how you chose them, and why. Provide the parameters of your choosing so that your readers can see whether and how scientific you were in your choices.
INSTRUMENT–Similarly, describe in detail the questions or other methodologies you chose to use on the sample, above, how you chose these questions or methodologies, and why. Again, provide the details–show the questions or the methodology–so that readers can see whether and how scientific your choices were.
ANALYSIS–Report the tabulated results, usually in some kind of statistical list, chart, or table.
Findings . Summarize the tabulated results in written form, being sure to include all the results and their obviously factual meanings.
Conclusions . Discuss the likely results, meanings, and reasonable interpretations and possibilities introduced by the findings. In addition, you may discuss potential future directions for useful research and other investigations. This section can in a research paper–as in the background section–become lengthy with the addition of quoted and paraphrases resources that help support your interpretations and/or suggestions for future investigations.
Conclusion. a very brief conclusion restating the initial problem or need for the research, the present probe, and its major finding(s) and conclusion(s). Again, keep it brief.
The third pattern for case explore writing is an informal, rough-draft method and also a system for writing semi-formal observation reports or initial case-history profiles in some fields. There are many versions of it. The basics of it come from both critical-thinking studies and storytelling. The basic structure is
Do not tell a story in a narrative format. That means you should not just go from event to event in the order in which they happened. Instead, break down the information you gather using one or more specific categories or systems of description. For example, when describing a patient, client, or employee’s past, you might use a series of questions such as those of the Ten P’s
Portrait (appearance, behavior)
People (friends, family, others)
Places (work, home, travel)
Plans (current, future)
Phases (daily, weekly, yearly patterns)
Phrases (use of language, speaking)
Using a system of description with specific categories makes your description not only logical and, often, more thorough. It also makes your descriptions consistent in their structured content from one observation to the next.
Several systems of description are suggested below. Two of them that are less known are the use of the five senses and of the Five W’s. Use of the five senses simply means to describe the patient/client using as many of the senses as possible by what you, the observer, observers and/or by what the patient/client himself or herself is observing at the time–sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. And use of the journalistic Five W’s means simply, as would a news writer, to describe by answering the questions “Who?,” “What?,” “Where?,” “When,” and “Why or How?” Answering these five ordinary questions provides the basic details in one of the most common formats known to people in developed civilization: the news report.
Your own discipline or professions–or your individual instructor or supervisor–may have one or more specific or applicable structures for you to use, so be sure to ask.
Here is a chart displaying how four different types of professional fields sometimes use the person-problem-solution format in rough draft writing or in semi-formal or initial observations or profiles:
INFORMAL OBSERVATION OR PROFILE
Use of Verb Tense, Tone or Voice, and Style: Case studies usually are written in the past tense—after the patient or client has already been seen and helped and there is a result to the assistance. The tone should be fairly logical; in some settings, it also should be cool and distance, whereas in others a tone of warmth is permitted or even encouraged. In any case, a case probe of any kind is a scientific document, so it should be written as such.
BeingLogical, Inclusive, and Thorough: As mentioned above, all case studies are scientific forms of writing and thinking. Therefore, even if they are informal observations, they should not include mere opinion (unless it is a accurately documented argument). Rather, they are documents that must meet several significant scientific standards.
Very first, they must be logical: that don’t use supposition or guesswork but rather careful logic in making observations. For this reason, they must only report what is observed, not the assumptions that might flow from it: for example, one should write, “The client was observed coming in the hospital, stumbling, and holding a vodka bottle upside down with both palms cradling it to his chest”; one should not write, “Client was observed walking buzzed.” Do not write conclusions (except formal ones in a formal paper, based on careful diagnosis); rather, write the facts.
A 2nd significant scientific standard is that a document must be inclusive. This means that you should not observe just what is convenient or what you very first see. Rather, you must observe as a scientist does, looking for and including including any kind of detail that might apply. For example, if you wrote the above observation example, “The client was observed injecting the hospital, stumbling, and holding a vodka bottle upside down with both forearms cradling it to his chest,” you should add anything else at all that might be relevant, especially anything possibly contradictory, such as “Patient was wearing a well pressed, unwrinkled and clean suit and had a bloody gash on his head, with blood leisurely running in rivulets into one eye. He was blinking his eyes rapidly and was accompanied by a woman following behind him, who said she was his wifey.” Include as many relevant facts, even those that may not seem relevant at that point in time.
A third significant scientific standard is to be thorough. Do not simply write what you happen to see. Learn to look tighter. Learn to use a multiplicity of senses–sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell–and a multitude of ways of finding out more information when it is appropriate–asking questions of the patient or client, asking questions of those with whom he or she has had interaction, checking his or her background, living, and work conditions, et al. The more information you can find, the more likely your understanding of the problem or situation is likely to be accurate. Act like a thorough professional, not a quick, judgmental inexperienced.
As mentioned previously, other patterns and types of papers in the field of social and medical sciences also exist. Especially if you are writing a science or lab report of some kind, you may want to see the chapter in this section called “IMRaD .” Always be sure to ask your instructor, academic advisor for your major or senior project, or your supervisor exactly what he or she wants. Also ask for sample papers or other books on how to write the kind of paper he or she wants to see. There are not a large number of textbooks on writing in the social sciences, but good ones do exist if you look.
This introductory page of the “Analysis” chapter offers a plain, brief summary. For more, go to “Basics ” and to “Sample Papers ” by students. If you understand this type of paper already or want to explore it more, you might choose to read “Advanced Methods .” All five web pages of this chapter are listed at the top of this page–and also in the right-hand column. Simply click on one of the five pages.
The word analysis usually implies at least two elements: (a) a breakdown of something into parts or ideas, and (b) a discussion or description of those parts using a point of view or a method. If, for example, you were asked to analyze the text of a reading, you would choose several main or significant ideas from it, then discuss each in turn using some kind of special point of view, theory, or method. An analysis in its purest form differs from other types of writing in that its primary concern simply is to explain something in greater or newer detail using a unique point of view, whereas the main purposes of many kinds of papers may be to argue or to evaluate. In fact, some assignments may require you to use analysis to argue a point or to evaluate something. However, if you are required to do nothing but a ordinary analysis, then your primary aim is to explain something from a unique point of view.
It may be useful to think of an analysis as helping someone junior or less experienced than you order from a menu at your beloved restaurant. If you are being thoughtful, very first you will choose the viewpoint of the other person: e.g. an eight-year-old’s view of the food, a vegetarian’s view of it, or perhaps the viewpoint of someone who has never eaten in this kind of restaurant. Then you might explain the basic organization of the menu or simply dive in and explain in more detail the kinds of foods you think the person might find most interesting.
One famous example of an analysis is Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: it is his analysis of a current situation, using a particular view—idealistic and hopeful—of history. Another example is an analysis of someone who has been interviewed for a job at your place of work: a written or oral description—from the viewpoint of what your place of work wants—of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. A third example is Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book, a playful analysis from a child’s point of view (and from Seuss’s own unique artistic viewpoint) of the sounds and uses of the ABCs.
Writer’s Purpose or Assignment
The aim of writing an analysis is to read an argumentative essay that you can understand lightly and then to analyze its parts step by step, using one or more differing viewpoints or theories. At a beginning level, you can accomplish this by analyzing the text’s ideas by using the three differing viewpoints of three very different people. For example, if the essay argues that war is good, you might analyze the essay’s contents from the viewpoints of an older conservative politician, an eighteen-year-old draft dodger, and a liberal religious leader. At a more advanced level, usually an analysis examines a text using one to three particular theories that you have studied. For example, you might be asked in a philosophy class to examine a text or concept using the belief systems of Plato, Aristotle, and/or St. Augustine.
If you need an online text, go to the chapter in “Section D” called ” Resources & Readings .” If your instructor requests it, you may have a brief very first section, after the introduction, that summarizes the text. Then you should write the assets of your analysis by analyzing several of your text’s points or ideas. Depending on what your instructor expects, you may organize your paper in three or four topic sections or as several point-by-point discussions. In the beginning of each topic section or point, very first suggest a sentence summarizing the overall subject of the entire section, and explain it shortly, if necessary. Then support your analytical statements with quotations from your text/source and other details. Your other details may include one or more of the following: personal-experience examples and stories; the practices of others you know; and facts, details, and/or practices from documented sources. In your introduction and conclusion, clearly indicate the type of paper you are writing (an analysis), your overall analytical method, and interesting quotations, stories, and/or facts from the text of your reading itself.
If you are writing a research paper, each figure section must include quotations and/or paraphrases from extra sources. These quotations and/or paraphrases should support your own points of analysis, should be substantial in quality and quantity, and should come from authoritative sources. Also fasten a bibliography suitable to your field, discipline, or profession.
Summary/Outline of the Visual Structure
A “concentrate” in writing helps you at any given moment to concentrate on writing. Here are several helpful, significant concentrates people use to develop a disagreement.
SUBJECT. If helpful, brainstorm a list of texts you would like to use or, once you have one, a list of possible points you could analyze. You may also want to brainstorm a list of analytical points (theories, points from theories, or people’s viewpoints) that you could use. Then choose from your list(s) cautiously; if you have two lists, compare them to match points in the text with analytical viewpoints. Have you chosen points that interest you? Do you have enough details or examples to support what you are telling, or can you find them lightly? Can you write about them objectively? What is the main problem and solution your paper or its sections will represent? Will your audience find your analyses clear and interesting?
Very first & 2nd DRAFTS. Embark with one or two methods that work best for you, but develop the others in later drafts.
Read critically. take your text apart so that you understand its contents and structure meticulously (see “How to Read Critically “).
Free-write. write as much as you can quickly on what you know about your text or your analytical viewpoint(s).
Gather details. mark or type the quotations in your text that best summarize the points which you can analyze. Write descriptions or a list of the details you have to support your points–facts, quotations, and/or practices.
Write for your audience. visualize it. What details does it need to take gravely your analyses?
Organize. make an outline using the structure above or whatever structure your instructor suggests.
Research. if required, mix research of your analyses with the above methods to develop a very first draft during your research.
STYLE, TONE, and WRITER’S ROLE. Develop (in early or late drafts) an academic style and tone of tranquil, reasoned, fair, balanced logic. In your role as a writer, you should remain a neutral observer, simply applying the analyses in a balanced, logical, consistent manner.
AUTHENTICITY. Be as real and meaningful as you can to your audience, your content, and yourself. Very first, respect your audience: attempt as fully as you can to consider its own beliefs about your text. 2nd, find the heart of the meaning in both your text and your analysis of it, and write about them clearly using high-quality supporting details. Third, make your analyses your own: develop them in a way as meaningful to you as possible.
The samples below are papers by students, unless specifically noted. They are examples of “A” level undergraduate writing or entry-level professional work. To get a better idea of how this type of paper is written, you will want to look at all the samples. Then compare the samples to each other and to what the “Basics ” part of this chapter says.
The authors of all sample student papers in this Web site have given their permission in writing to have their work included in WritingforCollege.org . All samples remain copyrighted by their original authors. Other than displaying it on this website, none should be used without the explicit permission of the author.
Review of Four Articles
Sample One: Critical Review of One Book
Inver Hills College
Rough-draft Critical Review
Eng 1114-91, Spring 2006
© 2006 by Laura Beres
A Critical Review of Man’s Search for Meaning
In Man’s Search for Meaning. Viktor E. Frankl tells the very individual story of his practice as a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. He presents this story in the form of an essay in which he shares his arguments and analysis as a doctor and psychologist as well as a former prisoner. This paper will review Frankl’s story as well as his main arguments, and will evaluate the quality of Frankl’s writing and concentrate on any areas of weakness within the story.
This section contains a summary of Man’s Search. Frankl starts his book by stating that his purpose in writing the book is not to present facts and details of the Holocaust, but to provide a private account of the everyday life of a prisoner living in a concentration camp. He states, “This tale is not worried with the superb horrors, which have already been described often enough (however less often believed), but…it will attempt to reaction this question: How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” (21). Frankl then goes on to describe the three stages of a prisoner’s psychological reactions to being held captive in a concentration camp.
The very first phase, which occurs just after the prisoner is admitted to the camp, is shock. The 2nd phase, occurring once the prisoner has fallen into a routine within the camp, is one of apathy, or “the blunting of the emotions and the feeling that one could not anymore” (42). The third phase, which occurs after the prisoner has been liberated from the camp, is a period of “depersonalization”, in which “everything emerges unreal, unlikely, as in a dream” (110). In this phase, released prisoners also feel a sense of “bitterness and disillusionment” when returning to their former lives (113). Frankl describes each of these phases using psychological theory and provides individual practices to exemplify each of the stages.
As described above, Frankl’s main purpose for writing this book is to present and analyze the average prisoner’s psychological reactions to the everyday life of a concentration camp. His three main arguments are his presentation and analysis of each of the psychological stages that the average concentration camp prisoner practices: shock, apathy and depersonalization. He bases his analyses of each of these stages on the deeds of the prisoners and his own private thoughts and reactions as he experienced life in a concentration camp.
For example, Frankl argues that the 2nd phase of apathy compels “the prisoner’s life down to a primitive level” (47) in which “all efforts and all emotions were centered on one task: preserving one’s own life and that of the other fellow” (47). He bases this theory on events he witnessed while living in the camp himself, and states, “It was natural that the desire for food was the major primitive instinct around which mental life centered. Let us observe the majority of prisoners when they happened to work near each other and were, for once, not closely observed. They would instantly commence discussing food” (48). Frankl continuously uses examples from his practices in the concentration camp to illustrate and strengthen his psychological arguments via the text.
This section contains an evaluation of Frankl’s book. Firstly, the author is a survivor of the Holocaust and was a prisoner of a concentration camp himself, which gives him the individual insight to be able to comment on the psychological conditions of an average prisoner. However, this also creates a bias and because of his individual practice, he is incapable to be entirely objective in writing his analysis. Frankl acknowledges this bias in the beginning of his book, by stating, “Only the man inwards knows. His judgments may not be objective, his evaluations may be out of proportion. This is unpreventable. An attempt must be made to avoid any individual bias, and that is the real difficulty of a book of this kind” (24-25). Albeit he is aware of this bias, it creates a partiality that will sway the readers across his story and it serves as a minor weakness in his writing style.
A 2nd weakness in Frankl’s writing is in the assumptions he sometimes makes to prove his point. He makes overarching generalizations several times in his book, making statements that, albeit may have been true for himself and those around him, might not have been true for every prisoner in every concentration camp during the Holocaust. For example, in one example, he says, “The prisoner of Auschwitz. in the very first phase of shock, did not fear death” (37). It is very bold to say that no prisoner of Auschwitz, one of the most well-known and deadly concentration camps of the Holocaust, did not fear death, as death was all around them and was a very real threat in their daily lives. Albeit he might have not feared death during his phase of shock, it is unlikely for him to assure that no prisoner was at all fearful of death in this very first psychological phase, and for him to make overarching assumptions like this is a weakness to the overall quality of his book.
Eventually, Frankl sometimes becomes too technical and verbose in his writing style, which makes it very hard for the average reader to understand. One example of this is as goes after. Frankl states, “I recall an incident when there was an occasion for psychotherapeutic work on the inmates of a entire hut, due to an intensification of their receptiveness because of a certain outer situation” (102). This sentence, which is overly wordy and complicated, makes it difficult for the average reader to understand exactly what he is telling. A reader can lightly get frustrated when attempting to decipher the author’s meaning due to overly complicated language, and this is a third weakness of Frankl’s writing.
This critical review has evaluated the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. The psychological theories that Frankl presents are very interesting and he does a good job of illustrating these theories with his own individual practices. However, his writing is weakened by the presence of bias, the overarching assumptions he sometimes makes, and his sometimes overly technical and verbose language.
Sample Two: Critical Review of One Essay
SPECIAL NOTES: This critical review examines three essays and has extra sources.
University of Minnesota
Eng 3027, Advanced Expository Writing
© 2000 by Sarah Pearson
A Critical Review of Three Articles on Music and Feminist Pedagogy
by Sarah Pearson
The importance of feminism in music has come to the forefront in many colleges and universities. However, for several reasons, one of which is that scholars hold differing views on the relevancy and appropriateness of feminism in the musical sphere, feminism has not been included as quickly in music as in other fields. Neuls-Bates offers another reason for this lack of speed: “The discipline of women’s studies has been slower to develop in the field of music. mainly because of the necessary, time-consuming tasks involved in obtaining spectacles of composer’s works” (265). In other words, music is slow to incorporate women’s studies because of the intense effort required to switch an already well-respected, dependable curriculum. This critical review will examine three different articles on this issue and evaluate their contents based on a set of criteria. Each of the articles, published in College Music Symposium. is written from a feminist viewpoint. The authors discuss the importance of including a feminist curriculum within the college setting, noting the positive benefits of using it in the classroom. Their main argument is that not enough of this type of instructing is being used in conservatories. One article is well written with supporting details and potential solutions, while the other two include only general observations and suggest no solutions.
Some background about this issue is useful. Prior to the 1970’s, white middle- and upper- class masculines predominated colleges. Because of this, women’s issues often were overlooked. In the early 1970’s, joint efforts were made by women across the country to attempt to persuade colleges and universities to incorporate women’s issues into their curriculum. They felt that this incorporation would pack a vacancy for women attempting to earn a degree. Many people believed that exploring the numerous ways women helped to form society would result in higher self-esteem among women and give them a better understanding of the world. Leisurely the schools began implementing programs for women and commenced using textbooks that focused more attention on women’s achievements in particular fields. Presently many departments within colleges have at least a puny part of their curriculum dedicated to women. Feminists spent uncountable hours persuading departments to add these issues. It has particularly been a fight for both feminists and music departments to agree on what subjects should or should not be included in an already well-established field.
A summary of the articles shows that the very first one, “Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: I” by Jane M. Bowers, discusses the issues of feminism and its place in music. Published in College Music Symposium. this article concentrates on the subject of music history. Bowers argues that the “good” masculine composers predominate music history, and almost nothing is said about women composers. That music history lacks a feminist viewpoint is not surprising, she argues, as almost all the disciplines in the arts have little emphasis on women’s issues. One reason for the void is that many scholars have felt that it was not suitable to incorporate women’s issues into their particular field. According to Bowers, “[T]he scope of musicology is. not defined by lived social realities, and hence its purview, like those of philosophy and literature, is similarly less suited to the incorporation of women. ” (83). She believes this presents a dilemma to feminists, who must now explain why women’s studies are relevant to music. Bowers goes on to discuss historical ideas about women and their function in music. She cites latest discoveries about the influence of women musicians in the nineteenth century. In her conclusion she restates the argument that there is a lack of research and studies being done on women in music. She suggests searching for ways to emphasize women’s compositions by focusing on the differences inbetween studs and women’s compositional styles, and looking at the instrumental music of women.
The 2nd article, “Women, Women’s Studies, Music and Musicology: Issues of Pedagogy and Scholarship” by Susan Cook, also concentrates on the importance of including women in research. Also published in College Music Symposium. this article contends that women’s studies need to be included in more music courses. Because of a lack of research of women in music, teachers are incapable to integrate the subject into their curriculum. Even with some research available, professors are unassured how to use it. According to Forest, whom Cook quotes, “We proceed to operate within a conservative methodology, whether compensatory or contributory, that is not necessarily feminist and not specifically female. Rather it tends to relate and relocate women to the accepted canon of good artists and superb works” (95). Instead of incorporating women into the canon, Cook believes professors are pushing them to the fringes, including them only when time will permit. Cook then mentions numerous studies done recently that have helped advance feminist ideas in the classroom. She feels this is a commence, but much more research is needed in order to thrust professors into using the information in their lectures.
Cook also discusses ways in which feminism has switched training styles. She believes the traditional lecture has begun to give way to an open forum, with the teacher leading the discussion. There is also an emphasis on equality in all classroom situations: for example, teachers suggest students more freedom concerning grades, class management, and lecture (98).
The third article, also published in College Music Symposium, is “Application of Feminist Pedagogy: An Introduction to the Issues” by Barbara Coeyman. It looks at ways of incorporating feminism into the current curriculum. Unlike in the very first two articles, the author does not emphasize research and its importance to switching the curriculum; rather, she concentrates on possible outcomes if feminism is applied in the classroom. Her main argument is that the current music curriculum can be enhanced and can lead to an enlightened classroom if feminism is applied.
Via the article, Coeyman attempts to justify feminist pedagogy by contrasting it to traditional training. She argues that “[traditional training] emphasizes formal constructions, static content, and context-free artistic creation” (77), whereas feminist pedagogy emphasizes students’ creativity and encourages professors to become more involved in the actual learning process. Coeyman further promotes feminist pedagogy by discussing its four main principles, which, according to her, include diversity, a voice for everyone, responsibility, and application to real life situations. She suggests several ways of applying these ideas through personalizing classroom lectures, including women composers in the canon, and permitting students to “learn by doing” ( 83).
Analysis of Arguments
All three of these articles contain similar arguments about feminism and music education. Very first, the authors believe that more feminist issues need to be incorporated into music classes. 2nd, they imply that a music student’s education is not wholly finish without the feminist viewpoint. Lastly, Cook and Coeyman argue that feminist pedagogy can unite students and faculty inwards and outside of the classroom.
More in Curriculum
Very first, each author states that music courses do not emphasize women’s issues enough and need to begin incorporating more into the curriculum. Bowers states, “If more than scant attention were paid to the interaction of music history with social history, as well as to the attempt to include music as an aspect of and in relation to culture in the large-areas which are virtually neglected within musicology-women would also become a more relevant subject for investigate” (84). By this statement Bowers shows her belief that feminist ideas could be incorporated into music curriculum if scholars would exert a little more effort.
Both Cook and Coeyman agree with Bowers that most music courses do not place enough emphasis on women. The main argument among instructors is that there is not enough research available to be able to add it to the curriculum. However, according to others such as Neuls-Bates, “[A]t the present time there are fairly sufficient materials to implement courses about women in music. ” (Zaimont 265). Thus the authors’ arguments in this regard have some validity.
2nd, the authors imply that a student’s education is not accomplish without the feminist viewpoint. While neither directly state this, both Cook and Coeyman allude to this idea. Cook closes her article by stating that feminist pedagogy can add to the overall musical practice (98). Coeyman goes after the same lines by stating that including feminism in the classroom can inspire both students and faculty and can benefit the overall person (77, 85).
Bowers, unlike the very first two, does not concentrate on the education aspect, yet she promotes this idea through her constant emphasis on continued research of women. Commenting on a survey of articles focusing on women, she states, “Their central concern was the degree to which research on women had achieved a place in the mainstream of the disciplines where it had previously been absent” (81). This statement and numerous others across the article showcase her belief that research is significant and can improve the overall education of a person.
A ll of these authors argue fervently that feminist ideas can enhance music students’ education. However, none suggest any evidence that this is true.
Unity of Students and Faculty
Lastly, the articles by Cook and Coeyman suggest the idea that feminist pedagogy can unite students and faculty. They both propose this through discussion of alternative classroom instructing mechanisms.
Cook suggests that a more nontraditional lecture format can provide an encouraging atmosphere in which students can learn. She states that nontraditional teachers can ” help all students to find their own answers and give birth to their own ideas” (97). Thus she is arguing that if teachers use feminist methods, they will stimulate students to think for themselves and producing better communication in the classroom.
Coeyman also argues that letting students become more involved in the classroom permits for better communication inbetween the professor and student, creating a feeling of collective power (83), again a feminist method. By emphasizing these and other feminist methods, such as a relaxed, non-threatening classroom practice, these authors promote the belief that feminist pedagogy can bring the professor and student together.
Albeit all of these articles suggest well-supported arguments, they also have weaknesses. At times some of them show up to lack solid solutions to the problem, tend to demonstrate bias towards the feminist viewpoint, and may exaggerate the oppression of women composers in music.
Lack of Solid Solutions
A lack of solid solutions shows up to exist in Bowers’ and Cook’s articles. Bowers, in particular, fails to suggest a solid solution as to how to incorporate more feminist issues into the music history curriculum. While she suggests alternatives to research within music, she omits discussing solutions to switches in the current curriculum.
Like Bowers, Cook also neglects to provide any solutions to the problem. She concentrates on the differences inbetween traditional instructing and feminist pedagogy, discussing possible types of alternative training methods. However she notes that switch is necessary, she fails to suggest suggestions as to how these switches could be integrated into the classroom (98). In contrast to the very first two articles, Coeyman does concentrate on possible ways to begin incorporating feminism into music courses. She suggests using women’s compositions during lessons, suggesting non-musical courses that can amplify students’ music classes, and providing students a larger voice in how a class is run (83-84). Combined with some aspects of traditional instructing, these methods could help enhance music students’ education.
All three articles are also infused with a bias towards feminism. In her article, Bowers portrays this bias when she states, “However inadvertent the neglect of women ensuing from these patterns of musicological research, the result has perpetuated the myth of female insignificance” (83). Her use of the words “neglect” and “female insignificance” display her strong feelings about feminist issues.
Cook and Coeyman use this same type of wording in their articles, but also display their bias through disregarding the positives of traditional instructing. They comment only on the negative aspects, making their suggestions seem more valid. Coeyman especially uses this tactic when she describes ways to switch traditional lecturing. For example, as quoted before, she labels traditional studies as “static,” “context-free,” and “dictatorial” (77). By using these terms she degrades standard instructing and enhances her own ideas about alternative methods.
Each author also exaggerates the oppression of women musicians in the nineteenth century. Very first, Bowers continually comments on her belief that women musicians have not been treated fairly via history. She states, “Further, women’s compositions were frequently reviewed in gender-biased ways, and overt discrimination. was used against women who attempted to inject masculine domains” (87). This statement is only partly true. Clara Schumann was one example of a woman who composed and performed across Europe. According to Green, “Clara Schumann. was the acknowledged peer of the top masculine performers of the day” (60). Many other women musicians were also well-respected in the music field such as Fanny Mendelssohn, Cecile and Natalie Chaminade, Amy Beach, and Sofia Gubaidulina. Bowers fails to acknowledge the influence these women had on music and disregards the freedom they had in performing and composing.
Cook and Coeyman do not directly exaggerate the oppression. However, they often allude to it.
Cook comments on continued open hostility to women’s studies programs in higher education, while Coeyman describes the field of music as a white male- predominated scene (Cook 93; Coeyman 75). While neither openly state it as Bowers does, they still assume that all women were excluded from music and have just recently begun to be accepted. Contrary to this, in latest years many universities have felt it imperative to include women’s studies in their curriculum. According to the College Music Society, for example, “To combat the trend toward tunnel vision [in music] and to ensue that students and faculty integrate skill from various disciplines, educational requirements need to be expanded and reinvigorated” (6). Contrary to Cook and Coeyman’s beliefs, many music departments have realized their curricula need to include more than just one race or gender’s point of view.
This critical review has considered three different articles. Each article concentrates on the issue of feminism and its place in the college music setting. Bowers and Cook look at the research aspects, observing that a lack of research inhibits inclusion of women in the classroom. Coeyman concentrates on the importance of including women in history lectures and offers suggestions for alternative training methods. While all three articles are well written, they fail to discuss the benefits of traditional training, focusing only on the positives of feminism. They believe feminism will foster growth in the education of many students. According to Ropers-Huilman, “[F]eminist instructing provides options for teachers and administrators as they seek to educate and encourage respectful communities grounded in difference” (Nineteen). However true this may be, to say that this will only happen by using a feminist pedagogy is one-sided, and this one-sidedness is evident in the arguments of all three authors’ articles. Their arguments insinuate that feminist instructing is the only solution to improving a music school’s curriculum. This misleads the reader and concentrates the attention on feminism while disregarding all other viewpoints.
Bowers, Jane M. “Feminist Scholarship and the Field of Musicology: I.” College Music Symposium 29 (1989): 81-92.
Coeyman, Barbara. “Applications of Feminist Pedagogy to the College Music Major Curriculum: An Introduction to the Issues.” College Music Symposium 36 (1996): 73-90.
College Music Society. Music in the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Reassessment. Boulder. College Music Society: 1989.
Cook, Susan C. “Women, Women’s Studies, Music and Musicology: Issues of Pedagogy and Scholarship.” College Music Symposium 29 (1989): 93-100.
Green, Lucy. Music, Gender, Education. Cambridge. University of Cambridge Press, 1997.
Neuls-Bates, Carol. “Creating a College Curriculum for the Examine of Women in Music.” The Musical Woman: An International Perspective. Ed. Judith Lang Zaimont. Westport. Greenwood Press, 1983. 265-284.
Ropers-Huilman, Becky. Feminist Instructing in Theory and Practice. Fresh York. Teachers College Press, 1998.
Banner, Lois. Women in Modern America: A Brief History. Two nd ed. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
Kimball, Roger. Tenured Radicals. Fresh, York: Harper & Row, 1998.
Langer, Cassandra. A Feminist Critique. Fresh York: Harper Collins, 1996.
Levine, Lawrence. The Opening of the American Mind. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.
Mark, Michael L. Contemporary Music Education. Trio rd ed. Fresh York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1996.
Sample Four: Critical Review of Four Essays Using APA Style
SPECIAL NOTES: This critical review of four professional journal essays is in APA format. There is no bibliography, as all sources are adequately referenced in this semi-formal paper. Main subtitles are underlined; sub-subtitles have all letters capitalized.
A Critical Review of Studies Demonstrating the Prevalence
of Disordered Eating and Insulin Misuse among IDDM Patients
This critical review discusses four studies that examine the prevalence of eating disorders and eating problems among insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) patients and the misuse of insulin involved. In the British Medical Journal article “Eating Disorders in Youthfull Adults with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus: A Managed Study”, the findings of Christopher Fairburn, Robert Peveler, Beverly Davies, J. I. Mann, and Richard Mayou suggest that eating disorders are not more common among IDDM patients compared to non-diabetics. The results introduced by Anne Rydall, Gary Rodin, Marion Olmsted, Robert Denenyi, and Denis Daneman (1997) in the Fresh England Journal of Medicine article “Disordered Eating Behavior and Microvascular Complications in Youthful Women with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus”, imply that there is a common “coexistence of eating disorders and IDDM among youthful females” (p. 1849). In the Journal of the American Dietetic Association article “Insulin Misuse by Women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Complicated by Eating Disorders Does Not Favorably Switch Figure Weight, Figure Composition, of Bod Fat Distribution”, Sandra Affenito, Nancy Rodriquez, Jeffrey Backstrand, Garry Welch, and Cynthia Adams suggest that there is a high prevalence of eating disorders among the IDDM population. In the Journal of American Academy of Child and Adult Psychiatry article “Eating Disorders and Maladaptive Dietary Insulin Management among Youths with Childhood-onset Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus” Myrna Pollock, Maria Kovacs, and Denise Charron-Prochownik suggest that eating disorders and problems are not as common among youthful adults as it is thought. All of the articles imply that insulin misuse is a common method for controlling weight among IDDM patients with eating disorders or problems. Two of the studies have strong elements that are worth noting. Each examine has at least one weakness. These include bias, contradiction, and thresholds of the examine.
According to the World Book Encyclopedia (1995), people with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM or type 1 diabetes) have insufficient amounts of insulin in their bods, and they are incapable to use and store glucose quickly. This leads to buildup of glucose in the blood. Injecting insulin permits the assets to use glucose normally. Despite a stringent diet, the daily dose of insulin may cause rapid weight build up in some IDDM patients, and this may trigger and eating disorder. The combination of IDDM and eating disorders is fairly common. According to Bonnie Irvin (1997), “it is not known if eating disorders are more common among diabetics, but it is very probable” (p. 28). Eating disorders pose a serious health risk to those with IDDM. Lowering or skipping insulin doses gives these people a special method of losing weight. According to Cheryl Rock and Kathryn Zerbe (1995), the dietary limitations concentrate on food, and enlargened bod awareness of diabetics are risk factors for an eating disorder. Insulin withholding can cause severe health complications, and diabetes “heightens the risks of mortality associated with eating disorders” (Rock & Zerbe, 1995, p. 81). According to Irvin (1997), “insulin purging”, (reducing or withholding insulin to control one’s weight) is now “recognized in DSM IV’s diagnostic criteria for bulimia” (p. 28).
This sections provides a quick glance at each investigate. All of the studies varied in the subjects and methods used. Some specifically studied eating disorders, while others looked at eating problems or disordered eating. Some studied both. All of the studies also examined other aspects associated with eating disorders or diabetes. (Note: this critical review specifically concentrates on eating problems and/or disorders, diabetes, and insulin misuse because these are the common elements in these studies.)
“Eating Disorders in Youthful Adults with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus: A Managed Study” compared the prevalence of eating disorders among a sample of IDDM patients and a sample of non-diabetics. The diabetic group consisted of 46 dudes and 54 women, and the control group consisted of 67 non-diabetic women only. Each subject was given an eating disorder examination to measure clinical features of eating disorders. Those with diabetes were given an interview adapted to distinguish behavior simply motivated by diabetes. All subjects also finished an eating attitudes test. Fairburn et al. found no significant difference in the prevalence of eating disorders among diabetic women and non-diabetic women. None of the boys met criteria for an eating disorder. Many of the diabetic women underused insulin to control their weight, and Four out of the 6 presently doing so had an eating disorder.
In “Disordered Eating Behavior and Microvascular Complications in Youthful Women with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus”, youthful women with IDDM were studied at baseline and four to five years later to find the “prevalence and persistence of disordered eating behavior” (Rydall et al. 1997, p. 1849). The participants were 121 women, ranging in age from 12-18, with IDDM. Each finished a self-report survey of eating attitudes and behavior at baseline. According to Rydall et al. (1997), “behavior relating to eating and weight psychopathology” was assessed at baseline and at follow-up with the Diagnostic Survey for Eating Disorders (p. 1850). This questionnaire was adapted to include items specifically relating to diabetes. According to Rydall et al. (1997), eating behavior at baseline and follow-up was categorized into “three mutually off the hook, hierarchical categories: very disordered, moderately disordered, and nondisordered eating” (p. 1850). Ninety-one women participated at follow-up.
Rydall et al. (1997) found “intentional omission or underdosing of insulin and dieting for weight loss” enhanced in prevalence from baseline to follow-up (p. 1852). At baseline, 26 of the 91 youthful women had very disordered eating behavior that persisted in 16 and improved in Ten. Of the 65 with normal eating at baseline 14 had disordered eating at follow-up. 12 subjects at baseline and 30 at follow-up reported omission or underdosing of insulin to lose weight.
In the article, “Insulin Misuse by Women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Complicated by Eating Disorders Does Not Favorably Switch Bod Weight, Bod Composition, of Figure Fat Distribution”, the relationship inbetween improper use of insulin among type 1 diabetics mellitus (IDDM) and eating disorders was investigated. Subjects were 90 women who had type 1 diabetes for at least one year. They were divided into three groups: clinical (all DSM-III-R criteria met), subclinical (criteria partially met), and control (free of eating disorders). Diagnoses of eating disorders were based on DSM-III-R criteria and confirmed by clinical interview using the validated Eating Disorder Examination. According to Affenito et al. (1998), the Bulimia Test Revised was administered to each subject to “assess severity and frequency of bulimic behavior” (p. 687). Attitudes and behaviors regarding insulin misuse were determined by clinical interview. The results demonstrated the women with eating disorders (clinical and subclinical) misused insulin to a greater extent to control weight than those without eating disorders. Almost half of the women with eating disorders reported misuse of insulin.
The objective of “Eating Disorders and Maladaptive Dietary Insulin Management among Youths with Childhood-onset Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus” was to determine the prevalence of eating disorders and insulin misuse among IDDM youths. Damsels and boys ranging in age from 8-13 were assessed on various measures two to three weeks after IDDM onset and at various follow-ups over the next eight to fourteen years. Eating disorders were diagnosed by using the Interview Schedule for Children and Adolescents (ICS) which contains symptoms that are flags for possible eating disorders. Trio of the 79 subjects had a DSM-III eating disorder. Pollock et al. (1995) further reported that each of the Trio had “serious dietary indiscretion and repeated insulin omission” (p. 294). Six others had symptoms of problematic eating behavior. According to Pollock et al. (1995) every one of the youths with eating problems had at least “one gig of pervasive noncompliance with diabetes care” (p. 295).
POPULAR AND ACCEPTED IMPLICATIONS
This section discusses the implications of these studies, displaying how they vary in popularity and rationale. Most of the articles had results that one might expect. Fairburn et al. Rydall et al. and Affenito et al. all implied that eating disorders and/or problems are fairly common among the IDDM population. This is in accordance with the expectations formed from the empirical relationship inbetween IDDM and eating disorders. It seems logical that eating disorders would be common among this population due to the special diet imposed on diabetics and their elevated bod awareness. Those with diabetes also have a method of controlling weight by reducing insulin doses readily available to them.
Some implications of these articles are not accepted so lightly. Pollock et al. (1995) suggest that only a petite percentage of youthfull adults have a combination of diabetes and eating disorders or eating problems. This idea is not only unpopular because it goes against the common expectations mentioned above, but also because eating disorders are thought to be the most common among the subjects’ age range (16-26 years old when assessed for eating disorders) of this investigate.
Another implication that is unpopular is Fairburn et al.’s (1991) conclusion that eating disorders are not more common among diabetic women than non-diabetic women. The findings and implications of this explore contrast those of many other studies on this topic. It can be argued that these results are due to the efforts of the experimenters to explore a representative diabetic sample and a non-diabetic control group. According to Fairburn et al. (1991), there are no satisfactory data on the prevalence of eating disorders in the community and few other studies have included control groups. It is possible that these methodological differences account for the findings of this investigate and the implications drawn from them.
One common implication among all of the studies is not well recognized by the public. Albeit the misuse of insulin among IDDM subjects was common in all of these studies, it is not seen as a common problem outside of the medical profession. According to Fairburn et al. (1991), “insulin misuse is not generally thought to be common, and omission or underuse of insulin specifically for weight control has received little attention outside clinical reports of patients with eating disorders” (p. 21). These studies suggest that the practice is widespread among IDDM patients (mostly women), and according to Affenito et al. (1998), it is not held to those that have a clinical eating disorder. The misuse of insulin may seem logical due to the enlargened risk of eating disorders among diabetics and their access to insulin.
SIMILARITIES IN STUDIES, DIFFERENT IMPLICATIONS
Some of the studies had similar methods and/or subjects, but different results and implications. The subjects in “Eating Disorders in Youthfull Adults with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus: A Managed Study” and the subjects at follow-up in “Eating Disorders and Maladaptive Dietary Insulin Management among Youths with Childhood-onset Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus” were similar in lovemaking and age, but the findings were different. Fairburn et al. (1991) found that many of the diabetic women had eating disorders and disturbed eating, while no dudes did. Pollock et al. (1995) contrastly found only a petite percentage of the IDDM subjects had eating disorders or problems, and one-third of the subjects with eating problems were masculine.
The difference in prevalence of eating disorders and problems suggested in these studies may be due to the criteria that Pollock et al. used to determine an eating disorder and eating problem. For the purpose of their probe Pollock et al. (1995) determined that an eating problem “required the joint presence of maladaptive eating and repeated insulin misuse” (p. 293). In the Fairburn et al. investigate, insulin misuse was not required for an eating problem. One might argue that a diabetic may have disordered eating without misusing insulin, and therefore it should not be a requirement. Pollock et al. (1995) used “comprehensive psychiatric evaluations and differential diagnosis” to determine eating disorders (p. 293). This method of assessment is more extensive than what would be done in a clinical setting. The criteria and methods used by Pollock et al. may have excluded subjects that would otherwise be considered for an eating problem or disorder. Pollock et al. (1995) also considered misuse of insulin as the total omission of insulin rather than the omission or reduction of insulin like most other studies. Contrastly, in the Fairburn et al. (1991) examine misuse of insulin was defined as “underusing or even omitting insulin specifically to control weight” (p. Legal). The difference in criteria used for insulin misuse may also explain the differences found on this measure.
Fairburn et al. (1991) and Affenito et al. (1995) both compared the misuse of insulin among IDDM patients with eating disorders and IDDM patients without eating disorders. According to Fairburn et al. (1991) there was no significant difference in the misuse of insulin among the groups. Affenito et al.’s results suggest that the misuse of insulin is more common among diabetics with eating disorders than among those without them. One could argue that the difference found by Affenito et al. is due to demographic differences inbetween the groups. Affenito (1998) et al. found the women without eating disorders were “more educated, had more professional occupations, and were more likely to be married” compared to those without eating disorders (p. 687). No significant differences existed inbetween the groups in the Fairburn et al. explore. It can be argued that these differences are due to differences in the comparison groups and that no real differences exist.
This section evaluates the quality of each probe. Some of the studies have strong elements that are worth mentioning. Each of these studies have at least one weakness that lowers the value of their findings.
In two of the studies special concern was given to the instruments used to measure eating disorders and problems among the diabetic subjects. Fairburn et al. (1991) made intensive efforts to go beyond the shortcomings of similar studies. According to Fairburn et al. (1991), the Eating Disorder Examination used was “adapted to distinguish behavior motivated by having diabetes and the requests of treatment from that attributable to an eating disorder” (p. Eighteen). Rydall et al. (1997) used the Diagnostic Survey for Eating Disorders that was “modified to include diabetes-related items” (p. 1850). By taking these extra steps, the authors avoid attributing eating problems and other behaviors to eating disorders when they could simply be the result of the diabetes.
Another significant part of the explore conducted by Fairburn et al. (1991) is that they strived to use a more representative sample of diabetics, and they also used a control group of non-diabetics that few other studies have used. The use of a control group is significant because, according to Irvin (1997) the prevalence of clinical eating disorders in non-diabetic people is uncertain” (p. 17).
Two of the studies did not making the studies blind when it may have been more effective to do so, and the result of this may have been bias. In “Insulin Misuse by Women with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus Complicated by Eating Disorders does not Favorably Switch Figure Weight, Bod Composition, or Bod Fat Distribution” by Affenito et al. (1998), the Bulimia Test Revised and a “determination of attitudes and behavior regarding misuse of insulin” were conducted by clinical interview” (p. 687). The subjects were cracked into three groups, and the interviewer knew if each subject was part of the clinical, subclinical, or control group. According to Fairburn et al. (1991), in “Eating Disorders in Youthful Adults with Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus: A Managed Study” the eating examination was conducted by investigators, and the investigators knew if the subjects were diabetic or not. The interpreters and interviewers of both of these studies may have had expectations and stereotypes concerning eating disorders and diabetes. These may have influenced how they rated, scored, or interpreted the subjects on the measures used.
Fairburn et al. contradict the purpose of their explore. According to Fairburn et al. (1991), the purpose of their probe was to estimate the prevalence of eating disorders in the entire diabetic and non-diabetic population, but dudes were only included in the diabetic sample. By only studying women in the non-diabetic sample, the non-diabetic population is not fairly represented. The absence of masculines in the control group may have influenced the results.
A few of the studies were limited by problems with their samples. In “Eating Disorders and Maladaptive Dietary Insulin Management among Youths with Childhood-onset Insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus” the number of subjects found to have eating problems was too petite to detect differences on different variables inbetween those with and without eating problems. This limited the authors’ capability to suggest what factors cause eating problems among IDDM patients. According to Rydall et al. (1997), a drawback of their probe was that they lost participants that had very or moderately disordered eating at baseline. The information provided by these subjects could have contributed greatly to the results. The loss of participants is a drawback in any explore.
The experimenters could have avoided other boundaries of these studies. In the Pollock et al. (1995) probe the authors did not concentrate on “all manifestations of diabetes-specific eating problems”, and they may have underestimated the rate of these difficulties (p. 297). Unlike Fairburn et al. and Rydall et al. they did not acknowledge the eating problems that may be caused by the diabetes.
In the Rydall et al. article the authors could have avoided some of the boundaries of the explore. Very first of all, according to Rydall et al. (1997), eating behavior was only assessed twice over a four to five year period. This is a big gap of time to permit when measuring eating disorders among youthful women. Many switches may have occurred in these girls’ lives in inbetween assessments that the authors’ did not take into consideration. By the time of follow-up more of the subjects had reached the age of higher risk for eating disturbances, and this alone may have influenced the results. Another limit was that, according to Rydall et al. (1997), the self-report measure (a questionnaire) had “limited established reliability” (p. 1853). An significant part of every examine is to use an instrument with high reliability and validity. If such instruments are not used, little faith can be put in the results.
This critical review examined four studies on IDDM patients and the prevalence of eating disorders and insulin misuse among them. Special concern seems warranted among diabetics, because, according to Irvin (1997), “ diabetes can be a natural hopping off place for an eating disorder and a flawless mask for the disorder once it starts” (p. 28). Fairburn et al. Rydall et al. and Affenito et al. all agreed that eating disorders occur at a fine rate among IDDM patients. Pollock et al. concluded that eating problems and disorders were not very common among IDDM patients. All of the studies found a high occurrence of insulin misuse among diabetic subjects with eating problems. Arguments can be made against and in defense of the findings of these studies. Despite a few strong elements in a few of the studies, each explore had at least one weakness of bias, contradiction, or boundaries of the probe.
Sample One: Brief, Basic Summary
SPECIAL NOTES: This summary is very brief because it was the very first draft done by the student. (Note: It is in three paragraphs at present. However, it could be combined into one paragraph to provide a brief, one-paragraph Summary section at the beginning of a much longer formal academic paper, right after the introduction and before the bod sections of the paper.)
University of Minnesota
Eng 3027-5, Advanced Composition
© Min Seok Kim
Science Shows Us How the World Is
by Min Seok Kim
“Is Science Dangerous?” by Lewis Wolpert appeared in the March 25, 1999 issue of Nature. In this article, Wolpert insists that scientific skill has no moral or ethical value, and that all it does is make a just society.
Wolpert tells us that we do not know the exact difference inbetween science and technology. In actuality, science makes ideas about how the world works; scientists do not cause unethical behaviors. However, technology—such as the genetic engineering feats of human cloning, gene therapy, and genetically modified foods—can do so. Wolpert suggests some guidelines to reduce ethical problems: all scientific ideas should be criticized by others; skill should be used to do good, not evil; and government and the media should act correctly in carrying out the applications of science
In the article “Is Science Dangerous?” Lewis Wolpert explains that science itself is not dangerous, and the real danger depends on how securely science is applied—and on how we react to it.
Sample Two:Long, Finished Summary
SPECIAL NOTES: The subtitles in this sample add clarity, but most instructors either do not require them and some may choose that subtitles not be used in a brief summary.
University of Minnesota
EngC 3027-5. Advanced Composition
© Roger S. Thomas
A Summary of “National Security Justifies Censorship”
by Roger S. Thomas
The article “National Security Justifies Censorship” by Elmo R. Zumwalt and James G. Zumwalt, shows up in Censorship, a book in the Opposing Viewpoints Series. The article asserts that information that is secret and vital to the security of the nation should not be released to the press. The arguments made by Zumwalt Senior and Junior are summarized below.
Albeit many journalists contend that the Very first Amendment assures unrestricted printing freedom, the authors believe the press has gained more power than the framers of the Constitution foresaw and therefore neglected to install safe guards that would protect national security. According to the authors, the power of the media has gone far past what the constitutional framers expected; consequently, several acts since the writing of the Constitution have been implemented to deal with the lack of protection regarding national security. The authors proceed to affirm that even tho’ significant risk exists when confidential information is released to the press, this danger has remained unresolved by the courts.
The authors cite an example to prove this point. The CIA during the Reagan administration recognized Muhamar Quadaffi as a known terrorist and a potential threat to national security in a classified document. The Washington Post somehow had the document disclosed to them, and they soon published the information. Several months after the operation had been abandoned, the CIA found Quadaffi responsible for the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque. Military act had to be taken because of the earlier release of the classified document. The operation incurred military casualties.
The authors then suggest a two-part solution: (1) make the publication of classified information a punishable offense, and (Two) incorporate a “code of ethics” into media guidelines that safeguards national security. The paper finishes by discussing how ethics are the responsibility of good journalism.
Elmo R. Zumwalt and James G. Zumwalt assert that the media are overpowered and the national security is underprotected. They believe that the government and the media must take steps to assure a disaster does not occur.
Unless otherwise noted, sample papers do not necessarily meet all requirements an individual instructor or professional supervisor may have: ask your instructor or supervisor. In addition, the samples are single spaced to save room; however, a decent manuscript given to an instructor or supervisor normally should be dual spaced with margins set at or close to 1″ unless another format has been requested.
Sample One: Rough, Basic Evaluation of an Article
University of Minnesota
Advanced Expository Writing
Evaluation Paper [Rough Draft]
© Jason Dreyer
Should Prisons Penalize?
by Jason Dreyer
Francis Murphy argues in “Prisons Should Penalize Inmates” that rehabilitative ideals should be abandoned and that criminals should be exclusively penalized for violating society’s moral rules. This article shows up in America’s Prisons: Opposing Viewpoints. The arguments show up, however, to be obtuse, perhaps because the author is disillusioned by his practice on the Fresh York Supreme Court. The following sections, explain what makes this a powerless article.
When discussing the lack of success of different rehabilitative programs, Murphy demonstrates clear bias stemming, possibly, from his prejudice as a judge. He states that interventions such as promoting literacy, instructing vocational abilities, or the use of psychotherapy all have one thing in common. Each has failed. He further adds that “ironically [the failure] has today drawn public anger not upon those working in the rehabilitative disciplines, but upon the very visible judges” (58).
It is evident that the author has no faith in the ideals of rehabilitation (which is unfortunate, considering his career). He does not use any evidence to support his claim that these programs do not work. Instead, he implies that since he is a judge, we should just trust him. This would seem only to serve to weaken his argument for, as a judge, he is in a position that permits extreme bias. In addition, as a judge he is primarily a witness to repeat offenders. It is effortless to see how Murphy could become hardened by eyeing these repeaters. However, the result–his extremist views–only serve to weaken his credibility.
The Weakness of Presumption
Another reason this is a feeble article is Murphy’s presumption of knowing what all of us are thinking. He talks about how every American has lost faith in the current correctional system, as well as in society in general.
For example, using no statistics or outside sources, he writes, “Inevitably, a sense of defenselessness, a foreboding of a collapse of public order is present at every dinner table” (59). In addition, Murphy tells us that no American has confidence in the traditional prison system. Francis Murphy has never been a guest at my dinner table. He cannot presume to know what every American is thinking. At least when he demonstrates bias, he discusses something with which he is familiar. Murphy lists no credentials as a sociologist or similar accomplished, so he is beyond his element in making generalizations of this nature.
Examples Are Missing
In the entire article, Murphy uses no examples to validate his many assertions. He employs the theories of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and sociologist Karl Marx but never offers a practical application. He states, “As for the rehabilitative ideal, it should be stripped of its pretentiousness, if not its very name” (60). Why should it be stripped of its name? What drives the author to feel this way? What has actually happened (or not happened) to form his opinion? These questions are left unanswered. Without practical examples, the reader remains unconvinced and must question why the author is so sultry in his theories.
In “Prisons Should Penalize Inmates,” Judge Francis Murphy argues that we should abandon rehabilitation for inmates. Citing no examples and an evident bias from his profession, the author attempts to tell us how we already feel by regurgitating what amounts to an unproven theology that has little to do with the main argument. For these reasons, his article is feeble and better dismissed as hearsay.
Sample Two: Evaluation of an Article Using Research
SPECIAL NOTES: This is an academic evaluation paper requiring research. The bibliography at the end would, in a normal manuscript, begin on a separate page.
North Hennepin Community College
Eng 121-02, English I
© Kelly L. Cook
Evaluation of “Honey, I Warped the Kids”
by Kelly L. Cook
Carl M. Cannon reasons in “Honey, I Warped the Kids” in the Utne Reader that violence on television must be suppressed due to its effects on human behavior. This evaluation will showcase that tho’ the author makes some good use of statistical findings, he leaves many crevices in his argument by not accurately discussing opposing opinions.
Cannon’s basic argument is that television violence should be censored. This paragraph summarizes the structure and contents of his essay. The structure of “Honey, I Warped the Kids” is that of a thesis paper and an ending analysis. The essay’s format is almost downright based on numbers and dates with few individual examples. Cannon systematically lists the studies and opinions of others who agree with him and does not discuss opposing positions. In content, very first Cannon discusses the sociological interest in the subject of television violence and mentions that “the very first congressional hearings took place in 1954” (95). He goes after that with a list of studies that prove a causal relationship inbetween television violence and real violence. Toward the end of the article, he mentions why nothing has been done to put a stop to the ever-increasing violence on the TV screen. Cannon believes that this lack of act is because Congress must exercise caution and responsibility while dealing with this issue (96). Ultimately, he believes, most possible deeds must deal with the sensitive issue of censorship.
Very first, in evaluating Cannon’s argument, it is possible to find a duo of strong points. One occurs when he cites a examine done by two doctors about the effects of violence. These doctors, after keeping updates on a group of kids for twenty-two years, “found that watching violence on television is the single best predictor of violent or aggressive behavior later in life, ahead of such commonly accepted factors as parents’ behavior, poverty, and race” (96). This points out just how significant the effects are. The investigate magnifies the significance so that one might realize the urgency of overcoming the impasse inbetween censorship and the facts arguing against television violence. Cannon supports the finding with a quotation from the doctors: “Television affects youngsters of all ages, of both genders, at all socioeconomic levels and all levels of intelligence” (96).
The 2nd strong point that Cannon makes concerns the availability of violent material. This is a pertinent point because one may leave behind how absolutely submerged American culture is in violent media. Once again, Cannon supports his point by summarizing the work of researchers George Gerbner and Nancy Signorielli. “For the past 22 years,” says Cannon, “they found, adults and children have been entertained by about sixteen violent acts, including two murders, in each evening’s prime-time programming” (96).
On the other palm, Cannon’s article seems a one-sided debate. He totally disregards even the possibility of an opposing opinion. Very first of all, Cannon commits the “straw man” fallacy. The only mention he makes of a investigate that contradicts his own opinion is one that was done by NBC television network. The tone suggests that he believes that he makes a real point for his case, but truly he discredits his opinion by choosing such a feeble opposing argument.
The statistics in the NBC investigate, which are touted by well-meaning critics, contradict themselves. The examine claims on the one palm that violence desensitizes children; on the other, that it also incites more violence. In spite of this ambivalent evidence, Cannon’s research is deliberate and narrow-minded in intention, using only what he needs to support his own point of view and overlooking the NBC evidence. In point of fact, it is arguable that pics do not spill blood, but rather rage, desperation, and vengeance, especially when they are tooled with guns. According to Todd Gitlin, there were ” 36,000 murders, accidents, and suicides committed by gunshots in the United States in 1992″ alone (93).
“Honey, I Warped the Kids” seems at very first to be a reasonable article. While one reads this article one may be persuaded, thinking that statistics alone can determine the fate of their children. However, if an opposing viewpoint had been better represented, the casual reader may not have come to the same conclusion as Cannon.
Affect on Others
The issue of the results of violence seen on TV is a hotly debated one, and Cannon’s article is sure to affect others. The article does have the capacity to alter people’s opinions on the subject. Someone who is biased like Cannon can lightly misuse the reading, developing an incomplete view of the situation. This again is a result of the missing information. A reader who is of the same opinion as Cannon will love the article, for it fuels the argument against violent media. One particular anecdote mentioned in Cannon’s article provides an excellent example of the powerful but one-sided nature of Cannon’s debate. This is Cannon’s example of youthful, masculine students viewing “slasher films” and forming a mock jury in order to determine their degree of empathy for a fictitious rape victim (96). Such photos, however strong, are not typical of real life.
The most likely group to be affected by Cannon’s article is parents. Parents who r ead the article may be led to censor their children’s TV programs. The article could also be inspiration enough for more extreme acts of censorship such as book banning and limitations on what is instructed in school.
Someone who disagrees with the article “Honey, I Warped the Kids” may find Cannon’s position fairly troubling. Gitlin says, “It’s dark out there in the world of real violence, hopelessness, drugs, and guns. There is little political war on poverty, guns, or family breakdown. Here, we are suggested instead a crusade against media violence” (93). People reading Cannon’s article could become utterly frustrated because it seems to place blame on a single source and condone censorship of that source. Actually the article calls the censorship “protection” (96).
Americans have established a free society through our declaration of intolerance to prudish oppression and a loyalty to freedom. To permit penalty for what citizens have seen, heard, or read is an unacceptable concept that many people may consider an infringement on the rights of Americans. In many, “Honey, I Warped the Kids” would evoke fear, for when censorship of certain materials is permitted, it becomes a disease, spreading to other materials.
Just as some parents may be attracted to Cannon’s article, some may find it abominable. Since Cannon suggests censorship as a solution, parents may have concern about how their children’s education is affected. Victor Cline insists that censorship boundaries students’ education, leaving them with contorted views of society. Cline also suggests that parents don’t trust their children’s judgment (6). He asks, “How can we expect to produce a free, reasoning person who can make his own decisions, understand his culture, and live compassionately with his fellow man if we censor vital elements of his culture and human practice” (6)?
Another emotional appeal or effect may occur, too. Some people may be outraged by the article, feeling that censors are a greater danger to society than the works they attack.
The article “Honey, I Warped the Kids” makes the point that, due to its effects on children, violence on television must end. In conclusion, t he author uses many good studies to prove his point, but he misses many relevant opposing viewpoints. Also, the reading may have negative emotional affects on some readers.
Cannon, Carl M. “Honey, I Warped the Kids,” Utne Reader. May-June 1994: 9596.
Cline, Victor. Where Do You Draw the Line. Utah: Brigham Youthful University Press, 1981.
Gitlin, Todd. “Imagebusters,” Utne Reader winter 1994: 92-93.
Wade, Carole and Carol Tavris. Psychology. 3rd ed. “Media Violence: Getting Away With Murder.” Fresh York: Harper Collins, 1993.
Fore, William. Television and Religion: The Form of Faith, Values, andCulture. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1987.
Howe, Dr. Leland, and Dr. Bernard Solomon. How to Raise Children In a TVWorld. Fresh York: Hart Publishing Company, 1983.
Postman, Nell. Amusing Ourselves to Death. Fresh York: Random House, 1987.
Winn, Marie. Plug-In Drug. Fresh York: Viking Penguin, 1987.
This chapter discusses how to write a specific type of literature paper often referred to as a “critical analysis” or “interpretive analysis” of literature. This type of paper is different from merely analyzing or examining literature using the elements of literature. It also is different from an interpretive or argumentative thesis on a literary work.
A critical analysis is one of the two most common types of research papers in literature, the arts, and the other humanities. (See also the other most common type, an interpretive thesis .) It is common in both introductory literature courses and in intermediate and advanced ones requiring research writing.
To analyze means “to break into parts and examine the components.” To interpret means “to suggest possible meanings.” The phrase “close reading” also is sometimes used to describe this kind of writing, as it requires close examination–detailed, careful reading sentence by sentence–of one or several puny parts, sometimes as little as a line (in poetry), a paragraph (in brief stories and essays, or a page or two (in books) to critically (thoughtfully and cautiously) explain a work of literature.
In literature and the other humanities, to interpret or critically analyze means to break a subject (such as a a segment of a work of art or, in other fields, a culture, person, or event) into its constituent parts, examine these components, and suggest a meaning–or alternative meanings–about each. Usually such a paper starts with an interpretive question, such as “What is a major turning point in the work of literature.” Other interpretive questions might, instead, be used, such as “What is the relationship of Romeo to his father,” “What did the one ring symbolize to the dwarves in Lord of the Rings ,” or “How does the element of chance control the fortunes of two different masculine characters in The Color Purple?”
The purpose of writing a literary analysis is to meticulously take apart and look at some significant or interesting segment of a literary work. To do so, you should choose an significant turning point, or a scene, character, activity, or some other segment of a literary work, break it into parts, and analyze it part by part. You can examine each part accurately using the elements of literature to help explain its meanings, compare/contrast each part to others in the literary work, or apply a literary theory or other point of view to each part. The structure you use is that of a logical, balanced essay, with a brief introduction, a series of bod sections explaining each part, and a brief conclusion. If your instructor suggests or permits it, you also may have a brief very first assets section, after the introduction, that summarizes the main elements of the work (if your instructor is unacquainted with it) or reports biographical, historical, or other background.
In your introduction and conclusion and via the figure paragraphs of your paper, you should consistently quote and paraphrase the literary work that is your subject as you analyze parts and their possible meanings. These quotations and paraphrases help you support what you are telling by showcasing clearly just what the author of the work has written. If you are writing a research paper, you also must add quotations, paraphrases, or other references from extra sources–whether other literary works, professional critics, or other interpretive resources–using these extra resources to add more analysis and interpretation. You also will need a total MLA bibliography.
Here are examples that include not only literature but also other arts and humanities disciplines:
What is one of the major turning points–within a page or two–of the story (plot), a major character, a major symbol, or a major event in J.RR. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Is the character Lil’ Tim in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol a fully three-dimensional character or only a two-dimensional caricature?
(Example for art:) How do bulls in other Picasso paintings help explain the symbolic meaning of his prominent bull in his famous Guernica.
(Example for history, philosophy, or the humanities:) How can Plato’s Cave Metaphor be found in the treatment he recommends for the unenlightened masses in his book The Republic.
(Example for sociology or history:) How does classic Marxism explain twentieth-century Brazilian voudoun?
One basic way to write such a paper is to simply ask yourself, “What is the (or a) major turning point?” Then you work your way through most or all of the major literary elements or parts, lump by chunk, explaining how each fits or should be interpreted according to your understanding of where the turning point lies.
Another way is to choose a narrower range of elements, limiting yourself to a smaller field that can much more lightly be treated in one relatively brief research paper. For example, you might narrow the very first question above as goes after:
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. does the dialogue about, by, and/or with character Lil’ Tim suggest that he is a two-dimensional caricature of a real person?
You then apply your question, step by step, to the elements or the parts of the work that help prove your tentative response, significant scene by significant scene. As you develop your interpretations step by step, you quote and paraphrase the elements or parts in the work in order to demonstrate how they exist. In this way, your readers can see for themselves that the way you interpret each element or part emerges reasonable. You are, in effect, proving to the reader that your interpretation is sensible, both at each step of the way and in the overall view. If you have two sources with one being applied to the other, then you quote and paraphrase both as needed to showcase exactly what it is that you are applying from one source, to what you are applying it in the other, and how.
In a research paper, you use extra resources to help prove your interpretations. You still write the paper from element to element or part to part within the work, analyzing the elements or parts you have chosen to use. However, you add comments from other sources to help develop your interpretations. Here, for example, is a research question:
In the Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, can King Oedipus be defined in modern terms as a jock-warrior, a lost soul, or a tragic figure?
To embark, whether a research question is given to you or you invent one yourself, you should not treat it like a multiple-choice question, selecting the one that seems the most “right.” Rather, you should seek to redefine the question so that you can work with it more lightly and downright. This means choosing
(1): what you find interesting,
(Two) what you can lightly research,
(Three) what no other published author has argued, and
(Four) what you can narrow to make the best research question.
You must weigh all four guidelines against each other. You are the only person who can determine the very first choice: what you might find most interesting. However, figuring it out sometimes can mean a excursion to the library or the Internet to see what types of quality sources are available. Such a tour is part of your 2nd choice: what you can lightly find for the type of resources your teacher expects.
The third choice may be effortless or difficult, depending on the level of your class and your teacher’s expectations. Your research question for a paper in the 2nd or third year of college, for example, may need nothing more than acceptance by your teacher as valid for the purposes of your class (However, if you accidentally detect, during your research, that someone already has discussed the same question, you should go instantaneously to your teacher with the evidence so that you are not later accused of plagiarizing the published author’s ideas.) On the other palm, your teacher may reasonably expect you to use library and/or online research in literary journal indexes to see whether any published authors have treated the same question or one like it. If so, you should bring the evidence to your teacher and talk about it.
The fourth choice is how to narrow the question further. For starters, you usually should not attempt to examine all possible answers by all possible researchers when you very first commence developing a research question. If you did, the result often would be a PhD dissertation (a full-length academic book) or even several of them! Rather, you should attempt to narrow the question as much as possible, preferably with your teacher’s help, however brief or long, to something that can be treated much more lightly within the scope of a five-, ten-, or twenty-page paper. There are several possibilities. One that I might pursue is very first to define exactly what a “tragic figure” in “modern terms” is. Most introductions to the play tell us that King Oedipus was certainly a tragic figure to the Greeks, but how about to the modern world? There are definitions of modern tragedy by philosophers and critics such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and many others. My research question then might become
In the Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, can King Oedipus be defined as a modern tragic figure?
This in itself still is a rather daunting question, one that I would not expect to be able to response well in less than seven to ten pages. I might even determine to narrow it further: for example, given that one of my own specialties is modern existentialism, I might narrow the question even more as goes after:
In the Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, can King Oedipus be defined as a modern tragic figure according to modern existentialist philosophy?
Next, I would draft a paper moving from specific place to place in the play, or from element to element, that demonstrates whether Oedipus’ deeds, character, and results are typical of a modern tragic figure. I would quote or paraphrase the places or elements, quote my philosophers’ and critics’ definitions of modern tragedy, and explain whether Oedipus fits their definitions. I also would keep the reader aware, in brief comments, about whether such parts or elements fit the ancient Greek definitions of tragedy. In the end, I might conclude one of three overall interpretations:
Clearly, Oedipus fits not only ancient standards for the tragic hero, but also modern existentialist ones.
Oedipus only partly fulfills the requirements of a modern existentialist tragic hero.
While Oedipus clearly was an ancient tragic hero, he cannot be a modern existentialist one.
Whatever your final response, just as in scientific research and experiment, you should arrive at it free of prejudice. When you write the paper (or, at least, its final drafts), you must be as logical, fair, thorough, and balanced as possible. It is okay to know ahead of time what your likely conclusion will be, and even to research the question enough to see if the response is what you think it will be—or what you want it to be. However, if your evidence commences to lead you elsewhere and you do not have the time to switch your subject, then you must go after the evidence to its conclusion. And if some puny or large part or element seems to disagree with your final interpretation, you should make readers aware of it. You are reporting a finding, just as a scientist conducting an experiment would do so, and your teacher expects your evidence to be thorough, accurate, and balanced.
How do you organize this type of paper?
A critical analysis may take on the same form as a basic description of the elements, moving through all the main elements from simplest to most sophisticated, suggesting interpretation of each in turn.
However, a more complicated version is to organize by selecting specific parts, places, or examples from a work. In this type of organizing, you choose the parts that help you response your initial research question. In writing the paper, you begin with the initial question; then you order the series by the order of simplest to most abstract, by the parts in the work, by their importance, or, sometimes, by some other development that makes sense. You might do so by their order of presentation in the work, by their order of importance or interest, or by an order of unfolding or development (e.g. from most demonstrable to least, or from simplest to most sophisticated).
You might, for example, choose to look at how description is applied to one character is seven different places in a play, or how color and form seem to suggest the same symbol is five different places in a painting; or you might find six different paragraphs in a work of philosophy that seem to contradict one specific point the author is making. You then organize your paper by making a brief section of each of these places, passages, or thoughts. Each section often is, like a basic analysis, just one or a few paragraphs in length.
In each section, you provide a brief statement of your intention, one or more quotations from the work you are examining, and explanations of its meaning. In a research paper with other sources involved, you suggest their observations, thoughts, and opinions, too, and you suggest a tentative meaning at the end of the section. As each section finishes, your overall interpretation should become more reasonable to your reader and, by the end, it should be a strong likelihood in your reader’s mind:
PATTERN OF AN INTERPRETIVE ANALYSIS
with main research question (hypothesis)
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