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Creating an Outline for Your Essay-please see instructions below (This is due Saturday 09/17/2022)
It is helpful to create an outline when you want to find the hierarchical relationship or logical ordering of information for your essay. Outlining is a key step in the process of writing that helps you organize your ideas, present your points in a logical form, show the relationships among those ideas, and construct an ordered overview of your writing.
1. Before you outline, complete a brainstorm (look at the essay 1 prompt while doing this! ****I have included prompt below ****) and cluster ideas together in order to form logical groupings. Determine which ideas seem like larger ideas, and which seem like supporting details. Think about a way to order the larger ideas that would make the most sense to a reader.
2. Once you have gone through the brainstorm and found some connections and some logical ways your ideas work together, you are ready to outline. Follow the template below.
Paper Topic (your narrowed focus):
Audience: (you need to determine this- who are you writing this to? Hint: don’t pick me; think about a particular group of people that needs to hear what you have to say on the topic) What do you most wish to communicate to that audience (think about WHY this topic matters to this audience or HOW you might want them to think/act as a result of your essay):
A. Possible “hook” ideas for the introduction (list some possibilities – what you have or what you’ll look for)
B. Any context necessary? (Do you need to place your topic is a certain social framework?)
C. Do you need to give some historical background? (If you don’t have the sources yet, you can help yourself plan what you want to look for here)
D. Are there important perspectives that will ground your essay? (List knowns or possibilities from the readings. You can leave space for your research finds too)
E. Thesis Statement – What is your major controlling idea for the essay at this point? (be as specific as you can be – remember clarity comes from specificity)
II. Body (Your essay will have several main points – see what comes out of your brainstorm.
Repeat this number for as many points as you have. And remember, these are MOVES, not sentences).
A. Main Point
1. Topic Sentence
2. Assertion (clarify your point on this paragraph’s topic)
3. Examples/Details (prove your point with evidence)
4. Explanation/Analysis/Evaluation (show the reader HOW your evidence connects to your point)
5. Tie back to thesis /transition (Show how this relates to the BIG idea of the essay, and move forward into the next idea)
A. Have you figured out a possible “so what” of your chosen focus (why/how this idea you have presented matters)
B. Synthesis (combining and making something new as a result) of your main points – when it’s all added up, what does it mean?
C. Take away for the reader? (Do you want them left thinking? Do you want them to act?)
D. Larger implications? (Here you bridge the reader out to the world beyond your essay – what does this mean outside the context of the essay, and in the context of the world outside of it?)
This first essay of English 103 is in part a tool, for me and for you. I will be using it to determine what you know about essay structure and critical/analytical response to a position, which will help me put together future lesson plans and supplemental materials for you all. It will also serve as a helpful refresher for many of you on the key components of academic essay writing.
There is a rubric, so that you understand the criteria for success in a somewhat “standard” college essay. I have focused in on the most common categories of assessment: purpose, focus, organization, development, and clarity.
For your assessment essay (essay, block 1), you will read the following article and then respond to the following writing prompt:
Your task is to write a focused, purposeful, well organized, and developed essay on the topic presented to you in the article below. You should include ideas from the article in your essay, but your thoughts should also go beyond those presented to you in the article. In other words, do not just write a
summary; you need to argue, analyze, and/or evaluate logically and thoughtfully.
In your essay, be sure to:
1. Briefly identify the main points of this article.
2. Use this article as well as your own prior readings, observations, and experiences, to explain and argue for your position on this topic of reasoning with unreasonable people. You can use the hyperlinks in the article to dig deeper, although it is not required.
1. Review the Lectures 1-3, but especially Lecture 3, Essay Basics.
2. Critically read the article below, annotating with the above writing prompt in mind.
3. Complete your Lead Up for Essay 1, the Outline.
4. publish your essay.
5. Check the rubric for the criteria for success.
6. Ensure you met the minimum requirements as listed at the end of this prompt.
This essay is a review and assessment, so make sure to use what you know about academic essay structure. You definitely should take a look at the lectures that led up to this assignment as applicable.
1. Don’t forget a works cited page (you will cite at least this article, but you need to also cite anything else you decide to use as well, including the hyperlinked articles, the readings from class, or things you find on your own.
2. Use MLA formatting for your essay.
3. You essay should be at least 500 words, double spaced.
The Science of Reasoning With Unreasonable People By Adam Grant Jan. 31, 2021 for the New York Times (online)
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School. His research focuses on motivation, generosity and creativity. His latest book is “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know,” from which parts of this article are adapted.
A few years ago, I made the mistake of having an argument with the most stubborn person I know. R., whose initial I’m using to protect his privacy, is a longtime friend, and when his family came to visit, he mentioned that his children had never been vaccinated — and never would be.
I’m no proponent of blindly giving every vaccination to every newborn, but I was concerned for his children’s safety, so I started debunking some common vaccine myths. After days of debate, I was exhausted and exasperated. Determined to preserve our friendship, I vowed never to talk with him about
vaccines again. Then came 2020. Fear of the vaccine may be the greatest barrier to stopping Covid-19. It stretches far beyond the so-called anti-vaxxer community: About half of Americans harbor questions about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccines; 39 percent say they definitely or probably won’t get one.
I decided to see if I could open R.’s mind to the possibility. What I didn’t realize was that my mind would be opened as well. As an organizational psychologist, I’ve spent the past few years studying how to motivate people to think again. I’ve run experiments that led proponents of gun rights and gun safety to abandon some of their mutual animosity, and I even got Yankees fans to let go of their grudges against Red Sox supporters. But I don’t always practice what I teach. When someone seems closed-minded, my instinct is to argue the polar opposite of their position. But when I go on the attack, my opponents either shut down or fight back harder. On more than one occasion,
I’ve been called a “logic bully.”
When we try to change a person’s mind, our first impulse is to preach about why we’re right and prosecute them for being wrong. Yet experiments show that preaching and prosecuting typically backfire — and what doesn’t sway people may strengthen their beliefs. Much as a vaccine inoculates the physical immune system against a virus, the act of resistance fortifies
the psychological immune system. Refuting a point of view produces antibodies against future attempts at influence, making people more certain of their own opinions and more ready to rebut alternatives. That’s what happened with my friend. If I wanted him to rethink his blanket resistance to vaccines, I had to rethink my approach.
Several decades ago, when treating substance abuse problems, psychologists developed a technique called motivational interviewing. The central premise: Instead of trying to force other people to change, you’re better off helping them find their own intrinsic motivation to change. You do that by interviewing them — asking open-ended questions and listening carefully — and holding up a mirror so they can see their own thoughts more clearly. If they express a desire to change, you guide them toward a plan.
Say you’re a student at Hogwarts, and you want to help your uncle reject Voldemort. You might start like this:
You: I’d love to better understand your feelings about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Uncle: Well, he’s the most powerful wizard alive. Also, his followers promised me a fancy title.
You: Interesting. Is there anything you dislike about him?
Uncle: Hmm. I’m not crazy about all the murdering.
You: Well, nobody’s perfect. What’s stopped you from abandoning him?
Uncle: I’m afraid he might direct the murdering toward me.
You: That’s a reasonable fear — I’ve felt it too. Are there any principles that matter so deeply to you that you’d be willing to take that risk? In controlled trials, motivational interviewing has helped people to stop smoking, abusing drugs and alcohol, and gambling; to improve their diets and exercise; to overcome eating disorders; and to lose weight. The approach has also motivated students to get a good night’s sleep; voters to reconsider their
prejudices; and divorcing parents to reach settlements. Recently, thanks to a vaccine whisperer, it has been applied to immunization. Arnaud Gagneur is a
pediatrician in Quebec who encourages reluctant parents to immunize their children. In his experiments, a motivational interview in the maternity ward after birth increased the number of mothers willing to vaccinate their children from 72 percent to 87 percent; the number of children who were fully vaccinated two years later rose by 9 percent. A single conversation was enough to change behavior over the next 24 months. I set up a conversation between Dr. Gagneur and my friend. After 90 minutes, it was clear to me that R.’s vaccination stance had not changed. “I have tried to apply all the principles of motivational interviewing, but I have had the unpleasant feeling
of not doing so well,” Dr. Gagneur wrote to me in email. “R. is very knowledgeable and always ends up finding arguments that support his decision.” Strangely, I didn’t feel defeated or irritated. I wanted to learn how my friend’s views could evolve. The pioneers of motivational interviewing, William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, have long warned against using the technique to manipulate people. It requires a genuine desire to understand people’s motivations and help them reach their goals. Although R. and I both want to keep his children healthy, I realized I had never tried to understand his perspective on vaccines before. So the next morning, I called him.
In our past debates, R. had focused only on the potential downsides of vaccinations. With Dr. Gagneur, though, he acknowledged that vaccines could be good for some but not necessarily for others. If he lived in a country experiencing an outbreak of, say, malaria, would he consider immunization? “You weigh the pros and cons,” he said. Psychologists find that when we listen carefully and call attention to the nuances in people’s own thinking, they become less extreme and more open in their views. I wondered how my friend’s ambivalence applied to Covid, and I knew that the kinds of questions I asked would matter. Social scientists have found that asking people how their preferred political policies might work in practice, rather than asking why they favor those approaches, was more effective in opening their minds. As people
struggled to explain their ideal tax legislation or health care plan, they grasped the complexity of the problem and recognized gaps in their knowledge.
So for my second attempt, instead of asking R. why he was opposed to Covid vaccines, I asked him how he would stop the pandemic. He said we couldn’t put all our eggs in one basket — we needed a stronger focus on prevention and treatment. When I asked whether vaccines would be part of his strategy, he said yes — for some people. I was eager to learn what might lead R. to decide that he is one of those people. In motivational interviewing, there’s a distinction between sustain talk and change talk. Sustain talk is commentary about maintaining the status quo. Change talk is referencing a desire, ability or commitment to making a shift. A skilled motivational interviewer listens for change talk and asks people to elaborate on it. This was my third step. I asked R. what the odds were that he would get a Covid vaccine. He said they were “pretty low for many different reasons.” I told him it was fascinating to me that he didn’t say zero. “This is not a black-and-white issue,” R. said. “I don’t know, because my views change.” I laughed: “This is a milestone — the most stubborn person I know admits that he’s willing to change his mind?” He
laughed too: “No, I’m still the most stubborn person you know! But at different stages of our lives, we have different things that are important to us, right?”
I don’t expect R. or his children to be vaccinated any time soon, but it felt like progress that he agreed to keep an open mind. The real breakthrough, though, was mine. I became open to a new mode of conversation, with no points to score and no debate to win. The only victory I declared was against my own prosecutor tendencies. I had prevailed over my inner logic bully.
Many people believe that to stop a deadly pandemic, the end justifies whatever means are necessary. It’s worth remembering that the means are a measure of our character. If we succeed in opening minds, the question is not only whether we’re proud of what we’ve achieved. We should also ask whether we’re proud of how we’ve achieved it. I no longer believe it’s my place to change anyone’s mind. All I can do is try to understand their thinking
and ask if they’re open to some rethinking. The rest is up to them.