The Art of Argument Mrs. Terry Language Arts Opening Activity, Fall 2014



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The Art of Argument

  • Mrs. Terry
  • Language Arts

Opening Activity, Fall 2014

  • The threat of a terrorist organization known as ISIS (The Islamic State in Syria) has been growing over the summer. ISIS militants are taking over cities in Iraq and Syria in an attempt to control the region. They are jihadist* militants, who believe that they have right and responsibility to rule with very strict Sharia (religious) laws by any means necessary. Their methods have included: forcing people from their homes, beating, flogging, rape, beheading, and other forms of murder. President Obama addressed the nation on Wednesday, September 10 to announce a plan to continue using airstrikes against ISIS, to send additional service men and women to the region to assist in training the Iraqi and Syrian armies to defend their people against ISIS attacks, and to provide humanitarian assistance to the people who have been displaced from their homes.

Links to Videos and Articles

  • Use the following handout to take notes:
  • http://www.literacyta.com/sites/default/files/skill-in-action/730/argumentmapprintfriendly.pdf
  • Background video: “What is ISIS?”
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOGLesXQ4Tc
  • Link to Obama’s speech and transcript:
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/full-text-of-president-obamas-speech-outlining-strategy-to-defeat-islamic-state/2014/09/10/af69dec8-3943-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html

More Links

  • “Five Takeaways from Obama’s ISIS Speech” video:
  • http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/11/politics/obama-speech-5-takeaways/
  • Rand Paul’s response to Obama’s speech:
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVQt0rTQe_E
  • John McCain’s response to Obama’s speech:
  • http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/hannity/transcript/2014/09/11/sen-mccain-responds-obamas-isis-strategy
  • “Obama’s Plan: The Pro’s and Cons”:
  • http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/09/11/347377008/obamas-plan-the-pros-and-cons

Clarification:

  • The Islamic State, ISIS, and ISIL are all names for the same terrorist group that rose to prominence over the summer, taking control of parts of Syria and Iraq. The term ISIS is most commonly used in the media. It stands for The Islamic State in Syria, which is what the group calls itself. However, Syria in this title, refers to not only the country of Syria, but to parts of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan as well. This is why President Obama used the term ISIL in his speech. The L stands for Levant, which is another term for that region. Very confusing!
  • After learning about both sides of this issue, it is time for you to take a stand. You may not have strong feelings either way at this time, or the whole issue may be very confusing for you (it is to most adults as well!), but that’s OK. Just pick a position to work with for this exercise. Hopefully, by doing so, you will learn more about the issue, but more importantly (for language arts class at least), you will learn more about the elements of argument!
  • Choose one of the following positions:
  • 1. I agree with Obama’s plan to carry out airstrikes against ISIS and to increase our ground troops in Iraq and Syria for training and humanitarian purposes.
  •  
  • 2. I agree with some parts of Obama’s plan, but not all parts.
  •  
  • 3. I agree with Obama’s plan, but it does not do enough to destroy the threat of ISIS. I believe we need to do more.
  •  
  • 4. I disagree with Obama’s plan. Too many American soldiers have already lost their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and we should not continue to interfere in the Middle East.

Four Corners

  • Once you have decided on a position, look through your articles to find and highlight evidence to support it.
  • Move to the corner of the room that is labeled with the number of the position you chose.
  • With your group members, (one person must write) compose a short argument to support your position using the evidence you found in the articles, videos, and speeches.
  • Be prepared to share and debate!

Sample #1

  • “America the Not So Beautiful” by Andrew A. Rooney
  • You will get a handout, but here is a link if you need it:
  • http://www.motorcityfreegeek.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35&Itemid=60
  • Follow the instructions on the next slide as you read this essay.

Elements of Argument

  • On the essay, please label the following:
  • Thesis Statement (underline)
  • Label 3 facts from the essay with an “F”
  • Label 3 opinions from the essay with an “O”
  • Label examples of humor with an “H”
  • Highlight in Different Colors
  • Claims (throughout the essay)
  • Addressing the Opposition
  • Evidence from Research
  • Powerful, Descriptive, or Creative Language

Tone

  • What is the author’s purpose for writing this essay?
  • How would you describe his tone?
  • What strategies does he use to convince his readers that this is a problem that needs to be addressed?

Student Samples

  • The following links are sample argumentative essays written by my former eighth grade students, who are JUST LIKE YOU.
  • You can do this!!
  • Violent Video Games
  • Shark Finning

Elements of Argument

  • On the essay “Violent Video Games” in your sample
  • packet, please label the following:
  • Thesis Statement (underline)
  • Label 3 facts from the essay with an “F”
  • Label 3 opinions from the essay with an “O”
  • Label examples of humor with an “H”
  • Highlight in Different Colors
  • Claims (throughout the essay)
  • Addressing the Opposition
  • Evidence from Research
  • Powerful, Descriptive, or Creative Language

Research

  • Research to find a current event or topic that you can take a position on. Examples:
  • The crisis in the Middle East (should we send troops? air strikes?)
  • How professional sports should respond to domestic violence
  • Immigration
  • Gun control New “current” topic: Should NFL
  • Mandatory drug testing in schools commissioner, Roger Goodell,
  • Bullying– whose responsibility? be fired?
  • Animal testing
  • New football safety regulations
  • Later start times for schools
  • Whatever is of interest to YOU!

T-C hart

  • Create a T-chart to brainstorm ideas for your argument, consider:
  • Pros vs. Cons
  • Advantages vs. Disadvantages
  • or
  • Your Side vs. The Other Side
  • Your Topic
  • Pros/Advantages/Your Side
  • Cons/Disadvantages/Their Side

Position Statement Workshop

  • My topic___________________________
  • My opinion/belief____________________
  • What I want people to think or do (consider using words like “should” or “must”____________________________
  • Why do I want them to think/believe/act in this way?__________________________
  • Combine these ideas to form a thesis sentence.
  • Topic + Position + Reasons = Thesis

Creating a Thesis Statement

  • Choose 3 main focus points to discuss in your essay. These points will become the focus of three paragraphs in the body.
  • Fast food…
  • rapidly increases weight
  • causes high blood pressure
  • leads to lethargy

Creating a Thesis Statement

  • Combine your topic, position, and reasons to create your thesis statement:
  • Topic: fast food
  • Position: is harmful
  • Reasons:
  • rapidly increases weight
  • causes high blood pressure
  • leads to lethargy
  • Fast food is harmful because it rapidly increases weight, it causes high blood pressure, and it leads to lethargy.

What if?

  • What if I can’t think of three different reasons?
  • That’s fine. I can help you find a different way to structure your thesis.
  • The key is that the thesis provides an outline of what you will discuss in the body paragraphs of your essay.
  • The following slides have examples of several different thesis statements that may or may not list three reasons.

Thesis Analysis

  • A well-written thesis must include:
  • the topic, your position, your reasons
  • (but they don’t necessarily have to be in that order)
  • Health and fitness education programs in American schools must be improved to fight the costly and deadly epidemic of childhood obesity.
  • Because the US economy was built upon, and still relies heavily on an immigrant workforce, we must create a clear path to citizenship for undocumented workers.

Antithesis: The Other Side

  • Because the US economy was built upon, and still relies heavily on an immigrant workforce, we must create a clear path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
  • Because illegal immigrants drain our social services and steal jobs from legal US citizens, we must enforce our current immigration regulations and increase the number of agents policing our borders.

Example

  • Topic Position Reasons
  • Mandatory and regular drug testing beginning at the middle-school level must be implemented for all US children because drug addiction is becoming more widespread and can lead to serious mental and physical illnesses.
  • Body Paragraph #1: addiction
  • Body Paragraph #2: mental issues
  • Body Paragraph #3: physical issues

Pre-Writing

  • Use the graphic organizer on the following slide to outline your essay based on the thesis statement you have created.
  • Write your thesis here
  • Reason or Subpoint #1
  • Reason or Subpoint #2
  • Reason or Subpoint #3
  • Concluding Thoughts
  • Mandatory and regular drug testing beginning at the middle-school level must be implemented for all US children because drug addiction is becoming more widespread and can lead to serious mental and physical illnesses.
  • Addiction
  • Mental Issues
  • Physical Issues

Graphic Organizer

  • Write your thesis in the big box at the top.
  • Each reason or subtopic in your thesis will become a topic sentence for your essay. Write them in the three boxes below your thesis.
  • Below each subtopic box, list some supporting details, logos, and some other persuasive strategies you might be able to use to build your argument (at least three per subtopic).

Persuasive writing format:

  • INTRODUCTION with hook and thesis statement
  • BODY where the argument is developed
  • CONCLUSION where main points are summarized and reviewed

The Introduction

  • This is your chance to introduce the topic and give
  • brief background information about it.
  • You should start the first paragraph with a “hook” or “grabber” to catch the reader’s attention.
  • The following slides offer examples of different strategies you may choose to use for your hook.
  • The examples are based on the following thesis:
  • Fast food is harmful because it rapidly increases weight, causes high blood pressure, and leads to lethargy.

Hook #1

  • Opening with a startling or unusual detail:
  • Did you know that a typical child needs 2,000 calories for an entire day and Burger King’s Whopper with cheese has 1,230 calories?

Hook #2

  • Opening with a strong statement:
  • Fast food consumption has risen 500 percent since 1970 and today pervades nearly every segment of society, including some public school cafeterias.

Hook #3

  • Opening with a Quotation:
  • According to University of Delaware professer Jayashree Pakhare, “Advertising, including television ads, billboards, and toys in boxed meals, has had an effect upon children as never before. Children these days are growing up with low concern for their health and more concern for what tastes good” (Pakhare 4).

Hook #4

  • Opening with an Anecdote: An anecdote can provide an amusing and attention-getting opening if it is short and to the point.
  • As I opened the doors to Big Bobby’s Burger Hut, the odor of deep-fried everything assaulted my nostrils. I ordered a Big Bobby Combo #2. There was enough food to serve a small third world country on my tray. As I nibbled at the ¾ pound burger, a sludge of ketchup, mayo and melted cheese dripped from the corners of my mouth. I asked the server if I could have a few fries with my salt. I left the place feeling like a war was being waged in my stomach.

Hook #5

  • Open with a Statistic or Fact
  • Thirty percent of children in the US eat fast food on any given day. Those children consume 187 unnecessary calories per day, resulting in a weight gain of six pounds per year.

Hook #6

  • Open with a rhetorical question:
  • How many times have you eaten fast food this month?

Hook #7

  • Opening with an Exaggeration or Outrageous Statement:
  • Fast food is killing America!

Review

  • Unusual or Startling Detail
  • Strong Statement
  • Quotation
  • Anecdote or Imagery
  • Statistic or Fact
  • Rhetorical Question
  • Exaggeration or Outrageous Statement

Intro Paragraph (3-5 sentences)

  • Hook (1-2 sent.)
  • Background Information (1-2 sent.)
  • Lead in/tie in to thesis (1 sent.)
  • Thesis (1 sent.)

Sample #1

  • Imagine a cold, dark room with dim fluorescent lights and unclean, metal cages. Within these jail cells, terrified animals shake and whimper with sickness and fear, wondering when the next nightmare will begin. This is a day in the life of a laboratory animal. A new defenseless lab animal becomes a victim to testing every second (PETA). Animal testing for medical and cosmetic purposes needs to stop because it is inhumane, inaccurate, and there are more effective alternatives.

Sample #2

  • How would you feel if you found out that your favorite athlete and role model used steroids? Would you feel cheated, deceived or worried? The use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports is on the rise. Well-known athletes, such as Alex Rodriguez, have been reported to have used these drugs, despite the negative consequences to their health and to the game. Performance enhancing drugs should not be allowed in sports because they give players an unfair advantage, they are dangerous and even deadly, and they are illegal.

Sample #3

  • Leonard is dying from ALS. Despite round-the clock drug therapy, he is burdened with persistent pain and suffering. The only relief that he has found from this physical prison is marijuana. According to the Association of Natural Pain Management, 93% of people living with chronic illnesses received relief from herbal treatments (Hoff 6). Medical marijuana should be legalized because it is natural and it provides pain relief for people who are suffering from debilitating injuries and illnesses who have not had success with traditional medications.

The Body

  • The body of the essay is where you develop your three main focus points of your thesis.
  • The following slides are examples of ways you can organize your body paragraphs and create strong arguments to support your thesis.

Basic Body Paragraph Structure (Note: The arrangement of CDs and CMs may vary)

  • TS: Topic Sentence, your claim or subpoint
  • CD: Concrete Detail, logos, fact, quote, citation, example, statistic, etc.
  • CM: Commentary, Your comment, analysis explanation, elaboration of the quote
  • CM
  • CD
  • CM
  • CM
  • CS: Concluding Sentence

ACES model

  • One helpful tool you may use to remember the essential parts of a body paragraph is the ACES model.
  • A = assertion (your claim, point, or answer, TS)
  • C = citation (your evidence, fact, or quote, CD)
  • E = explanation (explain how your fact or quote supports your assertion, this shows that… CM)
  • S = summary and/or shift (summarize your paragraph and/or shift to your next point)

ACES model

  • The ACES model is useful when writing body paragraphs for essays.
  • It is also useful when answering essay or short answer questions on tests or for other classroom assignments.
  • More importantly, it is also a good way to help support any idea or claim you may have.

ACES real-world example

  • A= Mom, we should order pizza tonight.
  • C= Pizza includes ingredients from all four food groups.
  • E= It is a healthy and balanced meal.
  • S= Ordering a pizza is an easy way to get the balanced nutrition that we need without spending hours at the grocery store or in the kitchen.

ACES real-world example continued…

  • A= Ordering a pizza will save you time and money.
  • C= With this coupon, we can order a pizza with three healthy toppings for $9.99 and it is guaranteed to arrive in less than 30 minutes.
  • E= It would take much longer for you to drive to the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients needed to cook a healthy meal.
  • E= In addition, buying all of those ingredients would likely cost much more than ten dollars.
  • S= Therefore, ordering a pizza tonight is a healthy, economical, and time-saving option.

Ethos, Pathos and Logos

  • The ACE model from the previous slides included the three most common types of persuasive appeals, ethos, pathos, and logos.
  • These are Greek terms that are not as scary and unfamiliar as they sound.
  • Watch the following video to see how Ari uses ethos, pathos and logos to create an argument.
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4tTugqBkJU

Types of Persuasive Appeals

  • Logical Appeals
  • a. evidence, facts, statistics
  • b. expert opinion
  • c. examples
  • Emotional Appeals
  • a. word choice / connotation
  • b. visual details / imagery
  • Ethical Appeals
  • a. reputation
  • b. sincere, honest tone
  • Try to incorporate all of these strategies into your writing
  • They will be putty in your hands!

Example Intro and Thesis

  • An average elephant weighs more than 33 times an average human, yet humans are an elephant’s biggest threat. The reason is that there is a huge illegal trade market for their ivory tusks. In fact, over 30,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks, leaving as few as 250,000 elephants left in Africa (Russo 1). As a response to this crisis, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species voted to ban the ivory trade. Despite this ban, elephant poachers, who mercilessly butcher animals for their own financial gain, run rampant in both Africa and Asia. An international ban on ivory trade must be implemented and enforced to prevent the cruel and unnecessary slaughter of elephants and to protect this endangered species from becoming extinct.
  • n

Example Body Paragraph with one chunk/one ACE

  • All countries need to ban the ivory trade and ensure that poachers are caught and brought to justice. According to National Geographic, the lack of enforcement, corruption, and “highly financed criminal networks” are fueling the illegal trade (Russo 3). This shows that efforts need to be stepped up in order to combat this complex problem. If governments around the globe can unite and fight these black market vigilantes through any force necessary, we can send a clear message that this behavior will not be tolerated. Working with conservation organizations and the global community at large, we can stop illegal trade and the unnecessary murder of these majestic creatures.

Example Body Paragraph with two chunks/two “C.E.’s”

  • The following slide contains a sample body paragraph that follows this structure: TS, CS, CM, CM, CD, CM, CM, CS
  • It is based on a thesis from earlier in the presentation:
    • Mandatory and regular drug testing beginning at the middle-school level must be implemented for all US children because drug addiction is becoming more widespread and can lead to serious mental and physical illnesses.
    • One reason secondary schools should administer mandatory drug testing is to help prevent kids from developing a life-long struggle with the disease of addiction.
    • According to the National Institute on drug abuse, addiction is defined as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences (DSM-5, 2013). It is considered a disease because drugs change the way the brain functions, which can lead to behavioral consequences, such as poor decision making, as well as physical consequences, such as damage to the neurological and cardiovascular systems (drugabuse.gov).
    • If people start taking drugs at a young age, this disease can last a lifetime and can affect their lives in many adverse ways. Because drug use affect the way the brain functions, addicts may be involved in high-risk behaviors such as driving while under the influence, unsafe sex, or crime; or they may experience a loss of motivation for work, school, family and other productive recreational activities. According to DoSomething.org, “by the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and 16.5% have used marijuana, and almost 50% of high school seniors have abused a drug of some kind, but adult intervention can decrease these numbers by as much as 42%” (CDC.gov). This shows the need for increased vigilance by parents, teachers, and other adults to help teens resist the urge to experiment with drugs. Mandatory drug testing in schools will alert adults that there may be a problem, and they can intervene to give the teen the help and support they need to change course. While it may seem extreme, it is a necessary means of prevention and intervention that may save teens from a life of addiction and dependency.

Ways to Elaborate in Your Body Paragraphs

  • The following slides will give you ideas about what to include in your commentary and some additional ways to support and develop your body paragraphs.
  • Note that these examples may deviate from the basic body paragraph structure and that is OK.

Generating Hypothetical Instances

  • Start by using “Suppose that…” or “What if…” along with your first sub-point.
  • I will use the first point from the thesis below as an example:
  • Fast food is harmful because it rapidly increases weight, causes high blood pressure, and leads to lethargy.

Hypothetical

  • Suppose that you ate just one meal from a fast food restaurant a week. Typically, you would consume around 1,500 calories at that meal. Your daily intake may be 2,500 calories if you include all three meals. That’s 500 more calories than you need. You may gain ½ a pound a week, which would be 2 pounds a month. Your weight would rapidly increase.

Clarifying a Position

  • This is where you need to think about what needs to be explained. Do students need to know the facts about your issue to make a judgment?
  • I will use the second sub-point from the thesis below as an example:
  • Fast food is harmful because it rapidly increases weight, causes high blood pressure, and leads to lethargy.

Clarifying

  • Do you know what high blood pressure is and what it does to your body? Blood pressure is the force in the arteries when the heart beats (systolic pressure) and when the heart is at rest (diastolic pressure). If you consume foods high in cholesterol, the cholesterol clings to your arteries and builds up over time. This raises your blood pressure and forces your heart to work harder to pump the blood through your veins.

Thinking Through a Process

  • This is where you take someone through each step of the problem.
  • I will use the third sub-point from the thesis below as an example:
  • Fast food is harmful because it rapidly increases weight, causes high blood pressure, and leads to lethargy.

Think Through the Process

  • Eating fast food can also lead to lethargy, or extreme tiredness. When you eat foods that are high in fat and low in protein, you tend to have less energy. People eat fast food, feel tired, and end up sitting on the couch doing nothing. Then they decide that they don’t want to make dinner the next night because it takes energy. The easiest solution is to get fast food again. They end up feeling even more lethargic and the dangerous cycle continues.

Drawing Comparisons

  • This is where you choose something similar or an alternative to your topic.
  • I will use the lethargy example again.

Drawing Comparisons

  • Increased fat content in fast food leads to lethargy. There are alternatives to the typical fast food. Let’s compare typical fast food meals (burger and fries) to a meal higher in proteins and vitamins.

Using an Analogy

  • An analogy is when a writer compares what they are trying to explain or describe to something else that is more familiar to the reader. It can be very helpful and powerful, especially if your topic is difficult to understand.
  • The following example also focuses on lethargy.

Analogy

  • The food you eat is a lot like the fuel or oil you put in your car. A car that has clean fuel and an oil change runs smoothly and efficiently. Race cars use only the best fuel and oil to perform at top speeds. Cars that aren’t tuned-up, haven’t had an oil change, and use poor fuel, struggle to make it down the road. Your body is the same way. Feed it the energy it needs and stay away from excess fat and cholesterol and you will perform at your greatest. Feed it fast food high in fat content and it slows to a stop. Do you want to be a race car or a clunker that will end up in the mechanics hands?

The Other Side of the Story

  • This is where you should explain why your opposition believes what they believe.
  • For example, a fast food company would be furious with me presenting you this information. They would have lots of reasons why fast food is good. They may say…

Fast food is…

  • FAST!
  • Convenient
  • Tastes great!
  • Offers lots of choices
  • Eaten on the go!
  • For the whole family!

Counter-Arguing

  • Recognize and acknowledge the reader’s concerns and objections
  • Show the reader that their objections are invalid or irrelevant.
  • Your voice should be assertive, yet restrained; do not attack the reader or they will be offended and will not take your side.
  • Respectfully disagree with the objections using clear, logical evidence and reasoning.

Counter-Arguing

  • State opposing claims and dispute them
  • Sentence Stems:
  • Some may say_______, but the truth is
  • however
  • in reality
  • actually
  • While________,
  • Even though__________,
  • According to__________,

More Counter-Arguing Frameworks

  • “It might be said that_______, however…”
  • “It could be argued that______, but…”
  • “Some people say/believe/think/feel that____ This is untrue/incorrect/not the case/ because__________ or according to_______”
  • “While critics argue that________”
  • “While some may say that_______,

Counter-Argument Example

  • While fast food may be convenient, putting your whole life on hold while you are in the hospital being treated for diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease is definitely an inconvenience.

Another Example

  • Topic: capital punishment (the death penalty)
  • Many people adhere to an “eye for an eye” philosophy, however, until our society is able to eradicate all possibility of human error in its judicial system, capital punishment must be banned.

Types of Persuasive Appeals

  • Logical Appeals
  • a. evidence, facts, statistics
  • b. expert opinion
  • c. examples
  • Emotional Appeals
  • a. word choice / connotation
  • b. visual details / imagery
  • Ethical Appeals
  • a. reputation
  • b. sincere, honest tone
  • Try to incorporate all of these strategies into your writing
  • They will be putty in your hands!

Which word has the most negative connotation?

  • stuck up / proud
  • wimpy / weak
  • unmotivated / lazy
  • unusual / weird
  • determined / stubborn
  • perspire / sweat
  • junk food / fast food
  • slow / cautious
  • old / mature
  • stare / look
  • old / mature

Harness the Power of Language

  • Illegal alien / undocumented immigrant
  • bully / aggressor, tormentor, villain, violator
  • bullying / persecuting, victimizing, tormenting
  • testing / experimentation, mutilation, torture, cruelty
  • animal subjects / innocent victims
  • climate change / global warming
  • catastrophic effects / detrimental effects
  • skeptics / deniers
  • concussion / brain trauma
  • safety precautions, guidelines / rules, limitations
  • issue / problem, crisis

Concluding Paragraph (3-4 sentences)

  • Revisit your thesis and main arguments.
  • End with… (fast food example)
    • A comment (Don’t make your body suffer!)
    • A question (Are you willing to risk your health?)
    • A call to action (I highly recommend you consider your options the next time you’re faced with a decision about what to eat.)
    • Come full circle: refer back to your hook
    • The following slides include sample conclusions

Original Thesis: Animal testing for medical and cosmetic purposes needs to stop because it is inhumane, inaccurate, and there are more effective alternatives.

  • To conclude, testing on animals is a barbaric, outdated, and unnecessary practice. Technology and advances in science have led to the development of alternative testing methods that do not involve abusing innocent animals. Please boycott products tested on animals and help promote awareness. Together, we can break open these cages of injustice to free our furry friends.

Original Thesis: Performance enhancing drugs should not be allowed in sports because they give players an unfair advantage, they are dangerous and even deadly, and they are illegal.

  • To conclude, using performance enhancing drugs is a hazardous and unjust practice. Allowing athletes to use these drugs sets a bad example for children involved in sports for generations to come. We must insist that professional and college athletic organizations mandate regular drug testing and enforce severe consequences for steroid use.

What is Plagiarism?

  • “Failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas.
  • Failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks.
  • Failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words.”
  • (Bedford Handbook, 570)

Paraphrasing: Is this Plagiarism?

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • (An excerpt from an article by B. Davis)
  • Version A
  • The existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (Davis 26).
  • This exercise is from The Bedford Handbook

Answer A

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • Version A
  • The existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (Davis 26).
  • Answer: Plagiarism. Even though the writer has cited the source, the writer has not used quotation marks around the direct quotation, "the existence of a signing ape." In addition, the phrase, "unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists," closely resembles the wording of the source.

Paraphrasing: Is this Plagiarism?

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • Version B
  • If the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (Davis 26).

Answer B

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • Version B
  • If the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (Davis 26).
  • Answer: Still plagiarism. Even though the writer has substituted synonyms and cited the source, the writer is plagiarizing because the source's sentence structure is unchanged.

Paraphrasing: Is this Plagiarism?

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • Version C
  • According to Flora Davis, linguists and animal behaviorists were unprepared for the news that a chimp could communicate with its trainers through sign language (Davis 26).

Answer C

  • Original Source
  • If the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.
  • Version C
  • According to Flora Davis, linguists and animal behaviorists were unprepared for the news that a chimp could communicate with its trainers through sign language (Davis 26).
  • Answer: Not plagiarism. This is an appropriate paraphrase of the original sentence.

A Summary of Proper Citation

  • Exact phrases
    • Quotation marks around the phrase
    • Cite the author in the text (author’s last name page number); include the source on your Works Cited page.
  • Paraphrasing
    • Change the wording AND sentence structure
    • Cite the author in the text; include the source on your Works Cited page.
  • Ideas
    • Cite the author in the text; include the source on your Works Cited page.
  • Common knowledge
    • No need to cite


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