Practice Opening—cfriery

Practice Opening:

People are the Polio problem. Due to a rumor, Polio infection has gone from 6 localized places to having hundreds of children paralyzed. Local leaders in northern Nigeria had begun doubting the efforts of vaccinators stating, “that the vaccine contained HIV and anti-fertility agents.” (Prompt) As soon as the local news caught wind it was all downhill from there, and within a few short months, the polio campaign effort was halted. On top of this, the struggle to finally banish Polio is compounded by the major presence of Islamic insurgency groups that attack the relief efforts compounds, and hospitals daily. This hostile Nigerian environment and mistrust lead to a world-altering outbreak for the many in Nigeria.

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1 Response to Practice Opening—cfriery

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thank you so much for posting early, cfriery. I hope your early work will encourage your classmates to publish an early draft as well.

    You’ve done a good job of selecting a single failed effort to vaccinate Nigerians as a way to illustrate the global difficulty of immunizing all the world’s children.

    Structurally, you guide us through this very short argument with a see-saw approach.
    1. A rumor turns a small outbreak into widespread infection.
    (How did that happen? We want to know.)
    2. Local leaders shared a false story that the vaccines were tainted.
    (We wonder whether they deliberately sabotaged the effort or were legitimately concerned.)
    3. Local news spread the rumor, shortly ending the effort.
    (We wonder whether “going downhill” means the public stopped cooperating or something else.)
    4. Islamic insurgency groups physically (?) violently (?) attack compounds and hospitals.
    (We wonder if the local leaders condoned or condemned the attacks.)
    5. The hostile environment let the disease spread in Nigeria and then to other countries.
    (This returns us to the beginning, where we could have been told the rumor led to a multi-national outbreak.)

    As much as you DO tell us in your Opening, you can see how many questions we still have about the situation. Often the answers can be provided in a single word: deliberately, knowingly, violently, or a short phrase. In a brief introduction, every word counts.

    A few language notes. First overall praise for your brevity and clarity (two words you’ll hear A LOT in this class!). You convey key pieces of information clearly and concisely.

    —You describe the infection spreading from a location (6 places) to a number (hundreds). One place to many places or a few children to hundreds of children would be easier to follow.
    —You introduce a needless timeline with “had begun doubting.” It’s not a big deal, but attentive readers will listen for other cues once you introduce the first. (When did they not doubt? What caused them to BEGIN to doubt?)
    —Mixed metaphors “caught wind” and “all downhill” don’t say clearly what you mean. What the media learned is not the irrelevant. What they published is relevant. And “going downhill” is just too vague.
    —Time Shift. You’ve been in the past tense until “The struggle IS compounded.”
    —Actions Speak. Again, the presence of insurgency groups, like what the media learned, is irrelevant. That they attack is relevant.
    —Verb tense. The past tense of “to lead” is “led.”

    My overall impression is quite positive, cfriery, especially for your first draft. I invite and encourage you to post a rewrite if you feel motivated to make improvements. If you do that, please publish a brand new post titled “Practice Opening Rewrite—cfriery.” I’d love to see it.

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