21 Class MON APR 05

Riddle: Decide for Yourself

Where I first saw this image: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cornwall-56286719

Is the BBC website a credible source of news? Is it credible enough that you will accept this photograph has not been altered after it was taken? The optical phenomenon is described in ways that sound SORT OF credible, but if the BBC had published it on April 01, maybe we wouldn’t be so likely to accept its veracity. Read the article. Decide for yourself. Leave observations below.


Writing Advice

Just Passed Scenic Views

The problem with this sign should be obvious, but just to be sure, let’s talk about the serious mistake it makes.


Any writer making the same mistake would have to return her reader’s attention back to the material he’s already read and analyzed, draw his attention to things he might have missed, prepare him after the fact to receive information in the most effective way, and talk him out of conclusions he’s already drawn. All because she failed to put the sign AHEAD OF THE SCENIC VIEWS instead of behind them.

Version 1.
This paragraph makes the “Just Passed Scenic Views” mistake:

In a recent poll, 51% of Americans estimated that most or some of the food they eat is genetically modified (or contains GMOs) while the rest claimed that they eat “no GMOs” or “not too much.” Further, 65% of those who knowingly eat a fair amount of GMO food claim to have read a lot about genetically modified foods, while a whopping 75% of GMO-abstainers admit they have read nothing about these foods. You would think these results would be the other way around if modified organisms were as terrible as some perceive them to be. Instead, the poll revealed that most of the people who are consuming GMOs have gathered a lot of information on them, while 75% of the people who stay away from these foods admitted to reading absolutely nothing about them.

Version 2.
This paragraph tells readers to watch for “Scenic Views Ahead”:

Evidence shows that adults who are educated about genetically-modified foods (GMOs) accept their safety and consume them without hesitation. In a 2018 Pew Center Research Poll, 65% of respondents who knowingly eat a fair amount of GMO food report that they have read a lot about GMOs and feel well-informed. Those who admit ignorance about GMOs, on the other hand, fear and avoid them. Among GMO-abstainers, many of whom admit to having “health concerns” about the products, a whopping 75% admit they have read nothing about genetic modification or GMO foods.

In-Class Task

As part of your Notes for today, take a few minutes to describe the improvements made to Version 1.

Writing Center Help when you need it.

Located in the Campbell Library but currently operating virtually, the Writing Center offers help to students from experienced tutors eager to assist their peers by appointment.

Rowan Writing Center tutors provide opportunities that enable student writers to discover and develop effective writing and composing practices. We offer a space where writers of many genres can find support at any stage of the writing process.  From brainstorming ideas, organizing them, revising drafts and checking citations, the RWC and its tutors provide a comfortable environment for students to improve and succeed.

Link to the Rowan Writing Center website. Register here, “meet the tutors,” and make an appointment.

Prepping for the Portfolio

White Paper—Annotated Bibliography

Until now, your White Paper has served as the repository for sources you found to support your Definition, Causal, and Rebuttal Arguments. As such, it should contain roughly 15 sources, many of them academic.

It should also contain Purposeful Summaries of those sources, Practice Openings, maybe a section called “Current State of my Research,” or “What I’m Still Looking For,” random notes about searches you’ve conducted, and for each source you’ve consulted, sections called “Background,” and “How I Will Use it.”

But it probably doesn’t. You’ve been busy.

As you construct your Portfolio, you’ll be adapting the contents of your White Paper into an Annotated Bibliography. The more complete your White Paper is, the easier you’ll find this process.

Let’s look ahead to the transition from a working document to the Annotated Bibliography you’ll submit as part of your Portfolio.

Rebuttal Practice

For the sake of practice, let’s assume you are strongly in favor of nuclear power as an alternative to burning fossil fuels. Nuclear doesn’t burn petroleum, coal, or natural gas. It doesn’t emit carbon dioxide or methane. It is, by comparison to many alternatives, a clean and sustainable fuel for producing electricity. You’re writing a paper to promote new investment in nuclear power plants.

In your research, you run across an article by Bob Herbert in the New York Times that concerns you. Herbert sounds pretty knowledgeable, and you know he speaks compellingly for opponents of nuclear power in the US. How can you USE HIS ARTICLE in your Rebuttal Argument?

Does he make mistakes of logic? Does he apply his evidence inappropriately? Does he complain of cost overruns that don’t actually result in overly expensive power? Does he concentrate on one or two objections and ignore all the advantages of nuclear power? Does he set up a false choice between two options when there are other alternatives?

Read the article now:

When you finish, click through to the Rebuttal post.

Next Portfolio Task

28 Responses to 21 Class MON APR 05

  1. carsonwentz1186 says:

    Optical Illusion of ship (warm-up)
    I think that the photograph is just too hard to believe because of the height of the ship above the water
    If you do not keep the reader engaged from intro to conclusion, they can easily find something else to do and lose interest in your piece
    The difference between the first and second version of the paragraph is the second one uses more robust vocabulary and also gets to the point quicker rather than rambling on and the point becomes somewhat clouded.
    Remember to add sources used in Causal Argument into the white paper
    Just because you do not cite specific sources in your paper, does not mean you did not use many different sources or consult them
    Keep up with white paper = annotated bibliography created
    You are going to have to do some serious convincing to change a reader’s point of view because they are most likely already opinionated on the issue or they would not be reading your paper
    Having the best evidence will always win you an argument


    • davidbdale says:

      This is SUCH a good note:

      If you do not keep the reader engaged from intro to conclusion, they can easily find something else to do and lose interest in your piece



  2. justheretopass says:

    We started class talking about an image that looks unique. It’s an object hovering above the water. We are trying to figure out if the source is credible due to the fact that the photograph came out on April 1st.
    I think that image is real due to the fact that there are a lot of weird things that happen in the world, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was real.
    We then talked about a fake sign. Professor analogy was that if you have a group trip and you have a sign that says you just passed scientific views then they missed it already, this is the same as having an essay and not letting the reader know exactly what they are looking for. Don’t let the reader miss your information and arguments.
    The difference from version 1 to version 2 was version 2 shows the sign early. The reader knows what they are reading and what they are looking for in the paragraph. Instead of relying on just data and stats version 2 relies on getting straight to the point and giving the reader everything.
    Rebuttal Practice
    The value of writing a rebuttal argument makes your argument stronger
    You can’t ignore the negatives to your arguments
    You should tackle them head on and make them smaller
    We then read a Rebuttal Essay on Nuclear Power plants, to see how it is properly done and constructed.
    If you draw all the bad arguments on the other side you’re just making your side stronger.
    You just need slightly better evidence vs the rebuttal lack of evidence.
    A Rebuttal argument is not to argue the other side.
    The job to a Rebuttal argument is to destroy the other side.
    Rebuttal Argument Essay due April 12


  3. mrmba1 says:

    Riddle: Decide for yourself
    – The explanation somewhat makes sense, however I still hold some doubts. I always question sources, typically holding an 80/20 mindset of belief/question.

    “Just passed scenic views”
    – Keep readers interested in with each sentence, command your audience
    – Don’t have the reader go backwards to figure out what’s happening.
    – Claim first, give reasoning second- point out future connections.

    Rebuttal Practice
    – Address the opposition
    – Avoid poor, false, or misleading analogies/ use to disprove opposition
    – Provide more evidence than the opposition/ rebuttal
    – Point out irrelevant and inconclusive evidence
    – Refute, don’t advance, the opposition


  4. imgoingswimming says:

    In today’s warmup, we are looking at a boat that seems to be floating on air. This is an optical trick where the boat just seems it is floating, this is because of the temperature of the air.
    We need to write so that our style is scenic views ahead and not just passed scenic views such as we see in Paragraphs one and two. Pay attention to tenses when writing. We see in version one that it has weak sentences and that it is not focused on talking to the reader. Paragraph 2 is much stronger and can include the reader.
    We can always use the writing center as a tool to help us.
    Rebuttal – Address the strongest objections against what you are trying to convince the reader and refute them if possible. This convinces your reader better instead of just giving them a list of positives.
    We need to look for weak points such as the article we looked at. The writer says power plants are dangerous. We see that yes a power plant blew up, but it was built in the worst possible place. The power plant was only dangerous because of its position, so if one is not built in a poorly chosen place like this then it is not dangerous. Use this as an example and look into how many exist not on fault lines near the beach and you can say that this is the percentage that is not dangerous. This is a good example of a rebuttal.
    We have our rebuttal argument due Sunday night.


    • davidbdale says:

      I’m impressed with the trouble you took to analyze the Fukushima example of bad analogy. But my favorite note is this little gem:

      We need to write so that our style is “Scenic Views Ahead,” not ” Just Passed Scenic Views.”



  5. honeysucklelilac says:

    The semester is almost over, scary but exciting. If you want to be able to enjoy the weekend, use this week to catch up
    You’ve asked for help, a little late but at least you’ve recognized that you need some
    Riddle: Decide for Yourself
    -I think that it is possible for the optical illusion, I trust BBC to be a credible news source
    Just Passed Scenic Views
    -you want to put the sign BEFORE the scenic view, if not your reader will miss the information
    -tell your reader what you want them to think before spiting facts at them that you just assume they will understand what conclusions to draw
    -assume nothing, if anything assume your reader isn’t going to think anything like you as the author, tell them why they should care about what you have to say
    -In Class Task
    — the improvements made to Version 1 was that there was a preview of the conclusion before the evidence was presented. The evidence was used (as it should be) as supporting facts to the conclusion
    Writing Center
    -after your meeting on tuesday, if you are still lost set up an appointment
    Prepping for the Portfolio
    -update your white paper, it should contain 10-15 sources, Purposeful Summaries, Practice Openings, Current State of My Research and other notes
    Rebuttal Practice
    -figuring out what the most powerful objection to your point of view is and disabling it provides you with the momentum you need to get people on your side
    -all you need is slightly better evidence, you can’t just say the opposing side doesn’t have enough evidence
    -look for holes in the other side’s argument, do they make direct correlations with proof or does the author just expect the audience to draw the conclusion without evidence?
    -what are the objections in the other side’s argument? are they what your positives are? or does the author just name ONE positive and if so, name the other advantages that are in your argument
    -false choice, if the author of your biggest argument gives only two options and makes it seem like there is no other option, prove that there IS a third choice
    -the purpose of this argument is to REFUTE the strongest rebuttal NOT advance the other side’s argument
    -the opposite side isn’t always the opposite of your thesis, there are more than two points of view on a topic
    -DO NOT offer a weak argument against your thesis that is easy to demolish, this will do nothing for your own argument
    -be creative in choosing what argument to refute and what your solution/rebuttal is to the opposing side
    -example: argument- Fukushima was terrible and dangerous and therefore we shouldn’t have nuclear power plants. rebuttal- Fukushima was terrible nd dangerous, so let’s not have another Fukushima. The facts that follow would then describe how Fukushima happened because the plant was in Japan where earthquakes happen every day, it was placed in a bad area (on the beach)


    • davidbdale says:

      Routinely the best Notes in class, HSL, not just because they’re thorough, but because they give evidence that you’re analyzing the material as it’s being presented. If classmates want 4s for their daily notes, they should be learning from yours.


  6. compiistudent says:

    Notes 4/5
    Riddle: photo of ship that appears to be floating above the horizon; opitical illusion. I think that the photo is accurate, if people have indeed accounted for it happening before, as well as it being the BBC reporting it.
    Need to keep readers invested in your writing, especially in the first thousand words.
    Compared to the first paragraph, the second uses some key phrasing to start the paragraph, and towards the end. It keeps the reader more invested because it starts out maybe a little more harshly, and it grips you into reading more.
    Rebuttal arguments are important because it might bore your reader if you don’t round out all the sides of your argument.
    I don’t know too much about Nuclear energy or power plnts, so on the surface, Herberts claims seem reasonable. This was, however, also 10 years ago, so a lot could have changed since then. If you draw your readers attention to the bad arguments on the other side, it will, in turn, strengthen your argument. Also have to provide ypur reader with enough evidence on both sides.However in doing so, you need to prve that your evidence is better.
    Purpose of the rebuttal argument is to refute the other side, not advance, the strongest rebuttal to your own argument.


  7. thecommoncase says:

    -I think that the optical illusion is a believable phenomenon, but the BBC did not do a great job explaining it and did not go into detail
    -The BBC’s lack of credibility in their article makes it seem like this is a photoshopped picture
    -do not make your reader go back and look through information they just read
    -the first paragraph focuses too much on the same information which makes it repetitive. The second paragraph does not continue to mention past information but spreads out the facts so it flows better.
    -if you need some writing help, use the writing center
    -while looking through your sources, think of how you use them and put them into your white paper
    -If your approach to the material changes, make sure you change your description in “how I used it”
    -Herbert’s argument focuses on the risks of nuclear energy in the U.S., but we already use nuclear energy so we’ve been taking that risk for some time now
    -I think it is unlikely that the U.S. would purposely construct a nuclear power plant near a large communities. Also, the U.S. government allows for a certain distance between nuclear plants and communities so, in case an emergency does happen, people have time to evacuate.
    -^Herbert mentions the plant near NYC, but no matter where the plant is, it is going to be extremely difficult to evacuate people in NYC due to it’s size and population.
    -Putting a nuclear power plant on the beach in Japan is a bad idea overall, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have nuclear power plants at all
    -we aren’t arguing with the other point of view, we are trying to destroy their point of view
    -they are not exactly opposing your position, claims are not always so extreme


    • davidbdale says:

      I agree about the ship photo. I was LESS convinced after reading the explanation than before. 🙂
      Not sure I know what you mean by “we’re not arguing with the other point of view.” I think you must mean “we’re not arguing FOR another point of view.”


  8. -I do not believe that this photograph is real. It is entirely too ridiculous to be a mirage.
    -You can get your readers on your side if you preview what your conclusions are going to be.
    -You’re not going to click on a link within a book that’ll take you to another book
    -If you point out the connection between two things, I will pay attention better.
    -65% of those who eat GMOs claim that they are educated on them.
    -The improved paragraph takes its time to jump into the statistics. It starts off with a strong claim. The improved paragraph also drops a couple of useless sentences that don’t add to the strength of the paragraph. The first paragraph also repeats one of the statistics twice, while the improved version makes mathematical sense and only states the evidence one single time, which is enough.
    -The rebuttal argument makes your argument stronger.
    -There are 104 power plants in the US currently

    -There are small earthquakes everyday in Japan, so an analogy between the power plants of the US and Japan isn’t very sound.


    • davidbdale says:

      These are unique. Unique is my favorite.
      I love that you disbelieve the photo.
      I’m a big fan of this note too:

      -If you point out the connection between two things, I will pay attention better.

      And your description of the differences between the two “GMO” paragraphs is very perceptive.


  9. johnwick66 says:

    Start to follow through in terms of adjusting/ fixing your essays .
    The BBC is very likely a credible news source. While at first appearance the picture for the article looks(and sounds) insane and fake. But as you read through the article they explain and provide credible sources as to why this was occurring.

    When writing you need to capture the readers attention right off the bat, because people now a days don’t have the time or patience to read through a boring articles.

    65% of people who eat GMO’s have reported to read a lot in regards to GMO’s and feel like they are well informed. While 70% of people who don’t eat GMO’s haven’t read anything at all about GMO’s
    This is an interesting revelation about this, hinting that people who do their research on it are more inclined to consume them based off the knowledge they have while those who don’t rarely did anything to learn about them.

    Need to increase sources in my white paper so I can increase my options for my paper in terms of applying for my essays. Also need it for my annotated bibliography. Should do it while I get ready for the rebuttal essay.

    Rebuttal: Rather than ignore, address the biggest opposition ideas of your point and counter them in order to make your argument more believable since you just “debunked” some of the biggest arguments to your work.

    Nuclear power plant rebuttal review points:
    Takes a little to long to explain how the nuclear power plant is going to cost more than normal sources.
    Author goes on about how powerplants are a risk in regards to disasters after referencing the powerplant in Japan leaking, however its a bad example because its a powerplant on the world most active fault line on the beach. It’s a horrible analogy because its a worst case scenario. Meanwhile the 104 powerplants in the US haven’t gotten close yet to having a meltdown.
    When making a rebuttal draw attention to the bad arguments on the other side, giving you a better appearance while also undermining .
    When arguing, it is better to provide slightly better evidence than your opposition’s in order make your argument stand out.
    Also don’t provide useless evidence in your articles, all it does is weigh it down.
    If someone has potentially a great point and doesn’t use it, then it is likely that the point would not swing their way. Research that point and if it’s true use it to your advantage.

    Your job is not to tell the other side of your argument, but your job is to refute the strongest rebuttal the opposition may throw at you.


    • davidbdale says:

      This is so crucial:

      Rebuttal: Rather than ignore, address (and debunk!) the biggest opposition ideas of your point and counter them.

      That’s your work, just edited a bit.


  10. person345 says:

    Riddle is a ship that appears to be floating. The BBC is a well credited source. It is a British news source that reports news from around the world. According to the BBC, the image is an optical illusion that appears to be floating in the arctic because of the cold air that makes light bend towards the eye. This makes the ship appear floating to the eye. When writing, writers miss how information about their topic is being received by readers. The first example doesn’t prepare the reader for incoming information. The second example introduces the idea first and then adds on to that from there. Every paper has objections. Objections cannot be neglected in an argument. Rob Herbert argues against nuclear power. A Rebuttal argument is to REFUTE the strongest rebuttal to your thesis. Rebuttal Argument due SUN @ 11:59 PM on 4/11.


  11. rowanrat says:

    -In a week our rebuttal essay is due
    -I would normally trust BBC news for an accurate amount of news. However, I agree with what the article says about it being an optical illusion but the distance between the water and the ship appears way too drastic
    -A grammatically correct and more conscientious sentence was added
    -the second improvement is in the second sentence where the citation is revised and incorporates the same information with less commentary
    -the improvement switches the last sentence into a claim about those who admit ignorances
    -then concluding sentence avoids using them and creates a more grammatically correct sentence
    -address the opponent and minimize them
    -find out what the most powerful objection to your point of view is and “take their knees out”
    -the best rebuttal argument takes on a real opponent, not a “straw man”
    -what’s a rebuttal?(car seat): it’s to detail all the qualifications that must be met to make a car seat safe, taken directly from your opponents arguments
    -find that it makes a false choice


  12. icedcoffeeislife says:

    Wake up riddle
    So your challenge here is to believe what BBC is saying about the photograph of hat it appears of a board floating in the air
    Writing advice
    Whether the conclusion we write for are reads is justified by the evidence that we have provided
    Through a scenic paradise and we trust them to understand it, but they might have missed it or read over it.
    When reading a book, you are large because you only have the information that is one the book.
    With version 1 and version 2, it is a lot shorter than the first one. Cutting out unnecessary detail that made the reader get distracted and not follow all the way through the paper. With version 1, there is a lot more added detail that is about the topic, but it is not the most variable information. Also with getting into the important information sooner, the reader has a clear understanding of what they are reading.
    Prepping for Portfolio
    There have been little edits to everyone’s white paper, make sure you are adding more sources to it.
    If you’re keeping up with your white paper, you are doing the first draft of your annotated bibliography.
    Doing your white paper makes it a lot easier to get your annotated bibliography done, without making it an extra problem.
    Rebuttal Practices
    Can you take a hard look at his 1,00 words or show, to figure out a way to refute his words? You use that as a way to show how he fears his outcome.
    When someone is reading your evidence, by their silence enough. Make sure when you’re writing that you pull your “queen” to show that you have the proper amount of evidence.
    When someone has an obvious press, then that should be your clue to comparer those costs to see whether or not it is going to be in your favor.
    Think of rebuttals like playing cards or poker. Because you are not trying to show all your cards at once, you want to show them one at a time, and to have the queen be your final solid point to cover why your argument is solid.
    That the purpose of the rebuttal argument is to reform and the stronger rebuttal.
    It is hard to know the opposite side of an argument.


  13. christianity19 says:
    • The Arctic low temperatures causes this phenomenon to happen.
    • I don’t believe that this phenomenon is real and is made up.
    • The Rowan Writing center will help with your writing and proofread it.
    • Add 5 more sources to your white paper for your rebuttal argument.
    • If you don’t keep your audience engaged from the first sentence you will lose your reader.
    • Insufficient Evidence Rebuttal is providing that good evidence is an effective rebuttal.
    • Irrelevant Evidence Rebuttal is pointing out that the evidence supports a different conclusion than the author’s is an effective rebuttal.
    • Inclusive Evidence Rebuttal is demonstrating how a correct interpretation of the evidence proves something other than the author’s argument is an effective rebuttal
    • Stacking the Deck Rebuttal is that you could say, for instance: Bob Herbert acts as if the only benefit we obtain from nuclear power is reduced greenhouse gas emissions. If that were the case, the price might truly be too high.
    • False Analogy Rebuttal in a effective rebuttal of a false analogy is one that points out the essential difference that keeps the third Matrix from repeating the first two movies, or in this case, the essential difference between Japanese nuclear plants and US plants.
    • False Choice Rebuttal is a effective rebuttal of a false choice is one that points out the unnamed third choice, in this case, that every new nuclear plant either be built to address all known risks or not be built at all


  14. kobebryant32 says:

    Ship floating riddle
    Go to Rowan Writing Center for help
    Refute rebuttals
    Point out useless evidence
    Rebuttal essay is due in exactly one week
    Update your white paper
    Update the sources
    10-15 sources
    Convince somebody to change their mind
    Strong rebuttal will help
    Provide more evidence and context then the opposition
    Avoid weak analogies


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