Editing for Logic

Negative Sports Media

Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but some people only find and report the negative news that they hear or see. News reporters, for example the reporters of newspapers and news shows, don’t always write about what happens on the field, but rather find aspects of what professional players do wrong off of the field.

The first sentence sets up a false contradiction. There’s nothing contradictory about:
A: Sports are great entertainment
B: Reporters go negative
As a consequence, readers don’t know what to make of the very first sentence, and the author loses most of her credibility.

A truer contradiction would be:
A: Sports are thrilling for the physical feats on display in athletic competition.
B: However, many reporters ignore the spectacle on the field and concentrate only on reporting negative off-the-field activities.

This is exactly the content of the second sentence, a clear demonstration that the first sentence was wasteful and confusing.

Exercise: Rewrite the first paragraph in a Reply below, in one sentence or two.

  • Identify your comment as “Negative Sports Media.”

Learning in Our Sleep

Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain. The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.

The sentences Fail For Grammar (FFG) twice for pronoun disagreement (a person/their brain) (someone/their performance/they). But besides that they’re also quite wordy and get the essay off to a very slow start.

It says: Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain.
Which means: Sleep improves the brain’s efficiency.

It says: The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.
Which means: Sleeping longer helps us learn and perform better on exams.

Exercise: Rewrite the first paragraph in a Reply below, in two sentences (or one if you can manage it). Consider using a brief, simple illustration. The tone is informational but light.

  • Identify your comment as “Hooray Sleep.”

Failing Schools

The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful. Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates. These high schools are overcrowded with students and understaffed with teachers. Classrooms are filled above capacity and the “schools are simply under managed.” These inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.

The sentences introduce plenty of material but are wordy and repetitious.

Fat: The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful
Lean: Underprivileged students are more likely to succeed when large failing public schools are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat: Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates.
Lean (combine with 1st sentence): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when large failing public schools are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat:These high schools are overcrowded with students and understaffed with teachers.
Lean: (Combine 1st 3 sentences): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat: Classrooms are filled above capacity and the “schools are simply under managed.”
Lean (combine with 1, 2, 3): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers.

Fat: These inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.
Lean: Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

Final Product: 

Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

Exercise: Expand the final two-sentence version back out to three or four sentences, adding a hook, a brief illustration, or an expression of opinion.

  • Identify your comment as “Failing Schools.”

Death with Dignity

Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. He lives day by day in pain. His only release is the constant drip of morphine into his body. Mr. Lamb is not the man that he wanted to be, having to be dependent on the help from others. He describes his life as “unbearable” because of the intense pain. He has gone to court multiple times in the hope that someone will be merciful and allow him to end his suffering, but he got rejected.

The paragraph suffers from a choppy, repetitive sentence structure. Every sentence begins with Paul Lamb or a pronoun referring to Paul Lamb. The result is a series of  five unrelated statements that make no argument.

One Solution: Paul Lamb, 57, deserves the right to be released from his pain and dependency. For 23 years, he has lived in unbearable pain, or debilitated by a morphine drip that eases the body’s agony without relieving his total dependence on others since quadriplegia deprived him of the use of his limbs. Since he cannot be the man he wants to be, Lamb has spent years unsuccessfully battling the courts for the right to end his suffering.

Exercise: Rewrite the same material to emphasize why Mr. Lamb, and nobody else, should have the right to decide his fate.

  • Identify your comment as “Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death.”

6 Responses to Editing for Logic

  1. g903254 says:

    negative sports media: Although the spectacle of sports can be very positive and entertaining, media coverage of sports tends to be very negative.

    Hooray Sleep: long effective sleep allows for the brain to fully process the information of the day prior allowing for a more efficient learning process.

    Failing Schools: Let’s say for the sake of argument that you are attending an overcrowded inner city school. You attend your classes and you get good grades. How can you thrive rather than survive in this understaffed school? What opportunities do you need to become a successful person in the job market? The answer is smaller, more specialized schools. These schools would allow for teachers to effectively teach students in a way that would allow them to thrive rather than barely survive.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death: As Paul Lamb, a quadriplegic, is left in pain 23 years after a horrific car accident he begs for his life to end. As he has to suffer through this being left on a morphine drip everyday the question must be asked. Should Mr. Lamb be allowed to end his suffering? Only he can make that choice. He believes he should as the pain is unbearable. To allow another human being to suffer through this pain without an end to it is cruel and unusual punishment for something that Mr. Lamb did nothing to cause.

  2. davidbdale says:

    Good to see you getting an early start on the second half of the semester, G. 🙂

  3. nousernamefound1 says:

    Negative Sports Media: News reporters never focus on the good that comes with professional sports. In fact, they focus on the bad things that happen off the field.

    Hooray Sleep: Sleep helps improve the performance and efficiency of their brain, so the more you sleep the better you are in the long run.

    Failing Schools: Problems are starting when schools are overcrowding students with understaffed teachers. The classrooms are being filled up with only one teacher, basically 1 on 30. This is a reason why graduation rates are low throughout the years in New York. I believe that they should allow them to go to any school they want because it all based on their future.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death: A horrific car accident that left Paul Lamb, a quadriplegic. 23 years later still having sharp non-stopping pains. Mr. Lamb hates that he has to depend on others because it makes him question being a man. his life is becoming unbearable because of the intense pain. The pain is becoming too much for him and knows the pain will never stop, so he just wants to end the suffering forever by taking his life. Nobody should suffer every day, which is why Paul Lamb wants to get rid of the pain.

  4. chavanillo says:

    Negative Sports media:
    Even though sports is a very famous and compatitive, reporters focus on the negative or wrong things player do in or out of the field.

    Sleep:
    Sleeping more causes better grades for exams and learning because our brains are energize and fill off capacity.

    Failing schools: high populations in high school in a building that is packed there is a lower rate of graduating teens. Know matter what we always start to go to overcrowded schools because they are more cheaper and actually is free. So, it gives us the education we need, but is it really, smaller schools are a great example that they are more successful.

  5. pomegranate4800 says:

    Negative Sports Media: Although sports are fun and a great form of entertainment, the media continues to find and pull negative stories that happen outside of the game.
    Hooray Sleep: Sleep is a very important tool when it comes to performance improvement and brain efficiency. The more sleep someone gets there is a higher likelihood for them to perform better in school and other activities
    Failing Schools: It is proved that students are less likely to graduate while going to school in overcrowded, understaffed schools. Smaller schools with the right student to staff ratio are more likely to have their students graduate. Smaller schools would give students the opportunity to learn and comprehend the curriculum and ask for the help they need without thirty other kids asking for help before them. Students should overall be able to choose the school in which they would like to go too because it is their future they are preparing for.
    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death: After a horrific car accident, Paul Lamb has been in pain for 23 years. He describes his life as painful and says he is living in misery. It is unfair to Lamb to be forced to live this life. If he is immobile and is unable to help himself, it should be up to him whether or not he should continue to live this life. It is no ones dream to live in undesirable pain, and to be helpless. He knows this pain will never end, and it should be his choice to continue whether or not he lives through this pain.

  6. hazelnutlatte123 says:

    -Negative sports media: Sports are an extremely popular form of entertainment, but reporters focus on the negative aspects of what the players do off the field.
    – Hooray sleep: Sleep is an essential tool when it comes to improving one’s grades and brain efficiency
    – Failing schools: The graduation rate decrease is an extreme problem within the school systems all around the country. Students are less likely to graduate when they are in a school that is not managed properly, and has overcrowded population, yet not enough staff. The amount of students to teachers should be a fair amount that allows the students to access the help needed to succeed.
    – Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death: 23 years after his car accident, Paul Lamb continues to be in constant pain. He has tried to get help to end his suffering, but he has been rejected. It should only Mr. Lamb’s choice whether he should continue to live or put an end to his pain. It should be nobody else’s choice to have someone continue in their pain and suffering.

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