Commentary
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Commentary. How to Approach This Assignment. Step One: List Your Reasons. Write down every reason you can think of for why you have taken your position. Try to come up with 3-5 reasons Choose the most plausible reasons.

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Commentary

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Commentary

Commentary

How to Approach This Assignment


Step one list your reasons

Step One: List Your Reasons

  • Write down every reason you can think of for why you have taken your position.

    • Try to come up with 3-5 reasons

  • Choose the most plausible reasons.

    • Which ones will most likely convince your readers to take your side?

  • The 3 most plausible reasons will make up your commentary.


  • Step two anticipate readers objections questions

    Step Two: Anticipate Readers’ Objections & Questions

    • Under each of your 3 reasons, list one or more objections or questions that the reader could raise.

    • Choose one objection that makes sense to you, and determine how you could acknowledge it in your paper.

      • Determine how you are going to refute this objection (for example, use a credible source).


    Step three anticipating opposing positions

    Step Three: Anticipating Opposing Positions

    • Identify one or more widely held positions other than your own that people take on the issue.

    • List the reasons why people might take the opposing position.

    • Choose one reason that you could accept as not entirely damaging to your argument.

    • Choose another reason that seems implausible to you and plan how to refute it.

      • For example, you could point out flawed reasoning.


    Defining your purpose

    Defining Your Purpose

    • If your readers will be sympathetic to your point of view, you might want to give them reasons to commit to the position, enhance their own arguments, or win their respect.

    • If your readers will be hostile to your position, you might want to get them to concede to your point of view, make them defend their own reasoning, or simple engage in a scholarly argument.

    • If your readers are somewhere in the middle, you may want to show them how your position is the better one, appeal to their values, or win them over.


    Formulate your thesis statement

    Formulate Your Thesis Statement

    • Tell the reader simply and directly what you want him or her to think about the issue and why.

    • Do not alienate the reader by being argumentative or overly confident.

    • Forecast your reasons in the order you will write them in your paper.


    Organization of essay

    Organization of Essay

    • Five basic parts:

      • Presentation of the issue – grab your reader’s attention using a hook.

      • A clear position – what is your point of view on this issue?

      • Reasons and support – use your three most plausible reasons and sources to provide evidence.

      • Anticipating opposing positions and objections – acknowledge at least one opposing argument and refute it.

      • Conclusion – what do you expect your reader to think or do after he or she has read your commentary?


    Consider types of appeals

    Consider Types of Appeals

    • Logos (Logical Appeal)

      • Relies on clear reasoning and sound evidence to influence a reader’s thinking

      • Demonstrates what you claim, and don’t claim what you can’t demonstrate.

      • Test and select your evidence.

      • Use your two sources sparingly and wisely.


    Consider types of appeals1

    Consider Types of Appeals

    • Pathos (Emotional Appeal)

      • Choose examples and language that will influence a reader’s feelings.

      • Include effective images, but don’t overdo them.

      • Complement logical appeals, but don’t replace them.


    Consider types of appeals2

    Consider Types of Appeals

    • Ethos (Ethical Appeal)

      • Use a tone and approach that appeal to your reader’s sense of fairness and reasonableness.

      • Spell out your values and beliefs, and acknowledge values and beliefs of others with different opinions.

      • Establish credentials, if any, and the credentials of experts you cite.

      • Instill confidence in your readers so that they se you as a caring, trustworthy person with reliable views.


    How to refute an opposing argument

    How to Refute an Opposing Argument

    • Concede the value of a likely criticism or opposing argument, then quickly refute it (in the same sentence or the next one).

    • For example: “A big assumption among detractors is that children can’t distinguish between reality and fiction and that they will mimic what they see, whether violence or sex. But social science increasingly indicates that this line of thinking is incorrect” (Ferguson).


    How to incorporate your sources book

    How to Incorporate Your Sources: Book

    • Use the author’s last name and page number in the in-text citation whenever you quote or paraphrase from a source:

      Wordsworth extensively explored the role of emotion in the creative process (263).

    • This information must then appear on the Works Cited page:

      Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads. London: Oxford U.P., 1967. Print.


    How to incorporate your sources web

    How to Incorporate Your Sources: Web

    • Make sure to note the following information when looking at a website as a source:

      • Name of the author or editor

      • Title of the work or article.

      • Title of the overall website (italicized).

      • Version or edition used.

      • Publish or sponsor of the site (if none, use N.p.).

      • Date of publication (day, month, year).

      • Medium of publication (Web).

      • Date of access (day, month, year).

    • Always be sure to write down the URL.


    How to incorporate your sources web1

    How to Incorporate Your Sources: Web

    • For example, the Works Cited would look like this:

      Green, Joshua. “The Rove Presidency.” The Atlantic-com. Atlantic Monthly Group, Sept. 2007. Web. 15 May 2008.

    • For your in-text citation, put in parenthesis the first piece of information that is seen on the Works Cited page. So for this source, it would be (Green). If no author is listed, go to the next part: (“The Rove Presidency”).


    Make a quote sandwich

    Make a Quote Sandwich!

    • NEVER use a “dropped quote.” Your quote should always have an introductory phrase before or after it.

    • WRONG:

      While the above is just a general idea of what the literary period of realism consisted of, much critical work has been done on realism. “Realism is simply what literature is when it succeeds in showing us how the world works, and when it makes the necessity and the inevitability of our society’s transformation tangible” (Perecs 37). He further elaborates that realism brings order to the world and brings out the detail of everyday life (32).


    Make a quote sandwich1

    Make a Quote Sandwich!

    • CORRECT:

      While the above is just a general idea of what the literary period of realism consisted of, much critical work has been done on realism. Georges Perec writes, “Realism is simply what literature is when it succeeds in showing us how the world works, and when it makes the necessity and the inevitability of our society’s transformation tangible” (37). He further elaborates that realism brings order to the world and brings out the detail of everyday life (32). Literary realism is something that people can be familiar with and something that people can look to for order.


    Bookmark this website

    Bookmark this Website!

    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/11/

    This is an online guide to MLA and APA style – it will become your best friend the rest of this year and in college.


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