RWS h.w. 9.19.18

Emily Richards

RWS 100

Professor Werry

September 19 2018       

   “Public Thinking” Analysis Essay


Some say that the advancement of technology has led to people becoming more lazy and ineffective in their writing, while others say that technology has only aided in the advancement and complexity of the writing people put out online for the world to see. In the piece titled “Public Thinking” by Clive Thompson, the author argues that not only have writers in this generation improved their writing, but the technological revolution in the last 20 years has led not only to writers holding themselves to a higher standard, but they are writing more in quantity due to the fact that they are aware their work is being read by a larger audience. Thompson is correct in his claims that technology has helped individuals improve their writing, not only with an increase in the quantity that is being put out into the world, but also with the complexity and skill with which they are writing.

Many argue that with the technological revolution “generation z” is growing up in has made them lazy, unproductive, and unwilling to produce works of writing of high quality and effort, claiming the technology has enabled them to get away with cutting corners on their own writing, and will make them ill-prepared for their future in the “real world.” According to a study done at Stanford University by English Professor Andrea Lunsford, the professor “tracked down studies of how often first-year college students made grammatical errors in freshman composition essays, going back nearly a century. She found that their error rate has barely risen at all. More astonishingly, today’s freshman-comp essays are over six times longer than they were back then, and also generally more complex”. (Thompson 66). This study, done at arguably the most prestigious universities in the nation, disproves the claim many make that the advancements made in technology have made students lazier and less likely to produce quality work, when in fact in recent years students, as well as other members of “generation Z” have increased the standard to which they hold not only themselves, but their writing as well.



RWS h.w. Tuesday Sept. 18

  1. Consider how Thompson’s ideas from “Public Thinking” connect to your everyday life. Which examples were more relatable or more convincing to you? Be specific. Feel free to use personal anecdotes and quotes from the text to support your reflective response.
    1. The connection he made to students writing to fellow students in other countries resonated with me because when I was a junior in high school, I had to write letters to students in France for my French class, and I had a much easier time writing more and writing better than I would for my teacher, due to the fact that I was writing to another person my age, and they were actually interested in what I had to say, rather than my teacher only reading my work to grade me on it.
    2. After reading Thompson’s piece, how would you paraphrase his main argument in your own words?
      1. Thompson’s main argument is that influential impact blogs and other forms of  writing have an impact on not only ourselves, but the people around us as well. Thompson addresses the impact of actually sitting down and writing something yourself, and the idea that somebody else will b reading your work, and how to affects our writing and the quality and effort which we put into our writing.
  2. Identify what do you see as the three most important claims, and discuss the evidence he uses to support these claims. Provide a quotation for each claim (use the “starter” template on page 73 of the reader).
    1. Thompson makes the claim that once your writing has been exposed to the public, there is a plethora of connections through the people who are reading and that is one of the primary reasons why your wiring gains popularity and it is seen by a larger audience
    2. with the invention of technology and mobile phones, the personal writing that is being exposed to the public has increased exponentially, and there is potential for the amount to increase even further with the eventual and continue advancement and involvement of technology
    3. technological advancements have led people to write more, Thompson gives the example of his mother who grew up in the pre-internet age, yet she hasn’t written anything longer than a paragraph in the last 10 years. the technological revolution has led to people writing more, and the public reading more.
  3. Identify two rebuttals (places where Thompson addresses opposing views).
    1. When Thompson visited China, authoritarian nation, he expected the youth of china to use their new platform to speak out against the oppressive form of government, yet they were so startles by the opportunity to speak on a large public platform, and they chose to talk about more trivial and everyday things.
    2. Thompson addresses the stereotype that college students have gotten more lazy in recent years, when in fact, “todays freshman comp-essays are over 6 times longer than they were back then, and generally more complex” (Thompson). The author uses this statistic to invoke ethos and prove that although some claim that students in this age are lazy and unmotivated to do quality work, they are in fact writing more, and writing better quality work.

R.W.S. Homework 9.10.18


What did you think of Rifkin’s argument, or find most interesting about it?Read the “starter template for discussing claims” on page 73 (reader). Use this template to write about two of Rifkin’s main claims.

  • Rifkin utilizes making strategic choices in order to give the audience a look at both sides of the issue, he paints the picture of the knowledge only recently obtained that animals do in fact experiment many of the same emotions as people, and then poses the question, what do we do with this information? should we reevaluate how we treat animals in scientific testing and meat industries? should animals be treated the same as humans in every situation due to the fact that it is proven that they have self-awareness? he poses these and other questions to prompt the audience to think and reflect on his claims about the research done proving animals experiment many of the same emotions as us humans do.

In a separate paragraph describe some of the main kinds of evidence used to support these claims. Discuss two strategies Rifkin uses to persuade his audience.

  • Rifkin uses scientifically backed evidence to support his claims, citing experiments and their results. he uses experimental results such as “the government is encouraging pig farmers to give each pig 20 seconds of human contact each day and to provide them with toys to prevent them from fighting. ” (Rifkin). He utilizes these scientific experiments and their results in order to create a solid and irrefutable argument regarding the topic being discussed in his article.

Read Parry’s “Branding a Condition.” What is Parry’s overall argument?

  • Parry’s overall argument is that you can more effectively market a medicine if you change the name of certain conditions, either to sound less emasculation with afflictions such as erectile dysfunction, or other diseases in order to reach a bigger market of people and therefore sell more of the product.

What did you find most interesting/useful about this text?

That Parry was able to bridge the connection between how certain diseases “sound”  and whether or not people will buy them simply based on the name of the condition, and what a large effect this has on the pharmaceutical industry.

What does Parry’s argument suggest about the way advertisers and marketers try to persuade audiences?

Parry suggests that advertisers use language and diction, as well as word association in order to market certain products to a wider audience. for instance, men feel is emasculates them to hear the term “erectile dysfunction” and they may not want to walk into a pharmacy and purchase a product with the name “erectile dysfunction” in the title. but changing the name of the same medicine to “Viagra” with word association such as “vigor” and “vitality”, makes men more likely to being open to buying the product.

Have you seen or heard of any similar methods of persuading people?

I have read articles where the word choice and association has had a large impact on how the reader perceives the article, such as “casualties” and “collateral damage” in news stories can greatly sway the way a reader interprets the story, and gives the story a bias due to the word choice and how the author wants the audience to perceive his/her writing.


RWS 100 Homework 9.6.18

Review of Kristof’s “Do We Have The Courage?”:

In the op-ed titled “Do We Have The Courage?”,  Kristof utilizes the strategy of rebuttals in order to strengthen his argument and to persuade the audience to see his side of the issue of gun control in America. The topic of gun control is hotly debated, especially in the past 6 years, with the Sandy Hook school shooting leaving 27 teachers and children dead, it is unlikely you will meet a person that has yet to form some sort of opinion on the issue. Kristof uses the strategy of rebuttals due to the fact that he is aware that so many people have already formed opinions on the subject, and it adds to his credibility and knowledge that he is willing to look at the issue from another stance, as he is hoping some of the members of his audience that may be opposed to gun control would be willing to do while reading his article.

Review of Rifkin’s “A Change of Heart About Animals“:

In Rifkin’s “A Change of Heart About Animals”, he addresses a very new and controversial topic in todays scientific community; the idea that animals experience many of the same emotions such as happiness, sadness, and fear as us humans. Rifkin uses rebuttal strategies such as the strategic concession in order to make it clear to the audience that he is open to the benefits of the other side as well, but he manages to acknowledge the other side while still promoting his side of the argument. He brings up a study done that proves that when pigs are isolated, they are lonely and it is detrimental to their health (Rifkin.) and that in Germany, they have made laws in order to prevent this from happening. The author looks at both sides of the argument regarding animals emotional well being and weather or not laws should be passed in order to ensure their emotional safety, and through the strategy of rebuttal, he not only acknowledges the other side, but he uses this to strengthen his own argument, and create a sound opinion on the issue for the audience to reflect on.

RWS 100 H.W.

Article 1:

  1. What seems to be the overall argument? –  That there is a drastic need for political reform regarding gun control in America in order to stop these horrific shootings that are putting our children at risk.
  2. What are some of Kristof’s main claims
    1. – There are more regulations on ladders than there are on guns, which is an astounding logical claim, as well as the fact that “children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times more likely to be murdered with guns as children in other countries”
  3. What kinds of claim does he present
    1. he presents a lot of logos and pathos, due to the fact that gun violence is such a controversial and emotionally charged topic where people have very strong opinions about the issue. using statistics and anticdotes to appeal to peoples emotions and convince them to join his side.
  4. List some of the main types of evidence presented (see reader 17 – 21) and discuss how persuasive they are.
    1. the majority of the evidence presented din this article is statistics and personal anticdotes, and the author uses these statistics and stories in order to show the reality of what the lack of gun control in America is doing to the citizens of the nation.
  5. Identify two strategies Kristof uses to persuade his audience
    1. using strategies such as logos, an presenting statistics to show the reader the extent to which mass shootings and lack of gun control in this country is effecting the citizens. The author also uses pathos, in order to appeal to the readers emotions and help strengthen his argument.
  6. What is your response to the text
    1.  I enjoyed the text, as it covered a topic that is very hotly disputed in this country today, and instead of just bashing gun owners and trying to abolish the second amendment, he suggests alternatives and increases in gun control In order to make our country a better and safer place.

Article 2:

  1. What seems to be the overall argument?
    1. that people (primarily liberals) seem to think that all gun owners are completely against any sort of gun regulations, but in reality he majority of gun owners are not opposed to having reasonable checks of their firearms
  2. What are some of Kristof’s main claims?
    1. that liberals antagonize gun owners to the extent that they end up over bearing the gun owners and nothing ends u getting done because the liberals are so antagonistic.
    2. he also argues that liberals using terms such as “gun control” instead of “gun safety” turns people away from the idea of reform.
  3. What kinds of claim does he present (see reader pages 15-16)
    1. he uses logical claims such as statistics in order to persuade the audience of his argument. the statistics used aid in his argument that not all gun owners are opposed to gun control, in fact the majority of gun owners are open to more gun safety.
  4. List some of the main types of evidence presented (see reader 17 – 21) and discuss how persuasive they are.
    1. Kristof uses factual evidence and statistics to strengthen his argument and refute stereotypes that all gun owners are resistant to change regarding gun laws
  5. Identify two strategies Kristof uses to persuade his audience
    1. He uses logos in the statistic presented and ethos in the ethical anecdotes he presents in order to change the stereotype of the typical American gun owner and their state on gun reform.
  6. What is your response to the text (general thoughts or discussion of how effective you think it was).
    1. this article really opened my eyes to the fact that not all gun owners are opposed to gun safety, and its possible to continue the conversation in gun control without having stereotypes of either side getting in the way of having a civil conversation that will lead to a efficient result regarding gun control/safety in America.

RWS 100 First Blog Post

Hi, my name is Emily Richards, I am from Coronado California. I have a younger brother named Dean who is 13. I also have a two dogs named Nina and Brandy, who are sisters. I love skiing and going to the beach, and I love to travel. I have never made a blog to write before, but English is one of my favorite subjects, so I am excited to write more!