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Journalistic Writing

EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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LECTURE 24
EXPOSITORY WRITING
Expository writing is a mode of writing in which the purpose of the author is to inform, explain,
describe, or define his or her subject to the reader. Expository text is meant to `expose' information and is the
most frequently used type of writing by students in colleges and universities. A well-written exposition remains
focused on its topic and provides facts in order to inform its reader. It should be unbiased, accurate, and use a
scholarly third person tone. The text needs to encompass all aspects of the subject. Examples of expository
writing can be found in magazine and newspaper articles, non-fiction books, travel brochures, business reports,
memorandums, professional journal and encyclopedia articles and many other types of informative writing.
One of the most familiar and basic forms of expository writing is the five-paragraph essay, which features an
introduction with a clear thesis statement, three main body paragraphs and a conclusion.
Some example topics for expository writing:
9. Global warming
1. Alcohol
10. Homosexuality
2. Animal experimentation
11. Immigration
3. Capital punishment
12. Internet Privacy
4. Censorship
13. Old homes
5. Endangered species
14. Nuclear weapons
6. Gambling
15. Students gangs
7. Biological weapons
16. Medical ethics
8. Genetic Engineering
Expository writing is difficult because
1. Some of your arguments may be irrelevant or unreasonable.
2. The reader may disagree with you strongly.
3. These topics are more difficult than writing, for example, about a person or place you know well.
Expository Writing: Guidelines
1. Keep your temper.
2. Don't attack people of a different race or religion.
3. Consider both sides of a topic.
4. Don't exaggerate.
5. Provide proof or examples if you make a claim or a statement.
6. Avoid dogmatic words like always, never, only, etc.
Expository writing: Organization
1. Opening
2. Discuss the both sides
3. Give your opinion
4. Conclusion
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Pattern Name
Written and Graphic Example of the Pattern
Description
The author describes
a topic by listing
characteristics,
features,
and
examples.
It
provides
details
about
how
something
looks,
feels, tastes, smells, Example of Descriptive Writing
makes one feel, or
Expository essays are written by students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of a
sounds
particular topic. For example, a student might use a descriptive pattern to emphasize the features
Words and characteristics of a topic. Sequential writing emphasizes the order of events, listing items in
Cue
example, numerical or chronological order. A writer might use a comparison or contrast pattern to
for
the characteristics emphasize the similarities or differences between two topics. A cause and/or effect pattern shows
the relationship between events, while a problem/solution pattern shows a different kind of
are...
relationship that discusses a problem and suggests solutions. Variations of these patterns are
sometimes used, as well as a combination of patterns to create an expository essay.
Sequence
or
Process
The  author  lists
items or events in
numerical
or
chronological order.
Cue
Words
first, second, third; Example of Sequential Writing
next; then; finally
Expository writing is intended to convey the writer's knowledge about a topic. While different
patterns may be employed to create the essay, every essay contains the same features: the
introduction, the thesis, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. The introduction is the first
paragraph in the essay. The introduction contains the thesis statement, one sentence that
summarizes the main idea of the essay. The body paragraphs follow the introduction and explain
the main topics. Lastly, the conclusion is the final paragraph that restates the main topics and
the thesis. Every expository essay contains these features, in this order.
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Comparison
The author explains
how two or more
things
are
alike
and/or how they are
different.
A
comparison
essay
usually discusses the
similarities  between
two things, while the
contrast
essay
discusses
the
differences.
Cue
Words
different; in contrast; Example of Compare/Contrast Writing
alike; same as; on the
other hand
Expository writing has distinct features that distinguish it from creative writing. The content of
an expository essay is factual and straight-forward while the content of a creative story is
imaginative and symbolic. Expository essays are written for a general audience but creative
stories are designed for a specific audience. The writing style of an expository essay is formal,
standard and academic, while a creative story uses an informal and artistic style. The
organization of an expository essay is systematic and deliberate; on the other hand, the
organization of a creative story is more arbitrary and artistic. Finally, the most important
difference between the two types of writing is the purpose of the text. An expository essay is
written to inform and instruct, while a creative story is written to entertain and captivate.
Cause  /  Effect
The author focuses
on the relationship
between two or more
events
or
experiences.
The
essay could discuss
both  causes  and
effects, or it could
simply address one
or  the  other.  A
cause essay usually
discusses the reasons
why
something
Example of Cause/Effect Writing
happened. An effect
essay discusses what
There are several reasons why so many people attend the Olympic games or watch them on
happens  after  a
television. One reason is tradition. The name Olympics and the torch and flame remind people of
specific  event  or
the ancient games. People can escape the ordinariness of daily life by attending or watching the
circumstance.
Olympics. They like to identify with someone else's individual sacrifice and accomplishment.
Words National pride is another reason, and an athlete's or a team's hard earned victory becomes a
Cue
why; nation's victory. There are national medal counts and people keep track of how many medals
reasons
if...then; as a result; their country's athletes have won.
therefore; because
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Problem / Solution
The author states a
problem  and  lists
one
or
more
solutions  for  the
problem. A variation
of this pattern is the
Example of Problem/Solution Writing
question- and-answer
format in which the
One problem with the modern Olympics is that it has become very big and expensive to operate.
author
poses
a
The city or country that hosts the games often loses a lot of money. A stadium, pools, and playing
question and then
fields must be built for the athletic events and housing is needed for the athletes who come from
answers it.
around the world. And all of these facilities are used for only 2 weeks! In 1984, Los Angeles
solved these problems by charging a fee for companies who wanted to be official sponsors of the
Cue
Words
games. Companies like McDonald's paid a lot of money to be part of the Olympics. Many
the problem is; the
buildings that were already built in the Los Angeles area were also used. The Coliseum where the
dilemma is; puzzle is
1932 games were held was used again and many colleges and universities in the area became
solved;
question...
playing and living sites.
answer
LOGICAL FALLACIES:
Strong, logical arguments are essential in writing. However, the use of faulty logic or reasoning to reach
conclusions discredits arguments and shows lack of support and reasoning. This handout lists some of these
logical errors--called logical fallacies--that are most commonly encountered in everyday communication.
APPEAL TO AUTHORITY: Accepting someone's argument because of his or her authority in a field
unrelated to the argument, rather than evaluating the person's argument on its own merits. (Also called
Argumentum ad Verecundiam or "argument from modesty")
EXAMPLE: My dentist says she's voting for the conservative candidate, so I will too.
APPEAL TO EMOTION: Exploiting the audience's feelings to convert them to a particular viewpoint.
Appeals to fear, flattery, ridicule, pity, or spite are among the most common forms this fallacy takes. In some
circumstances, appealing to emotion may be appropriate, but writers should avoid appeals to emotion when
reason and logic are expected or needed.
EXAMPLE: I'm sure someone with your vast experience can see that plan B is better. (Appeal to flattery)
APPEAL TO IGNORANCE: Basing a conclusion solely on the absence of knowledge. (Also called
Argumentum ad Ignoratiam)
EXAMPLE: I've never seen an alien, so they must not exist.
APPEAL TO POPULAR OPINION: Claiming that a position is true because most people believe it is.
(Also called Argumentum ad Populum)
EXAMPLE: Everyone cheats on their income taxes, so it must be all right.
ATTACKING THE PERSON: Discrediting an argument by attacking the person who makes it, rather than
the argument itself (Also called Poisoning the Well or Argumentum ad Hominem--literally, "argument against the
man")
EXAMPLE: Don't listen to Becky's opinion on welfare; she just opposes it because she's from a rich family.
BEGGING THE QUESTION: Using a premise to prove a conclusion when the premise itself assumes the
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conclusion is true (Also called Circular Argument, Circulus in Probando, and Petitio Principii)
EXAMPLE: I know I can trust Janine because she says that I can.
COMPLEX QUESTION: Combining two questions or issues as if they were one, when really they should be
answered or discussed separately. Often involves one question that assumes the answer to another.
EXAMPLE: Why did you steal the CD? (Assumes you did steal the CD.)
COMPOSITION: Assuming that because parts have certain properties, the whole does as well. (The reverse
of Division)
EXAMPLE: All the parts of the engine were lightweight, so the engine should have been lightweight.
CORRELATION IMPLIES CAUSATION: Concluding that because two things occur at the same time,
one has caused the other. (Also called Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc--literally "with this, therefore because of
this.")
EXAMPLE: There was a full moon the night I had my car accident, so I'm never driving again under a full
moon.
DIVISION: Assuming that because a large body has certain properties, its parts do as well. (The reverse of
Composition)
EXAMPLE: Europe has great museums, so every country in Europe must have great museums.
EQUIVOCATION: Applying the same term but using differing meanings.
EXAMPLE: The sign by the pond said, "Fine for swimming," so I dove right in.
FALSE CAUSE AND EFFECT: Claiming that because one event occurred before a second, it caused the
second. (Also called Coincidental Correlation and Post-Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc--literally "after this, therefore
because of this.")
EXAMPLE: Yesterday I ate broccoli and then failed my test. I'm never eating broccoli before a test again.
FALSE DILEMMA: Suggesting only two solutions to a problem when other options are also available. (Also
called Bifurcation)
EXAMPLE: America--loves it or leaves it!
HASTY GENERALIZATIONS: When a writer arrives at a conclusion based on inadequate evidence or a
sample that is too small.
EXAMPLE: I liked the last Chinese restaurant I went to, so I will like every Chinese restaurant in the world.
IGNORING THE ISSUE: Shifting the reader's attention from the real issue to a different argument that
might be valid, but is unrelated to the first (Also called Arguing beside the Point and Ignoratio Elenchi.)
EXAMPLE: No, the criminal won't say where he was on the night of the crime, but he does remember being
abused repeatedly as an innocent child.
RED HERRING: Introducing an unrelated or invalid point to distract the reader from the actual argument.
Appeal to Emotion, Attacking the Person, Ignoring the Issue, and Straw Man are a few examples of Red
Herring fallacies.
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SLIPPERY SLOPE: Assuming a chain of cause-effect relationships with very suspect connections.
EXAMPLE: If I give you a free ticket, then I'll have to give everyone a free ticket. Then my boss will get mad
and fire me, and I will become homeless. So giving you a free ticket will make me homeless.
STACKING THE DECK: When a writer tries to prove a point by focusing on only one side of the argument
while ignoring the other
EXAMPLE: Obviously the United States and China should have a free trade agreement, since it would reduce
prices, increase efficiency, and pave the way to greater cultural exchange.
STRAW MAN: Attacking one of the opposition's unimportant or small arguments, while ignoring the
opposition's best argument.
EXAMPLE People from Quebec want to secede from Canada to get their own currency. Don't they realize
money isn't everything?
Source:
Utah Valley State College Writing Center
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISTIC WRITING:Practical, THINGS TO KNOW
  2. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  3. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITERS
  4. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Achieve appropriate readability:
  5. QUALITIES OF GOOD WRITING:Be concise, Be creative, Be correct
  6. THE PROCESS OF WRITING:INVENTION, WHEN YOU START TO WRITE
  7. THE PROCESS OF WRITING II:ORGANIZING, DRAFTING, REVISING
  8. ALL ABOUT WORDS:HOW WORDS ARE FORMED?:SUFFIXES
  9. DICTIONARY-A WRITER’S LANGUAGE TOOL:KINDS OF INFORMATION
  10. PARTS OF SPEECH:Noun Gender, Noun Plurals, Countable Nouns
  11. BASIC CLAUSE PATTERNS
  12. ACTIVE AND PASSSIVE VOICE
  13. MODIFIERS AND SENTENCE TYPES:COMPOUND SENTENCES
  14. REPORTED SPEECH:Indirect Questions, Direct commands
  15. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES:SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT
  16. GRAMMATICAL SENTENCE – ISSUES II:SENTENCE FRAGMENTS
  17. EFFECTIVE SENTENCE:PARALLELISM, NEEDED WORDS, SHIFTS
  18. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS I:COLLOQUIAL VS FORMAL, CIRCUMLOCUTION
  19. STYLE: GUIDELINE AND PITFALLS II:AMBIGUITY, REDUNDANCY, EUPHEMISM:
  20. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:STRUCTURE
  21. PARAGRAPH WRITING: TYPES AND TECHNIQUES:Putting on Our Play
  22. ESSAY WRITING:VARIOUS STRATEGIES FOR ESSAYS, PROMPTS
  23. SIGNAL WORDS:Non word Emphasis Signals
  24. EXPOSITORY WRITING:LOGICAL FALLACIES, APPEAL TO EMOTION
  25. THE WRITING STYLES: REPORT and NARRATIVE WRITING, SHORT REPORTS
  26. THE WRITING STYLES: DESCRIPTIVE AND PERSUASIVE WRITINGS, Observation
  27. RESEARCH WRITING AND DOCUMNETING SOURCES:Handling Long Quotations
  28. Summary and Précis Writing:CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD SUMMARY
  29. Punctuation:THE PERIOD, THE COMMA, THE SEMICOLON, THE COLON
  30. MECHANICS:ABBREVIATIONS, NUMBERS, SPELLING, THE HYPHEN
  31. READING SKILLS FOR WRITERS:EDUCATED READING, STEPS
  32. PARTS OF A NEWSPAPER:Box-out, By-line, Caption, Exclusive, Feature
  33. THE LANGUAGE OF THE NEWSPAPERS II:BROADSHEET NEWSPAPER
  34. News Writing and Style I:WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A NEWSPAPER
  35. NEWS WRITING II:Accuracy, Clarity, Style, Qualities of Effective Leads
  36. EDITORIAL WRITING:WRITING AN EDITORIAL:STRUCTURING AN EDITORIAL
  37. WRITING FEATURES:GENERATING FEATURE STORY IDEAS
  38. WRITING COLUMNS:Column and a news report, Purpose, Audience
  39. WRITING ARTICLES FOR NEWSPAPERS:The Heading, The Lead
  40. WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations
  41. LETTERS TO EDITORS:Four important aspects about letters, Organizing letters
  42. BROADCAST AND WEB NEWS WRITING:WRITE CONCISELY, BROADCAST STYLE
  43. WRITING PRESS RELEASE, REVIEWS AND OBITUARIES:Summary of Content:
  44. THE ART OF INTERVIEWINGS
  45. FINAL THOUGHTS:Practical, Job-Related, Social, Stimulating, Therapeutic