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Journalistic Writing

WRITING ANALYSIS:purpose, scope, method, results, recommendations

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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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LECTURE 40
WRITING ANALYSIS
An opinion article focuses primarily on the writer's use of evidence and assumptions to support his/her claim
or argument. However, opinion article will on occasion include a discussion of the hidden arguments and the
inherent contradictions in an argument, if the reader finds that those elements are important to the argument
as a whole. Often an article (or analytical essay) has the following "sections," not always in this exact order,
though this is a common order of elements:
1. a summary of the original pieces ­ an abstract usually ­ is a common way to start (In fact, it is
traditional to write as if your reader is unfamiliar with the original work, even if s/he is not, because by
writing the summary in such a fashion, your reader gets a sense of how you interpret the arguments
you are reading.)
·  purpose
What is the author's reason for writing?
What is the author's main idea?
·
scope
What is the author's focus in this piece?
Where does the author concentrate his/her attention?
·
method
What kinds of evidence does the author provide?
How does the author try to convince the reader of the validity of his/her main idea?
·
results
What are the consequences of the problem or issue that the author is discussing?
·
recommendations
What solutions does the author present to the reader to resolve the problem of issue in the
piece?
Does the author recommend action or change in his/her piece?
·
conclusions
Does the author describe a `cause and effect' relationship or explain the origins of this issue or
problem?
What conclusions does the author draw from his/her study of the issue or problem?
2. Your claim (Your reaction/response to the situation. You will support your claim, your interpretation
of the different sides in the debate, by the details of your analysis of the assumptions and evidence
used in the argument.). There are three types of claims:
Faucal claims: those that can be verified through experimentation, observation, or reason. For example:
·  The current temperature is above 0° Fahrenheit.
·
Sunshine is warm.
·
My car's battery must be dead since the car will not start and the lights and horn do not work either.
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Journalistic Writing ­ MCM310
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·  My car's battery must be alright even though the car won't start; the lights and the horn still work.
Value claims: those that express a writer's value system -- what the writer believes is good or bad, right
or wrong. For example:
·
Democracy offers the greatest chance for people to realize their full potential.
·
The State of Illinois building in downtown Chicago -- sometimes referred to as "Spaceship Illinois"
-- is an aesthetic failure.
Policy claims: those that seek to change people's attitudes and behaviours toward a particular issue. For
example:
1. We ought to register and license guns the same way we do automobiles.
2. Drivers under the age of 25 with even the slightest amount of alcohol in their blood should have their
licenses revoked for 5 years.
3. An analysis of assumptions (You describe and evaluate the warranted and the unwarranted, the explicit
and the implicit assumptions.)
4. An analysis of hidden arguments (You describe how the assumptions create another implied argument,
the hidden argument.)
5. An analysis of inherent contradictions (If the original authors make statements that contradict your
experience of the world or your ideas, explain those differences.)
6. An analysis of intended audience (See the paragraph below on this page.)
7. An analysis of evidence
rational appeal
emotional appeal
ethical appeal
Evidence
Rational appeal
Emotional appeal
Ethical appeal
facts
trustworthiness
·
the higher emotions
case studies
credibility
­  altruism
statistics
expert testimony
­  love
reliable sources
experiments
­  ...
logical reasoning
fairness
·
the base emotions
analogies
­  greed
anecdotes
­  lust
...
Logical Fallacies: The following logical fallacies are seen common in articles. Remember, logical
fallacies are ways of arguing that are illogical and meaningless
1. APPEAL TO AUTHORITY
·
EXAMPLE: My teacher says she's voting for the conservative candidate, so I will too.
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2. APPEAL TO EMOTION
·
EXAMPLE: I'm sure someone with your vast experience can see that plan B is better. (Appeal to flattery)
3. APPEAL TO IGNORANCE
·
EXAMPLE: I've never seen an alien, so they must not exist.
4. APPEAL TO POPULAR OPINION
·
EXAMPLE: Everyone cheats on their income taxes, so it must be all right.
5. COMPOSITION
·
EXAMPLE: All the parts of the engine were lightweight, so the engine should have been lightweight.
6. CORRELATION IMPLIES CAUSATION
·
EXAMPLE: There was a full moon the night I had my car accident, so I'm never driving again under a full moon.
7. FALSE CAUSE AND EFFECT
·
EXAMPLE: Yesterday I ate tuna sandwich and then failed my test. I'm never eating tuna sandwich before a test
again.
8. HASTY GENERALIZATIONS
·
EXAMPLE: I liked the last Chinese restaurant I went to, so I will like every Chinese restaurant in the world.
Source: Kies, Daniel, Department of English, College of DuPage
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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