Editorial Vocabulary Quiz
Write a definition for each of the following words.
3. Call to Action:
4. Using definitions and examples, explain how the following words are related: bias, trustworthy and credible.
5. How are reasoning (or warrant) and evidence different?
6. What would you write an editorial about? Why? What would be your claim and counterclaim?
7. What is an appeal? Compare and contrast the three kinds of appeals (logos, pathos and ethos) and give an example of each.
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Vocabulary for Editorial Unit—English 9
Any text – written, spoken, or visual – that expresses a point of view and includes both a claim and a counterclaim; a discussion—written, spoken, visual—in which there is disagreement.
To change a point of view or move others from belief to action; the use of appeals to influence the point of view of the reader or audience.
Call to Action
An appeal that urges the reader, listener, or viewer to do something.
An appeal based on the writer’s/speaker’s character—authority, credibility, value, and trustworthiness.
An appeal based on emotion or pleas to the heart
An appeal based on the use of logic and reason – facts, statistics, credible testimony, examples, or a story.
The overall thesis or point of the argument; a debatable or controversial statement that a writer or speaker hopes to prove.
A statement that disagrees with or negates the claim; potential objections to the claim.
An opinion piece written about a current topic of interest; a brief nonfiction work that presents and defends the writer’s opinion on a current issue.
An unfair preference for or dislike of something or someone; mental leaning
The quality of being trustworthy
Explanation of why or how the evidence/data supports the claim – the underlying assumption that connects the evidence to the claim
Forming opinion from personal perspective, feelings, beliefs, or desires.
Forming an opinion from an independent, evidence-based point of view, uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices and beliefs
Data, facts, or research that supports the claim
A request for something
Going to college can be expensive. First, college tuition and room and board can cost anywhere from $2,000 to more than $10,000 per semester. Other expenses make going to college even more expensive. For example, books typically cost between $100 and $500 each term. Second, materials are also very expensive. Paper, notebooks, writing utensils, and other supplies required often cost more at the college bookstore than at any local discount department store. For instance, a package of notepaper costing $2 at a discount store might cost $5 at a college bookstore.Finally, there are all kinds of special fees added onto the bill at registration time. A college student might have to pay a $50 insurance fee, a $20 activity fee, a $15 fee to the student government association and anywhere from $500 to $100 for parking. There is another fee if a student decides to add or drop classes after registration. The fees required to attend college never seem to end.
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English Composition 1
Sentences: Simple, Compound, and Complex
A common weakness in writing is the lack of varied sentences. Becoming aware of three general types of sentences--simple, compound, and complex--can help you vary the sentences in your writing.
The most effective writing uses a variety of the sentence types explained below.
1. Simple Sentences
A simple sentence has the most basic elements that make it a sentence: a subject, a verb, and a completed thought.
Examples of simple sentences include the following:
1. Joe waited for the train.
"Joe" = subject, "waited" = verb
2. The train was late.
"The train" = subject, "was" = verb
3. Mary and Samantha took the bus.
"Mary and Samantha" = compound subject, "took" = verb
4. I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station.
"I" = subject, "looked" = verb
5. Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station early but waited until noon for the bus.
"Mary and Samantha" = compound subject, "arrived" and "waited" = compound verb
Tip: If you use many simple sentences in an essay, you should consider revising some of the sentences into compound or complex sentences (explained below).
The use of compound subjects, compound verbs, prepositional phrases (such as "at the bus station"), and other elements help lengthen simple sentences, but simple sentences often are short. The use of too many simple sentences can make writing "choppy" and can prevent the writing from flowing smoothly.
A simple sentence can also be referred to as an independent clause. It is referred to as "independent" because, while it might be part of a compound or complex sentence, it can also stand by itself as a complete sentence.
2. Compound Sentences
A compound sentence refers to a sentence made up of two independent clauses (or complete sentences) connected to one another with a coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunctions are easy to remember if you think of the words "FAN BOYS":
1. Joe waited for the train, but the train was late.
2. I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station, but they arrived at the station before noon and left on the bus before I arrived.
3. Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon, and they left on the bus before I arrived.
4. Mary and Samantha left on the bus before I arrived, so I did not see them at the bus station.
Tip: If you rely heavily on compound sentences in an essay, you should consider revising some of them into complex sentences (explained below).
Coordinating conjunctions are useful for connecting sentences, but compound sentences often are overused. While coordinating conjunctions can indicate some type of relationship between the two independent clauses in the sentence, they sometimes do not indicate much of a relationship. The word "and," for example, only adds one independent clause to another, without indicating how the two parts of a sentence are logically related. Too many compound sentences that use "and" can weaken writing.
Clearer and more specific relationships can be established through the use of complex sentences.
3. Complex Sentences
A complex sentence is made up of an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses connected to it. A dependent clause is similar to an independent clause, or complete sentence, but it lacks one of the elements that would make it a complete sentence.
Examples of dependent clauses include the following:
Dependent clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions. Below are some of the most common subordinating conjunctions:
The dependent clauses can go first in the sentence, followed by the independent clause, as in the following:
Tip: When the dependent clause comes first, a comma should be used to separate the two clauses.
1. Because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon, I did not see them at the station.
2. While he waited at the train station, Joe realized that the train was late.
3. After they left on the bus, Mary and Samantha realized that Joe was waiting at the train station.
Conversely, the independent clauses can go first in the sentence, followed by the dependent clause, as in the following:
Tip: When the independent clause comes first, a comma should not be used to separate the two clauses.
1. I did not see them at the station because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon.
2. Joe realized that the train was late while he waited at the train station.
3. Mary and Samantha realized that Joe was waiting at the train station after they left on the bus.
Complex sentences are often more effective than compound sentences because a complex sentence indicates clearer and more specific relationships between the main parts of the sentence. The word "before," for instance, tells readers that one thing occurs before another. A word such as "although" conveys a more complex relationship than a word such as "and" conveys.
The term periodic sentence is used to refer to a complex sentence beginning with a dependent clause and ending with an independent clause, as in "While he waited at the train station, Joe realized that the train was late."
Periodic sentences can be especially effective because the completed thought occurs at the end of it, so the first part of the sentence can build up to the meaning that comes at the end.
Copyright Randy Rambo, 2012.
Best Teacher I Ever Had
by David Owen
Extracted from Reader's Digest (Asian Edition), April 1991, pp. 47-48.
Mr. Whitson taught sixth-grade science. On the first day of class, he gave us a lecture about a creature called the cattywampus, an ill-adapted nocturnal animal that was wiped out during the Ice Age. He passed around a skull as he talked. We all took notes and later had a quiz.
When he returned my paper, I was shocked. There was a big red X through each of my answers. I had failed. There had to be some mistake! I had written down exactly what Mr. Whitson said. Then I realized that everyone in the class had failed. What had happened?
Very simple, Mr. Whitson explained. He had made up all the stuff about the cattywampus. There had never been any such animal. The information in our notes was, therefore, incorrect. Did we expect credit for incorrect answers?
Needless to say, we were outraged. What kind of test was this? And what kind of teacher?
We should have figured it out, Mr. Whitson said. After all, at the every moment he was passing around the cattywampus skull (in truth, a cat's), hadn't he been telling us that no trace of the animal remained? He had described its amazing night vision, the color of its fur and any number of other facts he couldn't have known. He had given the animal a ridiculous name, and we still hadn't been suspicious. The zeroes on our papers would be recorded in his grade book, he said. And they were.
Mr. Whitson said he hoped we would learn something from this experience. Teachers and textbooks are not infallible. In fact, no one is. He told us not to let our minds go to sleep, and to speak up if we ever thought he or the textbook was wrong.
Every class was an adventure with Mr. Whitson. I can still remember some science periods almost from beginning to end. On day he told us that his Volkswagon was a living organism. It took us two full days to put together a refutation he would accept. He didn't let us off the hook until we had proved not only that we knew what an organism was but also that we had the fortitude to stand up for the truth.
We carried our brand-new skepticism into all our classes. This caused problems for the other teachers, who weren't used to being challenged. Our history teacher would be lecturing about something, and then there would be clearings of the throat and someone would say 'cattywampus.'
If I'm ever asked to propose a solution to the problems in our schools, it will be Mr. Whitson. I haven't made any great scientific discoveries, but Mr. Whitson's class gave me and my classmates something just as important: the courage to look people in the eye and tell them they are wrong. He also showed us that you can fun doing it.
Not everyone sees the value in this. I once told an elementary school teacher about Mr. Whitson. The teacher was appalled. "He shouldn't have tricked you like that," he said. I looked that teacher right in the eye and told him that he was wrong.