This semester, you've read a wide array of texts, from speeches, to poems, to short stories, to polemical political essays. Of all of these, which text was your favorite and why? What did it teach you about crafting a written argument?
My favorite of the texts we read this semester was Jams Fenimore Cooper's "The Slaughter of the Pigeons." I liked it because it was not in your face, here is my argument kind of thing. It was a nice fiction story, that let you take away whatever you wanted to take away from it, even if it wasn't what the author had orginally thought. I think this makes it a powerful argument, because you are not being told what to think, you develop the thought on your own. This makes the thought stick with you, and easier to remember because you know exactly why you think it, you were not told what to think. I think the main thing it taught me is how you can convey an argument in any way you want. It doesn't have to be in a set style, and you don't have to be blunt and have a clear thesis to show the reader what it is you're talking about. It also taught me that different styles work for different things you are arguing for. Not every argument would work in a fictional story style like Cooper's, but Cooper's wouldn't have worked as well in a more "conventional" style.
This is interesting, because I wrote my blog response and then read the comment above, and we have many of the same thoughts. James Fenimore Cooper was apparently quite effective with his writing!!Each of the texts we have read have been different from each other, but they all had a common purpose: to convince the reader of a certain point. They all did this in different ways. I enjoyed reading James Fenimore Cooper's "Slaughter of the Pigeons". Cooper just wrote a simple short story, but it was more effective than if he had written a long speech or essay. From Cooper's work, I learned that sometimes simple arguments can be best and most effective. Cooper did not explicitly state his argument, rather he used the characters in his story to "show" the reader a certain circumstance, and the reader is able to decide for himself or herself that mass slaughter and heartless killing of animals is wrong.
By far, Cooper’s “The Slaughter of the Pigeons” was my favorite work we’ve read this semester. Not only did it bring Cooper’s main point across very well, it did so in an incredibly interesting way. While other authors, such as John Muir in “Save the Hetch Hetchy” depended on long sections of description, Cooper brought forward his argument using a story format that not only got the reader involved, but also encouraged the audience to agree with Cooper’s point of view. “The Slaughter of the Pigeons” taught me that there is more than one way to approach your argument. You could dive straight in, bringing your argument to the forefront right away, or, you could take a more subtle approach, slowly moving the reader to agree with your argument. Both methods have their place, and as a writer, it is very important to choose which one is appropriate for your purpose.
To me, this is a little difficult to chose just one. I have enjoyed many of the readings and for different reasons. The one that seems to stick out the most is Momaday's "The Way to Rainy Mountain". The way that Momaday writes to bring a personal side to his writing. "The Way to Rainy Mountain" showed me relevant history can make a good case to make an Argument. History has always been written by the "victor of a battle" but to also see it from the other side of the issue.
My favorite reading from this semester is "The Slaughter of the Pigeons" by Jams Cooper. It was fascinating to be pulled into a story within the middle of a book and still be able to understand what was going on and be able to receive the argument that Cooper intended. By wrapping the argument within a fictional piece, he made the idea easily accessible to the average reader and enjoyable to all. Within most of the other arguments, the idea is summed up within a direct thesis statement. Although this is taught at the norm for English arguments its actually very rare among most cultures. By getting your attention with a story the argument is not only given, but also is enjoyable and more likely to be remembered for long periods of time. I believe this is an important thing to consider throughout my writing. Every culture has stories, parables, and metaphors; could the reason be because their argument is the most effective? I know that I tend to appreciate and remember the ideas that someone took the time to write a plot and character to shape it.
Out of all the readings I have used this semester I think that the one that I enjoyed writing about the most was John Muir's “Save Hetch Hetchy”. What made Muir so enjoyable to write about was the fact that it was also the most enjoyable to read for me. At first I was not sure what I needed to do to construct my argument, but once I figured it out I felt that Muir's personal attachment to the valley made it quite easy to construct my argument.
I found Anthony's "On Women's Right to sufferage" effective for me as the argument is simple and straightforward, appealing to the mind rather than the heart, arguing from what is, rather than would ought or should be. She adresses her audence as thinkers and as though they are intelligent. Other authors tend to aim for the heart. Other authors from this semester also aimed for the head, i found that Anthony was the most effective for me. Her case was laid out explicidly and cleanly, thus I could follow her argument easily. In the end, argues ought to be adapted to the audience, thus argument ought to be evaluated by their contexts as much as their content
My favorite reading from this semester is James Cooper’s “The Slaughter of the Pigeons.” Cooper was able to write a simple short story that, in the end, was quite effective. Each of the stories we have read had effective arguments, though some were harder to understand than the others. In Cooper’s he did not get straight to the point by stating his argument but created a short story using simple characters to offer the reader a potential event. This, in the end, would allow the reader to make up his/her mind rather or not killing not only pigeons, but animals as a whole, is unjust.
My favorite text from this semester was Walker's "Restriction of Immigration." It's not that I'm a bigot, it's just that his particular text was probably the most different from anything else we've read this semester. His particular writing style of ostensibly objective journalism combined with pseudo-science is still relevant today. Walker's writing shows how easily bias can be hidden by careful wording. Walker's passage also provided some entertainment by his casual use phrases that we would consider "politically incorrect."
My favorite was Harvey Milk's "The hope speech." Largely i read teh texts this semester because they where assigned and not because i had any special interest in topics i felt where long dead. When i started reading Milk i felt drawn in by what he had to say, and i felt more connected to the problem he was presenting to me. Essentially he made me care about what he had to say when i would normally have been fairly dismissive of anyone's argument about gay rights. Milk reminded me that you need to draw in your audience and make them feel connected to the problem. He reminded me that idle opinion is a waste of both the writer and the readers time.
My favorite text we read this semester is "The Land Ethic" by Aldo Leopold. This is my favorite reading because I strongly agree with Leopold's viewpoint and I like his rhetorical tactics. In his essay he uses logic in order to persuade the reader to see his viewpoint, which is my favorite argumentative strategy. I also like how Leopold structures his essay into segments, each with their own main topic. I like this way of structuring because it makes the essay seem very organized.
My favorite text was John Muir's "Save the Hetch Hetchy Valley." This is my favorite because is Muir was able to capture the beauty of something that most people saw as just another park and only wanted it for monetary gain. This essay helped me structure an argument because it showed me that in order to craft a well written argument one needs to truly believe in what they are fighting for, they need to have an invested interesnt in the topic.
My favorite text was the excerpt we read from Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring." I think that the first part was what really stood out. Carson's vivid description of a small town slowly withering and dying was a great way to get to get her point across. Her made-up scenario seemed plausible enough, so much so that I didn't realize it was fictional until Carson herself pointed it out. Her goal was obviously to draw the reader in by describing the consequences of our mistreatment of the environment. I felt that her introduction provided a great hook while also backing up the claims she was making. The piece from "Silent Spring" stood out to me more than any other reading.
My favorite excerpt that we read was the intro from Momaday's The Way to Rainy Mountain. I enjoyed the applicability of the themes and how I could quote it for pretty much any project or paper we had to right. The backstory about his indian tribe was also very interesting because it showed a lot of the pain that was caused by the americans conquering of his people. The excerpt gives insight into the pain that many indian culture feel about their defeat and subsequent subjugation by the U.S. government. It's a part of our collective history that I have been very interested in and this is the first source to shed light on the indian population's reaction.
Out of all the arguments we've read this semester, I think I actually enjoyed reading Tannen's meta-argument the best. I see a lot of people casting their votes for Fenimore Cooper's "Slaughter of the Pigeons," but I didn't find myself particularly more convinced of anything after it. Maybe it was just me trying to rush through my reading instead of enjoying it, maybe it was that it was saying nothing that I hadn't personally realized before, but I found "Slaughter of the Pigeons" to be rather boring. In any case, Tannen. Why not someone else, Spencer? Why not someone who actually managed to argue about something that isn't merely argument itself? Fact is, I enjoy things that have that aura of meta about them, which most other works didn't have (and the other one used an inane and unneccessary analogy for pedagogy in rhetoric.) Coming from a very argumentative family in which I so often lost the arguments, Tannen's work spoke to me more than any other did. She thoroughly showed the problems with and debunked the culture of argument, and suggested a better way to go about things. And just when I was feeling good about having reified in my mind a new sociological ill, this class taught me how to perpetuate that ill to my advantage. So having the Tannen in my mind throughout the whole semester didn't particularly help any of the other arguments be my favourite. That underdogs often wrote them in an aggressive or combative style didn't make me like or agree with their arguments any more, even if it was necessary for that to be the case (due to the "argument culture") for their argument to even get anyone's attention.So I guess that what I learned from that is that if you want to write the best argument in the world, but don't think you can, an OK tactic to use is to invalidate all the other arguments, but a better tactic is to argue something that many have argued before, but in an offbeat and radical way (as shown by popular opinion.)tl;dr: Liked Tannen, recognized problems similar to those she cited in the rest of the text, so ended up liking Tannen more than anything, so hers is my favourite argument that we had to read.
I found the majority of our readings this semester to be rather interesting. However, "A Letter to True Men," by Friedan really seemed to stick out to me. I feel, as a piece of argument, it was most interesting to me. It simply addressed its audience very well. I found the way it passively turned her enemies into friends to be rather clever. It was structured in a very clear way, I feel. By defining the topics, Friedan was able to contain and control the topicality of bother her arguments, and her opponents counterarguments. She then attempts to set up so that her potential opponents would be arguing against their own benefit (by showing the positive effects Women's Lib would have on men). While perhaps not air tight, I felt like there was much from her structure that I could learn from. Though, perhaps I only feel so interested in her work because I was so interested in what she was saying… it's a tough job, not being biassed.
I really enjoyed the writings of Momaday, Allen, Milk, and Friedan because it gave the reader a feeling of connection between the topics they were writing and how passionately they felt about their arguments. They made good evidence between their own arguments along with the oppositions and the outcomes of their decisions or choices. They wrote how it affected the people, government, or situation and how it could have been changed or bettered. What i learned... You can write a paper and think its the best you've ever written but, before turning it in. You better make sure you have fantastic evidence/research to support that claim.