MonthSeptember 2019

September 30: Hard Evidence or Constructed Arguments / Plagiarism

Christopher, Kristamps, and Cindy

  1. Drunk Drivers are involved in more than 50 percent of traffic deaths.

Constructed Argument. Further research of this statement reveals that 50% is not indeed the data point alcoholic related traffic deaths. The actual percentage is 28% per source of the CDC.

2. DNA tests of skin found under the victim’s fingernails suggest that the defendant was responsible for the assault.

Hard Evidence. The use of a DNA test used in a testimony is all that is required to know that this is hard evidence being presented to us, a jury, and a judge.

3. A psychologist testified that teenage violence could not be blamed on video games.

Hard Evidence. The statement alone is plausible because it talks about a trustworthy figure’s research. But upon further research this becomes more evident through an organization called ScienceNewsforStudents, this organization presents us with more psychologists and their finds that video games do not induce violence in kids.

4. The crowds at President Trump’s inauguration were the largest on record.

Constructed Argument. News media across the globe all came together to realize that this statement, which was said on live television while airing Trump’s inauguration, was an over exaggeration. The largest inauguration, presented by the news outlet Politifact,  was Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

5. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Constructed Evidence. There is no support to this speech, this is simply just a presidents speech to his people about not fearing, at the time Nazi Germany, fear.


Directions: Read the following scenarios and decide whether it is a case of plagiarism or not.
(Y or N) and explain why.
Y, As stated in the statement, she does not mention her source, so she is claiming the information as her own research. 1. Kyoko needs to write a report on American politics. She looks up Barack Obama in Wikipedia and discovers he is the 44th president of the United States. She includes this information in her report but doesn’t mention Wikipedia.
Y, It doesn’t matter the context of your situation, unless you are told by an authority to not include reference you always include reference to your work in case someone else reads it from another time or place.
2. Tam is writing a paper on a novel for his English class. Since the whole class is reading the same book, he doesn’t need to use a citation.
N, When you are reusing your own work at the approval of an authority, citation is not needed as the credit is your own.
3. Sugi wrote a paper for his European history class last semester and got an A on the paper. This semester, his Political Science class is addressing some of the same issues that are in his History paper. He checks with his professor first who agrees with Sugi, so he uses the material from his History paper.
Y, If it seems to good to be true, then research the wording of the essay and find out if the exact statements come up in another article or research. In most cases this comes out to be plagiarism.
4. Ramiro, Stephan, April, and Chris are working on a group project. Chris submits his work and the others suspect that some of it came from the Internet, but it sounds good, so they submit it.
Y, Copying or rewording is okay when the source is referenced and credited. Here Maria does not seem to credit the source she rewords, so this is plagiarism. 
5. Maria finds a lot of good information for her paper on the Internet. She carefully changes the wording and prepares a good paraphrase. She doesn’t copy anything verbatim.
Directions: Decide whether the information described in each scenario will require citation of the source (Y or N) and explain why.
Y, Citation is always required when using a source at all. Regardless of the amount of times you say the source or how clear you say the source.
1. You clearly identify the source at the beginning of a paragraph that summarizes the author’s ideas about teenage drinking. Since readers will naturally assume all of the ideas in the paragraph are from the source, no additional citation is necessary.
N, This can be summed up to be common knowledge.
2. In your paper on the history of aviation you state the date of the Wright brothers’ first successful flight at Kitty Hawk.
N, this can be cited, but if it’s common knowledge, then it can be chalked up to common knowledge.
3. In a paper on the civil rights movement you find some general, well known background information in an encyclopedia. It is obviously common knowledge, so you copy the information and include it in your paper.
N, You wouldn’t cite you mother as she isn’t a reliable source, but researching her advice and information and connecting it to a source is citation required.
4. You ask your mother about the steps she went through in obtaining a bank load for a new car. You include this information in your paper.
Y, You used a book, which is a source of knowledge that you did not have before so you need to give the book its credit.
5. You skim a 325 page book entitled Using the Internet. A major theme throughout the book is that the Internet is an important technological achievement. You include this in your paper.
Y, you still need to reference who you reinforced your idea with. Regardless if you have the same idea, if you mention them, credit is due.
6. You find an article that takes the same position you have taken on the subject of gun control. To save time you summarize in your paper a portion of the argument from the article, since the author’s ideas are identical to your own.
(Excerpts above are from the following text: Clines, R.H & Cobb, E. R. (2012) Research Writing Simplified, 7th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.)

September 25: Online Library Research

Caroline Cox, MS and Howard Hirsch, JD for the Journal of Environmental Health talk about the different kinds of effects that lead exposure has on kids and adults (individually pregnant females and females). They talk about the use of lead in candy and how it is strongly affecting kids in school and adults in everyday life. They state in their introduction the consequences of children having too much lead exposure.  “They include hyperactivity, attention deficits, reductions in IQ test scores, and reductions in academic achievement.” (Cox & Hirsch, 2019. 28) They go on to state the effects on women, “For women, these include hypertension, coronary heart disease, and cognitive decline.” (Cox & Hirsch, 2019. 28) and how pregnant women have even higher side effects. “Exposure in pregnant women causes an increase in allergy and asthma in their children.” (Cox & Hirsch, 2019. 28) It’s stated that the effects in adults are not as noticeable, but still as significant. The information presented gives us a rough sketch of what lead in candy does to both adults and children. Involving the male portion of effects would be helpful in the perspective of the whole spectrum of effects for adults. This helps a lot with persuasive appeals in the terms of letting others know the harmful chemicals in candy and how they can avoid the effects by avoiding the candy. Persuading the public in a sense of knowledge is a powerful strategy as it’s up to the reader to decide what to do with the given information.


Cox, MS. & Hirsch, JD. (2019). Reduction in the lead content of candy and purses in California following successful litigation. Journal of Environmental Science, 81(7), 28-31. 4.

September 23: American Idioms

Pulling my leg:

This has a meaning of “kidding around” or “making jokes” with someone. When someone says “your pulling my leg.” They are generally talking about your kidding with me. I like this one as it reminds me of my grandparents and old aunts and uncles talking.

Play it by ear:

I still use this and I picked it up from my father. In general it means that an answer or decision hasn’t been made and is unknown as to what will happen, so people wait and see before deciding what to do. Ex. Are you going to the ball game tonight? I have some homework to do, so we can play it by ear.

Drive up the wall;

I use to hear and get this a lot as a kid from my parents. I always understood it in two fashions, one being that I would get so hyper that I would “run up the walls” or I become too much for my parents that I drive them up the wall.

Jump the gun:

When someone is referenced as “jumping the gun”, usually they are making a decision or performing an action too fast. Ex. The lineman jumped the gun a little there before the quarterback snapped the ball. The origin of the idiom comes from horse racing. Before the starting pistol would fire, some racers would get a early start indicating that they are jumping the gun.

The Early Bird Catches the worm:

I was always told this when it came to getting something first among my brothers. We would sometimes get toys from our mother randomly and whomever woke up first, would be able to choose first. So the origin of this idiom comes from an 17th century book filled of original idioms

September 23: Visual Argument Analysis

Christopher Grant, Anthony Wong, and Ben

The image above depicts the recent U.S. policies implemented into the immigration system. The family looks uncomfortable as the father and son watch the ax (immigration policy) loom above them. The location of the family is also noted as they are away from the comfort of the city. The ax is being held by a Caucasian authority depicted in a suit and tie. The size of the ax represents the immense amount of an impact that the policy will make. The size of the hand represents the higher authority dealing out the policies. Overall the image is overwhelmingly effective as it depicts the immense amount of stress and threat that millions of immigrant families face with the U.S. policy.

September 20: Pulitzer Prize Rhetorical Analysis

Christopher Grant, Kristamps Wong, and Will

Pulitzer Prize Winner for 2018 Editorial Cartooning :

Jake Halpern, freelance writer, and Michael Sloan, freelance cartoonist, The New York Times

Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan’s first editorial cartoon of 2017 is about a refugee family having to split up from the dad’s mother back home in Jordan. The family is under a lot of stress due to leaving home and family, as well as the fear of trump being elected along with his immigration policies. This cartoon does an amazing job at showing how threatening trump was to refugees in 2016 to now. It argues that Trump doesn’t support the American ideology of a free world to everyone. A hard-hitting moment in the cartoon is at the end when the family arrives in America and haven’t seen the poll results revealing Trumps win. This is the emotional peak in my opinion of the cartoon as it emphasizes the threat in the family’s upcoming life.

September 16: Achievement Gap (Christopher Grant, Ben Wong, Larry Dai)

The achievement gap seems to be a huge problem for upcoming college students. High school is a prime breading ground for such a problem, so those problems carry over to the college campus. This article talks about 4 ways colleges can close that achievement gap. The first way to approach the problem is in a diverse guidance way. By treating every student group in a different way, this opens up possibilities of thriving students. The second way is through providing a projectile of the classes and jobs in line with the students major choice. The third way is about retaining the students accepted in, rather then continuously bringing in more. It shouldn’t always be about how many students are brought in, its about how many stay and graduate. Finally, the fourth way is giving a big enough opportunity to the students who deserved and worked for a higher education. The article presents this idea in a free tuition to community college or loan forgiveness through high paying jobs.

The overall article presents us with a grand idea of what the achievement gap is and what it has done to our education system. This idea that we are suffering intellectually, and in the long run, as a society because of such gap is boggling.  The four different ways the article presents are ways that we’ve seen here at the university itself. The first way is very prominent through financial aid programs and clubs. The second way is seen with academic professionals and meetings that let the students know what they will be taking. These are a couple of ways that our college is fighting this problem.

4 Ways Colleges Can Close the Achievement Gap

September 9: DALN Essay Review

I read one essay and listened to another, one of which was specific to my topic of why I don’t like to learn languages and the audio to a generalization of my topic. The essay i reflected with immensely and felt an idea of what I can either piggyback or take from it for my essay. I understood what the writer was trying to convey and it will help me in my writing. The audio was more of a general understanding of what it will be like to record myself and talk about my topic instead of speaking in front of a class. The audio was about how difficult it was for a non-American to transfer from her native tongue to English. Like mentioned, these will help me with developing my story and giving me an idea of what I will be doing.

Written Essay

Audio Essay

September 6: Adobe video

September 6: Reflect on Discussion

I read a couple responses for the discussion that used a personal view to express how ethos is used in an argument.

  • She mentioned how she constructed her essay’s and reports through ethos, with plausible claims and evidence that backs them up.
  • We both agreed on that when the speaker is arguing it must be someone that is knowledgeably and trustful.
  • Another person also agreed on the speaker being trusted and credible with what they are talking about. Like a professor or scientist.
  • We all three agreed that depending on the audience, choosing your words carefully helps not to offend anyone.
  • Another person expressed that authority is not always achieved in a couple arguments, but gradually agreed upon. Like the Pope for example.

Overall I feel the class has an over census upon the major things discussed in the post. I agreed with many views and was opened to new ones as well.

September 4: Free Writing Brainstorm

Free Writing:

Have you ever had struggle learning a new language? Absolutely. I took French I in my Freshman year of high school and French II in my Junior year. I never liked learning a language or even gave credence to wanting to learn. I needed a foreign language credit and I didn’t want Spanish, so I chose French. I hated it. Not the language itself, but learning something as complex as a language and not wanting to. I barely passed my Freshman year and took a “language class” my sophomore year, which was just a geography class. I took French again my Junior year cause my friends decided to continue their education with it and I wasn’t sure if I exceeded my credit requirements. Again, I hated it. The vocabulary of words I knew in another language or the grammar and deciding between feminine or masculine. The relief that I had when I finished was grateful and learning I don’t have to take one for college is overwhelming. I did at one point in my life want to learn a language, German. But the class was taken off and I was stuck with something that would create my hatred for learning a new language. So in this essay I want to point out the reasons for disliking learning a new language, why it was hard for me, and why I wish I could bring myself to see another way into learning a new language. I hated the learning because I don’t see myself using another language, while it has many benefits, none are for me. I hated the atmosphere of the language and the grammar, in general I’m not a huge English class guy, so to learn another language all around is just worst. It was immensely hard for me because I hated it. With that hatred came ignorance to learn.

The Outline for the Audio Essay:

  • Introduction – have you ever had difficulty learning a new language? Absolutely, I think anyone can learn a new language with the immense difficulty that follows.
  • Paragraph 1 – why I disliked learning a new language, Paragraph 2 – Why it was hard for me to learn, and paragraph 3– why I wish I could bring myself to learn a new language.
  • Conclusion – What I overall learn and hope to move on to the inspiring minds


Brief Audio essay Pitch:

My story is really about my troubles in High school and trying to persevere through my French classes. I had an immense trouble learning French, not because it was hard or the teacher was terrible, but because I never wanted it. With that disregard to learn, came my ignorance to want to learn which made things harder. All that ignorance gave me great conflict with my schooling and myself. I thought I was incapable at first, but realized I just never wanted it or even needed it.

The learning experience I have had so far from my time avoiding it has been to choose your apples according to your life. I’m happy that I chose not to overdo myself in a class that I would learn anything that I wanted or needed. I am also disappointed in myself for letting go of such an amazing opportunity to explore other cultures. I love to be around the environment of a culture, I just don’t have the taste to learn about all of it, like the language. I hope this essay offers a better understanding into making a choice as pathetic as that and why it is crucial in the long run for your happiness and understandings.  ♣

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