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Chapter 2

COMM 210 Chapter 2: Ch.2 (dyer)

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Concordia University
COMM 210
Michael Masters

Ch. 2 – Claims st Identifying the authors’ claim: 1 step • Def (claim): the major conclusion of a writing that the author is trying 2 persuade U 2 accept o Explicitly/implicitly stated § Not an example, definition, or statistic § Broader issue (i.e. “pirated merchandise is a big problem 4 manufacturing firms.) o Likely locations: Often appear @ beginning/end of a short article – i.e. title/headline/conclusion o Cue words: therefore, thus, in summary, I believe that, clearly, in short, the data show that, as a result, in fact, & synonyms of these words • Ensure statement of author’s claim is fair – not distorting author’s meaning • Evidence – most other statements in the article Uncontested claims (aka Unproblematic) • Def: when a claim is accepted w/out examining the evidence • ***4 types: 1. consistent w/our own experiences/observation (seen, heard, touched) 2. facts independent of interpretation – i.e. Quebec is larger than Nova Scotia 3. agreement among experts or strongly supported general claims that R common sense 4. Technical/mathematical claims NOTE: A once-uncontested claim can B re -examined in later yrs! Ex. The earth is flat Unproblematic can become problematic w/intro of new info – we can re-examine & challenge. Contestable claims • Def: a claim presented that is not commonly accepted knowledge o introduces new ideas that awaken curiosity & cause ppl 2 think about things in new ways – i.e. Having a mandatory retirement age decreases a country’s productivity & economic progress. o doesn’t fall in2 above categories o cannot stand on their own/ unchallenged, there4 more interesting/significant 2 readers/listeners o sometimes can B presented as a fact by using the terms, 4 ex, The fact is, & There is no doubt o i.e. The fact is that close supervision is totally inappropriat e in the modern workplace. o Authors must present evidence 2 justify their position, which we evaluate o Cannot stand on their own – will become a case of “my opinion against yours” w/out evidence o We must learn to present relevant & solid reasoning for our sta tements. Ex. Author’s claim: “Self-praise is necessary for career advancement.” Presenting claims • How to present a claim: o Make sure they’re “intelligible” & “fairly summarized” o Use “concept lists” & Concept maps • Present essence of what author is saying accurately & concisely • Sometimes is presented by author, sometimes we must paraphrase/summarize • Short text: claim is often presented in sentence form (i.e. newspapers, etc.) • Long text: authors will often supplement sentence w/a list of important concepts explaining how concepts R related, or via a concept map (graphically/diagram/drawing) • Concept map def: a compact o way of summarizing complex material o summarization of complex material that make a claim memorable o boxes-&-arrows figures that highlight the main issues and show relationships, tree diagrams, geographical maps, or other creative images that summarize the author’s main point o Strength: ability 2 concisely summarize lrg am’ts of info (single glance will evoke ideas expressed in several written pgs) o Should never B > 1 pg o Few well-chosen words = better than a cluttered map o Especially useful 2 review material/before exam/oral presentation • Tips 2 develop concept map: o List main ideas 2 B presented –
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