Identify/Generate the principle
Time: 20-30 minutes
Distribute some flawed problem statements to the class (the ones
below, or ones you've written that relate to your theme, or perhaps
some adapted from student writing). Ask the class to identify what's
wrong with them, and to rewrite the flawed elements. Share results
as a class.
Scroll down for a worksheet and answer key.
Read over the problem statements below. What's wrong with them?
How can you improve them?
a. Most parents believe that all rock music is angry and violent
and really dangerous. Study after study, however, proves that there's
no obvious connection between song violence and real violence.
As long as we think that violence in music is the cause of crime,
we will be unable to focus on the more likely causes, and we won't
see the real benefits of angry music. Violence in music is not
only not harmful, it's actually helpful.
b. In the past ten years, computer technology has grown enormously,
and made it much easier to download music and burn CDs. Many music
fans prefer mix CDs to the old mix tapes, because they're easier
to make and last longer. But the truth is that mix tapes are superior.
As long as people continue to think that CDs are better, they will
never be able to recognize that CD technology is soulless, or to
experience the joys of the mix tape process. The mix tape rules
over the mix CD in every way.
c. Star Wars was incredibly popular in America when it came out
in the 1970s, and it has been popular ever since. Many fans see
the story as a timeless classic with a universal story about an
underdog who wins against all odds. What they fail to realize is
that, although the movie seems to be about a universe far away,
it's actually about America, especially America in the seventies
and its role in the Vietnam War. Until we recognize the real meaning
of Star Wars, America will never get any national allies and the
United Nations will continue to be a joke. Star Wars reflects a
national crisis in identity.
d. We're usually willing to overlook artists if we think that they
are talented enough; we don't really care if Picasso cheated on
his wife, or if Hemingway was a bad father. But the people who
suffer at the hands of artists are real, and their feelings may
be more important than art. As long as we focus on art and ignore
people, we'll never be able to evaluate artists honestly or totally.
Balancing art and human relationships lies at the heart of the
movie Big Night, in which the movie's chef is an artist (with food)
who treats people badly.
e. At the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, not many
hobbits would have thought that Frodo could save the world—not
even Frodo thought so. He soon learns, though, that he does have
courage and bravery. If Frodo had never figured out that he was
capable of more than he originally thought, Middle Earth would
have been doomed. Frodo is a hero.
f. In the status quo, a common criticism of television talk shows
like Maury and Jerry Springer is that they take advantage of people
in trouble, especially poor people. But, to destabilize this criticism,
I would like to point out that the people who appear on TV talk
shows do so of their own free will. The consequences if we keep
feeling bad for talk show guests are that we won't be able to see
how talk shows actually provide a rare opportunity for working-class
people. The resolution of this paper, then, is that talk shows
are one of the few places on television that actually show working-class
lie, and let working-class people talk for themselves.
a. the status quo isn't true, or at least is highly improbable
b. the destabilizing moment and the resolution are identical
c. takes a conceptual problem and gives it tangible consequences
d. uses a movie to prove a some principle about the real world
e. presents the problems that Frodo and the hobbits face, not that
f. uses LRS vocabulary as part of the paragraph: not necessary!