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Transcript of Argumentative essay
1."The pen is mightier than the sword."
2. "No man is an island."
3. "Fortune favors the bold."
4. "Good things come to those who wait."
5. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
6. "Too much love will kill you."
7. "Life is a dream."
8. "It is better to burn out than to fade away."
9. "Whom the gods love die young."
10. Water is a threat to life.
11. Uniforms should be mandatory for teachers.
12. The internet is turning people into zombies.
13. Topics suggested on page 95.
14. Your idea.
A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that has landed in the wrong place in the sentence. A modifier must be placed next to the word it modifies. When the modifier is incorrectly placed, the sentence either communicates meaning the writer did not intend--or makes no sense at all.
The subject of a sentence must agree with the verb of the sentence:
in number: singular vs. plural
in person: first, second, or third person
Stewart Brand + Mark Z. Jacobson: Debate: Does the world need nuclear energy?
Avoiding personal pronoun 'I'
"In my dissertation I have outlined..." "This dissertation has outlined..."
"As I mentioned above..." "As mentioned above..."
"I believe the environment may also be suitable..." "The environment may also be suitable..."
If you do not mention yourself in your essay, it is usually assumed that the opinion expressed is your own. Therefore, it is often possible simply to omit the 'I' without any loss of clarity.
Another alternative is to use the passive voice, so there is no agent mentioned.
"I decided to conduct the experiment..." "It was decided that the experiment should be conducted..."
"I designed the software program..." "The software program was designed..."
"I therefore argue that..." "It can be argued that..."
an optional element in phrase structure or clause structure. A modifier is so called because it is said to modify (change the meaning of) another element in the structure, on which it is dependent.
"Throw mother out the window a rope."
A dangling modifier has no word to logically modify. In other words, the modifier describes a word that does not appear in the sentence.
Sitting on the floor, the hours seemed to drag by slowly.
A squinting modifier is also sometimes called a two-way modifier. This modifier error occurs when a modifier is placed between two words and could modifier either one. In other words, the modifier is squinting--looking two directions--to see which word it is supposed to modify.
Students who miss classes frequently fail the course.
An infinitive consists of the little word to followed by a verb. No modifier should ever be placed between the to and the verb. Correct a split infinitive error by moving the modifier to the front of the infinitive.
The professor said to never miss a homework assignment
Maureen was, because of her many years of experience, a highly-qualified candidate for the job.
They is my favourite Canadian authors.
The subject: They (plural)
The verb: is (singular)
The subject and verb disagree in number. Therefore, this is a subject-verb disagreement outlaw.
If the two subjects are joined by “and” the verb will be plural in most situations
when the joined subjects are preceded by
“every,” “no,” or “nothing”
If the subjects are joined by “
nor” or “or,”
the verb agrees with the closer subject (the last one)
Phrases such as
together with, as well as
are not the same as and. The phrase introduced by as well as or along with will modify the earlier word (mayor in this case), but it does not compound the subjects (as the word and would do).
as well as
going to prison.
going to jail.
single indefinite pronoun: e.g.,
anyone, anybody, each, either, none
plural indefinite pronouns: both, few, many, several use plural verbs.
All, any, most, and some depend on the situation. They can be either singular or plural.
These are nouns that are singular in form, but plural in meaning.
Examples: band, minority, majority, class, community, dozen, family, public, team
When they act as one entity, use a singular verb.
When they do separate things, use a plural verb, BUT it is easier to reword the sentence. For example, write “the members of the team” instead of “the team.”
Plural nouns that are singular in meaning
Some plural nouns take singular verbs, for example, athletics, economics, politics, news, mumps, and measles.
When used in sentences, the titles of books, plays, poems, movies, and so on are singular.
Faulty predication occurs when the subject and the verb do not make sense together. In other words, the subject can’t “be” or “do” the verb. (A predicate is the part of the sentence or clause, including the verb, that expresses what the subject is or does.)
Funny dangling and misplaced modifiers
Written By: Eddie Snipes
Animals do the strangest things.
Reading a book, my cat crawled into my lap.
While reading the paper, a cat jumped on the table.
The young girl was walking the dog in a short skirt.
The dog was chasing the boy with the spiked collar.
We saw several monkeys on vacation in Mexico.
I glimpsed a rat sorting the recyclable materials.
While camping, I saw a bear in my pajamas.
Pygmies hunted elephants armed with spears.
A tarantula bit one of the dockworkers that had a hairy, huge body.
Tom comes across a turtle on his way home from spending four years in prison.
The library has several books about dinosaurs in our school.
We sat on the porch listening to the birds sing while playing checkers.
More of Snipes’ misplaced animals
Oswald and Hilda found the flowers hiking up the mountain.
I found my missing baseball glove cleaning my room.
Don’t try to pat the dog on the porch that is growling.
The smoke alarm went off while cooking my dinner.
Marin watched a radiant sunset climbing a hill.
I found a huge boulder taking a shortcut through the woods.
Snipes’ Inanimate Objects in Action
Standing on the balcony, the ocean looked so beautiful.
He was staring at the girl by the vending machine wearing dark glasses.
Laughing loudly, the joke pleased the audience.
After a long hot walk, the wonderful shade tree came into view.
While trying to get ready for school, the doorbell rang suddenly.
Reading the book, the characters seemed real to her.
More Snipes’ I.O. in Action
I read that Sara was married in the newspaper.
Please take time to look over the brochure that is enclosed with your family.
Flying over the African landscape, the elephant herd looked majestic.
We saw the trapeze artist swinging dangerously through our binoculars.
We tiptoed over the ice in our heavy boots, which had begun to crack.
Snipes asks, “How did they do that?”
Smashed beyond repair, Bert saw his watch lying on the court. (At least the watch survived.)
Hanging on the wall, my mom really liked the picture.
Baking in the oven, John waited for the pizza.
The sweater belongs to my best friend that has a V-shaped neck.
I sent a poster to Mom rolled in a tube.
That man bought a rare painting of an Indian with the briefcase.
The model posed gracefully in front of the statue in the designer gown.
1. Dyslexia is a psychological problem where people have trouble reading.
2. Canadians are polite is a common belief around the world.
3. The weather in Vancouver is that it rains a lot, especially in winter.
4. The reason that Bill is with Ruthie is because they are sharing a flat.
5. The essayist discusses a misrepresentation of women which is biased
6. One challenge for writers is the ending a story can be quite tricky.
7. The essay’s thesis is the corruption of most, if not all, politicians.
8. The word ‘tomboy’ is a bias against women.
9. The author describes the true nature of the young protagonist as a girl
who is happy but impatient.
10. The tree that the boy climbed is rough bark.
11. The purpose of writing “Ripe Figs” is because Kate Chopin wants to
comment on how Nature can’t be hurried.
12. The tone of “Ripe Figs” is a warm, gentle story.
13. The theme of the novel is when people have too much power, power can
corrupt their moral sensibilities.
14. The interpretation that Ruthie becomes attractive to Bill is in the last
few lines of “20/20” .
15. The style of Kate Chopin is simple clear prose that sounds quite modern.
A fallacy is incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness.
Dumbing it Down – Fallacies of oversimplification
is offering weak or inadequate evidence to support a conclusion.
• Playing sports makes people more aggressive. Look at all those fights at hockey and basketball games! T
are conclusions based on irrelevant evidence.
• I should be getting an A in writing class – I got an A in my anatomy class last winter
means giving easy answers to complicated questions, often accompanied by emotional appeals instead of logic.
• The more breaks an employee takes, the less productive she will be.
arguments attempt to convince readers that if one thing is allowed, it will lead to horrible consequences.
• If we let the government ban assault rifles, the next thing you know they’ll be taking all of our guns away. T
Either/ Or Fallacy Either/or reasoning
claims that there are only two sides to a question.
• Either we raise taxes or Social Security fund will go bankrupt.
are comparisons between things that are not actually similar.
• If I can balance my checkbook, why can’t the Congress balance the budget?
Begging the question
is treating an opinion as if it were a plain truth.
• Students could focus on courses in their major if all these useless English courses were cancelled.
is dragging in a side issue that’s not relevant to the debate.
• Governor Huphenfraughen is the man to lead us – he’s won the Mr. Universe contest three times!
Straw man arguments
attribute an unreasonable position to our opponents, then counter argue that, rather than their real arguments.
• People who don’t support tuition hikes don’t care about our children’s education.
Personal attacks (Ad hominem fallacy)
on people do not prove their views are wrong.
• Don’t vote for Mary Williams – she used to hit the bottle pretty hard.
presume that an assertion is true by claiming everyone accepts it.
• As everyone knows, leaders are born, not made.
try to persuade by appealing to the audience’s feelings.
• Providing nuclear plants to some countries is too dangerous: what if the plutonium falls into the wrong hands? There’ll be A-bombs in Central Park!
Slanting an argumen
t is selecting evidence that only supports your claim and concealing or playing down other evidence.
• U.S. gun controls need to be tighter: every year, hundreds of people are killed in armed robberies.
Identify any logical fallacies
1. Last year’s decrease in profits proves restructuring marketing was a disaster.
2. As a caring parent, you are concerned about your children’s future.
3. Simpson’s proposal to crack down on employees making personal calls is absurd. He himself is the biggest offender.
4. The entire school agrees with me that the rule should be changed.
5. I recommend cutting the advertising budget by 25%. The list below indicates 10 recent advertisements that were unsuccessful.
6. The Chinese leader addressed the NYSE and the next thing you know Wall Street crashes.
7. Stop going out Friday nights or you’ll fail your classes.
8. Capital punishment loses its appeal when you realize that man cannot destroy what he cannot create.
9. If I am young enough to run two miles every day, then I’m young enough to run this company.
10. The fewer people a company has, the more efficient it is.
Handout 5: Logical Fallacies (Dropbox)
1. Write a draft of your comparison essay and bring it to class for peer review
(final papers are due in class 10)
2. Analyze these articles:
"Ugly and utterly pointless: Tattoos prove that the human race is going backwards"
"Is the Popularity of Tattoos a Sign of Civilization's Decline?"
Identify supporting arguments (for tattoos), counterarguments (against tattoos), and logical fallacies.
Prepare an outline of your argumentative essay to present in class.
- Thesis statement
2. Topic sentence 1
3. Topic sentence 2
4. Topic sentence 3
-summarize the arguments
-recommend a course of action
-give a final comment on the topic
The Fallacy Project: Examples of fallacies from advertising, politics, and popular culture.
Mini-Debate Activities Sequence and Time Limits
Team A Speaker 1 -- 1 minute limit
Team B Speaker 1 -- 1 minute limit
Timeout – 1 minute
Crossfire (between A1 & B1) 2 minute limit
Team A Speaker 2 -- 1 minute limit
Team B Speaker 2 -- 1 minute limit
Timeout – 1 minute
Crossfire (between A2 & B2) 2 minute limit
Timeout – 2 minutes
A1 summary -- 1 minute limit
B1 summary -- 1 minute limit
Grand Crossfire (all speakers) -- 3 minute limit
Timeout – 1 minutes
A2 Last Shot -- 1 minute limit
B2 Last Shot -- 1 minute limit
-- Organize enough information for your opening statement and coordinate with your partner to make sure you are not both presenting the same
-- Create at least 5 questions that you can ask your opponents during the crossfires.
-- Anticipate that your opponents will ask at least 5 questions in the Crossfires.
How misused modifiers can hurt your writing - Emma Bryce