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Factual Claim and Common Place Assertions
Jennifer Davison 19 March 2013
Transcript of Factual Claim and Common Place Assertions
in Expository Text Factual Claim *Can be proven with data, observations, and reliable sources.
Consider this claim: "The 2011 Summer Arts Festival had the largest attendance since the festival began in 1995." You could prove this claim by looking at attendance records for all the
past festivals. Opinion *States one person's belief, feeling, or thought.
For example: "Our 2011 Summer Arts Festival was the best one ever." You can't prove this claim as you would a factual claim, All you can do is explain what you mean by "best" and why the 2011 festival is better than others in that regard. Opinions include judgement words such as worst, beautiful, outstanding, or should. Commonplace Assertions *A statement many people assume to be true but which may or may not be true.
Take this claim: "Art lifts the human spirit." Many people probably think this is true, but there is room for debate. Some art is depressing and does not "lift the spirit" in the way commonly meant. Others might question what is meant by the term "spirit" or even "art". Cadillac Ranch Good things come out of the ground around Amarillo, Texas. Just ask Stanley Marsh 3, a wealthy local artist. (His name includes 3 in place of the more common III). Marsh made his fortune pumping helium from the rock below the Texas panhandle. He made his name as an artist, however, with Cadillac Ranch, a row of upended cars that appear to sprout from the ground just south of Interstate 40 outside of Amarillo. People are drawn to the unusual, so the graffiti-splashed cars have become quite an attraction.
Marsh planted the cars as a playful salute to the "golden age" of the American automobile. Several years ago, Marsh moved the entire row of cars when development crept up to the exhibit's isolated setting. Today, Cadillac Ranch is a little harder to spot. But Marsh likes it that way. He says he wants his art to be like a hidden treasure that takes its viewers by surprise. Which statement in paragraph 1 is a commonplace assertion? Recall the definition of a commonplace assertion.
Read each sentence in paragraph 1. Sentence 1 contains the judgment word good. This means the sentence is an opinion. Sentences 2-5 all state facts about the artist and his artwork. Sentence 6 starts with the claim People are drawn to the unusual.
Does this sentence state a common belief?----Yes
Is it true?---- not necessarily.
People are often drawn to the unusual, such as an elephant at a shopping mall, but not always. The Van Cliburn Competition Every four years, piano players flock to Fort Worth, Texas. Their goal: to perform in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The contest is named for Van Cliburn, an artist who became a national hero in 1958. In that year, at age 23, he won an important piano competition in Moscow. At the time, the United States was locked in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Soviet government wanted to show that Soviet artists were better than American artists. But all the judges agreed that Cliburn's playing was the best, so he was declared the winner. Time magazine called him "The Texan Who Conquered Russia."
This performance made Cliburn famous and launched his career. In 1962, he founded the Fort Worth competition. His goal was and is to promote the appreciation of classical music. All of the following facts support the claim that Van Cliburn became a national hero in 1958 except
a. Cliburn won a Moscow piano competition that year.
b. The Soviet Union and the United States were locked in a Cold War.
C. Cliburn founded an international piano competition in Texas,
D. Time called Cliburn "The Texan Who Conquered Russia." A is not correct because taking part in the Moscow competition is related to the claim that Cliburn became a national hero. B is not correct because the context of the Cold War played a part in why Americans came to view Cliburn as a hero. D is not correct because this title supports the claim that Cliburn was viewed as a national hero. C is correct because certain events and circumstances
in 1958 (as described in paragraph 1) caused Cliburn to be viewed as a national hero. His founding of a piano competition in Texas was not a cause of him becoming a national hero. Tuesday: