Tuesday, February 26, 2013

OpEd--what's the argument?

Today I would like you to read the New York Times Opinion Page and explore. Find an article that is intriguing to you and read it--closely. Then...

  1. Write a summary of the article. Remember that a summary is the most concise manner of retelling the main points of the text.
  2. Analyze the argument of the text. What is the argument? How does the author present it?
  3. Explain what your opinion is on the matter. What do you think about what the author's argument?


  1. The article I read was about how, senior year in high school could be eliminated for some students. The author of the article said most students by senior year have reached graduation requirements and either do half days, or only take one to three classes at their high school. His solution would be by tenth grade sit down with a counselor, and parent to discuss whether they could graduate after three years, and then during that fourth year take regular college classes, internships, or a work to pay off college. His only downfall was the loss of money to the school system but he said in time it would level off.
    The author's argument is that the fourth year of high school might be obsolete for some students, that they should do the required classes, graduate, then go onto college, or interning. Instead of taking fluff classes in highschool.Doing this would also eliminate the senioritis affect.
    I think that this is an excellent idea. I feel that my senior year is going to be full of fluff classes, because I have taken all the required classes and more as of right now I need 4 credits to graduate after this year. Next year I tried to take advantage of dual credit classes but even still I had many spots still open. I think that this would push kids to try harder also it would give them an extra year to prepare for college either by working, doing internships or jusst figuring out what they wanted to do in life. Over al this seems like a good opinion.


  2. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-skipping-12th-grade.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    The article that I read was about the senior year of high school & how it can be completely irrelevant to many students' career paths or education. The author of the article stated that many students have already reached their graduation requirements before they reach their senior year of high school. Thus making a students senior year not very important considering many of them will have half days & only two or three classes to take. The argument of the text is saying that it would be more sufficient & less time consuming if students & parents had the choice of whether they want to pursue a fourth year in high school or not. The author is for this argument & would like to see this change within schools, but the change is highly unlikely because of the resist of change. My opinion on this article is I think it would be a good idea to test this. As a student, I know that my senior year will be completely irrelevant to my career choice & further education. I believe that students should have the choice as to whether they would like to take a fourth year of high school to gain more knowledge or begin their careers earlier. If this type of change was to occur, many students would be saving time & hopefully money for college. If a student has already reached their academic goals before their senior year, I think that they should be able to graduate early.

  3. In the article " the 2000 year old wonder drug" the author informs readers of Medicare and all the different ways our tax dollars are being wasted. They are being wasted because aspirin could solve the many problems we have with this society. The biggest of all being cancer. The author states all the different survival ratings while taking aspirin and what benefits you could obtain from taking aspirin.
    I believe that the author is right in some context. I think aspirin can solve many problems with health and taking down tax dollars. I also think though, that aspirin cannot solve all problems with health and be a quick fix. I think that you need to look more into te medication and what is wrong with you, in your genes, and what your suseptable to become consuming the drug.

  4. 1. "Ultimate sport" is a story that is written talking about Ultimate Frisbee. The writer, Jason Lucero, believes that Ultimate Frisbee is the perfect game. He talks about how it is a great combination of all sports. Ultimate Frisbee is a team sport and he talks about how it is a game full of sportsmanship and non aggressive behavior. The author states that this game creates a sense of exhilaration and makes the sport more fun than many others that he has experienced.

    2. The argument of the text is that Ultimate Frisbee is the Ultimate Sport. He argues that ultimate is a mix of intensely physical, a mix of measured teamwork, and bursts of individual athleticism. He presents this argument by stating it initially in the opening of the article and then he provides information to support his claim. He provides useful insight into the game. He relates Ultimate Frisbee back to football, (if you were able to play all the positions) and fluid like basketball and hockey because it's constantly fast paced and evolving between offense and defense.

    3. I think that the author made a very good argument to support his topic. I agree with his argument because I think that Ultimate Frisbee is a very interesting game and I agree that it is a good balance between all of the things that he mentioned.

  5. http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/youve-got-african-americans-youve-got-hispanics/?ref=opinion

    The article i read was about a man named Mr. Calhoun who was being convicted in the possession of a firearm as well as drug trafficking and was trying to get his case to the supreme court. His claim was that prosecuters were biased when questioning him on stand. They tried to say that since he was black and was with Mexicans who had a bag of money, that he should have known it was a drug deal and should have taken himself out of the situation if he was not a part of it. The argument of the text is whether or not Mr. Calhoun was a part of the drug deal or if his lack of judgement put him in the wrong place at the wrong time. The author presents the case in favor of Mr. Calhoun, as if the man is somewhat innocent, because his case for the claim is aimed towards the man's innocence. My opinion is that the claim the prosecuter is totally bias and outrageous. I believe the prosecuter should be fired if he tries to make such a case out of his own false, biased claims. Although i do believe that the man is being falsely biased upon, and is unfair to his civil rights, i do believe the man is guilty because of his lack of evidence and how awful his alliby for the case is. I think the author does not make a very strong and clear argument, but explains the "biased" situation very precisely and clearly to the public, to create a sense of pathos to readers.

  6. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/22/tech/mobile/sleep-texting/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

    1. This article basically gives its readers tips for public speaking and then uses humor and comical examples to exaggerate these tips.
    2. I believe that the argument that the author is trying to make is that public speaking, for a lack of a better term, "sucks" for not just you but for everyone. Everyone gets nervous when getting up in front of people whether you're in 7th grade English class or winning an Oscar. The author's point is that as long as you stay calm and don't take the speaking too seriously then you're going to be just fine. The author's shows this argument by giving helpful tips on public speaking but then using humor and exaggeration explaining the tips and the different scenarios.
    3. I think that the author is right. Any time I have ever had to give a speech or presentation in front of people, I am always most successful when I take a deep breath and relax and throw in some humor into my speaking. It levels out the tension and does wonders for your nerves. Public speaking is only as hard as we make it out to be.

  7. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/opinion/as-budget-cuts-loom-on-the-horizon.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
    1.)This article is about the spending cuts in the federal government that are set to automaticly take place. This letter to the editor places the blame on the tea party and the congress. It states that both parties believe that this would be harmful to the public but that congress is to disfunctional to do anything about it.
    2.) The argument is that these spending cuts are bad for the public and that it is the tea party's fault. The author presents the information in a sense that makes the democratic party seem like they are doing all they can to stop these cuts while the evil Republicans are trying to harm the county.
    3.) In my opinion the author was completly wrong in all most every sense. These automatic spending cuts were not the tea party's idea, it was the presidents idea. I also challenge the assumtion that these spending cuts would be that big of a disaster. The automatic spending cuts are not that large and we are making a big deal out of nothing. I believe if we cry this much over a small spending cut than we a screwed when we acutaly have to make a big one because of our nation debt.

  8. In the article I read, a musician has depression which is shown throughout his different pieces. The author talks about his challeneges with his depression and how it affects and is shown throughout the different music pieces he has composed. In the end he composes an opera of the life of an actress Elisabeth and is based off of the movie "Persona." The author states that by composing this opera helped him with his depression. He prsents the argument by stating his personal struggles and then showing how music has helped him emotionally. Music in generally connects with your emotions, for the author, writing this opera allowed the power of music to help him with his depression. I believe that this is a good argument that in fact different forms of music could help with depression for some people. Knowing music, I know what exactly music can allow your emotions to do. No matter if the music has a melody of happiness or sadness in the end it can help you either way. In the end I agree that music could help some people with depression.


  9. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/tips-for-public-speaking/

    This article was about tips for public speaking. However, the article was full of satire and mockery. It really did not give any serious tips for speaking. The article began saying with the typical saying that you should imagine everyone in the audience is naked, and to apologize if you're sweating or stumbling over your words excessively because it's charming since you're Hugh Grant. The author then apologizes because he realizes that this article was only meant for Hugh. His next tip is that you should focus your speech on one person in the middle of the room. After, you should follow them home and ask to hang out. He then continues his article and gives more helpful tips that seem to make sense, until he actually explains them.

    I believe that the argument the author is trying to convey in the text is that you should just relax when giving a speech. So many people over think speeches, which can be very detrimental. I think the author believes that if someone is tense enough to look up tips for speaking, they really need some comic relief in their life. I can definitely see how someone full of nerves would relax by reading the article. The author presents his argument in a very strange way. He merely makes fun and mocks those who make a plan for public speaking by using hyperboles.

    This was easily my favorite article I have ever read for a blog. I enjoyed the satire, and I believe that this would be a great article to read during our satire unit. I believe that the author is trying to convey that public speaking is not as big of a deal as everyone lets it be. If you're giving a speech the best thing you can do is not over think because you will become inarticulate.

  10. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/the-riddle-of-the-human-species/?ref=opinion
    This article detailed the origins of human development. How humans were one of the few eusocial animal species and how these species are known for being dominant. Humans evolved this way and it is because of this that we have survived and prospered.
    This article was a bit too theoretical to be entirely believable. When stating facts the author used "could have" and "might." He even stated at one point that the data could be flawed. Other than the inconclusive evolutionary data, the article was rather informative. It was interesting to learn just what biologically made humans stand out. The argument that humans are better because of years of evolution was not entirely believable. Why they are better is what interested me. It was well presented and organized. It was simply put so that it was easy to read. I don't believe in parts of evolution. I agree that it exists and that it shaped Earth, but not to the same extent as the author. It was very interesting and informative.

  11. I chose the article "Tips for public speaking." The article was very sarcastic and was humorous. It gave a list of things a speaker should do when presenting a speech, but every single idea was very bad and saracastic. This was a mockery of tips that people actually use when they give public speeches. The author gives various tips, his first being that you should only apologize for your speaking abilities if you are sweating or stubling over your words. If you are doing either of these, then you must apologize every time. The author then goes on to say you can only do that if you are Hugh Grant. The author presents it in a very serious way. The author goes on an gives more tips, such as not consuming milk products because those are the sorce of many current polotical problems. He gives numerous saracastic tips throughout the course of this article.
    The author presents the whole article very seriously by using saracasm, people with a sense of humor would not understand the purpose of this article. I think that the argument the other is trying to make is that people take public speaking way to seriously, when in reailty it is not that big of a deal. I think he wants readers to see the humor in his article in hopes that they will not take public speaking too seriously.
    I think that the author did a great job of presenting his argument and i found it very humorous. The article it self had a large amount of sarcasm in it and I thought it was very fun to read. The author made some very funny points throughout his piece.

  12. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/stranger-than-fiction-on-the-cop-beat/?ref=opinion

    Summary: The article is about a person involved in journalism. They specifically want to be involved with on-hand reporting. They are intrigued by the accounts on a police scanner. So when the time, the author is present at a scene trying to get the scoop. The author has a goal about writing book on their findings with the police, but they begin having trouble in doing so.

    Argument: The author is trying to make the point that there are some scary and disheartening things out there. What may be excitement for one may be misery for another. When one comes to the realization of this, it puts one in their place. Things happen in the world that we cannot comprehend why it happens or how some people could have the nerve. It presents itself that the world does have its sick spots.

    Opinion:Truthfully, the biggest reason why people have trouble when they come to terms with the violence and heartless is because of the media. People aren't use to these acts and when they come across it, their opinion changes. For example, the news on tv holds back facts. Another show that holds back and is a good example is "Cops." They don't ever show scenes where murder, gang violence, or things of that degree. They only show traffic stops, drug arrests, or non-severe, life-threatening sitautions because of the mental impact it may cause on someone. Then when someone comes across a situation, they don't know how to react.

  13. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/stranger-than-fiction-on-the-cop-beat/?ref=opinion

    1. The article was about the author's dream to write a crime novel. He began by working in Florida for a newspaper. He would listen to the police scanner and memorize the lingo as he waited for an interesting case. He gave up on the novel due to a lack of ideas, but came back to it after 25 years. The novel, Black Irish, is about cop brotherhood.
    2. The argument is that "crime is all of life, and if you want to write about it, you can't look away." The author presents this by telling of his experiences as a cop reporter and the stories he heard from cops. He said he put some of them in his book and revealed his argument at the very end. It means that one can't ignore some parts of crime, such as the P.S.K., or public service killings. One must accept all parts of crime, no matter how awful.
    3. I think the author's argument is correct, especially for writing crime novels. There are terrible things in this world, but a writer can't gloss over them to make the story less gruesome. A good story leaves out nothing, which is why it's good. I think the argument extends to the rest of life too. You can't just ignore something because it's bad. That doesn't make things go away. People need to be aware of the awful things in this world. Whether or not they feel the need to do something about it is different for each person, but everyone should be relatively aware. I've used all of my concentration on this....

  14. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/less-innovation-more-inequality/

    This article discusses how the economy is open to new concepts and new ventures is bound to generate unequal gains. It also discusses the history of American economics and the pits and strides we have made.

    The author of this article realizes that the nation needs to become dynamic. Due to little replenishment in recent years, American innovation has run out of fuel. These scientists then say that stepping up government funding for scientific research could refill the pool, creating new possibilities for innovation into the indefinite future. Second, it is argued that the government can spark innovation in the private sector by providing finance for development and marketing of new products.

    Personally I believe that the former issues need to be solved before we can tackle new demands. Also, better corporate oversight by boards and by government regulators is also essential. I think that the author is headed in the right direction, if we set goals we can achieve them with hard work and determination. One step that can be taken in accomplishing our goal is to decreases tensions between the classes. I think that this plan will take a period of time and not be solved in a few short months.

  15. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-skipping-12th-grade.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    The article I read was about how students could not have to have a 12th grade, but instead start working toward college. The idea, coming from a past superintendant, was that students could, when in the 10th grade, get together with their parents and councelors to figure out what they could do instead of going full time their senior year. The author saw how most senior students would often have multiple lunches or only a couple classes. This brought his idea of getting students into college early or getting them ready for it.
    I kind of do like the idea that the author is putting over. It would not effect me or probably any of my friends because all of our schedules are filled, but for some people it would benefit them. Getting people into college early or getting them ready would definately benefit everybody.

  16. 1. This story, about a man named Joseph, describes the typical job and duties of a reporter. Soon enough, however, he started listening to the police scanner, catching all the lastest news and crime scenes. He eventually wanted to write a book about the exciting news. For awhile he didn't want to face the reality of how awful these crimes were, or make them exciting enough to write about. In the end, he realized that to know the truth and reality, you have to open your your eyes and take it in for what it is.

    2. The arguement of the text was that if you want to know something, you have to pay attention to understand. He had to look past all the fiction and understand it for what it truly was. He had so many expectations of what it was going to be like, he was almost disappointed. However, he sometimes got so lost in the fiction, he also didn't want to believe what was actually happening. In this paper, he presents his story in a very casual way, making it very conversational. He doesn't use large words or make anything difficult to understand, he very basically tells you his story, I think to get his point across very clearly. He doesn't keep pounding his argument in your head, he saves it until the very end, so it's almost a realization to the reader about what he learned.

    3. I completely agree with him. Sometimes I get so lost in what society thinks something, that I can't believe what it truly is. It can be difficult to almost separate reality and fiction. We expect the crime scene to look like CSI, and to be honest, it hardly ever looks like that. And once something horrible does happen, it's hard for me to really understand what happened. For example, sometimes I want school to be just as fun as it is on TV, but it's not. I agree, that we almost have to put yourself out there to truly understand something.


  17. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/stranger-than-fiction-on-the-cop-beat/
    This article is about a man who desperately wanted to write a book about the awesome and action-filled life of a cop. He tried for years to base his book off off some real-life experience, but all of his experiences as a reporter/cop were too dull, too sad, or not book material. He recalled a lot of his highlighted moments as a cop. He told funny stories he had heard with some of his friends as well as the sadder stories. Overall, he is trying to argue that crime is a one-time thing that you see in your life. If you want to write about crime then you can't look away because it is constantly occurring, it's not something you only experience once in your life. He does a good job of putting up his argument with personal stories to back up his logic. I agree, and I think that this story is not just an example for crime, it's for any genre in general. If you want to write about success or failures they are always occurring, while there may be one success, failure, or memory you have that relates to something in particular you can't just sit and not write. While you're waiting for that big moment to help you write, for example, the perfect crime story, write about the smaller stories too, they can be just as important.

  18. I read an article about a writer for a news paper that wrote articles about crime and police work. The author was also trying to write a crime novel at the same time while using the events she reported on as insperation.

    The argument of this text is that many aspects of crime are awful and police should not be take for granite. The author presents this argument by stating how startled he was by the way crime actually works. He then tells startlying stories to support his first claim. Lastly he restated his opinion in more depth.

    I think real crime is different from what is showed on TV and I agree with the author. I thought his stories were pretty interesting, especialy the one about the cops hiding their guns under a body.

    1. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/stranger-than-fiction-on-the-cop-beat/?ref=opinion

  19. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/opinion/nocera-rebuilding-on-their-own.html?ref=opinion

    This article was about the rebuilding efforts in New York after Hurricane Sandy and the similarities they share with efforts after Hurricane Katrina. The author is making the argument that the government is not doing enough to aid in recovery after storms like these. He is also arguing that if the help that Katrina victims got was any indication, then Sandy victims were going to be let down by the unsatisfactory job the government is doing. Most of the rebuilding has been done by small organizations or by the people themselves. The author also mentions that the money that was given to New Orleans to help rebuild mainly went to the tourist areas. The other communities relied on volunteers and nonprofit organizations for help. I believe that more can be done by the government to help those who have been affected by hurricanes and other natural disasters. They need to be more active and determined to rebuild and get things done than they apparently are now. They also need to be more fair and spread the money that is meant of rebuild a city more equally. It is not right that they are willing to spend more money and concentrate more efforts in particular areas because those ones are more important or popular. I believe this would help affected areas and people return to normal lives quicker and easier.

  20. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/opinion/brooks-our-second-adolescence.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
    1.) The article that I read was titled "Our Second Adolescence". In this article, the author states that his dream Obama would move the daily government debates away from big government versus small government, and instead focus on setting the United States up for a successful future. The author states that instead of treating our country like an aging country that is declining, we should instead treat our country like it is a young and youthful nation on the rise. Throughout the length of the article, the author suggests different strategies and plans that the president could use to achieve his "dream" goals.
    2.) In this article, the author is arguing that the United States should begin to focus on their future, rather than focusing on the present. The author says that if the United States is to thrive in the future, we have to begin to make changes that will benefit our children and provide them with the opportunity to thrive in the future. The author presents his argument by telling the audience why what the government is doing now is wrong, and by suggesting ways that they could solve the problems and provide a successful future for our children.
    3.) I agree with the author's opinion on the topic. I think that the United States spends too much time and money on the current issues of the present, which sometimes don't even matter, and that we should instead spend our time and resources on setting up our children and our country for a successful future. I believe that the author presented his argument in a effective way, and it was an interesting article to read.

  21. The artivle I read was about how anti-abortion activists have been trying to pass a law that stated that a woman seeking an abortion must first have an untrasound, to see the baby and hear its heart beat. This would give the women an informed desicion before they decide to terminate the pregnancy. The author calls it "A Pawn in the Abortion Wars" he is on the side that this action would humiliate women seeking something that is in their rights. The author presents both sides of the arguement and what they argue, one of the arguements that go against this is that it is almost rape, or forced penetration because the ultrasounds have to be invasive at this stage. I think that the ultrasound should happen, women are always told that fetuses in the first trimester are just a cluster of cells, not a baby yet, many of them don't know that it looks like a baby already, it's just as much a cluster of cells as we are, I think it's good for women to make an informed desicion. Also, I disagree with this being invasive or rape, before having an abortion many women have to have an unltrasound anyway because the doctors need to know what kind of operation they will have to do. I honestly just think that the women that have abortions go through so much post traumatic stress that they should really just reconsider and think through it and really see what they're going to do before they do it.

  22. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/23/tips-for-public-speaking/
    1. Overall this article written by Teddy Wayne is supposed to give tips for public speaking. In all reality this article is making fun of the common tips and it all together mocks every tip known to man kind. One of the more humerous tips he gives explains that it is best not to drink milk before a big speech, not because the milk will make too much muccus produce in your throat, but because the dairy industry is personally responcible for all our economic problems today. His advice is humerous throughout the text. The author takes a sarcastic spin on the normal advice that might be given to one who is afraid of public speaking.

    2. I feel like the argument that the author is trying to elude to is that public speaking tips are way overrated. Many do not even make since and some like staring one complete stragner down the whole time can be kind of creepy. The author is trying to say that the world today makes a huge deal about being comfortable infrount of an audience and making everyone a good public speaker when in reality the best thing to do might just to be to laugh a little about all the rediculious tips and take in a deep breath. The author conveys this argument by going over each tip in a sarcastic way that points out the humerous side.

    3. Personally I believe that some of the common tips are helpful when giving an important speech. It might be helpful to not drink milk in fear that it would make your throat clogged. However I feel like the way the author presented his opinions on these common notions were very persuasive. It does seem silly to be so caught up in doing all of these realxing tips that in the end you are even more nervous because you cannot remember all of the tips to help you calm down. After reading this article I feel like some of the common helpful tips that people try to follow are are quite strange. The authors arguement in this instance was very persuasivie and quite humerous.

  23. The article I read was called “Invitation to a Dialogue: Skipping 12th Grade”. The article talked about whether or not high school students should be required to go four years in high school. The author talked about other options that students pursue.
    The author presents the argument of whether or not students should be required to attend high school for four years. The author argued that a more “custom” way of high school would be better because teens suffer from senoritis and often waste their last year of high school away anyway. The author argued that there are better things that high school kids can being doing, like starting college or getting an internship, rather than sitting in high school and taking blow off classes. The author presents it by stating that most high school students don't take advantage of their senior year and therefore should be able to choose how many years they attend high school: 3, 3 and a half, or 4.
    I can see both sides to this situation. I do see so many students that have severe cases of senoritis and want nothing more to do with high school and are wasting there time being in it. However, I think if they shorten the amount of time that students are required to attend high school, then they will want to quit even earlier yet. I think that kids who honestly believe that they have finished their amount of years in high school should be able to graduate early, but I also believe less education time should not be promoted.


  24. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/27/opinion/invitation-to-a-dialogue-skipping-12th-grade.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    I read an article about the possibility of high school students opting to only be in school for 3 years or three and a half instead of four. The author was a school superintendent and talked about her experience with students who benefited from the offer.

    The author was arguing for students being able to take a three year high school track. The author presents her argument by using examples of scenarios when her students were able to take a shortened high school track and go on to succeed.

    I agree with the author on the fact that it is a good option for some students. I don't think it is the best choice for everyone, but a number of students could greatly benefit from being able obtain a high school diploma quickly. I think the author makes a very valid argument and that her examples a a good way to display the benefits that shortened high school can bring.

  25. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/opinion/as-budget-cuts-loom-on-the-horizon.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    1. This article talks about the spending cuts that the federal government have that are supposed to automatically take place. In this letter, the writer blames the tea party and the congress for this matter. Both parties, in the article, believe that this idea could harm the public and that Congress isn't prepared to do anything about the matter.

    2. The argument is that the spending cuts are the tea party's fault and harmful for the public. He represents it through making the democratic party seem like they are trying to do all they can to eliminate these cuts while the Republicans just want to hurt the public.

    3. I think he is wrong. The idea for these cuts were formed by the president, not the tea party.


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