Commonplace Book #6 Editing Rewrite

Fleming elaborates on different sized democracies working for various groups of people and governments. For example, local governments require unity. It is necessary for groups to quickly and efficiently communicate and make decisions. Local governments have no need to be extremely powerful because they are not in charge of larger groups. It is unrealistic for them to hear out people in the democracy; it would be ineffective. Smaller groups are incapable of handling conflicts that extend to the rest of the world, state, and country. They do not have the resources and people to deal with issues that concern everyone.

Commonplace Book #5: Georgia Referendum

Georgia Referendum to Amend State Constitution:

“Shall Property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

In its root form, this sentence could be summed up as, “Should the property continue to be exempt from taxation?” By discovering the root, it makes it easier for the audience to understand the main point. With additional words such as utilized, providers, continue, and affordable, the encoder can add more meaning to the sentence. For example, although on its own the word “continue” is simple, in this context, it tells the audience that there is something that is habitually occurring in Georgia. Without the word “continue”, the entire sentence may have a different purpose. In this situation, the encoder would be the people who are running the referendum. The audience would be those who live in Georgia, specifically they might be the ones who are providers of college and university student housing. meaning of this sentence would be how people are wondering if property taxes should remain exempt for the University System of Georgia and other providers of college housing and facilities. The rhetorical situation is that some individuals may believe that property taxes should be paid. The rhetorical situation may also be that taxes should continue to be exempt because it is more important for costs to stay affordable. Since this statement is from a Georgia referendum which is government related, they may be leaning more towards more taxes being paid.

Commonplace Book #3: My Favorite Sentence

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” Dead Poets Society 

Root Sentence: Ideas change the world.

All the other words in the sentence are supporting and making the root sentence stronger. The first half of the sentence, “no matter what anybody tells you”, is not completely necessary, but it is important to the overall message of the sentence. The root sentence on its own is strong and makes sense, but the overall sentence is much stronger with the supporting words.

My Sentence: Politicians and other popular figures may tell you that ideas change the world.

Similar to the original sentence, both have the same concept of “ideas changing the world”, however in this case, there are different subjects or people involved.

Commonplace Book #2: The Conversation

Intro 1: “Many readers believe that schools with high suspension rates are boosting the achievement of the students who don’t misbehave. However, research on the state of Indiana, which controlled for poverty and race, found that lower-suspending schools had higher achievement rates (Skiba, 2014). Similarly, a study that tracked every middle school student in Texas over six years and controlled for over 80 variables found no academic benefits in schools with higher suspension rates (Fabelo, 2011).” Source: https://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/resources/projects/center-for-civil-rights-remedies/school-to-prison-folder/federal-reports/are-we-closing-the-school-discipline-gap/AreWeClosingTheSchoolDisciplineGap_FINAL221.pdf

In this introduction, the writers do use “they say” by summarizing the other side of the discipline gap. They argue that, “schools with high suspension rates are boosting the achievement of the students who don’t misbehave”. The authors do a quality job of immediately countering this argument by inserting their “I say”. They used evidence from a credited source to prove that “lower-suspending schools had higher achievement rates”. This format mirrors Graff’s form almost identically. It’s a very effective example of how to embrace the “they say/I say” skill.

Intro 2: “The term ‘Third World’ was used frequently in histories of the societies, economies and cultures of many parts of the world in the second half of the twentieth century. But, although the phrase was widely used, it was never clear whether it was a clear category of analysis, or simply a convenient and rather vague label for an imprecise collection of states in the second half of the twentieth century and some of the common problems that they faced. Not even enthusiasts for the term provided any precision.” Source: B.R. Tomlinson “What was the third world?”

In this introduction, the writer also has a quality example of using “they say”. The other side claims, “the term ‘Third World’ was used frequently in histories of the societies, economies and cultures of many parts of the world in the second half of the twentieth century”. Like Graff states in the book, the author should summarize without sound accusatory or bias. Tomlinson does an excellent job of summarizing without showing which side he agrees with. In the next line, he effectively uses “I say” to counter the previous argument. This introduction is a wonderful example of the “they say/I say” method.

 

Commonplace Book #1: Sentence Structure and Phrasing

Political disintegration plagues Congress. House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker last year.

  • Political disintegration plagues Congress; House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker.
  • Political disintegration plagues Congress, and House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker.
  • Political disintegration plagues Congress, which is why House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker.
  • Political disintegration plagues Congress, because House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker.
  • Political disintegration plagues Congress, and therefore House Republicans barely managed to elect a speaker.

I didn’t see the step; now I have a bandage on my head.

  • I didn’t see the step. I have a bandage on my head now.
  • I didn’t see the step, and I have a bandage on my head now.
  • I didn’t see the step, because I have a bandage on my head.
  • I didn’t see the step, so have a bandage on my head now.

Sentences completely change based on the phrasing and punctuation. Some of these sentences now mean differently due to the context in which the punctuation is in. For example one sentence says the bandage is on their head after the fall, now it says they fell because they had a bandage on their head. Punctuation makes a huge difference.