- The phrases “there is” and “there are” are considered weak ways to begin a sentence because they don’t provide much information or context. These phrases are often used as a placeholder for the proper subject of the sentence and can make the meaning of the sentence unclear. Without further context, the reader doesn’t know what “there” means (Walters 2). For example, “There is a book on the table” is not as straightforward as “The book is on the table.” Another way that “there is” and “there are” weaken a sentence is by making the sentence overly wordy and repetitive. For example, “There is a dog in the yard” is much longer than “The dog is in the yard.” This makes the sentence sound awkward instead of smooth and concise.
Additionally, “there is” and “there are” can make the sentence passive and dull. This is because “there is” is often used to describe an already known and accepted fact or situation (Walters 5). For example, “There is a new movie coming out” is much less exciting than “A new movie is coming out.” In some cases, using “there is” and “there are” may not weaken a sentence and can provide clarity and context. For example, “There is a book that I want to read” is much more straightforward than “A book I want to read.” Overall, “there is” and “there are” are weak ways to begin a sentence and should be avoided if possible. However, in some cases, they can be used to provide context and clarity. It all depends on the context of the sentence and what the writer is trying to convey.
- Using cliches and trite expressions is often a lack of originality and can be detrimental to the quality of writing. A cliche is an expression that has lost its original meaning due to overuse, and trite expressions are overused phrases that lack originality (Norberg 71). Using cliches and trite expressions can make the writer appear unoriginal and can be seen as lazy writing. It can also make the reader feel frustrated, as they have likely heard the phrases used before and may not be able to connect with the writing in the same way as they could with an original expression. For example, “you can’t judge a book by its cover” refers to not judging people or things on appearances. However, it is so overused that it no longer has the same impact it once did.
Avoiding cliches and trite expressions allows the writer to be more creative, engaging and unique. This demonstrates to the reader that the writer has put thought and effort into their work and can help them better connect with the writing (Norberg 72). Using original expressions, the writer can give the reader a fresh perspective and make a lasting impression. In addition, using cliches and trite expressions can also be confusing for the reader, as the exact meaning of the expression may be unclear. This can lead to confusion and frustration for both the writer and the reader, as the writer will have to explain the meaning of the expression, and the reader will have to try and interpret it.
- Documenting sources is an essential part of academic writing. It allows readers to easily distinguish between the author’s ideas and those of other authors (Ioannidis et al. 2). It also gives credence to the author’s work and demonstrates that they have done their research. By citing sources, authors can also avoid accusations of plagiarism and demonstrate the breadth of their research. One of the most commonly used methods for documenting sources is the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. MLA style is a set of guidelines published by the Modern Language Association of America for formatting research papers and other documents (Jones). It is used in many courses in the humanities, including literature and language.
The primary purpose of MLA style is to make it easier for readers to navigate the document. It does this by providing consistent formatting guidelines for different paper elements. For example, MLA style requires that all sources are cited in a particular way, usually in parenthetical references within the text. This includes the author’s name and the page number for intext citations (Jones). For example: (Smith 2). MLA style also requires that a ‘Works Cited’ page be included at the paper’s end. This page lists all of the sources used in the paper in alphabetical order. For each source, the author’s name, the title of the source, the publisher, and other relevant information must be included (Jones).
- Critical reading is an analytical approach that seeks to understand better the text, its author, and the context in which it was written. It is an active process that requires the reader to question the text, its purpose, and the author’s intentions (Tasnimi 1). Through critical reading, one can develop a deeper understanding of the text and its implications. When engaging in critical reading, the reader should assess the text by asking questions about its content, structure, and meaning. What is the author’s purpose in writing this text? How does the author support their claims? Is the text persuasive? Are there any logical fallacies present? What might the author’s intentions be?
In addition, readers should consider the text’s context. What is the author’s background? What is the historical and cultural context in which the text was written? These questions can help the reader develop a deeper understanding of the text and its implications (Tasnimi 2). For example, a reader might read a book about the history of the American Revolution and ask questions such as: What is the author’s purpose in writing this book? How does the author support their claims? What is the historical and cultural context in which the text was written? By asking these questions and considering the context in which the text was written, the reader can develop a more informed understanding of the text and its implications. They can also identify potential biases or flaws in the text. For example, readers might identify that the author has a particular political stance or uses selective historical sources to support their claims.
- Errors in logic are mistakes made in reasoning. They can be simple mistakes but often lead to incorrect conclusions. In arguments, people may commit errors in logic which can lead to false conclusions or invalid arguments (Archie). Examples of common errors in logic include:
- False cause: a false cause fallacy occurs when one assumes that an observed correlation between two events implies that one event caused the other. For example, if someone sees that it always rains after eating ice cream, they might assume that it causes rain (Archie).
- Affirming the consequent: this is a fallacy in which one assumes that if a statement is true, then the antecedent must also be true. For example, if someone claims that if it’s raining, the grass is wet, they might affirm the consequence by claiming that since the grass is wet, it must be raining (Archie)
- False dilemma: a false dilemma is an argument which presents two choices without acknowledging any other possibilities. For example, if someone claims that either you support the war or hate your country, they are presenting a false dilemma because there are more options than just those two (Archie)
- Circular reasoning: this fallacy occurs when one uses the conclusion of an argument as part of the argument itself. For example, suppose someone claims that humans are superior because they are the most intelligent species. In that case, they are committing circular reasoning because they are using the conclusion as part of the argument (Archie).
Roger Kimball’s The Rape of The Masters
Roger Kimball’s The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art is an important book that examines the growing influence of political correctness on the modern art world. Written by art critic and editor Roger Kimball, the book’s thesis is that the art world is corrupted by the increasing influence of political correctness, resulting in artists creating works that lack substance and meaning (Ganea).
The author’s background, Roger Kimball, is essential to understanding this book. Kimball is an American art critic and editor of The New Criterion, a quarterly magazine focused on the visual arts, literature, and culture. Kimball has been writing about art and culture since the 1980s, and his writings are often critical of the modern art world. He has also written several books on art, including The Rape of the Masters (Ganea).
The context in which The Rape of the Masters was written is also essential to understanding its thesis. Kimball wrote the book in the early 2000s when the art world was becoming increasingly influenced by political correctness. This resulted in art that was more about making statements than creating meaningful works. Kimball argues that this is detrimental to the art world and leads to producing works that lack substance and meaning (Ganea).
The importance of The Rape of the Masters lies in its ability to provide an insightful critique of the modern art world. Kimball’s arguments are well-researched, and his insights into the influence of political correctness on the art world are thought-provoking. His arguments provide a much-needed counterpoint to the often-unquestioned embrace of political correctness in the art world. By providing an in-depth analysis of the art world’s current state, Kimball’s book is an important reminder that art should be about creating meaningful works, not simply about making political statements.
Helen Clapesattle’s The Doctors Mayo
The Doctors Mayo is a book by Helen Clapesattle in 1965 and is widely considered to be the seminal work on the Mayo brothers and their influence on modern medicine. It is an in-depth look at the lives of Drs. William and Charles Mayo, two brothers, established the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Through extensive research, Clapesattle chronicles the rise of the Mayo brothers, from small-town physicians to international medical celebrities. The book’s thesis is that the Mayo brothers revolutionized the field of medicine through their innovative and thoughtful approach to patient care. Clapesattle argues that their emphasis on the importance of collaboration between doctors and patients, their commitment to scientific research and their emphasis on preventive care were all factors that contributed to the success of the Mayo Clinic (Fye 6). The book also explores the legacy of the Mayo brothers, emphasizing their humanitarian work and impact on medical education and the practice of medicine.
Clapesattle was an American medical historian born and raised in Minnesota. She attended the University of Minnesota and received her PhD in history in 1954. She was a professor of medical history at the University of Minnesota for many years and is well-known for her other works on the history of medicine, including A History of the Mayo Clinic. The Doctors Mayo was her first book, published when the Mayo Clinic was beginning to be recognized as a world-renowned medical facility (Clapesattle 8).
The Doctors Mayo is an essential work of medical history and is still highly regarded today. It provides a comprehensive overview of the lives and legacies of the Mayo brothers. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of medicine or the Mayo Clinic itself. It is a testament to Clapesattle’s research and writing skills and remains a classic in medical history and Ethics.
Ayne Rand’s We the Living
We the Living by Ayn Rand is a novel in 1936, set in Soviet Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. It follows the story of its main protagonist, Kira Argounova, and her struggle with the oppressive Soviet regime. Through this story, Rand explores the conflict between individualism and collectivism and the consequences of a government that seeks to stifle individual freedom in favour of the collective(Gladstein and Sciabarra 333).
Ayn Rand was born in Russia in 1905 and experienced firsthand the Bolshevik Revolution and the oppressive reign of the Soviet Union. She was an outspoken opponent of the Soviet system, and her views were heavily influenced by her experiences living under a totalitarian regime (Duignan 5). This experience was channelled into her writings, mainly We the Living. In the novel, Rand presents the Soviet Union as a place of suffering and despair and emphasizes the importance of individualism in the face of collectivism. She portrays Kira as an independent woman, determined to pursue her dreams despite her oppressive environment. Through her story, Rand advocates for the individual’s rights and encourages people to pursue their goals and dreams, regardless of the oppressive forces that may try to stifle them (Jebsen 13).
The novel has been seen as an essential work of literature, not only for its exploration of individualism but also for its critique of the Soviet Union. It was one of the few works of literature critical of the Soviet Union during its time and helped raise awareness of the regime’s oppressive nature. We the Living is a crucial work of literature in furthering Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, which emphasizes the importance of individual liberty and free will (Jebsen).
Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir about her unconventional and chaotic childhood. The memoir is Walls’s reflection on her childhood and explores the importance of family, resilience, and the power of forgiveness. Walls illustrates how she and her siblings survived their parents’ erratic behaviour, extreme poverty, and nomadic lifestyle. The central thesis of The Glass Castle is that Walls’s survival is due to her resilience, her siblings’ support, and her parent’s love and guidance (Walls).
Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1960. As a child, her family moved around the United States, living in poverty and often homeless. Walls’ father, Rex Walls, was an alcoholic due to his own traumatic childhood experiences and was often unreliable. Her mother, Rose Mary Walls, was an artist passionate about literature and education (World Biographies). Despite both parents’ issues, Walls and her siblings made it through their difficult childhood, eventually becoming successful adults.
The Glass Castle was first published in 2005 and became a bestseller. The story resonates with readers because of its relatable family, poverty, and resilience themes. Walls’ story is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the importance of family (Deepthi 3). By writing her memoir, Walls provides a voice to those who have lived similar lives and shows that, despite difficult circumstances, it is possible to succeed.
The Glass Castle is an essential book because it illuminates the hardships of poverty and homelessness (Deepthi). It also demonstrates how resilience and family can be a saving grace for struggling people. Walls’ story shows how hope and determination can help overcome even the most difficult circumstances. The Glass Castle is a powerful reminder that, no matter how bad things may seem, it is possible to find a way to success.