Week 4 — Notes
Review again Chapters 3 and 4 / I am repeating notes from last week, so you really get it. I have
added info on understanding cultural dynamics. Read carefully.
So let’s review what exigency is all about.
(N.B. – I have added the meaning of the word for you. Please see this as an example of actively
seeking out your dictionary when you should come across a word that you do not know or
understand. Here is one to add to your growing vocabulary.)
ex·i·gen·cy [ek-si-juhn-see, ig-zij-uhn-] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -cies.
1. exigent state or character; urgency.
2. Usually, exigencies. the need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance, condition,
etc.: the exigencies of city life.
3. a case or situation that demands prompt action or remedy; emergency: He promised help in
[Origin: 1575–85; < ML exigentia. See exigent, -ency] —Synonyms 3. crisis, contingency, plight, strait; predicament, fix, pinch. ) So “exigency” is the unstoppable reason why you choose to do something; it is a crisis even— something that demands you take prompt action, make a decision, or find a remedy. It could be something like this. For instance, you are on your way to college. You suddenly have a flat tire, or you get a call to immediately buy groceries for your ailing sister. How would you change your course of action? What if you had an exam you could not miss? How would you handle this? We are prompted by diverse life situations. What values do you call upon to guide you in such situations? Something to think about. Toulmin Style of Argumentation Here is information on the essential elements of the Toulmin model, named after Steve Toulmin, a philosopher, who developed a model of argumentation in six parts. Little did he realize that his work would become a staple for critical reading and writing classes. He outlined his process in this way: Claim, Support, Warrants, Backing, Rebuttal, and Qualifiers – as necessary to write an effective argumentation paper. When you look at it, such questions may arise: where are you coming from? What moves you? What informs your point of view and opinion? What are your influences? Considering these questions is the interesting part of the process of critical thinking — self-evaluation, re-evaluation, and the continuing evaluation of ideas and of the audience in order to know how to reach out to them. Get this. As you read these notes, observe your own mental process. What do you notice? Do you start to reflect on your own thinking? Also important is self-(re)-evaluation in order to identify and examine your own value formation and judgments. Opening to this self-knowledge as a writer will aid you in learning the art of flexibility so you can see another’s point of view (pov), while you also become clear about your own value foundations and patterns. When you are open to another’s POV, then you are better able to bring in your audience to consider your POV. It also helps you to develop intellectual honesty, so that you don’t make excuses for a specific point of view but are better able to defend it and concede when the other side is stronger and clearer. Sometimes, in the process of research, you may find that your original POV has changed. There is nothing wrong with this. On the other hand, this reflects you, the writer’s intellectual honesty. Was there a time when you simply would not budge on an issue because you just knew you were right? You know now what Claim is – the main point of the argument, the purpose of the paper, what you are trying to prove to be true and valid. Also known as Thesis or controlling idea. Then you have Support. You must always be able to support your point with evidence, data, reasons, examples, facts, or explanation, et al. Without this your paper won’t go anywhere. Warrant: What is it? A very important element of the Toulmin model is providing Warrants – assumptions and cultural values of the writers and the readers. Warrants often influence your claims, and when you find that it is limiting your perspective because there are points of view you have not considered, then you might review your claim. This is also the most challenging part of the process. You’ll find that even the data you pick up may be based on the limitations of your own perception or point of view. Hence, I have often asked my students to begin a paper without an opinion or bias – this so that they learn about the subject well before jumping to conclusions hastily and not being able to support their papers. Well, then you consider backing, rebuttal and qualifiers. Backing is support; rebuttal is refuting the other side or POV; qualifiers provide a “why” or a condition for a particular POV (this is not just supporting evidence). I hope this review helps. FACT/Inference: Review last week’s readings on Fact & Inference ~ You have discovered that facts are changeable. Some can and do change; some might be skewed; they mean different things to different people depending on circumstance; they can lead to trouble. Review page 93 on how facts may be clarified. Review INFERENCES also. Language is so richly nuanced that slight shifts in meaning may occur and confuse the issue. Therefore, as a critical thinker and writer, you must be absolutely clear of your INTENT and how you convey your message. This may require layers of self-analysis and evaluation as well as revision of your paper, warrant, exigency and, finally, again a re-defining of your own self. While you read both chapters carefully, look at the differences between fact and inference on pages 118-123. Not only is language nuanced, but also our perception about something can be influenced by other factors. How do you then practice being truthful as a critical thinker? What does it mean to think critically? Different Kinds of Argument ~ We covered this last week, so I hope you saved the notes. Note you can write: argument to establish definition; argument to evaluate issues; argument to persuade an audience. In any, you are still evaluating and offering kinds of evidence. You have a DISCUSSION on topic of cultural memes. We started this last week; your participation in this is required. You are asked to evaluate trends and cultural mores as they change and affect issues. Read more about cultural dynamics and how life changes. For this week, a study of cultures unfolds as you write your first critical essay. First, consider what is culture; how it is created or how it emerges through social, economic, and psychic dynamics. What are the foundations of a cultural identity? Look at values that influence culture, yours and others. In some ways, cultures have similarities. All peoples of the world celebrate passages in some way or the other. These include births, graduations, marriages, and death, et al. We all go through various coming of age situations in our lives. Some cultures mark events with great fanfare (see Mexico, India...), while others remain sober or austere (see Ethiopia…you have to find sources to read). Landscape also affects how cultures develop their expressions of passages and festivals. For instance, people in Arab lands cover themselves fully – they travel in the desert and it is more comfortable to be covered in the desert than to wear So Cal beachwear because the winds pick up the sands into storms in the desert. Why do people in S.E. Asia wear sarongs, and why are Eskimos covered in fur? Interestingly, Eskimo people have more than 40 words for snow and ice. We don’t. Landscape certainly influences food and dress, and in so doing also customs, festivals and, hence, identity. We live in a rich and diverse world. When people are displaced from their lands, they have to adjust to another landscape; this, too, affects a whole new set of cultural conditions, mores, ways of living, eating, dressing, etc. Such assimilations and appropriations have happened for many centuries; for instance, pilgrimages people made over 1,000 years ago may be seen as early form of tourism. These travelers naturally picked up stories and language as they traveled and left theirs for local cultures, leading to a blending of cultures, which also create anew issues of class, race, and identity. Then also came the blight with colonization that destroyed indigenous cultures all over the world. Assimilation was a natural process leading to some excellent results but not without complex problems. We, too, who are bicultural or multi-cultural, have undergone a certain kind of assimilation. The better word is “integration,” for this latter suggests a synthesis, while assimilation is a loss, which can raise complex issues of identity. Acculturation is a dynamic process. Be particularly observant of the details when you observe yourself and people of other cultures—diverse experiences of gaining, losing, recognizing, recreating a new way even as you/they express different conflicts. We grow through conflict. This you know. What Is Evidence? ~ You cannot have an argument without evidence. You may use observations, interviews, surveys, questionnaires, experiments, and personal experience as evidence. But there is a caveat to all of them. Your observations and experience must be valid and not skewed to fit one single POV if objective data points otherwise. Study carefully how different evidence may be used and how you can then develop a convincing argument. Images are also Persuasive. You just have to look at all aspects contained therein—image and word, as well as placement, for it is all designed to persuade using appeals to ethos, logos, and pathos. As you develop your critical thinking skills, you will find how claims are developed and that there are various kinds of claims: fact, value, definition, cause, and policy. What you use depends on the topic of your paper. Critical Thinking makes you realize you are an intimate part of a community and your actions/choices have local and global significance. Such thinking process is also known as “metacognition,” which means “thinking about thinking.” As always assignments are due Sunday night. ——— Purchase answer to see full attachment
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