Homework #7: Read Leslie Morgan Steiner's online essay "Who Becomes a Surrogate?" and analyze the tensions between paying parents and paid surrogate in a 3-paragraph essay.
Essay #3 Options Due 10-22-18
You need minimum of 3 sources for your MLA Works Cited page.
Option One. In the context of “Prudence Or Cruelty?” by Nicholas Kristoff, develop an argument that defends, refutes, or complicates Kristoff’s claim that food stamps are an essential good for the vulnerable population.
Option Two. In the contest of Leslie Morgan Steiner’s “Who Becomes a Surrogate?”, defend, support, or complicate the assertion that surrogate motherhood is a moral abomination or at the very least too tied up with legal complications to make it a viable and moral service. Read about the horrible story of Melissa Cook.
Option Three. In the context of Julia Belluz’s “We’re barely using the best tool we have to fight obesity,” develop a thesis that argues for or against the effectiveness and safety of bariatric surgery.
Option Four. Read Linda Tirado’s famous blog post “This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense” and Derek Thompson’s “Your Brain on Poverty” and develop a thesis that defends, refutes, or complicates the assertion that Tirado and Thompson’s essays are guilty of painting the poor as helpless victims and as a result doing a disservice to the poor.
Defend, refute, or complicate Kristof’s defense of food stamps as he posits his case in “Prudence Or Cruelty?”
In paragraph 1, summarize the debate of food stamps.
In paragraph 2, write your thesis.
Paragraphs 3-6: Support your thesis with these body paragraphs.
Paragraph 7: Anticipate how your opponents would disagree with you (counterargument) and show why your opponents are wrong (rebuttal).
Typical counterargument goes like this: "My opponents claim that I am wrong because of _________; however, their claim fails to address ___________." Or, "My opponents will take issue with __________; however, their opposition is clearly misguided when we consider _______________."
Paragraph 8: Conclusion, a restatement of your thesis with powerful emotion (pathos).
You must use at least 2 sources and 6 signal phrases for your essay.
When members of Congress debate whether to slash the food stamp program, they should ask if they really want more small children arriving at school having skipped breakfast.
As it is, in the last few days of the month before food stamps are distributed, some children often eat less and have trouble focusing, says Kisha Hill, a teacher in a high-poverty prekindergarten school in North Tulsa, Okla.
“Kids can’t focus on studying when their stomachs are grumbling,” Hill told me.
Some 47 million Americans receive food stamps, including some who would otherwise go hungry — or hungrier. A recent government study found that about 5 percent of American households have “very low food security,” which means that food can run out before the end of the month. In almost a third of those households, an adult reported not eating for an entire day because there wasn’t money for food.
Meanwhile, 14 percent of American toddlers suffer iron deficiency. Malnutrition isn’t the only cause, but it’s an important one — and these children may suffer impaired brain development as a result. This kind of malnutrition in America is tough to measure, because some children are simultaneously malnourished and overweight, but experts agree it’s a problem. We expect to find malnourished or anemic children in Africa and Asia, but it’s dispiriting to see this in a country as wealthy as our own.
Let me take that back. It’s not just dispiriting. It’s also infuriating.
“The cutback in food stamps represents a clear threat to the nutritional status and health of America’s children,” says Dr. Irwin Redlener, the president of the Children’s Health Fund and a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University. Dr. Redlener said that one result of cutbacks will be more kids with anemia and educational difficulties.
Food stamp recipients already took a cut in benefits this month, and they may face more. The Senate Democratic version of the farm bill would cut food stamps by $4 billion over 10 years, while the House Republican version would slash them by $40 billion.
More than 90 percent of benefits go to families living below the poverty line, according to federal government data, and nearly two-thirds of the recipients are children, elderly or disabled.
Let’s remember that the government already subsidizes lots of food. When wealthy executives dine at fancy French restaurants, part of the bill is likely to be deducted from taxes, which amounts to a subsidy from taxpayers. How is it that food subsidies to anemic children are more controversial than food subsidies to executives enjoying coq au vin?
Meanwhile, the same farm billthat is hotly debated because of food stamps includes agricultural subsidies that don’t go just to struggling farmers but also, in recent years, to 50 billionaires or companies they are involved in, according to the Environmental Working Group, a Washington research group.
Among the undeserving people receiving farm subsidies has been a New York Timescolumnist. Yes, I have been paid $588 a year not to grow crops on wooded land I own in Oregon (I then forward the money to a maternity hospital in Somaliland). When our country pays a New York journalist not to grow crops in an Oregon forest, there’s a problem with the farm bill — but it’s not food stamps.
Granted, safety-net spending is more about treating symptoms of poverty than causes, and we may get more bang for the buck when we chip away at long-term poverty through early education, home visitation for infants, job training and helping teenagers avoid unwanted pregnancies.
That said, food stamps do work in important ways. For starters, they effectively reduce the number of children living in extreme poverty by half, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington.
By improving nutrition of young children, food stamps also improve long-term outcomes. In recent years, mounting scholarship has found that malnutrition in utero or in small children has lasting consequences. One reason seems to be that when a fetus or small child is undernourished, it is programmed to anticipate food shortages for the remainder of its life. If food later becomes plentiful, the metabolic mismatch can lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
An excellent study last year from the National Bureau of Economic Research followed up on the rollout of food stamps, county by county, between 1961 and 1975. It found that those who began receiving food stamps by the age of 5 had better health as adults. Women who as small children had benefited from food stamps were more likely to go farther in school, earn more money and stay off welfare.
So slashing food stamp benefits — overwhelmingly for children, the disabled and the elderly — wouldn’t be a sign of prudent fiscal management by Congress. It would be a mark of shortsighted cruelty.
One. What are the current statistics for food stamps?
47 million Americans receive food stamps to combat hunger.
About 5% of Americans have “very low food security,” meaning food can run out before the next source of income.
In one-third of those households, an adult “reported not eating for the entire day.”
Fourteen percent of toddlers suffer iron deficiency. This can result in impaired brain development.
Impaired brain development and other health problems will cost taxpayers far more than food stamps.
The essay’s author Nicholas Kristof finds it “infuriating” that a wealthy country like America allows this kind of hunger and malnutrition to go on. He expresses his outrage at a time when Congress is debating to slash the food stamp program.
Democrats at the time of this essay wanted to slash food stamps by $4 billion over 10 years; Republicans wanted to slash them by $40 billion.
More than 90% of the families who receive food stamps live below the poverty line. Nearly two-thirds of the recipients are children, the elderly, and the disabled.
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones explains how Fox News uses wrong statistics and does so incompetently. MSNBC also discredits Fox News for what are essentially false statistics. Eventually, Fox News retracted its false claim, we read on The Hill.
Food stamp fraud continues to go down, we read in Time, March 30, 2017, issue.
Two. How does the government offer “food stamp” subsidies to the rich?
When they dine at expensive restaurants, the rich can deduct the bill as a tax write-off.
There’s controversy about feeding the poor but no controversy about the government helping to pay the expenses for the rich’s opulent meals, caviar, champagne, etc.
Additionally, the farm bill gives aid to 50 billionaires or companies.
More surprisingly, the government pays Kristof $588 a year to not grow crops on his wooded land in Oregon. He gives the money to a maternity hospital.
The author is outraged at a double standard that rewards the rich and punishes the poor.
Three. What counterargument does Kristof address?
He concedes that food stamps are not perfect. After all, they treat the symptoms, not the root causes, of hunger. He further concedes that we should “chip away at long-term poverty through early education, home visitation for infants, job training, and helping teenagers avoid unwanted pregnancies.”
However, he offers a rebuttal that food stamps are effective in many ways:
They reduce the number of children living in extreme poverty by half.
They give nutrition to the fetus and stave off long-term health problems to that fetus.
He concludes that slashing food stamps would be “a mark of shortsighted cruelty.”
Counterargument-Rebuttal Section Focus:
Your focus should be on food stamp fraud.
Here is an excellent New York Times article: "Food Stamp Fraud, Rare but Troubling"
Using the data from the above article, we could argue that people who use anecdotes to support their argument are committing the anecdotal fallacy, which states that it's easy for us to remember egregious personal examples than plain facts. The personal examples of "hellacious" food stamp fraud do exist, but they don't negate the 97-99% of food stamp users who are benefitting legally from the government aid.
"Cutting Food Stamps Will Cost Everyone" in The Atlantic: The writer Chin Jou points out that childhood obesity will result from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cuts and that childhood obesity is more costly to taxpayers in the long-run.
"The Economic Case for Food Stamps" in The Atlantic
"How America's Welfare System Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help" in Reason Magazine
"The Abuse and Unhealthy Consequences of Food Stamps" by Sapra Rampersaud
With the pending reauthorization of the farm bill next year, President Trump and the Republican Congress have the chance to reform a food-stamp system that is spiraling out of control. In doing so, they should focus on two key problems with the status quo: the abuse of federal aid by participants who should not qualify for it, and the unhealthy consequences of cheap and non-nutritional food choices.
Make no mistake: The system is being abused. For years, my family and I have stood in long lines through sweltering summer and freezing winter days to collect food from food pantries or requalify for food stamps. While doing so, we’ve watched as highly under- if not unqualified people stand beside us in line, gaming the system and making a lifestyle out of welfare. These people wear expensive shoes and name-brand clothes; they hold the latest iPhones and carry designer bags. Disgracefully, they await the same benefits as the members of my family who wear torn and hand-me-down clothes.
According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, more than $10.5 billion in food stamps are provided to almost 5 million “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs) each year – that is nearly $200 per person per month. These individuals are between the ages of 18 and 49, neither have nor live with children under 18, maintain no physical or mental disability, and are not pregnant. More than half of them smoke cigarettes each month — “on average 19 packs of cigarettes” costing around $111 per month. Additionally, the report illustrates the high levels of fraud associated with these ABAWDs such as underreported income.
To call it unfair is an understatement. At eight years old, I would stand in those lines and think of the people who can’t rightfully qualify for nutritional assistance because other people lack respect for the system. What I didn’t realize back then was that these abusers weren’t the problem; the system itself was.
The new administration has proposed several avenues of reform. One is to cut federal funding for food stamps by 25 percent. This would not necessarily mean a reduction in benefits, as Trump and other politicians have encouraged states to provide their own funding to make up the difference. But if states were footing the bill, they would have a greater incentive to limit the assistance to genuinely eligible individuals and families.
Work requirements are another idea to reduce abuse. By requiring beneficiaries to prove that they are employed or actively looking for work, governments can prevent recipients from making a “lifestyle” based on welfare. When Maine imposed these requirements on food stamps — allowing those who couldn’t find jobs to perform community service or attend job-training programs instead — it saw its caseload decline 80 percent among able-bodied adults without dependent children.
The second issue is one that Michelle Obama dedicated eight years to, but from the wrong angle. Obesity in the United States is undoubtedly a growing concern and issue. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese, and these issues are linked to more than 60 chronic diseases. The dilemma lies in the availability of unhealthy-but-cheap food and healthy-yet-expensive food. It has become a pattern in the developed world for those who are less wealthy to be overweight.
Obesity will not be prevented at the school level — where the former first lady tried — but at home. Any reform to the farm bill should prohibit the use of food stamps to buy unhealthy foods. According to a USDA report, among households receiving food stamps, 9 percent of food expenditures are on sweetened beverages, 7 percent on prepared desserts, 3 percent on salty snacks, and 2 percent on candy — about 21 percent total (and about 19 percent for non-food-stamp households). Restrictions on unhealthy food have already been implemented in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, wherein qualified mothers receive stamps to purchase certain foods high in nutritional value, such as milk and cheese.
The farm bill is a chance to address a pressing issue: the abuse and unhealthy consequences of our current food-stamp program. If President Trump and Republicans in Congress can stand united on this front, maybe we can see actual reform.
Support, refute or complicate Nicholas Kristof’s assertion that slashing food stamps is morally indefensible.
Food stamps create lifelong dependency. Rebuttal: 87% of recipients will work within a year.
Food stamps create rampant fraud. Fraud is only about 1%, so we should not use anecdotal evidence.
Sample Outline for a 5-Page Essay
Page 1 is Your First Paragraph: For the introduction, you frame the debate: Why some people like Kristof advocate food stamps while others want them to be cut. 250 words.
Or you might know someone on food stamps, and you can tell a compelling story about this person or family that will catch the reader's attention. (also 250 words)
Paragraph 2: Develop a thesis with a concession clause: (150 words, 400 subtotal)
Thesis Sample That Supports Kristof
While I acknowledge that there is some fraud, abuse, and dysfunctional dependency created by food stamps, we must continue to provide them to the poor and disabled because it is not fair to punish innocent children, providing fetal nutrition saves the taxpayers over the long-term, we cannot have the double standard of subsidizing the rich with tax write-offs, essentially paying for 30% of their "business meals," while making the poor starve.
Or a Sample That Partly Supports Kristof
While Kristof makes compelling points about our moral need to provide food stamps to the poor, his essay fails to address the dysfunctional components of a food stamp program that needs deep reform in matters of imposing limits, making mandatory job training as a requirement for food stamps, and stronger barriers for preventing food stamp abuse.
Or a Sample That Excoriates Current Food Stamp Program
The current food stamp program is a farce rooted in moral bankruptcy evidenced by its disregard for any kind of conduct so that people receiving food stamps do so in a limited manner while achieving job training; its racist policy of setting a low standard of behavior resulting in marginalizing entire communities that forever cannot participate in the American Dream; its indifference to the underground economies that are created by the rampant abuses; and its policy of making recipients afraid of making too much money on their own for fear of being cut off support.
Paragraphs 3-6 are your supporting paragraphs at 150 words each. (600 plus 400 is 1,000 subtotal)
Paragraph 7 would address your first counterargument and rebuttal. 200 words (1,200 subtotal)
Paragraph 8 would address your second counterargument and rebuttal. 200 words (1,400 subtotal).
Conclusion: Dramatic restatement of your thesis in 100 words. 1,500 grand total.
Sample of Two Counterarguments and Rebuttals
My opponents will argue that there is food stamp fraud, and that is just reason for cutting food stamps for all. However, my opponents are misguided when we consider that food stamp fraud is less than 3%. (updated: now it's down to less than 1.5%)
Examples of Counterargument-Rebuttal Statements
While author X makes many compelling points, her overall argument collapses under the weight of __________, ___________, ___________, and ______________.
My opponents will point out that X, Y, and Z. However, their points fail to be convincing in light of A, B, and C.
The above would have to be developed into a paragraph that would be about a half page.
Secondly, my opponents will argue that food stamps create a cycle of dependency. However, while there are abuses, most food stamp recipients are employed within a year. It should also be noted that many full-time American workers don't get paid enough money to feed their families and, as many Walmart employees will tell you, they need assistance. Therefore, it is greedy companies like Walmart that are bilking the taxpayers, not poor Americans.
The above would have to be developed into a paragraph that would be about a half page.
A conclusion should be an emotional restatement of your thesis. You want your conclusion to be powerful and emotional so that it sticks with the reader.
Your Works Cited page:
Avoiding Comma Splices
To avoid comma splices, you need to know the difference between punctuating two sentences with a conjunctive adverb and two sentences with a FANBOYS (coordinating conjunction).
A comma splice is joining two sentences with a comma when you should separate them with a period or a semicolon.
To the contrary
As far as we can tell
To be on point
To put it bluntly
If I may be so bold
If you will allow me to interject
To be sure
FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
I don't eat sugar, for sugar elevates insulin, which elevates appetite.
I don't eat sugar because sugar elevates insulin, which elevates appetite. (because is subordinating conjunction)
For a cheat meal, I will typically eat a lavish seven-course Thai feast followed by several slices of berry pie larded with vanilla ice cream, yet I will avoid alcohol.
For a cheat meal, I will typically eat a lavish seven-course Thai feast with various manifestations of spicy curry followed by several slices of berry pie larded with vanilla ice cream. However, I will avoid alcohol.
However is one of many conjunctive adverbs that too often are misused to create a comma splice:
I avoid alcohol, however, once a week I may sip some of my wife's red wine.
Two Correct Sentences
I avoid alcohol; however, once a week I may sip some of my wife's red wine.
I avoid alcohol. However, once a week I may sip some of my wife's red wine.
I decided not to get the Accord Sport 1.5 Turbo, instead, I got the 2.0.
I decided not to get the Accord Sport 1.5 Turbo. Instead, I got the 2.0.
Examples of Comma Splices
People love Facebook, however, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
People love Facebook. However, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
Though people love Facebook, they fail to realize Facebook is sucking all their energy.
Patience is difficult to cultivate, it grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Patience is difficult to cultivate. It grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Because patience grows within us so slowly, patience is extremely difficult to cultivate.
You can use a comma between two complete sentences when you join them with a FANBOYS word or coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
People love Facebook, but they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
FANBOYS is a handy mnemonic device for remembering the coordinating conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. These words function as connectors. They can connect words, phrases, and clauses, like this:
Words: I am almost dressed and ready.
Phrases: My socks are in the living room or under my bed.
Clauses: They smell really bad, so they will be easy to find.
Notice the comma in the final example. You should always have a comma before FANBOYS that join two independent clauses (two subjects and two verbs that make up two complete thoughts). Look carefully at the next two sentences to see two independent clauses separated by comma + FANBOYS.
If you do not have two subjects and two verbs separated by the FANBOYS, you do not need to insert the comma before the FANBOYS. In other words, if the second grouping of words isn’t a complete thought, don’t use a comma. Try reading the words after FANBOYS all by themselves. Do they make a complete thought?
You can read your own writing in the same way. Read what comes after FANBOYS all by itself. If it’s a complete thought, you need a comma. If not, you don’t.
3. The dreaded comma splice
If you don’t have FANBOYS between the two complete and separate thoughts, using a comma alone causes a “comma splice” or “fused sentence” (some instructors may call it a run-on). Some readers (especially professors) will think of this as a serious error.
- BAD: My hamster loved to play, I gave him a hula-hoop.
- ALSO BAD: You wore a lovely hat, it was your only defense.
To fix these comma splices, you can do one of four simple things: just add FANBOYS, change the comma to a semicolon, make each clause a separate sentence, or add a subordinator (a word like because, while, although, if, when, since, etc.)
- GOOD: You wore a lovely hat, for it was your only defense.
- ALSO GOOD: You wore a lovely hat; it was your only defense.
- STILL GOOD: You wore a lovely hat. It was your only defense.
- TOTALLY GOOD: You wore a lovely hat because it was your only defense.
4. FANBOYS fakers
However, therefore, moreover, and other words like them are not FANBOYS (they are called conjunctive adverbs). They go between two complete thoughts, just like FANBOYS, but they take different punctuation. Why? Who cares? You just need to recognize that they are not FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so—remember?), and you’ll make the right choice.
When you want to use one of these words, you have two good choices. Check to see if you have a complete thought on both sides of the “conjunctive adverb.” If you do, then you can use a period to make two sentences, or you can use a semicolon after the first complete thought. Either way, you’ll use a comma after the faker in the second complete thought. Notice the subtle differences in punctuation here:
- GOOD: Basketball is my favorite sport. However, table tennis is where I excel.
- ALSO GOOD: Basketball is my favorite sport; however, table tennis is where I excel.
- BAD: Basketball is my favorite sport, however table tennis is where I excel.
- ALSO BAD: Basketball is my favorite sport, however, table tennis is where I excel.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week. Nonetheless, he remained skinny.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week, but he remained skinny.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW. Instead, she bought the Acura.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW, yet she did buy the Acura.
Steve wasn't interested in college. Moreover, he didn't want to work full-time.
Steve wasn't interested in college, and he didn't want to work full-time.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me. However, I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do, however, want you to help me do my taxes.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid. Consequently, I think we should break up.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid, so I think we should break up.
Students hate reading. Therefore, they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Students hate reading, so they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Avoiding Comma Splices and Run-Ons
Fused (run-on) sentence
Klee's paintings seem simple, they are very sophisticated.
She doubted the value of medication she decided to try it once.
A fused sentence (also called a run-on) joins clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence with no punctuation or words to link them. Fused sentences must be either divided into separate sentences or joined by adding words or punctuation.
I was strongly attracted to her, she was beautiful and funny.
We hated the meat loaf, the cafeteria served it every Friday.
A comma splice occurs when only a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, connect the clauses with a word such as and or because, or restructure the sentence.
After each sentence, put a “C” for Correct or a “CS” for Comma Splice. If the sentence is a comma splice, rewrite it so that it is correct.
One. Bailey used to eat ten pizzas a day, now he eats a spinach salad for lunch and dinner.
Two. Marco no longer runs on the treadmill, instead he opts for the less injury-causing elliptical trainer.
Three. Running can cause shin splints, which can cause excruciating pain.
Four. Running in the incorrect form can wreak havoc on the knees, slowing down can often correct the problem.
Five. While we live in a society where 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers are on the rise, the reading of books, sad to say, is on the decline.
Six. Facebook is a haven for narcissists, it encourages showing off with selfies and other mundane activities that are ways of showing how great and amazing our lives our, what a sham.
Seven. We live in a society where more and more Americans are consuming 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers, however, those same Americans are reading less and less books.
Eight. Love is a virus from outer space, it tends to become most contagious during April and May.
Nine. The tarantula causes horror in many people, moreover there is a species of tarantula in Brazil, the wandering banana spider, that is the most venomous spider in the world.
Ten. Even though spiders cause many people to recoil with horror, most species are harmless.
Eleven. The high repair costs of European luxury vehicles repelled Amanda from buying such a car, instead she opted for a Japanese-made Lexus.
Twelve. Amanda got a job at the Lexus dealership, now she’s trying to get me a job in the same office.
Thirteen. While consuming several cinnamon buns, a twelve-egg cheese omelet, ten slices of French toast slathered in maple syrup, and a tray of Swedish loganberry crepes topped with a dollop of blueberry jam, I contemplated the very grave possibility that I might be eating my way to a heart attack.
Fourteen. Even though I rank marijuana far less dangerous than most pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, and other commonly used intoxicants, I find marijuana unappealing for a host of reasons, not the least of which is its potential for radically degrading brain cells, its enormous effect on stimulating the appetite, resulting in obesity, and its capacity for over-relaxing many people so that they lose significant motivation to achieve their primary goals, opting instead for a life of sloth and intractable indolence.
McMahon Grammar Lesson: Parallelism
Thesis Statements Need Parallelism
Parallelism’s importance is most apparent when looking at mapping components in a thesis. We want those components to be written in parallel form whether we’re referring to a list of phrases or clauses.
Faulty Parallelism Example
Marijuana should be legalized because it’s safer than alcohol and many pharmaceutical drugs, its medicinal properties; it’s a fool’s errand to wage a war against it, and keeping it illegal increases criminal activity.
Above we have a mix of clauses and phrases. We should correct it by changing all the mapping components to clauses.
Marijuana should be legalized because it’s safer than alcohol and many pharmaceutical drugs; it has medicinal properties; it is too common to waste money in a feeble attempt to eradicate it, and in illegal form it results in too much criminal activity.
"You're Ugly, Too" and "Greenleaf" feature characters whose pride is born as a coping mechanism to the intense pain of loss and loneliness. However, the coping mechanism of pride becomes maladaptive when we consider pride builds a wall of solipsism, fortifies a prison of learned helplessness, and the lie of self-sufficiency.
"You're Ugly, Too" and "Greenleaf" feature characters whose pride is born as a coping mechanism to the intense pain of loss and loneliness. However, the coping mechanism of pride becomes maladaptive when we consider pride builds a wall of solipsism, fortifies a prison of learned helplessness, and spawns the lie of self-sufficiency.
The deluded fantasies of the married man in "The Other Woman" speak to men's unrealistic expectations of marriage evidenced by men's desire to embrace the forbidden Eros of Angelina Jolie, the squeaky clean innocence of Jennifer Aniston, and he wants a trophy wife.
The deluded fantasies of the married man in "The Other Woman" speak to men's unrealistic expectations of marriage evidenced by men's desire to embrace the forbidden Eros of Angelina Jolie, the squeaky clean innocence of Jennifer Aniston, and the upper class status of the judge's daughter.
The Man-Child, embodied by Francis Weed in "The Country Husband," is characterized by his propensity for indulging his lust and anti-social aggression at the expense of societal and family responsibility, his fixation on his youth as his central identity, and he likes to party.
The Man-Child, embodied by Francis Weed in "The Country Husband," is characterized by his propensity for indulging his lust and anti-social aggression at the expense of societal and family responsibility, his fixation on his youth as his central identity, and his inclination for intractable self-pity.
We use parallelism in all types of writing.
The instructor sometimes indulges in bloviating, pontificating, and likes to self-aggrandize.
We see above two gerunds followed by an infinitive, which is a faulty mix.
The instructor sometimes indulges in bloviating, pontificating, and self-aggrandizing.
Using parallelism after a colon
Kettlebell exercises work on the major muscle groups: thighs, gluteus, back, and make the shoulder muscles bigger.
Kettlebell exercises work on the major muscle groups: thighs, gluteus, back, and shoulders.
Grammar Exercise: Parallelism
Correct the faulty parallelism by rewriting the sentences below.
One. Parenting toddlers is difficult for many reasons, not the least of which is that toddlers contradict everything you ask them to do; they have giant mood swings, and all-night tantrums.
Two. You should avoid all-you-can-eat buffets: They encourage gluttony; they feature fatty, over-salted foods and high sugar content. (they lard their food with high sugar content)
Three. I prefer kettlebell training at home than the gym because of the increased privacy, the absence of loud “gym” music, and I’m able to concentrate more.
Four. To write a successful research paper you must adhere to the exact MLA format, employ a variety of paragraph transitions, and writing an intellectually rigorous thesis. (write, not writing)
Five. The difficulty of adhering to the MLA format is that the rules are frequently being updated, the sheer abundance of rules you have to follow, and to integrate your research into your essay.
The difficulty of adhering to the MLA format is that you have to constantly stay updated on the changing rules, you have to memorize the sheer abundance of citation rules, and you have to learn to integrate research sources into your writing.
Six. You should avoid watching “reality shows” on TV because they encourage a depraved form of voyeurism; they distract you from your own problems, and their brain-dumbing effects.
Seven. I’m still fat even though I’ve tried the low-carb diet, the Paleo diet, the Rock-in-the-Mouth diet, and fasting every other day.
Eight. To write a successful thesis, you must have a compelling topic, a sophisticated take on that topic, and developing a thesis that elevates the reader’s consciousness to a higher level.
Nine. Getting enough sleep, exercising daily, and the importance of a positive attitude are essential for academic success.
Ten. My children never react to my calm commands or when I beg them to do things.
Sentence Fragment Review
No main verb
An essay with a clear thesis and organization.
An essay with a clear thesis and organization has a stronger probability of succeeding.
An education system based on standardized tests with no flexible interpretation of those tests
An education system based on standardized tests with no flexible interpretation of those tests will inevitably discriminate against non-native speakers.
No main subject
With too much emphasis on standardized tests targeting upper class Anglo students
With too much emphasis on standardized tests targeting upper class Anglo students, No Child Left Behind remains a form of discrimination.
With my fish tacos overloaded with mango salsa and Manchego cheese
With my fish tacos overloaded with mango salsa and Manchego cheese, they fell apart upon the first bite.
Until you learn to not overload your fish tacos
Until you learn to not overload your fish tacos, your tacos will fall apart.
Examples of Student Fragments
People are never happy with what they have. Always trying to be something they're not.
Star Trek predicted what the future would be like. A world where an abundant supply of technology helps the human race.
Since being drawn to social media, we're together now more than ever. Not communicating with conversation but only connecting.
Don’t allow gerunds and participles to stand alone.
Having Facebook friends whose GoFundMe accounts that are always asking for money.
Babbling about the Presidential election.
Stuffing my mouth with cream cheese and bagels.
Examining the reasons for staying in college.
Running toward the buffet table.
Running toward the buffet table is dangerous. (gerund noun phrase)
Running toward the buffet table, Mo tripped and broke his wrist. (participle phrase modifies Mo, so it’s also called an adjective phrase)
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese.
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese can lead to a heart attack. (gerund noun phrase)
Eating bucket-fulls of cashew and walnut pesto larded with Parmesan cheese, Augustine was oblivious of his girlfriend who sat across from him at the table looking at his exhibition of gluttony with horror and disgust. (participle phrase that modifies Augustine).
Augustine dreams of eating a ricotta pound cake smothered with whipped cream and strawberries. (gerund noun phrase is the object of the sentence)
Elliot was a vulgar philistine. Evidenced by a love of gold and sequin-encrusted toilets.
Elliot was a vulgar philistine evidenced by a love of gold and sequin-encrusted toilets.
Don’t let prepositional phrases stand alone.
A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition.
Under the bridge, the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock star contemplated the emptiness of his life and wrote “Under the Bridge.”
In "Growing Up Tethered" by Sherry Turkle is talking about why more teens are more focused on their phones than real people.
In the above, get rid of the preposition "In."
I enjoyed my run. In spite of your choice to abandon me and leave me to run alone in the rain. (prepositional phrase can’t stand alone)
I enjoyed my run in spite of your choice to abandon me and leave me to run alone in the rain.
Don’t let an appositional phrase stand alone.
An appositional phrase is a the use of phrase to rename a noun.
My father, a military man, speaks in a loud, bombastic voice.
I listen to the loud voice of my father, a military man.
Bo Jackson, the most freakish physical specimen of the last century, suffered a career-stopping hip injury. That sent his fans into mourning.
Bo Jackson, the most freakish physical specimen of the last century, suffered a career-stopping hip injury, which sent his fans into mourning.
My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson. The most freakish specimen of the last century.
My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson, the most freakish specimen of the last century.
I dreamed last night that I was sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus GS350. One of the greatest cars ever built.
I dreamed last night that I was sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus GS350, one of the greatest cars ever built.
In 1969, I swooned over my third-grade classmate Patty Wilson. A pulchritudinous goddess from another planet.
In 1969, I swooned over my third-grade classmate Patty Wilson, a pulchritudinous goddess from another planet.
Don’t let an infinitive phrase stand alone. An infinitive phrase is a “to verb,” which is not a real verb.
To know me is to love me.
Working in his lab for ten years, Dr. Kragen was obsessed with creating a new type of Greek yogurt. To see if he could create a yogurt with 100 grams of protein per cup.
Working in his lab for ten years, Dr. Kragen was obsessed with creating a new type of Greek yogurt to see if he could create a yogurt with 100 grams of protein per cup.
Don’t let an adjective clause stand alone.
An adjective clause is that or which followed by a subject and a verb.
I like cars that feel like they’ve been built with care and precision.
Spotify, which I joined last year, has kept me from spending money on iTunes.
I spend most of my listening time on Spotify. Which costs me ten dollars a month and saves me from spending up to $100 a month on iTunes.
I spend most of my listening time on Spotify, which costs me ten dollars a month and saves me from spending up to $100 a month on iTunes.
People who lard their salads with candied nuts.
People who lard their salads with candied nuts have to admit they can only eat salad if they make it taste like pecan pie.
People who cut you off and then drive really slowly as if they're trying to enrage you on purpose.
People who cut you off and then drive really slowly as if they're trying to enrage you on purpose are passive-aggressive miscreants.
People who sign up for community college classes and then ignore the syllabus.
People who sign up for community college classes and then ignore the syllabus are more in love with the idea of going to college than actually going to college.
People who think marriage will cure them of their immaturity and give them instant status as winners in society.
People who think marriage will cure them of their immaturity and give them instant status as winners in society are delusional charlatans who are on the road to divorce.
Don’t let an adverbial clause stand alone.
An adverbial clause modifies a verb.
I like to do my kettlebell workouts when my twins are in school.
When it’s too hot to exercise, I slog through my kettlebell workouts.
I tend to inhale gallons of rocky road chocolate chip ice cream. As a depressive reaction to “Lonely Night Saturdays.”
I tend to inhale gallons of rocky road chocolate chip ice cream as a depressive reaction to “Lonely Night Saturdays.”
Don’t let any long phrase or clause be confused with a complete sentence.
Although I studied herpetology and kinesiology during my stay in the Peruvian mountains while keeping warm in the hides of Alpaca and other mountain-dwelling bovine creatures.
Although I studied herpetology and kinesiology during my stay in the Peruvian mountains while keeping warm in the hides of Alpaca and other mountain-dwelling bovine creatures, I feel I didn’t retain much information during my two-year stay there.
Find Fragments and Comma Splices
The other night I consumed a tub of Greek yogurt with peanut butter and honey so I'd have enough energy to watch a documentary about world hunger.
I wasn't really hungry, I was anxious. Whenever I get anxious; which is all the time, I eat like a demon.
Anxiety propels me to stuff my face even when I’m not hungry. The mechanical act of eating. Using my greedy hands to lift food to my mouth and then hearing my mandibles and molars crunch the food matter into mush, has a soothing effect on my anxieties—like giving a teething biscuit to a baby.
Anxiety compels me to engage in the practice of “preemptive eating.” The idea that even though I’m not hungry at this moment, I might be “on the road” inside my car far away from nutritional resources so I had better fill up while I can. In truth, I’m not “on the road” that often evidenced by the fact that my nine-year-old car has only 33 thousand miles on the odometer. Clearly, then, my impulse for preemptive eating is indefensible.
But you see, my anxieties exaggerate the circumstances so that I have ample food reserves in my car—cases of high-protein chocolate peanut butter bars and a case of bottled water. All that unnecessary weight in the trunk compromises my gas mileage, but my anxieties are a cruel tyrant.
Anxiety is the reason that, in spite of my hardcore kettlebell workouts, I am a good twenty pounds overweight. Being twenty pounds overweight makes me anxious, and these anxieties, in turn, make me want to eat more.
Contemplating this vicious cycle is making me extremely anxious.
Good food makes me anxious.
Just thinking about good food can make me so anxious I’ll obsess over it in bed, so I’ll toss and turn all night. Like a heroin addict.
When I was in my early twenties, I ate donuts that were so good I wanted to drop out of college, give up on relationships, and hole myself up in my mother’s basement. Where I’d spend the rest of my life eating donuts.
I suffer from food insomnia. Meaning that fixating at night on a certain delicious meal I once had can prevent me from falling asleep.
There’s one food in particular that keeps me up at night—chocolate brownies.
Chocolate brownies are the best delivery system for sending an explosion of chocolate into the brain’s pleasure centers. Chocolate brownies saturate my brain with so much dopamine that after eating a brownie platter it’s not safe for me to drive or to operate heavy mechanical equipment. When I was a kid, I took cough medicine laced with codeine, and there was a warning label on the back: “Not safe to drive or to operate heavy mechanical equipment.” Chocolate brownie mix should have the same warning on the back of the box.
The best brownies mix I’ve ever had are Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies from Costco. I’ve purchased the same brand from other stores, but the Costco version is the best. Costco apparently uses its special powers to have Ghirardelli make an exclusive proprietary formula that is far superior to other versions, this fact has been corroborated by conversations I’ve had with Orange County housewives.
I don’t live in Orange County, and I don’t normally have conversations with housewives. That I talked with them about the superior quality of the exclusive Costco version of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies mix attests to the severity of my unhealthy dependence on food.
Costco does a good job of making you think about food. Before you even walk inside Costco, you smell the freshly baked cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, and cream Danish. The smell makes you run inside the store.
Chronologically speaking, I am supposed to be an adult, but like a kid, I’m running toward the Costco entrance while pushing an empty shopping cart. I must be a scary sight. This 240-pound middle-aged bald guy aggressively pushing his battering ram into a giant food larder. Where he will pillage the spoils. I’m like an Old Testament warlord about to ransack a defeated city.