Describe, in a complete sentence for each paragraph of the essay, how each paragraph works toward supporting or clarifying the essays focus. If each paragraph does not add support to the essays point, say so tactfully.

Essay One
Evaluating a Generalization Made in a Short Documentary

Do you believe every scientific claim you hear?
If youre like most Americans, you dont, and there are a variety of reasons why, the least of which is a conflict between religion and scientific theories.
More Americans are more informed about a variety of issues because of the internets ability to bring us factual information (or what appears to be factual information) quickly.
Consider the number of times you have asked a question about something you read or heard, only to discover that no one around really knows the answer? If you did not immediately look up the answer on a computer or phone, you might be in the minority of people who are not naturally curious.

How Much of What We Hear or Read Can We Believe?
A thought-provoking article published in The Atlantic, titled Americans Believe in Science, Just Not Its Findings, examined what Americans tend to believe or disbelieve about science. In evaluating the results of a poll, Julie Beck determines that in the time of the Internet, someone can find evidence (real or not) to support almost any belief he wants. Theres an understandable bias toward valuing evidence that reinforces already-held beliefs with people believing that the experts who agree with them must be right.
If we are already convinced by what one expert believes, though, are we truly informed in an accurate way?

Confronting Biases
Is it rare, then, to find sources of information that are unbiased, thus objectively factual in their findings?
How do we recognize when a source is presenting biased information?

Identifying Generalizations that Are Exaggerations
Red flags should flash for you whenever you read a generalized claim, especially if the writer never bothers to supply verifiable evidence.
I once had a student argue that he preferred using generalizations in his argumentative essays because they were harder to disprove. I pointed out that readers who use critical thinking when they read will see through this ploy and realize that he really has no evidence to support his ideas. In fact, any exception to a generalization means that the generalization does not hold in every circumstance, so is, essentially, unsupportable and unbelievable.
For instance, one of my favorite logical fallacy blogs, Logically Fallacious, has a banner that reads, You cannot prove that taking this course wont make you a billionaire. Therefore, it will (Bennett). Just because we cant prove that taking the course wont make us billionaires is not proof that it will.
As writers, we must prove each claim we make, and the bigger the claim (or generalized idea) that we make, the harder it is to prove it is correct.

Evaluating a Documentary
For your Essay One, choose one of the short documentary clips below these assignment instructions in the Essay One folder under the Content tab to evaluate.
In your Essay One, correctly identify the generalized claim that is either provable or unprovable in the documentary, then use authoritative sources to provide evidence to support your claims about the generalization.
Why is the generalized claim supportable or unsupportable?
What evidence can you locate to support the claim or exists that can undermine the claim?
What evidence proves the claim is inaccurate in at least one instance?
Read the Sample Essay One also contained in the Essay One folder under the Content tab, so you get a better idea of the kind of analysis expected in this essay.

Technical Requirements
Your Essay One should adhere to the following requirements:
Be at least 750 words long.
Have at least three authoritative outside sources to prove your own claims (these are in addition to a bibliography for the video you are evaluating)
Be written and documented in MLA Style, either the 7th or 8th
Be single spaced, except for double spacing between paragraphs, between the title and the essay itself, and between the Works Cited subtitle and the essay and bibliographies.
Be saved as a Word file. Remember JCCC supplies you with Microsoft 365 free of charge (see the Virtual Instructors Office)
Be uploaded as a Word file to the appropriate Dropbox basket before 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 2nd.
Be posted in the Focus Workshop discussion forum immediately afterwards; remember, you can edit your posts (to preserve the required hanging indent on the bibliographies) even after you have posted them by using the dropdown arrow next to your posts title.

Works Cited
Beck, Julie. Americans Believe in Science, Just Not Its Findings. The Atlantic. January 29, 2015. Accessed January 8, 2017.
Bennett, Bo. Hasty Generalization. Logically Fallacious. 2016. Accessed January 8, 2017.

After saving your essay in Word, upload your essay file here for grading 24 hours before the deadline, so the system can check for similarities between your wording and the writing of others. Double check that you have used direct quotes appropriately by putting them in quotations and by providing documentationfor them.
Realize that any editing changes you make must be resubmitted, but will only be accepted up until the deadline time and day.
Sample Documentary Essay
Word Document

Actions for \’Sample Documentary Essay\’

The Story of Change
Video Topic

Actions for \’The Story of Change\’

Season Two of The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard continues the argument that convincing people to own more stuff should not be the goal of our economy, so provides strategies for how to change our economy. Beginning 4:10 minutes into the video, a series of statistics is given. Verify that at least one of them is accurate by providing verifiable evidence from authoritative sources.
The Impressionists
Video Topic

Actions for \’The Impressionists\’

At 2:03 minutes into the video, a speaker asserts that, when Impressionism happened, \”it was the toughest, most radical, most challenging art of any period of history. It was one of the big breaks in the history of art.\” Prove the claim is an exaggerationby discovering other, earlier radical changes in how humans create art.
Why Facts Won\’t Help You Win Arguments
Video Topic

Actions for \’Why Facts Won\’t Help You Win Arguments\’

Almost immediately, Trace Dominguez claims that \”how we debate serious issues has fundamentally changed: facts ain\’t facts for everybody.\” This video links in supporting sources below the video, which makes your research a little easier, but do your best to find this generalized claim is incorrect.
Stories from the Stone Age – 10of15
Video Topic

Actions for \’Stories from the Stone Age – 10of15\’

Many theories exist about how farming arose in Europe, but this video asserts, approximately 4:30 minutes in, that the invention of the plow happened in Europe, so was a \”uniquely European farming lifestyle.\” Prove or disprove this claim.
The women fighters taking revenge against IS – Newsnight
Video Topic

Actions for \’The women fighters taking revenge against IS – Newsnight\’

This video offers several generalizations–from the Islamic State\’s views on women to the number of women serving in the Kurdistan Workers\’ Party (usually called the PKK), to the claim that Turkey considers the PKK a terrorist group. Prove or disprove any one of these claims by using authoritative sources.
LAW121 – Criminal Justice System
Video Topic

Actions for \’LAW121 – Criminal Justice System\’

This instructional video from a New Zealand college class describes how our impression of the world is distorted by media bias toward events that are violent and frightening. The instructor states (at approximately 5:28 in) that \”street crime only occupies a small percentage of criminal activity in New Zealand.\” He emphasizes that how things are represented to us affects how we feel, and argues that there is a direct correlation between citizens\’ level of education and the level of crime in a community (at 9:18). Prove or disprove one or more of these claims with verifiable evidence.
How Much Money Do Chefs Really Make?
Video Topic

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The current costs of culinary education are rising in America, especially when compared to the average trained chef\’s salary, so this video tackles the question of why culinary enrollment is at an all-time high. In the process, Eater provides lots of statistics. Prove or disprove one or more of these claims.
The Medical Model vs. Holistic Medicine (Common Sense Medicine)
Video Topic

Actions for \’The Medical Model vs. Holistic Medicine (Common Sense Medicine)\’

Michael Berglund has a bit of fun comparing the differences between the well-established Medical Model of health care delivered in America to a lesser known Holistic Model. In the process, he makes many generalized claims about both forms of health care. Prove or disprove any of his claims.
Is Computer Programming Hard to Learn ?
Link Topic

Actions for \’Is Computer Programming Hard to Learn ?\’

Through interviews with many famous computer programmers, this video explores the main idea that keeps most people from learning how to program computers–that programming is hard to learn. In the process, the video covers a variety of generalized claims about computer programming. Prove or disprove any one of these claims by providing verifiable evidence from authoritative sources.
Focus Workshop
Discussion Topic

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Focus Workshop
Over Essay One Drafts

Copy and paste your completed Essay One draft here, so your peers can read and respond to it. Be certain to check the draft after you post it, in order to make certain we can see each paragraph break and each separation between each bibliography.Realize that you can edit your own post (as you can with any D2L post) by using the dropdown menu next to your post\’s title.
Carefully read your peers\’ Essay One drafts. Choose two essays to respond to for this workshop. Please \”share the love,\” meaning that, if an essay already has two responses to it, choose a different essay to workshop.
Copy (highlight the words then ctrl c) and paste (ctrl v) the questions below into a response post to each peer\’s essay. Then answer the questions, using complete sentences. Feel free to change the color or font of your responses, so we can tell the questions from the answers more easily. Note that responses that do not use the questions will not receive credit for the workshop.
Be specific in your responses, so your peer understands why you think what you think. Every question must be answered.
Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect piece of writing, so dont be timid about offering suggestions.
Be honest. Be thoughtful. Be tactful.
What is the focus/main point/purpose of the essay? Do not merely identify the topic, but clearly specify what it is you believe the writer wants us to believe about the documentarys ideas.
Choose three strong transitional ideas that help connect ideas as the essay progresses. List what they are and why they helped you understand the connections between the ideas.
Choose three weak transitional ideas that do not clearly connect ideas as the essay progresses. List what they are and suggest ways to create stronger transitions to help readers understand the connections between the ideas.
How does the writer convince you to believe her/his point of view about whether or not the claim(s) chosen is(are) accurate? If the writer does not clearly present verifiable evidence to support her/his claims, carefully explain to the writer where s/he has gotten off-track from the purpose of the assignment.
Describe, in a complete sentence for each paragraph of the essay, how each paragraph works toward supporting or clarifying the essays focus. If each paragraph does not add support to the essays point, say so tactfully.