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  1. Hello! I hope that this is the right place to ask this question. I'm currently looking for schools in the U.S. with strong courses/a big emphasis on speculative and fantasy fiction. So if a school has a strong creative writing program but doesn't have a focus on speculative/fantasy fiction, I would not be looking for it here. (I'm definitely keeping my options open though and it won't be my only deciding factor!) Getting really specific, classes on fantasy world building/culture building are really what I'm looking for but I'm open to absolutely anything that has a focus on popular fiction.
  2. Hi all. Covid is ruining my project, but I have to do my best for Phd. One of option is GRE. My gre writing for master school was 3.0. I know this is terrible, but English is my second language. Can anyone give me some tips for my writing or any good link? I read GRE books, but those did not basically change my scores. Thanks, guys.
  3. I'm considering applying to a MA program and from there to a PhD. Will probably focus on applied ethics in the areas of bioethics or AI. The writing sample is one of the most important parts of an application. I wanted to get some pointers on where I could find examples of successful writing samples for grad programs, so I can get a better sense of what my sample will need to be. I've looked at some journals for undergrad publications, which may go on to get repurposed as writing samples, but haven't found many writing samples specifically. Alternatively, you could just send me yours! If you are or were an MA philosophy student, and you wouldn't mind sending your writing sample, I'd certainly appreciate it if you could DM me a link or file. You can of course anonymize the paper if you prefer. A few things I'd request to be included are: Which program(s) you were accepted to with this writing sample (school name and whether it was MA or PhD). MA preferred as I'm leaning towards an MA first. When you applied Any comments you can provide on how you got feedback on your writing sample before submitting it Not to get greedy, but if you'd like to throw in your statement of purpose too, that would greatly help! At this stage, I'm just trying to get a good sense of what the whole end package of an application tends to look like. Many thanks for any pointers you can give!
  4. I had an underwhelming GPA in a difficult major from a top 10 but underrated public research university. I'm also in my late 30s - I've been thinking of grad/professional school for a long time, but I know it will be very challenging, and may not be worth it.For a while now, I'm been thinking of applying to the M.A. in Asian Studies at UC Berkeley and the M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies at University of San Francisco. I'd much prefer Asian American Studies, but very few schools offer an M.A. in that - the closest one seems to be UCLA, and I'd like to stay local and commute to school. There's an M.A. in Asian American Studies at SF State, but I know that SFSU doesn't have anywhere near the name recognition of UCB. My goals for those programs is to write, get published, be a "thought leader" (sorry if it sounds arrogant; it's not meant to be) in Asian or Asian American Studies, maybe lecture, and possibly teach in some capacity. My main goal would be to be a published author, whether through books, articles, journal papers, online digital content, etc. I just think of these master's programs as giving me a jumping point into what I want to do. I'd also love to go through the grad school experience - it would probably be very personally enriching. Also, like many people, I've always thought I would go to grad school, and it would be great to go to grad school at a top university. Any thoughts on the M.A. in Asian Studies at Berkeley, the M.A. in Asia Pacific Studies at USF, or the M.A. in Asian American Studies at SFSU? Has anyone gone through those programs, or know people who have completed them? How hard is it to get into those 3 programs? What is it like taking those programs, what do you learn or get out of it, what are the courses/students/professors like, and what do students do after they get their M.A.? Any other schools/masters programs you can recommend to me that are in the Bay Area, close to San Francisco? I'm also open to online masters programs, but there are hardly any offered in these fields, and they're from no-name and questionable schools.
  5. The following appeared as a letter to the editor from a Central Plaza store owner. "Over the past two years, the number of shoppers in Central Plaza has been steadily decreasing while the popularity of skateboarding has increased dramatically. Many Central Plaza store owners believe that the decrease in their business is due to the number of skateboard users in the plaza. There has also been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza. Thus, we recommend that the city prohibit skateboarding in Central Plaza. If skateboarding is prohibited here, we predict that business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels." Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation is likely to have the predicted result. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation. The letter from a Central Plaza store owner proposes that if skateboarding is prohibited from Central Plaza, then the business in Central Plaza will return to its previously high levels. The store owner bases this claims on the fact that the number of skateboard users in the plaza have increased in the past two years. Moreover, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of litter and vandalism throughout the plaza as well due to the copious skateboard users. However, there are a few questions which might need answering to before we move on with this suggestion. For example, is the increase in skateboarding directly correlated to the decrease in business of stores? Is the increase in litter and vandalism directly linked to the skateboarders or could there be other reasons for it? Firstly, can the decrease in number of shoppers in Central Plaza be directly attributed to the skateboarders? The central plaza store owners believe that slow business is due to the skateboarder users, however there is no proof provided by the owner to back this claim. There could be a number of reasons as to why people might turn away from Central Plaza. Maybe, a newer and better shopping centre has opened near by and that has attracted the attention of the people. Perhaps, some of the stores that attracted people to Central Plaza closed down and that is why some people have stopped shopping at Central Plaza. Moreover, there is a possibility that the number of shoppers coming to Central Plaza started decreasing more than two years ago. If any of the above examples holds true, then the suggestion put forward by the owner may not stand. Perhaps, if a survey is done asking people if they stopped coming to Central Plaza due to skateboard users, we might have a better grasp of the situation. Secondly, is there a particular reason for the increase in amount of litter and vandalism in Central Plaza? Its’ possible that the security team of Central Plaza has changed and the new team isn’t doing its job properly which has led to more vandalism, it can not be directly attributed to the skateboard users. Maybe due to decrease in number of shoppers, Central Plaza’s funds have been dwindling and they aren’t able to pay the cleaning workers at the appropriate time which has led to an increase in litter throughout the plaza. If applicable, then there is no need to prohibit skateboarders from Central Plaza. Maybe if security cameras are installed around the Plaza, we might have better idea as to who the miscreants are, and we might have a better understanding of the cause of increased vandalism and litter. The suggestion provided by the Central Plaza store owner, might work and may infect lead to a revival in the number of shoppers at Central Plaza, however as it stands, the argument doesn’t provide enough evidence and it would be imprudent to take such a harsh decision.
  6. The best way for a society to prepare its young people for leadership in government, industry, or other fields is by instilling in them a sense of cooperation, not competition. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position. Like the famous saying goes, 'If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far, walk together'. I suppose the greatest movements of our time have come through cooperation, comman belief and unity. When people start to work together, they become a stronger force. I agree with this statement, however, to some extent, having a will to compete goes a long way in making a good leader. Some of the qualities that a good leader must have are intelligence, ability to handle people and a strong sense of self-belief instilled in them. A good leader is required to lead from the front, able to rally his/her men and be the face of his/her people. A good leader must be humble, and have the power to accept a defeat or loss. They should be able to focus on the bigger picture and have a catholic mindset. When the younger generation is taught how to 'co-operate' instead of 'compete' they learn how to work together. They learn how to adjust, adapt and most importantly, in my opinion, how to listen to people. If you are always in the mood to 'compete' or prove yourself to be superior, you won't win a lot of fans or followers. And, in the long run, it is important that you gather an ardent following as the path to the top is long and ardous. If you want to get to the upper echelons of government, industry or any field for that fact, you must be ready to knuckle under in some circumstances. However, competition causes people to push themselves more, it gives motivation to people to do even better. It's important to instill this belief in people as well, as having a good fighting spirit is vital in the long run. You don't want to be like a sheep in a pack, you want to be the leader of the pack, the fox. For this, you must have a competitive spirit and this is the reason why competitions are important in the growth of younger people. Having a killer instinct is of vital importance for a leader. In the end, I believe it depends on the severity of the competition and cooperation. I think it is just as important to be cooperative as it is to be competitive. There should be a balance of both.
  7. Hi everyone, I hope you're staying sane during the quarantine. I am nearing the end of my 4th year in my PhD program in Biology. Up until about a month ago I thought I would be able to graduate at the end of my 5th year, but my advisers very suddenly decided they wanted me to do more experiments. Meanwhile some of my committee members have emphasized that I should stop doing research and just write everything up and try to graduate. I very much side with them. Unfortunately, I feel pretty powerless against my advisers and they do not seem to understand why someone would want to try to graduate in 5 years as opposed to just working and working until the research seems full fleshed out in every possible direction. Further, they drag their feet on editing my documents and will at first approve something and then later decide it needs to be held back for longer just in case more changes occur to them. I do feel that my research is about 80-90% complete in terms of the original expectations for the project, but my advisers are very fickle with what they want from the project and so according to their new desires for the project I'm only about 60-70% finished. A few people have suggested that I need to stick up for myself more and create structure that will get my advisers to adhere to a set of expectations so I know what I need to do. This would possibly involve a checklist of very specific goals and times for things to be completed by which we would all have to adhere to, meaning I put in the work and they agree to do whatever editing they want and sign off on it within the time-frame, as long as my work is good enough. But I am not sure if this is normal or reasonable for someone in my position. I heard that some students have a contract or timeline like this with their advisers, but I haven't met any who have told me that they have one. I wanted to see if anyone has been in a similar situation and created such a document or used different techniques to bring advisers around to their side in terms of graduating and being allowed to finish pieces of writing. Any stories or advice?
  8. I am DYING to know whether UCI’s Program in Writing has notified the next cohort if they’ve been accepted. Has anyone heard back? Should I just assume I didn’t make the cut?
  9. Hello, I am looking into start writing my thesis proposal, specifically doing the background research section. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to decide what information is important and should be included, how broad do I need to go? Just in general what advice do you have for writing the proposal and finding the background information? thanks!
  10. Hi everyone, I am applying for a PhD at universities in the UK. I have recently finished the first draft of my personal statement. I would like to receive some constructive feedback, so I wonder if there is anyone who could advise me on improving my personal statement. Also, I am happy to swap with someone else to help you improve your personal statement. Hope to hear back from you! Thanks.
  11. Please help me by grading my essay written for this issue prompt. Please grade it in accordance to the GRE scoring guide .(https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/issue/scoring_guide). Here is the issue -> “The most effective way to understand contemporary culture is to analyze the trends of its youth.” Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. Essay Prompt -> Whenever it is required to understand any aspect of a culture, it is essential to underscore the factor which shapes the said culture. This gives us a better understanding of where the culture originates from and what caused the culture be like this today. Therefore, in today’s techno-centric world, the influence of the youth essentially shapes and molds the modern culture. Hence, any facet of the contemporary culture can be effectively understood by analyzing its youth’s trends. It is obvious that what shapes and defines the culture of today, can be a key to comprehend the said culture as well. Today’s youth, benefiting from technology and ease of exchanging ideas and communication, are evidently shaping the contemporary culture. For instance, consider today’s plethora of social media platform. On these platform exists several influencers and experts, many of whom have massive following. It is evident that whatever they’ll preach as a new or cool cultural trend, will be embedded in multitudes of their followers as gospel. The word-of-mouth of these followers will spread around like wildfire and soon enough, this gospel will become an amenable opinion for many people. Case in point, after the unraveling of the “Harvey Weinstein” sexual harassment case, many powerful social media celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and more started preaching how toxic power-play can have adverse effects on the nascent artists, and started encouraging all the oppressed sexual harassment victims to break their silence and come forward. This empowered many artists, especially females and other common masses to stand up against sexual harassment. The daring stand fiercely spread all over the media by the youth and it became a trend. But, the instance does not end here. After the surge in the number of sexual harassment victims coming forward, the iconic philanthropist & celebrity Oprah Winfrey was moved to make her famous “Me Too” speech, sympathising with every one of the victims and empowering them to share their stories. This lead to a groundbreaking and trending “#MeToo” culture, which sent out a powerful statement underlining that sexual harassment will no longer be tolerated. Hence, from the aforementioned scenario, one can infer the cause of the the trend and how the trend propagated to the masses, along with how the trend caused the formation of a new and harassment-intolerant culture. Furthermore, it can be inferred that the youths act as a vector for spreading trends and opinion, and just in the way a scientist would better understand the cause of a disease by fully examining the vector of the disease, one can only understand the contemporary culture by studying the people responsible for causing the culture-shaping trend to spread among the masses, i.e. the youth. For instance, if in the city of Los Angeles, wearing casuals to work became popular in the youth, then in no time, there would be several businesses and companies witnessing their employees wearing casuals frequently to work. Hence, casual work-wear would become the crucial part of the Los Angeles work-life and thus, if one wanted to reason as to why casual work-wears are so “hot” in Los Angeles right now, then he/she can trace it to the relation of youth trend and culture. Admittedly, one can argue that not all of the understanding of today’s culture comes solely from the youth’s trend, but this claim only stands in certain instances. For instance, when it comes to expenditure pertaining to a specific culture, it might be true that more than the youth, a family’s trend influences it. In a culture of less to mediocre spending, it can be essentially the case that the families altogether are a little frugal and have lesser incomes, hence the trend of mediocre expenditure. But, it can not be refuted that from cuisine, body wear, luxury and many more to cultural acceptance of LGBTQ+ community and raising voice against workplace harassment; the youth majorly influences all of these trends, even more than any other set of masses. In conclusion, the propagation of the trend plays an important part and shapes the culture pertinently and so, the contemporary culture can be better comprehended if one examine the youth’s trend effectively.
  12. Please help me by grading my essay written for this argument prompt. Please grade it in accordance to the GRE scoring guide .(https://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/analytical_writing/argument/scoring_guide). Here is the argument -> The following is a recommendation from the business manager of Monarch Books. "Since its opening in Collegeville twenty years ago, Monarch Books has developed a large customer base due to its reader-friendly atmosphere and wide selection of books on all subjects. Last month, Book and Bean, a combination bookstore and coffee shop, announced its intention to open a Collegeville store. Monarch Books should open its own in-store café in the space currently devoted to children's books. Given recent national census data indicating a significant decline in the percentage of the population under age ten, sales of children's books are likely to decline. By replacing its children's books section with a café, Monarch Books can increase profits and ward off competition from Book and Bean." Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument. Essay Response -> The business manager of “Monarch Books” claims that in order to compete with its rival “Book and Bean”, a bookstore cum coffee shop, he/she would have to replace the children’s book section with an in-store café. Stated in this way, this argument fails to mention several key factors on the basis of which it could be evaluated and reveals several instances of poor reasoning. In order to justify this recommendation, the manager of “Monarch Books” has reasoned that since the recent national census data points to a significant decline in the percentage of “Under Age 10” children population, closing the Children’s Book section would only help him avoid the “foreseeable” loss on sales of children’s books. However, careful scrutiny of the facts provides little credible support for author’s recommendation. Hence his/her recommendation can be considered unsubstantiated. First of all, the argument readily assumes that closing children’s book section will not harm his/her bookshop sales, but will only help to avoid the likely decrement of the sales in the coming years. This assumption stands on hollow ground as the passage, fails to mention that how much children’s book contribute the overall sales of the bookshop. It can be possible that the children books contributed 53% of the bookshop’s overall sales. Notwithstanding the apparent decrease in children’s population, wouldn’t then the decision of closing down the most profitable section of the bookshop be ludicrous idea ? If only the amount of sales the children’s books incur at the bookshop would have been mentioned, maybe then the assumption of replacing it with a café to incur more profit would have been a tad bit more convincing. Even if the number of sales of children’s books was mentioned , the decision of including a café in the bookshop relies heavily on the manager’s hypothetical assumption that the consumers at the bookshop would indulge in coffee and other café products. It can be possible that many of their customers are just there to read books and not drink coffee. Maybe there’s an even more cheaper and far better coffee place nearer to the bookshop, and many of the bookshop customers would rather drink at that cheaper and better coffee shop outlet. So, in order to be sure that the manager’s recommendation is irrefutable, there needs to be a solid consensus from the bookshop’s ardent customers stating whether they would actually invest in the coffee and other products at the in-shop café or not. Finally, even after considering that the “Monarch Bookshop” customers would positively like to invest in the products at the in-shop café, the manager’s recommendation is weak as it doesn’t factor in the comparison of the prices of the products at their in-house café and their rival’s book-cum-coffee shop. In order to make a more convincing argument, the actual figures of the products at their in-house café and whether they are selling it at a better price than their competition or not, needs to be stated. Only then it can be determined whether it would be successful in warding off the competition or not. In essence, the business manager’s recommendation is flawed as it stands. To bolster it further, the author must provide more concrete facts and evidences, perhaps through a reliable survey of the consumers and a more thorough analysis of profit & losses involved in the decision of in-shop café vs. children’s book section. Finally, to better assess the argument, it would be impertinent to know more information about how closing children’s book section will not harm the bookshop sales.
  13. I am an international applicant to the clinical psychology Ph.D. program in the USdrag the whole impression down. I recently took the GRE general test twice and got the following scores: First one: V 159 (83%) Q 170 (96%) AW 4.5 (81%) Second one: V 164 (94%) Q169 (95%) AW 4 (57%) I am happy about my second V and Q but really concerned that the low percentile of my AW will drag the whole impression. I am applying to clinical psychology which I know is a writing heavy discipline, and the writing could be even more important for an international student. I am not sure if I should report both of the score or only one of them. I have research and review paper publication and I know at least one of my referees will be able to confirm my writing ability. ....Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!
  14. Does this exist? I felt like there should be a place where we can post on here (I know about the MFA draft facebook but that thing stresses me out.) So far I've been rejected by Ohio State and I still have pending: Michener, New Writers Project, Michigan, UMass Amherst, NYU, Brown, Houston. What about y'all?
  15. Hi everyone! This may be a bit too early to start asking questions about the next application cycle, but I figured why not. I'm currently a senior in college double majoring in Cognitive Science and Creative Writing and I'm planning on applying to MFA programs this coming fall as a poetry applicant. I've been a member of the MFA Draft '19 Facebook page for some time now and seeing everyone talk about their acceptances (or lack thereof, I should say) is making me extremely nervous. I really really don't want to have to go through the application process multiple times to get accepted into a program with full-funding that's a good fit, but the more I read the more it seems like that's the way of the game. So far I have 13 schools on my list (U of Michigan, NYU, Hunter, Cornell, Brown, Syracuse, Boston U, U of Oregon, U of Washington, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, Temple, Mills, and UC-Riverside) and it will be a real financial hardship to apply to all 13. I'm planning on working full-time after I graduate in a month so hopefully I will be able to save/budget wisely, but presumably some of that money will be going toward paying off my undergraduate loans. I guess what I'm asking is should I take more time off to apply or should I just bite the bullet and see what happens this coming year? I know an MFA is something I whole-heartedly want and I don't plan on relinquishing that goal just yet, but part of me wonders if it's better to just keep writing on my own and submitting to journals (maybe even do a summer residency?). Yet, at the same time, I don't want to walk away from academia for too long.. If you have any thoughts or advice, I would warmly welcome it! I'm also open to suggestions on schools I should add to or remove from my list. I made sure most of the schools were fully-funded (while still being a good fit stylistically) and that the ones that aren't either fully-fund the majority of students or have a few competitive fellowships. If anything looks misguided, please let me know. Thank you so much!
  16. Hi y'all, So quick question for you all...my computer is currently dying a very slow death. It's gone from being able to last days to holding a FULL battery for maybe 4 hours. It's gotten pretty bad, so I'm in the market for a new laptop. I've been using a macbook for the last 6 years. I like the simplicity of it. But, that being said, I'm open to other idea's. I've been doing some research into the Microsoft Surface laptop which seems pretty close to the macbook. What does everyone else use? I'm looking for something with great battery life, easy to use, and will last me through my masters and (hopefully) Ph.D. Thank you all in advance!
  17. Hi all, I am waiting on pins and needles to hear back from my MFA programs and I'm trying to put my energy into something worthwhile, so here I am. What schools have ya'll applied to? What are your top schools? What's your genre? How many times have you applied before? Has anyone heard back from anywhere yet? I know it's early in the game but I've had so much nervous energy just thinking about it. Anyone else? How's everybody feeling? Good luck on your acceptances!
  18. Why I am putting myself through this again? I do not have an answer, but I am here. Anyone else out there going through the portfolio/statement of purpose process, still? My first application goes out next week (University of Arizona). I am beyond nervous. How do you decide when everything is "done"? When is anything ever done, haha
  19. Hi! So I didn’t get in anywhere for an MFA In Creative Writing. I’m now trying to look into different options. Does anyone know good programs that are either online and still have open admissions or places with rolling admissions?
  20. Hi everyone! Can anyone let me know if they hear back for MFA Creative Writing? I’m waiting and it’s so hard. Some schools had December deadlines and I don’t know when the letters come in. Is it by mail or email? I applied to CalArts, SAIC, Columbia College, NYU, and Columbia University. thanks!!!
  21. Hi all, Is a score of 307 too low for funding consideration and/or admission? I am not great at standardized tests which is why I am debating retaking it. 5.5 Writing 153 Q 154 V My undergraduate GPA is 3.33 (3.60 in my major). Schools I am applying to: Michigan (Ford), Duke (Sanford), and Chicago (Harris). Thank you.
  22. I attached my unedited paper, but I'll paste it here in case you're worried to open it. I'm struggling to write a cogent paper under 30 minutes since I'm a slow writer. However, I'll critique your paper as well if you critique mine! Thank you
  23. People's behavior is largely determined by forces not of their own making. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position. People invetibaly are shaped by external circumstances, as is also said by psychologists. You see every day how one automatically becomes rowdy and energetic at a football stadium, clearly influenced by the thousands of foot-thumping football fans cheering for their teams. On the other hand, one acquires an air of civility when attending a ball or a royal event. These examples clearly show how one is a slave to one’s surroundings. If we look at children and see how they develop, it is often seen that the offspring of educated, white-collar workers, whether they are scientists, businessmen or engineers, will inevitably turn out to be responsible and thoughtful citizens. A child surrounded by logical, thoughtful parents, who focus on building positive traits, will be inclined to exercise his or her mind. On the other hand, if you look at the children of working class people or those from broken families, you will see a distinct pattern emerging, wherein the child will not be too keen on going to school or that he does not value relationships. Why would he when he has never seen his parents valuing theirs. No wonder psychologists emphasise the importance of providing a positive, encouraging environment for children. Our surroundings influence us in myriad ways. Not just individuals but whole societies are impacted by forces not of their own making. For instance, if you live in a fair, free and just society, you would be more prone to treating men and women fairly, but if you have grown up in a patriarchal society, you would tend to sideline women. You would not think twice before judging a woman on what she wears or what she eats, drinks or who she goes out with, a thing for which you would be scorned in the West. Further, it is often seen that people in violent areas, where there is little respect for the law, tend to be less civil than those living in more respectable places. However, one cannot totally assume that this argument is infallible. Clearly, you can do a lot to regulate your behaviour. History is replete with examples of men who have fought against the odds and the circumstances to change the world. Nelson Mandela lived in a country afflicted with aparthied, but he chose to battle this ideology, inspired by the works of nonviolent and fair-minded leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. Even then, it is clear how forces beyond our control heavily influence our behavior. If we recognise this and work towards correcting this bias of ours, we can definitely become better human beings.
  24. The following appeared in an article written by Dr. Karp, an anthropologist. “Twenty years ago, Dr. Field, a noted anthropologist, visited the island of Tertia and concluded from his observations that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents. However, my recent interviews with children living in the group of islands that includes Tertia show that these children spend much more time talking about their biological parents than about other adults in the village. This research of mine proves that Dr. Field’s conclusion about Tertain village culture is invalid and thus the observation-centered approach to studying cultures is invalid as well. The interview-centered method that my team of graduate students is currently using in Tertia will establish a much more accurate understanding of child-rearing traditions there and in other island cultures.” Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strenghten the argument. Anthropologist Dr. Karp says that Dr. Field’s conclusion about Tertian village culture is invalid and so is the observation-centered approach to studying cultures. This argument is flawed as it contains causal, analogical and statistical errors, which once corrected will unravel the argument, thereby proving that its assumptions and implications are incorrect. Firstly, Dr. Karp after interviewing some children living in a group of islands that include Tertia finds that the children spoke more about their parents than other adults in the village. This he says proves that Dr. Field’s conclusion that children in Tertia were reared by an entire village rather than by their own biological parents is invalid. Dr. Karp hereby commits a causal error. Just because children spoke more about their biological parents than other adults in the village doesn’t mean they weren’t parented by the whole village. Dr. Karp provides little explanation as to how he reached this particular conclusion. Had he provided more information on who spent how much time on raising the children, his argument would have been stronger. Secondly, Dr. Karp commits the analogical error, saying that since he proved Dr. Field’s conclusion about the village wrong, he has proved the observation-centered approach to studying cultures wrong. This statement does not hold water. The observation-centered approach must be broad-based and could have been used correctly by several anthropologists in the past. In order to make such a strong statement, Dr. Karp should have provided more data and explained how he thinks this approach is wrong, typically taking a systematic approach and studying the technique closely, such as its methodoly. Lastly, Dr. Karp doesn’t say anything about the size of the sample of interviews his team has collected. If the size is too small or not representative enough of the whole village, his findings will prove to be incorrect. Further, the methodology used by his team of graduate students has not been discussed; it could be possible that they asked the wrong questions to the children, not asking them more about the time they spent with their biological parents. This shows that there are plenty of gaps in the argument, which if rectified will illustrate that Dr. Karp’s argument lacks substance and hence is flawed. As pointed out, these errors are serious, which if not corrected can result in one making wrong conclusions. Until and unless, Dr. Karp systematically provides considerably more information, we cannot make any statement about whether or not Dr. Field’s conclusion about children in Tertia being raised by the entire village is false.
  25. The best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position. The prompt says that the best way to teach is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones. Now many might say that to spare the rod is to spoil the child, but the fact is that positive reinforcement can result in remarkable improvement in a student. This essay will discuss why the best way to teach is to praise positive actions and give examples in support of this claim. In education, as we all know, if you keep criticizing the student and not praise his or her achievements, it can lead to discouragement and in extreme cases, can cause the student to lose interest in studies. This has been proven time and time again. Therefore, in the developed world, there is heavy emphasis on positive reinforcement and building children’s confidence as in formative years, a negative or traumatic school experience can be detrimental to a person’s mental health. On the other hand, the developing world still seems to be stuck in the past, with teachers sticking to old hectoring tactics even resorting to beating when the child has made mistakes. They believe that if children are complimented for their achievements, they will complacent or that they will become arrogant. One can only witness how detrimental it has been to the developing world’s progress. Moreover, it is evident how the West has implemented this positive reinforcement in the field of sports to its advantage; it is arguably producing the best sportsmen in the world. A coach would typically focus on what the athletes are doing well and help them build on these successes. Most athletes are taught the power of visualisation, wherein they would imagine how well they would play in the game before it begins, thereby helping them get into a positive state of mind and alleviate stress and anxiety. Even in performance art, the teacher would often stress on the artistes’ strengths, accentuating them in order to get the best out of them. For instance, while casting, directors or casting directors would only choose those actors for a particular role, who can naturally play it, as in they will only cast a serious man in a serious role or an artful person in a cunning role. This being said, one can understand how totally ignoring negative actions can be disastrous. So one needs to be cautious in not totally ignoring negative actions, how else will a person learn from his or her mistakes. But at the same time it is a common mistake to lay all the focus on rectifying faults insead of building on strengths or positive actions. Thus as we can see how positive reinforcement can help people realize their potential, the best way, indeed, is to praise positive actions and ignore negative ones as much as one can.
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