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ESSAY ONE PROMPT: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.



In this day and age, there are many different styles of teaching. Some may believe that the best way to teach is to praise only positive actions and ignore the negative ones. This is a style that I do not agree with for several reasons.


Although praising positive actions is a great way to teach someone positive actions, ignoring negative actions does not get rid of unwanted actions. Meaning, just because you ignore the negative action, does not mean that the negative action will stop and the student will know what the positive action should be. For example, a child whom is biting his peers on the play ground wont simply stop doing this negative behavior simply because the other child is ignoring this action. In fact, it might cause the child to bite even harder to elicit some sort of response from that other child. In this example the child is not learning that the action of biting another child is a negative action simply by ignoring it.


Furthermore, negative actions may be advantageous to point out, as they are prime learning experiences. For example, when tackeling a difficult math problem that you may have gotten incorrect, it is advantageous to look at the correct answer and figure out what you had done wrong, rather than ignorning that problem and moving on to the next one. Therefore from this example you can see that paying attention and discussing negative actions can lead to more positive actions.


Lastly, it is possible that when praising only positive actions, this can lead to a negative action on its own that cannot be ignored. For example, while their children are growing, parents try and encourage their child to eat whenever possible and may praise the positive action of eating. However, this can lead the child to want to keep doing this type of action which can lead to a negative action, over eating. Should the parents ignore over eating, this can lead to serious health problems that the child will face later in his or her life. This clearly shows that although praising positive actions can reenforce positive actions, it can also lead to overdoing this positive action, which can lead to a negative action that cannot simply be ignored.


All in all, we can clearly see that learning can come in many different styles and types. However, it is disadvantageous to only praise a student for positive actions and ignore negative actions. 




ESSAY 2 PROMPT: The following is a memorandum from the business manager of a television station.


"Over the past year, our late-night news program has devoted increased time to national news and less time to weather and local news. During this period, most of the complaints received from viewers were concerned with our station's coverage of weather and local news. In addition, local businesses that used to advertise during our late-night news program have canceled their advertising contracts with us. Therefore, in order to attract more viewers to our news programs and to avoid losing any further advertising revenues, we should expand our coverage of weather and local news on all our news programs."


Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.





The business manager is under the assumption that increasing coverage of the weather and local news will avoid losing any further advertising revenues and increase viewers for several reasons.


The manager assumes that because he has increased national news time during the late night news program and decreased weather and local news coverage, this leads to less viewers. It is possible that simply more people don’t enjoy watching late night news, or that they stopped watching the TV at night altogether. If there are people with less TV’s or people that watch less TV during the late night hours, this could account for why there is an overall decreased number of viewers which does not rely on what is being showing on the TV itself.


Furthermore, the business manager wants to expand coverage of weather and local news programs because local businesses have cancelled their advertising contract with him. This assumes that the reason why they are cancelling is because they have decreased the show time of weather and local news, which may not be true. It is possible that these businesses have not been thriving like they usually do, and thus must make certain budget cuts within their business model. From this example, we can clearly see that there may be other factors that can cause the business to cancel their advertising not just what the news station is broadcasting.


Lastly, the business manager wants to expand the coverage of local news and weather because more viewers have been complaining of less coverage of local news and weather. This assumes that if the station were to increase their coverage of local news and weather that the views would increase and the complaints decrease. It is possible that maybe those complaints came from people who don’t really watch the TV and just enjoy complaning about anything they can. Or it is possible that a rival news station is making these complaints in order to push the manager to make a rash decision. Also, we simply do not have enough information from the viewers to conclude that should they increase local coverage and weather, more viewers would watch.


From the examples listed above, we can see that many assumptions have been made that may effect the outcome of the news stations future. Although increasing the coverage of local news and weather may increase the amount of viewers, it might also have the opposite effect as well.

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