Presentation on theme: "Created by Jessica Mehr ENGL 106, Purdue University."— Presentation transcript:
Created by Jessica Mehr ENGL 106, Purdue University
Focus on one main point and don’t meander. Make it very clear what the paragraph is “about.” Don’t make your reader work for it. Use an explicit topic sentence (doesn’t necessarily have to be sentence 1). Keep it a digestible length. Aim for logical, not artificial transitions between paragraphs (coherence). Write your sentences cohesively, moving from old information to new. (Course Packet page 182)
Arguments, like court cases, are often won and lost based on the first and last thing the audience hears. In the courtroom, each lawyer always begins with an opening statement that grabs the jury’s attention and previews their argument. After all the testimony and facts are presented, they then reinforce their arguments with a closing statement that is not just a rehash of what is already known.
The prosecutor, Jack McCoy, often brings up the repercussions this case will have on the criminal justice system, or reminds the jury of their responsibilities as citizens. He strives to end the case on something that resonates, a quote or snappy line, a last minute appeal to the jury’s logic or emotions. In your papers, introductions and conclusions work in much the same way, complementing each other while not being overly repetitious.
Grab the reader’s attention A quotation A vivid image Anecdote Hard-hitting statistic Get to the topic quickly Preview thesis / argument Broad statement Detailed synopsis Question Establish credibility (ethos) Speak with authority Write clear, focused, well-proofread sentences Don’t have to be written first!
A bounty hunter named BobCat Ravelli is found murdered in a sleazy hotel room in NYC. The last call on his cell phone was to a journalist named Brian Kellogg. Kellogg had recently conducted a high-profile interview with a fugitive named Mitchell Moss, a rich rapist who jumped bail. Everyone is looking for Moss, including BobCat Ravelli, who was trying to bring him in. Kellogg (the journalist) claims that BobCat called him to get a lead on the suspect’s location, but, as he told the FBI, he doesn’t know where Moss is and can’t discuss anything regarding their conversation due to the journalist shield law.
They consider Moss a suspect in the bounty hunter’s murder, and start digging into Kellogg’s interview in an effort to find him. They discover that the interview was completely fabricated and that when it was published, Bobcat, who’d been tracking Moss for a year, immediately saw discrepancies and new it was a fake. He came to New York looking to blackmail Kellogg, and Kellogg killed him then covered it up by staging the crime scene to make it look like the work of a prostitute.
As we view the example opening statements from Law & Order, notice how each lawyer: Grabs our attention (Which attention-grabbing strategy does each lawyer use?) Gets to the point quickly. Previews their argument Appeals to logos, pathos, and ethos
Starts with a vivid image that establishes sympathy (pathos) for the victim. Appeals to our sense of logic by pointing out that this was not a heat of the moment crime, but carefully planned and executed. Establishes his own credibility by speaking articulately and with authority.
Starts with an anecdote. Establishes pathos for the defendant by making him seem like the victim. Establishes his ethos with humor that wins over the jury.
Touch back on main points Reconcile two stances End on something that resonates Make a last-minute appeal to pathos or logos. Discuss the larger ramifications of this argument. Raise another compelling question for the reader to ponder. Look towards the future.
In groups, write a closing statement for either the prosecution or the defense. Follow the strategies of what makes a good conclusion.