Beware of IT and THIS

A student last semester wrote this Purposeful Summary. His name was Wazoo. As you read Wazoo’s comment, see if you can answer this essential question:

What’s He Talking About?

facepalm-captain-picard-300x201

It seems counterintuitive that we buy iphones and use them knowing that there are bugs out there, in which they allow people to spy on you. We do not know how long apple has known about this but we do know they were warned and still decided to not do anything.

Personal Privacy plays a big party in everyone’s life, as well as their cell phones. The majority of cell phones are iphones and to have bugs in which people can spy on you is not acceptable. There is no way a little kid was the first to find this. Apple has known about this and they just have kept it a secret. They hire some of the best hackers in the world to work for them to find bugs. So why did they take so long to react?

Apple is one of the largest companies in the world. so some people might think theres a chance they didnt see the complaint right away or they kept it on to gain information about all of its users. After 2 weeks they finally sent a fix but this took so long because they werent done spying on the innocent people in this world. Apple is all about making profit and this move was one for them to get a better understanding on how to advertise to the world.

In addition to some punctuation errors, Wazoo here is neglecting an ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL aspect of Purposeful Summary: to summarize.

Very likely, because it was resolved more than a year ago, you don’t remember much about Apple’s FaceTime bug. If you happened to read Wazoo’s comment on a website about Apple products, would you have any idea what the article he was summarizing said about these questions?

—Would you know how the “spying” occurs?
—Would you know what program or app was compromised?
—Would you understand that it activated the recipient’s camera and microphone before he answered a FaceTime call?
—Would you understand what Wazoo meant about a kid being the first to “find this”?
—Would you understand the context of the “2 week” delay?

What Wazoo DOES do well here is to shape the news to his own agenda. It’s clear he’s suspicious of Apple’s motives and dubious that their slowness in responding to the crisis was innocent. In other words, his language is Purposeful, but he’s neglected the Summary, largely by using “it” and “this” to stand for material he left out.

Here’s the same summary with SPECIFIC DETAILS to replace IT and THIS.

It seems counterintuitive that we buy iphones and use them knowing that there are bugs in the product that allow people to spy on US. We do not know how long Apple has known about THE FLAW IN FACETIME THAT ACTIVATES THE RECIPIENT’S CAMERA AND MICROPHONE BEFORE SHE ACCEPTS THE CALL, but we do know they were warned and still decided NOT TO FIX THE BUG.

Personal Privacy—ESPECIALLY REGARDING OUR CELL PHONES—plays a big part in ALL OUR LIVES. The majority of cell phones are iPhones, and to have bugs THAT ALLOW CALLERS TO spy on US is not acceptable. IT’S NOT CREDIBLE THAT a little kid was the first to find THIS FLAW IN THE FACETIME APP. Apple has known about THIS THREAT TO OUR PRIVACY and they just kept it a secret. They hire some of the best hackers in the world to work for them to find bugs. So why did they take so long to react?

Apple is one of the largest companies in the world, so some people might think THERE’S a chance they DIDN’T see the TEENAGER’S REPORT THAT HIS PHONE WAS EAVESDROPPING ON HIS FRIEND’S CAMERA AND MICROPHONE right away, or they DELIBERATELY DELAYED FIXING THE BUG to gain information about all of THEIR users. After 2 weeks THE COMPANY finally sent a fix, but THE DELAY DEMONSTRATES they WEREN’T done spying on THEIR INNOCENT AND UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS. Apple is all about making PROFITS, and this CALLOUS INVASION OF THEIR USER BASE was A DELIBERATE ATTEMPT TO GAIN INTELLIGENCE THAT WOULD HELP THEM FURTHER VICTIMIZE THEIR CUSTOMERS WITH TARGETED ADVERTISING.

All right, so I did a little more than just replace IT and THIS. 🙂

But what the ALL CAPS material has in common is that it ADDS SPECIFIC DETAILS that provide readers with the background information they need.

In-Class Task

Leave a brief comment in the Reply field below to let me know if this is an effective demonstration of the value of specific details (or the danger of IT and THIS).

Also, Reply whether this demonstration will prompt you to revisit your own Purposeful Summaries with a better idea how to achieve a Regrade.

About davidbdale

Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels. www.davidbdale.wordpress.com
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25 Responses to Beware of IT and THIS

  1. littlecow24 says:

    I think this is a very effective demonstration, and I can see how I might have done this in the past without even thinking of it. This demonstration has made me rethink what I have written in past summaries, and makes me want to go back to fix them because of how confusing the summaries could have been.

    Like

  2. lokiofasgard24 says:

    This demonstration will be very effective because the contents made me realize how I use ‘its’ and ‘this’ way too much. I will being going back to this demo in the future to help review my work.

    Like

  3. mossmacabre says:

    Yes, I think this is an effective demonstration of not using specific details. I will look at my personal writings once again to see if I have made a similar mistake.

    Like

  4. spaghettitacosforthesoul says:

    It can possibly add value to my purposeful summary. I can try to find ways to make it more specific

    Like

  5. toastedflatbread22 says:

    This demonstration is a good way of demonstrating the value of specific details because I had not thought about how vague “it” and “this” are. Writing with detail and care will ensure that the reader can follow the text and understand the work. This will prompt me to revise my summaries and check for loose writing and replace it with clear language.

    Like

  6. kingofcamp says:

    The sample essay presented, was an effective in demonstrating the danger of using “it” or “this”. Using “it” or “this” is too vague and is not specific enough for readers. Remember, your readers don’t know what you’re summarizing!

    Like

  7. Lunaduna says:

    Honestly, I believe that this is an effective way to explain the value of “this” and “it.”
    I now realize that I should try to stay away from writing sentences starting with this or it.
    Sometimes the reader does not understand what the author is saying, because they use the terms this or it.

    And yes, I will go back to my purposeful summary.

    Like

  8. ilovedunkinoverstarbucks says:

    I believe that this is an effective demonstration of getting rid of or pointing out the Its’ and They’s as the task does not have many in the paper. With the well written piece I plan on trying to go back to my purposeful summaries to help improve them and get rid of the IT’s and Theys’s.

    Like

  9. zzbrd2822 says:

    This demonstration is a valuable example of specific details and their importance. The vague usage of “it” and “this” could be leaving out important details. This demonstration will prompt me to revisit my own Purposeful Summaries with a better idea of how to achieve a Regrade. I will recheck my summary to see if I needed to specify certain sentences.

    Like

  10. cfalover says:

    The paragraph is an effective demonstration of using valuable, specific details because if you were asked specific questions about the topic, you would be able to answer the questions thoroughly; there are no “it”s and “this”. This makes me want to go revisit my purposeful summary to see if I can take out these vague phrases if I have any.

    Like

  11. tyblicky2001 says:

    This demonstration was very effective. It has taught me to be more specific in my work so the readers can have a clear understanding of the prompt. I will revise my purposeful summary.

    Like

  12. comatosefox says:

    It was very effective in better describing what Wazoo wrote, although i was able to read and understand what he was talking about since we discussed this. It would be hard for others to fully understand what the IT and THIS are. Leaving out important details to his argument lessened the argument entirely.

    Like

  13. This demonstration was definitely effective for me because using those phrases in my writing is something I may be doing too often. Now that I am aware of how this could get more confusing, I will work on being more specific.

    Like

  14. sunshinegirl457 says:

    Without the explanation of what happened with the mother and son finding out about a Facetime glitch which allows spying, I would never have known what this post was even about. The tweaked paragraphs are definitely more clear and show how something so simple can be so effective. You always have to take the reader into consideration and make sure they understand exactly what you are writing.

    Like

  15. Lily4Pres says:

    I believe this was a very effective demonstration. I will revisit my work to see if I have made mistakes regarding this issue as well.

    Like

  16. chickendinner says:

    The difference between the before and after version of this article clearly demonstrates how crucial it is to make it clear what you are talking about when you make an argument.
    I will look through my own writings for any ambiguities.

    Like

  17. ziggy026 says:

    The demonstration is an effective way of explaining what ‘this’ and ‘it’ is in regards to the text. Before the change understanding what was meant with these non-descriptive words was difficult. I now know to stray away from using these words constantly.

    Like

  18. frogs02 says:

    This demonstration was very effective. I need to be more specific on what I am talking about or who I am talking about because it makes the writing very unclear and not easy to read. This prompt will help me revise my summaries and make them more clear.

    Like

  19. nugget114 says:

    I believe that the demonstration is extremely effective. If I am being honest, I would have never realized the value of using specific details where vague pronouns do not suffice. In part I believe I would have never known the value because the idea of “it” and “this” is so small yet so insightful. I see how elaborating on very obvious questions readers might have, makes the entire article that much more clear and understandable. Without the use of “it” and “this”, possible questions were already thoroughly answered therefore leaving no more questions when the reader is finished.

    Like

  20. This demonstration was definitely effective for me because I use those phrases a little too often in my writing and I can now see how that can get confusing to the reader. I will now focus on making my writing a little more specific and using “it and them” less

    Like

  21. imaspookyghost says:

    Not only does this make the summary clearer for the reader, it also adds to the word count. Using it and this are ok when the noun it’s referring to is clearly stated recently enough for the reader to understand what it’s referring to. I may ctrl+f my summary and see how many times I used if and this and see if I need to replace any of them for a clearer summary.

    Like

  22. strawberryfields4 says:

    This demonstration was certainly an effective example of the importance of being clear when using pronouns. In the original source, it is challenging to “keep up” with the author and follow the claims. It requires the reader to work too hard to simply understand what is trying to be conveyed. In your revised version, it is easy to understand and there is no confusion. I will definitely revisit my purposeful summary to examine for my use of pronouns.

    Like

  23. calamariii says:

    The demonstration was a good way of understanding the use of descriptions and contextual information to assist the sentences. I will think about the demonstration in relation to my purposeful summaries as it is a good example of keeping focus in writing and using information efficently.

    Like

  24. This demonstration was effective for me because I use these phrases in my writing and I can now see how it can get confusing. I will focus on using more specific words.

    Like

  25. RowanAnnouncer says:

    The exercise is a great demonstration to be more thorough and specific in my summaries. Definitely gives me anxiety knowing how little the IT and THIS rule was applied previous to this class. I will look down on the rest of the world in disgust after acquiring my high horse.

    Like

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