07 TUE FEB 07

Class 07 TUE FEB 07


What can a ransom note teach us about making bold, clear, persuasive claims?

Click to launch the full Ransom Note Riddle

Rowan Votes

Writing Advice


This is a reminder that your essay is, by definition, an expression of your opinion. Your goal as a persuasive writer should be, through the authority of your voice and the soundness of your reasoning, to convince your readers that they are reading facts, not opinions. Reminding them that you’re just another knucklehead who read a book called “Declarations for Dummies” undercuts your authority.

Click here to see how constantly qualifying your claims turns a Declaration of Independence into a Weak Suggestion of Independence.

Let’s Argue

Click here to launch the “Panhandler Argument

In-Text Citation Workshop

Link to a breakdown of some common punctuation and grammar errors, PLUS, an invitation to correct yours before you receive feedback.

Hypothesis Illustrated:
Self-Directed Lecture (with Task)

  • Brief Introduction
  • USAID tested the theory that direct aid to the poor would improve childhood nutrition more than trying to engineer nutrition programs for them, on the theory that the poor know what to do; they simply lack the resources.

Hypothesis Hint

32 Responses to 07 TUE FEB 07

  1. comatosefox says:

    Make yourself sound like everything your saying is one hundred percent correct and justified, convince the reader that you know everything about your argument.

    Have ATLEAST THREE conferences with David, you need to make sure your being clear and specific with your work (we all know I can’t, but no one knows who I am lol).

    The “Give Directly” hypothesis was not a fail, not just as an experiment but as a research paper. Daniel Handel’s experiment did help prove that give cash did benefit the family, just not in the way it was initial intended. Although this would still make people weary of giving out cash in fear that “they can’t be trusted to spend it wisely.”

    Although the idea of having a million people in a forest with leaf blowers is a funny thing to imagine (and loud to think about), it allows others to think of more cost effective and environmental safe ways to help prevent something as catastrophic as an uncontrollable forest fire. Giving a problem that has occurred one too many times a solution that may have multiple benefits. Think slightly out of the box may help in figuring out a research prompt.


  2. mossmacabre says:

    You should never include “in my opinion” in your essay. It is, by definition, an expression of your opinion. You dismiss your authority to the reader when you say something like that.

    We discussed the connection between malnutrition and poverty, and whether or not “cash-benching” programs are successful and helpful. Using a study regarding the poor citizens of Rwanda, we discussed how to improve your hypothesis once you have discovered that the evidence does not support it. If the evidence does not support your hypothesis, you must rework your hypothesis or find a new one.


  3. lokiofasgard24 says:

    -Never tell the reader that the essay your writing is your opinion
    -Make your writing seam like fact
    -Use an authoritative voice to help convince the reader
    Stone Money Lecture:
    -whether the hypothesis is proved or disproved the experiment is a success in way that you’ve learned either way
    -The Stone Money experiment was a success but the program being tested was a failure.
    -Money is an abstract concept
    -Try to connect the idea of money to real world values
    -Read the articles that are linked and watch the stone money video to research about stone money before writing


  4. cfalover says:

    – we don’t need to remind people in our essays that it is our opinion, we need to persuade them to believe our conclusions are facts
    – never water down your authority in the essay

    professor conferences:
    – meeting in person would only be available Tuesday and Thursdays, but will be difficult
    – there will be 3 mandatory zoom conferences and the first one is due by Oct 7th
    – at the end of the semester we will meet about our grades
    – sign up in the charts on google docs and set the agenda

    – some of the hypotheses are too broad; will need a lot of work
    – the purpose of the hypothesis is to establish if a question has an answer

    Give Directly answers:
    – the authors of the study didn’t necessarily fail; even though they got different results than expected, they still learned something from the experiment
    – proving that the cash-equivalent grants are as beneficial as an education program would qualify as success because it is still helping families feed their children
    – the authors also succeeded this way because they were still obtaining results from the experiment
    – The authors could not conclude this because some families have debts that they have to pay off first before they can do anything else, this doesn’t mean they don’t know how to correctly spend money. They are still using the money for something important

    hypothesis feedback:
    – don’t give up on your hypothesis too early; stay open to the possibilities to the change of plans and to the changes others offer towards you


  5. zipemup1 says:

    When writing you want to eliminate telling the audience too much that what your writing is opinion. You will be more persuasive if you leave that out.


  6. Lunaduna says:

    9/23 Notes

    We never should tell the readers our opinions in the essay we are writing.
    We should give an impression of what we are writing, a fact, rather than an opinion.
    Our goal of writing is for the readers to believe what we are saying.

    Zoom meetings (Mandatory)
    1 in the semester
    1 near the finals – to discuss my grades

    An investigation of things we do not know rather than something we do know.

    Every experiment is a successful solution. After each experiment, you do learn something.
    Such as giving people money and expecting them to help feed their children.

    The experiment did not fail but the program failed. (Give Directly)

    The cash does not change, rather than the value. (The price of a product will change based on the stocks.)
    The person who is selling apples changes the price. (But who decides?)
    (The market, the government?)


  7. friendoftacos says:

    We don’t have to tell the person reading our essay that the essay is our opinion. Instead, it is better to give the impression that what we are delivering facts. It doesn’t help to water down our authority with statements such as “it seems to me” and “in my opinion”. All we have to persuade out readers is our voice and our reasoning.
    A hypothesis is an investigation into something that we don’t know. Anything you learn from an experiment is a success. If the results are not what you wanted to accomplish the experiment is still a success.


  8. zzbrd2822 says:

    In class today we touched on the topic of how your essay is an expression of your opinion, however, it is not necessary to state that it is your opinion. This will undermine the authority of your work. We then discussed the mandatory zoom conference calls throughout the semester which can be scheduled using the Google Docs form. Next, we explained that the purpose of a hypothesis is to research something we don’t know instead of proving something we do know. Any outcome of testing a hypothesis in which we learn something is considered a successful experiment. If direct aid was given to the poor to feed children and ensure proper nutrition, the experiment is successful whether the money was used for the intended purpose or not. Do not give up on your hypothesis if you do not have enough evidence, but instead modify it to fit the evidence you do find. We then discussed the Stone Money assignment and the resources that can be used. Lastly, we reflected on the actual and perceived value of different mediums of money.


  9. gingerbreadman27 says:

    Today in class we discussed that you should never state your opinion as is and should portray it as fact. Next we discussed conferences from the remaining semester and that they would be on zoom. Then we discussed hypothesis and what would be deemed a success when testing a bold idea by giving poor people money instead of training them with programs. Next we discussed what to do if you hypothesis isn’t supported by initial evidence. If you hypothesis isn’t supported by initial evidence I would develop my hypothesis further or spin it a way that you could get evidence. Next, we discussed money for our upcoming essay on money. The discussion included matters such as Bitcoin, all the way to inflation and how much your dollar was worth at any given moment.


  10. levixvice says:

    Class notes: 9/23/21

    Never say or write “in my opinion” because our expression as a writer is seen as an opinion by never telling the readers. These are our facts that don’t undergo authoritarian methods but through persuasive means to get the reader on your side. Conference with Professor on Zoom with teleconference chart.
    Hypothesis Illustrated to establish a question must have an answer whether or not it might be what it seems to be as the result becoming a success as it is conducted fairly and being more experienced from the hypothesis. Make a new idea that is related to the topic, but doesn’t have the same opinion as any of the articles while questioning more about the hypothesis and get something eventually brand new.


  11. kingofcamp says:

    English Comp II Lecture Notes (9.23.21)
    • Our essays are expressions of our opinions
    o does not help to water down our authority by saying “in my opinions”, etc..
    • If we sound authoritative and find lots of (good/detailed) evidence we will be believed
    • “Weak Suggestion of Independence”
    o “it seems to us that…”
    o “advisable”
    o “act as if they deserve”
    o stronger
    o “when…”
    o “it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve…”
    o “and to assume…”
    • Professor Conferences
    o first of three (mandatory) zoom meetings by October 7th
     Develop and Defend your Hypothesis
    • by October 7
     Evaluate your Thesis Progress
    • by November 4
     Final Grade Conference
    • during finals week
    Hypothesis Illustrated: Self-Directed Lecture
    • (brief) purpose: an investigation of what we don’t know
    • What is a successful experiment?
    o even if we are initially wrong, it is still successful because we learned something
    o trial and error
    • “Give Directly” Article
    • “Stone Money” mini lecture
    o Tues. 29th mini essay due for “Stone Money”


  12. anonymousgirl116 says:

    Schedule conferences for developing hypothesis before October 7 and thesis before November (THREE CONFRENCES TOTAL)
    Anything you learn from the experiment is a success.
    Market decides how much money is worth.


  13. 1. No, the authors did not fail because they learned what is not helpful in the experiment. The authors didn’t fail but the program did.
    2. No, it would not qualify as a success unless they gave them the money they need for basic nutrition and hygiene.
    3. Yes, it was not was they intended to prove, but they did figure something out
    4. They didn’t prove whether or not they can trust them with the money to buy things that will be good for them.


  14. imaspookyghost says:

    essays are your own opinion. but write them as your own truths to convince your reading that you are correct.
    – sound credible
    never say that it is your opinion or it seems to you just write it in the most positive light you can. don’t remind them that its your own point of view.
    share your convictions

    Professor Conferences
    mon tue wed thurs for conferences . First of three is mandatory by THU OCT 07.
    hypothesis is not a claim you’re trying to prove true its an experiment that you want to test.
    no failure in proving your hypothesis false.

    Poor citizens direct cash experiment. people need the resources instead of being taught how to use the resources.

    a hypothesis cannot fail. if you prove it right or wrong you succeed.
    Thomas Edison reference. every failure gets you 1 step closer to success.


  15. ziggy026 says:

    Never say it seems to me
    Never let the reader know that what you’re writing is your opinion, make it clear that it is an unwavering fact
    Use authority and seem valid
    Be confident and don’t remind people that it’s just your point of view because then people will take your word rather than qualifying what you’re saying by undercutting your authority
    Declare things to be true
    Hypothesis isn’t something you’re trying to prove, but an experiment you’re trying to test
    A hypothesis is just an experiment we don’t know the answer to
    The value of money is the belief that another person will accept it


  16. 9/23 notes
    In class today, we talked about the benefits of getting one on one feedback. By October 7th, develop and defend hypothesis. By November 4th, evaluate your thesis progress. During finals week, we will have a final grade conference. Then, we talked about our hypotheses. A hypothesis is a claim you are trying to prove an experimenter you are trying to test. If you prove or disprove your hypothesis, you succeeded. A hypothesis cannot fail, it is just an experiment that proves something. After discussing the “give directly” article, we got a new study task, “stone money.”


  17. Lily4Pres says:

    Essays are your own opinion, but you want to write it as a fact. When you have no true expertise in the section you’re writing about, all you have is your voice. Rather than making your essay a conversation, make it a declaration.
    Professor conferences are available in the syllabus plus section. Use the google doc to set a conference, zoom link is offered within the document.
    “A hypothesis is not a claim you’re trying to prove, it’s an experiment you’re trying to test.” If you prove your hypothesis is true or false, both are successes.
    Given a 1000 word essay task due next Wednesday @11:59. Stone Money task.


  18. disneylover2002 says:

    Today in class, we started by listening to Queen. After that, we talked about how all we have is the authority of our voice when writing an essay. We don’t want to remind people that it is our opinion when writing an essay. Instead, present it positively, and if we stop telling people it is our opinion, people will like it more. The professor has office hours, and we can find the teleconference chart in the syllabus plus menu. Three face-to-face conferences over zoom to go over our work. The hypothesis cannot be too broad. We then went over what we would be doing during the meetings and how the grading process would go. A hypothesis is not something you are trying to prove; it is an experiment you test. A hypothesis cannot fail because whatever happens, we prove something. Finally, we did an in-class assignment where we answered the question about a hypothesis written by USAID. We then talked about the stone money assignment.


  19. calamariii says:

    Essays are our own opinion but we want to convince people that they aren’t. How to convince people of our thoughts when we are writing and if we write unconfident and without authority, it will be less believable. We also went over the 1 on 1 conference, how often they are and how to sign up for them. When writing a paper with a hypothesis the goal should not be to prove your hypothesis, it should be instead to research and conclude based on the information that is found. A hypothesis is just an experiment we don’t know the answer to yet, and it cannot fail. Money’s inherent value is only from the assumption that it will be able to be further exchanged for other goods.


  20. frogs02 says:

    9/23 notes
    An essay is your best opportunity to make a reader believe that what you are writing about is true rather than what you believe is to be true. The last thing we want the reader to know is that it is your opinion. Do not write “in my opinion.” Your essay reflects your personal opinion supported by facts. We discussed where we can find the professor conferences. The first of three is mandatory by October 7th. Three conferences are required. Hypothesis is a claim you are not trying to prove. It is evidence you are trying to test. Every single failure gets closer to success because people can cancel out every reason why it is not working. Hypothesis can not fail. We learned through the “give briefly” article that The article did not fail. The program did fail. That the cash-equivalent grants were as beneficial as the education program that it would have qualified as Success because they would’ve found a new way to help people and it would give new knowledge. They didn’t fail, but this isn’t the response they were looking for. If the people did not benefit from the cash in a certain way, that can eliminate what people do and don’t need the cash for to get to a conclusion. They proved something even if it wasn’t the point they intended on proving.


  21. thatwonguyy says:

    Never say ” in my opinion” when writing an essay. The goal is to make the reader believe your opinion is true, We then went over the schedule for our zoom meetings. After the zoom meetings we went over the hypothesis illustration. After that we discussed how money Is nothing but a belief that the next person will want it. It is just a piece of paper with no value.


  22. chickendinner says:

    Using qualifiers and declaring everything you say to be your opinions will undermine your argument.
    The first teleconference with Prof. Hodges must take place within the next two weeks (develop and defend hypotheses by then.)
    The truth or falseness of a hypothesis does not determine success or failure, as long as experimentation produces information about it.


  23. strawberryfields4 says:

    -Essay’s are your own opinion, but the goal is to convince people that your opinion factual
    -Do not remind people that it is your opinion
    -Present your opinion in the most positive light
    -Use authority in your voice
    -Do not remind people that your convictions are personal

    -Not a claim you are trying to prove, but an experiment you are testing
    -No failure in proving that your hypothesis is false
    -A hypothesis cannot fail
    -A hypothesis is simply an experiment you do not know the answer to

    “Give Directly” Hypothesis:
    -Experimented to see if directly providing the resources to malnourished families would be more effective than financing programs to educate them about nutrition
    -Although the experiment did not achieve its primary goals, a successful hypothesis was still evident
    -Any answer, regardless of being positive or negative, is a successful result


  24. krackintheneck says:

    What I learned in class today:
    -Writing is your own opinion, yet you should write like it is factual and sound like you know what you’re talking about
    -Hypothesis is not a claim you are trying to prove, but an experiment you are trying to test
    -It is ok to have your hypothesis wrong it’s just an experiment
    -Hypotheses never fail
    -Make your hypothesis authoritative
    -Stone Money podcast due Monday


  25. tyblicky2001 says:

    Was taught that:
    Essays are opinionated.
    Truths are self-evident.
    Learned about teleconferences.
    Hypothesis illustrated:
    Read the “Give directly” hypothesis
    Discussed the outcome of the hypothesis


  26. nugget114 says:

    We started class today with the fact that an essay is our own opinion
    – Opportunity to take fact and opinion and put it into one space
    – Never “say it seems to me” or “this is my opinion”, just say it
    – The founding fathers didn’t ask for agreement, they just declared it

    We discussed making appointments to have professor – student conferences
    – We will meet a minimum of 3 times by the end of the semester
    – The first conference of 3 is mandatory by October 7th
    – Develop and defend your hypothesis
    The second conference out of 3 is mandatory before Thursday November 4th
    – Evaluate your thesis progress
    The third conference of the semester is mandatory during Finals Week
    – Final grade conference

    A hypothesis is not a claim that you’re trying to prove its an experiment your trying to test
    – If you prove that your hypothesis is not true, that is still as much as a success as if you prove that your hypothesis is true
    – It is very possible for you to start with one hypothesis and end up proving or disproving another unwritten hypothesis just in the midst of research
    A hypothesis was tested in Rwanda: If you give people the money they need, they’ll improve the health and nutrition of their kids because they already know how to, they just don’t have the money to
    – 4 different groups are made
    – The first group was the control group and had no help
    – The second group got health and nutrition trainers to come speak
    – The third group was given $114 (the cost it would take to pay for the teaching program)
    – The fourth group was given $500
    If the 3rd and 4th groups nutrition and hygiene improved, that would prove the hypothesis true, but if it is proved false, it doesn’t matter because you still learned something, that’s the whole point of a hypothesis – you can’t fail
    – The talk about giving money without giving money didn’t do anything, but the $114 didn’t make much of a difference either, in fact most of them used the $114 to pay their own personal debts because that was their bigger concern
    – However the only group where it made some difference was the one that received $500 because they were able to pay personal debt AND improve health and nutrition

    “Money has value” is a very abstract concept
    Even though it’s just a piece of paper, you’re able to trade for it and the only reason it is accepted is because we know the next man will accept it also
    Trading goes back to the beginning of civilization
    Currency traded for goods
    Money isn’t about anything other than whether the next guy will take it or not
    If you offer 20 $1 coins over a 20 dollar bill, you’re most likely not going to accept it because you know the next person won’t either. They’d rather have a 20 dollar bill because they can and they also know they can just move to the next and get the paper bill they want


  27. tarheel1999 says:

    To begin the lecture today, Prof. Hodges stressed that the main point of an essay is to express your opinions (based on research) in such a manner that they come across as fact. To accomplish this, a confident, strong voice is required – after all, how can the audience fully believe something that the speaker himself is not even convinced of? This was followed by a reminder to schedule an appointment for the first mandatory professor conference, in which I will be expected to develop and/or defend my research hypothesis. Naturally, a discussion of what exactly goes into a good hypothesis ensued, in which it was demonstrated that a hypothesis is not to be proven but merely investigated. To find that it is untrue is not a failure, but instead an elimination of an unworthy solution. This point was further driven home through a real-world example of an experiment conducted by the USAID regarding methods to best deliver nutritional assistance to Rwandans. Although neither of the primary solutions tested achieved the goals of the program, they further narrowed the search for the one that did. Another example – that of the search for a successful forest fire prevention method in California – demonstrated how to parse through common opinions to find one that is uncommon (the goal of the hypothesis assignment). Class concluded with a brief overview of the topics to be covered in the Stone Money assignment.


  28. littlecow24 says:

    -By definition, an essay is automatically your opinion. You don’t have to say “In my opinion” or anything of the sorts; your essay should be so convincing and persuasive that a reader will believe what you are saying is facts
    -We have 3 mandatory conferences we will have to indulge in, where we can set our own agenda and discuss whatever we would like to in that meeting
    -The purpose of a hypothesis is to establish that a question may have an answer, and through research you figure out if that answer is found
    -Anything that you learn from an experiment you perform is a success, because you are trying to answer a question and even if something seems bad it is just one step closer to finding out a solution
    – “” are on the outside of a quote, use the ‘’ for quotes on the inside of the original quote
    -You are allowed to change your hypothesis, and to stay open to changes in your original hypothesis. You can subtly alter for the better
    -Who really decides what things are worth? ex) who chooses how many apples you can buy with a dollar? Are they in or out of season, who is the seller? ex) how much is bitcoin really worth; it’s insured by no one.
    -There is a faith in others to accept a certain currency and recognize how much it is actually worth; shows how others interpret different things


  29. toastedflatbread22 says:

    It does no good for us to explain that what we are saying in our essay is our opinion, rather, we should write as if we are stating facts. It doesn’t help to water down authority with phrases like “it seems to me”, “I believe”, etc. The essay is an expression of our opinion so we should be confident and persuasive in our language. If the Declaration of Independence was written with such weak phrases, it wouldn’t have the same effect, so we should keep that in mind while writing our essays.
    The purpose of a hypothesis is to establish a question and through research, find out if the question is accurate or not. An example of a hypothesis is instead of spending $150 on nutrition education, directly handing people $150 would do more good. However, even if this money isn’t used to help children, that would still be a successful experiment because things are still being learned. Try different methods to get to a result that lines up with the hypothesis. The results of this experiment prove that aid programs do not work, but a large amount of direct cash does. This is important because it still gives a valuable result.
    In class, we also discussed the true worth of money-does it have any meaning? Who decides what it is worth? We had a long discussion about the value and purpose of money.


  30. kilotoon says:

    1. It’s important to never refer your essay is an opinion, as you should use your writing to attempt to convince the reader that you’re right
    2. Whether or not the hypothesis is proved to be true or not, an experiment is considered successful as long as something is learned.
    3. We spoke about the truth of value of money. Does it really have a worth or is a social construct deciding if we value our current currency at the moment? If a major corporation stopped taking $20 bills, would it be as valuable?


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