E13: Editing for Logic

Negative Sports Media

Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but some people only find and report the negative news that they hear or see. News reporters, for example the reporters of newspapers and news shows, don’t always write about what happens on the field, but rather find aspects of what professional players do wrong off of the field.

The first sentence sets up a false contradiction. There’s nothing contradictory about:
A: Sports are great entertainment
B: Reporters go negative
As a consequence, readers don’t know what to make of the very first sentence, and the author loses most of her credibility.

A truer contradiction would be:
A: Sports are thrilling for the physical feats on display in athletic competition.
B: However, many reporters ignore the spectacle on the field and concentrate only on reporting negative off-the-field activities.

This is exactly the content of the second sentence, a clear demonstration that the first sentence was wasteful and confusing.

Exercise: Rewrite the first paragraph in a Reply below, in one sentence or two.

  • Identify your comment as “Negative Sports Media.”

Learning in Our Sleep

Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain. The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.

The sentences Fail For Grammar (FFG) twice for pronoun disagreement (a person/their brain) (someone/their performance/they). But besides that they’re also quite wordy and get the essay off to a very slow start.

It says: Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain.
Which means: Sleep improves the brain’s efficiency.

It says: The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.
Which means: Sleeping longer helps us learn and perform better on exams.

Exercise: Rewrite the first paragraph in a Reply below, in two sentences (or one if you can manage it). Consider using a brief, simple illustration. The tone is informational but light.

  • Identify your comment as “Hooray Sleep.”

Failing Schools

The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful. Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates. These high schools are overcrowded with students and understaffed with teachers. Classrooms are filled above capacity and the “schools are simply under managed.” These inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.

The sentences introduce plenty of material but are wordy and repetitious.

Fat: The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful
Lean: Underprivileged students are more likely to succeed when large failing public schools are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat: Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates.
Lean (combine with 1st sentence): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when large failing public schools are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat:These high schools are overcrowded with students and understaffed with teachers.
Lean: (Combine 1st 3 sentences): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

Fat: Classrooms are filled above capacity and the “schools are simply under managed.”
Lean (combine with 1, 2, 3): Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers.

Fat: These inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.
Lean: Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

Final Product: 

Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

Exercise: Expand the final two-sentence version back out to three or four sentences, adding a hook, a brief illustration, or an expression of opinion.

  • Identify your comment as “Failing Schools.”

Death with Dignity

Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. He lives day by day in pain. His only release is the constant drip of morphine into his body. Mr. Lamb is not the man that he wanted to be, having to be dependent on the help from others. He describes his life as “unbearable” because of the intense pain. He has gone to court multiple times in the hope that someone will be merciful and allow him to end his suffering, but he got rejected.

The paragraph suffers from a choppy, repetitive sentence structure. Every sentence begins with Paul Lamb or a pronoun referring to Paul Lamb. The result is a series of  five unrelated statements that make no argument.

One Solution: Paul Lamb, 57, deserves the right to be released from his pain and dependency. For 23 years, he has lived in unbearable pain, or debilitated by a morphine drip that eases the body’s agony without relieving his total dependence on others since quadriplegia deprived him of the use of his limbs. Since he cannot be the man he wants to be, Lamb has spent years unsuccessfully battling the courts for the right to end his suffering.

Exercise: Rewrite the same material to emphasize why Mr. Lamb, and nobody else, should have the right to decide his fate.

  • Identify your comment as “Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death.”

122 Responses to E13: Editing for Logic

  1. dublin517 says:

    Failing schools:
    Success in our modern society requires some form of education, acquiring higher knowledge is integral in being a functioning member of society. Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed. Revamping existing school systems is a possible solution to provide the education necessary for higher achievement.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      education, acquiring

      You’ve combined two independent clauses with a comma. That’s an illegal form of runon called a Comma Splice. Fix it with a period, a semicolon, or a subordinator.

      Like

  2. dublin517 says:

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death:
    Paul Lamb’s life has been full of pain and morphine for 23 years now. The 57 year old man suffers on a daily basis, relying on others to take care of him. The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available; as he has already expressed his desire to do so. Control over his day to day existence is dictated by others, this could be a way for Lamb to finally take control of his life that he lost 23 years ago.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      I’m responding fully to your replies here, Dublin, because I’m impressed that you’re still working on your writing. I respect that.

      Paul Lamb’s life has been full of pain and morphine for 23 years now.
      [His life has been full of morphine?]

      The 57 year old man
      [57-year-old man] [for the record, that would also make him a 57-year-old] [but, just to be clear, he would still be 57 years old]

      suffers on a daily basis, relying on others to take care of him. The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available; as he
      [this is your first semicolon, and it’s wrong. 😉 ]
      [CORRECT: The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available; as he
      [CORRECT: The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available. He has already expressed expressed his desire to do so.]
      [CORRECT: The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available; he has already expressed expressed his desire to do so.]
      [CORRECT: The option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available as he has already expressed expressed his desire to do so.]
      [CORRECT: Since he has already expressed expressed his desire to do so, the option for Lamb to decide to end his suffering should be made available.]

      [One more thing about this sentence. It’s unclear what Mr. Lamb has expressed his desire to do. Does he want to “decide,” or does he want to “end his life”?]

      Control over his day to day existence is dictated by others, this could be a way for Lamb to finally take control of his life that he lost 23 years ago.
      [Two things here. THIS is a sentence that needs a semicolon, a period, or a conjunction.] [Did he lose control 23 years ago, or did he lose his life 23 years ago?]

      Like

  3. Knuckles the Enchilada says:

    Negative sport media: Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but some people only find and report the negative news that they hear or see. News reporters, for example the reporters of newspapers and news shows, don’t always write about what happens on the field, but rather find aspects of what professional players do wrong off of the field.

    Rewrite: Professional athletes provide great entertainment through their shows of prowess on the field, but most news reporters don’t report on that. The news reporters, more often that not, report on the negative things the players do off the field, rather than what’s happening on it.

    Like

  4. nreina34 says:

    Negative Sports Media:
    Professional sports is known for the flashing lights, the championship rings, and those big plays that bring everyone to their feet. But unfortunately, sometimes news reporters do not focus on the on-field antics and focus more on the off-field activities players encounter, which exposes what players do wrong off the field.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      I like your colorful first sentence, NR, and most of the second. You lose this reader with players who “encounter activities” that “expose what they do wrong.” A phrase as simple as “off-field misbehavior” says all of that.

      Like

  5. picklerick13 says:

    Negative Sports Media

    Sports are enjoyed for the physical feats on display in athletic competition. However, many reporters ignore the spectacle on the field and concentrate only on reporting negative off-the-field activities. Instead of writing about what happens on the field, news reporters often write about what professional players are doing wrong off of the field.

    Like

  6. amongothers13 says:

    Negative Sports Media

    Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but news reporters don’t always write about what happens on the field; they write about what the professional players do wrong off the field.

    “Hooray Sleep”
    Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain, for more sleep means better performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be easier to understand.

    “Failing Schools”
    Smaller “specialized” schools should replace large failing public schools, for many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates, large classrooms sizes, and understaffed teachers, which is why these inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      AO, the best writing has the smallest cast. All non-essential characters should be fired. People just get in the way of “Hooray Sleep.”

      I admire most of “Failing Schools,” but you push just a little too hard when you say students live in poverty BECAUSE they attend underperforming schools.

      Like

  7. picklerick13 says:

    Sleep is the most effective tool in improving the performance and efficiency of the human brain. More sleep results in better learning and performance on exams.

    Like

  8. myrtleview says:

    Negative Sports Media
    Sports are thrilling for the physical feats on display in athletic competition. However, many reporters ignore the spectacle on the field and concentrate only on reporting negative off-the-field activities. News reporters are more interested in targeting scandalous activities professional players do off the field rather than their performance on the field.

    Hooray Sleep
    The brain’s efficiency can be improved with sleep. Sleeping longer increases the brain’s performance and efficiency to do tasks.

    Failing Schools
    Smaller specialized schools are more likely to make underprivileged children succeed.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      NSM.
      All your sentences are nice, Myrtle, but the third one is redundant. It adds the lovely phrase “targeting scandalous activities,” which is worth saving but could be incorporated into the second sentence.

      Hooray Sleep.
      Also very fine work, Also could be better still with another edit. Turn 2 steps into 1 step whenever you can.
      1. Inflation can be controlled with changes in interest rates.
      2. Raising the rates keeps inflation down.
      Steps 1 and 2 combined:
      Inflation can be kept down by raising interest rates.

      Failing Schools.
      Love it.

      Like

  9. Knuckles the Enchilada says:

    Hooray sleep: Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain. The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.

    Rewrite: Sleep improves the performance and efficiency of the brain, making it the most effective way for a person to facilitate his or her learning, and improve their performance on exams.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Very nice work, Knuckles, until you permit the pronouns to torment you. Get rid of people who bother you. Here a single person trying to facilitate learning quibbles about whether he’s a he or she’s a she, and then disputes whether he or she is singular (he)(she) or plural (they), WAAAYYYY too much trouble.

      Without people: Sleep improves the performance and efficiency of the brain, making it the most effective way facilitate learning and improve performance on exams.

      Like

  10. jdormann says:

    Negative sports media: Sports reporters often focus on player actions off the field, and this is not what the fans want to see.
    Learning in our sleep: Students that get adequate amounts of sleep score better on exams and their brain is more efficient.
    Failing schools: Inner city schools do not provide the necessary support and enviornment for students to be happy and successful
    Death with dignity: Paul Lamb is a 57 year old man that suffered a horrible accident and continues to suffer everyday. He wanted to end his life to end his suffering, but was not allowed by the court and he will continue to live in pain.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Negative sports media: Sports reporters often focus on player actions off the field, and this is not what the fans want to see.

      Your brevity is admirable, JD, but your clarity is lacking. The imprecise pronoun “this” could refer to the reporters focus, or to the players’ actions. What I think you mean is:
      Although fans object to the negativity, sports reporters often focus on players’ misbehavior off the field.
      Two vague terms have been replaced by specific terms:
      —”player actions off the field” is now “misbehavior,” which makes it clear that the off-field actions are the scandals, not charity fundraisers.
      —”not what the fans want to see” is now “the negativity,” which makes it clear that what the fans don’t want is the focus on negative behaviors.
      You could still find a way to emphasize that what they DO WANT is reports on the positive aspect of good play.

      Learning in our sleep: Students that get adequate amounts of sleep score better on exams and their brain is more efficient.

      This is a big improvement over the original, JD.
      —Always use who for people, though—not that—to emphasize their humanity.
      —You’ve chosen the plural students, which is a smart strategy for avoiding gender pronouns like he and she, but you seem to have them sharing one brain. English is messy in this regard, but I think in this case the solution is to allocate one brain to each student.

      Students who get adequate sleep score better on exams, and their brains are more efficient.

      Failing schools: Inner city schools do not provide the necessary support and environment for students to be happy and successful.

      I love this approach very much, JD.
      [But you know I’m never satisfied.]
      You’re using two very general attributes here: support, and environment. They overlap so much I think they could be successfully combined.

      Inner city schools do not provide the supportive environment students need to be happy and successful.

      One more thing that is more of a suggestion than a correction for what you’ve done, but is good advice always: Choose positive rather than negative statements whenever possible. Here you claim that schools “don’t provide,” which is true, but you could hold them MUCH MORE ACCOUNTABLE with a positive claim.

      Inner city schools DEPRIVE STUDENTS of the supportive environment they need to be happy and successful.

      Death with dignity: Paul Lamb is a 57 year old man that suffered a horrible accident and continues to suffer everyday. He wanted to end his life to end his suffering, but was not allowed by the court and he will continue to live in pain.

      Punctuation note: Lamb is a 57-year-old man. Emphasis on the hyphens.
      Syntax note: Use “who” for humans.
      Rhetoric note: Replace weak negative claims with robust positive claims: “. . . he was SENTENCED by the court to a life of endless agony.”

      Thank you for this opportunity to go way overboard. Your drafts were accomplished enough to encourage me to continue.

      I should rephrase: Your early successes COMPELLED me to continue editing.

      Like

  11. pATricKStar123 says:

    Negative Sports Media: Professional sports are one of the most profitable sources of entertainment viewed by millions worldwide; yet as entertaining the news fails to cover the negatives aspects that occur on the field. Reporters fails to focus on letting viewers know what happens on the field and solely focus to athletes off the field personal lives.

    Learning in our sleep: Sleep is essential in the way our brain functions and retains knowledge. Without the proper sleep staying focused can become an internal struggle.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Negative Sports Media
      I’m very confused by this entry, PS.
      —Profitability seems irrelevant.
      —Your first sentence seems to complain that we don’t get more news about negative ON-FIELD occurrences. That’s a major shift from the perspective of the original.

      Learning in our Sleep:
      Accomplishes a lot in very few words.

      Like

  12. paulajean5 says:

    Negative Sports Media
    Despite the hard work and physical endurance needed to play professional sports, many news reporters resort to reporting the negative aspects of an athlete’s or team’s game.

    Hooray Sleep
    Due to fact that sleep improves brain efficiency, sleeping longer can help us improve our grades on assignments and exams.

    Failing Schools
    Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. These kids deserve a better education and a better opportunity to become successful. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. He has been living day after day in pain. The only time he is not in pain is when he is taking morphine. This lowers his quality of life through his eyes as he is in “unbearable” pain all of the time. This really should be a good enough reason for letting Lamb dictate his own death.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Negative Sports Media
      —That’s interesting. I love that you made the material your own with a total rewrite. I think you’ve neglected the “on field/off field” comparison, but your sentence is a fine one.

      Hooray Sleep
      Due to fact that sleep improves brain efficiency, sleeping longer can help us improve our grades on assignments and exams.

      —Very fine work. You’ve handled the causation beautifully. Your use of first-person plural solves many problems. I would advise you to avoid “due to the fact that” for the rest of your life. Almost nothing in the universe is caused by a fact, and the grammar of “due to” is needlessly fraught (I could explain how if you wish). My recommendation:

      Because sleep improves brain efficiency, sleeping longer can improve our grades on assignments and exams.

      Failing Schools
      Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. These kids deserve a better education and a better opportunity to become successful. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

      —A wonderful start. Can you absorb the second sentence into the third? (In both S2 and S3, you’ve got the same students deserving success.)

      Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
      Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty-three years ago. He has been living day after day in pain. The only time he is not in pain is when he is taking morphine. This lowers his quality of life through his eyes as he is in “unbearable” pain all of the time. This really should be a good enough reason for letting Lamb dictate his own death.

      —Hmmmm. There must be a better way to indicate that Lamb’s quality of life is reduced than to resort to explaining that constant unbearable pain is at fault. What do you think, PJ?

      Liked by 1 person

  13. dohertyk9 says:

    Negative Sports Media:
    “Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but some people only find and report the negative news that they hear or see. News reporters, for example the reporters of newspapers and news shows, don’t always write about what happens on the field, but rather find aspects of what professional players do wrong off of the field.”

    Fix: While professional sports are renowned for their great entertainment, this is rarely the focus of news reporters; instead of the excitement on the field, they cover the mistakes that the players make off field.

    Hooray Sleep:
    “Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when wanting to improve the performance and efficiency of their brain. The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.”

    Fix: Sleep drastically improves learning and performance on exams by improving the efficiency of the brain.

    Failing Schools:
    “Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.”

    Fix: The flood of directionless students once again pour in the doors of schools in New York City, the only ones their parents can afford. These students do not wish to be there; however much the students value learning, these schools are not the place to receive the most effective education. Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed. We aren’t doing enough to help these students; we need to upgrade their schools and offer the best education we can to ensure their futures.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death:
    “Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. He lives day by day in pain. His only release is the constant drip of morphine into his body. Mr. Lamb is not the man that he wanted to be, having to be dependent on the help from others. He describes his life as “unbearable” because of the intense pain. He has gone to court multiple times in the hope that someone will be merciful and allow him to end his suffering, but he got rejected.”

    Fix: Every man has the right to decide his own fate. Yet somehow, Paul Lamb, 57, was made an exception to this choice. After a terrible accident twenty-three years ago in which he lost use of his limbs and was made a quadriplegic, he has been in constant, unbearable pain that only morphine can suppress. However, despite multiple pleas to the court for a merciful end to his life, he has been rejected every time. It should not be the right of the court to determine who lives and who dies. Paul Lamb made the free choice, as a free citizen of the United States of America, to beg for the mercy of death. After all of his suffering, he deserves to have his wish granted.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Negative Sports Media:
      Fix: While professional sports are renowned for their great entertainment, this is rarely the focus of news reporters; instead of the excitement on the field, they cover the mistakes that the players make off field.

      —Very fine work. I recommend eliminating the “this is” transition if you can, whenever you can. For example: “The great entertainment value of professional sports is rarely the focus of news reporters.” Or better yet, a robust verb instead of WHAT IS the focus: Reporters NEGLECT the great entertainment value of professional sports.

      Hooray Sleep:
      Fix: Sleep drastically improves learning and performance on exams by improving the efficiency of the brain.
      —Oh, yeah.

      Failing Schools:
      Fix: The flood of directionless students once again pour in the doors of schools in New York City, the only ones their parents can afford. These students do not wish to be there; however much the students value learning, these schools are not the place to receive the most effective education. Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed. We aren’t doing enough to help these students; we need to upgrade their schools and offer the best education we can to ensure their futures.

      —Riveting and beautiful, and therefore deserving of a rewrite.
      —You have us IN THE PLACE, so emphasize the HERE.
      —Subject/verb agreement: The STUDENTS don’t POUR; in your sentence, the FLOOD of students POURS.
      —Do they flood into the school, or do they flood out when the doors open?
      —Hard to say if they’re directionless.
      —Directionless students POOL.
      —Yes, I’m being a little silly, but illustrations can distract and confuse.
      —You might mean:

      In New York City, aimless students by the thousands pass sporadically through the doors of the best—but still underperforming—schools their parents can afford. They don’t want to be here. However much they value learning, here is not the place to get it.

      Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death:
      Fix: Every man has the right to decide his own fate. Yet somehow, Paul Lamb, 57, was made an exception to this choice. After a terrible accident twenty-three years ago in which he lost use of his limbs and was made a quadriplegic, he has been in constant, unbearable pain that only morphine can suppress. However, despite multiple pleas to the court for a merciful end to his life, he has been rejected every time. It should not be the right of the court to determine who lives and who dies. Paul Lamb made the free choice, as a free citizen of the United States of America, to beg for the mercy of death. After all of his suffering, he deserves to have his wish granted.

      —A very strong opening. Provides the basis for an argument.
      —”unbearable pain that only morphine can suppress” is very nice.
      —You were rushed at the end.
      —It shows in the slightly odd claim that Lamb “made the free choice to beg.”
      —I won’t rewrite this one. It was rude of me to rewrite the third one.
      —But you could.

      Like

      • dohertyk9 says:

        Negative Sports Media:

        Fix: Reporters neglect the great entertainment value of professional sports, focusing instead on the sensational problems that the athletes face in their everyday lives.

        Hooray Sleep:

        Fix: Sleep drastically improves learning and performance on exams by improving the efficiency of the brain.

        Failing Schools:

        Fix: The masses of shiftless students once again pour in through the doors of the underperforming schools of New York City, the only schools their parents can afford. These students do not wish to be here. However much the students value education, here is not the place to get it. Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed. We aren’t doing enough to help these students; we need to upgrade their schools and offer the best education we can to ensure their futures.

        Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death:

        Fix: Every man has the right to decide his own fate. Yet somehow, Paul Lamb, 57, was made an exception to this choice. After a terrible accident twenty-three years ago in which he lost use of his limbs and was made a quadriplegic, he has been in constant, unbearable pain that only morphine can suppress. However, despite multiple pleas to the court for a merciful end to his life, he has been rejected every time. It should not be the right of the court to determine who lives and who dies. As a result of his accident, Paul Lamb lost the ability to do a great number of things, including the ability to take his own life. Without the court’s acceptance of his plea, he will be subjected to many more days of morphine induced haze.

        Like

  14. picklerick13 says:

    Failing Schools

    Underprivileged students in New York City would be more successful if the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re attending were replaced with smaller “specialized” schools.

    Like

  15. picklerick13 says:

    Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago, leaving him in constant pain only to be remedied by morphine. He describes his life as “unbearable” yet hates being dependent on others for comfort. He hoped someone would be merciful and allow him to end his suffering, but was rejected in court.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Partly very successful.
      —The repetition of “left quadriplegic” and “leaving him in pain” is a weakness.
      —One solution: get Paul Lamb to do something in the first sentence instead of describing him twice.

      Left quadriplegic, he could
      —Suffer a half-life of pain and morphine stupor
      —Persist in a near-vegetative state
      —Waver between bouts of intense pain and drugged incoherence

      Except for the “hates being dependent,” your Paul Lamb is passive here. Things are happening to him.

      Choose a rhetorical strategy, PR. Make him the hapless pawn of fate and other people’s decisions. Or make him a fighter. The material will support either choice.

      Like

  16. dudeintheback says:

    Sleep is the most effective tool a person can utilize when improving the performance and efficiency of their brain. The more sleep someone gets the better their performance is.

    The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful. Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates. overcrowded highschools are not advantageous

    Like

  17. Knuckles the Enchilada says:

    Failing Schools: The replacement of large failing public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will successfully guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful. Many disadvantaged students in areas like New York City are forced to attend large high schools with extremely low graduation rates. These high schools are overcrowded with students and understaffed with teachers. Classrooms are filled above capacity and the “schools are simply under managed.” These inner city areas consist of countless students living in poverty and receiving an education without the proper motivation and techniques needed to succeed.

    Rewrite: Underprivileged students in New York City are more likely to graduate when the overcrowded, understaffed, badly managed public schools they’re forced to attend are replaced with smaller “specialized” schools, says Bill Moyers. Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than failing schools that don’t motivate them or teach them to succeed.

    Like

    • davidbdale says:

      Cute.

      These sentences would be more effective flipped.

      Your assignment: “Expand the final two-sentence version back out to three or four sentences, adding a hook, a brief illustration, or an expression of opinion.”

      Like

  18. Knuckles the Enchilada says:

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death: Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. He lives day by day in pain. His only release is the constant drip of morphine into his body. Mr. Lamb is not the man that he wanted to be, having to be dependent on the help from others. He describes his life as “unbearable” because of the intense pain. He has gone to court multiple times in the hope that someone will be merciful and allow him to end his suffering, but he got rejected.

    Rewrite: Paul Lamb, 57, lives every day in pain due to a horrific car accident twenty-three years ago. Mr. Lamb descibes his life as “unbearable” as his only release from pain is the constant drip of morphine into his body. He hates being dependent on the help of others, and has gone to court multiple, unsuccessful times in the hope that a judge will show him mercy and allow him to end his suffering.

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    • davidbdale says:

      Yours is better phrased, but it doesn’t persuade, Knuckles. Is he bed-ridden? Does he stumble from his bed to a chair once a day? Or does he have to be helped even to do that? How does he get to court? I’m just vamping here, but in trying to imagine what’s unbearable about his life, I’m forced to invent. Can you invest the paragraph with either a struggle or a deep despair?

      “Rewrite the same material to emphasize why Mr. Lamb, and nobody else, should have the right to decide his fate.”

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