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 thoughts on “E13: Editing for Logic”

  1. Negative Sports Reply:

    Sports are great ways of entertainment for its physical and fast paced tempo on the field.

    You make trouble for yourself here, Yankee. “Sports” is plural, and you acknowledge that with “Sports are.” But then you complicate the number trouble with WAYS and ENTERTAINMENT. It’s no wonder you can’t tell whether to say THEIR physical or ITS physical. The best version of your sentence would avoid all the trouble: SPORT IS ENTERTAINING FOR ITS PHYSICALITY AND SPEED ON THE FIELD.

    However, reporters disregard athletes talents on the field and rather investigate negative off-the-field activities.

    The only trouble here is the plural possessive for ATHLETES. You need to say ATHLETES’.

    Like

  2. Negative Sports
    Professional sports provide riveting on-the-field action that reporters could talk about for hours, but reporters tend to focus on players’ off-the-field wrongdoings in their news segments.

    Like

      1. Professional sports provide riveting on-the-field action that reporters could talk about for hours, but they tend to focus on players’ off-the-field wrongdoings in their news segments.

        Like

    1. You may disagree, but I heartily favor the elimination of all needless if/then constructions. They usually introduce people who don’t need to be in the essay, and they almost always create pronoun conflicts. See if this works for you: A brain needs sleep to perform efficiently, and could even improve the exam scores of owners who sleep enough.

      Like

  3. Negative sports:
    Professional sports are great entertainment for the people. But news casters tend to focus there writing more about what these athletes do behind camera rather then at the sporting event.

    Like

    1. Fails for Grammar a couple of times, BTB.
      Fixed: Professional sports are great entertainment for the people. But newscasters tend to focus THEIR writing more ON what these athletes do behind camera THAN at the sporting event.

      Like

  4. Hooray sleep:
    Sleep gives the brain a chance to operate sufficiently, results of a great sleep have been proven by how well one does on there exams.

    Like

    1. Fails for Grammar a couple times, BTB.
      FIXED: Sleep gives the brain a chance to operate sufficiently. THE results of a great sleep have been proven by how well GOOD SLEEPERS DO ON THEIR exams.

      Grade -1

      Like

  5. Imagine trying to learn in an environment where there are hardly any teachers, outdated books (if any books at all), and classes of around fifty people. This is what school is like for some students across America. 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

    1. Very nice work, Belladonna. A few improvements are possible.
      –across America.
      (not the focus of this article, which was specifically about New York schools.)
      –classes of around fifty people
      (It’s not obvious that that’s a lot. Some college courses put 200 in a class. Plus they’re not “people,” they’re students.)
      SO: Classrooms crammed with 50 students.
      –better than failing
      (creates confusion. Do they deserve better than failing? Or do they deserve better schools? I know it was in your source material, but that doesn’t make it perfect.)
      SO: Inner-city students already living in poverty deserve better than schools that fail to motivate them or teach them to succeed.

      Like

      1. Imagine trying to learn in an environment where there are hardly any teachers, outdated books (if any books at all), and classes crammed with fifty students. This is what school is like for some students in New York City. 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 schools that fail to motivate them or teach them to succeed.

        Like

  6. Failing Schools:

    The majority of inner-city kids from New York attend public school. 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. They wont be able to succeed in schools that are okay with failure.

    Like

  7. Negative Sports Media
    Sports are full of wonderful on field activity that reporters could focus on however many of times the reporters focus on the negative things these athletes do off the field, especially in the news.

    Like

    1. PUNCTUATION: However, furthermore, nevertheless, and nonetheless (and similar words) are always punctuated with a semicolon and a comma in the same way.
      FIXED: Sports are full of wonderful on-field activity that reporters could focus on; however, many . . . .

      [DELETE THE “OF”] times [DELETE THE “THE”] reporters focus on the negative things these athletes do off the field, especially in the news. [WHY “ESPECIALLY IN THE NEWS”? WHERE ELSE WOULD REPORTERS REPORT?]

      Grade Neutral

      Like

  8. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    If humans are given the right to anything in this life, it should be a dignified death. A prime example is Paul Lamb, a man who lost all dignity and independence twenty-three years ago in a car accident that left him quadriplegic. If he is not in horrific pain, what little is left of him is dulled by morphine. He has been fighting for his right to die for years, to no avail. Our so-called justice system needs to grant him the release he deserves and allow him to end his life.

    Like

      1. I mean yeah, but I’ll be a better writer for it and all that sappy stuff. Back to business. What I’m trying to do here is compare his life to his death, that because he has not been given dignity in life, he deserves it in death. Maybe this works better?
        If humans are given the right to anything in this life, it should be a dignified death. A prime example is Paul Lamb, a man who has not been allowed a dignified life. He lost all independence twenty-three years ago in a car accident that left him quadriplegic. If he is not in horrific pain, what little is left of him is dulled by morphine. He has been fighting for his right to die for years, to no avail. Our so-called justice system needs to grant him the release he deserves and allow him to end his life.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yep, that’s much better. And I take your point that he deserves to die with dignity, in part to give him back some of the dignity he lost. Let’s see if we can do it in fewer words.

          Paul Lamb lost his independence twenty-three years ago in a car accident that left him quadriplegic. To escape horrific pain, he beats back what little is left of him with morphine. To no avail, he has been fighting the justice system for years for his right to die. Paul, whose accident deprived him of dignity in life, deserves a dignified death.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. These students that don’t get the proper education will have a harder time reaching the goal of graduation, due to the lack of books and well rounded teachers who have the means to make these achievements accomplishable for the students. 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

  10. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    Paul Lamb, a 57 year old quadriplegic, who has spent the last 27 years of his life in pain, where his only relief comes from the morphine drip. Over the last few years he has gone to court in hopes someone will help him end his life, as he no longer can live the life he wants to as he is now dependent on everyone else as well as in complete pain, but has been turned down every time.

    Like

  11. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    A decision one should have is that they should have the option to take away there life, if they went through all the proper steps to trying to help fix there problems. Lamb is a prime example of a person who should have the option to take his life away, after going through 23 years of pain and suffering and taking ever thing he can do to help fix himself and make himself feel be but still no results. If the pain wont go away I think he should be given the right to decide what is next for him.

    Like

  12. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death

    Paul Lamb, 57, has been a struggling quadriplegic for the past 23 years after a terrible car accident. A morphine drip that eases some of his pain is all Lamb has as a cure for his unbearable pain. Courts have denied his request to help him end his suffering. Paul Lamb and only Paul Lamb should have the right to decide how his life ends.

    Like

  13. Failing School
    New York City School districts are overcrowded, understaffed, and poorly managed causing the drop out rate to be incredibly high. Bill Moyers suggests that the city should close those large public schools and replace then with smaller “specialized” schools. Inner-city students deserve to become successfully and should be exposed to good educations so that way they are motivated to succeed.

    Like

  14. Hooray Sleep
    Sleep is the most effective tool to help with performance and efficiency of the brain, helping the sleeper learn better and improve on exams when they have more sleep than when they do not.

    Like

  15. “Hooray Sleep.”
    People don’t realize how imperitave the correct amont of sleep each night is to a healthy, cognitive lifestyle.

    Like

  16. Negative Sports Media
    Professional sports are great entertainment, but some reporters don’t always tell the news about on the field, but rather find the aspects of what athletes do wrong off the field.

    Like

  17. Negative Sports Media
    Just like any big news network, it seems that they live off of bad, negative news stories. That is what the public shows the most attention to.

    Like

  18. Hooray Sleep
    Sleep, the most important tool a person can utilize if they want better performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn.

    Like

  19. Negative Sports Media
    Professional broadcasters give life to professional sports by commentating on an athletes performance, yet they also seem to touch upon what athletes are doing wrong off of the field. Negative media coverage is rather harsh and an invasion of a players personal life.

    Like

  20. Negative Sports Media:
    Though media tends to focus solely on the negative , off-the-field, aspects about sports, they are still trilling and provide great entertainment.

    Like

  21. Failing School
    Large schools in areas of poverty cause for lower graduation rates. Replacing these large public schools with smaller “specialized” schools will help guide students towards success. These kids just like any other kid deserve to be treated the same and saved more in the direction of success.

    Like

  22. Failing Schools.
    You are who you surround yourself with. If you are surrounded by hundreds of kids who don’t care about school and are running wild in the halls, you’re gong to do the same. If the teachers are paid minimum wage and don’t put in too much effort you will not have any guidance on what direction to go.

    Like

  23. Hooray Sleep
    Liam found that his sleep pattern has a negative effect on his performance on the soccer field. Sean suggested that a good sleep pattern could improve the performance and efficiency of his brain. Liam, after listening to Sean’s advice, found that a better sleep pattern had an awesome impact on his performance in his soccer games and he went on to become Player of the Year in New Jersey.

    Like

  24. “Negative Sports Media”

    Professional sports are known as great entertainment, but some reporters only find and report the negative news happening to players off the field, rather than what occurs during a game.

    Like

  25. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    Paul Lamb, a man involved in a horrific car accident is left relying on the help of others and morphine shots. Living day by day in pain, his life is said to be unbearable, though the court will not allow him to end his suffering.

    Like

  26. 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. 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. Although the USA does not believe that suicide is legal, At some point it is ethical to try and understand people like, Paul’s, position on these sorts of situations.

    Like

  27. “Hooray Sleep”

    Mark was always the type to cram before an exam, but one day he realized that he performed better after a good night’s sleep.

    Like

  28. Failing Schools
    Large failing public schools pose little benefit to society if the children in these schools are not receiving a quality education. Not only will smaller “specialized” schools guide underprivileged students in the right direction to become successful, our society as a whole will benefit from an educated youth. We must recognize the disadvantages in areas like New York City where students are being forced into overcrowded schools with extremely low graduation rates. How can we help these children when we can barely manage facilities in New York City? Inner city areas, consisting of countless students living in poverty or receiving an education without proper education, need schools who will give these children an education they are in dire need of.

    Like

  29. Negative Sports Media
    1. News reporters prefer to cover stories about the wrong in athletes personal lives, rather than the great entertainment provided in sport.

    Learning in Our Sleep
    2. More sleep is essential to learning and doing well in everyday life.

    Failing Schools
    3.In cities like New York, overcrowded school are preforming extremely lower than they would if they were smaller.

    Like

  30. Negative Sports Media
    Even though professional athlete’s grace and finesse leaves more than enough material for reporters to discuss, any reporters tend to completely ignore the athlete’s action on the field and, instead, criticizes the athletes when they are off the field.

    Like

  31. Failing schools:
    Being apart of a crowed, overpopulated school creates much difficulty for effective learning. A student is looked at as just a number here. Number 324 out of 1867 students. That is what we are. That’s all that we are in this school. Why go to school when no one will notice if we’re gone? Bill Moyers states that students will improve their attendance and motivation if these kinds of students are able to attend a smaller “specialized” schools. Urban students, who live in poverty, must know that they are worthy of a better school system that can motivate and teach them.

    Like

  32. “Negative Sports Media”
    Although professional sports are great sources of positive and competitive entertainment, news reporters of newspapers and news shows tend to focus more on the professional sport players’ negative activities when they are off the field.
    “Hooray Sleep”
    Sleep helps people utilize their brain more efficiently and proves to be the best method in improving their performance in their studies and on their exams.
    “Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death”
    57-year-old Paul Lamb, in a horrific car accident twenty-three years ago, was left quadriplegic. Only the constant drip of morphine into his body allows a temporary relief from his daily pains. Depending on the help from others was never the life Lamb wanted to live. In order to end his pain and suffering he has pleaded multiple times in court to be showed mercy, but has been rejected despite his right to choose how he lives and dies. (not done yet. will fix.)

    Like

  33. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death:
    Paul Lamb, 57, has been suffering a painful sickness for twenty-three years. The only relief is the constant morphine drip that enters his body. This independent man, decides that his life is too painful to suffer through. Lamb also suffers from difficult battles with the court for the right to end the life he does not want to suffer through anymore.

    Like

  34. Negative Sports Media
    Sports news should focus on the various entertaining developments that happen on the field. However, journalists prefer instead to highlight the controversial stories that are happening off the field.

    Hooray Sleep
    Sleep can be an effective tool to improve people’s brain performance and efficiency, depending on how long they choose to do so.

    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. Think of how many of those students could end up making a positive impact on the world if they were able to receive the attention and guidance that they deserve. Smaller “specialized” schools may be expensive to build and run initially, but once their positive impact on students is made apparent, they will eventually become very profitable for the Inner-city.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    For twenty-three years, Paul Lamb has been a quadriplegic due to a horrific car accident. He has gone to court many times in order to battle for the opportunity of an assisted death, but each of those times, he was rejected. Paul desperately wants to die, as he is stuck living every day of his life in “unbearable” pain. And due to this, he constantly has to depend on other to take care of him like a baby, which he considers as an insult to his dignity.

    Like

  35. Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    We all look for a purpose in life. We often look within ourselves to find out what really drives us. Yet, some people don’t have the luxury to find a purpose in life. Paul Lamb, 57, was left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty- three years ago. Could he find a purpose? Perhaps he may find something he is passionate about, but for now he lives day by day in pain. His only release is the constant drip of morphine into his body. Mr. Lamb should have the right to dictate when he feels that enough of enough. The court system is stripping Mr. Lamb of his basic freedoms. Taking away our ability to die is the equivalent to restricting our right to live. Who are we to dictate or judge a mans suffering? I say let the man die.

    Like

  36. Negative Sports Media
    Despite professional sports’ exciting on-the-field action, many news reporters will only report the negative off-the-field controversies.

    Like

  37. Hooray Sleep
    Whether it is tackling a big exam or running a marathon, sleep is the most effective preparation tool. Not only does sleep increase the efficiency of the brain, it will also improve the mind’s performance.

    Like

  38. Failing Schools
    When children are placed in an schooling environment that only reinforces the idea of poverty that they have come to know, they are less likely to feel important. 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.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death
    After being left quadriplegic in a horrific car accident twenty three years ago, 57 year old Paul Lamb, lives every day in constant agony. With morphine being his only release, Lamb feels that his constant dependence on others has made him less of a man. Despite several rejections already, Lamb deserves to end his suffering in a dignified manner where he has control.

    Like

  39. Hooray Sleep.
    Sleep is an effective tool for improving performance and efficiency of their brain. Thus, the more sleep one gets, the better their performance will be.

    Like

  40. Negative sports:
    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.

    – It seems that the public only pays attention to what happen in the professional players personal life and not whats happening on the field.

    Like

  41. Hooray sleep:
    The more sleep someone gets the better their performance on exams and anything they are trying to learn will be.
    – Having 8 hours or more of sleep will help you body and your brain to function right.

    Like

  42. Old:
    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.

    New:
    The most effective tool any individual can utilize when attempting to improve their performance and brain efficiency is sleep. With more sleep comes better performance on tasks such as exams, learning a new activity or language, etc.

    Like

  43. Failing Schools
    Smaller classroom is better for students because the teacher can help the students more individually.

    Negative Sports Media

    The media seems to be biased and only shows negative aspect of sports. News reporters may not write about the truth, but what will get readers attention.

    Mr. Lamb’s Dignified Death

    Paul Lamb has been suffering for 23 years. He is currently trying to fight in court for a way to die peacefully, which so far he has been unsuccessful.

    Hooray Sleep

    Someone who usually get’s a healthy amount of sleep will do better on exams and learning than someone who get’s an unhealthy amount of sleep. Sleep helps the brain improve it’s efficiency.

    Like

  44. Negative Sports Media:
    Many people enjoy watching professional sports as a form of entertainment, however their enjoyment can sometimes be clouded by comments from new reporters. Harping on off-the-field interactions may be a way to increase fame as a journalist, but it detracts from attention put on the actual games being played.

    Like

    1. When “however” and other subordinating adverbs (nevertheless, furthermore . . . .) both separate and join clauses, as however does here, they’re punctuated the same way every time, with a semicolon (a combination of a period indicating the sentence is over, and a comma indicating it isn’t).

      entertainment; however, their enjoyment

      Like

  45. Hooray Sleep:
    Everyone loves getting a good night of sleep, but besides waking up refreshed and energized it can also improve brain function and performance.

    Like

    1. energized it can also

      Your it is unclear because it follows the “waking up.” Your sentence says (but does not mean) waking up refreshed, sleep can also improve brain function. See how sleep wakes up in your sentence?

      Like

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