Help with Essay.

Chronuss

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I have a research persausive essay in my english class due. I have asked my teacher if I could write it on self defense; however, it has to be in third person... she instructed me that I could about myself in third person and about concepts and perceptions of self defense...but I do not know how I can write about myself in third person. I'm used to getting a beating firsthand and having me used as the example to show everyone else. I can't watch myself. so any ideas or suggestions on to relate concepts and priciples for an essay would be much appreciated. :D
 
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Kirk

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Originally posted by Chronuss

I have a research persausive essay in my english class due. I have asked my teacher if I could write it on self defense; however, it has to be in third person... she instructed me that I could about myself in third person and about concepts and perceptions of self defense...but I do not know how I can write about myself in third person. I'm used to getting a beating firsthand and having me used as the example to show everyone else. I can't watch myself. so any ideas or suggestions on to relate concepts and priciples for an essay would be much appreciated. :D

To convert first to third, just make up a name ... like Wolf! .. good
tough name! :D Then change the I's and me's to "Wolf".

Start with:

I took a shot to the jaw, which hurt like hell.

And change it to:

Wolf took sudden, painful hit to the jaw.

or

Wolf was then hit in the jaw. "Boy did that hurt!" he thought
to himself.

*shrug* I'm sure other (probably better) suggestions will arise.
 
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Chronuss

Chronuss

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thanks for the suggestion Kirk...but I think my prof. would be slightly irate if I used a name like Wolf and used dialogue in my essay. I would probably get a horrible grade on the assignment, flunk the class, my GPA would go down, and I'd lose my scholarship. so thank you for the idea, but what I was hoping for was some suggestions on what concepts could I write about and corrolate it to persauding about self defense.
 

Blindside

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What and who are you trying to persuade? What is the main thrust of your persuasive argument?

That people should defend themselves?

That people should use kenpo to defend themselves?

That everybody should get some sort of self-defense training?

etc.

Regardless of the thrust of your self-defense essay, I would minimize the use of personal experience. Your experience is just that, your experience, and your name probably carries little weight in self-defense circles. :) Instead, cite people who have written on the topic and give references (Ed Parker, Geoff Thompson, Tony Blauer, etc). Or if you do cite yourself, give a reason for it, such as you conducted a survey, compiled statistics, etc.

Example:
"Glass et al. (2002) found that there was a significant reduction in the growth of basal area cottonwood growth during drought years."

In self-defense this becomes more problematic as much of what is written or done does come from one persons personal experience. "Glass found that he was punched in the head less often after 3 years of self-defense training than compared to the time before it." :p Somehow it just doesn't have the weight to persuade someone, or at least it wouldn't persuade me. Personal experience is usually best left to oral presentations when it allows people to ask you to clarify your experience or relate it to a bigger picture.

That is just my opinion, and it is from someone who is trained as a scientist, so my viewpoint is certainly biased toward citing supporting evidence.

Lamont
 
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Stick Dummy

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Chronuss,

That should be a No Brainer!!!!!!!

Talk to you at 19:00 or so, between Seig & myself things should go just dandy.

If they don't,

you can ritualistically BEAT the professor in the 1st person.

:D
 
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Stick Dummy

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Whoops,

preferably applied with/to Rammsteins 'Du Hast"

:asian:
 
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Chronuss

Chronuss

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okay, Stick Dummy gave me a bit to use on Monday night. only thing is I just want some help with an intro...that's all I ask. I have to correlate martial arts...with this...godforsaken section in my English book about...obese people, handicapped people, and ethnic people; however, I just need ONE citation from three of the articles in the section...easy 'nuff. I was hoping anyone could just give me a small sliver of an idea.
 

Seig

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Like I said earlier, the one thing that starting martial arts and some of the "disabilities" you described all come back to excuses. Everyone has an excuse for why they cannot start MA, loose weight, why they are being opressed or repressed, or why they cannot overcome their handicap. We can talk more later, but there is a common thread.
 
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rmcrobertson

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OK, since I teach college English, I'll take a stab.

First off, "third person," in writing refers to a viewpoint more than to a grammatical person. First person would be appearing to speak in your own voice, as in a novel with a first person narrator such as, "Huckleberry Finn:" it ends, (more or less), with, "I got to light out for the territory cause Aunt Sally she wants to sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before." First person naarration is also sometimes called "subjective," or "limited" narration, because what you can say is limited to what one person might actually know.

At the other end of the spectrum is third person, also sometimes called, "omniscient," narration, as in the start of Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities:" "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of hope; it was the age of despair...." Or then there's the beginning to some "Babylon 5" epissodes--"It was the dawn of the Third Age...." I sometimes call this, "eye-of-God narration," because the story gets told from a sort of god's viewpoint, in which everything is known aand the teller isn't directly involved in the events they're telling about.

College writing tends to emphasize third person narration, because it's all about the detached, impersonal, scientific presentation and evaluation of truth. Scientific writing takes this very far indeed: you don't use "I," because "I" is fallible. The objective scrutiny of the truth supposedly ain't. For example, an established scientific theory such as evolution (sorry, kids, it's as solid a theory as there is in science) isn't a matter of opinion, so "I" isn't relevant.

A cheap way to summarize: Dr. McCoy is first person, subjective, emotional; Mr. Spock is third person, detached, unemotional, scientific. Which is better? Neither. Depends on what you're doing. And BOTH viewpoints, as well as all the ones in between, are artificial constructs. They're ways we construct stories and representations of the world, and help claim the power to get others to listen: first person has the authority of personal experience and feeling, third person the authority of objectively-presented reality. (Note: if you can get somebody to buy the notion that you're objeective and they're only subjective, you win the argument every time.) But read Robert Scholes and Nancy Comley's "The Practice of Writing:" both positions are artificial, and both have to do with power.

Suggestions for paper topics:

1) turn the question back on itself and write about subjective/objective viewpoints in kenpo (there are alwways 3 points of view in a fight...")

2) discuss the role of "handicapped," people on the mat, and methods of "objectively" deciding when to promote somebody who can't, say, possibly do a form. What are one's criteria as an instructor?

3) Discuss the fact that in a sense, everybody's handicapped in learning kenpo. I'm handicapped if you want to call it that by being darn near 50; others are handicapped by athletic gifts that make them unwilling to buckle down and study; guys are handicapped by being guys; women by their repressive social training...

4) look up Mr. Parker's comments about writing well.

Hope this helps...
Robert
 
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rmcrobertson

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Damn, forgot one.

5) Discuss whether or not it is possible to be "objective," in kenpo, given the role played by such factors as transference as the easiness of manipulating the truth on the mat. How do the psychologies, politics and economics of contemporary kenpo compromise its claim to be a martial science?

There, that oughta do her.

Robert
 

Nightingale

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Don't write about yourself, write about kenpo. It will make the perspective easier. When you have to insert your own opinion somewhere, use a phrase such as "In this situation, one could think..." Use the word "One" in place of "I" and adapt your syntax accordingly.
 
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Chronuss

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Originally posted by nightingale8472

Don't write about yourself, write about kenpo. It will make the perspective easier. When you have to insert your own opinion somewhere, use a phrase such as "In this situation, one could think..." Use the word "One" in place of "I" and adapt your syntax accordingly.

thank you. :asian:
 
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rmcrobertson

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Sorry, but do NOT use "one," as your personal pronoun. Students invariably screw up the sentence thereafter--the syntax is much harder to construct than with the simple pronoun, "I."

Further, it is an archaism and a pomnpous one at that. It represents an attempt to imitate Johsonian and Latinate syntax from the English 18th century--not our time, not our country.

The pronoun has little to do with it. Read a scientific journal: scientists frequently use, "I," or, "we," or they avoid pronouns altogether. They do NOT use "one."

Last: objectivity/third person viewpoint is no more established by one pronoun than progress in kenpo is measured by learning one little trick, one quick fix. These shortcuts are utterly crippling for students' work, whether it is in the classroom or on the mat.

You might note that this post is written without, "one," except as an example, and I'd argue it manages a certain authority, clarity and objectivity--agreement is another issue.

Objectivity flows out of knowledge, ideally. Otherwise, it's an effect of carefully-crafted rhetoric. And I return to my original point: my invariable experience in teaching English for twenty years has been that the use of "one," screws up the writing of students.

Oh well, up to you.

Sincerely,
Robert
 
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rmcrobertson

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Anybody who wants a small laugh at Dr. Bob's expense should compare my advice about using, "one," to what I actually did in a previous post on this string.

I was still right. Both times.
 

Nightingale

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his teacher SPECIFICALLY requested a third person paper. That means he cannot use the word "I" because that would place the paper in the first person, which wouldn't follow the assignment. And I did specifically tell him that he needed to adapt the syntax accordingly.

High school, honestly, is stupid that way. They make students write in third person, when they will likely never use that style of writing again. A lot of high school teachers are stuck in the past, where scientific and academic writing had to completely leave out the presence of the author, attempting to allow the facts to speak for themselves. More recently, it has become known that you truly can't leave the author completely out of the paper, because the author's thoughts and feelings are the lens through which the facts are being examined. Academia now encourages first person writing, even though it was frowned upon or considered "unprofessional" before.

Using the words "one," "the author," or "the student" are ways to get around the problem. It does make the syntax more difficult (which is one of the reasons I offered to proofread for him) but it is effective. For example:

"The author feels that when one is observing a martial arts match, a sense of excitement can permeate the crowd."

rather than saying: "When I'm watching a martial arts match, I can feel the excitement from the crowd."

The use of the word "one" is also a relatively easy way to avoid the use of the word "you," which would place the paper in second person (as if the author is speaking directly to his or her readers). For example:

He can use sentences like this: "Upon observing the instructor demonstrating a technique on a student, one could feel as if the instructor is taking unnecessary risks. However, when one observes the lesson more closely, it is discovered that any actual contact is relatively light and the student is trained to react in certain ways when contact is initiated."

Rather than saying: "When you watch the instructor demonstrate a technique, you can sometimes worry about the student getting hurt, but if you watch more closely, you can observe that it is just light contact."
 

Seig

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Originally posted by nightingale8472

his teacher SPECIFICALLY requested a third person paper. That means he cannot use the word "I" because that would place the paper in the first person, which wouldn't follow the assignment. And I did specifically tell him that he needed to adapt the syntax accordingly.

High school, honestly, is stupid that way. They make students write in third person, when they will likely never use that style of writing again. A lot of high school teachers are stuck in the past, where scientific and academic writing had to completely leave out the presence of the author, attempting to allow the facts to speak for themselves. More recently, it has become known that you truly can't leave the author completely out of the paper, because the author's thoughts and feelings are the lens through which the facts are being examined. Academia now encourages first person writing, even though it was frowned upon or considered "unprofessional" before.

Actually, he's in College now and it is in fact a College professor requiring that crap.
 

Blindside

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Actually, he's in College now and it is in fact a College professor requiring that crap.

It is not crap, writing in the first person is a fairly common writing exercise in high school. Forcing a student to write in the third person is a good writing exercise, illustrated by how Chronuss did not even know how to present his ideas in the third person.
 
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rmcrobertson

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I say. I believe you may want to stay after and clean the erasers.

First off, there are some problems in the essay assignment as described. A "reserch persuasive," paper, written in the "third person?"

Research imples objectivity. Persuasion implies partisanship. Third person, a grammatical case, implies an objective, external-to-events viewpoint.

If you'll read what I wrote, it says that the objection to using, "one," is that it is very difficult for students to use correctly. Not only is the resulting sentence usually a pompous and cheap imitation of Johnsonian prose, but typically it's grammatically incorrect.

"Third person," can mean that no personal pronoun at all is used. Indeed, it typically does.

So--how 'bout the suggestions for topics, the serious issue?
 
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