Writing

Final forum! Read the following short examples of academic writing. Choose TWO and write a paraphrase of each in one forum thread. The trick is to read the original, then try and rephrase it as if you were telling me what you had read—without quoting directly. That’s paraphrasing. It has to be in your own words. It sometimes helps to read it a couple of times, then write without looking back at the original. You do this all the time, by the way, when you talk about what someone said. Don’t forget the in-text citation (in parentheses). Each successful paraphrase will earn you 12.5 points.

1. “The Antarctic is the vast source of cold on our planet, just as the sun is the source of our heat, and it exerts tremendous control on our climate,” [Jacques] Cousteau told the camera. “The cold ocean water around Antarctica flows north to mix with warmer water from the tropics, and it cools both the surface water and our atmosphere. Yet the fragility of this regulating system is now threatened by human activity.” From “Captain Cousteau,” Audubon (May 1990):17.

2. Of the more than 1000 bicycling deaths each year, three-fourths are caused by head injuries. Half of those killed are school-age children. One study concluded that wearing a bike helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent. In an accident, a bike helmet absorbs the shock and cushions the head. From “Bike Helmets: Unused Lifesavers,” Consumer Reports (May 1990): 348.

3. Matisse is the best painter ever at putting the viewer at the scene. He’s the most realistic of all modern artists, if you admit the feel of the breeze as necessary to a landscape and the smell of oranges as essential to a still life. “The Casbah Gate” depicts the well-known gateway Bab el Aassa, which pierces the southern wall of the city near the sultan’s palace. With scrubby coats of ivory, aqua, blue, and rose delicately fenced by the liveliest gray outline in art history, Matisse gets the essence of a Tangier afternoon, including the subtle presence of the bowaab, the sentry who sits and surveys those who pass through the gate. From Peter Plagens, “Bright Lights.” Newsweek (26 March 1990): 50.

4. While the Sears Tower is arguably the greatest achievement in skyscraper engineering so far, it’s unlikely that architects and engineers have abandoned the quest for the world’s tallest building. The question is: Just how high can a building go? Structural engineer William LeMessurier has designed a skyscraper nearly one-half mile high, twice as tall as the Sears Tower. And architect Robert Sobelclaims that existing technology could produce a 500-story building. From Ron Bachman, “Reaching for the Sky.” Dial (May 1990): 15.

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