Blog #10 – Reflection

Doing a blog has been an interesting experience. It feels like a good way to rapidly prototype ideas and discuss small things in an informal manner. The format excels at helping the individual think about a problem or topic for the first time. That isn’t to say that there weren’t drawbacks to it all. I did find myself in a couple situations where I wanted to talk more about a topic, but it was beginning to exceed the blog length format. Other than that however I enjoyed the blog as a way to explore a small snippet of a concept or to introduce myself to an idea like framing.

Truthfully however some blogs were more helpful and interesting than others. Some of my favorite blog ideas came from the first couple blogs that we did. Where focusing on the more fundamental writing aspects and the main claims of our topics were discussed. The blog post that covered source credibility was exceptionally beneficial because it provided a clear incentive to look up a mildly interesting topic. Before that blog post I might have been interested in some of the characteristics that make some sources more trustworthy than others. Though I wouldn’t have had the level of interest necessary to look it up myself in my free time.

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Blog #9 – Framing

No matter what you talk about or what arguments you read, everybody uses framing. They use a specific language and try and establish the mood that they intend for the paper to be seen in. Some of the more obvious examples of framing can be seen in issues that are very controversial such as abortion. Both sides will use differing language where they intend to downplay the weak points of their argument while amplifying their strongest points. For the most part though framing is a way of presenting information. It can be any way of presenting something that differs from stating the objective truth about something without being inaccurate. In some ways framing might be seen as a type of ‘controlled bias’. In visual effects framing is often used to paint a narrative where the movie studios are Goliath uncaring entity and visual effects studios are weak divides who are trying to fight back. They do this by using language that vilifies the actions of these entities while downplaying the normal economic forces that went into those decisions. Continue reading

The Importance of Visuals – Blog #7

Adding visuals to an argument is a flexible way to supplement a part of your paper that might be lacking or just needs an extra boost. These arguments can also be used to communicate a message that would be especially difficult to explain through text alone. An example of this might be a chart representing all of the Visual Effects companies that have closed over the last 10 years. This makes it easy for the audience to see exactly how big the problem is a quick and easy way. At least opposed to the alternative of stating every company or saying x amount of companies over 10 years. Or as with most news articles the visual could appeal to the emotion of the audience. For example, our textbook states “The ad uses visual narrative to convey both a casual and ethical argument. Through vivid, memorable scenes” (189).  This could help hook the reader or communicate the overall mood of an issue. There’s plenty of other ways visual arguments can be incorporated into a paper to make it better. Similarly, break out boxes can be used to either hold these visual supplements or improve the paper themselves through text; which might be a quote or relevant narrative that adds context to the topic. One example of a visual adding to the argument being made is an article by Derek Thompson titled “How Hollywood Accounting Can Make a $450 Million Movie ‘Unprofitable’”. A topic very closer to the subject of visual effects companies.

Blog Post #6 – Thesis Statements

The thesis statement in the introduction of a paper is often times very important. It sets the scope of the paper and can be the main claim of a paper. The thesis statement can take many forms depending on the type of the paper and what needs to be expressed to the audience. Purdue University gives a good overview of the types of papers that probably require a thesis statement.

Since my topic is dealing with an issue I want to focus on my main claims. This will be a concise claim that will be supported further in the paper, in other words it is the focal point of the paper. My subject is the effects of subsidies on the Visual Effects industry. One thesis statement could be that Visual Effects subsidies harm the workers and families of the visual effects industry. Which would then be supported with evidence and various stories. A slightly broader claim would be that Visual Effects subsidies are eroding America’s rich film legacy. Which again would be supported throughout the paper. Both of these claims are relatively short and give the reader an idea of what the paper will be about.

Blog post #4 – Proposal Arguments

Out of the many types of arguments available I’d like to focus on proposal arguments which are discussed on chapter 14 of our book. Just like all of the other arguments we’ve looked at proposal arguments aren’t any more complex or difficult than any of the other types of arguments. The general idea of a proposal argument is that you are proposing an idea in the hopes of causing some type of change or effect to solve a problem. Proposal arguments must also be convincing and able to make its claim seem desirable. This can be done by outlining the problem, explaining your proposal as specifically as possible and justifying that these changes would be beneficial in solving the problem you outlined earlier.

Explaining your argument can be difficult but you can choose from many different types of strategies to make your argument more robust and appeal to the audience you’re trying to convince. Some examples of these strategies would be an “argument from principle or category”, which focuses on trying to convince someone by arguing that your proposal would fall in line with some of their principles or ideals. This is only one strategy; another could be arguing that if your proposal isn’t adopted then some sort of consequence will occur. This is not however a threat. A good example of this is climate change, a long-term proposal would outline what needs to be done to specifically avoid some type of consequence.

The last strategy is proposed by our book is called the “argument from resemblance”, this strategy is somewhat differently in that it doesn’t focus on making an emotional appeal as it does an appeal to logic. Which is done by comparing one group or person who has implemented your proposal or a similar proposal and the benefits they are receiving for having done so. One example of this strategy could be used when proposing a national base wage. This is a recurring idea that has been tried before. Such as an implementation from France in 1988, in  citizen was guaranteed a basic incomes. This has also been done in Canada and many other countries. A proposal would use these examples and highlight the benefits that they have caused in an attempt to make the proposal more appealing and convince the audience to adopt the proposal.

Blog post ‘3’, VFX Soldier as a Source

In my first paper for English I wrote about visual effects subsidies and how some of the effects they are having on the industry as a whole. This involved finding many different sources on an issue that is really relatively new. This means that resources such as published books and articles in databases weren’t very helpful. Instead I had to rely primarily on sources gathered from the internet such as blogs, trade websites, and official company websites. One such website which provided a very thorough overview of the problem and a lot of useful information was a WordPress blog written under the title “VFX Soldier”. Continue reading

The Case for Legalizing Prostitution

The question of whether or not prostitution should be legal in America has been a controversial topic for a long time. Even today the issue is routinely brought up to discuss the pros and cons of legalization. With organizations such as Business Insider explain the many benefits that could be seen from legalizing and legitimizing prostitution.

America is exceptionally interesting because prostitution has only been illegal for only 100 years. A change that was driven by the women’s Christian temperance union. An activist group who promoted women’s rights and Christian ideals. Their work began to sway American opinion away from prostitution, towards a much more negative view, that eventually led to states making prostitution illegal.

Although it became illegal, that doesn’t mean that it ever stopped. The criminalization of the practice only pushed the business underground, where it is completely unregulated. Facilitating the spread of STDs, and forcing women into stressful and dangerous situations just to make money to provide for their basic living needs. However if prostitution were legal and highly regulated with a focus on the wellbeing and protection of sex workers. Those individuals could potentially be given a chance to improve their quality of life and allow them with the opportunity to leave the business.

In short, prostitution is going to exist as it has for thousands of years. The best you policy is to allow prostitution, while regulating it so that sex workers can’t be exploited. Hopefully this will be the case someday and people will be able to escape from these situations, or improve their quality of life significantly.