W: Reasoned Opinions

100-word reasoned opinions are a warm-up exercise to reasoning out positions, ideas for later being more confident in terms of tackling argumentative essays.

Things I thought of as I checked your work…

First of all,

A reasoned opinion may be based on empathy,* but ideas need to be reasoned out, explained, and now dependent on the transmission of strong emotions, like outrage, hatred, suffering. Your guiding star should be: explain why, give reasons. A reasoned opinion is not an emotional text. Reasons can be based on empathy, and that can be explained, but emotion (exclamations, outraged language) is not explaining things with reasons, it mostly implies trying to intimidate or bring supporters for the cause through an exhibition of irrationality, which is the worst version of expressing emotions. Even if your cause is just/fair, you have to explain why you believe what you believe. Consequently, all the kind of emotional language — intended or non-intended — for emotional manipulation should be ruled out.

A reasoned opinion in our academic+communicative context relates to brief texts: about 100 words, and an argumentative essay or article relates to longer texts: up to 300 words. This means that in a reasoned opinion we cannot present and explain different opinions. We need to pick one and deal with that. If the word limit were longer you could resort to contrast, but for our 100-word exercise, that would not be the case.

So for instance, here is an Outline for a reasoned opinion for your consideration, with my questions and comments:

Reasoned Opinion – Outline [Here I’d like to analyze German’s and Sonia’s pieces, so they can improve them and we can all learn from them]

Intro: present the topic (and state opinion – be careful, only with short texts, yes, not with longer analysis)

Body:

  • the reasoned opinion (depending on the number of words and points presented, in one, two, three paragraphs)
  • other (opposing?) views (?)  not in a brief reasoned opinion, unless it’s part of a sentence

Ending: a conclusion? or a concluding comment or assessment

Other points I wanted to mention are:

  • vagueness: you cannot be vague in an 100-word piece where you are meant to explain something. You need to think of relevant things to say. Just be vague when you’re just trying to survive and say something! 😀
  • new points in conclusions!!! NO WAY. Points are made in the paragraphs in the body, not in the final block.

*Remember the story in the bible that spoke of a king who suggested cutting a baby in two to solve the motherhood query? Well, there is no justice in mere logic, particularly in the logic of sustained injustice!, and that’s why in feminism we speak of rationality and empathy together in contrast to patriarchal reason, which always justifies violence!

What did you all write about?

It was wonderful to read your work. People wrote about a variety of current controversial topics:

  • Childbearing Mothers & their Health Care Rights
  • Surrogate Motherhood
  • Love & Age: Women Marrying Younger Men
  • Gender Violence: Technology & Crime Prevention
  • Recycling to Protect the Planet
  • Animal Testing and Animal Rights
  • Hunting and Animal Rights
  • Homework: For or Against?
  • Screen vs Paper Textbooks in Primary
  • Should the Catholic Faith be Taught at School?
  • Uniforms at School
  • Discipline in Families and at School
  • My Ideal Job (on Labour Rights)

Please, feel free to post your final version here! You can also send it in and I’ll post it for you.

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