What Makes Evidence Puzzling, Difficult And Interesting?

Submitted By lifehandsudreams
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2.2 What Makes Evidence Puzzling, Difficult—and Interesting?

We have been thinking and writing about different kinds of summaries (again) as the basis for engaging with a text and its arguments. We’ve been also talking about looking for the key sentences and claims of an essay. In this exercise, I ask you to consider a number of passages, paraphrase their meaning, and writing a summary in response to them.

Here’s what to do:

1) Read Randolph Bourne, Trans-national America

2) Annotate the articles by elaborating on what Bourne means in the following quotations. First, paraphrase what they are saying by restating his ideas using your own words; second, state why this idea is important to his central argument. Write your elaboration in the margin, and use complete sentences. Here are the passages to annotate:


a. “We are all foreign-born or the descendent of foreign-born, and if distinctions are to be made between us they should rightly be on some other ground than indigenousness” (94).
b. “We act as if we wanted Americanization… (94, middle of top paragraph, to the end).
c. “If freedom means…” (full paragraph, 97).
d. “The failure of the melting pot, far from closing the great American democratic experiment, means that it has only just begun.”
e. “America is a unique sociological fabric, and it bespeaks poverty of imagination not to be thrilled at the incalculable potentialities of so novel a union of men” (100)
f. choose one more passage from the reading