This paragraph contains repetition and the main analytical point being made does not start until claim 22. However, to be thorough, I have also demonstrated how the first part of the paragraph contains a 'side argument' (of sorts) (see below). Here are two interesting features of the paragraph:
i. This claim is the general rule that is being applied to make the link from 22 to 24. Therefore this claim is the framing premise; and the type of reasoning in the whole 22, 23, and 24 ensemble is general-to-specific, j. The trace of reasoning 'then it is easy to see why' does not form part of the claim and is therefore excluded from the brackets.
Here's how the 'side argument' can be written out:
x. References allow an author to obviate the need to detail and support every single premise in their arguments and explanations, y. References allow an author to rely on the authority of the source from which they obtained the information they are presenting, a. Relying on the authority of the source from which authors obtained the information they are presenting obviates the need to detail and support every single premise in their arguments and explanations, z. Allen, writing in Smart Thinking, chapter 6 explains the way in which references allow an author instead to rely on the authority of the source from which they obtained the information they are presenting in more detail.
Note how the reference to Smart Thinking serves to support the claim y, thereby modelling the use of referencing which is the subject of the reason explained in the paragraph.
The next paragraph is not reasoning. It summarises the three previous paragraphs and their connection to the main theme.
These three reasons can be summed up as follows. Each newly produced essay, article, presentation, or whatever, is always based substantially in existing published or presented material and becomes a part of the 'ongoing, knowledgeable conversation' expressed through that material. Written work needs good referencing so as to refer its readers elsewhere, to repay the debt to other writers, and to reinforce its own arguments.
However, the next paragraph is an argument:
But what makes it hard for some students to grasp the essential elements of this relatively simple argument as to why they must reference, even as they dutifully follow out the instructions to 'reference correctly' laid out for them by teachers?k Without going into detail, it seems likely that [many students do not yet believe themselves to be authors, with an audience, and a comradeship with other authors. They see themselves primarily as students, governed by a debilitating and unequal regime of inequality in relation to their teachers.]25 Thus, [the reasons I have just outlined are not rejected by some students because1 they are not understood, or are unreasonably or wilfully ignored. Rather the reasons are rejected because they are, quite rationally, not relevant to a 'student', even if they are explained to students.]26 [A 'student' (by which I mean the abstract identity rather than any particular individual) is governed by the imperatives of 'doing as one is told' by teachers;]27 [a student's audience is their assessor;]28 [a student's sense of comradeship is with other students as students;]29 [the goal of writing is not, usually, 'contributing to human knowledge' but getting a good mark.]30
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The most difficult paragraph in the text. First of all, the two sentences which I have combined as claim 26 might appear to be two claims. Since they are stating 'two sides of the coin, we might better represent them as one claim, even though the words are split over two sentences. Claim 25 shows a similar 'they are not— they are' pairing which is, effectively in this case, one claim.
What this example demonstrates is the lack of clarity of casting: it is an inexact science, in many cases depending on the way that a particular reader interprets the passage, rather than on all readers agreeing with a single interpretation. While we might use casting as an exercise to understand better analytical structure and logic, we should not confuse the exercise with practice. If the specific goal of the exercise of casting is to decide on the claims and their structure, its more general goal is to improve your understanding so that the 'real' goal—better critical thinking in your own writing—is more obtainable. Here are two interesting features:
k. I have indicated earlier in this book that questions can be thought of as 'claims-in-prospect' or, more fully, that a question is the way we propose a claim so as to then find the answers we need (the reasons) that will either support or reject that proposed claim. This question demonstrates the point. It says 'But what makes it hard for some students to grasp the essential elements of this relatively simple argument as to why they must reference, even as they dutifully follow out the instructions to 'reference correctly' laid out for them by teachers?', which in fact helps us to understand what the paragraph is attempting to do. It is not arguing that students do find it hard ... it is seeking to explore the reasons, the 'what makes it hard'.
1. Be careful! In this special case 'because' is part of the claim. The claim is claiming a link between the effect (ignoring referencing) and the cause (not failure to grasp, but failure to see them as relevant). Hence, in this case, because does not signal two separate claims.
The difficulty with the next paragraph (and, indeed, the previous one) is that it relies on many assumptions and already-established ideas from the rest of the text. Moreover, the paragraph combines explanation (explaining why something happens) and argument, in that it argues for one explanation over another.
[Students in general then fail to understand the need to reference.]32 because [they do not see how the very sensible arguments in favour of referencing apply to them]33. Thus, in terms of the cultural understanding of student identity—of 'who students believe themselves to be'—we can see that [students probably fail to reference effectively because they are not motivated by genuine self-interest as writers, but instead by the dubious and failure-prone motivation of obedience.]34
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