Wield Your Statistics

They’re tools.

Statistics without direction and velocity are useless. They’re a bag of balls, or a rack of bats, blunt as a hockey puck or flabby as an under-inflated football. Pick your own silly analogy, but remember this: having them is pointless if you don’t know how to use them.

We all handle them differently.

Batting Stance
NOBODY ELSE HANDLES A BAT LIKE KEVIN YOUKILIS

Among the many approaches for handling statistics, you’ll find one that makes you comfortable, but some essentials are common to all good writers: they face forward, adopt a comfortable stance, stare down the opposition, deliver with confidence, and know how to use spin.

My number is a good number.

Readers need to be told how your number compares to the range of possible numbers. The statistic by itself means nothing until you place it into context.

Half Glass

  • A full 50%
  • As high as 50%
  • Has improved to 50%
  • Proud to announce we have achieved 50%
  • At 50%, the perfect balance

My number is a bad number.

Except for experts in the field of your endeavor, your readers are at your mercy to interpret the value of the numbers you share. They count on you to guide them to an understanding of the importance of the evidence you present.

Half Glass

  • A mere 50%
  • As low as 50%
  • Has sunk to 50%
  • Regret to admit we have achieved only 50%
  • At 50%, an awful compromise

Real-life example.

Michelle Obama on her book tour is talking frankly about infertility. The news announcer putting Obama’s miscarriage and subsequent worries into context shared these facts:

  • Approximately 10% of American women between 18 and 45 who attempt to conceive, experience infertility to some degree.
  • The percentage is higher for African-American women.

I have no idea whether those numbers are higher or lower than I should have expected, and the announcer was no help. She could have used the statistics in any of several ways to help me understand.

MichellePregnant

Find the useless sentence.

Though these sentences are contradictory and entirely fictional, each serves a rhetorical purpose. Find the useless sentence and pledge to purge any like it from your work.

  1. Modern medicine and Americans’ overall health have reduced the infertility rate to 10% for American women, though sadly the rate is higher for African-Americans.
  2. Shockingly, the infertility rate for African-American women between 18 and 45 is higher than for women in many of the wealthiest African countries.
  3. The infertility rate has skyrocketed to 10% for all American women 18 to 45, even higher for African-Americans.
  4. 10% of American women between 18 and 45—more for African-Americans—who attempt to conceive, experience infertility to some degree.
  5. Though African-Americans lag behind by a few points, American women who wish to become pregnant have achieved a remarkable 90% fertility rate.

Visual Rewrite — Kevinbacon

0:00 – The ad starts out with a cartoon of a man wearing a hat driving a small train. This train looks to be carrying either gold or wood planks. The train is coming out of a tunnel and blowing smoke out as it moves across the TV screen. The cartoon looks very happy, bright, and childish. This cartoon is probably being watched by a child, this signifies who the ad will be emphasizing.

0:01 – Train continues to move across TV screen bouncing up and down. You can tell its on a TV screen because of the distinct lines and colors of the screen. The director most likely includes this cartoon to signify innocence and childhood through the beginning of the ad. The cartoon gives us a sense that there will be a kid in the ad, or at least someone of innocence.

0:02 – Camera zooms out to confirm the train is a cartoon on the TV. We can now see an entire living room which looks quite messy. There are toys on the table and scattered on the floor. There are pillows on the ground and the couch looks disturbed. All of these aspects give a homey type feeling, maybe a Monday morning  perhaps after the weekend. Laying on the carpet in front of the TV is a little boy wearing pajamas. The boy is laying in an unnatural position almost as if he is shaped like a dead body outline at a crime scene. The director might have done this on purpose to foreshadow some type of danger. Next, an adult man wearing a blue button down long-sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and work boots kneels down to get the boy’s attention. This is most likely his dad or older brother. The cartoon of the train is still displayed on the TV. In the background we can see some art in what looks to be a living/dining room. The director of the video displays the scene like this to show that they are situated in a home. Also they are most likely family.

0:03 – The camera begins to zoom into the man kneeling down to the boy, and the man shakes the boy at his sides. He does this to wake him up most likely. At first it seems like the man is concerned about the boy because he is lying in such an awkward position. He kneels down rather quickly to move the boy. The man then begins to tickle the boy. This shows that they have some type of relationship, probably father and son. The boy’s father might want him to wake up for school or breakfast.

0:04 – The boy gets up after the man shakes him. The camera then shows a close up of the man’s face. He appears to be smiling and happy as he tickles the boy. This further strengthens the fact that this is the boy’s father or close family member. The boy and the man must have some type of bond. There was no concern on the mans face as he moves the boy, even though he kneeled down with concern.

0:07 – The man gets up after a few moments and walks away, as the camera pans down on the boy. The boy is laying on his back facing up looking at his dad as he walks away. The way the boy is looking almost signifies that he is thinking about something. Perhaps he has a question for his dad. This also signifies that the boy looks up to his dad.

0:11 – The camera angle changes to show the man walking into what looks like the kitchen. On the table there are cups and bowls stacked in one another, probably dirty. In the background of the kitchen you can see what look to be like a lot of dirty dishes. The man’s wallet and some silverware are on the table next to the cups and bowls. These dirty dishes are probably from Sunday/weekend dinner and now its the beginning of the week so they will be cleaned. These dishes show the transition from a relaxed weekend to the reality of the work week. This mess could also signify the amount of leniency the dad has towards the boy. Perhaps his dad is not strict and the boy can get away with leaving his toys and dishes out.

0:14 – The man continues to walk further into the kitchen. You can see he is wearing a dark blue grayish long sleeved collard shirt. As he gets further into the kitchen he begins to roll up his sleeves, perhaps to wash his hands. As he rolls up his sleeves the man looks over from the kitchen. He is looking back at the boy who is still in the room where we first saw him. The man looks over as if he is being called or being asked a question. At this point his son is probably asking him a question. His view diverts from the sink to looking in the other room. The man’s clothes indicate he either got back from work or is going to work. These clothes and the attention he gives his son show that he is a family oriented man.

0:15 – The camera angle changes once again to a close up of the boy, now standing up in the same room. The boy’s focus is an upward glance, most likely looking at his dad. The boy almost looks worried as if he is asking his dad a serious question. The look on the boy’s face shows fear and makes it look as if hes concerned with what his dad has to say. Having this sudden camera movement and angled at his face shows the serious inquiry the boy has. Standing up also shows he has a serious question for his dad.

0:16 – The boy mouths a sentence quite quickly and continues to look up at his dad. This reassures us that the question he asked was directed towards the dad. The entire time the boy is asking the question he looks nervous or worried. At the same time there is a sense of curiosity/unknowing coming from the boy. Possibly whatever the boy is asking is very serious. The question is directed at the dad from the boy, so he knows his father has the answer.

0:17 – The ad then transitions to a black screen with white writing. We now learn that the ad is about gun safety.

Visual Argument Rewrite- P1nk123456

  • Visual Analysis of One Second of Video

     

    0:00-0:01

    These scene takes place outside of a nice house in a seemingly nice suburban neighborhood. It is a new, middle class neighborhood with houses that are close together; they are nicely detailed. The house is on an incline. The weather is nice and sunny as if it was the morning.

     

    There is a little girl riding in a black toy car on the grass in front of the house. The toy car is most likely a Jeep. The front door is opened and she is on the front lawn so we know that someone is watching the girl since she is in a vehicle close to the road. There is also a nice red SUV parked in the driveway without a license plate. The person who drove the car last backed the car into the driveway all the way to the garage. It makes it easier to drive out of the driveway. It also keeps the car off of the decline.

    0:02-0:04

    The video zooms into a young, teenage girl of the age of 17 or 18. She is texting on her phone while she is walking outside of her front door. She turns right towards her driveway.

    The camera points towards the little girl, assumed to be the younger sister. The older sister reaches her hand down, looks as if she wants to give her sister a high five.

    0:04-0:07

    The teenager had her handout for a high five so we can believe that she is a nice older sister and a possible role model. She gives her sister a fie and after the high five, the little girl drives out of the shot in her toy car. The older sister continues walking towards the driveway.

    0:08-0:10

    As the teenager walks to the car, a woman who can be assumed to be her mom also walks outside. She is saying something to her daughter before she enters the car. Possibly a warning or telling her something to remember. The woman looks happy.

    0:11-0:14

    We watch the teenager enter and sit in the car. The camera goes back to the mother who states something to her daughter while putting her hand onto her chest. Possibly still reminding her to do something.

    0:14-0:15

    The camera goes back to the daughter who is responding to her mom while closing the driver’s door.

    0:16-0:17

    We watch as the driver puts her cellphone into the glove compartment in the car. I am guessing that her mom reminded her to put her cellphone away and out of reach.

    0:18-0:19

    She then proceeds to fix her rear view mirror. We can believe that she has been practicing driving and knowns how to be safe and responsible.

    0:20-0:23

    Her mother then says one last thing, possibly a goodbye then the teenagers slowly drives out of the driveway.

    0:23-0:25

    The mother watches her daughter drive away and places her hands on her hips. The younger daughter drives back onto the grass with her toy car.

    0:26-0:29

    The camera the angles directly onto the younger daughter. She states something that is probably exhausive or sarcastic in a kid way. And her mother remarks something back in a lighthearted manner.

    0:30-0:37

    The camera points towards the little girl while she smiles and laughs towards her mother. She smiles down at her fake iPhone while still sitting the toy car.

    The camera goes to a side angle of the girl. She is raising her phone to her eye level. She is still in the car. She proceeds to throw the phone behind her out of the side of the car. We can watch as it hits the grass and she drives off in the toy car.

    The message is conveyed that we should not use our phone and drive at the same time.


     

    I just realized that this video is longer than 30 seconds. But the point was that texting and driving is no good when you can just pay attention to the road.

Rebuttal Version 1.5

Crimes dwell in our neighborhoods; it is as if they are the stronghold of our societies since the time of our ancestors. Just the other day there was a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh; this adds up to the numerous mass shooting cases our society face- According to J. Courtland of ABC 15 news report out of Arizona, in the span of 2 years, 2017-2018, the U.S have had about 639 incident of a mass shooting. In 2016 the U.S had a 4.1 percent increase in violent crimes, while crimes on properties fell to a 1.3 percent, which includes a whopping 19.1 percent overall decline in burglary in the United States (2016). The FBI’Ss “Crime in the United States” report that The United States saw a flashing number of about 1,515,096 burglaries in 2016, in other words, a 4.6 percent decrease in the number of burglary relative to those from 2015. Even though the numbers look huge, compared to the total population of the United States, crimes on properties are heading in the right direction. Crimes such as burglary which is on a steady decrease according to the 2016 FBI crime report statistics. Burglary cases are dropping steadily because of the new innovative technology that helps us keep our homes safe even when we are not around. Home securities, along sides our law enforcement officers, have done a swell job at keep burglars at bay.

Let’s take a look at the City of Old Bridge, a small suburban neighborhood in North- Central Jersey with a population of about 66,673 according to the 2016 census. Old bridge has a crime index of 65, which implies it is safer than 65% of U.S. Cities. Just like Glassboro, the demographics of Old Bridge is slightly similar, except Old Bridge has a larger population than Glassboro, yet Glassboro has a higher crime rate than Old Bridge. It may seem that the absence of a huge college institution such as Rowan University in Old Bridge can be a key to the low crime rates in Old Bridge. What if the absence of a huge institution such as colleges, and so on is not the reason for Old Bridge’s low crime statistics, rather it is the characters of the mass population of its habitat that make a huge difference. Old Bridge as we know has one of the largest high schools in the State of New Jersey, way bigger than Glassboro high, and might be three-eight the size of Rowan University. In 2016 four of Old Bridge district Schools earned National School of Character, which puts Old Bridge in top 10 National district of Character in the state of New Jersey. Sizes do not matter when it comes to the fact that we have a city with high burglary rates when nationwide, burglary rates are steadily dropping. Take a look at the stats from Glassboro’s neighboring community, Williamstown; just like Old Bridge, it has no huge institutions present, and it has lower crime rates than Glassboro.

Have we looked into the other factors in the crime report? It is as if burglary is the only crime in the report. Ultimately burglary is not the reason why crime rates are sky high in Glassboro because, in reality, it is people without character in Glassboro that are driving crime rates up in the city of Glassboro. The national statistics for burglary occurrences are on a steady decline, but Glassboro, on the other hand, is receiving the opposite stats for this same crime. Security and preventative measure are adopted into our society regularly. You can believe all these innovative, and improved technologies are made available for everyone including people living in Glassboro. We can see that their problem is not a technological one, but one of character. It is safe to assume that the people living there need to be vetted, maybe stricter policies should be imposed on Rowan University. Also, more police officers patrolling the neighborhood would scare people who are on the verge of committing a crime. Take a look at Old Bridge, it has numerous police officers patrolling the streets of Old bridge daily, and I must say it seems to be working, hence the low crime rate. Also, we may believe that Glassboro is or isn’t a crime infested city, well think about the tribulation they have to deal with, with these obnoxious young adults running wild in the streets of Glassboro. Cases including assaults and harassment are generally high in areas closest to Rowan University.

 

 

Reference

Courtland, J. Mass shootings in the U.S.: When, where they occurred in 2018. ABC 15 ARIZONA. https://www.abc15.com/news/data/mass-shootings-in-the-us-when-where-they-have-occurred-in-2018 . Accessed 29 October 2018.

Crime in the United States. U.S Department of Justice. FBI. CJISD. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/burglary . Accessed 29 October 2018.

Old Bridge Township Public Schools. https://www.oldbridgeadmin.org/Page/10711 . Accessed 31 October 2018.

2016 Crime Statistics Released. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2016-crime-statistics-released . Accessed 29 October 2018

Open Strong — Wisemann101

Physician-assisted suicide is a situation where the physician assists the patient to end his/her life due to an uncontrollable health condition. When a patient is suffering a chronic disease, which cannot be healed at a particular time or cannot heal completely can request a specific prescription of drugs to end his life to avoid much-prolonged pain. In the scenario, the doctor intends to hasten the dying process of the patient knowingly (Copeland, 87). Sometimes the condition is commonly referred to as euthanasia, but it is different. Some laws and regulations have been set to address the issue of whether physician-assisted suicide is valid and lawful or not. There should be some palliative care and trials in all means before assisting the patient to die. This death shortcut should be the last alternative when all sorts of palliative care have failed to bear fruits (Copeland, 87). Some people have argued that patients have a right for physician-assisted death (PAD); they imply that patients should be allowed to decide what they wish to happen to their lives. This essay analyses the causal and effect relationship that will result in the case of granting people the rights to physician-assisted suicide.

 

 

Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) as part of euthanasia is one of the oldest points of contention in medical ethics. The original Hippocratic Oath forbids it, and many religions and societal traditions have rejected it since antiquity. In physician-assisted suicide, a suffering or terminally ill patient is aided by a certified health practitioner to get access to a lethal dose that the patient then administers on themselves. If the patient is incapable of doing so, they can request the physician to administer the lethal substance to end the patient’s life. The practice of physician-assisted suicide continues to raise debate as only five American states, a handful of European Countries and Colombia permit some form of doctor-assisted suicide. Even though many governments and organizations do not formally accept physician-assisted suicide as a standard medical practice due to ethical concerns, they should adopt it because it is a show of respect to individual civil liberties as provided by the right of every individual to choose what is best for them without government or societal interference.

Enough About You–NamasteBean

Money plays a huge role in our society today and without any, survival would become vastly difficult. Although not always tangible, its value is forever known by its owners; as long as they allow the banking system to handle their money, which would requires trust in both in that banking system and the government. What we as a society tend to neglect is the fact that money is not actually real; it is the the exact belief of its existence that what makes it endure. For most of us when we get paid, the money is directly transferred into our accounts and then spent without actually seeing a single physical dollar of it. Imagine what would happen if that trust in its existence and the banks to protect our money ever faltered.

Enough About You – jeprr1271

Revised Version:

Money seems to have a big role in our society. It is a necessity and nothing much can be done without it. It’s value can be represented in different ways. In order for this to work, faith in the government and the banking system that our money is being handled correctly is required. Either trust has to be placed in some organization or not. If it’s the latter, money has to be hidden while its value being recognized. Banks say that they handle money correctly but no one can be sure if that’s 100% the case. Yep Fei, US gold, French francs, Brazilian cruzeros, and debit accounts now seem similar. The owner of his/her money don’t actually see what goes behind the scenes with their transactions. For example, whenever someone gets paid, they aren’t handed a check and they aren’t paid in cash. The payment is a deposit into their bank account and trust has to be placed in the banking system that their deposit is handled correctly.