Does Your Language Shape How You Think?”

“Does Your Language Shape How You Think?”
Using the various examples (Whorf, Bali boy, Chinese/Native American/French/German/Matses languages, Guugu Yimithirr) as evidence, agree or disagree with the writer, Guy Deutscher, who claims that our mother tongue is not “a ‘prison house’ that constrain[s] our capacity to reason.”
Experiment with changing search criteria, terms, and databases. Your gaining experience with these research tools is an intended component of this writing assignment. Search the various examples listed above (Whorf, Bali boy, et al) for more information about them and follow other leads to help you find further evidence that augments your thesis.
MLA format: Name / class / date / assignment (the heading) in upper left corner; last name and page number (the header) in upper right corner; title centered before start of intro paragraph. Use Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced, standard margins.
Essay itself should be ~4.5 pages long. It will have an intro, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The intro must introduce your topic, give a brief background, and give a thesis stating your position on the subject. The body paragraphs should each open with a transition and/or a topic sentence. They will contain quotations from the article and from your online sources.
Stylistically, your conclusion may be a synthesis of your earlier points into a final revelation; it may offer a final, coup de grace argument; it may challenge the reader; it may answer a question raised in the intro; it may ponder the future of this issue; it may contain your personal opinion about the issue, and why that opinion is relevant. You’re real writers now–you’ve learned the art of rhetoric, and now you are free to exercise your intelligence as you see fit.
At end of essay will be “Works Cited,” which will include your references–not only the article, but also at least three sources from EBSCO. You may of course have additional references pulled from other sources or search engines (e.g. the public library, Google).
Submit this essay to your proper class section folder at
Other comments on the composition:
At the end of your intro, be sure to give a clear, decisive thesis sentence stating what your essay will prove.
Lay out clearly your case–here’s what GD/Whorf/etc. write, here’s what I’m arguing.
Each body paragraph should forge a clear connection to thesis.
Use transitions and topic sentences at the start of each body paragraph.
Proofread your drafts carefully–should be few spelling, grammar mistakes at English 102 (UC-transfer) level.
If you need grammar help then ask in the Qs/As with Davis discussion forum topic.
You must integrate sources and quotations into the body paragraphs.
This is an argumentative paper that relies on evidence gleaned from research; it is not a summary of GD’s article.
4.5 pages long means 4.5 pages of content, not including Works Cited.
Avoid abstract, confusing language.
When you write, even when being playful, consider that you are undertaking a serious intellectual exercise. Dedicate yourself to writing well.
Use an outline during prewriting.
If you need grammar help then ask.
Essays are often underwritten. They set minimal internal goals, and sometimes don’t achieve even those. Why not do the maximum?

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