Monday, July 28, 2014

Analyzing the Sciences and other Academic Fields

   In chapter 13 of "They Say, I Say", the authors discuss the process by which writing in the sciences is heavily based on creating arguments and then backing them up with proof. While they point out that science-based subjescts are usually misinterpreted as "facts" they state that most of the time, a scientific study is not known as a fact, unless in a few circumstances where there is a massive amount of scientific data supporting something, all found by different scientists. Since science is dificult to prove as an absolute, the process by which a scientist forms an argument for a scientific data includes three stages; Showing data, explaining methods, and summarizing the findings.
    In The first stage, the experimenter is not only citing numbers, but describing prevailing theories about the subject in question, and the evidence that supports it. Next, one must explain the methods of producing ones findings. This is to establish credibility for the data. Then, one must also summarize the findings, which is ultimately a witten desripion of the data and how it is evident proof for an argument.
      By analyzing science in these stages, it becomes easier to back up arguments, and show evidence for your arguments to others. This process also allows the experimenter to acknowledge naysayers, and explain why despite critiques of a certain theory from other scientists, that there is enough supporting evidence to conclude that one's hypothesis is corrct.
      This semester in English 24, we wrote several essays that included the use of stating an argument, stating the evidence to support that argument, and then acknowlodging an argument that might be used by someone with an opposing view. Although the subjects that were tackled were unrelated to the hard sciences, many of the steps used to support an argument in class were the same as if we were arguing for a scientific finding. However, instead of creating our own experiments, we mostly either agreed or disagreed with a view that was included in an article or book. We then found other scholarly articles which we used to support or debunk that claim, depening on our own personal stance.
      Despite not creating the experiment per se, we did use a lot of "data" from experiences that we gained throughout our lives. For example, if I was writing about television making us smarter, I would use my past experiences with television as a way of establishing some of my own cedibility. By having experience in the topic of debate, and by finding several sources that support your claim, and then findin flaws in articles that oppose you, one can then form a solid evidence based argument.

-The diagram above illustrates the circlular motion of the scientific method, which is how scientists create arguments by using past evidence and observations to hypothesize about future occurences. This model not only applys to science, but to any good argument, which inclues a claim, and evidence and other suporters to back it up. (


  1. Great summary! Now I don't have to read the chapter, the pic also helped :D