Blog 1.3 - What Are They Saying? (Claims in Writing)



Acts of Inquiry, University of Washington, 2013

"Claims are assertions that authors must justify and support with evidence and good reasons.  The thesis, or main claim, is the controlling idea that crystallizes a writer's main point, helping readers track the ideas as it develops troughout the essay.  A writer's purpose clearly influences the way he or she crafts the main claim of an argument, the way he/she presents all assertions and evidence"

Consume Me:

    If one theme stands out to you this year, let it be this one


     Consumerism is America's (and the West's) Bull-Eye.  Much can be said about our culture, but none of us can deny our hopeless attachment to things (video games, movies, books, clothes, sports).  

     Therefore, you will be reading several articles/essays that give you a glimpse into the power of things.  Today's essay, Construction of Illusion, takes on the power of photographs.  In it, Anandi Ramamurthy, talks about commodification (the act of making something sell-able) and explains how images have shaped our desires.


1) Read Construction of Illusion

              * Read the first three Sections (to establish definition)

              * Then choose three others (because it's long and difficult)

2) Read the Definition of Claims (Above) 

3) In Box Below 

                * Write out three specific claims Ramamurthy makes - Exact Quotations

                * Demonstrated with contemporary example (using Rhetorical Modes)

                * Evaluate using cause and effect


Ramamurty says "Commodities are in fact objects -- often inert -- that have been imbued with all kinds of social characterstics in the marketplace." Take, for example, shoes; research and the personal testimony of runners says Asics are the most anatomically engineered shoes, yet, outside of running, people will take the more familiar, inferior pair of Nikes.  Ramamurty understands that image is everything, and he knows people will follow images rather than research.

© Jeff Thomas,