Key terms: No place

11 08 2011

What many students fail to realize is that the key phrase “no place” is almost a question on necessity. Not quite, but almost. Answering it as though it were a question on necessity would meet requirements, although there are a couple of additional arguments that would work for an essay on “no place”, when compared to an essay on “necessary/unnecessary”.

With this in mind, recap the skills needed for answering a question on necessity, then consider this question:

‘The book has no place in modern society’. Discuss. (2010)

Requirements:

  • Consider substitutes and viable alternatives to books (as with any question on necessity), and show an understanding of how books are losing their place due to these substitutes / alternatives. Note that this is the underlying issue in this question –  some examples include that of eBooks replacing the traditional book, of the internet replacing reference books, and possibly the issue of how people no longer read thanks to visual entertainment.
  • Make an assessment of the current situation*do books have a place in modern society? In other words, this question is not about whether books should have a place (this typically overlaps with the common mistake of considering the benefits of books, stated below)

*See this post for further explanation.

Some common mistakes:

  • Discussing the pros and cons of books and their substitutes (same mistake that is commonly made with questions on necessity)
  • Making a value judgement

Task

Read the following excerpts and decide whether it meets requirements (in other words, will pass  for content), or whether it fails to meet requirements. For each example, state “Pass” or “Fail” accordingly. If you think it passes, state the main area(s)  for improvement. If you think it fails, state the main reason(s) why it does not meet requirements.

Example 1

The books allow us to escape from real life. When we read a book, we will be so engrossed by it that we are mentally transported to a different and different place where all of our worries are put aside and for a short time forgotten.  […] Books should have a place in modern society.  People should read them because it decreases their stress level and it is healthy for their minds.

Example 2

Books are a waste of time. Parents, especially, seem to think so. Instead of reading fiction, parents often believe that their children should spend that time studying instead, as reading fiction will not help them with their examinations. […] Thus, a book has no place in modern society because it may be deemed as a waste of time.

Example 3

People literally make themselves stupid by Googling everything, or in more technical terms, ultraselecting every bit of content down to even the definition of a word, that has multiple, overlapping definitions, that suits one best – simply because he likes it.  Ultraselection prevents the promotion of critical thinking due to the utterly myopic scope of monodisciplinary knowledge (more often than not) one seeds of Google.   With books, one is constantly exposed to different disciplines, types and formats of information.  It is precisely the rummaging through multitudes of books that allow us to gains and process that knowledge, whether we like it or not.  And, with the increasing need for multi-disciplinary critical thinking in a monodisciplinary profession-driven world, books have never been more needed by society.  Some may argue that there are many other ways of using Google or ultraselection, to sieve out information of different disciplines and gain knowledge from them.  If it is possible to diversify our knowledge inputs, then why would critical thinking not be developed then?  The answer is painfully obvious – critical thinking would never be developed by spoonfed, pre-processed information that never give a chance to the student to think.  It is just like cooking out of cans with a microwave – as one would duly learn how to cook.  Books still remains the simplest source of diversified, thought-evoking information that is essential in upkeeping the modern man’s critical thinking skills to remain relevant in modern society.  The book has surely not lost its place.

Example 4

Some may argue, as modern society progresses, more technological advancements, from the discman holding 12 songs to the iPod holding 5000 songs, now books can be compacted in such a manner. The iPad is able to hold up to 1.5 million books in a simple 500g device. This shows that one can carry encyclopedias and novels paged by the thousands in their handbag. However, such LCD screens cause strain on the eyes. Books may be more beneficial to people especially in the modern society where more people are myopic as a result of the increase in use of computers.

Example 5

In modern society, movies are more palatable to the public. Some of these movies are adapted from novels and may omit certain details of the story due to time constraints. Thus, books have a place as they tell a story in the original way an author intended it to be told.


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38 responses

11 08 2011
Brenda and Da Sol

Example1- Fail because the question is not asking whether books SHOULD have a place in modern society but whether books HAVE a place in modern society.

Example2- Pass. It meets question requirements but the statement ‘Parents, especially, seem to think so.’ seems to be an assertion.

Example3-Fail. The example is about how books are better than the Internet. There is nothing about whether books have a place in modern society.

Example4-Fail. It is not answering the question. The example is about benefits of reading books.

Example5-Pass. It shows that books cannot be replaced by movies.

11 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Four responses are right, one is wrong.

11 08 2011
Brenda and Da Sol

Example2- Fail. Reading fiction is a form of entertainment so it should be compared with an alternative form of entertainment not with studying.

11 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Yes, it fails, but your reason is wrong.

11 08 2011
Valerian, Zhong Yang

Example 1 – Fail. Does not answer to the question. The question is asking whether the book has NO PLACE in modern society or does it and NOT whether the book SHOULD have a place in modern society.

Example 2 – Fail. No clear link between the modern society, ‘fiction books’ and ‘waste of time’. Question is asking in the context of ‘modern society’ but the example given was based on family, Assertions made throughout the paragraph, especially ‘parents, especially, seem to think so”.

Example 3 – Pass. Requirements were met. The was a comparison between the Internet and books to show that the books do have a place in modern society. BUT, several assertions were made throughout the paragrap.

11 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

Example 2 – correct answer, wrong explanation.

11 08 2011
PriyaD

Example 1:Pass/ Fail:
Answered is not about should. It is about whether it has a place or not in society! Little discussion about the place of book in society is present.

Example 2: Fail:
Book is a waste of time is no = to it having no place in society. Leap in logic. Did not explore the place of book in society and its continued diminishing place in society.

Example 3: Pass:
Place of book in society has been explored and defined. Its purpose, in modern society has been clearly stated. There is a understanding that there are other alternatives but it has not been very clearly stated. The part about Google is a bit example driven.

Example 4: Pass
Acknowledgement of competition/ viable altenatives for books. Scope is too narrow confined to discomfort instead of place in society.

Example 5: Fail
Failure to identify role of books in MODERN SOCIETY! No acknowledgement of viable alternatives.

11 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

One correct, the others aren’t. Example 1 – pass or fail?

11 08 2011
Valerian, Zhong Yang

Example 4 – Fail. No clear stand. Superficial explanations – so what if myopic?

Example 5 – Pass. Requirements met – clear stand. Example is insufficient, limited scope. Can be futher elaborated.

11 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

4 – stand is implicit in the “some might argue” signpost. What do you mean by “so what if myopic?” Why do you think that’s incorrect? Explain.

12 08 2011
Ms De Souza’s 2010 Paper One Review « PROGRESS IN G.P.

[…] Key terms: No place (The book has no place..) […]

13 08 2011
Reinforcements Have Arrived… « Gee Pee Land

[…] book has no place in modern society.” This post provides added points for handling the value term “no […]

13 08 2011
Priscella

Example 1-Fail
do books have a place not whether it should have or not
Example 2-Fail
“Parents seem to think” does not represent modern society
Example 3-Pass
States trends of modern society to reason why books are more needed in society today
Example 4-Fail
books being beneficial may not mean that books have a place in society
Example 5-Fail
it does not link to how it is important in MODERN SOCIETY

14 08 2011
‘The book has no place in modern society.’ Discuss. « Progress in GP

[…] but it is far too premature to declare it ‘dead’ or without a ‘place’. As Ms De Souza points out, one should not just consider the value of books, but in fact: (i) analyse the current […]

15 08 2011
Reuben

Ex 1: Fail. Paragraph is about whether books should have a place and it does NOT answer the question about whether it actually HAS a place or not.

Ex2: Fail. Just because parents think its a waste of time does not mean that it has NO place in society. Society has a broader scope.

Ex3: Pass. Does show that books DO HAVE a place in modern society by comparing it to the internet. However, too many ideas in a single paragraph.

Ex4:Fail. Link back to question is rather odd as increase use of computers does not necessarily mean someone becomes MYOPIC!.

Ex5: Pass. It does show clearly that books HAVE a place in modern society as the example does illustrate this fact.

15 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

1 – Incomplete explanation
2 – Incorrect explanation
3 – Wrong
4 – Incorrect explanation
5 – Does not “clearly show…”

15 08 2011
Justin

Example 1: Fail. The question is not about whether books SHOULD HAVE a place in modern society, but on whether books HAVE a place in modern society.

Example 2: Pass. Argue in a bigger scope, as just because parents think that its a waste of time, does not mean that books have no place in society. Prevent making assertions.

Example 3: Pass. Several assertions were made, although colourful language makes them believable, but some abstinence from making assertions would be nice.

15 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

1 – Incomplete explanation
2 – Wrong
3 – Wrong

15 08 2011
Edmund

Example 1: Fail
Reason: Does not show how books are still necessary (having a place) in society; instead it is talking about how books should have a place in society (a value judgement)

Example 2: Fail
Reason: Parents = society? Scope of society is quite narrow in this paragraph. Also, books include both fiction AND non-fiction (including textbooks). How is one genre being a ‘waste of time’ lead to books, as a whole, not being necessary?

Example 3: Pass
Improvement: Quite example-driven. Also, some might question why they cannot ‘ultraselect’ the books read. One may subscribe to certain philosophical ideas and only read books concerning these ideas. Perhaps a good rebuttal to such an argument should be included to show ‘books are absolutely necessary to develop critical thinking’? (Though nothing comes to mind)

Example 4: Fail
Reason: Does not answer the question. May be beneficial to have, but necessary? Myopia has never been life-threatening enough to warrant the replacement of technology with books.

Example 5: Pass
Improvement: Provide certain examples?

15 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

1 – Incomplete explanation
2 – Incorrect explanation
3 – Wrong
5 – Wrong

15 08 2011
Amelia

1) Fail
Stand is that books SHOULD HAVE a place in society, not that it has NO PLACE/HAS A PLACE in society. Does not address question requirements as it is based on whether or not a book should have a place in society due to the adv/disadv of reading a book.

2) Fail
What the author is explaining is that there IS a place for books n society (typically because it is not replaced by aything else), just that the books are deemed to be unimportant. So it does have a place, just a not so significant one.

3) Fail
Talks about why reading a book is better than other stuff that is used in place of it, like Google, rather than addressing question requirements about whether a book has NO PLACE in due to the presence of other sources of information.

4) FAIL
Focuses more on the BAD EFFECTS of using other viable alternatives to books, rather than to evaluate whether or not the book has no place in society due to the presence of these alternatives.

5) Pass
Shows that books STILL have a place although there’re movies being made (which may make the book seem less attractive/neccessary) but because these movies are BASED on the books, thus making the book still have a place in society.
To improve, argue more extensively + give more examples on how despite having these alternatives, these alternatives still can’t replace the place of a book in society ENTIRELY (addresses question requirements on having NO place), due to certain reasons like.. collector’s item or something. More portable/convenient than having to bring an entire ipad out PLUS NOT FORGETTING THE CHARGER. More hassle-free🙂

15 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

1 – Incomplete
2 – My explanation is different, but yours works too
5 – Yes. Though the Kindle’s battery lasts about two months and it’s lighter than a paperback!

15 08 2011
erica

Example 1- fail. does not answer question about whether books have a place in society or not. question is not about if books should have a place.

Example 2 – fail. the question talks about ‘books’ not ‘a book’. the paragraph does not meet question requirements in that it is not addressing the general idea of books
Example 3 -fail. though the a stand is made in the last sentence, it still fails because the paragraph doesn’t actually talk at all about the place of books in society and how it seems to be losing its place or not, the paragraph only talks about the benefits of books and why they are important, which doesn’t answer the question.

Example 4 -fail. does not talk about why books have lost its place or not, question is not about benefits. also, the distinction between e-books and the traditional book isn’t clear. is he /she saying that e-books aren’t books?

Example 5 -pass. clear stand on whether books have a place and why. however, this argument is rather superficial and seems more like an example than an argument.

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

2 – Incorrect explanation

15 08 2011
Danielle

Eg 1: fail
Reason: does not answer the question. Which is whether books have a plave in society, not whether it should have a place in society.

Eg2: fail
reason: also only talks about how books should not have a place in society.

Eg3: sub pass
reason: brings up the issue of google replacing traditional books. However, although there is a stand that books have not lost its place in society, there is no evidence of current situations where books do have a place in society.
Eg 4: fail
reason: out of point. the answer talks about advantages of books and disadvantages of the ipad.
Eg5: pass
Reason: straight to the point. however explanation and examples could be stronger.

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

1 – Incomplete explanation
2 – Incorrect explanation
3 – No

15 08 2011
Margaret

1. Fail.
Question requires whether books have place or no place or certain extent of place in modern society. Not whether it deserves a place or not.

2. Pass.
Addresses a reason why books have no place in society.

3. Pass and I like it (totally true).
Could be further improved with stating that critical thinking is essential today, and therefore has place in modern society.

4. Fail.
Talks about advantages of books and not accustomed to the question on how the advantage is sought after in modern society. Modern society: People can treat myopia nowadays so why not (sounds strange but should be stated no?)

5. Fail.
Doesnt talk about the importance of knowing the orginal way the author meant the story to be told. The content could be omitted because of crude violence connotations that are not desired in modern society?

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

2 – Wrong
3 – Wrong
4 – Incorrect explanation
5 – Wrong

15 08 2011
Shu En

Example 1 –fail
Question requirement is ‘no place’. It should be answered as whether book is necessary or not necessary in society.

Example 2- fail
it should be answered as whether book is necessary or not necessary in society.

Example 3- fail
Need to show that book has a place in society because it is necessary and no other technology can take its place. Since books in soft copy are available, book has no place in modern society.

Example 4 –fail
Question is not about whether books or technology is more beneficial to health, in this case the eyes. Question is about ‘book have no place in modern society’.

Example 5- pass
It shows that book is necessary for a story to be told exactly the way the author wants it and technology cannot replace book.

15 08 2011
Melissa

Example 1:
Fail
question not asking for pros and cons of books

Example 2:
Fail
books are used for studying too

Example 3:
pass
aware of substitute for books

Example 4:
pass
aware of substitute for books

Example 5:
Pass
aware of substitute for books

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

3 – Wrong
4 – Maybe

16 08 2011
Bryan

Example 1 – Fail as qns requirements not met. Qn asks for whether books have a place in modern society. Therefore what should have been mentioned was whether it is necessary or not. However what was covered was whether it deserves a place in modern society.

Example 2 – Fail as the definition of books in this case is incorrect. The qns is referring to all kinds of book in general. However the eg only mentioned fiction books.

Example 3 – Pass as qns requirements are met. Alternatives were mentioned and it shows that books are necessary.

Example 4 – Pass as it alternatives to books were considered. And the necessity of books is mentioned.

Example 5 – Pass as alternative is mentioned and books are shown to be necessary so a story can be told the original way an author intended it to do so. And that tech cannot replace it.

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

3 – Wrong
4 – Ok, maybe

16 08 2011
Daryl

Example 1: Fail. Discusses whether the book should have a place instead of assessing whether the books actually have a place in society today. Doesn’t discuss alternatives as well.

Example 2: Fail. Books do not just refer to fiction alone. does not meet question reqs.

Example 3: Fail (a marginal pass?). Engages question reqs and discusses whether the book has a place in modern society or not, and also the alternatives to the book. But, the slant of the paragraph still lies towards whether the book should have a place. That should be improved on to directly discuss whether the book has a place or not.

Example 4: Fail. Benefits do not equal a place in society. Perhaps these benefits may have already been attributed to other technological implements e.g. the Amazon Kindle. If so, the book wouldn’t be needed.

Example 5: Pass. Acknowledges the place the book holds in telling story’s in ways the alternative (movies) cannot.

16 08 2011
Tze Ling

Example 1: Fail. The question is asking if books HAVE a place in modern society, not if it SHOULD HAVE a place.

Example 2: Fail. It assumes that all books are fictional, does meet question requirements.

Example 3: Fail. Paragraph mostly elaborates on the alternative of books. While it has a stand, it does not explain why books have no place in society.

Example 4: Fail. Benefits of alternative books and limitations of hard copies of books does not equate to having no place in society.

Example 5: Pass. States that books are irreplaceable by alternative forms of books such a visual entertainment.

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

3 – Incorrect explanation

16 08 2011
Adrienne de Souza

My answer:

1) Fail. Firstly, this question is NOT asking about whether books should have a place. Rather, it is an assessment of whether they DO (current situation). Secondly, it is about the benefits of books. This is the wrong approach for “no place”.

2) Fail. Just as having a place is not about the benefits of books, the converse applies to the counter arguments – having no place is not about why books are bad.

3) Fail. Again, this considers the benefits of books – wrong approach.

4) Barely passes (benefit of doubt) / might fail. Technically, the points are relevant – shows an understanding of the issues (“one can carry encyclopedias and novels paged by the thousands in their handbag”), and includes an odd (though not entirely incorrect) point about its place especially in the context of a society with high myopia rates. Although it does consider the benefits of books (wrong approach), these benefits are presented when considering alternatives to books (correct approach). Conclusion: I can’t decide whether it passes or fails. Either way, I don’t like it.

7 11 2011
pufferfishie

‘The book has no place in modern society’. Discuss. (2010)
Example 1

The books allow us to escape from real life. When we read a book, we will be so engrossed by it that we are mentally transported to a different and different place where all of our worries are put aside and for a short time forgotten. […] Books should have a place in modern society. People should read them because it decreases their stress level and it is healthy for their minds.

-Fail. It discusses the benefits of the book and attest that this gives it a place in modern society. But i think the context: modern society, can be better addressed and it should consider the alternatives that have sprout up and if they threaten the place of books. The argument would be stronger if it raises a benefit of the book that its alternative cannot offer (e.g. the smell of paper that adds value to the reading process, recognised by a e-retailer who has a perfume that mimics the smell of paper sprayed onto a post-it (to be pasted on the tablet/e-book reader device).

Example 2

Books are a waste of time. Parents, especially, seem to think so. Instead of reading fiction, parents often believe that their children should spend that time studying instead, as reading fiction will not help them with their examinations. […] Thus, a book has no place in modern society because it may be deemed as a waste of time.

-Fail. The argument is that book has no place because it serves no practical purpose. I find that particularly contentious on many counts. Firstly fiction is not altogether useless since it hones critical thinking and analytical skills, which is probably why literature in english is a subject that is offered in schools worldwide. Even so, the question makes no mention if the book is one that is for leisure or not. Hence a better topic sentence would be that textbooks perhaps still have a place in modern society because it prepares students for the rigour of the workforce. In comparison, fiction books are often perceived as peripheral since they hardly or rarely enhance the academic endeavour of students (and their parents) aside from those that are used as texts in literature in english courses. Last but not least, the claim that because books does not have a place because it does not serve a practical purpose is specious since books have since time immemorial been a source of leisure and entertainment. Leisure is leisure because it is not work and we cannot judge the worth of books solely based on the practical benefits it can offer to those who read them.

Example 3

People literally make themselves stupid by Googling everything, or in more technical terms, ultraselecting every bit of content down to even the definition of a word, that has multiple, overlapping definitions, that suits one best – simply because he likes it. Ultraselection prevents the promotion of critical thinking due to the utterly myopic scope of monodisciplinary knowledge (more often than not) one seeds of Google. With books, one is constantly exposed to different disciplines, types and formats of information. It is precisely the rummaging through multitudes of books that allow us to gains and process that knowledge, whether we like it or not. And, with the increasing need for multi-disciplinary critical thinking in a monodisciplinary profession-driven world, books have never been more needed by society. Some may argue that there are many other ways of using Google or ultraselection, to sieve out information of different disciplines and gain knowledge from them. If it is possible to diversify our knowledge inputs, then why would critical thinking not be developed then? The answer is painfully obvious – critical thinking would never be developed by spoonfed, pre-processed information that never give a chance to the student to think. It is just like cooking out of cans with a microwave – as one would duly learn how to cook. Books still remains the simplest source of diversified, thought-evoking information that is essential in upkeeping the modern man’s critical thinking skills to remain relevant in modern society. The book has surely not lost its place.

-It makes a distinction between books and other viable alternatives-by stating the benefit books proffer and internet cannot. I think it deserves merit since it draws on just one function of the book-information and compares it with its equivalent. There is thus room for discussion in other paragraphs whether other functions of the books is challenged or preserved. The link between the bane of the internet and the place of book did not come to me as obvious at the start.

Example 4

Some may argue, as modern society progresses, more technological advancements, from the discman holding 12 songs to the iPod holding 5000 songs, now books can be compacted in such a manner. The iPad is able to hold up to 1.5 million books in a simple 500g device. This shows that one can carry encyclopedias and novels paged by the thousands in their handbag. However, such LCD screens cause strain on the eyes. Books may be more beneficial to people especially in the modern society where more people are myopic as a result of the increase in use of computers.

-Fails to link back to the question. It can be improved by saying that although naysayers purport that the demerits of book-its weight is overcome by its evolved form of e-books, the truth is that e-book presents its own set of drawbacks as well that the traditional book does not have. Hence the place of the book is not threatened since each form provides its own set of banes and boons and the book has merely made room for its cousin, as an alternative for the modern reader.

Example 5

In modern society, movies are more palatable to the public. Some of these movies are adapted from novels and may omit certain details of the story due to time constraints. Thus, books have a place as they tell a story in the original way an author intended it to be told.

-It states the benefits and attractiveness of movies to the modern society. But fails to suggest why this attractiveness is specious. Instead it goes on to make a non-sequitur conclusion that books have a place because it is unlike movies. A better approach would perhaps be to state that some cynics have claimed that books are redundant and passed over by modern consumers in favour of movies that provide a more sensational bite-sized entertainment. However, this does not mean that books have lost its place to movie. In fact, this further enhances and cements the position of books since best-sellers are usually adapted into movie edition. Best-sellers fly off the shelves precisely because readers can relate to the plot. Thus adapting the plot of books that have received favourable resounding accolade from readers will to some extent insure film makers and movie producers a warm response from theatre-goers. On the other hand without books, film directors would lose access to this lucrative market. Hence the rise of alternative entertainment choices like movies in fact do not undermine or rob books of its place in modern society but in fact enhance it.

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