Assertions - Essay

Topics: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Esmael Mangudadatu, Maguindanao massacre Pages: 5 (1528 words) Published: December 27, 2011

The tasks assigned to the group are to give samples of oversimplified and over general assertions taken from the editorial Let us not forget, published by Philippine Daily Inquirer on November 23, 2011, and provide each with justification. Although they sound similar, they convey completely different problems. Oversimplified assertion is an attempt to explain something complex into a much simpler statement while over general assertions are statements that conclude something from a irrelevant or inaccurate evidences that are usually from a very small number of cases. So let’s start from oversimplified assertions. From the word itself it is making something so simple that it has no connection from the cause of an event. Oversimplification is also known as the “reductive fallacy,” because of the reducing of number of causes that is involved in the effect. One of the basic reasons why people commit these mistakes is that as writer, a piece needs to be concise and brief as much as possible, so they tend to remove important or critical information. Examples:

1.Fruits today do not taste good. It is because farmers use pesticides. 2.By prayer, she is saved from death.

Below are the examples of Oversimplified statements.

Paragraph Level
“Only 72 of the prosecution’s at least 300 witnesses have been presented. As many as 103 of the 196 suspects are still at large (and “roaming around” in Cotabato City, Romel Bagares, a lawyer for the families, said in a TV interview). Of the 93 in custody, 29 have yet to be arraigned, among them Zaldy Ampatuan, a former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Of the 64 who have been arraigned, 50 have submitted petitions for bail, adding to the weighty load saddling the court of Judge Jocelyn Solis Reyes.” Clarification:

This paragraph can be considered as opposite of oversimplification. Though stated in the writer’s point of view it still provides relative information for the readers. The challenge here is not to fall as prey in the implications of the writer and the underlying assumptions in the paragraph. In this case, the information was stated in such a way that the readers would perceive that the case is ongoing a very slow process. Without enough information about the whole subject matter, it would be very hard to think the opposite especially if proper skills and sufficient motivation were applied. Given the right set of information, one that is not colored with biases and whose sole purpose is to inform, the readers would be able to see the real time line, the real pace of the case which is in truth moving steadily.

Read this paragraph and see the difference between the writers’ conveyance of information:

”Since January 2010, more than 60 of the 95 arrested suspects have been arraigned, including principal suspects Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son Andal Jr. All of them are locked up either at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City or Camp Crame in Quezon City.

So far, 70 of the prosecution's 200 witnesses have testified at the trial. A significant number of witnesses have attested that the killings in Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town were not only planned but also carried out by the Ampatuans and their private army.” -from GMA news

As we can see, a set of data was also given by the writer. But instead of negative implications about the case, the paragraph shows positive inclination on the process that it is undertaking.

Sentence Level
“And the odds of overcoming the climate of impunity loom ever larger with the unabated killing of journalists.” Clarification:
The first sentence is an oversimplified one because it only mentioned a "lesser" complicated cause of impunity: the unabated killing of journalists. When in fact, there are more to say. It is not just the unabated killing of journalists which indicates the chances of overcoming the climate of impunity or the exemption from punishment appear larger for the persons responsible or the...
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