Writing the Ys

Writing the Ys

The Ys are the reasons the What Statement is true or important. Writing them can be tricky, so it is essential that you follow this lesson’s “rules” as closely as possible.

    1. Write 1-4.
    2. Do not paraphrase.
    3. Be precise.
    4. Keep the Ys short.
    5. Watch out for tautologies.

Write 1-4 Ys

The more Ys you have, the longer your paper must be. Each Y must be examined thoroughly. You must introduce each Y; describe, define; and/or discuss it; and prove it. Having many Ys will lead to a complex paper and not necessarily a better one.

Do Not Paraphrase the Ys

If you are writing a paper based on another source, such as an academic journal, then do not restate the authors’ Ys in your own words. Instead—

    1. Locate the article’s Ys.
    2. Write them word-for-word
    3. Write the paper
    4. Restate the Ys after you are finished writing the paper

Using the authors’ words verbatim will help you stay focused while composing the paper. Every time you paraphrase, it means becoming more general.   

Individual or Small-Group Activity

Read the attached article’s Abstract.  An abstract is a summary of the article that follows. Decide which of the following Why Statement’s is the correct one for the article.  Tell why the others are not possible Why Statements.

Savannah elephants respond to seasonal changes in rainfall—

      1. because the factors that trigger sudden, seasonal movements of elephants are uncertain.
      2. because they detect distant thunderstorms.
      3. because elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location.
      4. because of rain-system generated infrasound.

Be Precise

The one thing all successful people have in common is the ability to be precise. General language results in generalized thinking. Ys need to be as precise as possible; otherwise, they cannot be proven.

Keep the Ys Short

Cut all extra language from each Y, but without letting yourself write anything general. 

Watch Out for Tautologies

Lesson 2.14 covered tautologies, also known as circular reasoning.  Avoiding tautology is difficult, because so many people use circular reasoning often. 

Individual or Small-Group Activity

Determine which of the following Why Statements contain a tautology:







Individual or Small-Group Activity

Complete the exercise:    Panama

Optional Activity