Review: Dividing Your Argument

In the following passages, choose the sentence in which a shift in emphasis or topic suggests a new paragraph should have been started.

  1. [1] The separation of play from work is a problem only in the human world. [2] So is the difference between art and nature, or an intellectual accomplishment and a physical one. [3] As a result, we celebrate play, art, and invention as leaps into the unknown; however, any imbalance can send us back to nostalgia for our primate past and the conviction that the basics of work, nature and physical labour are somehow more worthwhile or even moral. [4] In the same way, we have explored our sexuality as separable from conception: a pleasurable, empathetic bridge to strangers of the same species. [5] We have even invented contraception—a skill that has probably existed in some form since our ancestors figured out the process of birth—in order to extend this uniquely human difference. [6] Yet we also have times of atavistic suspicion that sex is not complete—or even legal or intended by God—if it cannot end in conception. (from Gloria Steinem, "Erotica vs. Pornography: A Clear and Present Difference" [edited])
  2. [1] The broad range of positive characteristics used to define males could be used to define females too, but they are not. [2] At its entry for woman, Webster’s Third provides a list of qualities considered distinctive of womanhood: gentleness, affection, and domesticity or on the other hand fickleness, superficiality, and folly. [3] Among the qualities considered distinctive of manhood listed in the entry for man, no negative attributes detract from the courage, strength, and vigor the definers associate with males. [4] Lexicographers do not make up definitions out of thin air. [5] Their task is to record how words are used; it is not to say how they should be used. [6] The examples they choose to illustrate meanings can therefore be especially revealing of cultural expectations. [7] The American Heritage Dictionary (1969), which provides manly courage and masculine charm also gives us woman is fickle, brought out the woman in him, womanly virtue, feminine allure, feminine wiles, and womanish tears. (from Casey Miller & Kate Swift, "Manly and Womanly" [edited])
  3. [1] Neo-conservatives such as U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher lament the collapse of traditional social values: family, work, patriotism, restraint. [2] They are right, of course. [3] There has been a deep erosion of traditional values, but the process began several hundred years ago. [4] What we are rewitnessing today is, perhaps, the culmination of a long historical process, a process accelerated by the policies of Mr. Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher. [5] Ironically, it is the very marketplace morality at whose shrine the neo-conservatives worship that produces the social disintegration they lament. [6] The pursuit of individual self-aggrandizement, individual gratification, individual pleasure has led more and more of us into the scramble for wealth and power. [7] Ambition and hedonism prevail. [8] Can any society survive when its citizens are all engaged in a furious competition to carve up the spoils? (from Arthur Schafer, "Morals in the Rat Race")
  4. [1] A subterranean lavatory is not, in itself, a mysterious place. If cleanliness is next to godliness, it may seem perverse to go underground in search of it; but that is a minor paradox. [2] Busy streets simply demand a small collection of toilets and handbasins at this corner or that—so it was in Toronto in the early years of this century, and so it remains in such cities as London and Paris, which continue to acknowledge the merits of the gentle, periodic descent. [3] It is not a mystery that they appeared. [4] It is rather a mystery that they disappeared. [5] Toronto’s first one seems to have been built just as Queen Victoria was exhaling for the last time. [6] No one is quite sure—records were not kept until five years later. [7] Like many more or less obscure painters from the hazier centuries, the birth of the downstairs lav in Toronto must be noted as "circa 1901." [8] But while the demise of such painters was quite often recorded, that of the underground lavatory remains troublesome. (from John Ferguson, "The Ivory Cellar")

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