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Adapted from The Impact Celebrities Have on Our Lives by Deborah King

Deborah King is the bestselling author of Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You. A health & wellness expert and attorney, Deborah King is featured regularly in broadcast, online, and print media, making frequent appearances on national TV such as CNN and Fox News. She is also a featured blogger for Psychology Today, writing on a wide range of issues such as health, politics, domestic violence and celebrities. People often ask me why I use celebrity examples to illustrate my work. Well, look around you. The truth is that we are obsessed with celebrities. Head to the checkout line at a grocery store and youll see all the magazines, each trying to have the most salacious story on the cover to gain your attention so that youll spend your hard-earned dollar buying it. For many people, not a day goes by when they dont sneak a peek at their favorite celebrity gossip website. Sites like TMZ.com and PerezHilton.com are some of the hottest websites online, garnering millions of hits a day. I use celebrities as examples because they act as good reflections for us. When Larry King has a heart attack and tells his audience how it prompted him to stop smoking, he inspires. Same for Michael J. Fox for Parkinsons and Montel Williams for MS. When Teri Hatcher reveals that her uncle sexually abused her, it makes it easier for us to admit that it happened to us as well. When Britney Spears is brought to the hospital and evaluated for bipolar disorder, we feel differently about our own depression. When another politician is caught having sex with someone not his spouse and tries to squirm out of it, we see our own reluctance to reveal our own secrets. So the impact of celebrities can be positive as well as negative. What is it about celebrities that make them so irresistible? Is it that they lead such different lives? Is it that they have the ability to buy whatever they want? Or is it that they seem to have such a glamorous life? In a sense, celebrities are our new gods. We like to fantasize that our lives could become like theirs we too could be beautiful, desirable, talented, rich. At the same time, we secretly want to see them fall so that we know that even our gods have feet have clay. According to an advertising resource called the Consumer Magazine Advertising Source, entertainment publications, like the popular Entertainment Weekly and the nefarious National Enquirer, sell around five million copies on a weekly basis. This is a huge amount of money. As long as people buy, magazines will keep providing us with celebrity news. Paparazzi will keep chasing celebrities trying to catch them in embarrassing moments or making a general nuisance of themselves to both celebrities and non-celebrities alike. Not only are magazines popular, but reality shows have been popping up all over television to bring us visually into the lives of our favorite celebrities. One of the first to put himself and his entire family on television was Ozzie Osbourne; there he was being a husband and a father, shuffling around picking up dog poop and taking out the garbage. It was almost as if the producers of the show wanted to show that celebrities are exactly like everyone else. Except they have big houses. And a lot of cars. And a lot of other stuff. The Fascination Obsession Why are we obsessed with celebrities? Some believe we are obsessed with celebrities because we need to have an escape from the humdrum of everyday life. This makes sense in a bizarre sort of way. For instance, , if you are not centered and balanced energetically, and you dont feel so good
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about who you are, you are much more likely to follow your favorite celebrity and wish that you could be them. Others theorize that we mentally stalk celebrities because we are waiting for them to fail. Much like the Roman spectators waited for the gladiator to lose his battle and die, we too are waiting for celebrities to flame out and reach some sort of a bottom that makes them seem a little more human and more like us. Dr. Charlotte De Backer of the University of Leicester, Department of Media and Communication, carried out a study to try to explain why we are so obsessed with celebrities. She discovered that the younger the participant was, the more apt they were to follow celebrity gossip, even if the gossip was about a celebrity that they had never heard of. Dr. De Backer said, Each person has a different reason for wanting to track the every movement of their favorite celebrity, but there comes a time when being amused by their antics transforms into becoming obsessed, and no obsession is a good thing, especially when you look at the type or role models that recent celebrities have become. The sad fact is that we are more enthralled by celebrities who have bad reputations than celebrities who are excellent role models. As parents or mentors, we have to be careful what we allow children to see and listen to. Some parents seem to believe that all celebrities are worthy of being role models. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Fast Reporting or Bad Celebrities? There was a time when you could stand up and cheer for Babe Ruth. You could be proud that your son had all of his baseball cards and that he wanted nothing more than to be the Babe when he grew up. The average fan, however, didnt know what Babe did behind closed doors. His private life was private. Now, however, thanks in part to the internet, it is much easier to find out about everything a celebrity has ever done. You cant avoid knowing that Winona Ryder has been arrested and convicted of shoplifting, or that Mel Gibson has a problem with alcohol. If a celebrity does something good, it takes a team of PR professionals to get it into the mainstream media. If a celebrity does something bad, or if something tragic happens, its all over the celebrity gossip sites in a matter of minutes. Take, for instance, the story of Heath Ledger. Heath was an actor who had received critical acclaim for some of his work. You may have seen a few photos of him here and there, and sometimes the paparazzi would try to get onto one of his movie sets, but they were very undemanding of his time compared with other celebrities. Then, on January 22, 2008, the media heard rumors that Heath Ledger had been found unconscious in his New York apartment. Minutes later, updates starting flying onto the internet. Some talked about a mysterious connection with actress Mary-Kate Olsen and his use of hard drugs like heroin; others said Heath had committed suicide. Due to the speed of the internet, people were contemplating the cause of his death only minutes after he was found and the authorities were called. Almost two weeks later the toxins report was completed and it was said that Heath died due to an accidental overdose of prescription medications. Even though little media attention had been placed on her before, his surviving daughter, Matilda Rose, was suddenly one of the most photographed children on the planet, with her face appearing on dozens of different magazines.

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The Positive Celebrities Even though there are more stories about celebrities who have a negative influence on us and the decisions we make in our lives than there are positive actions, there are some celebrities who use their fame to bring about change and are good celebrity role models. Take Bono, singer of the popular band U2. Since 1999, Bono has been campaigning for third world debt relief and helping to raise awareness of the plight of those living in Africa. He has met with many influential politicians and has taken the United States Treasury Secretary, Paul ONeill, on a tour of parts of Africa to show him first-hand what those living in poverty are facing. He and Bobby Shriver also started Product Red, a commercial initiative to help fight against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis around the world. Angelina Jolie is another celebrity who, although she had a very rocky and well-known past, has come to be one of the great spokeswomen about the living conditions children in various third world countries face, and was given the title of UNHCR Goodwill ambassador in 2001. We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation, someone would help us, Ms. Jolie said during the press conference to announce her ambassador status. The Mirror Effect We are a fame-obsessed culture, but then, we have always been so; technology has simply made it easier. If you spend more time finding out which of your favorite stars went to dinner last night and who they went to dinner with, you may want to reexamine your own life. Is there anything missing from your life that you could better use that time to fill? Friends? Exercise? Truth heals, and the truth is that celebrities, as much fun as our fantasies of them may be, can actually serve a purpose in our lives. Which celebrities are you most enthralled by? Do you understand why? When you look in the mirror and delight in your Rachel haircut, or despair that you will never have Halle Berrys body, what is the comparison saying to you? Does Bonos activism inspire you, or are you more likely to want to imitate the I dont give a damn attitude of many in the pages of the media? Do you feel compassion for Britney Spears as she battles her inner demons, or do you think she deserves no visitation with her kids? The stars are out there, big and bright. Lets get the stars rising in ourselves.

King, Deborah. The Impact Celebrities have on Our Lives. Deborah King: Master Healer and Teacher. 2009. <http://www.deborahkingcenter.com/resources/advice/celebrities>.

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Student Version

The Impact of Celebrities


Reading selections for this module: King, Deborah. The Impact Celebrities have on Our Lives. Deborah King: Master Healer and Teacher. 2009. <http://www.deborahkingcenter.com/resources/advice/celebrities>.

Reading Rhetorically
Prereading
Activity 1 Getting Ready to Read
Class Survey Answer the following survey questions to help you determine how much celebrities impact you and your classmates. Think about the celebrities that you care about the most. On a scale of 1-5, write the number that most accurately reflects your feelings. 1 = the least possible ; 5 = the maximum possible _____ 1. I spend time listening to or reading celebrity news. _____ 2. I spend money on celebrity magazines. _____ 3. I care about the details of a celebritys life. _____ 4. I am inspired to do something good because a celebrity does. _____ 5. I wear certain kinds of clothes or hairstyles because you like the way they look on celebrities. _____ 6. I am inspired by a famous athlete to practice my sport. _____ 7. I want to live my life like a certain celebrity. _____ 8. I am obsessed with a celebrity. _____ 9. I enjoy hearing about celebrities getting into trouble. _____ 10. I often compare the way I look to a celebrity I like. Tally the results for the whole class, and find the average numerical answer for each question. Your teacher may ask a group of students to do the math for the class. Then as a class, discuss the results. Which questions got the highest scores? Which questions got the lowest scores?

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What do you think it means? Is the class, as a whole, obsessed with celebrities based on the survey? Explain.

You may use the class survey results in the essay you will write on this topic. If you do, remember to interpret the results for your reader and explain what you think they show.

Activity 2

Introducing Key Concepts


What kinds of celebrities are there? Write down as many kinds of celebrities as you can think of. We all think about movie stars, and that is one important category; however, there are many more. After each group has made their list, one group should write their answers on the board. Each of the other groups can then add categories of celebrities that the first group did not think of, yielding a good class list. Copy the complete class list, writing the categories in columns on a sheet of paper, leaving room to write underneath each one. Some possibilities are: movie stars, writers (J. K. Rowling), reality t.v. stars, (contestants in Biggest Losers television program) athletes (Kristi Yamiguchi), business entrepreneurs/inventors (Bill Gates), models (Tyra Banks), singers (Justin Bieber), dancers (Michael Jackson), show hosts (Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest), politicians (Arnold Schwarzenegger), fashion designers (Vera Wang), etc. Class competition: In groups or individually, brainstorm as many celebrities in each category that you can! Your teacher will give you 2 minutes for each category. At the end of the competition, add any celebrities that were mentioned that you forgot to list. Categorizing celebrities: Work in a group. One member of your group should draw a Venn Diagram on a large piece of paper like this:

Write Positive Impact at the top of the circle on the left. Write Negative Impact at the top of the circle on the right. In the middle, where the circles overlap, write Neutral. Using the class list of celebrities, write down the 5 celebrities that your group agree have had the most positive impact upon the worldand a brief note as to why. Do the same with the 5 celebrities that have had the most negative impact and why. In the middle, list 2-3 celebrities that your group can agree have a neutral impact and why. Be sure to put them in the correct parts of the diagram!

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Activity 3

Surveying the Textand Making Predictions


Before you read the article, answer the following questions: 1. Read the biographical information about the author of the article, Deborah King. Does she sound like she knows about the impact celebrities have on our lives? What, specifically, in the biographical information makes her sound credible? Underline those words. Deborah King is the bestselling author of Truth Heals: What You Hide Can Hurt You. A health & wellness expert and attorney, Deborah King is featured regularly in broadcast, online, and print media, making frequent appearances on national TV such as CNN and Fox News. She is also a featured blogger for Psychology Today, writing on a wide range of issues such as health, politics, domestic violence and celebrities. 2. Throughout the article you will see 4 subheadings in bold type. What do you predict each section will be about based on the subtitles? a. b. c. d. 3. The Fascination Obsession Fast Reporting or Bad Celebrities? The Positive Celebrities The Mirror Effect

Read the first paragraph of the article: People often ask me why I use celebrity examples to illustrate my work. Well, look around. The truth is that we are obsessed with celebrities. Head to the checkout line at a grocery store and youll see all the magazines, each trying to have the most salacious story on the cover to gain your attention so that youll spend your hard-earned dollar buying it. For many people, not a day goes by when they dont sneak a peek at their favorite celebrity gossip website. Sites like TMZ.com and PerezHilton.com are some of the hottest websites online, garnering millions of hits a day.

Based on that first paragraph and the 4 subheadings, why do you think Deborah King is writing this particular article? What is her purpose? Choose your answer/s from below: a. b. c. d. e. King wants to persuade us that celebrities have a negative impact on us. King wants to persuade us that celebrities have a good impact on us. King wants to explore why we are so obsessed with celebrities. King wants to explain why she likes celebrities so much. King wants to explore both the positive and negative impact of celebrities on us.

4.

The last two sentences of the article are: The stars are out there, big and bright. Lets get the stars rising in ourselves. What do you think the author means? Now that you have thought about this topic, what else would you like to know about celebrities and their impact on us? Write down 3-5 questions about this topic that you hope the author discusses in her article.

5.

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Activity 4

Introducing Key Vocabulary


The following words are used in the article that you will soon read. antics, apt, enthralled, humdrum, nefarious, obsessed, paparazzi, salacious Below are the definitions of the words. In the left column, write the word from the list above that you think matches the correct definition. Check your answers with your teacher. What words are the most difficult? What words were you already familiar with? Then, fill out the right column. Discuss your predictions with your group. Prediction: How do you think this word relates to the topic?

word

definition expressing too much sexual interest or detail; scandalous; lustful; obscene; grossly indecent. evil or wicked

freelance photographers who follow famous people, hoping to get a story, especially something shocking or scandalous dull and boring; monotonous

very interested or fascinated by someone or something; giving total attention to someone or something amusing or silly behavior

doing something often and being likely to do it again to think about someone or something constantly, more than is reasonable or sensible

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Reading
Activity 5 First Reading with a Purpose
Thorough understanding of a text requires reading it more than once. The first reading should be fairly quick to get the main ideas. During this reading you do not need to understand every word or sentence. Later, you will read the text again more slowly and carefully and deal with those difficult parts. 1. Review the predictions you made about the reading. 2. As you read the first section of the article ( 1-5), circle any new vocabulary words that you recognize from Activity 4. 3. Put question marks by words, sentences or sections that are confusing, but do not take the time to try to figure them out now. 4. Put square brackets [ ] around the most interesting sentence in the section. Be able to explain why you chose that sentence. After reading the article, discuss in small groups the following questions: 1. How accurate were your predictions? 2. Share which sentences you marked as the most interesting and why. Did more than one group member choose the same sentence, or were they all different? 3. Compare words or parts that you found confusing. Somebody in your group may offer a very brief explanation, but, again, you do not have to figure out the meaning yet. You are just saying, I didnt get that sentence either. After you have discussed all the sections of the article, work as a group to write a 1-2 sentence summary of the entire article. What is Deborah Kings message about the impact of celebrities? Be ready to share your summary sentences with the class. _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________

Activity 6

Rereading the Text


Annotating a text means marking the text with highlighting, underlining, symbols, comments and even whole sentences in the text and the margins. Annotating forces you to read more slowly and carefully, but you need to be strategic in your annotation for it to be effective. One strategy is to write about the content of the article in one margin and your reaction to the content in the other margin. Of course you can continue to mark within the text as well.

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Directions: 1. 2. Reread the article. In the right margin write phrases or sentences which communicate the main point of that paragraph or section. Also write in the margin ex if the author includes an example or def if the author includes a definition. In the left margin, write your reaction to the text. These reactions could be questions, your own examples, and statements of agreement or disagreement. Here you can use abbreviations only you understand or even texting language.

3.

Example: Look at the sample annotation of paragraphs 7 & 8 below. What do you notice about the notes in the margins? My Reaction
Why? fun to gossip! What are the reasons? Miley

Dr. Charlotte De Backer of the University of Leicester, Department of Media and Communication, carried out a study to try to explain why we are so obsessed with celebrities. She discovered that the younger the participant was, the more apt they were to follow celebrity gossip, even if the gossip was about a celebrity that they had never heard of. Dr. De Backer said, Each person has a different reason for wanting to track the every movement of their favorite celebrity, but there comes a time when being amused by their antics transforms into becoming obsessed, and no obsession is a good thing, especially when you look at the type or role models that recent celebrities have become.

Content
Study by Backer Why obsessed? Results: 1) kids more interested 2) different reasons 3) any obsession is not good

Activity 7

Rereading the Text


Looking at Examples Work on your own to fill out the following chart. Then discuss your answers in a small group. 1. King uses specific examples as her primary means of supporting her points. Do you think this is an effective strategy for this topic? Why or why not? Find the examples listed below in Kings article. She does not spend the same amount of time writing about each example. In the chart below, write how many sentences she writes about each celebrity. Finally, discuss why the author uses this celebrity as an example. What is her point? Finally, think of a more contemporary (modern) example King could use to make the same point.

2.

3.

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Celebrity Babe Ruth (10) is probably the most well-known baseball player of all time. He is most famous for his hitting, setting a lifetime record of 714 HRs in 1935. While this record was beaten in 1974 by Hank Aaron, Ruth still holds other batting records to this day. He also had a reckless, partying lifestyle. Winona Ryder (11) is an award-winning movie actor whose personal life has been closely followed by the media. In 2001 she was arrested for shoplifting $5,500 worth of items from a store in Beverly Hills. Angelina Jolie (16) is an American actress living with Brad Pitt. She is also famous for her concern and help to humanitarian efforts such as helping refugees overseas. Heath Ledger (12-14) is the actor who played the Joker in The Dark Knight. He was rarely in the tabloids until 2008, when he died of an accidental drug overdose.

# of Sentences

Authors point in using this example

Contemporary Example

4. Why do you think she provides so much detail about one example and very little detail about another? What is the impact on the reader? 5. King uses some other examples besides specific celebrities. What examples does she use in paragraph 1 and 4? 6. In paragraph 5 she gives the example of a reality TV show portraying Ozzie Osbourne as a regular father and husband. Then she gives two examples of his activities that prove this. What are those activities? How well could she have made her point without these examples?

Activity 7a

Rereading the Text


This activity will help you understand the deeper meanings of the article and make connections between the text and your life. Below is a three column chart. Fill out the chart for the introduction ( 1-5) of the article. Your annotations will guide you as to what to write. The first paragraph has been done for you as an example.

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SAY In a particular paragraph or section, what does the text say? What is the main point here? In this column you can quote a sentence or phrase.

MEAN What does the author mean? Write in your own words your interpretation/ understanding of the authors point. This may include reading between the lines or explaining the authors purpose.

1 King says we are obsessed with celebrities. She points out the popularity of magazines and websites that focus on celebrities.

This means we constantly want to know what celebrities are doing. Sometimes they seem more important than our friends and family.

MATTER Why is this idea important? How does it relate to my life? What is the significance for me or others? What are the future implications for society? It would be weird to not care about celebrities. Celebrity news gives me something to talk about with my friends and even people I dont know very well.

Continue the Say-Mean-Matter chart for the rest of the reading, but this time write about each section instead of each paragraph. Discuss your chart with your classmates.

SAY

MEAN The Fascination Obsession

MATTER

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Fast Reporting or Bad Celebrities?

The Positive Celebrities

The Mirror Effect

Activity 8

Looking Closely at Language (Vocabulary)


Working in small groups, review the vocabulary words. Then write a newspaper headline and a very short article using at least four of the vocabulary words. Include enough information in the story to show that you understand the vocabulary words. The story should be about at least one celebrity, real or make believe. You may also want to include a fan or a group of fans in your story. Use at least one of the vocabulary words in the title. For example, your title could be Lady Gaga Antics Thrill Teens, Scare Children and the story would be about how a Lady Gaga performance for charity made children cry and run in panic. . . . Read your stories to the class. As you listen to the stories, make sure the vocabulary words are used accurately.

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Postreading
Activity 9 Thinking Critically
Discuss the answers to these questions with a classmate: 1. In her first paragraph, King says, The truth is that we are obsessed with celebrities. Obviously, she does not mean every single American, so who is we? Do you think that her claim is a fair statement? Why or why not? Deborah King uses comparisons several times in her article. Comparisons can show both similarities and differences. In paragraph 6, she compares us to Roman spectators of ancient times who watched the gladiators fight to the death in the ring. Is she saying that we are similar to Roman spectators or different? In what way? In paragraph 10, she compares the celebrity of Babe Ruth, a famous baseball player who played in 1914-1935, to celebrities like Mel Gibson and Winona Ryder of today. Is King emphasizing how they are similar to Babe Ruth or different? In what way?

2.

3. Several times King mentions that, as much as we are obsessed by celebrities, we also like to see them fail. Find at least two spots in the article where she mentions this. 4. Why, according to King, do we enjoy watching celebrities fail? 5. As you noticed from an earlier activity, King spends several paragraphs discussing the actor, Heath Ledger. What was the point of this example? What was her point? Write her purpose for this example in one sentence: 6. King subtitles her last section The Mirror Effect; however, she does not use the word mirror in the paragraphs that follow. Explain what you think the mirror effect of celebrity-watching is. What word in paragraph 2 indicates that she is talking about the mirror effect there as well? 7. What does King say in the article that proves she is not completely against the idea of watching celebrities? Find at least 2 spots in the article that show this. 8. Sometimes people state ideas indirectly. For example, during a visit from a friend, you may say, I am tired. You may be indirectly saying (implying) that you want your friend to go home. Authors also imply ideas in their writing. For example, in paragraph 4, whom does King imply bears part of the blame for the Paparazzi stalking celebrities? (She doesnt use the word blame, but we get the idea.) Explain how you know this.

Activity 10

Summarizing and Responding


Your annotation should now show all of Deborah Kings main points in her article, The Impact of Celebrities Have on Our Lives. However, what is the main idea of the whole article? In Activity 5 you wrote down what you thought Deborah Kings message was. Rewrite your main idea sentence/s in the box below:

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Now, working with a partner, write the main idea of each of the sections of the article in 1-2 sentences. Dont forget to refer back to your annotations! Discuss what is absolutely necessary to include and what might be less important. Write a one-paragraph summary of the entire article using the ideas expressed in your summary sentences above. A summary is a shorter version of the text which contains all the most important informationand nothing else. The first sentence of a summary is very important, for you identify the title of the article, the author, and the main idea of the whole article. (Use what you wrote above, but add the author and title.) Continue writing your summary by referring to your section summary sentences, but dont simply copy them. Make sure that your sentences are connected and that your wording flows well. (It should not sound like a list of points.) Use all your own words in a summary, but make sure you are reporting all of Kings ideasnot yours. You should not quote or use the word I in your summary. Write a one paragraph response to the article. A response is your personal reaction to one or more ideas that King wrote aboutnot all of them! Try to connect something you read about in Kings article to your own experiences. Do you experiences cause you to agree with her or to disagree? Do you think her points are strong or weak? Since these are your ideas and experiences, you may use I. Be sure to refer to your annotations for ideas about what to write!

Activity 10a

Additional Summarizing and Responding


Peer Response to Summary 1. Does the writer include the authors name in the first sentence of the summary? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Include the authors name.

2. Does the writer include the title of the article in the first sentence? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Include the title of the article.

3. Does the first sentence clearly state the main idea of the article? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: State the main idea of the whole article in the first sentence. Make sure it is clear and accurate.

You can improve your first sentence by: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
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4. Does the writer include all of the important ideas and supporting points from the article? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: You left out one of Kings important points: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

5. Does the writer use all his or her own words? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: You used the authors words (give line number): __________________________________________________________________

6. Does the writer keep his or her opinions out of the summary? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: You mentioned your own opinion in the summary. Peer Response to Response 1. Does the writer choose one or two ideas from Kings article to respond to? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Be sure to focus your response on Kings idea/s.

2. Does the writer give some personal experience to show why s/he is responding to King this way? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Be sure to connect your ideas to your personal experience!

3. Does the writer avoid summarizing information from the article? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Dont summarize in the response. Assume that the reader has read your summary!

4. Does the writer give enough detail to explain why s/he agrees or disagrees with Kings idea? Yes _____ No _____ Writer: Add more detail and explanation for your readers.

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Overview One of the most important features of academic writing is using the words and ideas from written sources to support your own point and to demonstrate your understanding of others ideas. There are three ways to do this: direct quotation, paraphrase, and summary. A direct quotation uses the exact words of the original source with quotation marks. A paraphrase communicates the meaning of the original source but in your own words. The length is about the same, and no quotation marks are used. A summary communicates the main point(s) in your own words and is much shorter than the original source.

When referring to the ideas of others, remember to do the following: Include the title. Use quotation marks if it is a shorter work like an article or a short story. Underline or italicize if it is a longer work such as a book or play. Include the author. The first time you mention the authors name, use the full name as it appears on the story or book. After the first time, use only the authors last name. If you use the exact words of the author, use quotation marks. Use appropriate and varied verbs to lead into the reference (e.g., argues, believes, describes, explains, questions, reports, discusses, etc.). Be sure to comment on the reference. Pretend like you are in a serious discussion with the author, and you want to agree, disagree, question, relate to or argue with him or her.

Connecting Reading to Writing


Using the Words of Others
Activity 11 Using the Words of Others
One difficulty of citing sources is choosing which sentence or idea to include in your essay. Evaluate the following direct quotation choices. Discuss your answers with a classmate. 1. Which quote best explains a reason why we are so interested in celebrities and may even fantasize about them? a. King suggests that Truth heals, and the truth is that celebrities, as much fun as our fantasies of them may be, can actually serve a purpose in our lives (3). b. We like to fantasize that our lives could become like theirswe too could be beautiful, desirable, talented, rich (King 1). 2. Which quote is the authors observation? a. No obsession is a good thing, especially when you look at the type or role models that recent celebrities have become (King 2). Should we put double quotes on this since this is Kings quote or does that just give it away? b. We too are waiting for celebrities to flame out and reach some sort of a bottom that makes them seem a little more human and more like us (King 2).
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3.

Which of the following would be more worth quoting in your essay? Why? a. Some believe we are obsessed with celebrities because we need to have an escape from the humdrum or everyday life (King 2).

b. Except they have big houses. And a lot of cars. And a lot of other stuff (King 1).

Activity 11a

Using the Words of Others


Steps to Effective Paraphrasing When you refer to another text in your own writing, you might quote the text directly, copying the exact words of the writer in quotation marks, or your might want to paraphrase the text. A paraphrase is expressing another writers idea completely in your own words; therefore, you do not use quotation marks. However, even though the paraphrase is in your own words, you need to be careful to cite the source of the idea by giving the title of the text and the authors name. Paraphrasing is a valuable skill because. . . It is better than quoting when the information is not particularly unique or special It helps you control the temptation to quote too much It shows that you have understood the meaning of the original text by putting it completely in your own words. Its impressive! Learning to paraphrase well takes practice. The following steps will help you. 1. Reread the original passage until you understand its full meaning. 2. Without looking at the original source, write a few notes or phrases about the meaning of the passage. 3. Looking at your notes, write a sentence in your own words that communicates the meaning of your original source. 4. Look back at the original source to be sure you have accurately communicated the meaning in your paraphrase. Make any necessary adjustments. Paraphrase the following two quotes from Activity 12. Quote: We too are waiting for celebrities to flame out and reach some sort of a bottom that makes them seem a little more human and more like us (King 2). Paraphrase 1: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ Possible answer: We like to see celebrities get into trouble so they seem more normal and less perfect like ordinary people. Quote: We like to fantasize that our lives could become like theirswe too could be beautiful, desirable, talented, rich (King 1). Paraphrase 2: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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Possible answer: We enjoy dreaming about the fame and money of a celebritys life. Trade papers and evaluate your classmates paraphrases. Paraphrase #1 Is any important information missing? Is any information present in the paraphrase that is not in the original quote? Did the writer use his/her own words and sentence structure? Paraphrase #2 Is any important information missing? Is any information present in the paraphrase that is not in the original quote? Did the writer use his/her own words and sentence structure? Yes No

Negotiating Voices
Activity 12 Negotiating Voices
Soon you will begin to write the first draft of an essay on the topic of the impact of celebrities. You will be referring to the article by Deborah King for at least some of your support, so your readers will hear her voice in your essay. However, your own writers voice is important too. Your readers will want to clearly understand which of Kings points you agree with, which ones you disagree with, and which points you only partially agree with. Notice the different wording that you can use to express how you feel about Kings assertions: TO EXPRESS AGREEMENT: Deborah King is right about . . . because . . . I agree with Deborah King that . . . Deborah King and I both believe that . . . TO EXPRESS DISAGREEMENT: I think Deborah King is mistaken about . . . because . . . . Deborah Kings assumption that . . . is not accurate because . . . Deborah King overlooks the fact that . . . . TO EXPRESS PARTIAL AGREEMENT: Although I agree with Deborah King that . . . , I disagree that . . . . Although I disagree with Deborah King that . . . , I fully agree that . . . . Deborah King is right that . . . ; however, she fails to see that . . . . Using the above patterns (or your own), write out three statements. Find at least one point of Kings that you can agree with, one that you can disagree with, and one that you can partially agree with. AGREE: Deborah King and I both see that some celebrities have a positive effect on us by being good role models. DISAGREE: Deborah Kings assumption that we are all obsessed with celebrities is
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not accurate because I know too many people, especially older people, who dont even know much about them. PARTIALLY AGREE: Deborah King is right that celebrities can serve a good purpose in our lives; however, she fails to see that for the fans who are truly obsessed, the bad effects will outweigh any of the positive ones. Compare your statements with a classmate. Check to make sure that your classmates statements fairly represent what King says and clearly state why the writer agrees or disagrees.

Writing Rhetorically
Prewriting
Activity 13 Reading the Assignment
The following is an essay assignment on the topic of celebrities and the impact that have on our lives. As your teacher reads the essay prompt aloud, focus on the authors attitude about the topic. Does he mostly agree or disagree with Deborah King? Do you mostly agree or disagree with him? A Healthy Obsession I think that all the concern over celebrities in our lives is completely exaggerated. We teenagers are passionatemaybe even obsessedabout our favorite stars, but that doesnt make it a big problem and it doesnt mean we want to copy their bad behaviors. People have been fascinated with the rich and famous since ancient times, so its only human nature. Its fun to know if Justin Bieber is dating Selena Gomez or whether Lindsay Lohan really made it out of rehab. Knowing the details about celebrities gives us something to talk about with each other. Id rather bond with someone over the latest antics of a celebrity than all the other dark topics in the news. I also get a better idea of where fashion trends are going, so that I can feel more confident about what I am wearing. We can pick up other tips too. My brother is obsessed with Cam Newton, the recent Heisman Trophy winner, because he wants to be a famous football player. More than anything, being obsessed with celebrities is a healthy escape from our boring lives. Whats wrong with that? --Collin Palmer High School Sophmore Explain Palmers argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with his analysis and conclusion. Support your position by referring to the passage and providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, or reading. Refer to Deborah Kings article, The Impact Celebrities Have on Our Lives as part of the evidence for your position. Your teacher may also want you to use the results of the survey your class completed at the beginning of this module as additional evidence.

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Activity 14

Getting Ready to Write


After reading the prompt, discuss the following questions with a classmate: What is Collin Palmers opinion on this topic over all? What are the reasons for his opinion? Annotate: underline each separate argument or reason for his stand. How do you feel about each of his reasons? You might agree with some and disagree with others.

Write your ideas on the chart below. Discuss each point with a classmate or small group, and write notes in the comments column to help you remember how you might want to respond in an essay.

Authors Points Palmers opinion about the impact of celebrities (his MAIN idea):

Agree?

Disagree?

Partially Agree?

Comments

Palmers supporting arguments (reasons):

Activity 15

Writing Your Working Thesis


Analyze your answers in Activity 15 to help you decide whether you mostly agree or mostly disagree with Collin Palmer. Write a working thesis that will answer the prompt at the bottom of the chart. You may want to use some of the wording patterns in Activity 13 to express how much you agree or disagree with Collin Palmer. Sample working theses: Although I agree with Collin Palmer on a couple of points, he seems to be unaware that celebrity behavior has gotten so much worse and has a strong negative effect on us.

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I agree with Collin Palmer that we shouldnt be so concerned about being obsessed with celebrities because for most of us it is harmless fun. However, there are a few people who seem to get too carried away, and for them it is a very negative influence.

Of course, if you feel a near 100% agreement or disagreement (or if you are not ready to consider concessions), write a thesis that reflects what you are feeling. I agree with Collin Palmer that celebrities dont have a negative effect on us. I disagree with Collin Palmers argument that we shouldnt be concerned over celebrity obsession. I think that it is having a very negative effect on all of us.

Your working thesis may change as you write your first draft and discover more about what you think, but it will help you to get started. WORKING THESIS:

Activity 15a

Getting Ready to Write


1. Interview an older person (your parents or grandparents age) about celebrities they were fascinated by in their youth. Who were the celebrities they liked? What kind of celebrities were they? Athletes, singers, actors, etc.? How did they keep up with the celebrities they liked? (Remember, there was no internet then!) Did the celebrity / celebrities have a strong impact on their lives? (Did the celebrities change their lives or inspire them in any way?)

Write a short journal entry about your interview. Compare this adults experience with celebrities to your own experiences. What is the same about the two experiences? What is different? How do you think the invention of the internet has changed the impact of celebrities on us? 2. Watch one or more of the following Youtube videos about the effects of celebrities on us. Celebrity Influence on Teens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIXardsPSE4

The audio is low sometimes, but this video has some good information. Famous Future: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqcV-Ugl5Pk Interviews and commentary with 3 teens who want to become famous. Media: Celebrities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3sB5WiFwF8 Many celebrity images, backed by a great country song about celebrities.

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Write a short summary of the video. What points from the video relate to Deborah Kings article? What issues in the video relate to Collin Palmers arguments? 3. Listen to the country song by Brad Paisley, Celebrity. This is the song that is played on the video above, Media: Celebrities at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3sB5WiFwF8. The lyrics have many great ideas related to this topic. After you have listened to the song a couple of times, check the lyrics at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bradpaisley/celebrity.html to make sure that you have understood them completely.

Write a response to the song. What points from the song relate to Deborah Kings article? What points in the song related to Collin Palmers arguments?

Writing
Activity 16 Organizing Your Essay
Making a Brief Essay Outline to support your thesis Writing an outline helps you choose and order the ideas you will use before you begin writing the essay. This may seem like a time-consuming process, but it will save you time in the long-run. In general, an informal outline of an argument essay often includes the following: Introduction Background information (trends, importance today) Introduction of Palmers opinion Working thesis Body Paragraphs Topic Sentence Lots of support (Possible sources: the article, the prompt, survey results, interview, videos, songs, personal experience and observations) Opposing point of view Response to opposing point of view Conclusion Restatement of your position Call for action or agreement Prediction of the future Outline I. Introduction A. Background Information?

B. Author of Prompts main idea?

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* My Working Thesis

II. First Point or Reason Why __________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Support (From personal experience: an example, something I have read or seen, information from the article, a statistic, an experts opinion, etc.) Be specific! ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ * Following the guidelines above, write out your plan for as many paragraphs as you need to support your thesis. Your teacher will give you an idea of how many to plan.

Activity 17

Composing a Draft
Now you are ready to write your essay. Write your first draft according to the prompts instructions. Dont forget to follow your outline and create a title. Be sure to allow yourself enough time to write a good draft. A professional writer, Will Haygood, once wrote, Writing is physical work. Its sweaty work. You cant just will yourself to become a good writer. You really have to work at it.

Revising and Editing


Activity 18 Revising the Draft
Working in groups of three or four, each student reads his or her essay aloud to other members of the group. The group then completes the following tasks and the writer fills out the peer review form: 1. Each member states one thing that they like about the essay. 2. The group decides which paragraph has the weakest support and explains to the writer why they think the paragraph is weak. (The paragraph may not have enough explanation or may not provide enough specific and varied support.) 3. The group brainstorms how the paragraph could be improved. 4. The writer takes notes at each step and reads the notes back to the group to make sure he or she has understood and included all the peers comments. 5. After the group has discussed each paper, the writer completes questions 4 & 5.

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Peer Review Writer _______________________ Reviewers __________________________________________

1. What did my group like about my essay? 2. According to my group, which paragraph has the weakest support? Why? 3. What specific suggestions does my group have to make my paragraph better? 4. What was the most helpful feedback from the peer review? 5. In what ways can I apply the comments about one of my paragraphs to other body paragraphs of my essay? Write another draft of your essay that reflects the feedback you have received from your peers and/or your teacher.

Activity 19

Editing the Draft


Another aspect to improving an essay is correcting the grammar, which is called editing. Read the following strategies to help you edit effectively. Choose at least two of the strategies to edit your paper and then write a paragraph that reports the strategies you used and how well then worked (see directions below). If possible, set your essay aside for 24 hours before rereading it to find errors. If possible, read your essay aloud so you can hear errors and awkward constructions. Focus on individual words and sentences rather than on overall meaning. To do this, slow yourself down by covering everything but the line you are reading with a piece of paper or start with the last paragraph of your essay and work backwards paragraph by paragraph or sentence by sentence. With the help of your teacher, figure out your own pattern of errorsthe most serious and frequent errors you make. Look for only one type of error at a time. Then go back and look for a second type and, if necessary, a third. Use the dictionary to check spelling and confirm that you have chosen the right word for the context.

Write a paragraph that answers the following questions: 1. Which editing strategies did you use? Which one was more effective for you? Why? 2. What is one type of error you make the most often? Give an example below. Correct it in a different colored pen. Write a final draft of your essay, correcting all the errors that you have found.

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Activity 20

Reflecting on Writing
Compare your first draft to your final draft, and write a paragraph that answers the following questions: 1. What was your greatest improvement? Explain how you decided to improve this area. (In other words, what steps did you take to improve it? 2. If you had more time, what would you still like to improve? 3. What activities or feedback helped you the most to improve your essay? 4. What have you learned is your greatest strength as a writer? 5. What have you learned is the area you most need to improve?

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