Analyzing the Inclusion of Source Material

Take a minute to read this article, here.

Afterwards, in a couple of sentences (200-300 words), analyze the author’s writing technique. Pay close attention to her inclusion of source material–does it flow seamlessly? Are her paraphrases working? What about the balance between quotations and summary? I want you to study the way in which this piece is crafted, in essence, and call attention to what is working within the text.

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16 thoughts on “Analyzing the Inclusion of Source Material

  1. Honestly, I thought that the article was pretty strange. I did not understand why they chose the octopus, out of all animals, to show that other creatures have consciousness. The article was a little hard to follow, in my opinion, since the author constantly jumped from her thoughts to quoting the books. The author argued that although the octopus is nothing like humans physically, we share a lot of similar qualities mentally. At an aquarium, two people dressed in identical wet suits did a study with two octopuses. One of them fed the octopuses treats while the other one poked the octopuses with a stick. After a week, the octopuses automatically gravitated to the person with food and away from the person who irritated them. This shows that the octopuses are just like humans in the way that we drift towards things that are pleasing to us and away from things that are harmful or annoying. The author pointed out that we, as humans, tend to see things that are unknown to us in a negative way rather than using it as a reason to explore our curiosity. The octopus is one of the things that the author pointed out is extremely unfamiliar to us. Instead of dismissing creatures like the octopus since we do not know much about them, we should explore our curiosity and educate ourselves on them, as well as other things. Overall, I think that the author could have done a better job at integrating the quotations from the books into her writing. The switches between her thoughts and the other authors’ were a bit abrupt. However, I was still able to understand the point that she was trying to make.

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  2. The author’s review of this book was boring and hard to understand. Reading this article reminded me of listening to a young kid use cuss words, in essence it just does not fit. The amount of obnoxious big words that the author used made myself just not want to finish the rest of the article. Here is an excerpt for the article: “The constellation of complexities comprising this difference, Montgomery reveals over the course of this miraculously insightful and enchanting book, expands our understanding of consciousness and sheds light on the very notion of what we call a ‘soul.'” There is no flow to the excerpt. The transitions from the the excerpts had good intentions they just did not flow as good as they should have. Then again, I am just the reader of this article so what should I know.

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  3. In the article “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness,” the author, Maria Popova, uses many paraphrased quotes along with other writing techniques. She starts her article off with a quote about the definition of consciousness that leads her into other views and definitions of this word. Popova then addresses the book that the whole article is actually focused on, which is octopuses. She explains the purpose of the book and gives us readers insight and quotes from the book. I personally enjoy reading quotes when I read an article because it helps me understand it more. In the following quote she incorporates an actual quote from the book into her sentence: “Setting out to “defend the octopus against centuries of character assassination,” Montgomery notes that octopuses have highly individual personalities and can exhibit marked curiosity-“ Although the article itself was a little difficult to follow and understand, I still enjoyed it. I think that Popova could have done a better job at organizing her information in a more clear way for the readers that had never read the original book she is referring to.

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  4. Maria Popova, author of “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness,” has an interesting way of writing. The article itself is kind of odd because she is talking about consciousness and octopus. But when it comes to the flow her quotes and personal opinion, I think it was easy to follow and that she did a good job of not making it choppy. I would have liked to read a little more summary and a little less quotation, because I had no background information on the book she wrote about. It is almost like taking a test and not studying at all, you don’t know what is going on. The quotes that Maria Popova used, were rather long and it was rather harder to follow them. I for the most part, liked the article and the way she conducted it, but actually did not enjoy the topic of it. I personally found the article kind of boring, but can easily see how others, such as science lovers, would really enjoy the article. For the most part, I think that Maria Popova did a great job on this article and can tell that a lot of thought and effort went into it. I just would have enjoyed it more if there were more summary and less quotations from the book.

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  5. In this article, the author talks about how she was going to talk about the best science books of the year and she was reminded of a book that she had forgotten about, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. The author of this article, Maria Popova then went into details of interesting quotes from the book and mainly about it’s discussion of consciousness. I think this by itself made the article a little hard to follow; I was having to re-read sentences to try and understand where she was going with her arguments. Popova basically talked about a specific section in the book and then followed with a quote the somewhat went with what she was discussing. But when going from idea to idea, I don’t think the author was successful at all; the topics jumped around and honestly did not make much sense. I don’t think there is any flow whatsoever to her inclusion of the material from the book. One positive to this article is that for every summary she had of the book, she had a quotation from it as well. I like when authors choose to do this because it allows the reader to get a glimpse of what it was actually like to be reading it. With this, I was able to see the style of the book she was referencing and, like you said in class, the book itself seems to be beautifully written and gives many intriguing ideas as to animals, specifically octopi and their similarities to humans and our consciousness. For the most part, I do not think this article had much of anything that worked. Sometimes it seemed as though she just wanted to write her favorite quotes from the book. I think if she would have included more information to the topic of the book, it would have seemed like a better written article.

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  6. Maria Popova explores the concept of consciousness in her article, “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness”.She uses quotations from Sy Montgomery’s “The Soul of the Octopus” to make her points about the topic. She explained how the octopus is a very different creature from humans and how humans should embrace the differences and learn more about them, instead of turning the other way. Although I liked that she uses many references to really back up her thought, I feel like she might have gone a bit overboard. While reading, I felt like there were too many quotes and that it was kind of hard to follow and get through the article. The excessive amount of quotes she used hurt her writing instead of helping it. I think that if she had more summary and provided the reader with more background information about the book itself then it would be more enjoyable and easier to read. Overall, I still believe it was a good article and a good thought process I just feel like it could have been executed better.

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  7. Throughout the article, “The Soul of an Octopus: How one of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness”, Maria Popova thoroughly discusses her opinions regarding the spirit of an octopus itself and the expedition into the wonder of consciousness. For starters, Popova is quite different in the way she expresses herself within her writing, which in turn challenges the readers to think outside the box and into a more fabulist perspective. Almost everything that Popova mentions in regards to the soul and our conscious is from an additional article by Sy Montgomery called “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness”. Her source material sends the readers on a direct path that provides them with a clear visual of how Montgomery views these creatures as the great mystery of the Other. While the continuous use of quotations throughout the summary are helpful in understanding the importance of the topic at hand, they tend to loose the attention of the readers. It comes to a point where they are unable to keep track of what Popova is specifically trying to emphasize because of the uneven balance between quotations and summary. Overall, I believe Popova has a powerful mind and could use her work to her advantage if provided more intellect in her words and less of Montgomery’s.

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  8. In the article “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness,” the author, Maria Popova, uses many paraphrased quotes along with other writing techniques. She starts her article off with a quote about the definition of consciousness that leads her into other views and definitions of this word. Popova then addresses the book that the whole article is actually focused on, which is octopuses. She explains the purpose of the book and gives us readers insight and quotes from the book.She explained how the octopus is a very different creature from humans and how humans should embrace the differences and learn more about them, instead of turning the other way. Although I liked that she uses many references to really back up her thought, I feel like she might have gone a bit overboard. While reading, I felt like there were too many quotes and that it was kind of hard to follow and get through the article. The excessive amount of quotes she used hurt her writing instead of helping it. I think that if she had more summary and provided the reader with more background information about the book itself then it would be more enjoyable and easier to read. Overall, the execution of this article could have been better if she didn’t use so many quotes.

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  9. Maria Popova, author of “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness,” has an interesting way of connecting a octopus to consciousness. he author argued that although the octopus is nothing like humans physically, we share a lot of similar qualities mentally. She uses many paraphrased quotes along with other writing techniques. Starting with the first quote of the article bout the definition of consciousness that leads her into other views and definitions of this word. There were a lot of quotes and it kinda of made the article choppy. Maria could have done a better job at giving a summary of the book in easier terms. There was a lot of complicated words that make the reading hard to follow causing her to jump from topic to topic. In conclusion, I really did not enjoy the article. It could have been done so much better even though it had great potential.

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  10. The article “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness” Maria Popova discusses consciousness. Popova uses Sy Montgomery’s book ” The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” as a source throughout her article. Popova uses a more untraditional writing style which made me as the reader step out of my comfort zone and really think about the material I was reading. Like stated in the title, Popova covers that octopi are have so many differences than humans but that this should essentially excite us instead of scare us. While I was challenged to think out of the box, the article was still hard to follow. I liked the concept of the article but there wasn’t a cohesive flow from beginning to end. If executed more properly I think the article could be more effective because of the disconnect of transitions.

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  11. Maria Popova discusses in her article, “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness”, about the concept of consciousness. The flow of the article in general did not seem great to me. The multiple lengthy quotes place throughout her article do help to give credit to her article but hurt the flow all together. The many paraphrases in the article did the same thing. She did do a decent job making all of those quotes and paraphrases flow about as well as they probably could have been. The topic chosen by Maria was very interesting which made the article very interesting to read. If the article was about something less interesting then the article would have been more difficult to stay tuned in. The article was pretty solid all around and I liked how the website did not have adds.

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  12. The structure of Maria Popova’s article “The Soul of an Octopus: how One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonder of Consciousness”, is very simple and easy to follow. She starts with a quote and then paraphrases and continues this trend for the entire article. The source material of the article was strange and hard to follow. It was difficult the follow the connection she was attempting to make between the conscious of human and the conscious of an octopus. The topic she chose was very interesting she just made it hard to follow and it tended to make me lose interest.

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  13. After reading the article “The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness” by Maria Popova, I am extremely confused how anyone can compare an octopus to a human. The whole article was basically just her quoting other sources and it made the article very hard to follow. Following the quotes from other sources she would paraphrase and summarize what was just quoted above, but it was not very long. Although I think the thought process by Maria Popova of comparing consciousness between an octopus and a human was well thought out in her head, it is not easy for a normal reader to understand. I do not think this was a good article and she did a terrible job of trying to put her thoughts in her mind onto paper. If done correctly I think her comparison could work as long as she makes it understandable for a normal reader.

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  14. From the moment I read the title I was intrigued in what the author had to say about the books and NPR interviews reference, being the fact that I love HP Lovecraft and the idea of other forms of consciousness The author did very well explaining the premise and thesis of the book in the first paragraph of their review. The author then begins to pepper her review of the book with lengthy and strongly chosen quotations from the source material, sculpting her review around these fenceposts and forming a strong position to critique the source material. Overall the entire review was made better by her use of the paraphrases, creating an ebb and flow in design of her writing style. The balance between quotations and summary was done well and professionally

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  15. Throughout the article, The Soul of an Octopus: How One of Earth’s Most Alien Creatures Illuminates the Wonders of Consciousness, the author, Maria Popova, discusses the ways of consciousness. She has a very interesting and almost distinct way of writing. She decides to use an octopus to portray her thoughts and views of consciousness. She compares an octopus to human thoughts. She uses many quotes which made the article harder to connect and choppier, it did not completely flow. As consciousness is a hard concept, the article was tough to grasp fully. Popova used many references to back up her ideas which helped follow but more background information would have also been very useful. I think if less quotes and more summarization would have been used I would have been able to get a better grip and enjoy the article more. Although the article was not the easiest to read, I thought it was an interesting read as consciousness is a very interesting topic.

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  16. The author in this article tackles the tough subject of consciousness. To me, it seems like she was battling against the complexity of the topic by inserting many quotations from other sources. The fact that the author used more quotations than her own words tells the reader that she doesn’t really know much about the topic herself. Although consciousness is very complex, the many quotations make the piece choppy and hard to interpret. I do think it is a very interesting article and I’m intrigued by how she chose to tackle the subject. The use of an octopus to display consciousness is a unique way to look at it.

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