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Articles

  1. Three Great Reasons to Give Thanks
  2. Epistemology and critical thinking
  3. Looking for life in all the right places

What sentence style have I used that makes it semi-informal and speak directly to the reader? But in an article, it's better to give the reader something to think about, perhaps by asking them another question or giving them a call to action. Often, the best endings link back to the starting point in some way. Here are two endings I could use for this article:. For some reason, people like reading lists! And a direct, rhetorical question in the first paragraph to make readers want to find out the answer. Think…Keep in mind…Write…Spend…. Article contributed by Nicola Prentis who is a teacher and materials writer, based in Madrid and London.

ALL Rights Reserved. Home Terms of Use Privacy policy Cookie preferences. Free Practice Tests for learners of English. Here are two endings I could use for this article: Look at your internet browsing history from the last day. Which articles got your attention? Can you see how they did it? So, now you know how to write an article, why don't you write one giving advice on something you know about?

Common mistakes students make in articles The language is too formal and more suited to essays.

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Stay anchored in the things you believe. Share your experiences in the gospel.

Three Great Reasons to Give Thanks

Look at how the prophet Nephi answered a question he did not know the answer to. He responded by sharing something he had experienced. As you search for answers, go to sources you can trust. Avoid reading the inaccurate literature produced by those who are trying to tear down the Church. Most people do not expect or want long, complicated answers.


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Stick to the point and make sure to use plain language and avoid words or phrases that are not understood or mean something different outside of the Church. Keep your answers focused on gospel doctrine rather than speculation or rumor. When answering questions, it may also be helpful to find out what your friends believe about the topic.

According to one influential theory, our tendency for self-deception stems from our desire to impress others. To appear convincing, we ourselves must be convinced of our capabilities and truthfulness. Supporting this theory is the observation that successful manipulators are often quite full of themselves.

Good salespeople, for example, exude an enthusiasm that is contagious; conversely, those who doubt themselves generally are not good at sweet talking. Lab research is supportive as well. In one study, participants were offered money if, in an interview, they could convincingly claim to have aced an IQ test.

The more effort the candidates put into their performance, the more they themselves came to believe that they had a high IQ, even though their actual scores were more or less average.

Our self-deceptions have been shown to be quite changeable. Often we adapt them flexibly to new situations. This adaptability was demonstrated by Steven A. Sloman of Brown University and his colleagues. Their subjects were asked to move a cursor to a dot on a computer screen as quickly as possible.

If the participants were told that above-average skill in this task reflected high intelligence, they immediately concentrated on the task and did better.

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They did not actually seem to think that they had exerted more effort—which the researchers interpret as evidence of a successful self-deception. On the other hand, if the test subjects were convinced that only dimwits performed well on such stupid tasks, their performance tanked precipitously. But is self-deception even possible? Can we know something about ourselves on some level without being conscious of it?

Epistemology and critical thinking

The experimental evidence involves the following research design: Subjects are played audiotapes of human voices, including their own, and are asked to signal whether they hear themselves. The recognition rate fluctuates depending on the clarity of the audiotapes and the loudness of the background noise. If brain waves are measured at the same time, particular signals in the reading indicate with certainty whether the participants heard their own voice.

Most people are somewhat embarrassed to hear their own voice. In a classic study, Ruben Gur of the University of Pennsylvania and Harold Sackeim of Columbia University made use of this reticence, comparing the statements of test subjects with their brain activity. Either way, their brain waves told the real story. In a more recent study, researchers evaluated performances on a practice test meant to help students assess their own knowledge so that they could fill in gaps.

Here subjects were asked to complete as many tasks as possible within a set time limit. Given that the purpose of the practice test was to provide students with information they needed, it made little sense for them to cheat; on the contrary, artificially pumped-up scores could have led them to let their studies slide.

Those who tried to improve their scores by using time beyond the allotted completion period would just be hurting themselves. But many of the volunteers did precisely that. Unconsciously, they simply wanted to look good. Thus, the cheaters explained their running over time by claiming to have been distracted and wanting to make up for lost seconds. Researchers call this phenomenon diagnostic self-deception. Most people believe that they have a solid essential core, a true self. Who they truly are is evinced primarily in their moral values and is relatively stable; other preferences may change, but the true self remains the same.

The researchers asked test subjects to keep a diary about their everyday life. The participants turned out to feel most alienated from themselves when they had done something morally questionable: they felt especially unsure of who they actually were when they had been dishonest or selfish. Experiments have also confirmed an association between the self and morality. When test subjects are reminded of earlier wrongdoing, their surety about themselves takes a hit. George Newman and Joshua Knobe, both at Yale University, have found that people typically think humans harbor a true self that is virtuous.

They presented subjects with case studies of dishonest people, racists, and the like. Participants generally attributed the behavior in the case studies to environmental factors such as a difficult childhood—the real essence of these people must surely have been different. This work shows our tendency to think that, in their heart of hearts, people pull for what is moral and good. Those with a more liberal outlook thought he should come out of the closet.

Anne E.


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Wilson of Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario and Michael Ross of the University of Waterloo in Ontario have demonstrated in several studies that we tend to ascribe more negative traits to the person we were in the past—which makes us look better in the here and now. According to Wilson and Ross, the further back people go, the more negative their characterization becomes.

Assuming that we have a solid core identity reduces the complexity of a world that is constantly in flux. The people around us play many different roles, acting inconsistently and at the same time continuing to develop. It is reassuring to think that our friends Tom and Sarah will be precisely the same tomorrow as they are today and that they are basically good people—regardless of whether that perception is correct.

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Looking for life in all the right places

Is life without belief in a true self even imaginable? Researchers have examined this question by comparing different cultures. The belief in a true self is widespread in most parts of the world. One exception is Buddhism, which preaches the nonexistence of a stable self. Prospective Buddhist monks are taught to see through the illusionary character of the ego—it is always in flux and completely malleable.

Nina Strohminger of the University of Pennsylvania and her colleagues wanted to know how this perspective affects the fear of death of those who hold it. They gave a series of questionnaires and scenarios to about lay Tibetans and 60 Buddhist monks. They compared the results with those of Christians and nonreligious people in the U.

Yet the less that the Tibetan monks believed in a stable inner essence, the more likely they were to fear death. In addition, they were significantly more selfish in a hypothetical scenario in which forgoing a particular medication could prolong the life of another person. Nearly three out of four monks decided against that fictitious option, far more than the Americans or Hindus.

Self-serving, fearful Buddhists? It is, in any case, one that is hard to shake. Insecurity is generally thought of as a drawback, but it is not entirely bad. People who feel insecure about whether they have some positive trait tend to try to prove that they do have it. Those who are unsure of their generosity, for example, are more likely to donate money to a good cause.