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    Opinion Article: Strengths and Weaknesses of an Author' Effort at Scholarly Writing

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    One of the great breakthroughs in the past 50 years has been the widespread availability of the personal computer. This powerful learning tool has revolutionized everything from commerce to education and changed the very way everyone conducts his or her daily lives. And most notably, where only a few years ago people wrote about the "digital divide" between those who could afford computers and those who could not, there is almost no discussion along these lines any longer. And, in fact, why would there be? Poor people can now save enough to buy their families a computer for home and school use. In fact, an article in Business Week in 2001 estimated that more than 80% of all high school students were "plugged in."

    Write an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of this author's effort at scholarly writing, and an assessment of the paragraph in terms of bias, opinion, quality of evidence, and appropriateness to its target audience.

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    Solution Preview

    From reviewing the paragraph, the statement, "One of the great breakthroughs in the past 50 years has been the widespread availability of the personal computer" does not give the writing much focus. For instance, the reader has no idea where the writer is going with this paragraph (i.e., no sense of purpose for writing the article) as the writer is not committed to a position. Is the article discussing the availability of the personal computer, or how it has changed lives? However, in the next sentence the writer has departed from the discussion of the computer by interjecting a notation on the "digital divide" and assuming everyone understands the concept of digital divide. Further, in scholarly writing, there are no incomplete or contrite sentences or questions such as, "And why ...