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Essay: Hypothetical Instance

Hypothetical Instance

Hypothetical instance

      Dr. Otto

Sometimes we resist considering alternative points of views.

A hypothetical instance can be used to add new facts to a situation that is being discussed for the purpose of solving a problem.

YouTube Tutorial – click HERE
Text for Tutorial –  click HERE
Sample – scroll down to Sample
Assignment – scroll down to Assignment
Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key
Practice oral English – click HERE
ASK DR. OTTO – click HERE

Notes

Sometimes readers resist considering alternative points of views. However, they may consider an alternative point of view in a hypothetical situation which does not affect them personally. In other words, readers might be open to a ‘What if…’ question. Similarly, readers might be open to considering new information if it is introduced in a hypothetical instance with a statement like  ‘Suppose that …’

Hypothetical instances are used to refer to an event that did not happen but could have happened. It is used to encourage a person to consider alternative points of view. A writer might ask, ‘What if …?’. A hypothetical instance can also be used to propose some new facts for a situation that is being discussed. A writer might ask, ‘Suppose that …?’

Sample

Professor Post

Professor Post, who is an expert on climate change and far-northern ecosystems, has spent years in the arctic observing the impact of climate change on wild life. He has expressed concerns over musk oxen and caribou which evolved to be supremely well adapted to cold climates. He called these animals relics of the Pleistocene or glacial era. What if global warming increases the temperature in the far north? Will they evolve to adapt to warmer temperatures just as they adapted to cold climates or will they gradually die off?

Template for hypothetical instance

  • What if …?

–       What if global warming increases the temperature in the far north? Will they evolve to adapt to warmer temperatures just as they have adapted to a cold climate or will they gradually die off?

  • Suppose that ….

Assignment

Read the following report and complete the template below.

Writing on Demand

The research in support of teaching the writing process and encouraging students to express themselves is substantial. (Graves 1983, Murray 1985, Calkins 1986). Their main focus has been on encouraging students to write about what they know on topics of their interest. Through this experience, students discover that writing is a recursive process consisting of rehearsing, composing and revising.  Gradually,

they learn about the mechanics of writing through informal instruction and writing. This approach also emphasizes that students need to write frequently and receive feedback.

This approach to writing reflects a number of serious weaknesses, especially as it relates to the ability to write on demand. First, it is excessively student centered in that students are free to write about topics of their choice. Hence, their writing tends to focus on personal narratives. This does not prepare them for writing on assigned topics within time limits.

Second, personal writing experiences do not prepare students for writing essays or reports. It does not introduce them to the formats and thinking strategies required to write expository text. What if all high school graduates were unprepared to write reports required by the workplace? Who would hire them? How would they get jobs?

Hypothetical Instance

  1. What if …?

_________________________________________________________________________

  1. Suppose that …?

_________________________________________________________________________

Assignment

Writing Assignment: Hypothetical Instance

Write a paragraph using a hypothetical instance on a topic of your choice. Submit it to your instructor or tutor for feedback on grammar and your hypothetical instances. Then edit your paragraph based on the feedback you received.

Complete the template for  Hypothetical Instance on your paragraph.

Hypothetical Instance

  1. What if …?

_________________________________________________________________________

  1. Suppose that …?

_________________________________________________________________________

Answer Key

Hypothetical Instance – Writing on the Demand – page 40

  • What if …?

–       What if all high school graduates were unprepared to write reports required by the workplace? Who would hire them? How would they get jobs?

  • Suppose that ….

–       … suppose a foreman requires an employee at Canadian Tires to prepare a report on the inventory of automobile tires on a specific day. After counting and classifying the tires, the new enthusiastic employee eagerly begins to write a report. He prepares an accurate report on the inventory. But, the inventory numbers are contained in a colorful report which includes a description of different tires, a narration of an unusual encounter with a skunk and some personal impressions on working at Canadian Tires.

 

Consequently, the preparation of the report took several hours longer than necessary.  Including personal information in an inventory report interfered with the preparation of business report for the company.