Simple & direct: A rhetoric for writers
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They can be classified as feature phones, media phones, and smartphones. Smaller categories, and the way in which these categories are created, help us make sense of the world. Keep both of these elements in mind when writing a classification essay. Choose topics that you know well when writing classification essays. The more you know about a topic, the more you can break it into smaller, more interesting parts.
Adding interest and insight will enhance your classification essays. The classification essay opens with an introductory paragraph that introduces the broader topic. The thesis should then explain how that topic is divided into subgroups and why. Take the following introductory paragraph, for example:. When people think of British Columbia, they often think of only Vancouver. However, British Columbia is actually a diverse province with a full range of activities to do, sights to see, and cultures to explore.
The underlined thesis in this example explains not only the category and subcategories but also the rationale for breaking it into those categories. In this classification essay, the writer hopes to show readers a different way of considering the province. Each body paragraph of a classification essay is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subcategories. In the previous example, then, each of the seven regions of British Columbia would have its own paragraph. The conclusion should bring all the categories and subcategories together again to show the reader the big picture.
In the previous example, the conclusion might explain how the various sights and activities of each region of British Columbia add to its diversity and complexity. To avoid settling for an overly simplistic classification, make sure you break down any given topic at least three different ways. Choose one of the classifications and write a brief paragraph explaining why you chose to organize each main category in the way that you did. Start with an engaging opening that will adequately introduce the general topic that you will be dividing into smaller subcategories.
Your thesis should come near the end of your introduction. It should include the topic, your subtopics, and the reason you are choosing to break down the topic in the way that you are. Use the following classification thesis equation:. The organizing strategy of a classification essay is dictated by the initial topic and the subsequent subtopics. Each body paragraph is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subtopics. In a way, coming up with a strong topic pays double rewards in a classification essay. Not only do you have a good topic, but you also have a solid organizational structure within which to write.
Be sure you use strong details and explanations for each subcategory paragraph that help explain and support your thesis. Also, be sure to give examples to illustrate your points. Finally, write a conclusion that links all the subgroups together again. The conclusion should successfully wrap up your essay by connecting it to your topic initially discussed in the introduction.
In either case, the formula for a process analysis essay is the same. The process is articulated into clear, definitive steps. Almost everything we do involves following a step-by-step process. From riding a bike as children to learning various jobs as adults, we initially need instructions to effectively execute the task. Likewise, we have likely had to instruct others, so we know how important good directions are—and how frustrating it is when they are poorly put together. The next time you have to explain a process to someone at work, be mindful of how clearly you articulate each step.
Strong communication skills are critical for workplace satisfaction and advancement. Effective process analysis plays a critical role in developing that skill set. The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the goal of the process. The organization of a process analysis essay is typically chronological. That is, the steps of the process are conveyed in the order in which they usually occur. Body paragraphs will be constructed based on these steps. If a particular step is complicated and needs a lot of explaining, then it will likely take up a paragraph on its own.
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But if a series of simple steps is easier to understand, then the steps can be grouped into a single paragraph. Always have someone else read your process analysis to make sure it makes sense. When a writer becomes very close to a subject, it is difficult to determine how clearly an idea is coming across. Having a friend or co-worker read it over will help identify any confusing spots. On a separate sheet of paper, make a bulleted list of all the steps that you feel would be required to clearly illustrate one of the following processes: Tying a shoelace Parallel parking Planning a successful first date Being an effective communicator S tart creating a rough outline of the possible information to include in each of your steps.
C onsider that you will cons truct paragraphs based on the complexity of each step. For complicated steps, dedicate an entire paragraph. If less complicated steps fall in succession, group them into a single paragraph. Choose a topic that is interesting, is relatively complex, and can be explained in a series of steps. As with other rhetorical writing modes, you should choose something you know well so that you can more easily describe the finer details about each step in the process.
Your thesis statement should come at the end of your introduction, and it should state the final outcome of the process you are describing. Body paragraphs are composed of the steps in the process. Each step should be expressed using strong details and clear examples. Use time transitional phrases to help organize steps in the process and to orient readers. The conclusion should thoroughly describe the result of the process described in the body paragraphs. The purpose of a definition essay may seem self-explanatory: to simply define something.
But defining terms in writing is often more complicated than just consulting a dictionary. In fact, the way we define terms can have far-reaching consequences for individuals as well as groups. The way in which one defines alcoholism depends on its legal, moral, and medical contexts. Lawyers may define alcoholism in terms of laws governing drinking alcohol; parents may define alcoholism in terms of morality; and doctors may define alcoholism in terms of symptoms and diagnostic criteria.
Think also of terms that people tend to debate in our broader culture. Defining terms within a relationship, or any other context, can at first be difficult, but once a definition is established between two people or in a group of people, it is easier to have productive dialogues. Definitions, then, establish the way in which people communicate ideas. They set parameters for a given discourse, which is why they are so important.
When writing definition essays, avoid terms that are too simple, that lack complexity. Definitions of concepts, rather than objects, are often fluid and contentious, making for a more effective definition essay. Definitions play a critical role in all workplace environments. Take the term sexual harassment , for example. Sexual harassment is broadly defined on the federal level, but individual companies may have additional criteria that define it further for a particular work setting.
Knowing how your workplace defines and treats all sexual harassment allegations is important. The definition essay opens with a general discussion of the term to be defined. You then state as your thesis your definition of the term. The rest of the essay should explain the rationale for your definition. Instead, consider the context in which you are using the word.
Often words take on different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the ideal leader in a battlefield setting could likely be very different than a leader in an elementary school setting. If context is missing from the essay, the essay may be too short or the main points could be confusing or misunderstood. For example, if you were defining a good leader in an elementary classroom setting, you might define the person according to personality traits: patience, consistency, and flexibility.
Each attribute would be explained in its own paragraph. For definition essays, try to think of concepts that you have a personal stake in. You are more likely to write a more engaging definition essay if you are writing about an idea that has personal value and importance. It is a good idea to occasionally assess your role in the workplace.
You can do this through the process of definition. Identify your role at work by defining not only the routine tasks but also those grey areas where your responsibilities might overlap with those of others. On a sheet of paper, write about a time in your own life in which the definition of a word, or the lack of a definition, caused an argument. Your term could be something as simple as the category of an all — star in sports or how to define a good movie. Or it could be something with higher stakes and wider impact, such as a political argument.
Explain how the conversation began, how the argument hinged on the definition of the word, and how the incident was finally resolved. Choose a topic that will be complex enough to be discussed at length. Choosing a word or phrase of personal relevance often leads to a more interesting and engaging essay. After you have chosen your word or phrase, start your essay with an introduction that establishes the relevance of the term in the chosen specific context.
Your thesis comes at the end of the introduction, and it should clearly state your definition of the term in the specific context. Establishing a functional context from the beginning will orient readers and minimize misunderstandings. The body paragraphs should each be dedicated to explaining a different facet of your definition. Make sure to use clear examples and strong details to illustrate your points.
Your concluding paragraph should pull together all the different elements of your definition to ultimately reinforce your thesis. The key to a good compare and contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities.
For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences: Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated.
For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two different types of apples as in the example above because they share so many of the same properties already.
Rather, you might try to compare apples and oranges. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be. Comparing and contrasting is also an evaluative tool. In order to make accurate evaluations about a given topic, you must first know the critical points of similarity and difference. Comparing and contrasting is a primary tool for many workplace assessments. You have likely compared and contrasted yourself to other colleagues.
Employee advancements, pay raises, hiring, and firing are typically conducted using comparison and contrast. Comparison and contrast could be used to evaluate companies, departments, or individuals. Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Choose one of the following three categories. Pick two examples from each. Then come up with one similarity and three differences between the examples.
Romantic comedies Internet search engines Cell phones Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Choose one of the following three items. Then come up with one difference and three similarities. Department stores and discount retail stores Fast-food chains and fine-dining restaurants Dogs and cats.
The compare and contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects being compared, contrasted, or both, and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward either comparing or contrasting, or balance both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader.
Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting. Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted organic versus conventionally grown vegetables , and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader. You may organize compare and contrast essays in one of the following two ways:.
According to the subjects themselves, discussing one then the other. According to individual points, discussing each subject in relation to each point. The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience. Given that compare and contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis.
First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both, as well as state what can be learned from doing so.
The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points. The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Be sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects. After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis.
Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategies—by subject or individual points—could also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague has to present something at work. We want to know how much money we will save over the long term if we buy a hybrid car. These examples identify only a few of the relationships we think about in our lives, but each shows the importance of understanding cause and effect.
A cause is something that produces an event or condition; an effect is what results from an event or condition. Sometimes the connection between cause and effect is clear, but often determining the exact relationship between the two is very difficult. For example, the following effects of a cold may be easily identifiable: a sore throat, runny nose, and a cough. But determining the cause of the sickness can be far more difficult. A number of causes are possible, and to complicate matters, these possible causes could have combined to cause the sickness.
That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given effect. Therefore, cause and effect discussions are often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments. Use the complex nature of cause and effect to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to find the exact cause of an event or to name the exact effect. So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of a number of causes or effects to be the primary, or main, cause or effect.
As soon as you claim that one cause or one effect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis. The cause and effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event. The cause and effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways:.
Start with the cause and then talk about the effects. Start with the effect and then talk about the causes. For example, if your essay is on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the effect of childhood obesity and then discuss the cause, or you could start the same essay by talking about the cause of childhood obesity and then move to the effect. Regardless of which structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay completely. Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and anecdotes.
Because cause and effect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of words and phrases that denote such linkage. See Table 4. The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed. Be careful of resorting to empty speculation. In writing, speculation amounts to unsubstantiated guessing.
10 famous speeches in English and what you can learn from them - English Editing Blog
Writers are particularly prone to this trap in cause and effect arguments due to the complex nature of finding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make. Freewrite for five minutes on one of the following broad topics below. Focus on a narrower issue about that topic and its effects. Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause and effect relationship. Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both. Organize your essay by starting with either the cause then effect structure, or the effect then cause structure.
Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and effects using a full range of evidence. If you are writing about multiple causes or multiple effects, you may choose to sequence either in order of importance. In other words, order the causes from least to most important or vice versa , or order the effects from least important to most important or vice versa. Use the phrases of causation when trying to forge connections between various events or conditions.
This will help organize your ideas and orient the reader. End your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis. In week 7, you will need to submit an expository essay on one of the following topics. Consider these topics as you work through the rest of this chapter and the next. You will need to choose one topic from one of the rhetorical modes below and write a to word essay. You will need to produce a logically organized essay with a thesis statement, well developed and logically organized paragraphs with topic sentences , and an introduction and conclusion.
You need to also demonstrate appropriate use of grammar and correct spelling. Remember, your essay should not just be a story; it should demonstrate logical organization and idea development. Narrative : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized narrative essay. Illustration : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized illustration essay. The media and the framing of crime Child obesity The effect of violent video games on behaviour Description : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized description essay.
Ways of boring people Methods of studying for a final exam Extreme weather Process analysis : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized process analysis essay. How to complain effectively How to apply the Heimlich manoeuvre, or other lifesaving technique How a particular accident occurred Definition : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized definition essay.
Right to privacy Integrity Heroism Compare and contrast : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized compare and contrast essay. Two ways of losing weight: one healthy, one dangerous Two ways to break a bad habit An active and a passive student Cause and effect : Choose one of the topics below and relate your ideas in a clearly organized cause and effect essay.
Plagiarism and cheating in school. Give its effects. A personal, unreasonable fear or irritation. Give its causes. You need to submit this assignment to your instructor for marking. We have examined different types or modes of composing expository essays. As each essay has a different purpose, we now need to look further at how to construct paragraphs according to the purpose, audience, and tone of writing. It is important keep the big picture thesis in mind when writing, and to question whether the information supports that thesis.
As well, while thinking of how each supporting idea links back to that thesis, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the paragraphs. Should a paragraph be summary, analysis, synthesis, or evaluation to best support the thesis and essay mode? How will that purpose affect paragraph construction?
The reason the writer composes the paragraph. The individual or group whom the writer intends to address. Figure 4. This section covers how purpose, audience, and tone affect reading and writing paragraphs. The purpose is simply the reason you are writing a particular document. To entertain a packed theatre. Why write instructions to the babysitter? To inform him or her of your schedule and rules. Why write a letter to your Member of Parliament?
In academic settings, the reasons for writing fulfill four main purposes: to summarize, to analyze, to synthesize, and to evaluate. You will encounter these four purposes not only as you read for your classes but also as you read for work or pleasure. Because reading and writing work together, your writing skills will improve as you read.
Eventually, your instructors will ask you to complete assignments specifically designed to meet one of the four purposes. As you will see, the purpose for writing will guide you through each part of the paper, helping you make decisions about content and style. For now, identifying these purposes by reading paragraphs will prepare you to write individual paragraphs and to build longer assignments.
We have already seen a sample of a summary paragraph in Section 3. Take a look back at the summary paragraph in that section to refresh your memory on what this type of paragraph should contain.
The analysis of simple table salt, for example, would require a deconstruction of its parts—the elements sodium Na and chloride Cl. Then, scientists would study how the two elements interact to create the compound NaCl, or sodium chloride, which is also called simple table salt. Analysis is not limited to the sciences, of course. An analysis paragraph in academic writing fulfills the same purpose. Instead of deconstructing chemical compounds, academic analysis paragraphs typically deconstruct documents.
An analysis takes apart a primary source an essay, a book, an article, etc. It communicates the main points of the document by examining individual points and identifying how they relate to one another. Notice how the analysis does not simply repeat information from the original report, but considers how the points within the report relate to one another. By doing this, the student uncovers a discrepancy between the points that are backed up by statistics and those that require additional information.
Analyzing a document involves a close examination of each of the individual parts and how they work together.
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Consider the electronic musical instrument aptly named the synthesizer. It looks like a simple keyboard but displays a dashboard of switches, buttons, and levers. With the flip of a few switches, a musician may combine the distinct sounds of a piano, a flute, or a guitar—or any other combination of instruments—to create a new sound. The purpose of the synthesizer is to blend together the notes from individual instruments to form new, unique notes. The purpose of an academic synthesis is to blend individual documents into a new document. An academic synthesis paragraph considers the main points from one or more pieces of writing and links the main points together to create a new point, one not replicated in either document.
Notice how the synthesis paragraphs consider each source and use information from each to create a new thesis. A good synthesis does not repeat information; the writer uses a variety of sources to create a new idea. Evaluations in everyday experiences are often not only dictated by set standards but are also influenced by opinion and prior knowledge. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine how well the employee performs on the job. An academic evaluation communicates your opinion, and its justifications, about a document or a topic of discussion.
Evaluations are influenced by your reading of the document, your prior knowledge, and your prior experience with the topic or issue.
- Rhetoric - Examples and Definition of Rhetoric.
- Simple and Direct?
- A History of Philosophy, Vol. 2: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy From Augustine to Duns Scotus.
Because an evaluation incorporates your point of view and the reasons for your point of view, it typically requires more critical thinking and a combination of summary, analysis, and synthesis skills. Thus evaluation paragraphs often follow summary, analysis, and synthesis paragraphs. Evaluating a document requires prior knowledge that is often based on additional research.
These words will cue you on how to complete the assignment because you will know its exact purpose. Read the following paragraphs about four films and then identify the purpose of each paragraph. This film could easily have been cut down to less than two hours. By the final scene, I noticed that most of my fellow moviegoers were snoozing in their seats and were barely paying attention to what was happening on screen. Although the director sticks diligently to the book, he tries too hard to cram in all the action, which is just too ambitious for such a detail-oriented story.
If you want my advice, read the book and give the movie a miss. During the opening scene, we learn that the character Laura is adopted and that she has spent the past three years desperately trying to track down her real parents. Having exhausted all the usual options—adoption agencies, online searches, family trees, and so on—she is on the verge of giving up when she meets a stranger on a bus.
The chance encounter leads to a complicated chain of events that ultimately result in Laura getting her lifelong wish. But is it really what she wants?
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Throughout the rest of the film, Laura discovers that sometimes the past is best left where it belongs. To create the feeling of being gripped in a vise, the director, May Lee, uses a variety of elements to gradually increase the tension. The creepy, haunting melody that subtly enhances the earlier scenes becomes ever more insistent, rising to a disturbing crescendo toward the end of the movie. The desperation of the actors, combined with the claustrophobic atmosphere and tight camera angles create a realistic firestorm, from which there is little hope of escape.
Walking out of the theatre at the end feels like staggering out of a Roman dungeon. The scene in which Campbell and his fellow prisoners assist the guards in shutting down the riot immediately strikes the viewer as unrealistic. Based on the recent reports on prison riots in both Detroit and California, it seems highly unlikely that a posse of hardened criminals would intentionally help their captors at the risk of inciting future revenge from other inmates.
Instead, both news reports and psychological studies indicate that prisoners who do not actively participate in a riot will go back to their cells and avoid conflict altogether. Examples of this lack of attention to detail occur throughout the film, making it almost unbearable to watch. Thinking about the purpose of writing a report in the workplace can help focus and structure the document. A summary should provide colleagues with a factual overview of your findings without going into too much detail.
In contrast, an evaluation should include your personal opinion, along with supporting evidence, research, or examples to back it up. Consider the expository essay you will soon have to write. Identify the most effective academic purpose for the assignment. Imagine you must give a presentation to a group of executives in an office. Weeks before the big day, you spend time creating and rehearsing the presentation. You must make important, careful decisions not only about the content but also about your delivery.
Will the presentation require technology to project figures and charts? Should the presentation define important words, or will the executives already know the terms? Should you wear your suit and dress shirt? The answers to these questions will help you develop an appropriate relationship with your audience, making them more receptive to your message. Now imagine you must explain the same business concepts from your presentation to a group of high school students.
Those important questions you previously answered may now require different answers. The figures and charts may be too sophisticated, and the terms will certainly require definitions. You may even reconsider your outfit and sport a more casual look. Because the audience has shifted, your presentation and delivery will shift as well to create a new relationship with the new audience. In these two situations, the audience—the individuals who will watch and listen to the presentation—plays a role in the development of presentation.
As you prepare the presentation, you visualize the audience to anticipate their expectations and reactions. What you imagine affects the information you choose to present and how you will present it. Then, during the presentation, you meet the audience in person and discover immediately how well you perform.
Although the audience for writing assignments—your readers—may not appear in person, they play an equally vital role. In fact, thinking about audience has become so common that you may not even detect the audience driven decisions. For example, you update your status on a social networking site with the awareness of who will digitally follow the post. If you want to brag about a good grade, you may write the post to please family members. Even at work, you send emails with an awareness of an unintended receiver who could intercept the message.
Consider the following paragraphs. Which one would the author send to her parents? Which one would she send to her best friend? Last Saturday, I volunteered at a local hospital. The visit was fun and rewarding. I even learned how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. Unfortunately, I think caught a cold from one of the patients.
A powerful tool in the right — or wrong — hands, spoken English can, and has, changed the world. They range from celebrated, world-changing pieces of rhetoric to our personal favourites, but most importantly they still rouse our emotions when we hear them today. Remember these celebrated rhetoricians the next time you have to give a speech in public — be this at a wedding, award ceremony or business conference.
Incredibly famous and iconic, Martin Luther King changed the character of speech making. I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. Our dreams are an intimate part of our subconscious and express our strongest desires. Dreams belong to the realm of fantasy; of unworldly, soaring experiences. In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
Over and over again, we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies, but it has been in vain. Churchill is an icon of great speech making. Nevertheless, with pronunciation and rehearsal he became one of the most famous orators in history. A similar thing happens in musical pieces: the composition weaves a crescendo, which often induces emotion in its audience.
It is a remarkable speech in extraordinary circumstances: made by a woman, it deals with issues of gender, sovereignty and nationality. I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm; to which rather than any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms, I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. This gives her speech a very inclusive message.
Combining vulnerability with pride, this is an unusual speech and deserves attention. Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food.
No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.