Chapter 5: Maintaining Focus and Purpose: The Body Paragraphs
We have arrived at the crux of our argument, the apex of our analysis. Best now to review once again our three-storey thesis, paying particular attention to the third storey.
Speaking to an audience of first year university students in Canada, Charles Justice in “The Ultimate Communications App” utilizes the contrast of “cooperation” and “conflict” in combination with the repetition of the word “common” in closing his argument. From this, Justice is arguing that while humans have become distanced into “occupying different places” through technological, agricultural and domestication evolution, it is the shared historical fact that humanity grew from the same original roots of collective language construction that unites every modern person to their human counterparts around the globe. Reiterating his definition of the common as “a level-playing field,” Justice concludes with a call to arms extolling humans to grasp their ethical responsibility not only to each other but to “share” in the present concerns of a globalized population of humans in the entire “Earth’s biosphere.”
It is also a good idea to remind ourselves of some of the questions we were asking when we developed this third storey in Chapter 3.
When adding a third storey to this two-storey thesis, you must consider the logical extensions of this argument as they relate to the original text as a whole. In general, when developing your third storey, you might ask:
- Is the author offering a solution to a problem raised earlier in the text?
- Is the author warning of specific further consequences that will arise from a problem raised earlier in the text?
- What does the author want their reader to leave the text thinking or doing?
In the body paragraphs that flow from this third storey, we will reach a little further and make connections that solidify our reading of this text. We can make these leaps with confidence having established our analysis in the five body paragraphs leading to this. As always, it is important to have our outline close at hand so we can remind ourselves of what we need these final paragraphs to do.
Paragraph 6 (Third Storey): Explain what Justice means by “a level-playing field” (para. 6) and how it links to “the same original roots of collective language construction that unites every modern person to their human counterparts around the globe.”
Paragraph 7 (Third Storey): Explain how this level playing field leads to “a call to arms extolling humans to grasp their ethical responsibility not only to each other but to “share” in the present concerns of a globalized population of humans in the entire “Earth’s biosphere.”
Our final sentence in Paragraph 5 facilitates nicely a transition into the claims we want to make in our final body paragraphs about Justice’s identification of language as “a commons” and a “level-playing field:”
Further, Justice asserts that “Here in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest, fresh water is a common resource,” implying even has he invokes the human naming of a region, that this does not override the deeper human tendency to share resources and foster a space that is mutually beneficial.
Keeping that transition in mind, here are the two paragraphs in which we strengthen and finalize our claim about why Justice was motivated to write his essay. They mark the logical extension from our granular analysis of the text to our claim about the text’s purpose:
Body Paragraph 6:
This mutually beneficial space is a worldwide commons manifested and made accessible by language. Despite the fact that “in outgrowing our original environment we ceased to have a common place and identity” and despite this initial “outgrowing” producing varied groups with diverse languages and varying levels of prosperity, Justice still believes that language, the one commons that is accessible to all, can be the “level-playing field” upon which all groups can interact and share. Like most successful technological innovations, this “new communications app” is intuitive and accessible, addresses a common need, and possesses the ability to perform tasks thought previously to be impossible.
Body Paragraph 7:
Justice’s clever analogy of language as a “new communications app” encourages his readers to consider language in a new way. He want his readers to shirk off the notions of defeatism and division that often accompany discussions of language and recognize it instead as a “free” application that is linked ineluctably with the very “humanity and human origins” we have “in common with everyone else alive today.” Viewed in this way, the many languages across the globe present a challenge, but they do not simply create a frustrated and disconnected “Tower of Babel.” Instead, they represent a gigantic “level-playing field” that spans the entire commons that is the “Earth’s biosphere.”