Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts : Analyze Points of Disagreement Between Conflicting Texts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.9

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Example Question #1 : Analyze Points Of Disagreement Between Conflicting Texts: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.8.9

Passage 1

It’s a great time to be green! Environmentally friendly practices have become very popular with shoppers. Business owners can capitalize on this trend by accurately advertising how their products are good for the environment, such as by using recycled materials.

Many shoppers associate the color green with sustainability. So, consider using eye-catching green details on your products when describing how they help the environment. You may want to incorporate symbols of nature into your advertising as well. Popular symbols associated with sustainability include leaves, trees, and flowers. These details may not seem important, but they are. The visual way in which a sustainability claim is made can make the difference between a shopper trying your product or leaving it on the shelf.

Some people want to regulate sustainability claims. This is a bad idea. Increased regulation would be an unnecessary burden on businesses. It would slow the time it takes them to adapt to trends. If every advertising decision had to be approved by a regulating body, a lot of time would be wasted. Just think how ridiculous it would be if you wanted to use a blue logo instead of a red one and had to fill out paperwork approving that decision! The threat of increased regulation is all the more reason to emphasize the greenness of your products today.

 

Passage 2

Environmentalism has become very popular lately. As a result, many products are emphasizing “green” status—that is, how they help protect the environment. This trend has been accompanied by an ugly shadow: “greenwashing.” “Greenwashing” is the practice of making false claims about a product’s sustainability. Companies can say that a product is “greener” than it really is. These false claims are made so that the product can appeal to shoppers.

As a result, shoppers have become less confident about all sustainability claims. There’s no way to tell from packaging and advertisements if a product is actually helping the environment or just claiming to do so. And it’s not easy to research products in the aisles of a supermarket or department store! It’s certainly extra work that many shoppers won’t do. Instead, they ignore “green” claims completely.

Competition and “greenwashing” have also encouraged companies to prioritize appearing green over actually being green. As a result, money is spent on making products appear to be something they are not instead of on actually improving the products and making them more sustainable.

So, what can we do? We need to start by regulating sustainability claims. This way, consumers can be confident that claims they see are true, since false claims would not be allowed on packaging. This will be a step in the right direction.

Which of the following accurately describes how the passages differ?

Possible Answers:

Passage 1 sees “green” claims as having primarily negative effects, whereas Passage 2 sees them as primarily positive ones.

Passage 1 sees environmental sustainability as a recent trend in advertising, but Passage 2 sees it as an aspect that has always been part of advertising.

Passage 1 is addressed to business owners, but Passage 2 is addressed to a general audience.

Passage 1 thinks that “greenwashing” has positive effects, but Passage 2 thinks that “greenwashing” is a problem.

Passage 1 thinks that “greenwashing” is a problem, but Passage 2 thinks that it has positive effects.

Correct answer:

Passage 1 is addressed to business owners, but Passage 2 is addressed to a general audience.

Explanation:

It's easy to get the passages confused with one another when answering a question like this, so let's make a list of traits of each one so that we can distinguish between them accurately.

 

Passage 1:

- addressed to advertisers and business owners

- discusses positive effects of claims about sustainability

- urges businesses to make sustainability claims

- opposes regulating sustainability claims

- does not mention "greenwashing."

 

Passage 2:

- addressed to a general audience

- discusses negative effects of claims about sustainability

- supports regulating sustainability claims

- discusses "greenwashing" as a problem

 

Now we can sort through these answer choices a bit more easily. Passage 1 certainly doesn't see "green" claims as having primarily negative effects, and it doesn't suggest that "greenwashing" is a positive thing or a problem, since it doesn't mention "greenwashing" at all. Passage 2 doesn't claim that sustainability has always been a part of advertising. Noting these details allows us to narrow down our answer choices to the correct one: "Passage 1 is addressed to business owners, but Passage 2 is addressed to a general audience." We can tell that Passage 1 addresses business owners because of the way it gives advice about designing advertisement claims and ends with a call to action aimed at business owners: "The threat of increased regulation is all the more reason to emphasize the greenness of your products today." Notice how it uses the word "your" in "your products" to speak directly to business owners. On the other hand, Passage 2 is addressed to a general audience. It explains what greenwashing is, the problems it has caused, and then suggests that regulation could help solve it. Its call to action is aimed at the general public: "So, what can we do? We need to start by regulating sustainability claims." This all confirms that the correct answer is the one discussing the passages' different audiences.

Example Question #2 : Analyze Points Of Disagreement Between Conflicting Texts: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.8.9

Passage 1

It’s a great time to be green! Environmentally friendly practices have become very popular with shoppers. Business owners can capitalize on this trend by accurately advertising how their products are good for the environment, such as by using recycled materials.

Many shoppers associate the color green with sustainability. So, consider using eye-catching green details on your products when describing how they help the environment. You may want to incorporate symbols of nature into your advertising as well. Popular symbols associated with sustainability include leaves, trees, and flowers. These details may not seem important, but they are. The visual way in which a sustainability claim is made can make the difference between a shopper trying your product or leaving it on the shelf.

Some people want to regulate sustainability claims. This is a bad idea. Increased regulation would be an unnecessary burden on businesses. It would slow the time it takes them to adapt to trends. If every advertising decision had to be approved by a regulating body, a lot of time would be wasted. Just think how ridiculous it would be if you wanted to use a blue logo instead of a red one and had to fill out paperwork approving that decision! The threat of increased regulation is all the more reason to emphasize the greenness of your products today.

 

Passage 2

Environmentalism has become very popular lately. As a result, many products are emphasizing “green” status—that is, how they help protect the environment. This trend has been accompanied by an ugly shadow: “greenwashing.” “Greenwashing” is the practice of making false claims about a product’s sustainability. Companies can say that a product is “greener” than it really is. These false claims are made so that the product can appeal to shoppers.

As a result, shoppers have become less confident about all sustainability claims. There’s no way to tell from packaging and advertisements if a product is actually helping the environment or just claiming to do so. And it’s not easy to research products in the aisles of a supermarket or department store! It’s certainly extra work that many shoppers won’t do. Instead, they ignore “green” claims completely.

Competition and “greenwashing” have also encouraged companies to prioritize appearing green over actually being green. As a result, money is spent on making products appear to be something they are not instead of on actually improving the products and making them more sustainable.

So, what can we do? We need to start by regulating sustainability claims. This way, consumers can be confident that claims they see are true, since false claims would not be allowed on packaging. This will be a step in the right direction.

The passages make conflicting statements about which of the following topics?

Possible Answers:

How claims of sustainability should be tested to confirm that they are true

Which symbols to use on packages when making claims about sustainability

How best to encourage shoppers to research the products they plan to buy

Whether sustainability claims should be regulated

Just how many distinct problems “greenwashing” specifically causes

Correct answer:

Whether sustainability claims should be regulated

Explanation:

While both Passage 1 and Passage 2 discuss sustainability as it relates to advertising on products, they don't make very many statements that explicitly and directly disagree with one another. One reason for this is that Passage 2 discusses "greenwashing" directly, Passage 1 never mentions it. This can make it a bit challenging to identify the specific point about which they disagree.

Let's summarize the claims made in each of the passages to find the statements that oppose one another, using the provided answer choices as guidelines.

 

Passage 1

 - Environmentalism is popular with shoppers.

 - By advertising how their products are sustainable, businesses can make use of the trend.

 - Regulating sustainability claims is a bad idea because it will slow down businesses' abilities to react to trends.

 

Passage 2

- Environmentalism is popular, leading to the popularity of "green" products.

- "Greenwashing" is a bad thing.

- Because of greenwashing, shoppers are less confident about sustainability claims, ignoring them completely.

- Another result of greenwashing is that companies think it's more important to appear sustainable than to actually be sustainable.

- We should regulate sustainability claims to deal with this problem.

 

Look at that—the underlined claims oppose one another directly! The best answer is the one that reflects these particular statements: that the passages disagree about "whether sustainability claims should be regulated."

Example Question #3 : Analyze Points Of Disagreement Between Conflicting Texts: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.8.9

Passage 1

It’s a great time to be green! Environmentally friendly practices have become very popular with shoppers. Business owners can capitalize on this trend by accurately advertising how their products are good for the environment, such as by using recycled materials.

Many shoppers associate the color green with sustainability. So, consider using eye-catching green details on your products when describing how they help the environment. You may want to incorporate symbols of nature into your advertising as well. Popular symbols associated with sustainability include leaves, trees, and flowers. These details may not seem important, but they are. The visual way in which a sustainability claim is made can make the difference between a shopper trying your product or leaving it on the shelf.

Some people want to regulate sustainability claims. This is a bad idea. Increased regulation would be an unnecessary burden on businesses. It would slow the time it takes them to adapt to trends. If every advertising decision had to be approved by a regulating body, a lot of time would be wasted. Just think how ridiculous it would be if you wanted to use a blue logo instead of a red one and had to fill out paperwork approving that decision! The threat of increased regulation is all the more reason to emphasize the greenness of your products today.

 

Passage 2

Environmentalism has become very popular lately. As a result, many products are emphasizing “green” status—that is, how they help protect the environment. This trend has been accompanied by an ugly shadow: “greenwashing.” “Greenwashing” is the practice of making false claims about a product’s sustainability. Companies can say that a product is “greener” than it really is. These false claims are made so that the product can appeal to shoppers.

As a result, shoppers have become less confident about all sustainability claims. There’s no way to tell from packaging and advertisements if a product is actually helping the environment or just claiming to do so. And it’s not easy to research products in the aisles of a supermarket or department store! It’s certainly extra work that many shoppers won’t do. Instead, they ignore “green” claims completely.

Competition and “greenwashing” have also encouraged companies to prioritize appearing green over actually being green. As a result, money is spent on making products appear to be something they are not instead of on actually improving the products and making them more sustainable.

So, what can we do? We need to start by regulating sustainability claims. This way, consumers can be confident that claims they see are true, since false claims would not be allowed on packaging. This will be a step in the right direction.

In its second paragraph, Passage 1 states, “These details may not seem important, but they are. The visual way in which a sustainability claim is made can make the difference between a shopper trying your product or leaving it on the shelf.”

Which of the following sentences in Passage 2 most directly opposes this claim?

Possible Answers:

“And it’s not easy to research products in the aisles of a supermarket or department store! It’s certainly extra work that many shoppers won’t do.”

“Instead, [shoppers] ignore “green” claims completely.”

“Competition and “greenwashing” have also encouraged companies to prioritize appearing green over actually being green.”

"As a result, money is spent on making products appear to be something they are not instead of on actually improving the products and making them more sustainable."

“As a result, shoppers have become less confident about all sustainability claims.”

Correct answer:

“Instead, [shoppers] ignore “green” claims completely.”

Explanation:

To directly oppose Passage 1's claim, the correct sentence from Passage 2 will need to be talking about the same specific thing that Passage 1's claim concerns. Passage 2's claim will voice a different view about the topic, but the fact remains that to directly oppose someone else's claim, you have to be talking about the same thing. Let's start by identifying what Passage 1's claim specifically concerns. To what do "these details" refer? This sentence appears in the second paragraph of Passage 1, where it discusses visual details of advertising decisions, like what colors and icons to use when making claims about sustainability. The excerpt says that these claims have a big effect on whether a customer will or won't purchase a product.

Now that we've identified that, let's look over the answer choices and find the one that most directly talks about visual details of advertising and the effects they have. ""As a result, money is spent on making products appear to be something they are not instead of on actually improving the products and making them more sustainable" talks about the appearance of advertising claims, but it doesn't directly oppose Passage 1's claim that these are very effective. It's bringing up a new point—that the money spent making them appear sustainable isn't being used to make them more sustainable. The answer choice “Competition and 'greenwashing' have also encouraged companies to prioritize appearing green over actually being green" similarly mentions appearing to be green, but doesn't suggest that these appearances aren't effective, even though Passage 2 accuses many of them as involving false claims. The answer choice “And it’s not easy to research products in the aisles of a supermarket or department store! It’s certainly extra work that many shoppers won’t do" has nothing to do with sustainability claims and advertising details, so it's not correct.

We have two answer choices left to choose from: "As a result, shoppers have become less confident about all sustainability claims" and “Instead, [shoppers] ignore “green” claims completely.” Both of these are stating that the details of sustainability claims aren't making them really effective at getting people to buy those products. Which opposes Statement 1's claim most directly? The idea that shoppers ignore sustainability claims completely is a stronger opposing argument than is the idea that shoppers are simply less confident in the claims, so the best answer is  “Instead, [shoppers] ignore “green” claims completely.”

All Common Core: 8th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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