In order to not confuse STEVEN Johnson and Dana STEVENS, I will refer to Mr. Johnson as ‘Steven’ and to Ms. Stevens as ‘Dana,’ with no intentions of being disrespectful.
So author Steven Johnson decides to argue that watching TV makes you smarter in his essay, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” but movie critic Dana Stevens disagrees on his point of view and tells him to think outside the idiot box in his essay, “Think Outside the Idiot Box.” Dana blatantly responded to Steven’s long-ass essay in less than 24 hours in a response that seems to be full of wrath and disagreement. First of all, by naming her article, “Think Outside the IDIOT Box,” Dana not only insultingly laughs at Steven, but she also refers to his thoughts as being idiotic. In her introduction, she keeps crushing Steven’s arguments with statements such as “I could make no sense of [Steven’s] piece.” Steven and Dana are on completely opposite extremes of the viewpoint.
Following her introduction, Dana recognizes Steven’s essay as a powerful, strong, well-built article. She paraphrases and summarizes it in a few sentences. She quotes him on the argument that he makes in order to explicitly differentiate their standpoints. But after that, she decides to stick mostly with paraphrasing and summarizing to make her essay concise and direct. A few quotation marks are thrown in there every once in a while in order to expose proof and validity, and to fulfill every writer’s desire to visually see four apostrophes enclosing a sentence in any “well-founded” piece of writing (maybe Cormac McCarthy was right. Maybe quotation marks are stupid and a waste of time, but that’s for another essay). She does, however, conclude with short quotations that describe Steven’s specific description of why we watch TV shows. The seven or eight two- or three-word quotations that she uses throughout her argument do provide an appropriate context of Steven’s discussion and prove the point that she is trying to make. She does frame, introduce, and explain every quotation effectively, but I feel like her use of paraphrasing (about nine) adapts better to the style of her short and straight-to-the-point response.