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Nathan Andrews
Professor McKeever
English 1010
11-03-15
Word Count: 825
Why a Chinese Mother is Not Superior
Is a Chinese mother superior? In Amy Chuas Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior she
makes the argument that Chinese mothers are superior to western parents because of their strict
authoritarian style of parenting. However, Amys work is full of basic logical fallacies one could
learn through the simplest of college courses: English 1010. The main reason her work is
illogical and irrational is that she tried to base her argument off of an opinion, false analogies,
sweeping generalizations and poisoning the well.
Amy Chua writes about how Chinese mothers are superior through their pride, hard work
and their totalitarian system of rulemaking. The Chinese mother weighs their childs life not on
their happiness and quality of life but their accomplishments and accolades. Amy Chua makes
arguments based on her life and examples from the way she parents her children. However, she
makes sweeping generalizations by saying that all the children that have a Chinese mother are
intelligent, disciplined and successful while never mentioning a case where the child is a mess
up. Amy Chua also tries to make a sweeping generalization about western parents by only
ever saying that western parents come in all varieties. She makes these generalizations not just to
support her argument but to subtly imply that all western parents have the wrong style of

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parenting. This is not Amy Chaus only tactic she also poisons the well by stating the Chinese
parents are always successful and western parents are too lenient.
In the introduction she lists all the reasons Chinese mothers raise more successful
children but Amy puts the reader under the impression her list is just the stereotypes. She
discredits any western parents strictness by saying even when Western parents think theyre
being strict, they usually dont come close to being Chinese mothers. (Chua 1) She immediately
poisons the well, not allowing any thought of a strict western parents actually being strict. Not
even the strictest of strict western parent is as strict as a Chinese mother not a police officer, not a
pastor and not a marine boot camp instructor. The Chinese mother obliviously cannot be beat her
children will be the best musician, student and of course the greatest parent to ever exist. Amy
Chua did not just want to Chinese mothers to be considered good parents but the undeniable,
unquestioned and infallible commandment as to how to parent a child. Poisoning the well was
Amy Chuas best tactic because it not only focused the topic more on Chinese mothers but
caused more of an uproar and buzz around Amy Chuas work. Her work can also be considered a
case of false analogies. Comparing Chinese mothers with a western mother
Amy Chuas idea that a Chinese mother is superior to a western mother is like comparing
apple to oranges. A Chinese mothers ideals are a lot different than a western parent because a
Chinese mother values academic success more than a childs individuality. Western parents want
their children to grow up and be their own person, be independent and be happy. They do not
weigh the value in life through their academia, wealth or musical capabilities. A Chinese mother
is more worried about pushing their ideals on their children rather than allowing their children to
choose their own goals, path and morales. Thats why Amy Chuas whole thesis that a Chinese
mother raises better and more successful children is false analogy and crumbles once any reader

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recognizes, identifies and realizes she is printing a logical fallacy. Another tactic she uses in her
essay is the either/or method.
Either/or is trying to make something black and white when it is not. Amy uses by saying
all children of Chinese mothers are always successful then every western parents children are
unsuccessful. I think the main difference between western parents and Chinese parents is that
being good is not enough to a Chinese parent and that being the best is the only measure of
success. That being said, it also very prevalent that Amy Chuas philosophy is based off of her
upbringing where everything is black and white meanwhile a western kid might have more gray
area in their life. Anyones philosophy goes back to their opinion therefore every argument may
be a logical fallacy as long as the writer loses the balance between logos, pathos and ethos.
In Amy Chuas Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior she makes the argument that
Chinese mothers are superior to western parents because of their strict authoritarian style of
parenting but through careful analysis one can identify the logical fallacies she makes in order to
prove an irrational point. One can tell that any essay written on the basis of opinion and
ideological differences is a good attention grabber but once deciphered can frustrate any person
that was not asleep in there English 1010 class freshman year of college.

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Smarthinking's E-structor Response Form
(Your marked-up essay is below this form.)
HOW THIS WORKS: Your e-structor has written overview comments about your essay in the
form below. Your e-structor has also embedded comments [in bold and in brackets]
throughout your essay. Thank you for choosing Smarthinking's OWL; best wishes with
revising your paper!
*Strengths of the essay:
Hi Nathan, Im Emily M. Thanks for sharing your essay about the logical fallacies in Chaus article with
me. I wanted to commend you for using textual evidence to support your claims, like in this sentence:
She discredits any western parents strictness by saying even when Western parents think theyre
being strict, they usually dont come close to being Chinese mothers. (Chua 1)
In order to prove someone is using logical fallacies in an argument, you must use textual evidence to
show those fallacies. This is essential to any form of textual analysis. Great job with it!
*Nathan 8119032 has requested that you respond to the Main Idea/Thesis:
Your thesis could use more development. The following is your working thesis: The main reason her
work is illogical and irrational is that she tried to base her argument off of an opinion.
This is a good start, but now you want to tell the reader whats wrong with Chaus argument. Lets
start with the phrase tried to base her argument off of an opinion.
First of all, every argument is based on opinions. If they were based on straight facts, there wouldnt
be arguments. However, people interpret facts in different ways and form opinions based on those
interpretations, which lead to arguments.
So, you want to explain whats wrong specifically with Chaus argument. Where is she getting her
opinions? Are they based on facts? What kind of facts are they? Perhaps there is a logical fallacy
surrounding her facts.
Then, you want to list the logical fallacies Chau uses in her argument.
A clear understanding of the problems with Chaus argument will create a strong thesis statement.
For example, I could write a thesis: The argument Donald Trump makes about immigrants is filled
with logical fallacies, such as sweeping generalizations, poisoning the well, and guilt by association.
See how I explain what his argument is, why its illogical, and list some of the logical fallacies he
employs?
Create a thesis statement that explains the logical fallacies of Chaus argument.

*Nathan 8119032 has requested that you respond to the Content Development:
In the strengths section, I pointed out your use of textual evidence, which you can use for a model
throughout your paper. In your first body paragraph, you make several claims about Chaus sweeping
generalizations:
However, she makes sweeping generalizations by saying that all the children that have a Chinese
mother are intelligent, disciplined and successful while never mentioning a case where the child is a
mess up. Amy Chua also tries to make a sweeping generalization about western parents by only

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ever saying that western parents come in all varieties. She makes these generalizations not just to
support her argument but to subtly imply that all western parents have the wrong style of parenting.
But there is no textual evidence to support these claims. Try to provide textual evidence that shows
Chaus sweeping generalization of Chinese mothers and western parents. At least one of each would
be ideal.
Then youll have textual support to back up your argument.
Aim to include textual evidence in every body paragraph.

Word Choice:
Sometimes when we type in a hurry, we forget to include words. Sometimes this is a bigger deal
than other times. In the following sentence, an essential word is missing: In the introduction she lists
all the reasons Chinese mothers raise more successful children but under the impression her list is
just the stereotypes.
Who is under the impression in this sentence? The sentence wont make sense without this word.
Include the missing word in your sentence above.
Look out for similar errors as you write and revise.

Summary of Next Steps:


1.
2.
3.

Develop your thesis to explain the problem with Chaus argument and include the logical
fallacies.
Use textual evidence to support every claim you make.
Include the missing words to give your sentences clearer meaning.

Thanks for sharing your paper about logical fallacies with me today, Nathan. Good luck and happy
revising!
Emily M.
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You can find more information about writing, grammar, and usage in Smarthinking's
student handbooks. You can visit the Smarthinking Writer's Handbook or theSmarthinking
ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) Writer's Handbook.
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Nathan Andrews
Professor McKeever
English 1010
11-03-15
Why a Chinese Mother is Not Superior
Is a Chinese mother superior? In Amy Chuas Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior she
makes the argument that Chinese mothers are superior to western parents because of their strict
authoritarian style of parenting. However, Amys work is full of basic logical fallacies one could
learn through the simplest of college courses: English 1010. The main reason her work is
illogical and irrational is that she tried to base her argument off of an opinion. [You could
develop your thesis a bit more. What is wrong with basing an argument off of an opinion?
In other words, could you explain why this is a logical fallacy? Are there other logical
fallacies in the article? Think of these questions as you develop your thesis further.]
Amy Chua writes about how Chinese mothers are superior through their pride, hard work
and their totalitarian system of rulemaking. The Chinese mother weighs their childs life not on
their happiness and quality of life but their accomplishments and accolades. Amy Chua makes
arguments based on her life and examples from the way she parents her children. However, she
makes sweeping generalizations by saying that all the children that have a Chinese mother are
intelligent, disciplined and successful while never mentioning a case where the child is a mess
up. Amy Chua also tries to make a sweeping generalization about western parents by only
ever saying that western parents come in all varieties. She makes these generalizations not just to
support her argument but to subtly imply that all western parents have the wrong style of

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parenting.[Could you provide textual evidence from the article to support your points? Are
there lines from the article that show Chaus sweeping generalizations of Chinese mothers
and western parents? Quotes from the article will help you support your argument.] This is
not Amy Chaus only tactic she also poisons the well by stating the Chinese parents are always
successful and western parents are too lenient.
In the introduction she lists all the reasons Chinese mothers raise more successful
children but under the impression her list is just the stereotypes.[I think a key word to
understanding this sentence is missing. Who is under the impression her list is just the
stereotypes? This information is essential to the sentences meaning.] She discredits any
western parents strictness by saying even when Western parents think theyre being strict, they
usually dont come close to being Chinese mothers. (Chua 1)[Good use of textual evidence to
support your points.] She immediately poisons the well, not allowing any thought of a strict
western parents actually being strict. Not even the strictest of strict western parent is as strict as a
Chinese mother not a police officer, not a pastor and not a marine boot camp instructor. The
Chinese mother obliviously cannot be beat her children will be the best musician, student and of
course the greatest parent to ever exist. Amy Chua did not just want to Chinese mothers to be
considered good parents but the undeniable, unquestioned and infallible commandment as to
how to parent a child. Poisoning the well was Amy Chuas best tactic because it not only focused
the topic more on Chinese mothers but caused more of an uproar and buzz around Amy Chuas
work. Her work can also be considered a case of false analogies. Comparing Chinese mothers
with a western mother
Amy Chuas idea that a Chinese mother is superior to a western mother is comparing
apple to oranges. A Chinese mothers ideals are a lot different than a western parent because a

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Chinese mother values academic success more than a childs individuality. Western parents want
their children to grow up and be their own person, be independent and be happy. They do not
weigh the value in life through their academia, wealth or musical capabilities. A Chinese mother
is more worried about pushing their ideals on their children rather than allowing their children to
choose their own goals, path and morales. Thats why Amy Chuas whole thesis that a Chinese
mother raises better and more successful children is false analogy and crumbles once any reader
recognizes, identifies and realizes she is printing a logical fallacy. Another tactic she uses in her
essay is the either/or method.
Either/or is trying to make something black and white when it is not. Amy uses by saying
all children of Chinese mothers are always successful then every western parents children are
unsuccessful. I think the main difference between western parents and Chinese parents is that
being good is not enough to a Chinese parent and that being the best is the only measure of
success. That being said, it also very prevalent that Amy Chuas philosophy is based off of her
upbringing where everything is black and white meanwhile a western kid might have more gray
area in their life. Anyones philosophy goes back to their opinion therefore every argument may
be a logical fallacy as long as the writer loses the balance between logos, pathos and ethos.
In Amy Chuas Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior she makes the argument that
Chinese mothers are superior to western parents because of their strict authoritarian style of
parenting.[This sentence is identical to the second one in the introduction. How could you
rephrase this sentence so that it has the same meaning but isnt an exact match of your
introduction? Changing the wording slightly will have more impact on the reader.] One can
tell that any essay written on the basis of opinion and ideological differences is a good attention

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grabber but once deciphered can frustrate any person that was not asleep in there English 1010
class freshman year of college.