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5 Handling Ideas
Fact and Idea: n Elusive Distinction

 A Fact is a statement used to express a conventional relation in conventional terms.

 An Idea is an image, inference, or suggestion that goes beyond the data nameable in
conventional terms.
 A Fact is entirely self-enclosed, whereas an Idea spurs one to think further.
Large Ideas as Facts of History

 Abstract thoughts can be treated as historical facts in the sense that they occurred.
 These Large-scale ideas are fluid and are subject to change.
 The ability to handle ideas is necessary to not mislead an audience.
 A critical attitude towards previous reporters of these ideas is required to maintain
Technical Terms: All or None

 Words are subject to interpretation.

 Readers refer to their own pool of knowledge.
 To report your findings accurately, one must become critical of the exact words and
phrasing they are using.
The Technique of Self Criticism

 The reader is sensitive to the expressed meaning of a text rather than the intended
 To prevent misinterpretations of a passage, multiple scans of every word should be
 Make every word the word.
 To test a passage for “sense,” one should look at their own writing with skepticism and
 Ideas should flow from one to the next. If a contradiction occurs, a reconsideration as to
the order of sentences/ideas should take place
Reporters’ Fallacies: How to Avoid Them

 Generalization Fallacy
 Beware what is new/striking in your research. It may be only new to you.
 Reductive Fallacy
 Tautology: The repetition of the same idea, but in different words.
 Misplaced Literalism: the act of taking another’s words out of context.