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  1. In small groups, use the definition techniques discussed in this chapter to try to convey the following concepts to the groups indicated:

    1. Shin splints to a nonexerciser

    2. Having a brother or sister to an only child

    3. A word processor to someone who has used only a typewriter

    4. The ocean to someone who has never been out of North Dakota

    5. An engine and generator to an English major

    6. The value of poetry to an engineering major

  2. Either in small groups or as a class, consider the problems in the following list by answering the fundamental questions posed in defining a problem: what's wrong, what's lacking, what's unknown, and who will benefit from a solution to the problem? Remember that not all problems will have answers for all questions but that all problems must have some group that will benefit from a solution.

    1. Protection of the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest

    2. Occurrence of acid rain in the industrial Midwest

    3. Maintaining the balance of international trade

    4. Growing drug abuse among teenagers

    5. Social and economic effects of an aging population

    6. Developing automobiles powered by alternative fuels

    7. Fighting the AIDS epidemic

  3. In small groups, suggest the kinds of problems you already know that professionals in your various fields of study have to face. Choose one of the problems, and construct an outline of problem-solving stages around it. Be as specific as possible about the questions that would have to be answered and the ways of answering them at each stage of the outline.


  1. Using an article your instructor has assigned, write first an abstract of the article and then a summary. Review the differences between the two on page 40 of this chapter. Your reader should be able to see marked differences between the two.

  2. Write a conclusive annotated bibliography of five sources on a topic your instructor has assigned.



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