John J. Ruszkiewicz
(The University of Texas at Austin)
Jay T. Dolmage
(University of Waterloo)
Author Talk: Jay Dolmage
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Table of ContentsPreface guidePart 1 Genres 1 Narratives Deciding to write a narrative *LITERACY NARRATIVE: Allegra Goodman, O.K., You’re Not Shakespeare. Now Get Back to Work Exploring purpose and topic Brainstorm, freewrite, build lists, and use memory prompts Choose a manageable subject Understanding your audience Focus on people Select events that will keep readers engaged Pace the story Adjust your writing to intended readers Finding and developing materials Consult documents Consult images Talk to the people involved Trust your experiences Creating a structure Consider a simple sequence Build toward a climax Choosing a style and design Don’t hesitate to use first person—I Use figures of speech such as similes, metaphors, and analogies to make memorable comparisons In choosing verbs, favor active rather than passive voice Keep the language simple Develop major characters through action and dialogue Develop the setting to set the context and mood Use images to tell a story Examining models MEMOIR/REFLECTION: Miles Pequeno, Check. Mate? GRAPHIC NARRATIVE (EXCERPT): Marjane Satrapi, from Persepolis ASSIGNMENTS 2 Reports Deciding to write a report Present information Find reliable sources Aim for objectivity Present information clearly *RESEARCH REPORT: Susan Wilcox, Marathons for Women Exploring purpose and topic Answer questions Review what is already known about a subject Report new knowledge Understanding your audience Suppose you are the expert Suppose you are the novice Suppose you are the peer Finding and developing materials Base reports on the best available sources Base reports on multiple sources Fact-check your report Creating a structure Organize by date, time, or sequence Organize by magnitude or order of importance Organize by division Organize by classification Organize by position, location, or space Organize by definition Organize by comparison/contrast Organize by thesis statement Choosing a style and design Present the facts cleanly Keep out of it Avoid connotative language Pay attention to elements of design Examining models *FEATURE STORY: Lev Grossman, From Scroll to Screen *INFOGRAPHIC: The White House, Wind Technologies Market Report 2012 ASSIGNMENTS 3 Arguments Deciding to write an argument Offer levelheaded and disputable claims Offer good reasons to support a claim Understand opposing claims and points of view Frame arguments powerfully—and not in words only *ARGUMENT TO ADVANCE A THESIS: Stefan Casso, Worth the Lie Exploring purpose and topic Learn much more about your subject State a preliminary claim, if only for yourself Qualify your claim to make it reasonable Examine your core assumptions Understanding your audience Consider and control your ethos Consider self-imposed limits Consider the worlds of your readers Finding and developing materials List your reasons Assemble your hard evidence Cull the best quotations Find counterarguments Consider emotional appeals Creating a structure Make a point or build toward one Spell out what’s at stake Address counterpoints when necessary, not in a separate section Hold your best arguments for the end Choosing a style and design Invite readers with a strong opening Write vibrant sentences Ask rhetorical questions Use images and design to make a point Examining models *REFUTATION ARGUMENT: Bjørn Lomborg, The Limits of Panic *VISUAL ARGUMENT: Matt Bors, Can We Stop Worrying about Millenials Yet? ASSIGNMENTS 4 Evaluations Deciding to write an evaluation Explain your mission Establish and defend criteria Offer convincing evidence Offer worthwhile advice *ARTS REVIEW: Lisa Schwarzbaum, The Hunger Games Exploring purpose and topic Evaluate a subject you know well Evaluate a subject you need to investigate Evaluate a subject you’d like to know more about Evaluate a subject that’s been on your mind Understanding your audience Write for experts Write for a general audience Write for novices Finding and developing materials Decide on your criteria Look for hard criteria Argue for criteria that can’t be measured Stand by your values Gather your evidence Creating a structure Choose a simple structure when your criteria and categories are predictable Choose a focal point Compare and contrast Choosing a style and design Use a high or formal style Use a middle style Use a low style Present evaluations visually Examining models SOCIAL SATIRE: Jordyn Brown, A Word from My Anti-Phone Soapbox *PRODUCT REVIEW: Eric Brown, Monsters U.’s Site Might Just Give You “Web-Site Envy” ASSIGNMENTS 5 Causal Analyses Deciding to write a causal analysis Don’t jump to conclusions Appreciate your limits Offer sufficient evidence for claims CAUSAL ANALYSIS: Jonah Goldberg, Global Warming and the Sun Exploring purpose and topic Look again at a subject you know well Look for an issue new to you Examine a local issue Choose a challenging subject Tackle an issue that seems settled Understanding your audience Create an audience Write to an existing audience Finding and developing materials Understand necessary causes Understand sufficient causes Understand precipitating causes Understand proximate causes Understand remote causes Understand reciprocal causes Creating a structure Explain why something happened Explain the consequences of a phenomenon Suggest an alternative view of cause and effect Explain a chain of causes Choosing a style and design Consider a middle style Adapt the style to the subject matter Use appropriate supporting media Examining models *RESEARCH STUDY: Alysha Behn, Where Have All the Women Gone? *CULTURAL ANALYSIS: Lance Hosey, Why We Love Beautiful Things ASSIGNMENTS 6 Proposals Deciding to write a proposal Define a problem Target the proposal Consider reasonable options Make specific recommendations Make realistic recommendations TRIAL BALLOON: Barrett Seaman, How Bingeing Became the New College Sport 179Exploring purpose and topic Look for a genuine issue Look for a challenging problem Look for a soluble problem Look for a local issue Understanding your audience Appeal to people who can make a difference Rally people who represent public opinion Finding and developing materials Define the problem Examine prior solutions Outline a proposal Defend the proposal Figure out how to implement the proposal Creating a structure Choosing a style and design Use a formal style Use a middle style, when appropriate Pay attention to elements of design Examining models MANIFESTO: Katelyn Vincent, Technology Time-out *VISUAL PROPOSAL: Jen Sorenson, Loan Bone ASSIGNMENTS 7 Literary Analyses Deciding to write a literary analysis Begin with a close reading Make a claim or an observation Use texts for evidence Present works in context Draw on previous research *LITERARY INTERPRETATION: William Deresiewicz, What Gatsby’s Really Looking For Exploring purpose and topic Choose a text you connect with Choose a text you want to learn more about Choose a text that you don’t understand Understanding your audience Clearly identify the author and works you are analyzing Define key terms Don’t aim to please professional critics Finding and developing materials Examine the text closely Focus on the text itself Focus on meanings, themes, and interpretations Focus on authorship and history Focus on genre Focus on influence Focus on social connections Find good sources Creating a structure Imagine a structure Work on your opening Choosing a style and design Use a formal style for most assignments Use a middle style for informal or personal papers Follow the conventions of literary analysis Use appropriate abbreviations Review quotations Cite plays correctly Explore alternative media Examining models CLOSE READING: Emily Dickinson, I felt a Funeral, in my Brain Kanaka Sathasivan, Insanity: Two Women PHOTOGRAPHS AS LITERARY TEXTS: Dorothea Lange, Jobless on Edge of Pea Field, Imperial Valley, California Walker Evans, Burroughs Family Cabin, Hale County, Alabama Gordon Parks, American Gothic ASSIGNMENTS 8 Rhetorical Analyses Deciding to write a rhetorical analysis Take words and images seriously Spend time with texts Pay attention to audience Mine texts for evidence *RHETORICAL ANALYSIS: Paula Marantz Cohen, Too Much Information: The Pleasure of Figuring Out Things for Yourself Exploring purpose and topic Make a difference Choose a text you can work with Choose a text you can learn more about Choose a text with handles Choose a text you know how to analyze Understanding your audience Finding and developing materials Consider the ethos of the author Consider how a writer plays to emotions Consider how well reasoned a piece is Creating a structure Develop a structure Choosing a style and design Consider a high style Consider a middle style Make the text accessible to readers Examining models ANALYSIS OF AN ARGUMENT: Matthew James Nance, A Mockery of Justice CULTURAL ANALYSIS: J. Reagan Tankersley, Humankind’s Ouroboros ASSIGNMENTS Part 2 Special Assignments 9 Essay Examinations Understanding essay exams Anticipate the types of questions to be asked Read exam questions carefully Sketch out a plan for your essay(s) Organize your answers strategically Offer strong evidence for your claims Come to a conclusion Keep the tone serious Getting the details right Use transitional words and phrases Do a quick check of grammar, mechanics, and spelling Write legibly or print Wade Lamb, Plato’s Phaedrus 10 Position Papers Understanding position papers Read the assignment carefully Review the assigned material carefully Mine the texts for evidence Organize the paper sensibly Getting the details right Identify key terms and concepts and use them correctly and often Treat your sources appropriately Spell names and concepts correctly Respond to your colleagues’ work Heidi Rogers, Triumph of the Lens 11 Annotated Bibliographies Understanding annotated bibliographies Begin with an accurate record of research materials Describe or summarize the content of each item in the bibliography Assess the significance or quality of the work Explain the role the work plays in your research Getting the details right Record the information on your sources accurately Follow a single documentation style Keep summaries and assessments brief Follow directions carefully 12 Synthesis Papers Understanding synthesis papers Identify reputable sources on your subject Summarize and paraphrase the works you have identified Look for connections between your sources Acknowledge disagreements and rebuttals Don’t rush to judgment Cite materials that both support and challenge your thesis Getting the details right Provide a context for your topic Tell a story Pay attention to language Be sure to document your sources Lauren Chiu, Time to Adapt? 13 E-mails Understanding e-mail Explain your purpose clearly and logically Tell readers what you want them to do Write for intended and unintended audiences Keep your messages brief Distribute your messages sensibly Getting the details right Choose a sensible subject line Arrange your text sensibly Check the recipient list before you hit send Include an appropriate signature Use standard grammar Have a sensible e-mail address Don’t be a pain *Ima Steudant, Writing Center Course Eligibility 14 Business Letters Understanding business letters Explain your purpose clearly and logically Tell readers what you want them to do Write for your audience Keep the letter focused and brief Follow a conventional form Getting the details right Use consistent margins and spacing Finesse the greeting Distribute copies of your letter sensibly Spell everything right Photocopy the letter as a record Fold the letter correctly and send it in a suitable envelope Don’t forget the promised enclosures Nancy Linn, Cover Letter John Humbert, To Home Design Magazine 15 Résumés Understanding résumés Gather the necessary information Decide on appropriate categories Arrange the information within categories in reverse chronological order Design pages that are easy to read Getting the details right Proofread every line in the résumé several times Don’t leave unexplained gaps in your education or work career Be consistent Protect your personal data Look for help Andrea Palladino, Résumé 16 Personal Statements Understanding personal statements Read the essay prompt carefully Decide on a focus or theme Be realistic about your audience Organize the piece strategically Try a high or middle style Getting the details right Don’t get too artsy Use common sense Compose the statement yourself Michael Villaverde, Application Essay for Academic Service Partnership Found Foundation Internship 17 Writing Portfolios Understanding writing portfolios Take charge of the portfolio assignment Appreciate the audiences for a portfolio Present authentic materials Take reflections seriously Getting the details right Polish your portfolio Understand the portfolio activities Give honest feedback to colleagues Take advantage of multimedia 18 Oral Reports Understanding oral reports Know your stuff Organize your presentation Keep your audience on track Use your voice and body Adapt your material to the time available Practice your talk Prepare for the occasion Getting the details right Be certain you need presentation software Use slides to introduce points, not cover them Use a simple and consistent design Consider alternatives to slide-based presentations Terri Sagastume, Presentation on Edenlawn Estates referencePart 3 Ideas 19 Brainstorming Find routines that support thinking Build from lists Map your ideas Try freewriting Use memory prompts Search online for your ideas VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Browse for Ideas 20 Smart Reading Read to deepen what you already know Read above your level of knowledge Read what makes you uncomfortable Read against the grain Read slowly Annotate what you read 21 Critical Thinking Think in terms of claims and reasons Think in terms of premises and assumptions Think in terms of evidence Anticipate objections Avoid logical fallacies 22 Experts Talk with your instructor Take your ideas to the writing center Find local experts Check with librarians Chat with peers VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Use the Writing Center 23 Writer’s Block Break the project into parts Set manageable goals Create a calendar Limit distractions Do the parts you like first Write a zero draft Reward yourself Part 4 Shaping & Drafting 24 Thesis Compose a complete sentence Make a significant claim or assertion Write a declarative sentence, not a question Expect your thesis to mature Introduce a thesis early in a project Or state a thesis late in a project Write a thesis to fit your audience and purpose 25 Strategies Use description to set a scene Use division to divide a subject Use classification to sort objects or ideas by consistent principles Use definition to clarify meaning Use comparison and contrast to show similarity and difference 26 Organization Examine model documents Sketch out a plan or sequence Provide cues or signals for readers Deliver on your commitments 27 Outlines Start with scratch outlines List key ideas Look for relationships Subordinate ideas Decide on a sequence Move up to a formal outline 28 Paragraphs Make sure paragraphs lead somewhere Develop ideas adequately Organize paragraphs logically Use paragraphs to manage transitions Design paragraphs for readability 29 Transitions Use appropriate transitional words and phrases Use the right word or phrase to show time or sequence Use sentence structure to connect ideas Pay attention to nouns and pronouns Use synonyms Use physical devices for transitions Read a draft aloud to locate weak transitions 30 Introductions and Conclusions Shape an introduction Draw a conclusion 31 Titles Use titles to focus documents Create searchable titles Avoid whimsical or suggestive titles Capitalize and punctuate titles carefully Part 5 Style 32 High, Middle, and Low Style Use high style for formal, scientific, and scholarly writing Use middle style for personal, argumentative, and some academic writing Use a low style for personal, informal, and even playful writing 33 Inclusive and Culturally Sensitive Style Avoid expressions that stereotype genders or sexual orientation Avoid expressions that stereotype races, ethnic groups, or religious groups Treat all people with respect Avoid sensational language 34 Vigorous, Clear, Economical Style Build sentences around specific and tangible subjects and objects Prefer specific nouns and noun phrases to abstract ones Avoid sprawling phrases Avoid sentences with long windups Favor simple, active verbs Avoid strings of prepositional phrases Don’t repeat key words close together Avoid doublings Turn clauses into more direct modifiers Cut introductory expressions such as it is and there is/are when you can Vary your sentence lengths and structures Read what you have written aloud Cut a first draft by 25 percent—or more Part 6 Revising & Editing 35 Revising Your Own Work Revise to see the big picture Edit to make the paper flow Edit to get the details right VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Revise Your Work 36 Peer Editing Peer edit the same way you revise your own work Be specific in identifying problems or opportunities Offer suggestions for improvement Praise what is genuinely good in the paper Use proofreading symbols Keep comments tactful VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Insert a Comment in a Word Document Part 7 Research & Sources 37 Beginning Your Research Know your assignment Come up with a plan Find a manageable topic Ask for help Distinguish between primary and secondary sources Record every source you examine Prepare a topic proposal 38 Finding Print and Online Sources Search libraries strategically Explore library reference tools Use professional databases Explore the internet 39 Doing Field Research Interview people with unique knowledge of your subject Make careful and verifiable observations Learn more about fieldwork 40 Evaluating Sources Preview source materials for their key features and strategies Check who published or produced the source Check who wrote a work Consider the audience for a source Establish how current a source is Check the source’s documentation 41 Annotating Sources Annotate sources to understand them Read sources to identify claims Read sources to understand assumptions Read sources to find evidence Record your personal reactions to source material 42 Summarizing Sources Prepare a summary for every item you examine in a project Use a summary to recap what a writer has said Be sure your summary is accurate and complete Use a summary to record your take on a source Use summaries to prepare an annotated bibliography 43 Paraphrasing Sources Identify the key claims and structure of the source Track the source faithfully Record key pieces of evidence Be certain your notes are entirely in your own words Avoid misleading or inaccurate paraphrasing Use your paraphrases to synthesize sources 44 Incorporating Sources into Your Work Cue the reader in some way whenever you introduce borrowed material, whether it is summarized, paraphrased, or quoted directly Select an appropriate “verb of attribution” to frame borrowed material Use ellipsis marks [ . . . ] to shorten a lengthy quotation Use brackets [ ] to insert explanatory material into a quotation Use ellipsis marks, brackets, and other devices to make quoted materials suit the grammar of your sentences Use [sic] to signal an obvious error in quoted material 45 Documenting Sources Understand the point of documentation Understand what you accomplish through documentation 46 MLA Documentation and Format Document sources according to convention MLA in-text citation MLA works cited entries VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Book VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Magazine VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Web Site VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Database Sample MLA pages 47 APA Documentation and Format APA in-text citation APA reference entries VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Web Site VISUAL TUTORIAL: How to Cite from a Database Sample APA pages Part 8 Media & Design 48 Understanding Digital Media Choose a media format based on what you hope to accomplish Use social networks and blogs to create communities Create Web sites to share information Use wikis to collaborate with others Make podcasts to share audio files Use maps to position ideas Make videos to show and tell Use appropriate digital formats Edit and save digital elements Respect copyrights 49 Tables, Graphs, and Infographics Use tables to present statistical data Use line graphs to display changes or trends Use bar and column graphs to plot relationships within sets of data Use pie charts to display proportions Explore the possibilities of infographics 50 Designing Print and Online Documents Understand the power of images Keep page designs simple and uncluttered Keep the design logical and consistent Keep the design balanced Use templates sensibly Coordinate your colors Use headings if needed Choose appropriate fonts Part 9 Common Errors 51 Capitalization Capitalize the names of ethnic, religious, and political groups Capitalize modifiers formed from proper nouns Capitalize all words in titles except prepositions, articles, or conjunctions Take care with compass points, directions, and specific geographical areas Understand academic conventions Capitalize months, days, holidays, and historical periods 52 Apostrophes Use apostrophes to form the possessive Use apostrophes in contractions Don’t use apostrophes with possessive pronouns 53 Commas Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction to join two independent clauses Use a comma after an introductory word group Use commas with common transitional words and phrases Put commas around nonrestrictive (that is, nonessential) elements Use commas to separate items in a series Do not use commas to separate compound verbs Do not use a comma between subject and verb Do not use commas to set off restrictive elements 54 Comma Splices, Run-ons, and Fragments Identify comma splices and run-ons Fix comma splices and run-ons Identify sentence fragments Fix sentence fragments in your work Watch for fragments in the following situations Use deliberate fragments only in appropriate situations 55 Subject/Verb Agreement Be sure the verb agrees with its real subject In most cases, treat multiple subjects joined by and as plural When compound subjects are linked by either . . . or or neither . . . nor, make the verb agree with the nearer part of the subject Confirm whether an indefinite pronoun is singular, plural, or variable Be consistent with collective nouns 56 Irregular Verbs 57 Pronoun/Antecedent Agreement Check the number of indefinite pronouns Correct sexist pronoun usage Treat collective nouns consistently 58 Pronoun Reference Clarify confusing pronoun antecedents Make sure a pronoun has a plausible antecedent Be certain that the antecedent of this, that, or which isn’t vague 59 Pronoun Case Use the subjective case for pronouns that are subjects Use the objective case for pronouns that are objects Use whom when appropriate Finish comparisons to determine the right case Don’t be misled by an appositive 60 Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers Position modifiers close to the words they modify Place adverbs such as only, almost, especially, and even carefully Don’t allow a modifier to dangle 61 Parallelism When possible, make compound items parallel Keep items in a series parallel Keep headings and lists parallel reader Part 10 Readings 62 Narratives: Readings *Genre Moves: LITERACY NARRATIVE (EXCERPT): Amy Tan, from Mother Tongue *NARRATIVE: Patton Oswalt, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland GRAPHIC NARRATIVE (EXCERPT): Lynda Barry, Lost and Found REFLECTION: Naomi Shihab Nye, Mint Snowball MEMOIR: Ira Sukrungruang, Chop Suey LITERACY NARRATIVE: Jonathan Franzen, The Comfort Zone 63 Reports: Readings *Genre Moves: DESCRIPTIVE REPORT (EXCERPT): N. Scott Momaday, from The Way to Rainy Mountain*REPORT: Kamakshi Ayyar, Cosmic Postcards: The Adventures of an Armchair Astronaut *INFORMATIVE REPORT: Steve Silberman, Neurodiversity Rewires Conventional Thinking about Brains *INFORMATIVE REPORT: Ross Perlin, Down and Out in the Magic KingdomLEGAL REPORT: Philip Deloria, The Cherokee Nation Decision *GRAPHIC REPORT: Mark Graham and Stefano De Sabbata, The Age of Internet Empires 64 Arguments: Readings *Genre Moves: ARGUMENTATIVE SPEECH (EXCERPT): Sojourner Truth, from Ain’t I a Woman?EDITORIAL: Maureen Dowd, Don’t Send in the Clones *ARGUMENTATIVE ARTICLE: Jeff Wise, The Sad Science of Hipsterism ARGUMENT FOR CHANGE: Emily Bazelon, Hitting Bottom: Why America Should Outlaw Spanking ANALYSIS OF CULTURAL VALUES: Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel, The Young, the Rich, and the Famous: Individualism as an American Cultural Value POLICY ARGUMENT: Daniel Engber, Glutton Intolerance 65 Evaluations: Readings *Genre Moves: EVALUATION (EXCERPT): Naomi Klein, from No Logo*TELEVISION REVIEW: Emily Nussbaum, To Stir, with Love SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION: Michio Kaku, Force Fields *MUSIC REVIEW: Sasha Frere-Jones, The Next Day TELEVISION REVIEW: Nelle Engoron, Why "Mad Men" Is Bad for Women *MEDIA ANALYSIS: Leigh Alexander, Domino’s, The Pizza that Never Sleeps66 Causal Analyses: Readings *Genre Moves: DESCRIPTIVE REPORT (EXCERPT): James Baldwin, from If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?*TECHNOLOGY ANALYSIS: Rita King, How Twitter is Reshaping the Future of Storytelling CULTURAL ANALYSIS: Natalie Angier, Almost Before We Spoke, We Swore CULTURAL ANALYSIS: Alex Williams, Here I Am Taking My Own Picture *CAUSAL ANALYSIS: Robert Gehl, A History of Like EXPLORATORY ESSAY: Tricia Rose, Hip Hop Causes Violence 67 Proposals: Readings *Genre Moves: PROPOSAL (EXCERPT): Rachel Carson, from The Obligation to Endure*PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE: Michael Todd, Is That Plastic in Your Trash a Hazard? *PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE: Jane McGonigal, Video Games: An Hour a Day Is Key to Success in Life *PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE: Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Cosmic Perspective SATIRICAL PROPOSAL: Kembrew McLeod, A Modest Free Market Proposal for Education Reform PROPOSAL FOR CHANGE: Peter Singer, “One Person, One Share” of the Atmosphere 68 Literary Analyses: Readings *Genre Moves: LITERARY ANALYSIS (EXCERPT): Gloria Naylor, from The Meanings of a WordFORMAL ANALYSIS: Adam Bradley, Rap Poetry 101 *TEXTUAL ANALYSIS: Zadie Smith, Their Eyes Were Watching God: What Does Soulful Mean? TEXTUAL ANALYSIS:Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock” (song lyrics) Camille Paglia, “Woodstock” HISTORICAL ANALYSIS: Sara Buttsworth, CinderBella: Twilight, Fairy Tales, and the Twenty-First-Century American Dream CULTURAL ANALYSIS: Gish Jen, Holden Raises Hell 69 Rhetorical Analyses: Readings *Genre Moves: RHETORICAL ANALYSIS (EXCERPT): Susan Sontag, from Notes on “Camp”DISCOURSE ANALYSIS: Deborah Tannen, Oh, Mom. Oh, Honey.: Why Do You Have to Say That? ANALYSIS OF AN ADVERTISEMENT: Stanley Fish, The Other Car CULTURAL ANALYSIS: Laurie Fendrich, The Beauty of the Platitude *FILM ANALYSIS: Daniel D’Addario, Johnny Depp’s Tonto Misstep: Race and The Lone Ranger ANALYSIS OF AN ADVERTISEMENT: Caroline Leader, Dudes Come Clean: Negotiating a Space for Men in Household Cleaner Commercials Index
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