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Working in a cubicle - Division\Classification essay with emphasis on Division.

akern 4 / 10  
Mar 9, 2009   #1
We are working on Division\Classification essays this week. Our teacher
asked us to concentrate more on Division. I had a hard time with this one and my opening paragraph and closing paragraph could use some work. Any help would be appreciated!

My Cubicle Job

A cubicle can be defined as a partially enclosed workspace, separated from adjoining workspaces by panels that are usually five to six feet tall. Partially or totally open on one side to permit access, a cubicle's designed purpose is to isolate office workers from the sights and noises of an exposed workspace; moreover the theory being that this allows workers more privacy and helps them to concentrate without interruption. In reality, due to the potpourri of co-worker personalities, cubicle life promotes distractions and a circus like work environment often causing grown adults to behave like children. The dreadful reputation cubicle life has been known for stems directly from the people that inhabit them.

If the temperature in your office goes from one extreme to another, in a matter of minutes, you have an office El Nino. Dressed in a woolen parka fit to wear in the Artic, she thinks nothing of bottoming out the thermostat, thus subjecting everyone else to unreasonably cool temperatures. Once the temperature reaches the frostbite stage someone else will "re-adjust" the thermostat; consequently causing the temperature to soar into Saharan like heat. It does not matter that fifteen people are comfortable, she must be accommodated. Perhaps if it is so cold you are wearing ear muffs, you will be well insulated from the next kind of co-worker.

This co-worker fritters away hours out of every single workday complaining about everything under the sun. He consistently proves himself as the least productive bee in the hive, yet he won't hesitate to call the IT department because his computer happens to be running a little slow. An insignificant mistake by another co-worker can set off a tirade lasting twenty minutes about how no one knows how to do their job; nevertheless a gaffe made by this particular co-worker merely receives a chuckle. The complainer has few friends therefore he ends up at the top of the keyboard list - a list of people you would like to beat about the head and shoulders with their own keyboard.

While the complainer brings down moral, the prankster can rouse a few laughs, hence at first seeming entertaining. Pranks usually come about in an effort to cope with the eternal boredom of life in a cube. We have all probably been guilty of being a prankster at least once. A prankster will often re-decorate or re-organize someone else's workspace in a manner that he finds humorous. A screen saver might be changed from "Go Cardinals!" to "Go Cubs!" Your telephone's ringer might be turned up to maximum volume; consequently scaring the bejesus out of you the first time it rings. Every time you sneeze, the phone may ring once and then cease. After awhile these pranks become old and tiresome distracting you from your job.

The final type of annoying co-worker can furrow brows, wrinkle noses and scrunch faces faster than the ape house at the zoo. Just after your sense of smell finally adjusts to the stale, fetid odor that already permeates those colorless cloth walls, he'll stroll through the office smelling like he's been working on a road crew in July. Doesn't he have any loved ones at home to tell him he reeks? On the other side of that equation lurks the co-worker that tries too hard to smell good by bathing in a vat of eye watering fragrance strong enough to make you physically ill.

In conclusion, if you work in a cubicle on a regular basis chances are: you've been uncomfortable because of the temperature, gotten tired of listening to a co worker complain, put up with so many pranks you ran out of laughter, or had your sense of smell permanently marred. A false sense of privacy lulls people into believing that their behavior isn't bothersome, thus creating a breeding ground for hot tempers, resentments and damaged relations. If people actually had to look each other in the eye everyday, perhaps they'd think twice about their repulsive behavior.

EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 10, 2009   #2
You seem to have plagiarized the first two sentences directly from wikipedia. Why do you want to get a mark of 0 on this assignment and a reputation for academic dishonesty by doing something so obvious? Or, since the rest of your essay seems to be in your own words (or at least is copied from something not available online), perhaps you just forgot to cite?

"a list of people you would like to beat about the head and shoulders with their own keyboard." Excellent!

I think you've missed the point -- when the teacher says to focus more on division, she means to focus on the differences between things that seem similar, or on the differences between things that all work together to achieve the same end. Not that you should focus literally on something that divides.
OP akern 4 / 10  
Mar 10, 2009   #3
I did get them from wikipedia, but wasn't sure how to cite or if I should cite since it was a definition of sorts. Should I have started out with: According to wikipedia (definition) or is there a more formal way to cite?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Mar 10, 2009   #4
Well, wiki is not really a good reference. I SO highly recommend questia.com. You can find all kings of good resources, and then you just have to read a few of them, paste in some quotes, maybe reword the quotes and add citations...

The thing to do is, if the wiki article is well-documented, look at who wiki cites! Where did the author of the wiki article get that info? Cite the same source. It is not good to cite wiki, because wiki is not a good, peer-reviewed scholarly source.

Neither are a lot of sites.

BUT, Google Scholar has good journal articles for free, and questia is cheap.

In order to revise this material and make it your own: Does your word prgm let you click a word and see a list of thesaurus entries for it? Microsoft office 2003 has a built in thesaurus, so I can quickly change the nouns, verbs, and adjectives in a piece of writing to make ti completely different! It only takes a few minutes.

Good luck!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Mar 11, 2009   #5
The essay itself was well-written to begin with. The first few lines no longer show up as wikipedia material if searched for as a whole, though fragments of them do. I'd add a citation to be on the safe side. Google "MLA citation" to find out how to do that. Unless your teacher has specifically told you not to use wikipedia as a source, there is no reason you shouldn't cite wikipedia directly. It is roughly as accurate, on average, as a print encyclopedia, and covers a lot more topics. If you really want to avoid mentioning that wikipedia was your source, though, you can take Kevin's advice, which is always good.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Mar 11, 2009   #6
Hi, I see that your first para ends with an assertion that the common idea about cubicle life is attributable to the people who inhabit them... and then I look at the conclusion to see if you reflect on that same assertion -- that is, if the conclusion is consistent with the thesis!

When I looked at the conclusion, I saw that it had a group of observations. In fact, the whole essay is a group of observations. I think you should revise the whole thing so that everything you say supports the thesis: the people who work in cubicles are responsible for making the environment what they will. It will be easy to reword the sentences so that they all support that argument!

While the complainer brings down morale, the prankster can rouse a few laughs, and hence at first can seem entertaining.

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