- What is the topic? That is, what is the general subject? For example, energy. (On what page(s) do you find the topic best noted?)
The main topic in this article is debris flow. Debris flow is a geological occurrence where water-laden masses of small stones and soil flow in a mountain side or streams (McPhee 229). The mixture is similar in appearance to freshly mixed concrete.
- What is the author’s primary thesis? That is, what is her or his MAIN point? For example, wind-generated electricity is unreliable. (On what page(s) do you find the thesis best presented?)
The author’s primary thesis is the cause of debris flow and the possible preventive mechanisms against its destruction both to man and investments. Per the writer, debris flow is primarily caused by earthquakes along mountainous areas that shatter rocks next to streams and overflowing waterways (McPhee 234). The additional fact that mountains are rising at a faster rate than their erosion only makes slopes steeper hence increasing the likelihood of a debris flow occurring.
- When the reading is a journal article or book chapter, summarize the intermediate steps s/he takes to move from the thesis to the conclusion. If the reading is a report, describe the key points made in the body of the report. Identify a minimum of five (5) of the more important of these steps/points and note the page(s) where you found each. (And, be prepared to summarize and explain each.)
The thesis presented in this reading is the effects of debris fall on the surrounding population. The conclusion of the reading, on the other hand, is how the neighbouring populace have adapted to the constant debris flows to the point that they don’t consider them as a threat anymore. They have actually managed to inculcate these fatal events into their everyday life and even make fun of these occurrences. The five important steps employed by the writer in transforming the thesis to the conclusion are:
- Causes of debris flow: the writer identifies several causes of debris fall that the surrounding people have no control over such as earthquakes and heavy rains (McPhee 256). However, the perturbing causes are those that are instigated by the populace themselves by acts such as burning acres of forest lands and encroaching into geologically unsafe areas.
- Damages caused by a debris flow: the results of a debris fall are fatal and affect a very wide area simultaneously. These effects include burying of homes, uprooting of trees, and damage to property like cars (McPhee 231).
- Controlling debris flow: the control measures that have been successfully instigated include the construction of a reservoir in the Los Angeles area to contain these movements (McPhee 265).
- Naivety of new residents: new residents in these prone areas rarely view the houses and properties they purchase for a lot of money. Some of these properties are in sloppy places with shattered rocks; very unsafe for habitation (232).
- Corrective measures: several locations have adapted to living with debris flow. Instead of moving away, they have managed to invent ways of using the debris such as building stones (McPhee 257).
- What does the author conclude? That is, what inferences does the author reach because of his or her thesis, methods and data? For example, more research must be directed towards better electricity storage systems before wind-generated electricity will be as valuable as hydroelectric or gas turbine generated electricity. (On what page(s) does the conclusion appear?)
The writer’s conclusion is a remark at how the people around debris flow prone areas have managed to stay put and develop methods of containing the phenomenon. They have for instance dug reservoirs to contain the flows and deflection walls to protect against the flows (McPhee 222).
- What sort of evidence does the author provide to support the thesis? For example, she or he presents the results from a scientific study or a policy board’s recommendations.
The author uses scientific evidence to support his thesis. He, for instance, makes mention of the Flood Control and the Army Corps of Engineers in relation to bulldozing roads to erect check dams (McPhee 258).
- What sort of consequences and/or implications do YOU take away from the reading?
This reading teaches on the dangers of failing to recognize the effects of nature that could be as a result of our actions. We ought to be very careful how we destroy our forests and destroy the canyons since these actions will have a direct impact on us.
McPhee, John. “Los Angeles against the mountains.” The Control of Nature (1989). 3-4.