Engelsk A

Ny ordning

Tirsdag den 25. maj 2021
kl. 09.00-14.00

Vejledning til opgavesættet

Du skal besvare følgende opgaver:
  • Assignment 1-3
  • Assignment 4A eller 4B
Tekster til Assignment 4A:
  • “Reverb | The QAnon Effect”, a video, CBS News website, 2020 (08:02)
  • Photo from “The storming of US Capitol shows the real-life harms of online conspiracy theories like QAnon”, Scroll.in website, 2021 (photo)
  • “Conspiracy theories, explained”, an article, Vox website, 2020
  • “Conspiracy Theories Have Gained Traction Since 9/11 Thanks To Social Media”, an article, Forbes website, 2020
Tekster til Assignment 4B:
  • ”Modern Day Cowboy: An Ode To Papaw”, a blog post by Tennessee Martin, So She Said website, 2018

Vejledning til opgaverne
Den samlede eksaminationstid for Assignment 1-4 er fem timer. Besvarelsen bedømmes som en helhed ud fra de faglige mål for niveauet. Der lægges vægt på beherskelsen af det engelske sprog, forståelse af forlægget og færdighed i skriftlig fremstilling på engelsk.

Det anbefales, at du skriver din besvarelse i skabelonen, som hentes ved klik på Template i menuen til venstre. Besvarelsen afleveres i ét dokument med opgaverne i rækkefølgen 1-4.

OBS: Vær opmærksom på, at du ikke må nævne dit eget navn i din opgavebesvarelse, hverken i sidehovedet eller i Assignment 4.

Sådan henviser du til tekst, video- og lydklip

Hvis du citerer, skal du angive kilde.
Alt anvendt materiale skal være engelsksproget og angives med kildehenvisninger.

Du kan henvise til dele af video- og lydklip, f.eks. ved at angive afspillerens minut- og sekundtal for henholdsvis starten og slutningen af klippet.

Generel skabelon for henvisninger til tekster

Alle henvisninger angives i fodnoter

Henvisning til kilderne (sources) i opgavematerialet
”In N.R.A. Fight, Companies Find There Is No Neutral Ground” (l.15) eller (ll. 15-17)

Henvisning til videoer i kilderne (sources) i opgavematerialet
”Why Americans Love Guns” (01:23-02:12)

Ved evt. brug af materiale fra undervisningen skal kilden angives.

Tekster i opgavesættet

Teksternes ortografi og tegnsætning følger forlæggene. Trykfejl er dog rettet.
Opsætningen følger ikke nødvendigvis forlæggene. Dog følges forlægget nøje, hvor opsætningen på den ene eller anden måde indgår i opgaven.

Assignment 1

Omskriv sætningen, så subjektet er 1. person ental og derefter 3. person ental.
“We’re nine months into the pandemic.”
1. person ental  
3. person ental  

Omskriv sætningen, så genitiv udtrykkes med en of-konstruktion.
“If you take a deep dive into any given person’s belief system...”

Omskriv sætningen til præsens.
“Before these platforms, if you believed there were aliens among us or Elvis was alive and hidden in the witness protection program, it was difficult to tell your story in front of enough people to get to the right ones who believed it and would pass it along.”

Omskriv sætningen fra aktiv til passiv.
“Social media facilitates the spread of information.”

Omskriv sætningen, så adjektiverne står i positiv.
“The best course of action is not to buy into those wilder theories.”

Uddrag fra: ”Conspiracy Theories Have Gained Traction Since 9/11 Thanks To Social Media” og “Conspiracy theories, explained”

Assignment 2

  • Skriv en sammenhængende tekst på 100 til 150 ord om billedet, hvor du anvender simpel tid og udvidet tid.
  • Marker i din tekst to eksempler på simpel tid og to eksempler på udvidet tid.
  • Skriv en grammatisk forklaring på, hvorfor du har anvendt henholdsvis simpel og udvidet tid i dine eksempler.

Fotograf: John Blanding

Assignment 3

Vær opmærksom på, at du først kan besvare Assignment 3, når du har besvaret Assignment 4.

I dit essay skal du finde tre forskellige eksempler på genitiv, som du selv har formuleret, hvor der udtrykkes et ejerforhold, enten ved brug af pronomener eller genitiv-konstruktioner. Forklar hvert af dine eksempler med brug af relevant grammatisk terminologi.

Eksempel 1  

Eksempel 2  

Eksempel 3  

Assignment 4

Answer either assignment 4A or assignment 4B.

Write either assignment 4A-1 or 4A-2.

Conspiracy Theories

Source material:

Assignment 4A-1

Argumentative essay

Using the texts from the given material, write an argumentative essay in which you account for and discuss conspiracy theories.

Give your essay an appropriate headline which reflects your thesis statement.

Word count: 800-1200 words

Your essay must include references to the source material.
All sources must be documented.

Assignment 4A-2

Manuscript for a speech

Using the texts from the given material, write a manuscript for a speech in which you address conspiracy theories.

Include in your speech the circumstances in which the speech is given.

Word count: 800-1200 words

Your manuscript must include references to the source material.
All sources must be documented.

Assignment 4B

Write an analytical essay in which you analyse and interpret the blog post “Modern Day Cowboy: An Ode To Papaw” by Tennessee Martin.

Part of your essay must focus on choice of form, structure, and language.

Word count: 800-1200 words

Use the following source: In your essay, you must include references to the text.
All sources must be documented.

Q Sent me!
Photo taken in front of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, by Marc-Antoine Fardin


Conspiracy theories, explained

Americans are embracing dangerous conspiratorial beliefs, from QAnon to coronavirus denial.

By Aja Romano, Nov 18, 2020


As 2020 enters the home stretch, new conspiracy theories seem to keep coming up. The latest?
Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud during the presidential election, which many of his followers
are echoing, despite zero evidence, in any state, to support the assertion.

“We’re nine months into the pandemic,” said Ben Radford, a folklorist, psychologist, and fellow
with the Center for Inquiry whose research interests include contemporary conspiracies and hoaxes.
“Some people are out of a job. There’s lots of uncertainty. And some people will channel that
uncertainty into conspiracy theories.”



Sociopolitical turbulence tends to generate conspiracies

The history of conspiracy theories is somewhat short, relative to human evolution. According to
Radford, the first conspiracy theories as we might recognize them now likely didn’t spring up
until the mid-15th century, with the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 1440s. Movable type
allowed for the wider spread of information — and anxious reinterpretation of that information.

“Suddenly you not only have knowledge that is reproducible, but you also have other people who
are writing about things that may have a different perspective,” Radford said. This was the moment,
he argues, in which the first conflicts of information arose over what was true and what wasn’t.

Conspiracy theories have most often flourished during times of great sociopolitical upheaval and
uncertainty. “You see this kind of boom in conspiracies whenever there’s political or social unrest
throughout history,” Sander van der Linden, a social psychologist who researches conspiracies at
the Social Decision-Making Lab at Cambridge, told me. “Whenever there is significant uncertainty
in the world.”

Take the Salem witch trials in the 1690s, another transformative moment in conspiratorial thinking.
These events were prompted by sweeping social and political changes in Puritan New England:
frontier wars with American Indians, expanding roles for women, and challenges to religious authority.

The prevailing fear of Salem witch hunters wasn’t that the woman next door might be a witch, but
rather that a vast network of witches existed and were gathering in secret, plotting to do evil. This
basic idea of a covert network of evildoers threads through most 20th-century moral panics, from
the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories circulated by the Nazis to McCarthyism to the Satanic Panic
of the 1980s and ’90s.

Conspiracy theories provide people with a feeling of control when presented with troubling and
disturbing information, calming our fears of the inevitable or unknown. “A lot of these conspiracies
detract from some scary themes in the world,” van der Linden told me. “Climate change, coronavirus.
It’s just another way to deny reality and having to think about your own fragility in the world.
It’s an escape for people who are not so tolerant of uncertainty.”

The trial of George Jacobs for witchcraft
at the Essex Institute in Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1692. MPI/Getty Images

For people who want a sense of order, conspiracy theories may provide a belief framework — even
if it’s a negative one. “It tells people the world isn’t just random,” Radford said. “The world’s going
to hell, but there is some master plan. People take comfort in that, in a sort of perverse way.”

Troubling times further breed conspiracy theories on the principle of supply and demand: The
circumstances from which they are born lead to their proliferation.

But if conspiracy theories have historically gotten a boost from geopolitical turbulence, modern-day
conspiracies have several other unprecedented factors working in their favor — starting with memes
and misinformation.

The modern misinformation crisis allows conspiracy theories to flourish

Conspiracy theories are often seen as akin to folklore or urban legends — as mostly harmless,
“what if” entertainment. But in the United States, conspiracy theories have much more power than
these tales do. The conspiracy theory can be a political weapon, thanks to what historian Richard
J. Hofstadter called “the paranoid style”: a tendency toward hyper-vigilant, alarmist, and absolutist
beliefs that stem from a combination of “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial

This tendency, which Hofstadter thought belonged only to a small minority of people, now undergirds
much of American politics. Once-obscure conspiratorial ideas are now habitually deployed by
national leaders like Trump and members of his outgoing administration, specifically to create
further political tension.

“Typically, folklore spreads without much intentional direction,” Radford said. “What’s fascinating
over the past few months and years is the weaponization of folklore and the weaponization of these
sorts of legends in which you have, for example, Russian disinformation agencies.”

Social media facilitates the spread of information, giving rise to viral formats like memes. Conspiracy
theories are memetic — they mutate easily and take on new forms — which makes them a perfect
fit for social media platforms.


Conspiracy theories are resistance-proof — and increasingly disruptive

People who adopt the conspiratorial mindset derive three main benefits from doing so. First,
there’s an epistemic benefit: Whatever conspiracy theory they believe in provides a framework
for understanding the world and bringing order to random events. Second, there’s an existential
benefit, in that the conspiracy theory can distract them from facing their fears about sociopolitical
upheaval and uncertainty. And third, there’s a social benefit, in that the conspiracy theory provides
them with a community of similarly disaffected thinkers who can validate one another’s anxieties
and shared worldview.

The epistemic benefit is especially important, given the rise in polarization across the ideological
spectrum. Vox’s David Roberts has called this trend “tribal epistemology,” in which “information is
evaluated based not on conformity to common standards of evidence” but on whether your community
or “tribe” advocates for it.

In this environment, Roberts argues, the primary institutions of society — government, academia,
science, and media, which used to be seen as impartial authorities — can be rejected if they contradict
your tribe’s worldview. A partisan refusal to compromise was once a sign of extremism, but it’s now
almost expected, at least in certain tribes. “Truth,” then, is whatever the tribal rhetoric says it is.

This cultish approach to information can directly impact how “facts” are transmitted and received.
When people at either end of the political spectrum consider the news media to be biased or corrupt,
they’re prone to support even more biased, less objective sources of information. And because those
sources tend to embrace conspiracy theories that align with tribal rhetoric, the theories then become
difficult to debunk.

Conspiracy theorists have what Radford describes as “self-reinforcing belief systems,” which is also
part of why the theories spread so quickly — particularly the political ones. Often, an emotional
byproduct of a conspiracy theory is to make the audience feel as though they’ve arrived at a profound
new realization about the world on their own. “They think they’re thinking more critically, when in fact
they’re thinking less critically,” van der Linden said.

“The conspiracy theory provides an access point to people,” Radford told me. “They think they’re
given the key, right? So they’ll say, ‘Well, if you’re woke, and you’re taking the red pill, or blue pill,
or whatever the hell pill it is, then you know; you understand what’s going on.’” People who have
bought in often believe they can see patterns, codes, and symbols that the rest of us can’t — a false
phenomenon called apophenia, which further validates their beliefs.


Many people who believe in conspiracy theories often don’t just accept the theory as truth — they
allow it to influence their entire life. “We sometimes refer to [conspiratorial groupthink] as a quasi-religious
worldview,” van der Linden told me. “It’s not religion, because it’s not institutionalized, but it has all the
features of extreme religious groups.”


Conspiracy theories aren’t easy to stop — but empathy for believers is a
crucial first step

The knee-jerk tendency most rational-minded people have when confronted with a conspiracy theory
that seems absurd to them is to deploy a combination of yelling, dismissiveness, and logic or scientific
evidence to talk the conspiracy theorist out of their belief. When all else fails, the rational person may
resort to shunning the believer outright.

The problem with these approaches is that they generally make the believer feel defensive, which
causes them to double down on their belief systems. That’s not an ideal outcome — especially
considering that, as Radford and van der Linden both stressed to me, many people, when left to
their own devices, eventually talk themselves out of a conspiracy theory. They often “wake up” to
the discovery that their favorite conspiracy theory is actually more fringe, racist, anti-Semitic, or
otherwise dangerous than they realized.

This is where empathy comes in. Radford stressed that conspiracy theories aren’t limited to one
side of the political spectrum, and neither is the magical thinking that spawns them. “If you take
a deep dive into any given person’s belief system, you’ll probably find at least a few deeply held
beliefs that aren’t based in fact,” he pointed out. Believing in a conspiracy theory doesn’t make
someone unintelligent, ignorant, or evil. It just means they’ve encountered bad information
— and these days, bad information is everywhere.



Conspiracy Theories Have Gained Traction Since 9/11 Thanks To Social Media

Peter Suciu, Sep 11, 2020


Social Media And Conspiracy Theories

The situation with conspiracy theories has only intensified thanks to social media. It falls into
the category of misinformation/disinformation. During the Covid-19 pandemic wild theories
run abound – China created coronavirus in a lab, coronavirus was weaponized and 5G mobile
networks were helping spread it.

But social media has spread other conspiracy theories too, notably everything about QAnon.

We must ask, could such theories even gain any traction were it not for social media?

"Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter make it easier to propagate fake news and
conspiracy theories than ever," warned tech industry consultant Lon Safko, author of
The Social Media Bible. "Before these platforms, if you believed there were aliens among us
or Elvis was alive and hidden in the witness protection program, it was difficult to tell your
story in front of enough people to get to the right ones who believed it and would pass it along."

It is a case of sheer numbers in the case of social media.

"Today, when Facebook has 2.7 billion users and Twitter 330 million users, not to mention
all the other social platforms, you can now accumulate a critical mass," added Safko. "If only
one out of a 1,000 regular people would believe your 'absolute truth' crazy story, today, you
still have access to 2,790,000 on Facebook alone."

The New News Platform

Another part of the problem is that so many mainstream news outlets are in decline. Instead of
looking to trusted journalists and reporters who break stories and research facts, people accept
what people tweet or post – and accept that as news.

This in turn allows these conspiracies to find an audience – one that is larger than any single
media outlet today.

"The social platforms give these fringe stories credibility by association," explained Safko.
"They are posted there, alongside hundreds of other, credible stories and there is no way to
really tell the fake news from the real news."

This also comes as people are less trusting of the news yet will put that trust in social platforms.

"The polarization of media sources combined with the ease of sharing on social media has led to
conspiracy theories to be more pervasive than ever before," added Dr. Mai-Ly Nguyen Steers,
assistant professor in the school of nursing at Duquesne University.

"People tend to buy into conspiracy theories because they are engaging in what social
psychologists have deemed as 'motivated reasoning,'" added Nguyen Steers. "That is, they
are more apt to accept and rationalize a conspiracy theory that falls in line with their
pre-existing worldview. This is compounded by the fact that look and feel of fake news is
often like real news and in the past, this misinformation has not been vetted by either social
media platforms or the sharers of the social media content."

Ease Of Proliferation

The other reason that a conspiracy theory can gain traction and go from a fringe theory to an
almost accepted fact – such as the widely held belief that Covid-19 started in a lab despite
top medical officials stating the numerous reasons why it is unlikely – is that information
can spread faster than ever.

"What has dramatically changed is the currency that is given conspiracy theories today,"
suggested Bausman. "This is due in large part to their ease of proliferation in the culture
through social media." Yet, it is not simply that the public has greater exposure to such
theories for consumption but that they have so much currency today.

"It is also the manipulation of credibility that social media platforms bestow on these
theories," Bausman added. "Bluntly speaking, people that are less likely to engage in critical
thinking are most susceptible to believing such theories. These same individuals are also more
likely to assume something is credible simply because they viewed it on the Internet."

Close Association

The other aspect of social media in spreading such theories is that users have built in "trust"
with those they've "friended" or regularly follow. As newsrooms have shrunk and the political
divide has made many question whether the news outlets are biased, we trust those we know.

"It is costly to question and critique every piece of information we encounter, so we rely on
social cues to attribute validity to a message," said Dr. Jorge Barraza, Ph.D., professor in
the online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program at the University of Southern
California. "Social media amplifies the impact of these theories as they are shared by
friends and relatives. Even when they are not shared by known others, the information is
intermingled with content from trusted others so it is more likely to be trusted too."



Modern Day Cowboy: An Ode To Papaw

Everyday, my grandfather used to sit at his kitchen table in the same chair with a beer in one hand
and the Daily Corinthian in the other. I’d visit him when I’d travel back to the South, and like the
creature of habit he was, his greeting was always the same.

“Get in here, Hollywood.” He’d tease. That’s what he called me, since the rest of my new world knew
me as Tennessee.

“You can always come home.” He’d tell me every time we spoke. I used to believe he was saying this
in anticipation of my inevitable failure, but as I grew older I realized that it was meant to be a reminder:
my family would always be there should I need them.

He never was quite like anyone else. An old-school cowboy, whose modern steed took form in an
eighteen-wheel big rig. He drove cross-country for forty-something years, but no matter how far he
went, his heart was always in Corinth, Mississippi, with his high school sweetheart, the love of his life,
my grandmother.

When we lost her four years ago, I remember my mother saying that he wouldn’t make it without her.
It angered me. Of course he would. You can’t die of a broken heart. But I hadn’t taken into account the
fifty-plus years they’d spent together. She was his person.

Shortly after her passing, his health began to decline. The man who I used to watch tinker around in
his shop and blaze trails on his John Deere tractor could barely shuffle himself down the hallway in a
wheelchair. His sleep patterns became irregular, and bedsores were forming in inches and then feet.

My mother used to drive down from Tennessee to see him every week. They’d talk about life, history,
politics, anything really. But he would always, always ask about me.

He loved hearing about the different movies and TV shows I worked on. The celebrities I’d met. The
only ones he recognized were Barbara Eden and Tippy Hedren, but it was fun for him all the same.

Once, I even had Dawn Wells call and wish him a happy Birthday. He told my mother it made him the
happiest he’d been since he lost my grandmother...

My mother often tried to get me to call him, but I was always too busy. A film shoot here. A red carpet
there. Another crazy trip to Comic Con. So, my mother relayed to him the stories I’d shared with her
throughout the week.

But the one thing they never talked about was my sexuality. I wanted to tell him I was gay. After all, it’s
a centrally defining part of my identity. If he didn’t know that, he could never really know me. But my
mother was afraid that he wouldn’t take the news well. In fact, she said that it might kill him.

So, I rarely called. Not willing to force a superficial conversation, I made excuses instead. I was just too
busy. The time difference made it too difficult. I didn’t want to bother him...

The last time I saw my grandfather was September of last year. He no longer occupied his usual old
chair, instead my Uncle pushed his wheelchair under the edge of the kitchen table and locked the brakes.

We sat in silence, save the rattling, ragged breaths he struggled desperately to take. I remember how
hollow his cheeks had become. His pale skin, a ghostly veil draped over fragile bone. I could see the
humiliation in his eyes. He hated being perceived as weak, letting others care for him, but he had no
other choice.

The strongest man I’d ever known no longer wanted to be strong. He just wanted to speak again
without losing his breath. He wanted to lift his own head up off his pillow. He wanted to wake up beside
her again.

And then, one day... he no longer wanted to wake up. For the first time in almost four years, he asked
my mother not to visit him. He said he wasn’t up for chit-chatting.

I never got to tell my grandfather who I was. I never got to share with him the thing I believed gave me
the most strength. I never got to ask him what it took to fall in love with, and keep your best friend.

And because I never called, he wasn’t able to tell me how much his heart was hurting or how alone he
felt. Instead, he left a simple note on the bedside table. “I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I’m sorry.”

One single round from his revolver, and my Grandfather was gone. They found his lifeless body on
National Suicide Prevention Day. I believe he would have chuckled at the twisted irony.

In my mind, I see him alone in his bedroom. It probably took him hours to sit upright, and pull that
heavy six-shooter from his nightstand. I’m sure he bowed his head, and prayed one last time asking
God for forgiveness of the moments to come.

I’m sure the prayer was short and sweet, much like the note. Maybe the note was for God all along, a
lingering apology in his earthly absence. An “I owe you” of sorts.

Having been raised Southern Baptist, I was taught to believe that suicide was the one unforgivable sin.
Even more unforgivable than being gay, because at least queer people could repent. Suicide was final.
A permanent severing from God and Faith.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to understand factors outside of our man-made religions. I am
strong in my faith, but I know that depression isn’t something we can pray away. It’s a mental illness
that needs therapy and treatment. Suicide isn’t a sin. It’s a final nail in an already constricting coffin.

My grandfather didn’t want to die. But he couldn’t go on living in his condition. He had already lost
everything that meant anything to him. All he had left to give was his life, so he gave it to God in hopes
that he would be reunited with his wife again on the other side.

I believe, truly and deeply, that my grandfather found his way into heaven, though he probably didn’t
make it easy on anyone. Maybe, with a soft chuckle, and a mischievous glint in his eye he gave his
nickname, R.G, at the pearly gates, just to watch the keeper of the guest list scratch his head.

That was the kind of man he was on earth, and who I’m sure he will continue to be in the afterlife.

My grandfather was a good man. He loved his family, and in his final years he made peace with God. I
don’t condone suicide. I don’t believe it is the answer for anyone, but I know that he wouldn’t have
made that decision if he felt there was any other way he could carry on.

The loss of my grandfather reminds me that suicide can affect anyone at any age. That we must care
for our youth as well as our elderly. It also reminds me that life is too short to hide who we are or what
we’re feeling out of fear. That communication is key, and expression of love is essential.

I know that God is with him today, probably kicked back with a Coors Light and a newspaper. And
years from now, when it is my time to join him he will meet me at the heavenly gates, laughing at the
confused greeter when he calls out to me, “Get in here, Hollywood.”



Ines Novacic, “Documentary explores the disturbing appeal of QAnon”, CBS News website, 24-11-2020. Viewed 13-01-2021.

Photo from “The storming of US Capitol shows the real-life harms of online conspiracy theories like QAnon” by Marc-Antoine Fardin, Scroll.in website, 07-01-2021. Viewed 13-01-2021.

Aja Romano, “Conspiracy theories, explained”, Vox website, 18-11-2020. Viewed 13-01-2021.

Peter Suciu, “Conspiracy Theories Have Gained Traction Since 9/11 Thanks To Social Media”, Forbes website, 11-09-2020. Viewed 13-01-2021.

Tennessee Martin, ”Modern Day Cowboy: An Ode To Papaw”, So She Said website, 14-09-2018. Viewed 13-09-2021.

Photo by John Blanding, The Boston Globe website, September 16, 2015. Viewed 13-01-2021.