Free Essay

Logistics

In: Business and Management

Submitted By denniseaston
Words 70562
Pages 283
RESEARCH and WRITING

CUSTOM EDITION
Taken from: Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, Eleventh Edition by James D. Lester and James D. Lester, Jr. To the Point: Reading and Writing Short Arguments by Gilbert H. Muller and Harvey S. Wiener

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Taken from: Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide, Eleventh Edition by James D. Lester and James D. Lester, Jr. Copyright © 2005 by Pearson Education, Inc. Published by Pearson Longman, Inc. New York, New York 10036 To the Point: Reading and Writing Short Arguments by Gilbert H. Muller and Harvey S. Wiener Copyright © 2005 by Pearson Education, Inc. Published by Pearson Longman, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing All rights reserved. Permission in writing must be obtained from the publisher before any part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 0-536-97722-4 2005240359 AP Please visit our web site at www.pearsoncustom.com

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

PEARSON CUSTOM PUBLISHING
75 Arlington Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02116 A Pearson Education Company
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

1

Reading Arguments

ontemporary American culture often seems dominated by argument. Television talk show hosts and radio shock jocks battle over countless issues. Hip-hop artists contrive elaborate “beefs” to get under the skin of their rivals. Politicians are in constant attack mode. Advertisements and commercials seduce us into crazed consumption. Internet chat rooms flame with aggressive language. Deborah Tannen, in The Argument Culture (1998), terms this phenomenon the “ethic of aggression.” Indeed, the world is awash in what passes for argument, but frequently in its most irritating, insulting, ill-conceived, and illogical forms. Forget about argument as a quarrel or a beef. Instead, think of argument as any text—in written, spoken, or visual form—that presents a debatable point of view. Closely related to argument (and in practice often indistinguishable from it) is persuasion, the attempt to get others to act in a way that will advance a cause or position. The kind of argument we deal with in this text involves a carefully reasoned attempt to get people to believe or act according to our own beliefs or points of view. Typically this type of argument requires you to deal with significant issues about which individuals might justifiably disagree. It also requires you to respectfully consider the positions and perspectives of others in an effort to promote civil discourse.

C

Why Argue?
You argue in order to influence others to think or believe as you do about an idea or issue, or to act as you would act. Stated differently, you argue to convince an audience about your point of view or to persuade this audience to adopt a desired course of action or behavior. When you read and write arguments, you enter into a dialogue with this audience. This dialogue or conversation is typically dramatic because your point of view must be defended and usually is open to dispute or debate. Admittedly, much argument—and courtroom dramas in real life or on television provide excellent examples— results in winners and losers. Argumentation, however, is not always about winning and losing. You can argue for other reasons as well. Sometimes you argue to explore why you think or act in a certain way. Exploration enables you to make decisions: Should you vote for one candidate or another, attend a private or public college, date a certain person, support abortion, oppose the death 3
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

4 Reading Arguments penalty, believe in God? You engage constantly in these forms of argument, either on your own or with others, in matters both large and small. You develop options and make decisions through a complex process of internal thinking and even meditation. To be able to arrive at a valid conclusion about an issue or course of action is a powerful aspect of argumentation that involves critical thinking and self-discovery. Even as you use argument to clarify opinions and beliefs, you can employ argument to form a consensus with others about ideas that otherwise might divide or polarize individuals. Rather than constantly battling people and groups, you can advance an argument in order to engage others in a conversation that might produce common ground concerning ideas, policies, and programs. With this approach to argument, you seek a win/win outcome. Looked at this way, argument is integral to free speech and open inquiry and is vital to civil society. Honest and truthful argument (which admittedly is difficult to achieve) is essential to the health of democracy and of nations around the world. Argument, as you will see, is as old as Aristotle and as new as questions on a standardized writing test that you might have taken when applying for college. Valid argument can produce toleration, consensus, and understanding among people holding diverse points of view. It can be subtle and liberating, encouraging you to examine and perhaps even change what you think or believe about critical ideas and issues.

The Vocabulary of Argument
Before reading or writing arguments, you need to know the basic vocabulary of the argumentative process. Think of the vocabulary of argument as the rules that create the outlines of a special type of game. Just as in any game—whether basketball or chess or poker—the vocabulary of argumentation establishes and governs the playing field. This vocabulary helps you to understand both the uniqueness and the utility of argumentation as a form of discourse. At the outset, it is important to understand that argument relies on logic— on an appeal to reason—more than other kinds of writing. This does not mean that arguments lack emotion. In fact, as you will see later in this chapter, a carefully constructed argument often blends rational, emotional, and ethical elements. Moreover, other forms of writing—narration, description, and varieties of exposition like analysis and definition—often are used to advance arguments, as we illustrate in Chapter 3. Some teachers maintain that all writing, to the extent that it tries to make a point, is inherently argumentative. Nevertheless, the starting point of any effective argument is the application of certain standards of reason—a logical train of thought—to a topic that normally can be debated. Argumentation creates a “court of standards” in which the rules of reason and evidence apply.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Justifying an Argument 5 Here, then, are some of the critical terms that will help you to read and ultimately write arguments effectively: 1. Argument is a process of reasoning that presents reasons or proofs to support a position, belief, or conclusion. 2. A claim is the main idea or conclusion in an argument. It is the statement that needs to be justified or proved. A claim is like a thesis or main idea that can be debated, argued, or proved. 3. A proposition is another term for a claim. The major proposition is the main point of the argument. It is what you are trying to prove based on what there is in common in a certain number of acts of knowing, asserting, believing, or doubting. Minor propositions are the reasons offered to support the major proposition. 4. Grounds are like minor propositions. They are the reasons, support, and evidence offered to support a claim. Grounds are any material that serves to prove a claim. 5. Evidence supports the claim and the minor propositions of an argument. Evidence can be facts, statistics, accepted opinions, expert testimony, examples, or personal experience. Valid evidence will be accurate and true. 6. A fact is information that can be taken as verifiable. Stated differently, a fact is something believed to have objective reality. Facts differ from opinions, which are judgments based on the facts and, if valid, careful reasoning. 7. A warrant is the connection, typically assumed and unstated, between a claim and the supporting reasons. It is the rule, belief, or principle underlying the argument, the assumption that makes the claim appear to be acceptable. A backing is an even larger principle that serves as the foundation for a warrant. 8. Deduction is a process of reasoning that seeks valid conclusions. Deduction establishes that a conclusion must be true because the premises, or statements on which it is based, are also true. As a way of reasoning, deduction proceeds from the general to the particular. By contrast, induction is a way of reasoning in which a general statement is reached on the basis of specific examples. As such, induction moves from the particular to the general. 9. A fallacy is an error of reasoning based on faulty use of evidence or incorrect reasoning from premises or assumptions. 10. Refutation is the attempt to rebut, weaken, or invalidate the viewpoints of the opposition.

Justifying an Argument
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument involves a complex pattern of thought that does not appear in every statement. It is inaccurate to claim that “everything is an argument” because, when thought about carefully, every statement is not an argument.

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

6 Reading Arguments You need to determine through a basic test of justification whether or not a statement qualifies as an argument. Imagine what you were thinking about when you woke up this morning. Here are some possibilities: 1. What a beautiful day—so clear and sunny! 2. Did I complete my homework assignment for English composition? 3. I’m looking forward to seeing that good-looking classmate in my firstperiod class. 4. I’ll wear something light because it is warm outside. 5. I need to change my major and get another advisor because I’m not satisfied with either. All of these sentences involve varieties of thinking, but not all of them express an argument. Sentence 1 is a simple statement of fact: if indeed the day is clear and sunny, who would want to argue with you about its beauty? Sentence 2 is an effort at recall, framed as a question, and generally interrogative and imperative (involving commands or prayers) statements do not express claims or propositions. Sentence 3 suggests a bit of pleasant daydreaming; it does not rise to the level of argumentation. Sentence 4 reflects a mental activity that could qualify as an argument if stated differently, but in this form it simply reflects a decision—not essentially debatable—deriving from an observation. The first four sentences suggest a range of thinking largely devoid of argumentation. Now read again sentence 5, which contains an argument and therefore passes the test of justification. To begin, you see clearly that there is an “argumentative edge” to this statement. Sentence 5 reflects a traditional approach to argument in which a combative or debatable point of view appears. (Greek theorists called this the “agonistic” theory of argument.) This statement, reflecting dissatisfaction with both a major and an advisor, actually has several argumentative and persuasive purposes embedded in it. Reading this statement critically, you sense that the speaker will have to explore options, inform, convince, and make decisions—four common goals in the construction of an argument. Sentence 5 reflects a process of reasoning and the implicit need to advance reasons or proofs in order to justify how an individual thinks and acts, which form the core of argument.

Aristotle and the Appeal to Reason
Arguments must be read critically, based in part on your understanding of concepts, methods, and conventions that follow a long tradition starting with Aristotle (384–322 B.C.). According to Aristotle in his Rhetoric, the best arguments contain logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. In other words, reason (which classical commentators termed logos), emotion ( pathos), and moral authority (ethos) appear in varying degrees in arguments, working together to change opinions and prompt action. When you read argumentaResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Aristotle and the Appeal to Reason 7 tive essays, you see that these three appeals can support a point of view, change attitudes, elicit desired responses, and meet various needs. For now, we will focus on logical appeals—the process of reasoning—and the ways they appear when you read texts. The ancients emphasized that an argument presupposes a topic, what the Greeks called topos. The essays you will read in this book contain a central topic that you should be able to identify. Aristotle claimed that every argument contains this statement of a central topic and proof to support it. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech, “I Have a Dream,” takes as its topic the need for an American society reflecting equality for everyone. His speech contains echoes of many classic documents, among them the Declaration of Independence, which appears in Chapter 3. It is useful to examine the key idea—or topic—that is the essence of the classic document written by Thomas Jefferson and his collaborators and that influenced King as he prepared his speech. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You will have the opportunity to read, discuss critically, and respond in writing to the texts by Jefferson and King, but for now it is only necessary to understand that the topic at the center of these texts is controversial and open to challenge. For example, do you believe that everyone is created equal? Do you think that a Creator endows us with inalienable rights? Do you anticipate, as Martin Luther King Jr. does, that some day all God’s children will be free at last? Where is the proof? The topics you will be reading about in this book require judgment, evaluation, and confirmation. In essence, you have to test the assumptions, or underlying beliefs governing certain statements. Your critical response to these essays will benefit from your understanding of the reasoning or logic supporting the assumptions that are made. A stated assumption is called a premise, and premises are the first elements you must uncover when reading an argumentative essay. You probably have heard about syllogistic reasoning, that type of logic in which a major premise, followed by a minor premise, produces a conclusion. This is the method of deduction, the process of reasoning where a conclusion is taken to be true because the statements on which it is based are true. The most famous syllogism, of course, is the one using Socrates as an example. Major premise: All human beings are mortal. Minor premise: Socrates is a human being. Conclusion: Therefore, Socrates is mortal. This example demonstrates that the validity of any syllogism rests on the “truth” of the premises. In other words, if you accept the truth of the major and minor premises, then you must accept the conclusion.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

8 Reading Arguments Of course, there can be false and misleading applications of syllogistic reasoning. For the purposes of this book, we need not go into these errors in syllogistic reasoning in depth, but instead we illustrate the problem with two examples. Here is the first: Major premise: All cats die. Minor premise: Socrates died. Conclusion: Socrates was a cat. Here the premises are true but the conclusion clearly is false, and thus the argument is not valid. Consider a second, more subtle (some might say devious) example of syllogistic reasoning: Major premise: Unwantedness leads to high crime. Minor premise: Abortion leads to less unwantedness. Conclusion: Abortion leads to less crime. Two noted scholars—an economist at the University of Chicago and a professor of law at Stanford—have provoked debate by publishing a paper that can be reduced to this syllogism. They maintain that because of Roe v. Wade, precisely those women—poor, single, black, or teenage—who might have given birth to unwanted children opted for abortions instead. Thus, the unwanted children who would have committed crimes were never born, and consequently overall crime has declined in the United States. Do you think that the two premises are true? If so, then you must accept the conclusion. If not, you can reject the conclusion because it does not follow from the premises. The two contemporary professors who base their paper on the relationship between abortion and crime used deduction—what Aristotle termed artistic appeal—to construct their argument. In practice, however, as Aristotle asserts, few individuals rigorously apply “artistic” or deductive reasoning to the development of their compositions. More often than not, they use what Aristotle labeled inartistic appeals—varieties of inductive logic where evidence (in the form of facts, statistics, reports, testimonies, interviews, and other evidentiary modes) support a claim or proposition. When inductive thinking appears in an argumentative essay, the writer gathers and applies evidence in order to make empirical (based on observation and experiment) claims. Inductive thinking appears most rigorously in scientific and technical reports, where claims require unassailable evidence or, in Aristotle’s words, where statements require proof. But inductive logic is also at the heart of most personal, expository, and argumentative writing. In fact, most of the writing you do in response to the essays in this book will require you to martial evidence to support the propositions or claims that you establish. You can best appreciate the importance of inductive logic by considering Aristotle’s observation that every argument can be reduced to two basic parts:

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Aristotle and the Appeal to Reason 9 Statement + Proof. To use contemporary terms, we would say that an argument requires a claim that is supported by evidence. If you become familiar with this approach to argumentation, you will find it much easier to read and write arguments with a critical eye. Remember that any debatable thesis, claim, or proposition (to get you comfortable with these interchangeable terms) requires evidence to back it up. The varieties of evidence will be considered later in this chapter. For now, examine the way in which evidence supports the claim in the following paragraph by Marian Wright Edelman, a noted attorney, activist, and founding president of the Children’s Defense Fund: The legacies that parents and church and teachers left to my generation of Black children were priceless and not material: a living faith reflected in daily service, the discipline of hard work and stick-to-itness, and a capacity to struggle in the face of adversity. Giving up and “burnout” were not part of the language of my elders—you got up every morning and you did what you had to do and you got up every time you fell down and tried as many times as you had to get it done right. They had grit. They valued family life, family rituals, and tried to be and to expose us to good role models. Role models were of two kinds: those who achieved in the outside world (like Marian Anderson, my namesake) and those who didn’t have a whole lot of education or fancy clothes but who taught us by the special grace of their lives the message of Christ and Tolstoy and Gandhi and Heschel and Dorothy Day and Romero and King that the Kingdom of God was within—in what you are, not what you have. I still hope I can be half as good as Black church and community elders like Miz Lucy McQueen, Miz Tee Kelly, and Miz Kate Winston, extraordinary women who were kind and patient and loving with children and others and who, when I went to Spellman College, sent me shoeboxes with chicken and biscuits and greasy dollar bills. —The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours Edelman shapes her message (which is another way to say that she presents a claim or proposition) around evidence drawn from personal experience. She supports her claim—that she grew up in a community where children were valued and where beliefs were transmitted from one generation to the next—with references to numerous role models that molded her values and beliefs. Here we have clear “proof” of the validity of the basic Aristotelian equation: Argument = Statement + Proof. Essays based on personal experience offer real intellectual pleasure as well as an accessible way of understanding the arguments they can frame. When you examine the paragraph by Edelman, for example, you see that it is not about “winning” but rather about the strengths of individuals and communities, as well as Edelman’s desire to enter into a dialogue with you—the reader—about her complex but nurturing world.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

10

Reading Arguments

Emotional and Ethical Appeals
An argumentative essay has to be rational, reflecting a process of logical thinking. When reading an argumentative essay for its logical or rational appeal, we have to ask these questions: • • • • • Is the claim or proposition presented in a logical way? Is the claim presented accurately and fairly? What reasons or minor propositions support the claim? What evidence supports the minor proposition? Is the entire argument logically convincing?

However, we do not read arguments purely for their logical content. The rational basis of an argument typically contains other essential qualities, appealing also to emotion and ethics. Remember that the best arguments, as Aristotle maintained, contain these emotional and ethical appeals. Many issues—race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, crime and punishment, to name just three—are complex, emotional, and touch on personal sensitivities. Consequently, it is not surprising that writers would approach such topics not from a strictly logical perspective but also from perspectives touching on emotion and ethics. For example, topics relating to race—as you saw in the paragraph by Marian Wright Edelman—provoke complex meanings, emotions, and beliefs. Reread Edelman’s paragraph to see how emotional and ethical appeals support her argument. Use the following questions, which can be applied to all essays you read, to determine the nature of her emotional appeal. • Does the writer appeal to basic human emotions such as love, caring, sympathy, rejection, pity, fear? • Does the writer appeal to the basic senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch? • Does the writer appeal to essential physical needs or desires? • Does the writer appeal to such “higher” emotions or universal truths as patriotism, loyalty, belief in various gods, freedom, and democracy? Although using claims and evidence to arrive at certain truths is the primary goal of argumentative writing, the appeal to emotion is complementary and perhaps even more powerful than logic in its effect on an audience. Logicians often warn us against the use of emotion in argument, and in fact certain false emotional appeals will be considered in the next chapter. Nevertheless, emotional appeals—especially when they involve the use of humor, satire, and irony—can work effectively in the effort to persuade a reader to accept the writer’s point of view. Consider the emotional impact of these representative paragraphs from an essay titled “Women Are Just Better” by the columnist Anna Quindlen: The inherent superiority of women came to mind just the other day when I was reading about sanitation workers. New York City has finally hired women to pick up the garbage, which makes sense to
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Emotional and Ethical Appeals 11 me, since, as I discovered, a good bit of being a woman consists of picking up garbage. There was a story about the hiring of these female sanitation workers, and I was struck by the fact that I could have written that story without ever leaving my living room—a reflection not on the quality of the reporting but the predictability of the male sanitation worker’s response. . . . As a woman who has done dishes, yard work, and tossed a fair number of Hefty bags, I was peeved—more so because I would fight for the right of any laid-off sanitation man to work, for example, at the gift-wrap counter at Macy’s, even though any woman knows that men are hormonally incapable of wrapping packages and tying bows. The emotional tone (the writer’s attitude toward the topic, self, and audience) of these two paragraphs is evident. The writer, a woman, is angry, provocative, and downright savage in her humor. But the emotional edge is part of the writer’s effort to persuade. Of course, her emotional tone might provoke readers—especially those men who know how to wrap packages and tie bows, and even those who don’t but believe that those skills have nothing to do with superiority of gender. Nevertheless, Quindlen does have a point or claim that is suggested by the very title of the essay, and she attempts to stir the reader’s feelings as well as opinions through the evocation of emotion. Here, emotion sustains what the writer presents as a debatable proposition: that women are better than men. Another paragraph, this time by Lorenzo Albacete, a Roman Catholic priest and theologian writing in “The Struggle with Celibacy,” raises the role of ethical appeals when considering the overall effectiveness of an argument. In the future, the church may decide that particular pastoral situations require a change in the requirement of priestly celibacy. Still, I believe that even if priests marry, they are called to be witnesses of that “celibacy of the heart” that human love requires—namely, the absolute respect for the loved one’s freedom. It’s time for those of us who treasure priestly celibacy to live in accordance with its intended message or else give it up as an obstacle to what we wish to say. This paragraph shows the quality of ethos that Aristotle mentioned—the presence of the writer offering himself to the reader or audience as an ethical authority worthy of trust and acceptance. Good sense, goodwill, high moral character—these are the three qualities of the writer discussed by Aristotle and the ancients that make the rhetorical situation of any argument complete. Albacete claims authority about his subject based on his personal knowledge and experience of the subject, as well as his background, position, and reputation as a scholar. You thus have to pay attention to this writer, even as his bold and provocative argument in the essay—that celibacy should not be a casualty of the recent scandals involving the priesthood—might raise objections or rebuttals. In fact, when a topic is controversial, readers might understandably be skeptical about the writer’s claim to authority. Nevertheless, the sort of thoughtfulness and candor shown in Albacete’s remarks is an excellent
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

12

Reading Arguments

way to establish ethos, which involves a willingness by the audience to trust the writer’s viewpoint. When you read the entire essay in Chapter 3, you will see that Albacete also adds logical and emotional appeals to his ethical stance. When considering the impact of ethical appeal in an argumentative essay, pose the following questions: • What is the tone or voice of the writer, and does this tone enhance the logic of the argument? • What is the writer’s training or expertise, and how does this knowledge establish credibility? • Does the writer have the goodwill of the audience in mind? Why or why not? • Does the writer have a strong sense of right and wrong in approaching the subject? How strong is this moral sense? • Does the writer seem honest and trustworthy? How are these qualities revealed? Building credibility—creating a relationship of trust—is essential to good argument. A writer speaks to readers in many voices, and it is up to you as an active reader to determine if the voice selected is appropriate for the argument the writer presents.

Toulmin Arguments
A currently popular way of reading arguments derives from the ideas of British philosopher Steven Toulmin, who in The Uses of Argument (1958) offers a method that updates the argumentative systems of the ancients. According to Toulmin and teachers of writing who have modified his ideas, you do not read or write argumentative essays that follow the demands of formal logic. Instead, writers compose arguments according to the ways they actually think carefully and critically through an issue or debate. As such, Toulmin offers an easy way to understand the dynamics of argumentative and persuasive prose. Toulmin asserts that all arguments begin with a claim—a word that you already are familiar with. Claims, you will recall, are statements of belief or truth that involve positions that others might find controversial or debatable. In other words, a writer’s audience must perceive that a statement is open to controversy. There is no sense in arguing that it is not a beautiful day if indeed the sun is out, the temperature is perfect, and the sky is clear. No one would declare that this statement about the weather conditions is ripe for argument. An essay that contains a claim tends to address readers by taking a stand or arguing a case. Here are some statements that clearly contain claims: The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could have been prevented. The SATs should be abolished. There is no such thing as global warming. Eminem is the greatest rap artist today.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Toulmin Arguments 13 These are debatable points. In themselves, however, they prove nothing. They assuredly do not prove a case. According to Toulmin, a claim is just the first logical and necessary step in a process of reasoning designed to make or prove a case. Any claim needs reasons to support it. Again, you already have learned about the need for reasons drawn from personal experience, facts, authorities, and other sources to create the framework for an argument. Writers often provide readers with arguments in brief—a claim appearing early in an essay, perhaps in an introductory or concluding paragraph, and followed by a few reasons. Aristotle called these compressed arguments enthymemes. Here is an enthymeme drawn from one of the previous examples: The SATs should be abolished because they place undue emphasis on certain learning styles, create false impressions of a student’s real talents and abilities, and are culturally biased. Here you see how both the terms and the framework for an argument develop from the enthymeme. Toulmin, however, would say that these reasons are assumptions that need to be tested and supported further. The need for connections between the claim and the reasons takes us to the next step in Toulmin argument. Toulmin calls the connection between the claim and the supporting reasons in an argument the warrant. (This word appears in the “Vocabulary of Argument” section presented earlier in this chapter, but it requires further explanation.) Often unstated or implied, a warrant establishes the authority underlying a particular claim and its supporting reasons. If the warrant is sound, the evidence assembled to support the claim appears to be justified. On the other hand, if the warrant itself can be challenged or is debatable, then you would expect the writer to defend it. Based on Toulmin’s method, we can diagram the connections among claim, reason(s), and warrant.

Claim

Reason

Warrant
This diagram suggests that a warrant is the glue that holds a claim and the reasons supporting the claim together. It is the general principle or underlying assumption that makes the claim plausible or fundamentally acceptable. Look now at a simple application of the Toulmin diagram to a common situation. Don’t go swimming—there is a strong undertow.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

14

Reading Arguments

The reason (“there is a strong undertow”) is connected to the claim (“Don’t go swimming”) by the following warrant: If there is a strong undertow, it is dangerous to go swimming. Do you see how the warrant is the principle underlying the entire statement consisting of the claim and the reason? Although we could state it in different ways, the warrant for this statement is obvious: you do not want to go swimming in dangerous waters. Diagrammed, the example would look like this:

Don’t go swimming.

There is a strong undertow.

A strong undertow makes swimming dangerous.
A warrant implying we should avoid a specific dangerous—indeed, lifethreatening—situation when deciding whether or not to swim is commonsensical. Such a plausible warrant makes the claim and reason supporting it seem reasonable.

The Use of Evidence
Claims, warrants, and reasons are the framework of a Toulmin argument, or any argument for that matter, but evidence is what makes the case. Evidence—various items of information that support a claim as well as the reasons supporting a claim—is what you look for in any pattern of argument. Toulmin reduces this need for evidence to a question: “What have you got to go on?” Only evidence, carefully selected and clearly presented, permits a writer to present an argument fully and convincingly. If the evidence in an argument is too sparse, it will not convince an audience. If it is too flimsy— based on mere opinion, hearsay, or colorful comparisons or analogies—it will not support an otherwise valid claim or generalization. You already know that evidence can consist of facts and examples, specific cases and events, statistics and other forms of data, expert opinion, and, if used judiciously and in a representative rather than idiosyncratic way, personal experience. Evidence also can derive from scientific observation, field research, and controlled experimentation— forms of evidence common to technical writing and often appearing in tables, graphs, and other visual documents. In all instances, the most distinctive feature of evidence is that it supports a relevant generalization. An example from an essay by Ronald Takaki, “The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority,” which appears in Chapter 3 of this book, illustrates the way in which evidence provides a degree of authority for any proposition or generalization: The “model minority” image homogenizes Asian Americans and hides their differences. For example, while thousands of Vietnamese American young people attend universities, others are on the streets.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading Visual Arguments 15 They live in motels and hang out in pool halls in places like East Los Angeles; some join gangs. Twenty-five percent of the people in New York City’s Chinatown lived below the poverty level in 1980, compared with 17 percent of the city’s population. Some 60 percent of the workers in the Chinatowns of Los Angeles and San Francisco are crowded into low-paying jobs in garment factories and restaurants. “Most immigrants coming into Chinatown with a language barrier cannot go outside the confined area into the mainstream of American industry,” a Chinese immigrant said. “Before, I was a painter in Hong Kong, but I can’t do it here. I got no license, no education. I want a living; so it’s dishwasher, janitor, or cook.” Takaki, who is an authority on ethnicity in American life, makes his case by fleshing out the claim or generalization that appears in the first sentence with examples, statistics, and interviews. Evidence supports his claim. The chain of argument is never complete without authoritative and compelling evidence. When you read an essay, ask the following questions about the nature of the evidence that a writer presents: • Are the examples relevant and convincing? Are they sufficient to make the case? • Is the evidence presented clearly? • Is the evidence used to support a warrant (we call such evidence backing), a claim, or minor propositions, and in each case is it sufficient? • If statistics appear, are they relevant, accurate, current, complete, and from a reliable source? • If the writer offers quotations or expert testimony, is it from a knowledgeable, trustworthy, and authoritative source? Not all evidence is of the same quality or validity. When reading an argumentative essay, you have to be prepared to think critically about the evidence and even enter into a conversation with the writer in which you ask if the factual information is convincing.

Reading Visual Arguments
Visual images are as old as the cave paintings of your Neolithic ancestors and as new as the latest streaming advertisements on your computer screen. In fact, some commentators argue that we are in the process of moving from a print-oriented society toward new forms of literacy in which visual images predominate over written texts. It is probably more useful to appreciate the ways in which visual materials—photographs, cartoons, posters, computer graphics, tables and graphs, various forms of type and other design elements, and more—contribute to written texts. If, as Marshall McLuhan declared more than forty years ago, “the medium is the message,” then you should pay attention to the ways in which visual texts mold your response to ideas, information, and arguments.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

16

Reading Arguments

FIGURE 1.1 Firefighters at the World Trade Center.

Visual texts can convey powerful cultural messages and arguments. Figure 1.1 shows firefighters at the site of the World Trade Center erecting an American flag over the rubble that was once the Twin Towers. How do you “read” this photograph? What does the symbolism of the heap of twisted metal and of the flag convey? In what way does a similar image (see Figure 1.2) of soldiers raising the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II deepen your interpretation of the message? A photograph is a representation of reality, and here we sense that the photographer has framed a scene in order to convey both the horror of the attack against the heart of America and the heroic resilience of its citizens to respond. When reading and interpreting visual texts that contain explicit or implicit arguments, you have to be aware of the ways in which the creators or designers “massage” their message in order to influence (and sometimes control) your response. When, for instance, you see a 30-second television commercial for a particular brand of beer in which attractive young people are having a great time, you readily sense the massage and the message. When the blurred, decidedly unappealing image of a political candidate appears in a negative campaign ad, you also know the creators’ purpose. Or when great
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading Visual Arguments 17

FIGURE 1.2 Iwo Jima.

graphics pop up on your screen extolling the virtues of a new snowboard, you know you have been targeted. (How did they know you were a boarder?) Of course, not all visual arguments sell a product or a person. Ideas—as you see in the photographs from Iwo Jima and the Twin Towers—also can be presented; or complex data can be made manageable while advancing a writer’s technical or scientific argument. Again, you might use a Power Point presentation to highlight the outlines of a speech you have to give to the class advocating free downloading of music on the Internet. In all of these cases, you see that visual texts present a dialogue or conversation, a struggle of sorts, for your time, money, allegiance, attention, or action. Visual literacy involves an ability to analyze simple and complex images in terms of their design and content. Here are the key questions that you should consider when attempting to decipher a visual argument: • What specific images or details draw your attention immediately? What sorts of design elements (print, media, photographs, video clips, etc.) come into play? How are color and light used? If there is printed text, what does the visual contribute to it? • What is the argumentative purpose of the visual? What is the claim or message? What is its intended effect? Do you respond positively or negatively to the visual, and why? • What is the overall design of the visual? From what perspective (for example, left to right, top to bottom, foreground to background) do various elements appear? What emphases and relationships do you see among these details? What is the effect of this design on the argumentative message?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

18

Reading Arguments • Who is the audience for this visual, and what cultural assumptions about this audience’s values does it suggest? • What is the nature of the evidence presented in the visual, and how can it be verified?

As with written arguments, you should take nothing for granted when considering visual texts containing arguments, especially when they promote products, personalities, and ideas. When examining visual texts, think critically about their validity and whether or not they are grounded in sound logical, emotional, and ethical appeals. In the final analysis, reading argumentative texts cannot be reduced to any single system, whether it is Aristotelian, Toulmin, or any other. But you know a good argument when you see that claims are clear, support is good, and evidence is solid. (A sound argumentative essay also typically deals with the opposition and anticipates the possible objections of readers—what Toulmin calls “the conditions of rebuttal.”) As you read the five essays appearing next in this chapter, begin to develop a critical perspective on the terms and conditions of argumentation and the various rhetorical and stylistic strategies writers use to bring you around to their point of view.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues

BARBARA EHRENREICH
From Stone Age to Phone Age
Biologist Barbara Ehrenreich (she got her Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in 1968) became involved in political activism during the Vietnam War and began writing on topics such as feminism, class in America, and health care. Her books include The American Health Empire: Power, Profits, and Politics (1970) and The Hearts of Men: American Dreams and the Flight from Commitment (1983). She has written for the Progressive, In These Times, the Nation, Time, and many other magazines. Her book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (2001), recounting her experience working in low-class jobs, was a bestseller. In this selection, which appeared in 1999, Ehrenreich takes a whimsical look at the ubiquitous phenomenon of cell phones.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

If you use a cell phone, how is it useful? Why did you want one in the first place? Could you live without it? Why or why not? If you don’t own a cell phone, do you want one? Explain.

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 19

Words to Watch primal (par. 1) old, instinctive savanna (par. 2) area of tropical grasslands hordes (par. 3) large groups eons (par. 4) millions of years convivial (par. 12) friendly, social atomized (par. 12) broken up into small units was struck by the primal force of my craving for a cell phone. Obviously, others must have felt this, too, since there are now an estimated 100 million people worldwide running around and talking into the air, with only a small black object nestling against one ear to distinguish them from the deinstitutionalized psychotics. It had become impossible to go anywhere—out on the street, to a shopping mall, or to an airport—without noticing that every other person in earshot was engaged in a vast and urgent ongoing conversation which excluded only myself. For a stylish explanation of primal urges and even ordinary whims, we turn to evolutionary psychology, which claims that we do what we do because our apelike ancestors once did the same thing. It doesn’t matter that our ape-like ancestors did not possess cell phones; they no doubt had cellphone-related urges. Like most of our primate cousins, humans are social animals. Paleo-anthropologists think we got this way when we left the safety of the forests for the wide open savanna, where we had to band together for defense against a slew of nasty predators. Hence, we are hardwired for wireless telecommunications, or at least for the need to be verbally connected to others of our kind—in case a leopard is lurking nearby. The explosion of cell phone use is simply a reflection of the genetically scripted human inclination to huddle in groups. There is another interpretation of the evolutionary psychology of cell phones, according to which the cell phone users are seeking not fellowship but isolation from the hordes of fellow humans around them. To a non-cellphone user, the cell phoners marching through supermarkets and malls project an aura of total inaccessibility. Maybe they are really having meaningful and satisfying conversations. And maybe they are simply trying to repel the advances of any phone-less fellow humans who happen to be physically present. In their 1992 book, The Social Cage: Human Nature and the Evolution of Society (Stanford University Press), Alexandra Maryanski and Jonathan H. Turner argue that for eons before our ancestors were forced to band together in the savanna, they lived contented solitary lives in the trees, much like orangutans today. Our arboreal ancestors were probably pleased to run into others of their own kind only at mating time; otherwise, they regarded each other as competitors for the nicest berries and comfiest nesting spots. If these orangutan-type pre-humans had cell phones, they would have used them to signal each other: “Bug off. Can’t you see I have an important call right now?”

I

1

2

3

4

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

20 5

Reading Arguments

6

7

8

9 10

11

12

Yet another evolutionary-psychological factor probably contributed to cell phone mania. Since the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, and possibly well before then, humans have lived in hierarchical societies where we have been eager to signal our status with accessories such as feather-tufted spears and shrunken-head pendants. Cell phones serve much the same function, and will continue to do so until they become as common as Walkmen. Thus, the point is not to communicate with distant kin and colleagues, but with all the anonymous others who are around at the moment. If you doubt this, consider when you last heard someone say into a cell phone: “Yes, I am a worthless turd, and if I screw up again, please hasten to fire me.” What the person is saying, instead, is invariably, “God damn it, Craig, I told you we need that order by Thursday and no later,” or something very similar. It was the opportunity to speak commandingly in public places that tempted me, for several years, to find a fake cell phone designed for playpen use so that I, too, could stride along the sidewalk barking at imaginary brokers and underlings. As soon as I got my own cell phone, I was disappointed to find that, although we may have evolved to be psychologically cell-phonedependent, our anatomy is still stuck in the era when technology consisted of a sharpened stone. For one thing, our fingertips are too fat for the keypad, so that it takes several tries to dial even “911” with any degree of accuracy. Then there’s the tiny size of the phones themselves—more appropriate to a lemur or some other remote primate ancestor than to full-grown Homo sapiens. My own phone’s total length is about four-and-a-half inches, so that if I wish to speak and listen at the same time, I have to reduce the distance between mouth and ear by screwing my mouth way over into my right cheek, as if suffering an attack of extreme insecurity. The only hope is that the process of natural selection will soon lead to humans with antenna-like fingers and mouths situated at temple level. Another problem is that my relationships with other humans have not yet evolved to the point that would be truly helpful in the cell phone era. I have the usual quota of friends, relatives, and so-called business associates, but none of them is so underemployed that I can call and ask: “Hey there, you got a few minutes to walk me over to the bank so that I don’t look like I, uh, don’t have anyone to talk to?” Sometimes there is no alternative but to dial up 1-900-WEATHER and pretend to converse with it, and I suspect that many other cell phone users are doing the same. So here’s what I conclude about the evolutionary psychology of cell phones: We are social animals, no question about it, better suited to traveling in convivial bands, hooting and chattering, than to wandering alone in crowds. But few such convivial bands exist within our famously atomized and individualistic capitalist society, where most human relationships now take the sinister form of “deals.” So we have regressed to a modified orang-

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 21 utan state: Despairing of true sociality, we settle for faking it. The satisfaction, such as it is, lies in making our equally lonely fellow humans feel jealous. I do have one new friend, though. Everywhere I go now, it comes along, 13 tucked neatly in my pocket or purse. At night I plug it into the wall to recharge, and hear its happy little beep as the nurturing current flows in. Sometimes I take it out during the day, play with its keypad, and confide into its mouthpiece for a moment. Pathetic? Perhaps, but it’s not easy striding out into that savanna alone.

Building Vocabulary
Define the following terms from the professional vocabulary of the social sciences: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. psychotics (par. 1) evolutionary psychology (par. 2) primate cousins (par. 2) paleo-anthropologists (par. 2) hierarchical societies (par. 5) Homo sapiens (par. 10) natural selection (par. 10) capitalist (par. 12)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What does the writer mean by the “primal force” of her “craving for a cell phone”? (par. 1) 2. What scientific discipline does the writer use to explain her urge for a cell phone? Why does she choose that discipline? 3. What is the paleo-anthropologists’ explanation for why humans are “social animals”? 4. What are two other interpretations, from the world of evolutionary psychology, for why people like to talk on cell phones? 5. Why, according to the writer, would people pretend to be on a cell phone? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. Why does the writer admit at the start of her essay that she craved a cell phone? What argumentative purpose does that serve? 2. What are Ehrenreich’s implied warrant or warrants in this essay? 3. How does she move from discussing herself and her personal relation to cell phones to discussing humanity as a whole? Why does she do this? 4. Where is the writer’s central claim? Write the sentence that best expresses it.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

22

Reading Arguments

5. Ehrenreich offers several variations on the theme of her claim. List those variations and paraphrase each one. 6. What is the writer’s tone? How do you know? Use quotes from the essay to demonstrate your answer. 7. How does the writer’s argument change after she says, in paragraph 8, that she got her own cell phone? 8. Near the end of her essay, the writer attempts to reconcile the variations on the theme of her claim and make one central argument. What is that argument, and is her closing effective?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. There are two types of arguments here: serious attempts at a critique of cell phone use and flip, jokey attempts at humor. Give an example of each, and analyze the writer’s use of humor. 2. After answering question 1, discuss whether you think the jokey quality of the essay is effective or not, and explain your answer. 3. One of the points is that cell phones are status symbols. Explain why you think that is either true or not true.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Jot down recollections of incidents when you have seen and heard someone talk on a cell phone in an inappropriate place or in an inappropriate way. Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay in which you argue that there are some places where cell phones should not be allowed. Before writing, make sure that you build evidence, coming up with good examples to back up your minor propositions.
1. Begin by establishing rapport with the reader by making it clear that you too use a cell phone or that you are not against cell phones as a rule. 2. Explain the fact that people can often be rude. 3. Make your claim in a clear, declarative sentence. 4. Offer several examples for cell-phone-free zones, using examples to back up your claims. 5. Anticipate one objection for each of your points. 6. It is important to conclude with a statement of solidarity with cell phone users, except for the rude ones.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Form into groups of three or four. In these groups, discuss modern technological devices other than cell phones that are used widely or becoming increasingly popular. Each group should choose one device and apply Ehrenreich’s method to that device. Come up with at least two or three explanaResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 23 tions based in paleo-anthropology. Then each student should write a paragraph on the topic chosen by the group. Exchange paragraphs and peer-critique them.

Writing About the Text Ehrenreich published this article in 1999, when cell phones were just starting to become popular. Cell phones are much more common now. How is Ehrenreich’s essay out of date? How could you update it and still keep her central claim? Is it possible to write an essay such as this without the risk of being out of date several years later? Write an essay responding to one or more of these questions. More Writing Ideas 1. Many states are passing laws that ban drivers from talking on handheld cell phones. Many drivers disagree with these laws. In your journal, come up with reasons for both sides of the argument. 2. Write a paragraph or two about the benefits cell phones have brought to humankind. 3. Find a magazine ad for cell phone service or for a kind of cell phone with special features and analyze the images and text in the advertisement. Write an essay comparing the promises the ad makes to the consumer—both stated and implied—with the realities of owning and using a cell phone.

WOODY HOCHSWENDER
Did My Car Join Al Qaeda?
A former reporter and fashion columnist for The New York Times, Woody Hochswender has also edited for Esquire magazine. He is the coauthor of The Buddha in Your Mirror, a book that attempts to apply the lessons of Buddhism to everyday life. In this selection Hochswender, who lives in Connecticut, defends his use of the small truck known as the SUV, or sport utility vehicle.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
The SUV famously gets very low gas mileage, and thus conservationists accuse drivers of SUVs of being wasteful. What do you think about drivers of SUVs? If a friend or someone in your family has an SUV, do you agree with the purchase? Why or why not?
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Words to Watch petrodollars (par. 2) money from oil and gasoline transmigrate (par. 2) move implicate (par. 3) accuse of guilt
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

24

Reading Arguments

insidious (par. 4) sinister, dangerous propensity (par. 6) tendency harrowing (par. 6) terrifying voracious (par. 8) hungry 1 2 drive a large, four-wheel-drive vehicle. Does that mean I’m a bad person? You might think so, from all the sturm und drang we’ve heard lately from the Virtuous Ones who insist that America’s fuel consumption— indeed, our very style of life—is somehow responsible for the enmity toward us in the Middle East, not to mention the rest of the world. A series of TV commercials put together by the columnist Arianna Huffington and Lawrence Bender, the Hollywood producer behind “Pulp Fiction,” have even linked S.U.V.’s with Mideast terrorism. The idea is that the petrodollars transmigrate from the Gas ‘n’ Go to the oil sheiks to the hands of maniacs wielding AK-47’s. Leaving aside for the moment that this is trendy, illogical thinking—and leaving aside also the odd sensation of being lectured on socially responsible behavior by the producer of “Pulp Fiction”—isn’t this really a backdoor way of blaming America for Sept. 11 and other crimes like it? Those who implicate Americans—particularly our adventurous habits, offbeat choices and breathtaking freedoms, including the freedom to drive to a poetry reading followed by dinner at a French restaurant in the midst of a raging snowstorm—validate the terrorists as essentially right. Where I live, about 100 miles north of New York City, at least half of all the vehicles you see on the road are S.U.V.’s or other light trucks. They make a great deal of sense. This is not just because we have plenty of long steep driveways and miles and miles of dirt roads. We also have had more than 70 inches of snow this winter. When the sun goes down and the melted snow re-freezes, the roads are covered with insidious stretches of black ice. Four-wheel-drive vehicles allow workers to get to and from their jobs, and parents to transport their children safely to school, sporting events, ballet classes and the rest. Yes, there is something vaguely obscene about driving solo to the supermarket in Beverly Hills to pick up a carton of milk in your two-ton Navigator. But not so much in Portland or Green Bay or Chicago. The well-publicized notion that S.U.V.’s are actually unsafe, based on their propensity to roll over, does not take into account personal responsibility. Rollover accidents tend to be something the driver has a substantial degree of control over. I choose not to whip around corners or to follow others so closely and at such high speeds that I have to make harrowing emergency stops. I drive so as not to roll over. However, if some drunken driver veers across the center divider—a situation I have no control over—I would prefer that my 9-year-old and I not be inside a Corolla. From the standpoint of a reasoned individualism, S.U.V.’s are safer in many situations than cars. I think a lot of intelligent people realize that.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

I

3

4

5

6

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

7

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 25 Of course, S.U.V.’s use a lot of gas. This goes for my wife’s all-wheel-drive 8 Volvo as well as for my voracious mistress, my 1989 GMC. But a car’s milesper-gallon rating is only one measure of fuel efficiency. Miles driven is another. People who drive light trucks quickly learn not to drive around aimlessly. We tend to combine trips and to keep engines finely tuned and tires properly inflated. It all comes down to home economics. What are we supposed to do now, turn our S.U.V.’s in? En masse? Only 9 the independently wealthy can treat their cars purely as fashion items. The S.U.V.-bashers’ argument also falls apart on macro-economic 10 grounds. Were we to somehow cut our national fuel consumption by 20 percent, would that deprive the terrorism sponsors of cash? Unfortunately, the world oil market is, well, a market. Even if America were energy independent, there is no guarantee that Exxon, Texaco, and Getty—or, for that matter, France, the Netherlands, and Japan—would cease buying oil from Middle Eastern states. My guess is that this campaign has less to do with politics and econom- 11 ics than with an American tendency to mind everybody else’s business. So busybodies, let me ask you a question. How big is your house? Ms. Huffington’s is reported to be 9,000 square feet. We all know what it costs to heat and air-condition a joint like that. A couple of years ago I replaced the aging oil furnace in my 3,000-square-foot house with a new fuel-injected system. It saves me about 800 gallons of oil a year. Hey, that’s almost precisely the yearly fuel consumption of my GMC. I think of that as progress for me, as a world citizen. Maybe I’m not such a bad person after all.

Building Vocabulary
Hochswender uses some common phrases and idioms to enrich his essay. Below are some that he uses. Explain what each phrase or idiom means, and use each in a sentence: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. sturm und drang (par. 2) whip around corners (par. 6) home economics (par. 8) en masse (par. 9) macro-economic (par. 10) energy independent (par. 10) busybodies (par. 11) a joint (par. 11)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What is the major objection against driving SUVs, according to the writer? What is he being accused of? 2. What does the writer mean when he says, “Those who implicate Americans . . . validate the terrorists as essentially right”? (par. 3)
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

26

Reading Arguments

3. How does the SUV make life easier for the writer? 4. Why is the SUV safer than a smaller car? 5. The writer admits in paragraph 8 that the SUV uses a great deal of gasoline. How does he defend himself against the accusation of being wasteful? 6. The writer says that “the SUV-bashers’ argument also falls apart on macro-economic grounds.” (par. 10) What does he mean by this? How does the argument fall apart, according to him?

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What do you think about the opening? Is it effective? 2. Who is the audience? How does that affect the tone of this essay? 3. Where does the writer express his major proposition most clearly and fully? 4. Hochswender has several minor propositions, and they are essentially of two kinds: propositions that are positive reasons to own SUVs and propositions that are rebuttals to perceived oppositions. Make an outline of the propositions offered in the body of his essay. 5. In paragraph 7, the writer mentions his 9-year-old child. Why does he do that? What is the effect of bringing a child into the argument? 6. In paragraph 7, the writer states, “I think a lot of intelligent people realize that.” To what is he referring, and what argumentative purpose does this serve? 7. Which minor proposition do you find most effective? Why? 8. What do you think of the conclusion? 9. Why does the writer echo his statement from the beginning of the essay? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. One of the writer’s arguments is that he drives “so as not to roll over.” (par. 6) Why is this proposition weak? Could you strengthen his argument in this section? 2. One objection that some people have to SUVs that the writer doesn’t mention is that although they might be safer for those driving them, they can be dangerous to those in smaller cars in the event of an accident. What might the author say to defend against this charge? 3. Paragraph 9 is short, but it includes an interesting idea. Paraphrase the idea, and think of a rebuttal to the point.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Make a list of lifestyle choices that you have made, actions that you perform often, or decisions that still have an impact on your life now (smoking, piercing), that people might have objections to, and try to come up with answers to objections.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 27

Writing a Guided Argument Woody Hochswender saw an aspect of his lifestyle that the media and people around him were attacking, and he wrote an essay defending himself. Write an essay in which you identify an aspect of your lifestyle that someone conceivably could object to on moral grounds, and defend yourself against the charges. For example, you might smoke cigarettes or cigars; you might consume alcohol; you might like loud music.
1. Begin by explaining your lifestyle choice to your reader, appealing to the reader’s compassion. 2. Continue by describing the person or people who accuse you of acting poorly because of your lifestyle choice. 3. Next, offer a minor proposition that explains a positive side of your choice. 4. Then explain one of the objections to your choice, and give your rebuttal. 5. Repeat the process in order, alternating a positive idea with a rebuttal. 6. Emphasize an emotional appeal to the reader. 7. Conclude the essay with a reiteration of the beginning appeal.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, compare the lists you made for the Prewriting exercise. Allow your fellow students to help you choose a lifestyle choice that would be best for the Guided Argument assignment, and then ask them for objections to your choice. Collect their answers and use them in your rebuttals. Writing About the Text In an essay, answer Hochswender’s question to his audience in the negative—that no, he is not a bad person, but argue that he has a bad argument. Analyze his argument for him, focusing on how successful his individual points are. Address each minor proposition in his essay, and offer some suggestions for revisions. More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, freewrite about this topic: freedoms you enjoy that might hurt other people. Write for 15 minutes without editing your writing. Then exchange your writing with a partner and discuss your ideas as a possible basis for an essay. 2. Write a paragraph in which you critique the argumentative basis for this statement: “Everyone does it, so I should be allowed to also.” Is there anything valid about that reasoning? Explain your answer fully. 3. Terrorism, of course, is the reason Hochswender wrote this essay in the first place. He was upset that people accused him and other SUV drivers of supporting terrorism. Write an essay about other day-to-day activities that you think unintentionally might support terrorism.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

28

Reading Arguments

JAMES TRAUB
All Go Down Together
James Traub is a freelance writer and the author of Too Good to Be True (1990), a book about a corporate corruption and fraud case in New York in the 1980s, and City on a Hill (1994), a history of City College of New York, a public institution in Harlem. He has also written a book about Times Square in New York, The Devil’s Playground (2004). In this selection, Traub addresses the pitfalls of the country’s all-volunteer military and a possible alternative.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
France and Israel, among other countries, require all citizens of a certain age to serve in the military for a fixed term. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?

Words to Watch beneficiaries (par. 1) those benefiting deferment (par. 1) putting off until later conscription (par. 2) military draft equitable (par. 2) fair imperative (par. 5) necessity calculus (par. 6) method of figuring out 1 hen Richard Nixon abolished the draft in 1973, I was one of the beneficiaries. I had just become eligible, and in the normal course of things I would have been assigned a lottery number. Of course, it’s unlikely that I would have donned a uniform even if I had come up No. 1; there was always a way out if you had access to the right lawyers and doctors. At the time, I knew literally no one who served—no one. Thanks to college deferment, during the Vietnam War, college students served at only half the rate of highschool graduates, and the higher up you went in the socioeconomic scale, the likelier it was that you would keep out of harm’s way. 2 But what if conscription were equitable and were used to fill a military that was widely respected rather than scorned? This was the case, after all, in the period between the Korean and Vietnam Wars, when military service was widely accepted as the price of citizenship. Why wouldn’t that be true today? Why wouldn’t it be just the kind of sacrifice young Americans would agree to make at a time of heightened patriotism? The idea has been in the air since earlier this year, when Representative Charles Rangel of New York introduced a bill to restore conscription. Since Rangel got a grand total of 11 cosponsors, it is safe to say that conscription is an idea whose time has not come, but it’s still one worth thinking seriously about. 3 The most obvious objection to a restoration of the draft is that the all-volunteer force, as it is known, is one of the most successful institutions in the
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

W

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 29 country. The A.V. F. is both the world’s most powerful fighting force and a shining example of harmonious race relations and affirmative action. When asked about the draft, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has essentially said, Why fix what isn’t broken? There are several answers to this question. First of all, the war on terrorism is already straining the military and imposing terrible burdens on reservists. Second, we may soon be redefining such civilian tasks as border patrol and airport security as military ones, thus requiring a much larger uniformed force. Charles Moskos, a professor of sociology at Northwestern and an expert on military affairs, has proposed a three-tier draft involving a military, a homeland defense and a civilian component, the last essentially a form of “national service.” So a draft would satisfy manpower needs that an all-volunteer force might not. It would also almost certainly be cheaper. But the ultimate justification for conscription must be moral. Both 4 Rangel and Moskos argue that the A.V. F. recruits working-class young men and women with bleak job prospects and pays them to put their lives on the line. “These people should not have to die merely because they were born to a class of people that lacked the advantages of other people,” as Rangel says. There is also an important issue of political philosophy. Conscription assumes a relationship between citizen and state that makes most conservatives, and many liberals, uncomfortable. Libertarian conservatives like Milton Friedman object vehemently to any form of compulsion on the part of the state that’s not absolutely unavoidable. Liberals have traditionally feared the use to which the state puts its soldiers. In 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, the political philosopher Michael Walzer wrote that since many citizens are bound to find almost any use of military power unjust, conscription may be justified only when the state’s very existence is threatened. We owe the state no more than that. But is that so? In the age of terrorism, doesn’t the imperative of self-de- 5 fense go well beyond acts of direct territorial threat? What’s more, is the draft really a form of tyranny? We live in a culture in which everyone has rights and no one has obligations; the social contract has never been so wan. Perhaps now that our collective safety is jeopardized, the time has come to rethink that contract. Moskos says that in the Princeton class of 1956, from which he graduated, 450 of 750 men served in the military. Last year, Moskos says, 3 of Princeton’s approximately 1,000 graduates served. That can’t be a good thing for the country. Of course, the country was at peace in 1956. A young man or woman 6 drafted today might very well face combat—and might even have to serve in a war, like Iraq, that he or she considered wrongheaded—the Walzer problem. Perhaps draftees could be permitted to elect other forms of national service. But a truly democratic draft might also, as Rangel suggests, alter the strategic calculus: if the children of journalists, legislators and policy experts were called to military service, we might do a more thorough, and a more honest, job of deciding exactly what it is that’s worth fighting for.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

30 7

Reading Arguments

I have a 12-year-old son. The idea that in six or seven years Alex might be drafted is a little bit comical, but mostly appalling. My wife thinks I’m crazy even to suggest the idea. Nevertheless, it’s true that we live in a genuinely threatening world; that is, alas, the very reason that military service, or at least some kind of service, should be mandatory, rather than a matter of individual conscience or marketplace choice.

Building Vocabulary
1. Traub uses some words that refer to political ideologies and situations. Identify the following and offer examples from history or the present day: a. conservatives (par. 4) b. liberals (par. 4) c. libertarian (par. 4) d. tyranny (par. 5) 2. A number of words in this essay refer to social service concepts. Identify the following and use them in a sentence of your own: a. socioeconomic scale (par. 1) b. bill (par. 2) c. co-sponsors (par. 2) d. affirmative action (par. 3) e. social contract (par. 5)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why does the writer start his essay with his experience? 2. Why did Richard Nixon abolish the draft in 1973? 3. During the Vietnam War, why were wealthier young men able to “keep out of harm’s way”? (par. 1) 4. Why do Charlie Rangel and other members of Congress want to restore conscription? 5. What is the writer’s answer to the objection that the all-volunteer military is working well as it is? 6. The writer gives statistics in paragraph 5 for the number of students in two classes at Princeton who served in the military. Why does he do this? 7. Why does the writer mention his son at the end of his essay? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the tone in this essay? Who is the audience, and how does this affect the tone? 2. Where does his claim appear most clearly? If you don’t see the claim, how does the essay succeed without it? 3. What is the argumentative effect of opening this essay with a personal recollection? 4. What, according to the writer, is the main ground for his claim? Where does he express it most clearly?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 31 5. In paragraphs 3 and 5, the writer asks rhetorical questions. Why does he do this, and how effective are they? In the conclusion, what is the rhetorical effect of the writer’s mentioning his son and his wife? How effective is the technique? 6. In addition to responding to arguments by the opposition, the writer puts forward his own arguments. What are these, and why are they presented in the order in which they are presented? 7. What is the meaning of the title? How does it reflect Traub’s claim?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Traub says in paragraph 2 that the lack of congressional support for the Rangel bill shows that “conscription is an idea whose time has not come, but it’s still one worth thinking seriously about.” Does this admission weaken the argument or strengthen it? Why? 2. In this essay, the writer is never absolutely specific about what a draft would entail. Is this a problem with the argument? Why or why not? What do you think would be the writer’s answer if you asked him what form he preferred the draft came in? 3. Paraphrase the writer’s argument in paragraph 6. What is “the Walzer problem”? Are you convinced by the argument in this paragraph? Explain your answer fully.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Do a focused 10 to 15 minute freewrite about what you think your reaction would be if you were drafted to be in the United States military right now. Writing a Guided Argument Pretend that the United States has reinstated the draft, and both men and women are eligible. Write a letter to the draft board either telling them that you will appear as requested, or that you refuse to serve, knowing that the former decision could put you in harm’s way and that the latter decision could mean jail time. For either choice, explain yourself fully.
1. Begin, “Dear Draft Board:” 2. Indicate your own particular socioeconomic level, and explain why this has influenced your choice and why it is relevant to your argument. 3. Give at least two grounds for your choice, referring at least once to the arguments over the obligation of the citizen to the state as introduced in paragraph 4 of Traub’s essay. 4. Write a rebuttal to a perceived objection to your choice. 5. Include evidence in the form of examples or cause-and-effect analysis for each of your points.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

32

Reading Arguments

6. Conclude your letter by saying that your choice is one that all young people should make, and reiterate the grounds for your decision. 7. Sign your name (don’t worry—it’s not official).

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Exchange a draft of your Guided Argument assignment with a classmate. Review your partner’s essay for its success in following the steps. Is the major proposition expressed as a choice? Is the major proposition reflected in the minor propositions? Is there sufficient evidence to back up the minor propositions? Write a paragraph evaluating the essay and suggesting revisions. Writing About the Text Traub writes several statements in this selection that point to the political spectrum, from conservative to liberal, but he never identifies his own politics. In fact, he seems to avoid the subject explicitly. Try to identify Traub’s political bent or ideology and write an argumentative essay to defend your claim. More Writing Ideas 1. What does a citizen owe his or her country? What is “the price of citizenship”? Write about this in your journal. 2. Write a paragraph in which you argue in favor of or against Charles Moskos’s proposed three-tier draft. 3. In an essay, argue that the situation in the United States today falls under Michael Walzer’s criterion for conscription, that “the state’s very existence is threatened.”

PAUL KRUGMAN
A Failed Mission
Paul Krugman went to college at Yale University and received his doctorate from MIT in 1977. Since then he has taught at Yale, Stanford, and MIT, and he now holds a position at Princeton University. Krugman’s work on economics, especially in the field of international trade, has been significant; he received the prestigious John Bates Clark medal for economics in 1991. Krugman has written extensively on many topics. In this article he presents an unpopular argument about the space shuttle. The piece appeared in The New York Times soon after the Columbia shuttle exploded in the atmosphere in early 2003.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
Do you remember the space shuttle Columbia disaster? What were your feelings at the time, or now, reflecting on it? More specifically, what does the accident say about humanity’s desire to explore space? Why is the endeavor important?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 33

Words to Watch boon (par. 3) benefit prohibitively (par. 6) not allowing epiphany (par. 8) sudden realization dubious (par. 9) questionable ome commentators have suggested that the Columbia disaster is more than a setback—that it marks the end of the whole space shuttle program. Let’s hope they’re right. I say this with regret. Like millions of other Americans, I dream of a day when humanity expands beyond Earth, and I’m still a sucker for well-told space travel stories—I was furious when Fox canceled “Firefly.” I also understand that many people feel we shouldn’t retreat in the face of adversity. But the shuttle program didn’t suddenly go wrong last weekend; in terms of its original mission, it was a failure from the get-go. Indeed, manned space flight in general has turned out to be a bust. The key word here is “manned.” Space flight has been a huge boon to mankind. It has advanced the cause of science: for example, cosmology, and with it our understanding of basic physics, has made huge strides through space-based observation. Space flight has also done a lot to improve life here on Earth, as space-based systems help us track storms, communicate with one another, even find out where we are. This column traveled 45,000 miles on its way to The New York Times: I access the Internet via satellite. Yet almost all the payoff from space travel, scientific and practical, has come from unmanned vehicles and satellites. Yes, astronauts fitted the Hubble telescope with new eye glasses; but that aside, we have basically sent people into space to show that we can. In the 1960’s, manned space travel was an extension of the cold war. After the Soviet Union dropped out of the space race, we stopped visiting the moon. But why do we still send people into orbit? In space, you see, people are a nuisance. They’re heavy; they need to breathe; trickiest of all, as we have so tragically learned, they need to get back to Earth. One result is that manned space travel is extremely expensive. The space shuttle was supposed to bring those costs down, by making the vehicles reusable—hence the deliberately unglamorous name, suggesting a utilitarian bus that takes astronauts back and forth. But the shuttle never delivered significant cost savings—nor could it really have been expected to. Manned space travel will remain prohibitively expensive until there is a breakthrough in propulsion—until chemical rockets are replaced with something better. And even then, will there be any reason to send people, rather than our ever more sophisticated machines, into space? I had an epiphany a few months ago while reading George Dyson’s “Project Orion,” which tells the true story of America’s efforts to build a nuclear-powered spacecraft. The project was eventually canceled, in part because the proposed propulsion system—a series of small nuclear
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

S

1

2

3

4

5

6

7 8

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

34

Reading Arguments

explosions—would have run afoul of the test-ban treaty. But if the project had proceeded, manned spacecraft might have visited much of the solar system by now. Faced with the thought that manned space travel—the real thing, not the 9 show NASA puts on to keep the public entertained—could already have happened if history had played out a bit differently. I was forced to confront my youthful dreams of space flight with the question, So what? I found myself trying to think of wonderful things people might have done in space these past 30 years—and came up blank. Scientific observation? Machines can do that. Mining the asteroids? A dubious idea—but even if it makes sense, machines can do that too. (A parallel: Remember all those predictions of undersea cities? Sure enough, we now extract lots of valuable resources from the ocean floor—but nobody wants to live there, or even visit in person.) The sad truth is that for many years NASA has struggled to invent rea10 sons to put people into space—sort of the way the Bush administration struggles to invent reasons to . . . but let’s not get into that today. It’s an open secret that the only real purpose of the International Space Station is to give us a reason to keep flying space shuttles. Does that mean people should never again go into space? Of course not. 11 Technology marches on: someday we will have a cost-effective way to get people into orbit and back again. At that point it will be worth rethinking the uses of space. I’m not giving up on the dream of space colonization. But our current approach—using hugely expensive rockets to launch a handful of people into space, where they have nothing much to do—is a dead end.

Building Vocabulary
The following are concepts and terms of which the author of this selection assumes knowledge. Identify and define: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. cosmology (par. 3) Hubble telescope (par. 4) cold war (par. 4) space race (par. 4) NASA (par. 9) asteroids (par. 9) International Space Station (par. 10)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why has space flight been a “huge boon to mankind”? (par. 3) 2. Why, according to the writer, did we pursue manned space travel starting in the 1950s? 3. Why is manned space flight a “nuisance”? 4. How has the space shuttle not fulfilled its promise?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 35 5. What is the writer’s reaction to his realization that manned space travel to the entire solar system is possible? 6. How does the writer compare the ocean floor to space? 7. In paragraph 10, the author writes that “NASA has struggled to invent reasons to put people into space—sort of the way the Bush administration struggles to invent reasons to . . . but let’s not get into that today.” To what is he referring, and why does he include this reference?

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the writer’s claim in this essay? Where does he best express it? 2. Why does he start out by saying that he hopes the Columbia disaster would spell the end of the space shuttle program? What rhetorical effect is he going for? Is it effective? Explain your answer. 3. What is the writer’s tone in this essay? Is the chosen tone effective? Why or why not? Rewrite paragraph 5 to make the tone more serious. 4. Why does Krugman place the word manned in quotation marks? 5. What is the rhetorical effect of the writer’s question in paragraph 7? 6. How many minor propositions does the writer have? List them. 7. Is the closing effective? Why or why not? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Why does Krugman argue that we should end the space shuttle program without suggesting an alternative? Do you think he has an alternative in mind? What might that be? 2. Has space flight been, as Krugman says, a “boon for mankind,” or have there been negative effects in our forays into space? Explain your answer. 3. At the end of his essay, the writer uses the phrase “dead end.” Remember that this was written a short time after the Columbia exploded. Do you think the writer’s language is insensitive or inappropriate? Why or why not? Where else could his language be considered insensitive?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Think about how popular culture images of space have influenced our desire to explore the solar system and beyond. Freewrite for at least 10 minutes about which TV shows, movies, or images you think have influenced space travel.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Writing a Guided Argument Pretend you are an official at NASA, and you have read Paul Krugman’s column. Form a rebuttal to his arguments and write your own argument in an essay, explaining why the space shuttle program must go on. Do some

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

36

Reading Arguments

research online, if necessary, to build evidence. Examine NASA’s Web site for information about the shuttle. 1. Begin with a reference to Krugman’s essay and an explanation that he is not the only one who feels this way. 2. Gain sympathy for NASA and the space shuttle program by casting the agency as having the minority opinion. 3. State your major proposition clearly. 4. Offer your central ground for the survival of the space shuttle program clearly, with evidence to support your idea. 5. Rebut at least one of Krugman’s points, quoting from his essay and critiquing the quote. 6. Link paragraphs between rebuttals with appropriate transitions. 7. In your conclusion, appeal once more to the reader’s emotions and sense of hope.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, discuss the freewriting you did for the Prewriting exercise. Attempt to develop a claim about how popular culture about space and the real-life space program affect each other. In your group, work together to make an outline for an essay on the topic. Writing About the Text Write an essay on Krugman’s style. Examine his use of idiom and vocabulary. What does the fact that Krugman wrote this as a newspaper column suggest about why he chose his style? Does it make a difference that the column appeared in The New York Times? More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, make a list of everything that comes to mind about the phrase “space shuttle.” Share your list with your fellow students. Are their lists similar? Different? How so? 2. In a paragraph, speculate on how the history of the space shuttle could have been a success. What would have made it a success, especially in Krugman’s eyes? 3. Some experts think that the future of manned space travel is not astronauts doing science experiments but rather commercial travel— tourism. Write an essay arguing either that space tourism is a good idea or that it is a bad one.

ANNA QUINDLEN
One Nation, Indivisible? Wanna Bet?
Anna Quindlen has written extensively, but most visibly as a columnist for The New York Times from 1981 to 1994. In 1992 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her commentary. A collection of columns, Thinking Out Loud,
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing. ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 37 was published in 1993. She is also a novelist. One True Thing (1994) was adapted into a movie in 1998. She is now a columnist for Newsweek magazine’s “Last Word” back-page feature. Her position as an observer of American life serves her well in this selection from Newsweek, which examines the controversy over the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
The Constitution of the United States calls for a separation of religion and government, more commonly known as “church and state.” Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not? When have you seen a blending of church and state in the United States?

Words to Watch impermissible (par. 2) not allowed jingoism (par. 2) excessive patriotism deplorable (par. 4) morally wrong machinations (par. 4) workings spate (par. 6) outburst eschew (par. 6) avoid

E

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

very year somebody or other finds a way to show that American kids are 1 ignorant of history. The complaint isn’t that they don’t know the broad strokes, the rationale the South gave for keeping slaves, the ideas behind the New Deal. It’s always dates and names, the game-show questions that ask what year the Civil War began and who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, the stuff of the stand-up history bee. But if American adults want to give American kids a hard time about their dim knowledge of the past and how it’s reflected in the present, they might first become reasonable role models on the subject. And the modeling could begin with the members of Congress, who with few exceptions went a little nuts when an appeals court in California ruled that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional. I don’t really know whether that is an impermissible breach of the firewall 2 between church and state. The proper boundaries ’twixt secular and sacred have been argued long and hard by legal minds more steeped in the specific intricacies than my own. But I do know this: attempts to make the pledge sound like a cross between the Ten Commandments and the Constitution are laughable, foolish and evidence of the basest sort of political jingoism. So let’s go to the history books, as citizens of this country so seldom do. 3 The Pledge of Allegiance started in 1892 as a set piece in a magazine, nothing more, nothing less. It was written by a man named Francis Bellamy in honor of Columbus Day, a holiday that scarcely exists anymore except in terms of department-store sales and parades. The words “under God” were nowhere in it, hardly surprising since Bellamy had been squeezed out of his

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

38

Reading Arguments

4

5

6

7

8

own church the year before because of his socialist leanings. His granddaughter said he would have hated the addition of the words “under God” to a statement he envisioned uniting a country divided by race, class and, of course, religion. Those two words went into the pledge nearly 50 years ago, and for the most deplorable reason. It was the height of the Red scare in America, when the lives of those aligned or merely flirting with the Communist Party were destroyed by paranoia, a twisted strain of uber-patriotism and the machinations of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, after whom an entire vein of baseless persecution is now named. Contrary to the current political argument that “under God” is not specifically devout, the push to put it in the pledge was mounted by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic men’s organization, as an attempt to counter “godless communism.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill making this law, saying that the words would help us to “remain humble.” Humility had nothing to do with it. Americans are not a humble people. Instead the pledge had become yet another cold-war litmus test. The words “under God” were a way to indicate that America was better than other nations—we were, after all, under the direct protection of the deity—and adding them to the pledge was another way of excluding, of saying that believers were real Americans and skeptics were not. Would any member of Congress have been brave enough at that moment to say that a Pledge of Allegiance that had been good enough for decades was good enough as it stood? Would any member of Congress, in the face of the current spate of unquestioning flag-waving, have been strong enough to eschew leaping to his feet and pressing his hand over his heart, especially knowing that the percentage of atheist voters is in the low single digits? Well, there were a few, a few who said the decision was likely to be overturned anyhow, a few who said there were surely more pressing matters before the nation, a few who were even willing to agree with the appeals court that “under God” probably did not belong in the pledge in a country founded on a righteous division between government and religion. But most of the rest went wild. Even Sen. Hillary Clinton invoked “divine providence,” even Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the court decision “embarrassing.” What was embarrassing was watching all those people— Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives—shout “under God” on the Senate floor, as though government were a pep rally and they were on the sanctified squad. Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire had this to say: “If you don’t believe there’s a God, that’s your privilege, but it is still a nation under God.” Huh? I have a warm personal relationship with God; I often picture her smiling wryly and saying, in the words of Shakespeare’s Puck, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Or perhaps something less fond. Now, as almost 50 years ago, a nation besieged by ideological enemies requires nuanced and judicious statecraft and instead settles for sloganeering, demonizing and politicking. One senator
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 39 said after the court decision was handed down that the Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves. The person who must be spinning is poor Francis Bellamy, who wanted to believe in an inclusive utopia and instead became in our time the father of convenient rhetoric.

Building Vocabulary
This selection requires knowledge of some concepts, issues, and people relating to U.S. politics. Check with a dictionary or other reference work and define, identify, and explain the relevance of the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. the New Deal (par. 1) the Red scare (par. 4) Joseph McCarthy (par. 4) cold war (par. 5) litmus test (par. 5) Sen. Hillary Clinton (par. 7) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (par. 7) Sen. Bob Smith (par. 7)

Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why does Quindlen compare the members of Congress to ignorant schoolchildren? What point is she making? 2. What is the “firewall” between church and state? To what is she referring? 3. What are the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance? 4. What would the writer of the Pledge have thought of the addition of the words “under God” inserted in his work? How do you know? 5. Why were the words “under God” finally inserted into the Pledge? 6. Why were members of Congress so against taking out those words? Did any think taking them out was a good idea? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What tone is set by the title of the essay? 2. The body of the essay includes some strong and combative language that sets a certain tone reflecting how Quindlen feels about the issue. How would you describe that tone, and why? Do you think it is consistent with the title? Why? 3. Where does the major proposition appear most clearly and fully? 4. What argumentative function does the opening serve? 5. Paraphrase the minor proposition in paragraph 2. 6. The writer uses the facts of history to help argue her case. Where in the essay does she do this? Explain why the technique is effective. 7. How do paragraphs 6 and 7 support her position? 8. What is your view of the conclusion? Do you think it is effective? Why or why not?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

40

Reading Arguments

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Quindlen accuses members of Congress of being extreme in their politics. Do you think she is being extreme as well? Why or why not? 2. To help make her case, the author writes in paragraph 5 that “Americans are not a humble people.” Do you think this is true? Why or why not? 3. The author says that the Pledge didn’t have the words “under God” in it for more than 50 years, so why shouldn’t we change it back to how it was? But now the phrase has been in there for almost 50 years. Which tradition should take precedence? Explain your answer fully.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Read the words to “America the Beautiful,” a song that is now sung during the seventh-inning stretch at baseball games in place of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” What is your reaction to the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” in light of this essay? Why is this a different case? Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay arguing that we don’t need a Pledge of Allegiance at all.
1. Open your essay with a recollection of reciting or learning the Pledge and of the first time you thought about the words. 2. Refer to the controversy that Quindlen discusses, using a quote from her essay and commenting on it. 3. Use a tone similar to Quindlen’s. 4. Clearly state your position and the main ground for your position. 5. Anticipate the main objection to dropping the Pledge in one paragraph, and in a separate paragraph, using proper transitions, rebut the objection. 6. Close the body of your essay with an appeal to the true meaning of America. 7. Conclude by restating your position in light of your supporting points and your rebuttal.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, examine the concept of jingoism. Where do you see jingoism in your neighborhood? In the media? Write individually on this topic for 10 minutes, and then come together and share your thoughts with your group. Then, as a class, discuss the dangers of jingoism and why it is so tempting. Writing About the Text Quindlen uses a sarcastic tone in this selection. Write an essay in which you argue that this tone and use of language is effective here, and explain why. In your essay, be sure to explain exactly which passages you find sarcastic, and explore why you think she uses that language.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reading and Writing About Five Current Issues 41

More Writing Ideas 1. Do some research on the history of the division between church and state. Quindlen writes that the United States was “founded on a righteous division between government and religion.” In which founding document is this division guaranteed, and where? What exactly does the document say? Write a journal entry exploring the quote you find. 2. Use your work on question 1 to add to Quindlen’s argument. Write a paragraph in which you develop a minor proposition using the evidence you have gathered. 3. What other rights, privileges, or guarantees from the Constitution do you think are eroding in our times? Write an essay on this question, explaining your answer fully.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

2

Writing Arguments

A

s you attend the various courses in your college program, you probably have already noticed that your instructors across the spectrum of study are asking you to take a stand on a topic and support it with thoughtful, wellreasoned detail. In the previous chapter we suggested that the world of academic writing has its roots in argumentation. In history, biology, psychology, sociology, computer applications, education, in midterms and finals and research papers, you have to state a position on an issue, propose (or imply) that position in a thesis, and defend that position logically. An important part of argumentation in the disciplines is persuasion, that is, effecting some action on the part of your reader—from doing something tangible like buying a battery-driven car or joining a political action group to adopting a point of view, such as acknowledging that global warming is a serious threat to the world. As a writer, you need to persuade readers as a result of your appeals to their intelligence, emotions, and beliefs. You’ve already seen that it’s important to distinguish written arguments from the heated verbal interchange you have with roommates, friends, or family members. In such an exchange, your position on an issue can stimulate strong emotions on either side of a topic and arouse passionate feelings (and loud voices). We rarely plan our verbal arguments; mostly they just burst open in the course of conversation, and we just as rarely have the luxury to think them out clearly or to marshal convincing support in our own behalf. Strong written argument, on the other hand, prides itself on its cool logic and substantive details to back up a position. Its purpose is clear. It takes into account its audience. It follows a lucid plan based on careful organization. It builds on appropriate rhetorical strategies—description, narration, comparison and contrast, classification, and definition, to name a few. It draws on reflective research. And through drafting and revision, it develops its thesis through suitable language and style.

The Writing Process
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

As you saw in Chapter 1, we can identify the qualities of well-written arguments when an end product is at hand. As a writer, you need to know how to get to such a place yourself—the production of an effective argumentative paper that is to the point and fulfills the requirements of your assignment. You 42
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

First Steps

43

have to think of writing your argument as the culmination of a process, not simply a one-shot effort but a series of interrelated activities that can help you construct a successful paper. Within the writing process, most writers identify various stages and activities in creating a piece of writing. Although we can name, more or less, the major elements in this process and encourage you to rely on them as you write, we don’t want you to think of them as lock-step procedures where all efforts follow sequentially and require mindless adherence. Many of the steps overlap, some you can take simultaneously, and you may have good reason to skip some steps along the way. The strategies that follow are essential elements in the writing process. We’ll have more to say about many of them later in this chapter as we explore the writing of an argumentative paper. Stages in the Writing Pro’cess • Discuss your ideas with reliable people who can provide an initial reaction to your proposal. • Do preliminary research online and in your library. • Do prewriting—warmup activities before you start to draft your paper. • Limit your topic. • Identify your purpose and audience. • State your claim in a thesis. • Identify supporting details and evidence. • Organize your ideas. • Prepare a first draft. • Share your draft. • Revise your draft based on readers’ comments and suggestions. • Produce and edit your final copy. • Proofread your final draft.

First Steps
After initial thought and preliminary research, the stages of the writing process usually begin with prewriting, a convenient term to identify the limbering-up activities writers produce on paper before they start creating a draft. (You know that the prefix pre means “prior to” or “before.”) This is a very important stage in writing your paper: prewriting helps you thrash out ideas and circle your topic until you can identify clearly what you want to write about. If you begin a draft too soon, you may find that you have to start over and over again, wasting your valuable time and increasing your frustrations as a writer.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Prewriting Options • Make a list of ideas that your topic stimulates in your mind. You can use this list to expand ideas and eliminate others. • Keep a journal of thoughts and ideas. Jot down anything that comes to mind about any topic in an informal notebook that you can return
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

44

Writing Arguments to regularly to help identify a subject that you could develop into an argumentative paper. Freewrite. Write nonstop for 15 minutes or so. Do not stop to edit or revise. Just let your thoughts fill the page, no matter how disjointed or even silly they seem to you as you write. Free association gets words on the page; if you suffer from writer’s block, you know how important it is simply to have something concrete to look at. You can use these words and sentences to zero in on a topic or to eliminate those topics that don’t fit your intended task. Use a visual aid. With a subject map or subject tree, you can write a key word on a blank page and, using lines to indicate roads or branches, follow different elements of the topic by connecting them to lines or shapes that help you track different possibilities. Brainstorm. Raise unedited questions about the topic. Questions can dislodge answers that might set you on the right track to a strong essay. On a sheet of paper, write the reporter’s essential questions, the five W’s—who, what, where, when, why—and also how. Use these to start your own list of questions about your topic. Make a scratch outline. As ideas take shape in your mind, they can suggest linkages and interrelations, and you can capture them in a scratch outline. Write down an aspect of your topic, and underneath it list the various subtopics that come to mind. A scratch outline is an informal first step in organizing your ideas and can help you later on as you aim for a coherent, unified paper.









Of course, you’ll need to pick and choose among these steps. Nobody takes all of them all the time. But if you’re attentive to prewriting efforts, you’ll discover many possibilities for developing a fruitful topic. As we point out later, once you have a topic, you can proceed to writing a thesis around a debatable issue, finding supporting detail to back up your assertions, organizing your information into a coherent entity, and writing an initial draft and any subsequent drafts that advanced thinking on your topic might require. Editing your manuscript and submitting it for review are important culminating acts in the writing process.

Identifying Issues
A manageable topic is the best way to assure that your essay won’t derail as you move through the various stages of the writing process. Where do you begin your efforts to find a topic that you can develop into a thoughtful argument? If your instructor has made an assignment—the extinction of the dinosaurs, let’s say, or the causes of the Boer War, or the psychological manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease—some of your work is done for you. (You’ll still have to limit the topic, no doubt, in ways that we explain later on.) With an open-ended topic, however, you should let your interests and concerns lead you. Are you worried about global warming? Does the death penalty trouble you? Do the potentials of cyberspace stimulate your thoughts? (To the
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Limiting Your Topic 45

© The New Yorker Collection 2000 Harry Bliss from cartoonbank.com. All Rights Reserved.

Point presents controversial essays on these topics; if you’ve read and discussed a selection in class, one of the ideas emerging from the essay may generate a good topic starting point.) The best papers always emerge from a writer’s lively interests, and you want to honor your own curiosity and awareness of the world around you. Some global issue may pique your interest—the American military, taxes, famine in Africa—and you’ll be able to form an opinion about them. Because of their complexity, you’d have to provide convincing reasons and evidence to support your claim. But topics of more personal and immediate concern also have rich potential as argumentative papers, and you should consider them. Should a strip mall open adjacent to the campus? Is the ban of religious symbols in the town square appropriate? Is the nutritional content of Burger King meals open to serious criticism? Should parents of very young girls allow them to participate in beauty contests? On reflection, you may find that a topic that interests you is just not arguable or is not worth arguing about. If you believe that children should never be allowed to sample alcohol, for example, who would disagree with you? Almost everyone concurs that alcohol and children are a dangerous mix, and you’d be shouting in the wind—who would listen?—no matter how strongly you made your case.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Limiting Your Topic
When you have the germ of a topic in mind, you have to limit it. The best way to begin to limit your topic is, as we’ve suggested, thinking carefully in
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

46

Writing Arguments

advance about it through some of the prewriting strategies presented in the previous section, including, of course, browsing on the Web and in the library. You want to narrow down your topic so that you can accomplish your assigned writing task in a reasonable time. Often, you can narrow your topic in stages so that you can reach a desired level of specificity. In the following table, look at the way writers have limited the broad topics in the first column into more productive argumentative essay topics. Items in the last column stand the best chance of developing into powerful argumentative essays. Broad Topic Cell phones Home instruction for children Terrorists Limited Topic Dangers in using cell phones Teaching children basic skills at home Home-grown terrorists Even More Limited The dangers of using cell phones while driving automobiles Teaching reading skills to preschoolers in a home setting Conditions in homes and schools that can create terrorists among American teenagers

Writers using the limited topics will have an easier time than those approaching the issues with too broad a scope. For the topic on cell phones, for instance, the writer can rule out any ideas about their use in public places like restaurants and movie theaters. The writer can rule out skyrocketing costs for cell phones and for required monthly service. Though these topics also might make effective papers, for this writer the issue is the dangers of cell phone use while driving automobiles. Any research efforts would concentrate on that dimension of the topic.

Knowing Your Purpose and Audience
Once you have limited your topic, you have to consider your purpose and audience. Purpose relates to what you hope to accomplish in your essay. Will your argument about the dangers of cell phones center on a narrative of some dangerous uses you witnessed or read about? Will you explain how to avoid the dangers? Will you show the causes and effects of dangerous use? Will you compare and contrast safe and hazardous cell phone uses? Your argumentative essay will allow you great latitude in addressing your topic through proven rhetorical strategies, and you have to determine which will enhance your topic development. In writing your argument, your purpose might be to propose that some belief or activity is good or bad, moral or immoral, harmful or beneficial. You might wish to push your readers to take some course of action that you deem essential or merely to have them consider a familiar issue in a new light. Being certain of your purpose will help you state your claim forcefully as you continue to think about your essay.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Making a Claim in Your Thesis 47 When your purpose is clearly in mind, you need to focus on your intended audience. Just what kind of reader are you aiming for? The glib response here, of course, is “I’m writing for my teacher so I can get a good grade.” That’s true, certainly, but not to the exclusion of other possible audiences: your classmates, perhaps, or the editor of the school newspaper, or the CEO of some company that treated you badly. When writing, it’s always best to imagine specific audiences other than your English professor. In general, your teacher can adapt easily and can assume the personality and characteristics of varied reader audiences. Define a reader, and approach that reader with strategies targeted to her interests. To take one example, with your cell phone topic, just think about how your approach would differ if your were writing your essay for teachers of driver education in urban high schools or for applicants for drivers’ licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles or for high-level executives at AT&T, whose corporate growth over the past several years hinged on increased sales of cellular telephones. Similarly, if you wrote about home teaching, your methods would vary significantly if you wrote for future mothers as opposed to booksellers at a national convention or teachers in your local elementary school. Vocabulary, style, sentence structure, and diction—audience and purpose markedly influence these fundamental elements of writing.

Making a Claim in Your Thesis
Among the many important steps in the writing process, creating a thesis is high on the ladder of developing an argument. In an argumentative essay, you have to take a position on—that is, make a claim about—a topic. Your thesis must present an arguable topic. So even with a limited subject, you need to restrict your paper’s concerns even further: you need to take a position on the topic, and the position on the topic must be debatable. Note how writers have developed theses from the limited topics you looked at before. Limited Topic The dangers in using a cell phone while driving an automobile Teaching reading skills to preschoolers in a home setting
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Possible Thesis The dangers to people who use cell phones while operating an automobile are serious, and current laws requiring “handsfree” technology do not adequately address the problems. Teaching reading to preschoolers at home subverts the teacher’s role, and parents should avoid the trap of becoming their children’s teachers. Home environments with remote, self-absorbed parents and ready access to weaponry—no matter what the social and financial conditions of the household or the psychological makeup of the child—contribute more than any other factor to developing teenage school terrorists.

Conditions in homes and schools that can create terrorists among American teenagers

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

48

Writing Arguments

Note how one could argue easily against any of these claims, which is the best assurance that each has the potential for becoming a successful paper. The topics are arguable; people stand on both sides of the issues. Many writers will produce an antithesis—that is, a thesis sentence opposite to the one they propose—to assure that their own position is arguable.

Possible Thesis The dangers to people who use cell phones while operating an automobile are serious, and current laws requiring “hands-free” technology do not adequately address the problems.

Antithesis “Hands-free” technology has reduced dramatically the dangers of cell-phone use by drivers on the road.

Once again, we put in a few words about flexibility here. Your thesis must be flexible. As you write your first and subsequent drafts, you may have to change your thesis as your topic takes shape and your claim undergoes refinement. Don’t adhere blindly to the thesis you first developed, no matter how good it seems to you. As you marshal evidence, change your thinking, and delve deeply into evidence from many sources, your thesis may change considerably, usually for the good. Just be sure that you state your topic clearly, that you have identified your position on the topic, and that you make a claim that is debatable.

Supporting Your Claim
After you have decided on your position and stated it as your claim in a thesis sentence, you have some important work ahead. Because your objective is to convince readers that your claim is valid and worth considering, only strong supporting detail drawn from personal experience or reliable sources will help you win over your audience. As you’ll see later on, refutation—that is, acknowledging (and also challenging) viewpoints that oppose your own—is a key element in successful argumentation; not only must you discover information that supports your position, but you must also seek information that tells you what the other side is arguing. As you sift through the potential sources of supporting details, pay close attention to what those who disagree with you say. You’ll need to give them due consideration when you write. (We’ll say more about refutation later in this chapter.) If you want to convince readers to accept your claim based on your own observations, you’ll need to draw on concrete sensory detail to evoke the moment you are highlighting. Color, sound, and images of smell and touch all can set your reader in the scene as you see it and help make your points. Drawing on personal experience to support an argument doesn’t prove any-

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Supporting Your Claim

49

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

thing easily, but it can convince readers if the illustration is apt. If you choose to draw on testimony from others—providing proof or evidence—you need to seek out the best possible information to back up your claim about the topic. For example, arguing that global warming is a serious threat based only on days of high heat and humidity in your hometown during a winter season would not easily convince your readers. Similarly, arguing that your state should lower the driving age to 15 based on your own excellent (if illegal) tractor driving on your aunt’s farm would not prove anything really, other than that in a single instance a teenager showed responsibility and skill in manipulating a gas-driven vehicle. You’d need to supplement these moments in your personal life with other convincing examples drawn from personal experience or with expert testimony from reliable sources in books and articles and on Web sites. To prod readers to accept your claim, you often must draw on material that is solid and plentiful, evidence that is plausible, and reasoning that is not faulty. Here, the Internet and library catalogs can point you in the right direction. The World Wide Web has evolved into an invaluable research tool for writers, and you can find list serves and links from which to download abstracts, chapters, articles, and even full books. You already know, no doubt, that amid its many riches, the Web also can lead you on a path to disaster. Misinformation abounds; unreliable sources making wild claims may appear as regular popup windows on your computer or as unsolicited spam e-mail messages. Many chat rooms are notorious hotbeds of hysterical proclamations and assertions that defy logic even on superficial inspection. Also, some assessments on the Web are not current or reliable, or the site may not be open about its biases and objectives. Therefore, we recommend some serious work at your college or local library, where research librarians can help you appraise Web sites and refer you to appropriate electronic sources. Your librarians, of course, also can put you on the trail to books and periodicals that will supplement your cyberspace ventures with solid resources on the library shelves or on microfilm or microfiche. Your initial browsing in the library and on the Web helped you find a topic; now, as we have indicated, you need to amass supporting details to back up the topic you’ve chosen. Read as widely as you can; visit valid Web sites; watch television programs and films; talk with anyone who will listen. Take notes on what you’ve read and seen and be prepared to present some of your materials as evidence to your argument. Use the three C’s as you evaluate your evidence: currency, completeness, and credibility. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself changing the terms of your argument dramatically. The more deeply you explore the topic, the more potential information you have to solidify your position or to alter it dramatically or subtly. With a great deal of resources at hand, you can select those details that seem best to bolster your position.

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

50

Writing Arguments

Organizing Your Argument
The supporting details—the reasons and evidence you garner—make up the grounds of your argument, the key elements that establish the validity of your claim. Your claim, stated in your thesis, establishes your general point of view; the grounds provide the reasons and evidence. As you gather information, you should be thinking of how to organize your materials once you’re ready to begin. You need to keep in mind the way your grounds will devolve to minor propositions and how you actually will use your evidence to support your claim or to refute an opposing claim. You might find it helpful even at this stage to consider using one of the following patterns as a guide when writing your essay. Pattern 1: Refutation First Introduce your claim. State opposing arguments and refute them. Pattern 2: Refutation Last Introduce your claim. State first minor proposition and supporting information. Pattern 3: Refutation Point by Point Introduce your claim. State first minor proposition and supporting information and refute opposing arguments. State second minor proposition and supporting information and refute opposing arguments. State third minor proposition and supporting information and refute opposing arguments. Conclude the essay.

State first minor proposition and supporting information.

State second minor proposition and supporting information.

State second minor proposition and supporting information. State third minor proposition and supporting information. Conclude the essay.

State third minor proposition and supporting information.

State opposing arguments and refute them. Conclude the essay.

We don’t propose these patterns as absolutes, and it’s probably a bit too early in the writing process for you to map out the full approach your essay will take. Nevertheless, keeping in mind the possibilities for organizing your information and conveying it logically will help you over the hurdles when it comes to drafting your paper.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Checking Your Assumptions (or Warrants)
As you learned in Chapter 1, a warrant is the essential underpinning for your assertion. It establishes the certainty underlying a particular claim and its supporting reasons. A firm warrant justifies the supporting information
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Refutation: Meeting the Opposition

51

that you assemble to support your contention. However, if your readers can challenge your warrant, you’ll have to defend it. Why do you have to think about warrants when you write your essays? In many of your argumentative assignments, you can assume that your readers—generally your instructor, other students, family members, or the particular readers that you have defined—are friendly and won’t question the warrants supporting your claim. Yet warrants based on certain cultural assumptions, systems of belief, or core values often require their own defense because they too are debatable. When your warrant is controversial, you need to explain or qualify it. Consider the ongoing debate over abortion rights. Some would use as a warrant the belief that all life from conception is sacred and would build a case from there against all forms of abortion. Others would establish as a warrant that idea that freedom of choice is the principle upon which a woman makes a decision involving abortion. There are numerous additional warrants underlying the abortion debate that often serve as “universal” values that in themselves are controversial. Defending the warrant is as important as providing points to support your assertion. Differing warrants or assumptions underlying debates over abortion, gun control, the death penalty, and other hot-button issues require writers to subject these warrants to the same scrutiny that they bring to their claims and supporting evidence.

Refutation: Meeting the Opposition
Particularly with assertions that you know many people would disagree with, effective arguments always consider the opposition’s point of view. As we pointed out briefly before, you have to be aware of what contrasting arguments suggest, and you have to treat them fairly in your essay. You have some options here. One strategy is to indicate the views that run counter to your own and simply to admit that some parts of these arguments are legitimate—but that your point is more substantial and worthy of greater support. Conceding arguments is an attractive option: this tactic shows your lack of prejudice and your ethical approach to the issue. Essentially, you are saying here “I know that others disagree with me—and here are some of their reasons, which have some validity. Nevertheless, the points I will make are much more convincing.” Another strategy is to identify opposing arguments and then refute them as part of your own presentation. How can you refute an opposing argument? • Question the evidence proposed by the opposing camp. Is it valid? Up to date? Sufficient? Accurate? • Probe the warrants of an opposing argument. What are the underlying assumptions and beliefs for the writer’s claim? Has the writer offered a substantive rationale for the warrants on which he builds his argument? • Identify evidence that challenges the specific elements in the opposing arguments. Thus, you can extract fundamental points and rebut them one at a time rather than making a sweeping refutation.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

52

Writing Arguments

With either strategy, concession or refutation, you must treat the opposing arguments justly and respectfully. True, satirists and ironists often mock opposing views, but in your papers you want to aim for fairness that will establish your credibility and lack of bias as a writer and win over your readers.

Avoiding Traps in Appeals and Logic
Argumentative essays often deal with heated topics, but as a fair and thoughtful writer, you want to be aware of excessive appeals to emotion and to a wide range of logic traps that can show fault lines in your thinking. Be alert to these logic traps and wrongheaded emotional appeals as you write your papers. • Ad hominem (“to the man”) arguments. These discredit the person rather than the argument: “Gloria Lee never married. How can she talk about the sacredness of marriage between men and women?” Here, the attack is against the person, not the issue. Avoid ad hominem arguments—but do not shrink from challenging someone if the person lacks appropriate credentials to make the claim. You would be right to contest the author of a pro-death penalty Web site put up by a dentist who has no authority in the debate other than his passionate commitment to the issue. • Arguments based on longevity. Avoid proving a point by stating that people always believed it, so why should we change it now? “Women have never competed in professional football in the past, and there’s no need to alter common practice.” We’d still be talking about an earthcentered universe if we adhered to beliefs based only on their standing through time. • Arguments based on transfer. Here the argument connects the point to a famous person in order to win support. This is an example of positive transfer: “President Bill Clinton is a brilliant scholar and his recent support of the newly nominated federal judge should not be questioned.” This is an example of negative transfer (or name calling): “President Bill Clinton’s personal behavior challenged family values. Why should we consider as relevant his defense of the family support bill?” Neither example makes any logical connection between the person and the issue and, in fact, the transfer distracts the reader from the point to the person. • Hasty generalizations. In this logic trap, you leap to false conclusions based on insufficient, untrue, or unrepresentative evidence. “Cats are disloyal pets. Our cat Phoebe, whom we had for five years, ran off one day and never returned.” One example cannot support the generalization. Hasty generalizations at their most pernicious lead to stereotyping, when you use reductive generalizations to characterize an individual or group. “Our South American gardener is sluggish and has no resolve. Newly arrived immigrants in our country are lazy and unambitious.”
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Avoiding Traps in Appeals and Logic 53 • Broad generalizations. By using words like never, always, and all in an argument, you leave yourself open to accusations of overstatement. “George Washington always knew how to lead a battle”; “All Germans supported the Nazi purge of Jews during World War II”—sweeping statements like these are open easily to challenge. It’s best to qualify them: “George Washington almost always knew how to lead a battle”; “Large numbers of Germans supported the Nazi purge of Jews during World War II.” • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”). This is a logical fallacy built on false cause-and-effect relationships. “The boys ran out of the department store quickly. They must have stolen the woman’s purse.” Just because their departure was hasty and might seem suspicious, there is no necessary cause and effect relationship between the boys’ rapid disappearance and the purse snatching. Our most ingrained superstitions—bad luck following a black cat’s crossing our path, for example—assume that one event in time causes another soon after. Be sure that any cause-and-effect relationships that you establish are valid. • Argumentum ad populum (“to the people”). Arguments that draw on highly charged language can manipulate readers’ responses by arousing strong emotions. Words that appeal to virtuous elements, such as patriotism, motherhood, and America, can produce “glittering generalities” that distort meaning so that readers must accept a premise through illogical association. Negative words similarly can make illogical connections: “The dictatorial president of the Student Association has made another bad choice.” • Bandwagon arguments. In these arguments the writer falsely generalizes that the voice of the people is always right. “The citizens of this city are voting to renew Proposition 13, and you should too.” Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t make it desirable. • Begging the question. Here, the writer takes a conclusion for granted before she proves it. “Teenagers are by nature reckless and will benefit greatly from required counseling prior to any voluntary abortion.” The writer can go on to indicate the benefits of this counseling; but she has not offered any proof for her conclusion that teenagers are irresponsible. Another dimension of begging the question is assuming in your premise what your conclusion should prove. Thus, if you argue that elected officials’ greed is unavoidable because they put personal gain above service to constituents, you are not proving your premise and hence are begging the question. • Oversimplified arguments. Oversimplification is a major impediment to logical argumentation and can take many forms. • One solution. Complicated issues usually have more than one resolution, and you don’t want to argue for just one solution to a sticky problem. “Censoring violence on television will reduce violence in our communities.” Surely other possible solutions warrant consideration in the serious issue of violent behavior.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

54

Writing Arguments • Either-or reasoning. You shouldn’t assume that only two sides exist on an issue—yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong. “He failed so many courses because he works after school and on weekends. Either you work or go to school; you can’t do both.” • No cost or harm. If you project a benefit for some course of action, don’t assume automatically that no problems, costs, or penalties will follow. “Prohibit all pagers and cell phone use in public places.” The benefits are clear: no interruptions, annoying rings or music, or loud talking in indoor spaces. But what about consequences: preventable emergencies, parents needing to be in touch with children, doctors on call. No-harm generalizations often overlook precarious repercussions. • Non sequitur (“It does not follow”). This logical fallacy draws conclusions when no logical connection exists between ideas. “Arnold Schwarzenegger will be a good governor for California because he is a very popular actor.” He may be popular, and people might have voted for him because he’s popular, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will be a good governor. The argument’s conclusions do not stem from its premise. The writer might see a logical connection between popularity and leadership, but he should make it explicit. Otherwise, he has generated a non sequitur—that is, disconnected ideas. • Weak or untrue analogies. A familiar tool of argument is the analogy, a type of comparison that relates one object or idea to a basically dissimilar idea so that readers can see the point in a new light. Alfred Posamentier, a professor of education, made this comment about the anxiety at the start of a new school year awash with new policies and procedures: “It’s akin to an engineering firm that develops this new machine and doesn’t know if all the parts are going to behave the way they are supposed to behave when they flip the switch on a certain day.” Analogies enliven writing and help illustrate a point but never serve as evidence. Posamentier, after all, hasn’t proved that the system is untested and risks uncoordination. But his analogy helps us see how he views the problem. • The straw man. An argument sets up a straw man when it asserts a weak or invented argument attributed to an opponent for the exclusive purpose of disproving it. “The television commentator would no doubt approve of music that glorifies drugs and indifferent sex. Only an extremist libertine who doesn’t believe in family values would question the censorship of any material aimed at teenagers.” The statement asserts that the commentator would endorse music that praises drugs and sex—but the operative words here are “no doubt.” The phrase suggests an invented argument, one that the writer can attack along with the person who made the argument.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Strong written arguments reflect logical thinking, and we’ve tried to point out ways in which you can produce thoughtful topics; carefully stated assertions; well-defined claims, grounds, and evidence; and objective data and tesResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 55 timony. These elements in your writing will mark you as a fair analyst with a lively, inquiring mind, and they will help you to produce strong argumentative papers.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue

JUDY BRADY
I Want a Wife
Judy Brady was born in 1937 and went to college at the University of Iowa. A breast cancer survivor, she is an activist with the Women’s Cancer Resource Center and a cofounder of the Toxic Links Coalition, which works to prevent cancer by reducing pollution. In this funny but bitter satire, which appeared in Ms. magazine in 1971, Brady, a wife and mother, argues that she, too, would like someone to take care of her.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
Think about the traditional roles that men and women have played in their relationships. What is expected of a husband? Of a wife? Do you think things are the same now as in 1971 when Brady wrote the piece? Why or why not?

Words to Watch nurturant (par. 3) giving attention and affection hors d’oeuvres (par. 6) appetizers adherence (par. 8) faithful attachment belong to that classification of people known as wives. I am A Wife. And, 1 not altogether incidentally, I am a mother. Not too long ago a male friend of mine appeared on the scene fresh 2 from a recent divorce. He had one child, who is, of course, with his ex-wife. He is obviously looking for another wife. As I thought about him while I was ironing one evening, it suddenly occurred to me that I, too, would like to have a wife. Why do I want a wife? I would like to go back to school so that I can become economically in- 3 dependent, support myself, and, if need be, support those dependent upon me. I want a wife who will work and send me to school. And while I am going to school, I want a wife to keep track of the children’s doctor and dentist appointments. And to keep track of mine, too. I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly and are kept clean. I want a wife who will wash the children’s clothes and keep them mended. I want a wife who is a good nurturant attendant to my children, who arranges for their schooling, makes sure that they have an adequate social life with their peers, takes
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

I

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

56

Writing Arguments

Surfing Couples (© Peter M. Fisher/CORBIS)

them to the park, the zoo, etc. I want a wife who takes care of the children when they are sick, a wife who arranges to be around when the children need special care, because, of course, I cannot miss classes at school. My wife must arrange to lose time at work and not lose the job. It may mean a small cut in my wife’s income from time to time, but I guess I can tolerate that. Needless to say, my wife will arrange and pay for the care of the children while my wife is working. I want a wife who will take care of my physical needs. I want a wife 4 who will keep my house clean. A wife who will pick up after me. I want a wife who will keep my clothes clean, ironed, mended, replaced when need be, and who will see to it that my personal things are kept in their proper place so that I can find what I need the minute I need it. I want a wife who cooks the meals, a wife who is a good cook. I want a wife who will plan the menus, do the necessary grocery shopping, prepare the meals, serve them pleasantly, and then do the cleaning up while I do my studying. I want a wife who will care for me when I am sick and sympathize with my pain and loss of time from school. I want a wife to go along when our family takes a vacation so that someone can continue to care for me and my children when I need a rest and change of scene. I want a wife who will not bother me with rambling complaints about a 5 wife’s duties. But I want a wife who will listen to me when I feel the need to explain a rather difficult point I have come across in my course of studies. And I want a wife who will type my papers for me when I have written them.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 57 I want a wife who will take care of the details of my social life. When my 6 wife and I are invited out by my friends, I want a wife who will take care of the babysitting arrangements. When I meet people at school that I like and want to entertain, I want a wife who will have the house clean, will prepare a special meal, serve it to me and my friends, and not interrupt when I talk about the things that interest me and my friends. I want a wife who will have arranged that the children are fed and ready for bed before my guests arrive so that the children do not bother us. I want a wife who takes care of the needs of my guests so that they feel comfortable, who makes sure that they have an ashtray, that they are passed the hors d’oeuvres, that they are offered a second helping of the food, that their wine glasses are replenished when necessary, that their coffee is served to them as they like it. And I want a wife who knows that sometimes I need a night out by 7 myself. I want a wife who is sensitive to my sexual needs, a wife who makes love 8 passionately and eagerly when I feel like it, a wife who makes sure that I am satisfied. And, of course, I want a wife who will not demand sexual attention when I am not in the mood for it. I want a wife who assumes the complete responsibility for birth control, because I do not want more children. I want a wife who will remain sexually faithful to me so that I do not have to clutter up my intellectual life with jealousies. And I want a wife who understands that my sexual needs may entail more than strict adherence to monogamy. I must, after all, be able to relate to people as fully as possible. If, by chance. I find another person more suitable as a wife than the wife 9 I already have, I want the liberty to replace my present wife with another one. Naturally, I will expect a fresh, new life; my wife will take the children and be solely-responsible for them so that I am left free. When I am through with school and have a job, I want my wife to quit 10 working and remain at home so that my wife can more fully and completely take care of a wife’s duties. My God, who wouldn’t want a wife? 11

Building Vocabulary
1. After checking a dictionary for Brady’s specific use of each of the following words, write out their definitions: a. attendant (par. 3) b. adequate (par. 3) c. peers (par. 3) d. tolerate (par. 3) e. rambling (par. 5) f. replenished (par. 6) g. monogamy (par. 8) 2. Write an original sentence for each word.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

58

Writing Arguments

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What made Brady think about wanting a wife for herself? 2. How would a wife help the writer continue her education? 3. In what way would a wife help the writer around the house? 4. Why does the writer want someone to help her take care of the children? 5. How would a wife change the writer’s sex life? 6. What kind of freedom does the writer want, finally?

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is Brady’s major claim in this essay? Consider the ironic meaning of her essay, and decide if she ever truly expresses her claim. Explain your answer. 2. What are the implied warrants in this essay? How do you know? 3. What minor propositions does Brady give to show that she wants a wife? 4. Do you detect a pattern of coherence among the minor propositions? Why does she include them in the order she does? Would you change the order at all? 5. What is the effect of Brady’s use of the word “I”? Do you find it effective? Why or why not? 6. What is Brady’s tone in this essay? Explain your answer. 7. Why does the writer separate the idea that “sometimes I need a night out by myself” in paragraph 7? What rhetorical purpose does this serve? 8. What is the effect of the rhetorical question at the end of the essay and of the use of the phrase “My God” and the word “wouldn’t” in italics?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Brady wrote this essay two years before she and her husband separated. How does this knowledge change your opinion of the essay? 2. This essay was published in 1971. Do you think that this essay could be published in a major magazine today? Why or why not? Do husbands still expect their wives to perform all of these duties without help? Explain what has changed. 3. Brady lists many domestic duties traditionally assigned to the homemaker. What “wifely responsibilities” exist today that she doesn’t mention? 4. In what ways are Brady’s arguments old fashioned? In what ways are they relevant to today’s men and women?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 59

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting What kind of help do you need in life? What kind of person would you need? If you are living at home, would it be helpful to have a student of your own? Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay titled “I Want a Student.”
1. Begin your essay by identifying yourself as a student. You will argue that you want a student to help you with your life as a student. 2. Offer a brief personal story (as Brady does in par. 2) to explain why you decided you wanted your own student. 3. Using Brady as a guide, support your main idea with supporting points, explaining the various activities your very own student could help you with in your life as a student. 4. Organize your points in an effective order, using transition words and phrases to improve the flow from paragraph to paragraph. 5. Use repetition in your language for rhetorical effect. 6. End your essay with a question, making that question as effective and dramatic as possible.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Help to divide the class into two groups: one consisting of all the men in the class and the other consisting of all the women. Working in these groups, have the men come up with reasons why husbands (and boyfriends) need extra help, and have the women list reasons why wives (and girlfriends) need help. Each group should assign a representative to put the reasons on the board. The class should discuss the effectiveness of each reason. Writing About the Text Write an essay about the use of irony in this essay. What is the effect of writing such an emotional essay in such a straightforward style? Discuss Brady’s use of humor. More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, explain which of Brady’s complaints you find most effective and which you find most whiny or weak. 2. In a paragraph, argue for or against this statement: “Men should stay home while women go out and earn a living.” 3. Write an essay arguing that it is more difficult to be a man in today’s society than it is to be a woman.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

60

Writing Arguments

NICOLAS KRISTOF
Love and Race
Born in 1959, Nicolas Kristof was raised in Oregon, educated at Harvard, and won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University in England. He and his wife, also a journalist, won a Pulitzer Prize for their work in China during the Tiananmen Square uprising. In this selection, Kristof sings the praises of the current rise in marriage between the races.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
Do you know any interracial couples? If so, what problems do they face, if any, and why? If you do not know any, what problems do you think they might face in society today?

Words to Watch genome (par. 6) entire code for DNA in a cell superficial (par. 7) unimportant, only on the surface miscegenation (par. 10) mixing of races guru (par. 13) leader and guide surge (par. 14) sharp rise 1 n a world brimming with bad news, here’s one of the happiest trends: Instead of preying on people of different races, young Americans are falling in love with them. Whites and blacks can be found strolling together as couples even at the University of Mississippi, once the symbol of racial confrontation. “I will say that they are always given a second glance,” acknowledges C. J. Rhodes, a black student at Ole Miss. He adds that there are still misgivings about interracial dating, particularly among black women and a formidable number of “white Southerners who view this race-mixing as abnormal, frozen by fear to see Sara Beth bring home a brotha.” Mixed-race marriages in the U.S. now number 1.5 million and are roughly doubling each decade. About 40 percent of Asian-Americans and 6 percent of blacks have married whites in recent years. Still more striking, one survey found that 40 percent of Americans had dated someone of another race. In a country where racial divisions remain deep, all this love is an enormously hopeful sign of progress in bridging barriers. Scientists who study the human genome say that race is mostly a bogus distinction reflecting very little genetic difference, perhaps one-hundredth of 1 percent of our DNA. Skin color differences are recent, arising over only the last 100,000 years or so, a twinkling of an evolutionary eye. That’s too short a period for substantial genetic differences to emerge, and so there is perhaps 10 times more genetic difference within a race than there is between races. Thus we should welcome any trend that makes a superficial issue like color less central to how we categorize each other.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

I

2 3

4

5 6

7

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 61 The rise in interracial marriage reflects a revolution in attitudes. As recently as 1958 a white mother in Monroe, N.C., called the police after her little girl kissed a black playmate on the cheek; the boy, Hanover Thompson, 9, was then sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempted rape. (His appeals failed, but he was released later after an outcry.) In 1963, 59 percent of Americans believed that marriage between blacks and whites should be illegal. At one time or another 42 states banned intermarriage, although the Supreme Court finally invalidated these laws in 1967. Typically, the miscegenation laws voided any interracial marriages, making the children illegitimate, and some states included penalties such as enslavement, life imprisonment, and whippings. My wife is Chinese-American, and our relationship would once have been felonious. At every juncture from the 19th century on, the segregationists warned that granting rights to blacks would mean the start of a slippery slope, ending up with black men marrying white women. The racists were prophetic. “They were absolutely right,” notes Randall Kennedy, the Harvard Law School professor and author of a dazzling new book, “Interracial Intimacies,” to be published next month. “I do think [interracial marriage] is a good thing. It’s a welcome sign of thoroughgoing desegregation. We talk about desegregation in the public sphere; here’s desegregation in the most intimate sphere.” These days, interracial romance can be seen on the big screen, on TV shows, and in the lives of some prominent Americans. Former Defense Secretary William Cohen has a black wife, as does Peter Norton, the software guru. The Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas has a white wife. I find the surge in intermarriage to be one of the most positive fronts in American race relations today, building bridges and empathy. But it’s still in its infancy. I was excited to track down interracial couples at Ole Miss, thinking they would be perfect to make my point about this hopeful trend. But none were willing to talk about the issue on the record. “Even if people wanted to marry [interracially], I think they’d keep it kind of quiet,” explained a minister on campus. For centuries, racists warned that racial equality would lead to the “mongrelization” of America. Perhaps they were right in a sense, for we’re increasingly going to see a blurring of racial distinctions. But these distinctions acquired enormous social resonance without ever having much basis in biology. 8

9

10

11

12

13

14 15

16 17

Building Vocabulary
Explain the meaning of the following examples of figurative language. Rewrite the sentences by putting the figure of speech in your own words: 1. “all this love is an enormously hopeful sign of progress in bridging barriers.” (par. 6) 2. “Skin color differences are recent, arising over only the last 100,000 years or so, a twinkling of an evolutionary eye.” (par. 7) 3. “the segregationists warned that granting rights to blacks would mean the start of a slippery slope.” (par. 11) 4. “these distinctions acquired enormous social resonance.” (par. 17)
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

62

Writing Arguments

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why is it significant that interracial couples exist at the University of Mississippi? 2. What lessons do the writer suggest we learn from the statistic that skin color differences are a relatively recent development evolutionarily? 3. What were segregationists afraid of in the 19th century? 4. Explain Randall Kennedy’s quote, “We talk about desegregation in the public sphere; here’s desegregation in the most intimate sphere.” Paraphrase his quote. 5. What evidence does the writer give that interracial marriages are becoming more mainstream? 6. Why wouldn’t students at Ole Miss discuss intermarriage with Kristof? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the writer’s major proposition? Where is it best stated? 2. What minor propositions does the writer use to support his major proposition? 3. What evidence does the writer use to support his minor propositions? Make a rough outline of the essay’s argument. 4. How effective is Kristof’s use of statistics in paragraphs 4 through 7? 5. Does the writer only rely on rational arguments? What other kinds of appeals can you find? Explain your answer. 6. What is the persuasive effect of the writer explaining in paragraph 10 that he is in an interracial marriage? 7. How effective is the last paragraph? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Do you find paragraphs 2 and 3 in Kristof’s essay contradictory? Why or why not? 2. If racial differences are not that important and have little basis in biology, why does Kristof repeat his argument about racial distinctions in paragraph 17? Does he have a rhetorical reason? Could you strengthen his point here? 3. Do you think the structure of Kristof’s essay is effective? Why or why not? Could you suggest a better structure? How would you structure the essay if you were assigned to write a column on the same issue? 4. Why does Kristof use the example of Hanover Thompson in paragraph 8? Why that example? He could have found a much more tragic example from the early part of the 20th century. There were many lynchings of African Americans who merely looked at a white woman in a way she didn’t like. Why, then, does he offer an example from 1958?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 63

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting How common is interracial marriage where you live? Why do you think that is? Write about whether you think it is getting more common, and explain why it is or why it is not. Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay about a lifestyle that still is not accepted fully in society (for example, openly gay couples or unmarried couples living together). Argue that you see an improvement in the level of tolerance toward that lifestyle.
1. Begin your essay with a declaration that things are getting better. 2. Continue by offering examples or statistics to bolster your claim. Do some research, if you must, to gather evidence and, preferably, quotes. Save at least two pieces of evidence for later in your essay, under step 6. 3. While keeping an impartial distance to your writing, establish an optimistic tone. 4. In the next section, discuss the history of your chosen subject. 5. Develop and discuss the idea of opposing views to your subject. 6. Provide evidence to show how tolerance is increasing by offering evidence. 7. Link your ideas with well-developed transitions. 8. In your conclusion, link the fears opponents have about your subject with the reality or the coming reality in society.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, share your papers that grew out of the Writing a Guided Argument assignment. Discuss suggestions for improvements in tone and word choice. Also, help your classmates to develop evidence for their essays by paying close attention to any pieces of evidence that are irrelevant and by helping with any awkward phrasing. Writing About the Text Write an essay in which you evaluate Kristof’s use of statistics in this essay. Which do you find most impressive or effective for helping his claim? Which are less effective? What other statistics would you have liked to see? More Writing Ideas 1. Are there any negative effects of interracial relationships on the children of those unions? Write in your journal about this topic. 2. Write a paragraph about why you think someone would be opposed to interracial marriage. What are people afraid of? Is there anything you could say to alleviate their fears? 3. In an essay, write about Kristof’s statement in his conclusion that “we’re increasingly going to see a blurring of racial distinctions.” How would life in the United States change if he is correct? How is it already heading in that direction?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

64

Writing Arguments

ANN PATCHETT
Kissing Cousins
Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963 and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with her family at the age of six. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College and at the prestigious Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa. She is the author of four novels: The Patron Saint of Liars (1992), Taft (1994), The Magician’s Assistant (1997), and Bel Canto (2001), which won the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction. She also has written for many publications, including the Chicago Tribune, The Village Voice, GQ, Elle, Gourmet, Vogue, and The New York Times Magazine. This selection appeared in 2002.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What do you think of first cousins becoming romantically involved? Can you imagine falling in love with your first cousin? Why do you think there is a stigma on first cousins marrying?

Words to Watch star-crossed (par. 1) ill-fated nominal (par. 3) almost nothing lethal (par. 3) deadly stigma (par. 5) part of someone’s identity that causes shame taboos (par. 5) things banned because of morality or social custom pyromaniac (par. 8) one who enjoys lighting fires hanks to 12 years of Catholic single-sex education, a lack of brothers, and an over developed interest in reading as a child, I grew up in a world almost completely devoid of boys. Except, of course, for those boys I was related to. I had 25 first cousins, and I remember many summer family reunions eating sand-infused slices of sheet cake on the beaches of Southern California, so lost in the cousin crush of the moment that I could hardly swallow. These feelings were for the most part unexpressed and interchangeable (I liked cousin Lenny as much as his brother Greg). One crush, however, started when I was 8 and proved hearty enough to follow me into adulthood. Whenever this cousin and I were on the same side of the country there were dinners, hand-holding, and a certain amount of sighing. Alas, we would be perfect for each other if only we weren’t cousins. But we were, and so, feeling genetically star-crossed we always said good night and went our separate ways. It turns out we didn’t have to. 2 Popular mythology often takes the place of science. Lemmings do not, in 3 fact, hurl themselves into the sea by the thousands to drown, and the country folk in the film “Deliverance” were not the product of parents who failed to take the initiative to go any farther than their aunt and uncles’ houses to look for a spouse. An article published recently in The Journal of Genetic Counsel1
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

T

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 65 ing says that the increased risk of birth defects to children born of first cousins is nominal. This isn’t exactly breaking news, either; research has been in for some time. Could it be that we are so unnerved by the idea of the union of cousins that we didn’t even want to hear about it? The fact that marriage between first cousins is illegal in 24 states will probably go the way of laws that banned interracial marriage. The norm is capable of change. After all, my grandmother was forbidden to serve apple pie with cheddar cheese when she was a young waitress in Kansas. (The combination was once believed to be as lethal as cousin love.) Certainly in just about every other place in the world, marrying your first cousin is an unremarkable event. For centuries royalty has had to look in the bank of immediate relatives to find suitable mates. Who would be good enough for a Hapsburg but another Hapsburg? The notion that there was something genetically weakening, if not downright creepy, about intermarriage is one that is distinctly American. Perhaps it is born from a distaste of what our ancestors left behind when they boarded their ships to the New World. What is thought of as essential in the highest social classes of other countries is seen as a mark of the most backward and impoverished factions of our own. Now we find out that all of those jokes about Appalachian families are utterly baseless. Still, to think that the laws against close family marriages are entirely based in a concern over the medical well-being for the child that might come of that union seems to miss a large part of the point: marrying a cousin at 60 carries almost the same burden of stigma as marrying a cousin at 16. It’s one of those things we’re not supposed to do, and these days sexually active Americans have precious few limitations. For better or worse, we cling to the few taboos we have left. If the Journal of Genetic Counseling told us that there would be no major medical repercussions from reproduction with your brother or aunt, I don’t think we would heave a national sigh of relief and say, well, as long as there are no medical issues. . . . Remember Oedipus and Jocasta? The story didn’t turn out too well for them. If you had to mark out the boundaries of incest, some of us are going to put first cousins on one side of the line and some are going to put them on the other. A friend of mine from Los Angeles recently met a first cousin once removed from Israel who she never knew existed. They fell madly in love at a family reunion in Spain. While they are working through cultural differences, a language barrier, and a long commute, the only thing that gives her a moment’s pause is the blood tie, even though they have no plans to have children. Yet it seems impossible that a little thing like a common relative should ruin her chances for happiness. Other cousins, the ones who were more like the pseudo-siblings of your entire youth, may take more consideration. But true love is a rare and wonderful thing, and if you happen to find it with a first cousin in one of the 24 states of the union that will still put you in jail for your marriage, the wisest choice may simply be moving. There are enough of those couples in America now to merit an extensive and thoughtful Web site, cousincouples.com.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

4

5

6

7

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

66

Writing Arguments

They supply not only support and inspirational stories but also a very helpful map to show you just what your state thinks of your love life. I, for one, am glad to have grown up in an era that made me feel that fol8 lowing through on any of my earlier crushes would have been akin to my being pyromaniac. For me, cousin love was like a set of romantic training wheels: safe, steady little things that screwed onto the real wheels of the bike I wasn’t actually big enough to ride. Watching the boys swim out into the ocean at those sunburned family reunions, I got to have all the fun without the chance of actually getting hurt. As for the cousin I thought I was in love with, after a few years we turned out not to get along at all. That had nothing to do with our being related but I thank my lucky gene pool that it kept me from marrying him.

Building Vocabulary
This selection requires knowledge of some history and art. Identify the following terms and explain their significance for this article: 1. 2. 3. 4. the film “Deliverance” (par. 3) Hapsburg (par. 4) Appalachian (par. 4) Oedipus and Jocasta (par. 5)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What does Patchett mean when she writes that she was “so lost in the cousin crush of the moment that I could hardly swallow”? (par. 1) 2. What are some myths about cousin marriage? 3. How does the writer describe these myths? 4. What does Patchett mean when she says that “the notion that there was something genetically weakening, if not downright creepy, about intermarriage is one that is distinctly American”? (par. 4) 5. Why is the first cousin relationship on the borderline between acceptability and disgust, according to the writer? 6. How many states in the United States allow first cousins to marry? 7. What was the most positive thing for the writer about having crushes on her cousins? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the writer’s major proposition? Where is it best expressed? If you can’t find it, why do you think that is? If you can’t find it, put her claim into your own words. 2. Why does the writer begin her essay with a recollection of her experiences with her many cousins? What argumentative purpose does this serve? 3. Outline the essay to highlight the minor propositions.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 67 4. What evidence or support does the writer present for her minor propositions? 5. Which evidence in the essay do you think is the most effective? Why? 6. How effective is the writer’s insistence in paragraph 7 that “true love” is the most important thing here? 7. In her closing, the writer moves away from saying that “cousin love” is a positive thing and says that it was only a good thing as “romantic training wheels.” Why does she shy away from completely endorsing cousin love?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Does Patchett’s last sentence contradict the rest of her essay and its message of tolerance? Why or why not? Explain. 2. Many anthropologists believe that the taboo against incest is ingrained in humans as a survival instinct; the species would get stronger, evolutionarily, if people ventured out to other families rather than taking mates from their own families. They say the taboo exists for good reason. Do you agree or not, and why? What would Patchett say to that? 3. Do you think that Patchett’s conclusion helps or hurts her argument? Explain your answer. Refer to question 7 in the “Understanding the Writer’s Techniques” assignment.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting What were some beliefs you had when you were a child that you now know were false, were myths? Where did those myths come from? How did they come to be dispelled? Did you learn the truth from books? From friends? From parents? From siblings? How did you feel when you learned the truth? Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay in which you examine a popular myth you grew up with (for example, that your father was the strongest man in the world or that there was a tooth fairy or Santa Claus). Argue that those mythologies were wrong, and dispel them for your reader.
1. Begin your essay with a recollection of growing up with a myth, and explain the myth’s origins. 2. Write about your good or bad memories of the myth. 3. Note how the myth from your childhood affects your life today. 4. Write your major proposition, dispelling the myth. 5. In the next few paragraphs, write minor propositions in which you support the idea in your major proposition. 6. Offer specific examples or anecdotes to support each of your minor propositions.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

68

Writing Arguments

7. Attempt to use a poetic or nostalgic tone. 8. Close by discussing whether or not you are glad that you believed the myth when you were younger.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Assist in dividing the class into three parts. Each group should prepare for a debate on “cousin love,” doing research on the Web (you may visit the Web site Patchett suggests, cousincouples.com) and in the library. Each group should develop some familiarity with the history and practice of cousin marriage around the world. The aim of the debate is to win based on persuasive illustration. Stage the debate, with one group arguing in favor of cousin marriage and the other arguing against it. The third group will act as a jury. The jury should deliberate, vote on the winner, and make a presentation explaining in a written statement the results of the vote. Writing About the Text Patchett is a novelist and is known for her prose style. Write an essay in which you examine how Patchett adapts techniques from writing fiction to the essay form. Look especially at how she sets a scene. Does she have any characters? How is her word choice and tone affected? More Writing Ideas 1. Visit the Web site cousincouples.com, which Patchett mentions in paragraph 7. Record your impressions of the Web site’s content in your journal. 2. Research one of the terms in the “Building Vocabulary” exercise, and write a paragraph explaining how it relates to the idea of incest. 3. In paragraph 5, Patchett writes, “For better or worse, we cling to the few taboos we have left.” Besides incest, what other taboos do we have? Write an essay in which you answer this question, offering an explanation of each one as well as a judgment about whether we should still hold on to that taboo.

ANDREW SULLIVAN
Let Gays Marry
Andrew Sullivan was born in 1963 in a small town in England. He went to Oxford University and Harvard University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1989. He was editor at The New Republic magazine at the age of 27. Sullivan, who is openly homosexual, wrote Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality (1995), a book about gay rights. He resigned from The New Republic in 1996 and continues to write widely for many publications. In this selection, Sullivan makes the case for allowing homosexual couples to marry in civil ceremonies.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 69

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
Do you agree with the title of this essay? Should homosexuals be able to marry? Why or why not? If you agree that gays should marry, what do you think would be some common arguments against it?

Words to Watch subvert (par. 2) overturn sanction (par. 6) officially approve of fidelity (par. 7) faithfulness

“A

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

state cannot deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws,” declared the Supreme Court last week. It was a monumental statement. Gay men and lesbians, the conservative court said, are no longer strangers in America. They are citizens, entitled, like everyone else, to equal protection—no special rights, but simple equality. For the first time in Supreme Court history, gay men and women were seen not as some powerful lobby trying to subvert America, but as the people we truly are—the sons and daughters of countless mothers and fathers, with all the weaknesses and strengths and hopes of everybody else. And what we seek is not some special place in America but merely to be a full and equal part of America, to give back to our society without being forced to lie or hide or live as second-class citizens. That is why marriage is so central to our hopes. People ask us why we want the right to marry, but the answer is obvious. It’s the same reason anyone wants the right to marry. At some point in our lives, some of us are lucky enough to meet the person we truly love. And we want to commit to that person in front of our family and country for the rest of our lives. It’s the most simple, the most natural, the most human instinct in the world. How could anyone seek to oppose that? Yes, at first blush, it seems like a radical proposal, but, when you think about it some more, it’s actually the opposite. Throughout American history, to be sure, marriage has been between a man and a woman, and in many ways our society is built upon that institution. But none of that need change in the slightest. After all, no one is seeking to take away anybody’s right to marry, and no one is seeking to force any church to change any doctrine in any way. Particular religious arguments against same-sex marriage are rightly debated within the churches and faiths themselves. That is not the issue here: there is a separation between church and state in this country. We are only asking that when the government gives out civil marriage licenses, those of us who are gay should be treated like anybody else. Of course, some argue that marriage is by definition between a man and a woman. But for centuries, marriage was by definition a contract in which the wife was her husband’s legal property. And we changed that. For centuries, marriage was by definition between two people of the same race.

1

2

3

4

5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

70

Writing Arguments

And we changed that. We changed these things because we recognized that human dignity is the same whether you are a man or a woman, black or white. And no one has any more of a choice to be gay than to be black or white or male or female. Some say that marriage is only about raising children, but we let childless heterosexual couples be married (Bob and Elizabeth Dole, Pat and 6 Shelley Buchanan, for instance). Why should gay couples be treated differently? Others fear that there is no logical difference between allowing same-sex marriage and sanctioning polygamy and other horrors. But the issue of whether to sanction multiple spouses (gay or straight) is completely separate from whether, in the existing institution between two unrelated adults, the government should discriminate between its citizens. This is, in fact, if only Bill Bennett could see it, a deeply conservative cause. It seeks to change no one else’s rights or marriages in any way. It 7 seeks merely to promote monogamy, fidelity, and the disciplines of family life among people who have long been cast to the margins of society. And what could be a more conservative project than that? Why indeed would any conservative seek to oppose those very family values for gay people that he or she supports for everybody else? Except, of course, to make gay men and lesbians strangers in their own country, to forbid them ever to come home.

Building Vocabulary
This essay is making a strong point, and thus it is trying to undermine the opposition’s position. List five words or phrases in this essay that aim to strengthen the writer’s position and weaken the opposition’s. Explain how each word does this.

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Explain in your own words what the Supreme Court means by “A state cannot deem a class of persons a stranger to its laws.” 2. Why is marriage so important to gays and lesbians, according to Sullivan? 3. According to Sullivan, what is the difference in the debate between the civil and religious worlds? 4. What is Sullivan’s answer to those who say that marriage is by definition between a man and a woman? 5. How does he respond to those who say marriage is only for procreation? 6. Why is gay marriage actually a “conservative project”? Explain what this means. Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. Is the writer’s major proposition the same as the title? If so, show where it appears in the essay. If not, what is the major proposition?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 71 2. Analyze paragraph 2 and explain why it is effective. 3. What are the writers’ minor propositions? Outline the body of the essay. 4. For what argumentative purpose does the writer make the distinction between marriage within a religion and civil marriage? 5. How would you characterize the writer’s tone? Why do you think he wrote the essay in this tone? Do you think the fact that this appeared in Newsweek, a magazine read by a wide audience, made a difference? Why or why not? 6. Paraphrase the writer’s argument in paragraph 5. Is it effective? Why or why not? 7. What minor proposition do you think is the writer’s most effective? 8. Analyze the writer’s use of the word “home” in paragraph 7.

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Sullivan is both openly gay and openly conservative. What is conservatism? How might Sullivan’s two identities clash? Do you see evidence of the clash in his essay? Does he reconcile them persuasively? 2. Answer Sullivan’s question in paragraph 3. 3. Sullivan says in paragraph 4 that “there is a separation of church and state in this country.” Do you think that is absolutely true? How does the religious faith of our leaders affect policy, more specifically, policy toward homosexuality and gay marriage? Examine recent statements made by the president of the United States and members of Congress about the issue and compare them to Sullivan’s assertions. Do you think he might persuade them? Explain your answer.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Will gay marriage inevitably be legalized? Write down some of your thoughts about how that might come about or why it would not come about. Writing a Guided Argument Many people think that the legalization of gay marriage is only a matter of time. What does that mean? Argue in an essay that gay marriage will or will not be legal nationally within the next 10 years.
1. Begin your essay with a quote from Sullivan’s essay that asserts the moral right of gays to marry. 2. Continue with an analysis of how other social progress has been made. 3. Compare that progress with the advent of gay marriage and make your claim in the form of a prediction. 4. Give at least two minor propositions for why you think gay marriage will or will not soon be legal nationally.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

72

Writing Arguments

5. Support your ideas with further evidence from other areas of civil rights. 6. Imagine a point the opposition might make; rebut the opposition’s point. 7. Conclude your essay with an appeal to the reader’s emotions and sense of morality.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Exchange papers from your Writing a Guided Argument assignment with a classmate. Read the student’s paper for the success of the argument. Outline the student’s essay, listing his or her major proposition and minor propositions, with an indication of the support the student gives. Write a couple of paragraphs to the student, one praising the positive aspects of the paper and the other explaining what is weak and could be improved. Return the paper and your outline and notes. Writing About the Text In an essay, compare Sullivan’s argument about gay marriage with Ann Patchett’s argument about marriage between first cousins in “Kissing Cousins.” How are their arguments similar, and how are they different? More Writing Ideas 1. Gay marriage issues have filled the news recently with officials in some cities and states issuing marriage licenses and performing ceremonies for gay couples. Check newspaper and magazine articles and write a journal entry about your reactions to these official acts. 2. In 2003 the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Lawrence v. Texas that has a bearing on gay marriage. The Court struck down sodomy laws in Texas and other states that made homosexual sex a crime. Write a paragraph summarizing either the Court’s majority opinion (striking down the sodomy laws), or the dissent (which was written by the justices who wanted to uphold them). What were their claims? 3. In an essay, defend either the majority decision or the dissenting opinion. Use evidence from the texts to make your case.

BARBARA KANTROWITZ
Unmarried, with Children
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Barbara Kantrowitz was educated at Cornell University and Columbia University. She is married with two children and lives in New York City. She has written for many magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday, Martha Stewart
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 73 Living, and Newsweek, where this article appeared in 2001 and where she is now senior editor. In this essay, Kantrowitz discusses the evershifting face of the American family, especially the mainstream acceptance of single-parent families.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
How has the American family changed in the past 20 years? 10 years? 5 years? What was a “traditional” family years ago, and what is a “traditional” family today?

Words to Watch negotiating (par. 1) dealing with postmodern (par. 2) contemporary demographers (par. 3) scientists who study patterns of human populations stigma (par. 4) part of one’s identity that seems shameful watershed (par. 4) significant serendipitous (par. 9) chance futile (par. 14) without effect

J

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

ust imagine what would happen if June and Ward Cleaver were negotiating 1 family life these days. The scenario might go something like this: they meet at the office (she’s in marketing; he’s in sales) and move in together after dating for a couple of months. A year later June gets pregnant. What to do? Neither feels quite ready to make it legal and there’s no pressure from their parents, all of whom are divorced and remarried themselves. So little Wally is welcomed into the world with June’s last name on the birth certificate. A few years later June gets pregnant again with the Beav. Ward’s ambivalent about second-time fatherhood and moves out, but June decides to go ahead on her own. In her neighborhood, after all, single motherhood is no big deal; the lesbians down the street adopted kids from South America, and the soccer mom next door is divorced with a live-in boyfriend. Figures released last week from the 2000 Census show that this post- 2 modern June would be almost as mainstream as the 1950s version. The number of families headed by single mothers has increased 25 percent since 1990, to more than 7.5 million households. Contributing to the numbers are a high rate of divorce and out-of-wedlock births. For most of the past decade, about a third of all babies were born to unmarried women, compared with 3.8 percent in 1940. Demographers now predict that more than half of the youngsters born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in a single-parent home. The number of single fathers raising kids on their own is also up; they now head just over 2 million families. In contrast, married couples raising children—the “Leave It to Beaver” models—account for less than a quarter of all households.

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

74 3

Writing Arguments

Demographers and politicians will likely spend years arguing about all this and whether the shifts are real or just numerical flukes. But one thing everyone does agree on is that single mothers are now a permanent and significant page in America’s diverse family album. “We can encourage, pressure, preach, and give incentives to get people to marry,” says Stephanie Coontz, author of “The Way We Never Were” and a family historian at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. “But we still have to deal with the reality that kids are going to be raised in a variety of ways, and we have to support all kinds of families with kids.” 4 This new breed of single mother doesn’t fit the old stereotype of an unwed teen on welfare. She’s still likely to be financially insecure, but she could be any age and any race. The median age for unmarried mothers is the late 20s, and the fastest-growing category is white women. She may be divorced or never-married. Forty percent are living with men who may be the fathers of one or more of their children; as the Census numbers also showed, there’s been nearly a 72 percent increase in the number of cohabiting couples, many of whom bring along children from previous relationships. She may also be a single mother by choice. Unwed motherhood has lost much of its stigma and has even been glamorized by celebrity role models like Rosie O’Donnell and Calista Flockhart. “Twenty years ago middleclass women believed it took a man to have a child, but that’s no longer true,” says Rosanna Hertz, chair of the women’s studies department at Wellesley College. “We’ve reached a watershed moment.” 5 More women are better educated and better able to support themselves—so a husband is no longer a financial prerequisite to motherhood. That’s a huge social change from the past few decades. Carolyn Feuer, 30, a registered nurse from New York, decided not to marry her boyfriend when she became pregnant with Ryan, now 6. “It wouldn’t have been a good marriage,” she says. “It’s better for both of us this way, especially my son.” Her steady salary meant she had choices. “I had an apartment,” she says. “I had a car. I felt there was no reason why I shouldn’t have the baby. I felt I could give it whatever it needed as far as love and support and I haven’t regretted it for even a minute since.” 6 For many women, the barrier to marriage may be that they care too much about it, not too little, and they want to get it right. If they can’t find the perfect soulmate of their dreams, they’d rather stay single. So they’re postponing that walk down the aisle until after college, grad school, or starting a career and putting a little money in the bank. “Paradoxically, more people today value marriage,” says Frank Furstenberg, professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. “They take it seriously. That’s why they’re more likely to cohabit. They want to be sure before they take the ultimate step.” The average age of first marriage is now 25 for women and 27 for men—up from 20 and 23 in 1960. That’s the highest ever, which leaves plenty of time for a live-in relationship to test a potential partner’s compatibility. “Today it’s unusual if you don’t live with someone before you marry

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 75 them,” says Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University. “Before 1970, it wasn’t respectable among anyone but the poor.” Some of these women are adult children of divorce who don’t want to 7 make their own offspring suffer the pain of watching a parent leave. They see living together as a kind of trial marriage without the legal entanglements that make breaking up so hard to do—although research indicates that cohabiting couples don’t have a much better track record. “They’re trying to give their marriages a better chance,” says Diane Sollee, founder of the Coalition for Marriage, Family, and Couples Education. “They’re not trying to be immoral and get away with something.” And if the first (or the second) relationship doesn’t work out, many 8 women think there’s no reason to forgo motherhood. Wellesley researcher Hertz has been studying middle-class single mothers older than 35. Most of the 60 women she has interviewed in-depth became pregnant “accidentally.” While their babies may have been unplanned, they were not unwanted. Hertz says that for many of these women, the decision to become a mother was all about the modern version of “settling.” In the old days a woman did that by marrying Mr. Almost Right. Now settling means having the baby even if you can’t get the husband. “When I started this project in the mid’90s,” Hertz says, “these women were tough to find. Now they’re all over— next door, at the playground, in your kid’s classroom. They’ve become a normal part of the terrain.” Not all single mothers by choice wait for a serendipitous pregnancy. 9 There are so many options: sperm banks, adoption. New Yorker Gail Janowitz, a market researcher in her mid-40s, decided to adopt two years ago. She always wanted to be a mother, but never married. “As I got older,” she says, “I didn’t know if the timing of meeting a man was going to work out. I thought, well, I’ll do the child part first.” A year ago she adopted Rose, now 18 months old, in Kazakhstan. Although there have been difficult moments, Janowitz says she has no regrets. “I’ve never stopped knowing it was the right thing to do,” she says. “I think I will still have the opportunity or the option, hopefully, to get married. But right now, I have a family.” Even under the very best of conditions, single motherhood is a long, 10 hard journey for both mother and children. No one really knows the longterm consequences for youngsters who grow up in these new varieties of single-parent and cohabiting homes. Much of the research in the past on alternative living arrangements has concentrated on children of divorce, who face very different issues than youngsters whose mothers have chosen to be single from the start or are cohabiting with their children’s fathers or other partners. “We need to start paying attention to how these kids” living in cohabiting homes are doing, says Susan Brown, a sociologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “All the evidence we have suggests that they are not doing too well.” Single mothers in general have less time for each individual child than 11 two parents, and cohabiting relationships are less stable than marriages.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

76

Writing Arguments

That means that children living in these families are more likely to grow up with a revolving set of adults in their lives. And the offspring of single parents are more likely to skip the altar themselves, thus perpetuating the pattern of their childhood. “Children living outside marriage are seven times more likely to experience poverty and are 17 times more likely to end up on welfare and to have a propensity for emotional problems, discipline problems, early pregnancy, and abuse,” says Robert Rector, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “It can be a recipe for disaster.” The average kid in a single-parent family looks much the same emo12 tionally as children who grow up in the most conflicted two-parent homes, says Larry Bumpass, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin. But, he adds, “the average is not the script written for every child. The outcomes are not all negative; it’s just a matter of relative probability . . . the majority will do just fine.” Lyn Freundlich, who is raising two boys in Boston with their father, Billy Brittingham, says her home is as stable as any on the block. Freundlich and Brittingham have no plans to marry even though they’ve been living together for 13 years. “It’s not important to me,” says Freundlich, 36, who works for the Boston AIDS Action Committee. “Marriage feels like a really unfair institution where the government validates some relationships and not others. I can’t think of any reason compelling enough to become part of an institution I’m uncomfortable with.” When she was pregnant with their first son, Jordan, now 6, Brittingham’s parents “waged a campaign for us to get married,” she says. His father was relieved when they decided to draft a will and sign a medical proxy. These days, the possibility of marriage hardly crosses her mind. “I’m so busy juggling all the details of having a two-career family, taking care of my kids, seeing my friends, and having a role in the community that it’s just not something I think about,” she says. If Freundlich isn’t thinking about marriage, a lot of politicians are—from 13 the White House on down. In a commencement address at Notre Dame on Sunday, President George W. Bush planned to stress the need to strengthen families and assert that “poverty has more to do with troubled lives than a troubled economy,” according to an aide. Bush believes funding religious initiatives is one way Washington can foster family stability. Policies to encourage marriage are either in place or under discussion around the country. Some states, such as Arizona and Louisiana, have established “covenant” marriages in which engaged couples are required to get premarital counseling. It’s harder to get divorced in these marriages. Utah allows counties to require counseling before issuing marriage licenses to minors and people who have been divorced. Florida now requires high-school students to take marriage-education classes that stress that married people are statistically healthier and wealthier.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 77 Some researchers who study the history of marriage say that such efforts 14 may be futile or even destructive. “Giving incentives or creating pressures for unstable couples to wed can be a huge mistake,” says family historian Coontz. “It may create families with high conflict and instability—the worstcase scenario for kids.” Other scientists say that lifelong marriage may be an unrealistic goal when humans have life expectancies of 80 or older. In their new book, “The Myth of Monogamy,” David Barash and Judith Lipton say that in the natural world, monogamy is rare. And even among humans, it was probably the exception throughout much of human history. In “Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire,” biographer Amanda Foreman details bedhopping among the 18th-century British aristocracy that would make even a randy Hollywood icon blush. If a long and happy marriage is an elusive goal for couples in any cen- 15 tury, most women—even those scarred by divorce—say it’s still worth pursuing. When Roberta Lanning, 37, of Woodland Hills, Calif., became pregnant with her fifth child after a bitter divorce, she decided not to marry her boyfriend and raise Christian, now 9, on her own. As a child of divorce herself, she never wanted to raise a family on her own. “Single motherhood is not a good thing,” she says. “It’s definitely one hurdle after another.” And despite everything, she hasn’t given up. “It’s been my heart’s desire to have a father and mother in a structured home situation” for Christian, she says. “It just hasn’t happened for me. Believe me, I’ve certainly been looking.” If she finds the right man, chances are he’ll probably have a couple of kids of his own by now, too.

Building Vocabulary
Explain in your own words the meanings of the following phrases and words. Use clues from the surrounding text to help you understand or use reference texts: 1. soccer mom (par. 1) 2. out-of-wedlock births (par. 2) 3. median age (par. 4) 4. cohabitating couples (par. 4) 5. legal entanglements (par. 7) 6. Mr. Almost Right (par. 8) 7. think tank (par. 11) 8. religious initiatives (par. 13) 9. bed-hopping (par. 14) 10. aristocracy (par. 14)
ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

78

Writing Arguments

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. June and Ward Cleaver were the parents in the TV series Leave It to Beaver, which showed an extremely traditional family in the 1950s. Why would the writer’s hypothetical June Cleaver in paragraph 1 be mainstream today? 2. Why are so many families today headed by single moms? 3. Why does Stephanie Coontz say that people need to accept all kinds of families? 4. Who is today’s single mother, and how has the profile changed? 5. Why are more and more women choosing to adopt or get artificially inseminated? 6. What are the different opinions the writer presents about the effect of single parenthood on children? 7. Why would conservatives’ religious initiatives to foster traditional marriages “be futile or even destructive”? (par. 14) Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the writer’s claim? Does she place it effectively? If so, explain. If not, where would you put it? 2. What is the argumentative effect of the scenario outlined in paragraph 1? 3. In paragraph 5, the argument shifts. How would you characterize this shift? 4. Outline the minor propositions the writer gives for her claim. Which proposition is most interesting? Is that also the most effective? What is the weakest? What kind of evidence does the writer use to support her minor propositions? 5. What is the effect of the sentences at the beginning of paragraphs 13, 14, and 15 that act as transitions? 6. How effective is the writer’s discussion in paragraphs 10 through 12 about how single-parent families affect the lives of children? 7. How does the writer rebut Robert Rector’s quote in paragraph 11? Is her technique effective? Explain the effect the final example of Roberta Lanning has on the writer’s argument. Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. The writer of this essay has obviously done a great deal of reporting. She uses several single mothers as examples. Do you find this excessive? Are some of the examples more persuasive than others, and, more important, are they meant to be persuasive? If not, what is their purpose? If so, how are they persuasive? 2. Do you find this essay completely coherent? The concept of single motherhood is a wide topic, and the writer does a lot of work to tie everything together, exploring all the different reasons why women
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Perspectives on Love and Marriage: Reading and Writing About a Critical Issue 79 would be single parents or would choose that lifestyle. Where in the essay do you think the discussion becomes too broad? 3. The writer uses many quotes and opinions of other writers and thinkers, but rarely comes out and expresses her own opinions. Examine where in the essay the writer’s own ideas stand out. Does she hide behind her research? Explain your answer.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Are there any examples in your life, or in the lives of your family members or friends, that show that children suffer from divorce? Write a few notes about some of the negative effects of divorce on children. Writing a Guided Argument Kantrowitz seems to think that “a long and happy marriage is an elusive goal,” but she also says that divorce is usually difficult for everyone involved. Write an essay about how people give up on marriages too readily and why they should seek counseling if they are considering divorce.
1. Open with an example of how divorce can be harmful to everyone involved in a marriage. 2. Indicate that perhaps married couples need to be less hasty in getting divorces. 3. Give at least two grounds for your claim. 4. Use a tone of concerned detachment in your essay. 5. Support your ideas with statistics from Kantrowitz’s essay. 6. Give an example of a success story by describing a couple at risk of divorce who sought counseling. 7. Conclude your essay by referring to the divorce rate and explaining why the rate is alarming.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups of three or four, choose two different quotes from single mothers in Kantrowitz’s essay. Compare couples the women’s approaches to the situation and discuss which you think is the more positive attitude. Present your opinions to the class. Writing About the Text Andrew Sullivan’s “Let Gays Marry” states that most gay people want the opportunity to marry. Many observers think that gay marriage will soon be a reality: it already is in Canada, and some American cities have provided marriage licenses to gay couples. Write an essay explaining what lessons homosexuals could learn about marriage from Kantrowitz’s essay. Argue that gays should still want to get married or that they should avoid the institution.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

80

Writing Arguments

More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, freewrite about the topic of adoption. Do not edit your writing. Write nonstop for at least 15 minutes. When you finish, exchange your journal with another student. Do you see any potential major propositions in your classmate’s freewriting? 2. Do you think men—or women—are to blame for the high rate of divorce in this country? Write a paragraph defending your position. 3. Write an essay in the form of a letter to one of the experts quoted in Kantrowitz’s essay, arguing against their position. Do research on the Web or in the library if necessary to build evidence for your claim.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

3

Patterns of Argument

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

hy do we write essays? We might write to amuse, to excite, to educate, to clarify, to direct, and, of course, we might write to persuade or defend a reasoned position. We might even write because our teachers told us to. No matter what the reason, we write for an audience. Because we will always write for an audience, we have to understand which of these reasons motivate our writing. Once you understand your goals, you can understand how to achieve them. Each piece of writing requires a different approach, and luckily you have many tools at your disposal. In the Socratic dialogue Gorgias by Plato, philosophers debate the meaning of the art of rhetoric—the art of using language effectively. One of the definitions that they uncover is that rhetoric is the art of “manufacturing persuasion.” This is an important definition, because it underlines the fact that no matter what kind of writing you do, you are, in some way, making a point. There will always be an aspect of argumentation in every essay you write. Since Plato’s time, writing teachers have studied rhetoric extensively and discovered that there are a number of techniques that all writers of essays use to make their points. These techniques are called rhetorical modes. A writer might recount an experience, explore the meaning of a term or concept, or compare two ideas to underline their similarities or differences. Each of these goals can advance an idea and make a point. These are, again, tools, means for supporting a claim, and not ends in themselves. This chapter shows how various rhetorical modes can help you advance a major proposition and make it persuasive to a reader. One of the most vivid of the rhetorical modes is narration, or telling a story. The advantages of using narration are fairly obvious: The reader is interested and drawn into the events that are narrated. Also, we usually tell stories in chronological order, so that they are easy to follow. Remember that narration, as with all the rhetorical modes, is not an end in itself. It must support a claim. If you want to persuade your mother that you should go on a trip to Europe, you might tell her the story of a friend who recently went to Europe. In your story, you would highlight the positive aspects about his trip and leave out the fact that he really only partied or that he was mugged in Amsterdam. You are in control of the story, so the details you choose can be persuasive.

W

81
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

82

Patterns of Argument

Fae Myenne Ng, in her narrative essay “False Gold,” tells the story of her father’s emigration from China to the United States. She fills her essay with vivid details of her father’s miserable experience, making her point about the unearned reputation of America as a promised land for Chinese immigrants. She uses her anecdotes to make a powerful point. Another useful rhetorical mode is description. Think about how you experience the world. The human body takes in sensations through the eyes, nose, ears, skin, and tongue. Because writing is a way to communicate ideas and feelings to a reader, and because you as a writer want to influence your reader as much as possible, you want to make your reader experience what you want her to experience. (Writers frequently use description when writing narrative. As we will see, the rhetorical modes often are used together.) Joan Didion, in her essay “Marrying Absurd,” uses the five senses to comment on the kitchy world of Las Vegas nuptials. The well-placed sensory detail can say more than much abstract writing. Imagine a friend is telling you about a recent movie that she hated. She is arguing for the poor quality of the film. If she told you simply that the movie was terrible, you would not be convinced. You would demand specific examples of why she didn’t like the movie: the lighting was bad, or the acting was weak, or—better yet and more specifically—the lead actor’s performance lacked energy. When you are making your case, offering examples—detailed, specific examples—can often mean the difference between a successful argument and an unsuccessful one. Illustration—that is, providing examples—can help bring abstract ideas to life. For instance, Manning Marable offers many examples of injustice against African Americans to make his argument for reparations for slavery stronger. Once again, you will notice some overlapping here: narrative, examples, and description all can interweave to hold the reader’s attention. Comparing or contrasting two points of view or two subjects in an essay can also help support your claim. You can strengthen an argument about proper behavior by standing an exemplar of properness next to someone poorly behaved. In “And Rarely the Twain Shall Meet,” Deborah Tannen writes about the differences between how girls and boys approach competition in sports and playtime, and how that difference continues into adulthood. Her juxtaposing of examples and anecdotes of each sex (girls negotiate, boys fight) help make her powerful point. A writer might choose to make a point by exploring the various facets of a term or phrase. An extended definition of marriage as, say, a prison, can be the basis for examples of henpecked husbands or dissatisfied housewives. As the writer of an essay, it is up to you to define your terms and lead your reader down the path you have set out, especially when readers might misconstrue your chosen concept or if you think it has been misinterpreted. Lorenzo Albacete, in “The Struggle with Celibacy,” attempts to clarify the concept of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church by limning its boundaries. His essay

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Patterns of Argument 83 adds up to an extended definition of celibacy that is in service of his central point about the usefulness and significance of the practice. Process, or writing instructions for an activity, carries with it an implicit argument as well. In “How to Duck Out of Teaching,” Douglas Stalker’s amusing instructions to professors on how to waste time in the classroom has a pointed message and a claim: Classroom time is something to be wasted, if possible. Stalker’s essay, of course, aims for humor, but writers can make serious claims using process. For example, a writer might offer simple instructions on how to keep a bicycle in a city in order to support a proposition that more people in cities should travel by bicycle instead of by car. If a writer explains to her readers the various reasons that she arrived at her point, she is using causal analysis to influence her readers. A writer arguing against the death penalty might explain the events or reasoning that led to her position. In perhaps the most famous causal argument in American history, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence the many reasons why the colonies were breaking off from Great Britain. The best feature of causal analysis is that we do it all the time instinctively. Why didn’t you do your homework? “The dog ate it” is a causal analysis in service of your claim that your lack of homework wasn’t your fault. We live in a causal world, and analyzing the world from that point of view can enrich your arguments. Readers of essays don’t appreciate confusion. They want clear transitions, clear divisions between ideas. Classification, or breaking down an issue or subject into its constituent parts, can help your readers orient themselves conceptually, and therefore classification is a powerful tool rhetorically. An argument that only movie comedies made before 1940 are any good would benefit from a classification of the different types of comedies made before and since, so that your reader understands the topic. Amartya Sen argues in “A World Not Neatly Divided” that we should not classify people and societies. Categories diminish them, he believes. But he has a difficult task in his argument because classification helps people understand their world. It can help them understand your argument better, as well. Of course, as suggested earlier, these rhetorical modes are not mutually exclusive. Writers often use them in conjunction to make a strong case. Ronald Takaki, in “The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority,” uses illustration to make his point against seeing Asians as a model minority. He breaks down the large group, Asians, into various nationalities, thus using classification. He also engages causal analysis and extended definition. In your reading and in your writing, pay attention to the use of these various tools and how they can work together effectively. In truth, in almost every essay you write you are making an argument, whether you want to or not. If you are mindful of the techniques available to you, your arguments will be stronger and your language more effective. You will be, as Plato says, “manufacturing persuasion.”

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

84

Patterns of Argument

Argument Through Narrative

FAE MYENNE NG
False Gold
Fae Myenne Ng, a first-generation Chinese-American, was born in 1957 and grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Her father was a cook for a University of California at Berkeley fraternity house, her mother a seamstress. After graduating from Berkeley, Ng went East and received a Master’s degree from Columbia University in 1984. Not long after, she moved to Brooklyn, where she continued to work on her first novel, Bone. The book is the story of a first-generation Chinese-American family and their trials and tribulations. Bone earned Ng many awards and honors. Much of Ng’s work is autobiographical, and she uses narrative techniques to advance her main ideas and claims. She says that her primary goal is to “write about true life.”

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
Where were your ancestors born? Have you heard their stories, either directly or through stories others have told? What lessons can you learn from their experiences? Think about whether the people who told you their stories were trying to teach you a lesson.

Words to Watch ancestor (par. 1) forefather duped (par. 1) fooled communal (par. 4) shared brothel (par. 7) where prostitutes work indentured (par. 8) forced to work 1 t’s that same old, same old story. We all have an immigrant ancestor, one who believed in America; one who, daring or duped, took sail. The Golden Venture emigrants have begun the American journey, suffering and sacrificing, searching for the richer, easier life. I know them; I could be one of their daughters. Like them, my father took the sacrificial role of being the first to venture. Now, at the end of his life, he calls it a bitter, no-luck life. I have always lived with his question, Was it worth it? As a child, I saw the bill-by-bill payback and I felt my own unpayable emotional debt. Obedience and Obligation: the Confucian curse. 2 For $4,000 my father became the fourth son of a legal Chinese immigrant living in San Francisco. His paper-father sent him a coaching book, detailing complicated family history. It was 1940; my father paid ninety more dollars for passage on the SS Coolidge. He had little hand luggage, a change of clothes, herbs and seeds and a powder for soup. To soothe his pounding
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

I

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Narrative 85 heart during the fifteen-day voyage he recited the coaching book over and over again. It was not a floating hell. “The food was Chinese. We traveled third-class. A bunk was good enough space.” He was prepared for worse. He’d heard about the Peruvian ships that transported Chinese coolies for plantation labor in the 1850s. (Every generation has its model.) One hundred and twenty days. Two feet by six for each man. Were these the first ships to be called floating hells? Gold Mountain was the name of my father’s America. In February, when the Golden Venture immigrants sailed from Bangkok, they were shouting, Mei Guo! Mei Guo! “Beautiful Country” was the translation they preferred. America is the land of light and hope. But landing here is only the beginning of a long tale. When I saw the photos of the shipwrecked Chinese on the beach, I was reminded of the men kept on Angel Island, the detention center in the middle of San Francisco Bay. A sea of hats on the deck of the ship. Triple-decked bunkers. Men in loose pants playing volleyball. “Was volleyball fun?” I wanted to know. My father shrugged, “Nothing else to do. It helped pass the day.” Our fathers spent months detained on Angel Island. Their name for it was Wooden House. What, I wonder, are the Chinese calling the detention center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania? After his release from Angel Island, my father lived at a bachelor hotel on Waverly Place with a dozen other bachelors in one room, communal toilets, no kitchen. He had breakfast at Uncle’s Cafe, dinners at the Jackson Cafe, midnight noodles at Sam Wo’s. Drinks at the Li Po Bar or Red’s Place, where fat burlesque queens sat on his lap. Marriage for duty. Sons for tradition. My father left the hotel but kept the habits. He still eats like a mouse, in the middle of the night, cooking on a hot plate in his room. (I do my version of the same.) He keeps his money under the floorboard. When I have it, I like to have a grip, bill by bill. Like everyone, too little money upsets me; but more money than I can hold upsets me too. I feel obliged to give it away. Is it a wonder that money has a dirty feel? Get it and get it fast. Then get rid of it. I remember this Angel Island photograph. Thirty bare-chested Chinese men are waiting for a medical examination. The doctor, a hunching man with a scraping stare, sits at a small desk, elbows and thick hands over a black book. At his side, a guard in knee-high boots measures a boy’s forehead. Arranged by height, baby-eyed boys stand stoop-shouldered on the outer edge. The men, at least a head taller, stand toward the center of the room, staring at the examiner. Those eyes scare me. Bold and angry and revengeful. Eyes that owe. Eyes that will make you pay. Humiliation with a vengeance. As boldly, the Golden Venture men have looked into American cameras. (If they believed a foot on soil would make them legal, a photo in an American newspaper would be as good as a passport.) There was a “See me!” bounce in their faces. They’d arrived, and now they wanted to send their news back home. And back home, a grateful father jumped when he picked out his son as one of the survivors, “He’s alive! My son made it.”
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

3

4

5

6

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

86 7

Patterns of Argument

8

9

10

11

12 13 14

Another photo. A Golden Venture man looks out from a locked door, his face framed by a tight window. He has a jail-view of the Beautiful Country. How would he describe his new world? I imagine he’d use his own body as a measure. “Window, two head high. Sun on both ears.” Can we forget the other “face” photograph taken earlier this century? The sold and smuggled prostitute, demoted from brothel to a crib, a wooden shack with barred windows that barely fits a cot. Looking out from her fenced window, she has the same downcast eyes, the same bitter-strange lips that seem to be smiling as well as trembling. The caption quotes her price: “Lookee two bits, feelee floor bits, doee six bits.” Life was and still is weighed in gold. People buy people. Sons and wives and slaves. There was the imperial edict that forbade Chinese to leave China; there was China’s contribution to France during World War I, in which tens of thousands of Chinese lived horrible lives as indentured slaves. I’ve heard parents threaten to sell children who misbehave. (Mine threatened to throw me into the garbage can where they claimed they found me.) There’s the story of Old Man Jeong, the one on Beckett Alley. Lonely after his wife died, fearful no one would care for him in his senile retirement, he went back to his home village and bought himself a wife. A woman born in 1956. Listen to the animal names. Snakes sneak into America. The Golden Venture was a snake ship. The emigrants are snake cargo; the middleman, a snakehead. In my father’s time, a pig was sold to America. A pig gets caught, a pig gets cheated. My father feels cheated, sold, on an easy story. On a recent visit to my father’s house in Guangzhou, I found his original coaching book. I knew it had been untouched since he last held it. In my hand, the loosely bound papers felt like ashes. I thought about how when he committed everything to memory, he became another man’s son. There’s an elaborate map of the family compound; each page is lined with questions and answers, some marked with red circles. Tedious questions and absurd details. How much money did Second Brother send to Mother? How much farmland did Mother have and what vegetables were harvested? Third Brother’s wife’s feet, were they big or bound? The book has a musty smell that reaches into my throat. One out of every four relations let me know they wanted to come to America. At the end of my visit, a distant relation and her 13-year-old daughter followed me into the rice paddies. “I’m selling her,” the mother told me. “What did you say? Say again?” I replied. She held a palm over her (golden) lower teeth, and said it again, “Don’t know what I’m saying? Sell. We sell her.” I stared at her. She laughed some more and then just walked away, back toward the village. The girl followed me, quiet till we got to the river, where she posed for some pictures and then asked for my address. I wrote it on the back of a business card. (I considered giving her my post office box.) I hope never to be surprised. I hope never to see this child at my door holding the card like a legal document.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Narrative 87 “Don’t add and don’t take away” was the advice of an uncle who heard 15 that I wrote things. Stay safe. Keep us safe. How right that “China” is written with the character “middle.” Obedience is a safe position. The Golden Venture men trusted the stories they heard. Their clansmen entrusted their dreams to them. The question is not how bad it is in China. The question is how good it can be in America. My father believes the Golden Venturers have only passed through the first hell. In coming to America, he laments (there is no other word) that he trusted too much. Ironic that in Chinese he bought a name that reads, To Have Trust.

Building Vocabulary
Ng’s essay contains words about the Asian immigrant experience you might not be familiar with. Identify the following, consulting reference works if necessary: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Confucian (par. 1) coolies (par. 2) Bangkok (par. 3) burlesque (par. 4) Guangzhou (par. 10) rice paddies (par. 11)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why does Ng call the selection “False Gold”? 2. Why did Ng’s father leave China? Why did he come to the United States? 3. In paragraph 1, what is the “bill-by-bill payback” Ng refers to? What does she mean by an “unpayable emotional debt”? 4. How is “Obedience and Obligation” the “Confucian curse”? What does that phrase mean? 5. What is the Golden Venture? What prompts Ng’s trip back to China? Why would she make the opposite trip her father made years before? 6. In paragraph 2, what is the “coaching book” her father received? 7. Why does Ng give the 13-year-old girl her address on the back of a business card if she hopes she is never surprised by her presence? 8. What did Ng’s father mean that “he trusted too much”? (par. 15) Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the essay’s claim? If there isn’t one, what paragraph tells the reader what Ng’s main idea is most clearly? Which sentence in that paragraph best states the main proposition? 2. Ng begins her essay by claiming that the story of her father’s experience is typical, that it is “that same old, same old story.” Why does she do this, and do you think she is right?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

88

Patterns of Argument

3. A narrative essay uses description to bring to life certain events. What images in Ng’s essay do you find most effective? 4. Why does Ng include, in paragraphs 5 and 7, descriptions of photographs that she has seen? 5. What is your opinion of the conclusion of Ng’s essay? What does it say about Ng as a writer? As a daughter? As an Asian American? As an American?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Ng never tells us the conditions of the Golden Venture immigrants back in China. She writes, “The question is not how bad it is in China. The question is how good it can be in America.” Why doesn’t she explore the problems back in China? 2. Ng seems to suggest that the promises given to her father and other Golden Venture immigrants like him were wrong. Do you think they were? Why or why not? 3. Do you find Ng’s essay too bitter about her father’s experience? Do you think her bitterness is warranted? Why or why not? 4. In paragraph 15, Ng writes that “the Golden Venture men trusted the stories they heard.” She seems to suggest that they believed in those stories because they were Chinese. What do you think it is about your ethnic background that made your ancestors come to the United States?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting What prompts people to leave their country? What would force you to leave your country and go elsewhere? How would you choose where to go? Writing a Guided Argument Write a narrative essay in which you imagine the experience of your ancestors or family members who came to the United States. What prompted them to come, and what was their experience? Make sure that you, like Ng, have a claim, positive or negative, about the United States.
1. Begin your essay by giving some background about your ancestors. Who were they, and where did they come from? Why did they want to leave? Write your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph. 2. First, tell the story of your ancestor’s trip to this country. 3. Try to use vivid description to bring the story to life, even if it means inventing details to make it more dramatic. 4. Then write a narrative about how your ancestor came to the decision to leave. 5. Finally, write about the ancestor’s experience in this country. 6. End your essay by commenting on the stories you presented. What is your opinion? Restate the claim in new words, and then bring the discussion around to you and your experience of the United States.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Description 89

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Exchange drafts of your Writing a Guided Argument essay with another student in the class. Analyze your fellow student’s essay for effective use of detail and description. Does the narrative serve the purpose of a main idea or proposition, or is it there merely as a narrative? If there is no claim, suggest one, and work together to come up with an acceptable one. If there is a claim, try to improve it together. Also, take out unnecessary details and events that do not serve the main idea. Writing About the Text Ng’s style in this essay is distinctive. How would you characterize her style of writing? How does she use language to express the main idea of the essay? Write an essay about Ng’s use of language, including her use of fragments and choppy sentences. More Writing Ideas 1. We are not today immigrating to the United States, but all of us have a dream that can count as “false gold.” Write a journal entry about what your personal “false gold” is. 2. In a paragraph, analyze a photograph of older family members. What does the photograph tell you about the people in it. Only say what you can figure out from what you see. 3. Ng is writing about a phenomenon that many others have written about: the United States being perceived as the promised land by immigrants. Write an essay in which you argue that the United States does or does not live up to these expectations.

Argument Through Description

JOAN DIDION
Marrying Absurd
Joan Didion was born in 1934 in Sacramento, California. Her family has been in California for five generations, and she often writes about the state. She began her writing career when she won an essay contest sponsored by Vogue magazine, which then hired her. Her first book, a novel called Run River, was published in 1963. She has written a number of other novels, but she is best known for her books of collected essays including Slouching Toward Bethlehem (1968) and The White Album (1979). Her writing is distinguished by her vividness of description and accurate dialogue.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

90

Patterns of Argument

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What does “absurd” mean? Under what circumstances might marrying be considered “absurd”? This essay is about marriage in Las Vegas. How does that change your answer?

Words to Watch moonscape (par. 1) a landscape marked by terrain that looks like the surface of the moon mesquite (par. 1) a tree that grows in the desert en masse (par. 1) as a whole, all together allegorical (par. 2) symbolical implausibility (par. 2) unbelievability nosegay (par. 4) bouquet of flowers Panglossian (par. 5) excessively optimistic 1 o be married in Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada, a bride must swear that she is eighteen or has parental permission and a bridegroom that he is twenty-one or has parental permission. Someone must put up five dollars for the license. (On Sundays and holidays, fifteen dollars. The Clark County Courthouse issues marriage licenses at any time of the day or night except between noon and one in the afternoon, between eight and nine in the evening, and between four and five in the morning.) Nothing else is required. The State of Nevada, alone among these United States, demands neither a premarital blood test nor a waiting period before or after the issuance of a marriage license. Driving in across the Mojave from Los Angeles, one sees the signs way out on the desert, looming up from that moonscape of rattle-snakes and mesquite, even before the Las Vegas lights appear like a mirage on the horizon: “GETTING MARRIED? Free License Information First Strip Exit.” Perhaps the Las Vegas wedding industry achieved its peak operational efficiency between 9:00 p.m. and midnight of August 26, 1965, an otherwise unremarkable Thursday which happened to be, by Presidential order, the last day on which anyone could improve his draft status merely by getting married. One hundred and seventyone couples were pronounced man and wife in the name of Clark County and the State of Nevada that night, sixty-seven of them by a single justice of the peace, Mr. James A. Brennan. Mr. Brennan did one wedding at the Dunes and the other sixty-six in his office, and charged each couple eight dollars. One bride lent her veil to six others. “I got it down from five to three minutes,” Mr. Brennan said later of his feat. “I could’ve married them en masse, but they’re people, not cattle. People expect more when they get married.” 2 What people who get married in Las Vegas actually do expect—what, in the largest sense, their “expectations” are—strikes one as a curious and selfcontradictory business. Las Vegas is the most extreme and allegorical of American settlements, bizarre and beautiful in its venality and in its devotion to immediate gratification, a place the tone of which is set by mobsters and call girls and ladies’ room attendants with amyl nitrate poppers in their uniResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

T

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Description 91 form pockets. Almost everyone notes that there is no “time” in Las Vegas, no night and no day and no past and no future (no Las Vegas casino, however, has taken the obliteration of the ordinary time sense quite so far as Harold’s Club in Reno, which for a while issued, at odd intervals in the day and night, mimeographed “bulletins” carrying news from the world outside); neither is there any logical sense of where one is. One is standing on a highway in the middle of a vast hostile desert looking at an eighty-foot sign which blinks “STARDUST” or “CAESAR’S PALACE.” Yes, but what does that explain? This geographical implausibility reinforces the sense that what happens there has no connection with “real” life; Nevada cities like Reno and Carson are ranch towns, Western towns, places behind which there is some historical imperative. But Las Vegas seems to exist only in the eye of the beholder. All of which makes it an extraordinarily stimulating and interesting place, but an odd one in which to want to wear a candlelight satin Priscilla of Boston wedding dress with Chantilly lace insets, tapered sleeves and a detachable modified train. And yet the Las Vegas wedding business seems to appeal to precisely 3 that impulse. “Sincere and Dignified Since 1954,” one wedding chapel advertises. There are nineteen such wedding chapels in Las Vegas, intensely competitive, each offering better, faster, and, by implication, more sincere services than the next: Our Photos Best Anywhere, Your Wedding on A Phonograph Record, Candlelight with Your Ceremony, Honeymoon Accommodations, Free Transportation from Your Motel to Courthouse to Chapel and Return to Motel, Religious or Civil Ceremonies, Dressing Rooms, Flowers, Rings, Announcements, Witnesses Available, and Ample Parking. All of these services, like most others in Las Vegas (sauna baths, payroll-check cashing, chinchilla coats for sale or rent) are offered twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, presumably on the premise that marriage, like craps, is a game to be played when the table seems hot. But what strikes one most about the Strip chapels, with their wishing 4 wells and stained-glass paper windows and their artificial bouvardia, is that so much of their business is by no means a matter of simple convenience, of late-night liaisons between show girls and baby Crosbys. Of course there is some of that. (One night about eleven o’clock in Las Vegas I watched a bride in an orange minidress and masses of flame-colored hair stumble from a Strip chapel on the arm of her bridegroom, who looked the part of the expendable nephew in movies like Miami Syndicate. “I gotta get the kids,” the bride whimpered. “I gotta pick up the sitter, I gotta get to the midnight show.” “What you gotta get,” the bridegroom said, opening the door of a Cadillac Coupe de Ville and watching her crumple on the seat, “is sober.”) But Las Vegas seems to offer something other than “convenience”; it is merchandising “niceness,” the facsimile of proper ritual, to children who do not know how else to find it, how to make the arrangements, how to do it “right.” All day and evening long on the Strip, one sees actual wedding parties, waiting under the harsh lights at a crosswalk, standing uneasily in the parking lot of the Frontier while the photographer hired by The Little
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

92

Patterns of Argument

Church of the West (“Wedding Place of the Stars”) certifies the occasion, takes the picture: the bride in a veil and white satin pumps, the bridegroom usually in a white dinner jacket, and even an attendant or two, a sister or a best friend in hot-pink peau de soie, a flirtation veil, a carnation nosegay. “When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever,” the organist plays, and then a few bars of Lohengrin. The mother cries; the stepfather, awkward in his role, invites the chapel hostess to join them for a drink at the Sands. The hostess declines with a professional smile; she has already transferred her interest to the group waiting outside. One bride out, another in, and again the sign goes up on the chapel door: “One moment please—Wedding.” 5 I sat next to one such wedding party in a Strip restaurant the last time I was in Las Vegas. The marriage had just taken place; the bride still wore her dress, the mother her corsage. A bored waiter poured out a few swallows of pink champagne (“on the house”) for everyone but the bride, who was too young to be served. “You’ll need something with more kick than that,” the bride’s father said with heavy jocularity to his new son-in-law; the ritual jokes about the wedding night had a certain Panglossian character, since the bride was clearly several months pregnant. Another round of pink champagne, this time not on the house, and the bride began to cry. “It was just as nice,” she sobbed, “as I hoped and dreamed it would be.”

Building Vocabulary
1. Define the following words and use each in a sentence of your own: a. mirage (par. 1) b. liaisons (par. 4) c. expendable (par. 4) d. crumple (par. 4) e. corsage (par. 5) 2. Didion makes several references that might be unfamiliar, some because they are obsolete. Identify the following: a. justice of the peace (par. 1) b. amyl nitrate poppers (par. 2) c. mimeographed (par. 2) d. phonograph (par. 3) e. chinchilla coats (par. 3) f. craps (par. 3) g. dinner jacket (par. 4)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Nevada doesn’t require a blood test for marriage. Why would other states require one? 2. In paragraph 1, Didion refers to a draft and states that 171 couples were married the last day that marriage would improve one’s draft status. What draft is she referring to, and why does she include this information?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing. ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Description 93 3. What is Didion’s characterization of Las Vegas? What words does she use that help build that image? 4. How is Las Vegas different from other places, according to Didion? 5. Why are people who want to get married attracted to Las Vegas, besides the lack of a blood-test requirement? 6. What kinds of people typically get married in Las Vegas, according to Didion? 7. In what ways is Las Vegas “odd” (par. 2)? What examples does she give?

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. Didion places her claim, or main proposition, about halfway through the essay. What is the claim, and is the entire meaning of the essay expressed in only one sentence? 2. Why does Didion begin her essay with a rundown of the rules for getting married in Las Vegas? 3. What warrants are implied here? How does the reader “learn” to read this essay as he or she moves through it? 4. What points does Didion make to support her central proposition? 5. Who is Didion’s ideal audience? What is Didion’s tone, and how does she tailor it for her audience? 6. Didion relies on vivid description to help make her points. Why, for example, does she include the description of the bride in the “orange minidress” in paragraph 4? What effect does the description have on the reader? 7. What other images or descriptions are most effective in Didion’s argument? 8. Why does Didion end the essay with the pregnant bride crying for joy? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Didion’s writing is often considered ironic. Do you think there is too much irony here? Why or why not? 2. Didion’s extensive use of description can be quite effective, but sometimes it is possible to push her point too far. Are there any moments where you think Didion’s description goes too far? 3. Are there moments when Didion does not use enough description? What would you add? 4. Didion has an argument here, but she only overtly judges her subject in the title by calling the things she is describing “absurd.” Where in the essay does Didion stray from subtlety into open judgment?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Prewriting Take a good look at the place where you live. What is it about your town or city that might seem odd to an outsider? Do a guided freewrite on the topic, traveling in your mind through your city as a tourist.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

94

Patterns of Argument

Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay called “ . . . Absurd” and choose some aspect about where you live that seems strange when you look at it too closely, such as commuting, exercising, or living in small apartments or in large mansions.
1. Begin your essay by describing people in the process of performing your subject, and show—don’t tell—how it is absurd. 2. Finish your introduction by explaining to your reader what your major proposition is. 3. Explain and then describe what people expect from performing your subject. 4. Describe what it is about your town that makes people do your subject. 5. Explain one aspect of your subject that is absurd. 6. Describe the first aspect by giving details based on images, sounds, smells, and your other senses. 7. Explain another aspect of your subject that is absurd, and bring the explanation to life with a strong description. 8. Finish your essay by highlighting the most absurd quality of your subject, and describe people in the process of going about their lives doing that action without realizing that they are being absurd.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In groups of four or five, discuss ways to defend the subjects of Didion’s essay from her charges of absurdity. How are the people she describes and quotes just being themselves and enjoying themselves? Come up with a rebuttal to Didion’s strong argument. Writing About the Text Didion seems to be intensely dissatisfied and judgmental about how people come together in Las Vegas. She allows people like the justice of the peace, James Brennan, to say things she obviously thinks are silly, as in paragraph 1, when she quotes him as saying, “I could’ve married them en masse, but they’re people, not cattle.” She is obviously speaking ironically. How could you satisfy Didion? What does she want? What would she like to see change in Las Vegas? Write an essay in which you explore ways of reforming the marriage industry in Las Vegas, explaining what you think Didion’s objections are and addressing them one by one. More Writing Ideas 1. Write a journal entry about a place you’ve been that has seemed absurd to you. Why did it seem so absurd? 2. Write a paragraph describing a wedding or other ceremony you have been to. Describe the food, the sights, the sounds. 3. Some people now question the notion of marriage as an antiquated idea. Almost half of all marriages end in divorce. Write an essay in which you argue for or against marriage. Use strong descriptive passages to show marital bliss or discord.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Illustration 95

Argument Through Illustration

MANNING MARABLE
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Manning Marable is a professor of history and political science at Columbia University, where he is also the director of both the Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Center for Contemporary Black History. Among his works are The Crisis of Color and Democracy (1992), Beyond Black and White (1995), and Black Leadership (1998). He is also the editor of the anthology Freedom on My Mind (2003). This essay was published in Newsweek in 2001.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What is your responsibility for the crimes committed by or against your ancestors? Do you have any responsibility? If so, what is that responsibility, and if not, why not?

Words to Watch fundamental (par. 2) basic coded (par. 2) deeply ingrained paradoxically (par. 4) in a way that is self-contradictory disproportionate (par. 5) vastly unequal reparations (par. 6) payments for damages n 1854 my great-grandfather, Morris Marable, was sold on an auction block in Georgia for $500. For his white slave master, the sale was just “business as usual.” But to Morris Marable and his heirs, slavery was a crime against our humanity. This pattern of human-rights violations against enslaved AfricanAmericans continued under Jim Crow segregation for nearly another century. The fundamental problem of American democracy in the 21st century is the problem of “structural racism”: the deep patterns of socioeconomic inequality and accumulated disadvantage that are coded by race, and constantly justified in public discourse by both racist stereotypes and white indifference. Do Americans have the capacity and vision to dismantle these structural barriers that deny democratic rights and opportunities to millions of their fellow citizens? This country has previously witnessed two great struggles to achieve a truly multicultural democracy. The First Reconstruction (1865–1877) ended slavery and briefly gave black men voting rights, but gave no meaningful compensation for two centuries of unpaid labor. The promise of “40 acres and a mule” was for most blacks a dream deferred. The Second Reconstruction (1954–1968), or the modern civil-rights movement, outlawed legal segregation in public accommodations and gave
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

I

1

2

3

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

4

96

Patterns of Argument

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

blacks voting rights. But these successes paradoxically obscure the tremendous human costs of historically accumulated disadvantage that remain central to black Americans’ lives. The disproportionate wealth that most whites enjoy today was first constructed from centuries of unpaid black labor. Many white institutions, including lvy League universities, insurance companies, and banks, profited from slavery. This pattern of white privilege and black inequality continues today. Demanding reparations is not just about compensation for slavery and segregation. It is, more important, an educational campaign to highlight the contemporary reality of “racial deficits” of all kinds, the unequal conditions that impact blacks regardless of class. Structural racism’s barriers include “equity inequity,” the absence of black capital formation that is a direct consequence of America’s history. One third of all black households actually have negative net wealth. In 1998 the typical black family’s net wealth was $16,400, less than one fifth that of white families. Black families are denied home loans at twice the rate of whites. Blacks remain the last hired and first fired during recessions. During the 1990–1991 recession, African-Americans suffered disproportionately. At Coca-Cola, 42 percent of employees who lost their jobs were black. At Sears, 54 percent were black. Blacks have significantly shorter life expectancies, in part due to racism in the health establishment. Blacks are statistically less likely than whites to be referred for kidney transplants or early-stage cancer surgery. In criminal justice, African-Americans constitute only one seventh of all drug users. Yet we account for 35 percent of all drug arrests, 55 percent of drug convictions and 75 percent of prison admissions for drug offenses. White Americans today aren’t guilty of carrying out slavery and segregation. But whites have a moral and political responsibility to acknowledge the continuing burden of history’s structural racism. A reparations trust fund could be established, with the goal of closing the socioeconomic gaps between blacks and whites. Funds would be targeted specifically toward poor, disadvantaged communities with the greatest need, not to individuals. Let’s eliminate the racial unfairness in capital markets that perpetuates black poverty. A national commitment to expand black homeownership, full employment, and quality health care would benefit all Americans, regardless of race. Reparations could begin America’s Third Reconstruction, the final chapter in the 400-year struggle to abolish slavery and its destructive consequences. As Malcolm X said in 1961, hundreds of years of racism and labor exploitation are “worth more than a cup of coffee at a white cafe. We are here to collect back wages.”

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Illustration 97

Building Vocabulary
Identify the following terms and references related to the history of slavery in America. (Hint: Item 4 comes from a famous poem): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. auction block (par. 1) Jim Crow (par. 1) 40 acres and a mule (par. 3) a dream deferred (par. 3) voting rights (par. 4) Malcolm X (par. 12)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why does Marable begin with his great-grandfather being sold as a slave? 2. Marable says in paragraphs 1 and 2 that the sale of his greatgrandfather was part of a pattern. What does this pattern consist of? 3. What, in your own words, is “structural racism”? (par. 2) 4. According to Marable, what did the first reconstruction achieve? What did the second achieve? 5. What did both reconstructions fail to achieve? 6. Why, according to Marable, do white people have more wealth than black people, on average? 7. In what form does Marable expect reparations to come? 8. What are the major problems in the black community? 9. Why does Marable quote Malcolm X at the end of his essay? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the main proposition in this essay? Is it in an effective place? Explain. 2. Who is Marable’s audience? How would you characterize his tone? 3. Why does Marable include the history lesson in the first part of his essay? Is it effective? Why or why not? 4. How does Marable support his argument? 5. What examples does Marable use to support his claim? 6. What kinds of support does he use? Is it effective? Why or why not? 7. How does Marable develop his conclusion? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Why, according to Marable, has progress been so slow toward getting rid of “equity inequality”? Is his explanation satisfying? Why or why not? 2. Does Marable do a good job of connecting the statistics in paragraphs 6 through 8 to the history of “structural racism”? Why or why not?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

98

Patterns of Argument

3. In paragraph 9, Marable writes that “whites have a moral and political responsibility to acknowledge the continuing burden of history’s structural racism.” Do you agree? Why or why not? 4. If, as Marable says, “white Americans today aren’t guilty of carrying out slavery and segregation,” why are whites responsible for granting reparations? 5. Marable calls for funds “targeted specifically toward poor, disadvantaged communities with the greatest need, not to individuals.” Does the United States have anything like this today? Why doesn’t Marable talk about existing programs? 6. Marable writes in paragraph 11 that “a national commitment to expand black homeownership, full employment, and quality health care would benefit all Americans, regardless of race.” What does he mean? How do you think that could happen?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Black slavery was a terrible crime and a monumental event of the early history of our country. There’s a museum for the Holocaust in Washington, D.C., and memorials for the Vietnam, Korean, and World Wars, but there is neither a museum nor a memorial to the victims of slavery. Why do you think this is so? Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay arguing for a museum, in Washington, D.C., or some other city in the United States, which focuses on the history of slavery. Refer to Marable’s essay at least twice in your essay.
1. Begin by illustrating the horror of American slavery with a striking story or fact. 2. Make your central claim in your introduction. 3. Offer examples of how tragedies and events have their own museums and question why slavery does not. 4. Give examples of what those museums do to educate the public. 5. Point out at least three things a museum could accomplish for the history of slavery and offer vivid examples of how you envision that happening. 6. Use at least one statistic in your essay. 7. Explain how a museum might accomplish some of what Marable wants to accomplish with reparations.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Break into small groups and exchange drafts of your Writing a Guided Argument essay. Write comments on each other’s papers, focusing specifically on the success of the use of examples in the essays. How can the writer’s examples be more effective?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Comparison and Contrast 99

Writing About the Text Often, for effect, a writer will use phrases and words that he or she knows the reader will recognize. Marable uses allusions or references to a number of people and phrases important in black history. Research these allusions and write an essay explaining them. More Writing Ideas 1. If you were responsible for distributing reparations, how would you go about it? Write a journal entry addressing this problem. 2. At the end of his essay, Marable quotes Malcolm X on the subject of reparations. Malcolm X often differed with Martin Luther King Jr. on issues of civil rights. Do some research and write a paragraph or two on what Dr. King said or would say about reparations. 3. Write an essay exploring Marable’s idea in paragraph 6 that a reparations program could be an “educational campaign.” What does he mean? Explore how you think this might work or not work.

Argument Through Comparison and Contrast

DEBORAH TANNEN
And Rarely the Twain Shall Meet
Deborah Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. She has also taught at Princeton University. Her work specializes in linguistic differences between genders. She has written many books on the subject, including You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (1991) and Gender and Discourse (1994). She has also published poetry, short stories, and essays, and has written plays. In this selection, Tannen displays her expertise in analyzing the differences between how boys and girls play sports and how those differences extend into adulthood.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What do you think are the differences between how men and women approach competition? Do they approach work differently? How?

Words to Watch authoritarian (par. 6) overbearing linguist (par. 6) one who studies language compromising (par. 15) giving up something for something else beseeching (par. 16) pleading adamant (par. 18) firm, unmoving trump card (par. 23) winning hand in many card games perspective (par. 24) point of view
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

100 Patterns of Argument 1

B

2

3 4

5 6

7

ob Hoover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was interviewing me when he remarked that after years of coaching boys’ softball teams, he was now coaching girls and they were very different. I immediately whipped out my yellow pad and began interviewing him—and discovered that his observations about how girls and boys play softball parallel mine about how women and men talk at work. Hoover told me that boys’ teams always had one or two stars whom the other boys treated with deference. So when he started coaching a girl’s team, he began by looking for the leader. He couldn’t find one. “The girls who are better athletes don’t lord it over the others,” he says. “You get the feeling that everyone’s the same.” When a girl gets the ball, she doesn’t try to throw it all the way home as a strong-armed boy would; instead, she throws it to another team member, so they all become better catchers and throwers. He goes on, “If a girl makes an error, she’s not in the doghouse for a long time, as a boy would be.” “But wait,” I interrupt. “I’ve heard that when girls make a mistake at sports, they often say ‘I’m sorry,’ whereas boys don’t.” That’s true, he says, but then the girl forgets it—and so do her teammates. “For boys, sports is a performance art. They’re concerned with how they look.” When they make an error, they sulk because they’ve let their teammates down. Girls want to win, but if they lose, they’re still all in it together—so the mistake isn’t as dreadful for the individual or the team. What Hoover describes in these youngsters are the seeds of behavior I have observed among women and men at work. The girls who are the best athletes don’t “lord it over” the others—just the ethic I have found among women in positions of authority. Women managers frequently tell me they are good managers because they do not act in an authoritarian manner. They say they do not flaunt their power, or behave as though they are better than their subordinates. Similarly, linguist Elisabeth Kuhn has found that women professors in her study inform students of course requirements as if they had magically appeared on the syllabus (“There are two papers. The first paper, ah, let’s see, is due . . . It’s back here [referring to the syllabus] at the beginning”), whereas the men professors make it clear that they set the requirements (“I have two midterms and a final”). A woman manager might say to her secretary, “Could you do me a favor and type this letter right away?” knowing that her secretary is going to type the letter. But her male boss, on hearing this, might conclude she doesn’t feel she deserves the authority she has, just as a boys’ coach might think the star athlete doesn’t realize how good he is if he doesn’t expect his teammates to treat him with deference. I was especially delighted by Hoover’s observation that, although girls are more likely to say, “I’m sorry,” they are actually far less sorry when they make a mistake than boys who don’t say it, but are “in the doghouse” for a long time. This dramatizes the ritual nature of many women’s apologies. How often is a woman who is “always apologizing” seen as weak and lacking in confidence? In fact, for many women, saying “I’m sorry” often doesn’t
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Comparison and Contrast 101 mean “I apologize.” It means “I’m sorry that happened.” Like many of the rituals common among women, it’s a way of speaking that takes into account the other person’s point of view. It can even be an automatic conversational smoother. For example, you leave your pad in someone’s office; you knock on the door and say, “Excuse me, I left my pad on your desk,” and the person whose office it is might reply, “Oh, I’m sorry. Here it is.” She knows it is not her fault that you left your pad on her desk; she’s just letting you know it’s okay. Finally, I was intrigued by Hoover’s remark that boys regard sports as “a performance art” and worry about “how they look.” There, perhaps, is the rub, the key to why so many women feel they don’t get credit for what they do. From childhood, many boys learn something that is very adaptive to the workplace: Raises and promotions are based on “performance” evaluations and these depend, in large measure, on how you appear in other people’s eyes. In other words, you have to worry not only about getting your job done but also about getting credit for what you do. Getting credit often depends on the way you talk. For example, a woman tells me she has been given a poor evaluation because her supervisor feels she knows less than her male peers. Her boss, it turns out, reached this conclusion because the woman asks more questions: She is seeking information without regard to how her queries will make her look. The same principle applies to apologizing. Whereas some women seem to be taking undeserved blame by saying “I’m sorry,” some men seem to evade deserved blame. I observed this when a man disconnected a conference call by accidentally elbowing the speaker-phone. When his secretary reconnects the call, I expect him to say, “I’m sorry; I knocked the phone by mistake.” Instead he says, “Hey, what happened?! One minute you were there, the next minute you were gone!” Annoying as this may be, there are certainly instances in which people improve their fortunes by covering up mistakes. If Hoover’s observations about girls’ and boys’ athletic styles are fascinating, it is even more revealing to see actual transcripts of children at play and how they mirror the adult workplace. Amy Sheldon, a linguist at the University of Minnesota who studies children talking at play in a day care center, has compared the conflicts of pre-school girls and boys. She finds that boys who fight with one another tend to pursue their own goals. Girls tend to balance their own interests with those of the other girls through complex verbal negotiations. Look at how different the negotiations are: Two boys fight over a toy telephone: Tony has it; Charlie wants it. Tony is sitting on a foam chair with the base of the phone in his lap and the receiver lying beside him. Charlie picks up the receiver, and Tony protests, “No, that’s my phone!” He grabs the telephone cord and tries to pull the receiver away from Charlie, saying, “No, that—uh, it’s on MY couch. It’s on MY couch. Charlie. It’s on MY couch. It’s on MY couch.” It seems he has only one point to make, so he makes it repeatedly as he uses physical force to get the phone back.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

8

9

10

11

12 13

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

102 Patterns of Argument 14 Charlie ignores Tony and holds onto the receiver. Tony then gets off the couch, sets the phone base on the floor and tries to keep possession of it by overturning the chair on top of it. Charlie manages to push the chair off, gets the telephone, and wins the fight. This might seem like a typical kids’ fight until you compare it with a fight Sheldon videotaped among girls. Here the contested objects are toy medical instruments: Elaine has them; Arlene wants them. But she doesn’t just grab for them; she argues her case. Elaine, in turn, balances her own desire to keep them with Arlene’s desire to get them. Elaine loses ground gradually by compromising. Arlene begins not by grabbing but by asking and giving a reason: “Can I have that, that thing? I’m going to take my baby’s temperature.” Elaine is agreeable, but cautious: “You can use it—you can use my temperature. Just make sure you can’t use anything else unless you can ask.” Arlene does just that; she asks for the toy syringe: “May I?” Elaine at first resists, but gives a reason: “No. I’m gonna need to use the shot in a couple of minutes.” Arlene reaches for the syringe anyway, explaining in a “beseeching” tone, “But I—I need this though.” Elaine capitulates, but again tries to set limits: “Okay, just use it once.” She even gives Arlene permission to give “just a couple of shots.” Arlene then presses her advantage, and became possessive of her property: “Now don’t touch the baby until I get back, because it IS MY BABY! I’ll check her ears, okay?” (Even when being demanding, she asks for agreement: “okay?”) Elaine tries to regain some rights through compromise: “Well, let’s pretend it’s another day, that we have to look in her ears together.” Elaine also tries another approach that will give Arlene something she wants: “I’ll have to shot her after, after, after you listen—after you look in her ears,” suggests Elaine. Arlene, however, is adamant: “Now don’t shot her at all!” What happens next will sound familiar to anyone who has ever been a little girl or overheard one. Elaine can no longer abide Arlene’s selfish behavior and applies the ultimate sanction: “Well, then, you can’t come to my birthday!” Arlene utters the predictable retort: “I don’t want to come to your birthday!” The boys and girls have followed different rituals for fighting. Each boy goes after what he wants; they slug it out; one wins. But the girls enact a complex negotiation, trying to get what they want while taking into account what the other wants. Here is an example of how women and men at work use comparable strategies. Maureen and Harold, two managers at a medium-size company, are assigned to hire a human-resources coordinator for their division. Each favors a different candidate, and both feel strongly about their preferences. They trade arguments for some time, neither convincing the other. Then Harold says that hiring the candidate Maureen wants would make him so uncomfortable that he would have to consider resigning. Maureen respects Harold. What’s more, she likes him and considers him a friend. So she says what
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

15

16

17

18

19

20

21 22

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Comparison and Contrast 103 seems to her the only thing she can say under the circumstances: “Well, I certainly don’t want you to feel uncomfortable here. You’re one of the pillars of the place.” Harold’s choice is hired. What is crucial is not Maureen’s and Harold’s individual styles in isola- 23 tion but how they play in concert with each other’s style. Harold’s threat to quit ensures his triumph—when used with someone for whom it is a trump card. If he had been arguing with someone who regards his threat as simply another move in the negotiation rather than a nonnegotiable expression of deep feelings, the result might have been different. For example, had she said, “That’s ridiculous; of course you’re not going to quit!” or matched it (“Well, I’d be tempted to quit if we hired your guy”), the decision might well have gone the other way. Like the girls at play, Maureen balances her perspective with those of 24 her colleague and expects him to do the same. Harold is simply going for what he wants and trusts Maureen to do likewise. This is not to say that all women and all men, or all boys and girls, be- 25 have any one way. Many factors influence our styles, including regional and ethnic backgrounds, family experience, and individual personality. But gender is a key factor, and understanding its influence can help clarify what happens when we talk.

Building Vocabulary
For each of the following words, write a definition and a sentence of your own making: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. flaunt (par. 6) deference (par. 6) agreeable (par. 16) syringe (par. 16) capitulates (par. 17) abide (par. 19) sanction (par. 19) retort (par. 19)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. When Bob Hoover tells Tannen that he is coaching girls and they are different from boys, she immediately stops his interview of her and starts interviewing him. Why do you think she reacts like this? 2. According to Hoover, what are the differences between boys’ teams and girls’ teams, in your own words? 3. According to Tannen, what is the difference between how men and women view getting credit in the workplace?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

104 Patterns of Argument 4. What do the University of Minnesota studies show about how girls negotiate? 5. What do they reveal about how boys negotiate? 6. The last two paragraphs are set apart after a line break. Why?

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. Why does Tannen describe the difference between boys and girls in sports at the start of her essay? 2. What is Tannen’s main proposition? Where does she express it most clearly? 3. Where does Tannen contrast the behaviors of boys/men and girls/women? Write an outline of the essay, showing the various areas of contrast. 4. Which technique does Tannen use to contrast, ABAB or AABB? Why, do you think? 5. Choose one area of contrast that Tannen uses. What examples does she use to illustrate that area? 6. Who is Tannen’s audience? How does that affect the tone of her essay? 7. Which of Tannen’s illustrations most effectively supports her main idea? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Which gender is Tannen most interested in? Why? How do you know that? 2. Why does Tannen point out that there are gender differences? Isn’t that obvious? What do you think is her unstated reason for writing this essay? 3. What other conclusions can you draw from the University of Minnesota studies? 4. Why is it so important to understand the differences in how the genders behave? 5. Tannen seems to assume that the differences between girls and boys are always played out between women and men. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Make two columns, one labeled “Men” and the other labeled “Women.” Think of a different area of contrast than the one Tannen focuses on— attitudes toward love or sex, for example—and list points of contrast between the two columns. Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay that contrasts the ways in which men and women approach some aspect of life besides the one Tannen explores.
1. Begin your essay with an anecdote in which you are watching a man and woman or boy and girl interact. Explain why this experience led you to think about the differences between the sexes in the area you are exploring.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Definition 105 2. Make sure your claim reflects the comparison your essay will make between men and women. 3. Give a few examples of how women demonstrate how they react to your subject. 4. Wrap up your discussion of women with a conclusion about them. 5. Give a few examples of how men demonstrate how they react to your subject. 6. Wrap up your discussion of men with a conclusion about them. 7. End your essay by evaluating which you think is the proper attitude to the subject you chose. Attempt to choose the opposite sex’s attitude.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Exchange drafts of your Writing a Guided Argument essay with another student in the class. After making some general comments on the essay, write a paragraph or two on how successfully your partner achieved the goal of contrasting. Does the essay maintain coherence? Discuss your comments with your partner. Writing About the Text Write an essay based on questions 2 or 4 in Exploring the Writer’s Argument. More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, write an entry about an experience you had that highlighted a difference between the sexes. 2. Write a paragraph comparing how you act at home with how you act at work. 3. Which method of negotiating—a man’s or a woman’s—is more effective? Write an essay explaining your choice.

Argument Through Definition

LORENZO ALBACETE
The Struggle with Celibacy
Lorenzo Albacete is a Catholic priest and writer. He is a professor of theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in New York and previously served as an associate professor of theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family. In this selection, which appeared in The New York Times Magazine on March 31, 2002, Albacete comments on the effect the priest molestation scandals have on an age-old priestly tradition— celibacy.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

106 Patterns of Argument

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
In this article, Albacete attempts a definition of the Catholic priestly vow of celibacy. Why might celibacy need to be defined? In what ways could it be misinterpreted?

Words to Watch pedophilia (par. 5) sexual attraction toward children implicated (par. 5) guilty by association garb (par. 5) clothes scandalized (par. 7) shocked caste (par. 8) rank or class in a hierarchy trepidation (par. 9) hesitation 1

W

2

3 4

5

6

7

hen I was in fifth grade and was invited to become an altar boy, my father would not allow it. He had made a promise to safeguard my faith, he explained, and if I got too close to priests, I might lose that faith, or—what seemed worse for him—I might become one of them. My father was born in Spain, and Spanish anticlericalism flowed through his veins. His main objection was to priestly celibacy. He thought it divided priests into three kinds: saints who lived by it, rascals who took advantage of it to hide sexual desires of which they were ashamed, like homosexuality, and those who cheated. Since I gave no evidence of being saintly, I think he feared I might end up in one of the other categories. I was angry and hurt by this response. I felt accused of something, though I wasn’t sure exactly of what. Eventually my father relented, and I became an altar boy. I tried hard to prove him wrong, and I resisted every indication of a priestly vocation. Many years later, though, having already begun my life as a secular adult, and on the verge of choosing a wedding date with my girlfriend, I found I could not resist anymore. My second Mass after ordination was at my father’s grave. I hoped he would understand. Now, with each new revelation of priestly pedophilia, in addition to shock and anger, I feel accused again. I worry that my altar boys and girls— not to mention their parents—are looking at me as a dirty old man, as a possible threat. When a case of abuse is exposed involving a married man, I doubt that most other married men feel implicated, embarrassed in front of their friends and relatives. They don’t worry that the parents of their children’s friends suspect them of horrible crimes. But because of my vow, even wearing my priestly garb has made me want to scream, “I’m not one of those!” Like my father back then, an increasing number of people today think that celibacy must be blamed for this shameful situation. With none of the usual outlets, the theory goes, sexual energy inevitably explodes in manipulative forms based on the abuse of power. This has not been my experience of celibacy. Still, I cannot help believing that there is some truth in the suspicion that celibacy is somehow reResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Definition 107 lated to the present crisis. There are those who use priestly celibacy to hide sexual desires. But I know a good many priests—in line, I believe, with the vast majority—who struggle to be faithful to a vow they hold dear and are appalled to see it abused by others. They wonder how the requirement can be maintained without facing these issues. We priests owe an answer to our scandalized people. My opinion is that the problem lies not with celibacy as such, but with the way it is understood and lived. One standard defense of celibacy is that it frees priests from the obligations of marriage and thereby allows them to respond to the needs of the faithful without reservations. I believe this to be completely false. I think it is an insult to the countless married doctors, social activists, non-Catholic clergy and counselors whose dedication to others is second to none. In fact, there is the danger that celibacy will give priests a feeling of being separated from others, forming a caste removed from ordinary men and women. I think it is precisely because priests evoke this mysterious world of the sacred that pedophilia among them seems more despicable—and more compelling—than the same behavior among nonclerical men. When I decided to go into the seminary at the age of 28, I broke up with my girlfriend—not because I was suddenly opposed to marriage, but because church law requires it. Asked whether I would have chosen a life of celibacy had it not been required, I have to admit that I would not have. But I experienced a profound call to follow without reservations or conditions, and in that spirit, I accepted the celibacy requirement with trepidation, but with the faith that I would be sustained in doing whatever it took to conform to it. Throughout the years, though, I have come to value the vow of celibacy highly. I began to understand the meaning of celibacy, oddly, during a time when I was seriously questioning it. A dear friend of mine in Europe had sent his only son to study in the United States and asked me to watch over him. This friend told me how much he was suffering from this separation. I told him that at least he had a son, whereas I would never experience being a father. This aspect of celibacy, I said to him, was much more difficult than the lack of a sexual companion. “But you have many sons and daughters,” he said. “Look at the way young people follow you. You are a true father to them.” “Yes,” I replied, “but let’s be honest. They are not really my sons and daughters. Each one of them would have existed even if I had not. They are not mine as J. is your son.” “But Lorenzo,” he said, “that is the point. J. is not my son. I do not own him. I must respect his freedom. And I thought that’s why priests took a vow of celibacy, to help spouses and parents understand that to love is not to own, but to affirm, to help, to let go. I need this help now that J. has left home.” I understood then that celibacy has more to do with poverty than with sex. It is the radical, outward expression of the poverty of the human heart, the poverty that makes true love possible by preventing it from corrupting
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

8

9

10

11 12

13

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

14

108 Patterns of Argument into possession or manipulation. That is why child abuse by priests is so shocking, so horrible, so destructive. It places celibacy at the service of power and lust, not of love. 15 In the future, the church may decide that particular pastoral situations require a change in the requirement of priestly celibacy. Still, I believe that even if priests marry, they are called to be witnesses of that “celibacy in the heart” that human love requires—namely, the absolute respect for the loved one’s freedom. It’s time for those of us who treasure priestly celibacy to live it in accordance with its intended message or else give it up as an obstacle to what we wish to say.

Building Vocabulary
Albacete uses several terms used in religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Identify the following terms, and explain how each is used in Catholicism: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. faith (par. 1) anticlericalism (par. 1) vocation (par. 4) Mass (par. 4) ordination (par. 4) pastoral (par. 15)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What is Albacete’s father’s main reason for not wanting his son to get “too close” to priests? Albacete’s father divided priests into three kinds. What are they, and what effect did this division have on Albacete? 2. What does Albacete mean by his “priestly vocation,” and why did he resist it? 3. Albacete mentions recent scandals in the Catholic Church over pedophilia. To what is he referring? What effect have the scandals had on Albacete and his fellow priests? Does Albacete think that priestly celibacy is related to the pedophilia scandals? Why or why not? 4. What is one of the ways to defend celibacy against its critics? In his own life, did Albacete choose celibacy enthusiastically? Why or why not? 5. Why would pedophilia among priests seem “more despicable”? (paragraph 8) 6. How does Albacete’s experience with his friend, described in paragraphs 10 to 13, change his view of celibacy? 7. What does Albacete think is the future of the Catholic Church’s views of celibacy? 8. Does Albacete think there should be priestly celibacy or does he give another answer? If the latter, what is that answer?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Definition 109

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the major proposition in Albacete’s essay? How do you know? 2. Why does Albacete begin his essay with a discussion of his father’s opinion of priests? 3. How does Albacete’s title work? Who is struggling with celibacy? 4. For whom has Albacete written this essay? How do you know? What is his tone? Give examples that led to your answer. 5. Albacete is writing as a priest and a man. What gives his essay authority? Why is he a good person to define celibacy? How, precisely, does he develop his extended definition? 6. What examples of transition words and phrases can you find in this essay? Why are they effective? 7. The essay shifts tone at the beginning of paragraph 8. How does it shift, and why? 8. After paragraph 8, Albacete makes a number of claims about celibacy. What are they, and what examples does he give to prove those claims? 9. Why does Albacete move away from explication and tell the story of his friend in paragraphs 10 to 13? How does this help his thesis? 10. The end of Albacete’s essay is a little ambiguous in its conclusions. Why do you think that is, and is it an effective closing? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Do you think Albacete’s father was right to argue with his son against priests? Why or why not? What does Albacete think? 2. Do you think all priests should feel “implicated,” as Albacete says in paragraph 5, for the crimes of their fellow priests who are caught molesting children? Why? 3. Albacete says that “priests owe an answer to our scandalized people.” Do you think he’s right? Why or why not? 4. One of Albacete’s points about celibacy is that it gives “priests a feeling of being separated from others, forming a caste removed from ordinary men and women.” Do you think this feeling of separation, of forming an exclusive club, is positive or negative? Justify your position. 5. Do you agree with Albacete’s friend that priests are more like parents than one’s biological parents? Explain.

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Freewrite about a lifestyle choice that you have made, such as getting married, living alone, or living with a dog or other pet. Consider any criticisms of your lifestyle and your answer to those critics.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

110 Patterns of Argument

Writing a Guided Argument Write an extended definition of a lifestyle choice that you have made. What does that choice mean to you? Defend your choice against any criticisms that you might imagine someone making. Address how important to your identity your choice has become.
1. Begin with an anecdote that introduces to the reader your subject, and end with a definition of your lifestyle choice. 2. Write a paragraph about the way the wider population has also made your choice. 3. Mention at least two objections someone might have to your lifestyle choice, and for each objection, defend your choice. 4. Give an example for each defense showing that your choice has been right for you. 5. Explain how you came to make your lifestyle choice. 6. Give an example or write a short narrative that shows a time in your life when your conception of your choice changed and you had a deeper understanding of it. 7. Explain what your altered definition of your choice is. 8. Conclude with a projection of the future of your lifestyle choice.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In groups of three, read each other’s Writing a Guided Argument essays and write a critique of each of the two essays you have read. Focus on how effective and convincing the writer’s definition is. Are the examples detailed enough? Then read the critiques of your essay and think about how you can revise it to make it more accurate and convincing. Writing About the Text Focusing on Albacete’s assertion that “celibacy has more to do with poverty than with sex,” write an essay that disagrees with him and argues that celibacy is only about sex. Fully explain in your essay what Albacete’s opinion is and why he thinks that. More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, write about an experience you have had with a priest, imam, rabbi, or other clerical figure who changed your mind about their religion. 2. In a paragraph, attempt a definition of pedophilia. Is pedophilia the act or is it thinking about the act? Be accurate. 3. Write an essay about some aspect of your religion or the religion that you grew up with that you either disagree with or have disagreed with in the past. Attempt an accurate definition of that aspect.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Process Analysis 111

Argument Through Process Analysis

DOUGLAS STALKER
How to Duck Out of Teaching
Douglas Stalker is a professor of philosophy at the University of Delaware. He writes on medical, aesthetic, and logic topics, and is the editor of Grue! A New Riddle of Induction (1994) and coeditor of Examining Holistic Medicine (1986). In this selection from The Chronicle of Higher Education, Stalker advises teachers (including yours) about how to reduce their work burdens.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What do you think your professors consider to be their most unpleasant duties? Put yourself in their shoes. What would you like to avoid?

Words to Watch tenured (par. 1) protected from dismissal isometric (par. 7) with muscular contraction mea culpa (par. 8) Latin for “it’s my fault” cognitive (par. 13) relating to thought paradigms (par. 16) models hermeneuticist (par. 22) one who studies theories of interpretation ergo (par. 23) Latin for “therefore”

W

hat’s new on campus? Duping! It’s all the rage with professors who are 1 tired of giving lectures to the drifting youth of America. Duping is, quite simply, not doing. It is avoiding, evading, eluding, abstaining, dodging, and good old ducking. And it is now on display on almost every campus in the United States. Here are eight duping techniques that will work for any professor, tenured or untenured, in the time it takes to erase a moderate-size blackboard:

The Title Trick
Give the students honorary titles to make them feel special—and willing to 2 take on new duties. It is easy to think of titles that sound great. For example, call everyone in class a peer editor. Then you can have the students pair up and take turns going over each other’s term papers. Tell the students that you are going to selflessly give up some of your professorial power in order to empower them. When all is said and done, you won’t have to raise your red pen even once. You can also get students to record all the grades and sign the grade ros- 3 ter for you. Have a drawing (that is the democratic way, of course) to see

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

112 Patterns of Argument who gets to have the title of peer executive officer for the day. Tell the students that this is an exercise in leadership and management ability. Remember to make a solemn display of handing over the official pen, grade book, and grade roster to the peer executive officer.

The Computer Razzle-Dazzle
4 If something is done with a computer, it must be educationally great. So set up a computer dupe: a computer-based course in which students have to send e-mail messages to each other a minimum of 10 times per day. To get them going, tell them psychological research has shown that first thoughts are always best thoughts, and that contact with your peers is essential to building and maintaining academic self-esteem. They will spend so much time on e-mail that they won’t notice you haven’t logged on for days. You can add a personal touch by sending randomly generated e-mail 5 messages to each student. Any high-school kid who likes computers can set the system up for you. You can easily create the messages by modifying the horoscopes in your daily newspaper. For example, one message might say: “You are doing well but have doubts about future endeavors like reading the next chapter. I know you have what it takes to overcome obstacles! Turn the pages of the textbook for yourself! Take responsibility for sharpening your own pencils! Your last fill-in-the-blank test showed great promise of things to come. Do not be surprised if I repeat this message to reinforce its meaning for you.”

The Great Group Dupe
6 Tell the students that yours is a problem-based course with group learning, and have them divide up into groups. It doesn’t matter whether any group actually solves the problems, what the problems are, or even if there are any problems at all. Everyone will be happy about working in a group because they will believe that things are getting done—even if nothing really happens. Like most people who can program a VCR, today’s students are perfectly happy to confuse the process with the product. It might be good to walk among them every few weeks, reminding 7 everyone that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, to discourage individual effort. You might want to walk around the room saying “Cohesion, think cohesion!” as you do some isometric push-pull exercises with your hands to make the point more vivid.

The Mea-Culpa Escape
8 Stand in front of your students and confess everything. Tell them that higher education has become an institutionalized fraud because it keeps the students passive, subjects them to lectures, coerces them to take notes, and makes them endure tests. All that is miles away from real, multidimensional learning that lasts a lifetime. You need to pull out all the stops as you wail
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Process Analysis 113 about the sins of academic America. Draw a circle on the board and keep pointing to it—try pounding your fist on the board—as you mention the cycle of passivity and the economic consequences associated with stunted growth and sheltered lives. Then, with a selfless gesture toward the exits, send the students out into the world to do experiential projects of their own devising, like running a lawn-care business for the semester. Make sure that they do your lawn on their rounds so that you can turn in some grades, and tell them not to come by too early in the morning. Word that instruction in terms of their being sensitive to the needs of others.

9

The Ticktock of Pointless Talk
You have about 2,000 minutes to fill during a 14-week semester. Why not fill them with chitchat? Anyone who watches daytime TV simply loves pointless talk and, sooner or later, comes to believe that it has a point. If you have 2.5 hours of class time to fill per week and a class of 30 students, you have to get each student to speak for only five minutes a week. Following the three principles of chat satisfaction can make that relatively simple task a breeze. Principle 1 is essential: There is no topic like no particular topic. Your students can have a good chat bouncing from the last episode of Friends to anything else they care to discuss—the popularity of sport-utility vehicles, the history of pizza, the price of body piercing, you name it. Principle 2 follows directly from Principle 1: Sticking to the topic is for dorks. Coherence is irrelevant; indeed, relevance is irrelevant. Mental drift is in fashion, and it is fine to have a remark like “Burping should be a collegiate sport” followed by the statement “Cancún could be the 51st state.” Principle 3 is the basis of cognitive democracy: No one has to know what he or she is talking about. In the true marketplace of ideas, a marginal student can speak at length on everything from Sumerian poetry to soggy French fries. 10

11

12

13

The Yo-Yo Presentation
Why do professors have to stand in the front of the classroom—like truly 14 alienated workers—trying to explain things? Why do they have to carry the load, day after day? You can redress that injustice with the best role reversal around: class presentations. You go from active to passive; your students go from passive to active. The best topics, you should emphasize, are those with personal mean- 15 ing to the presenter. Remind your students, in addition, that information is not learning. That is code for: No time in the library is required. Then just hand the students the formula: what ______________ means to me. In class, they can say their talk is titled “A Personal Perspective on ______________.” Anything can go in the blank—the Yalta conference, the supply curve, Kant’s categorical imperative, angular momentum.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

114 Patterns of Argument 16 Recitations are a dandy variation. They have another benefit: You can dispense with assigned readings because you have students read the books out loud in class. Plays are the paradigms here. You can have someone be Hamlet, someone else be Claudius, and so on. The students stand in front of the room and read their parts out loud to the rest of the class—no need for them to memorize anything beforehand. Other natural subjects for recitations are Plato’s dialogues, Blake’s poetry, and Faulkner’s novels. Heck, it can work with anything that has sentences. 17 When reading paragraphs gets old, you might want to suggest that your students act out a page or two of text. Suppose, for instance, you are teaching an introductory biology course. Think about the improvisational possibilities inherent in the parts of the cell. Some students can play the cell wall; others can be structures in the cytoplasm. If they are honors students, they might even put together a little dance of cell division. (As for grading presentations, see my article titled “A Classroom Application of the Radio Shack Digital Sound-Level Meter.”)

The Furniture Flimflam
18 Some of the best ideas are right under your nose—or your posterior. Rearrange the classroom each day. Have the students put the chairs in a different configuration—a circle, a triangle, a trapezoid. Any polygon or closed curve will do, but the best arrangements are those that take up to 10 minutes to complete. If you spend 10 minutes per class moving chairs, in two and a half years you will duck out of teaching the equivalent of an entire three-credit course. Over a 30-year career, that becomes a dozen courses. The furniture flimflam is actually a course-reduction measure. 19 Today’s students are used to putting chairs in a circle, so most of them won’t ask any dumb questions about why they are moving the furniture. If a few of them cop an attitude, just mumble something about the difference between confronting and communicating, or how a classroom should facilitate their transformation into a community of learners. 20 You can get students really motivated by mentioning scientific studies. Tell them about the research comparing people in hospital rooms with and without a view of the outside, which showed that the people with a view were discharged earlier and used fewer pain pills during their hospitalization. Who, then, would hesitate to arrange the chairs so that they face the windows? If you don’t know of any relevant research, make some up. 21 Or you could go metaphysical and download for your class some New Age hooey from the Web, or material from the dozen or more sites devoted to feng shui. With a few Chinese terms, you can energize students to lay out the chairs in a hexagon contiguous with a rhomboid.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

The Heavenly Remote
22 Any hermeneuticist knows that the medium is the message. And what is the medium for today’s professor? Every plugged-in classroom in America
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Process Analysis 115 has it: a VCR. Bring in a video for class, dim the lights, push the play button on the remote, and you’ve done your academic work for the day. You can use any video in any course. For openers, you have the pre- 23 sumption of relevance on your side: Everything that happens during class has something to do with the course. You can also rely on the dominant mental activity in higher-education circles, free association. With a little free association, your students will begin to believe that any video has something to do with the course. That is a logical point—everything freely associates with everything else; ergo, you’re home free. If rewinding and returning videos gets to be too much, start taping TV 24 programs. You can spend class after class watching your homemade tapes of, say, daytime talk shows, reruns of sitcoms, detective shows, even the Weather Channel from time to time. For example, if you teach logic, tape Regis and that Kathie Lee impostor. When you show the tape in class, tell the students that you want them to spot the fallacious arguments that Regis tries to foist off on surrogate Kathie. If you teach ethics, tape Jerry Springer. For aesthetics, tape music videos from MTV. Marketing? Those Budweiser frogs are worth two or three upper-level courses. Physics? Professional beach volleyball on ESPN2. Criminal justice? Reruns of Hawaii Five-O. It’s a great time for a professor to be alive, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it 25 still takes some effort to record TV shows at home and bring the tapes to your campus. Why can’t each classroom be hooked up to cable TV? Surely your college or university can get group rates from a cable company and find a TV manufacturer to donate the sets. Very few administrators seem to realize how much that could mean to the educational process, especially insofar as it would allow them to say things like “We’ve got cable in all the classrooms, but Harvard and Yale don’t.” Perhaps faculty members will have to get the ball rolling by contacting their AAUP representatives so that cable service can get on the table at the next contract negotiation, right there alongside the dental plan and the early-retirement options.

Building Vocabulary
1. In his essay, Stalker makes many cultural references that might seem obscure to you. Choose at least ten and identify them. 2. Define the following and write a sentence for each: a. empower (par. 2) b. solemn (par. 3) c. passivity (par. 8) d. stunted (par. 8) e. marginal (par. 13) f. alienated (par. 14) g. paradigms (par. 16) h. surrogate (par. 24)

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

116 Patterns of Argument

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What is “duping,” and why, according to Stalker, do teachers do it? 2. What is the advantage, according to Stalker, of working with a computer in the classroom? 3. What does Stalker mean by a “mea-culpa escape”? (paragraph 8) 4. Why are the best topics “those with personal meaning to the presenter”? 5. What is the “presumption of relevance”? (paragraph 23) 6. What does Stalker say are the benefits of showing movies in class? 7. What suggestions does Stalker make at the end of his essay for further reducing the workload for teachers? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the writer’s claim? 2. Why does Stalker put his eight duping techniques in this order? 3. Explain Stalker’s use of process analysis to make his argument. 4. Why does Stalker offer detailed examples, such as in paragraph 24, in which he suggests that showing Budweiser commercials could work in a marketing class? 5. Explain how Stalker moves from reasonable suggestions to over-the-top ideas. Where does he do this, and why? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. What is Stalker’s unstated purpose for writing this essay? Can you determine a subtext? 2. This essay is obviously humorous, but can any of his suggestions be considered serious? Which ones, and why? 3. How has reading this essay changed your view of your professors? 4. Do you think that Stalker imagined his students reading this essay? What might be the downside to students like you reading it? 5. Stalker’s essay is funny, but are there any times when the humor fails him? Does he ever try too hard? Where, and why do you say that?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Freewrite on ways that students can fill word requirements in paper assignments without really saying anything.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Process Analysis 117

Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay called “How to Fake Your Way Through Writing an Essay.” Come up with a number of suggestions for your fellow students for how to complete a particularly odious writing assignment with a minimum of ideas.
1. Write an opening in the spirit of Stalker’s essay, explaining the purpose of your essay and how many suggestions you will give. 2. Offer your reader at least four ideas for how they can pad their essays with the least amount of work. 3. Give the benefits of each idea. 4. Explain to your reader how versatile your ideas will be, not only in college but after college as well. 5. Write a conclusion that outlines the success you have had with your ideas.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Working with your fellow students in small groups, figure out how many minutes of class time are left in your semester. Write a list of suggestions of ways you as students can dupe your professor by wasting class time. Fill up the total number of minutes left, offering specific suggestions for how to fill the time. Share your plan with the rest of the class. Writing About the Text Stalker is a professor at a university, and this essay appeared in a journal of university affairs, yet the language he uses is not always formal. How does he use a combination of formal words and slang? Write an essay explaining why he uses the words he does, focusing particularly on his use of slang. Give examples, and show how the use of slang helps to achieve his thesis. More Writing Ideas 1. In your journal, write an entry about times when your teachers have done what Stalker suggests. 2. Write a paragraph or two about which duping technique you wish your teachers would take most advantage of. 3. Write an essay in which you argue that Stalker’s techniques, if altered slightly, can be extended to any profession.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

118 Patterns of Argument

Argument Through Causal Analysis

THOMAS JEFFERSON
The Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) was the first secretary of state and the third president of the United States of America. During the Revolutionary War, he was the governor of Virginia. He was one of the members of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775. In addition to being a politician, Jefferson was an architect (he designed, among other things, his estate, Monticello) and an educator (he founded the University of Virginia). Jefferson was one of only a few men who designed the political and legal basis for the colonies’ break from Great Britain, but he was the main author of the Declaration of Independence, which laid out, in forceful phrases, the colonies’ case against the king, George III.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What do you know about the reasons the United States seceded from Great Britain? Make a list of the reasons.

Words to Watch dissolve (par. 1) break apart unalienable (par. 2) not able to be denied usurpations (par. 2) takeovers of power despotism (par. 2) tyranny sufferance (par. 2) suffering inestimable (par. 5) valuable abdicated (par. 16) given up magnanimity (par. 22) generosity 1 hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 2 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

W

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Causal Analysis 119 shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

3 4

5

6

7 8

9

10 11 12 13

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

120 Patterns of Argument 14 He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. 15 He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. 16 17 18 He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably inResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

19

20

21

22

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Causal Analysis 121 terrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends. We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in 23 General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Building Vocabulary
Connotation refers to the shades of meaning or emotional associations a word or phrase provokes in readers. Explain the connotations raised by the following and why you think Jefferson selected them. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Nature’s God (par. 1) unalienable rights (par. 2) Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (par. 2) absolute Tyranny (par. 2) plundered . . . ravaged . . . burnt . . . destroyed (par. 17) our British brethren (par. 22)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Paraphrase Jefferson’s first paragraph. 2. Why, according to Jefferson, are governments formed? 3. Why, in a few words, are the colonies determined to “throw off” the British government? 4. Why is Jefferson’s objection in paragraph 13 important? 5. According to Jefferson, what actions did the colonies take before writing this declaration? 6. What, in the last paragraph, does Jefferson list as the powers of the United States?
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is the main proposition of the Declaration of Independence? Where does Jefferson most forcefully express it? 2. Why does Jefferson place the claim where he does?
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

122 Patterns of Argument 3. What is Jefferson’s central reason for his main proposition? 4. What are Jefferson’s best three supports for his reason? Are there other reasons? What are they? 5. In paragraph 2, Jefferson sets up his warrant. Paraphrase the warrant. 6. What effects does Jefferson predict will come as a result of the declaration? 7. What purpose does the conclusion serve? What does Jefferson hope to accomplish with this conclusion?

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. What information would you like to have to understand the declaration better? 2. Why in paragraph 2, does Jefferson explain that “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes”? 3. Jefferson’s warrants, as listed in paragraph 2, are described as selfevident. Why does he find them to be self-evident? 4. Why does Jefferson describe the world as “candid” in paragraph 2? 5. Unconsented taxes were a large part of why the colonies went to war. Why does Jefferson place that as a reason in paragraph 15? 6. This is a political document, but it is also a call to arms. Is it effective in this way? If so, how?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Freewrite for 10 minutes, making a list of grievances you have against your boss, a parent, or a teacher. Writing a Guided Argument Write a declaration of independence of your own that shows the causes for your dissatisfaction with a figure in authority—a parent, an elder, a boss, a teacher—giving examples throughout. What are the worst offenses? In what order will you list them? What form of satisfaction do you demand? Do not write directly to the person but rather to a third person to whom you are making your case.
1. Start with an opening that uses ceremonial speech, in much the same way the Declaration of Independence does. Write in such a way that your reader knows that you are being serious. 2. Begin laying out your list of grievances, your causes for desiring your independence, by offering examples for each cause. Make sure you have at least three and that your examples are detailed. 3. Explain that you have attempted to express your unhappiness but that your pleas have not been answered. 4. Conclude by declaring your independence again, in formal language.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Classification 123

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, exchange your Writing a Guided Argument papers with members of your class. Circle any grievances that you think are not backed up with enough evidence. Try to strengthen your classmates’ cases against their chosen authority figure. Writing About the Text Jefferson wrote a document that was meant to incite the population of the colonies to rise up against the King of England. Examine his language and choice of words. How does he choose carefully in order to raise the emotional level of this very legalistic essay? Write an essay of your own that explores Jefferson’s word and phrase choices, and explain how he achieves his goals in this way. More Writing Ideas 1. Pretend that you are George III. Write a journal entry in the form of a letter to Thomas Jefferson and the colonists arguing why the colonies are the property of Great Britain and should not be independent. 2. Write a paragraph about the power of the opening of the Declaration of Independence. Those words have been quoted often. What makes them so powerful? 3. For many Americans who are not familiar with the founding documents of the United States, reading the Declaration of Independence for the first time, or for the first time in a while, can be an interesting experience and full of surprises. Write an essay outlining the reasons you were surprised upon this reading of the declaration.

Argument Through Classification

AMARTYA SEN
A World Not Neatly Divided
Amartya Sen was born in Santiniketan, India, in 1933 and received a B.A. in economics from Presidency College in Calcutta, India, in 1953. He went on to earn a second B.A. from Trinity College in Cambridge, England, in 1955, and his Ph.D. from that school in 1959. Sen has taught at Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and Oxford, and he is currently a professor at Trinity College in Cambridge. His books Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic Inequality (1973), and Commodities and Capabilities (1985) examine the role of poverty in the world. Sen won the Nobel Prize for economics in 1998. At the time, the Nobel committee wrote that Dr. Sen’s work has “enhanced our understanding of the economic mechanisms underlying famines.”

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

124 Patterns of Argument

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
How can the world be “neatly divided”? How does the world resist division? What kinds of division exist?

Words to Watch befuddling (par. 2) confusing impoverished (par. 2) not detailed enough futile (par. 2) useless pluralist (par. 3) consisting of many homogeneous (par. 4) containing parts that are the same excommunicating (par. 4) expelling from a group heresy (par. 4) unorthodox ideas about religion imperious (par. 5) overbearing flammable (par. 7) dangerous 1 hen people talk about clashing civilizations, as so many politicians and academics do now, they can sometimes miss the central issue. The inadequacy of this thesis begins well before we get to the question of whether civilizations must clash. The basic weakness of the theory lies in its program of categorizing people of the world according to a unique, allegedly commanding system of classification. This is problematic because civilizational categories are crude and inconsistent and also because there are other ways of seeing people (linked to politics, language, literature, class, occupation, or other affiliations). 2 The befuddling influence of a singular classification also traps those who dispute the thesis of a clash: To talk about “the Islamic world” or “the Western world” is already to adopt an impoverished vision of humanity as unalterably divided. In fact, civilizations are hard to partition in this way, given the diversities within each society as well as the linkages among different countries and cultures. For example, describing India as a “Hindu civilization” misses the fact that India has more Muslims than any other country except Indonesia and possibly Pakistan. It is futile to try to understand Indian art, literature, music, food, or politics without seeing the extensive interactions across barriers of religious communities. These include Hindus and Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsees, Christians (who have been in India since at least the fourth century, well before England’s conversion to Christianity), Jews (present since the fall of Jerusalem), and even atheists and agnostics. Sanskrit has a larger atheistic literature than exists in any other classical language. Speaking of India as a Hindu civilization may be comforting to the Hindu fundamentalist, but it is an odd reading of India. 3 A similar coarseness can be seen in the other categories invoked, like “the Islamic world.” Consider Akbar and Aurangzeb, two Muslim emperors of the Mogul dynasty in India. Aurangzeb tried hard to convert Hindus into Muslims and instituted various policies in that direction, of which taxing the non-Muslims was only one example. In contrast, Akbar reveled in his multiResearch and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

W

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Argument Through Classification 125 ethnic court and pluralist laws, and issued official proclamations insisting that no one “should be interfered with on account of religion” and that “anyone is to be allowed to go over to a religion that pleases him.” If a homogeneous view of Islam were to be taken, then only one of these emperors could count as a true Muslim. The Islamic fundamentalist would have no time for Akbar; Prime Minister Tony Blair, given his insistence that tolerance is a defining characteristic of Islam, would have to consider excommunicating Aurangzeb. I expect both Akbar and Aurangzeb would protest, and so would I. A similar crudity is present in the characterization of what is called “Western civilization.” Tolerance and individual freedom have certainly been present in European history. But there is no dearth of diversity here, either. When Akbar was making his pronouncements on religious tolerance in Agra, in the 1590’s, the Inquisitions were still going on; in 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake, for heresy, in Campo dei Fiori in Rome. Dividing the world into discrete civilizations is not just crude. It propels us into the absurd belief that this partitioning is natural and necessary and must overwhelm all other ways of identifying people. That imperious view goes not only against the sentiment that “we human beings are all much the same,” but also against the more plausible understanding that we are diversely different. For example, Bangladesh’s split from Pakistan was not connected with religion, but with language and politics. Each of us has many features in our self-conception. Our religion, important as it may be, cannot be an all-engulfing identity. Even a shared poverty can be a source of solidarity across the borders. The kind of division highlighted by, say, the so-called “antiglobalization” protesters—whose movement is, incidentally, one of the most globalized in the world—tries to unite the underdogs of the world economy and goes firmly against religious, national, or “civilizational” lines of division. The main hope of harmony lies not in any imagined uniformity, but in the plurality of our identities, which cut across each other and work against sharp divisions into impenetrable civilizational camps. Political leaders who think and act in terms of sectioning off humanity into various “worlds” stand to make the world more flammable—even when their intentions are very different. They also end up, in the case of civilizations defined by religion, lending authority to religious leaders seen as spokesmen for their “worlds.” In the process, other voices are muffled and other concerns silenced. The robbing of our plural identities not only reduces us; it impoverishes the world.

4

5

6

7

Building Vocabulary
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

The writer lists several religions in paragraph 2. Provide definitions for these words: 1. Hindus 2. Muslims
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

126 Patterns of Argument 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Buddhists Jains Sikhs Parsees Christians

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. What, in Sen’s opinion, is the “basic weakness” of the thesis of clashing civilizations? 2. Why is classifying people in terms of their civilization “crude and inconsistent”? 3. What is the weakness in the argument that India is a “Hindu civilization”? 4. What does “singular classification” mean? 5. How does Sen demonstrate that a “homogeneous view of Islam” is wrong? 6. Paraphrase Sen’s argument in paragraph 5. 7. Where does the “main hope for harmony” lie, according to Sen? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What technique does Sen use in his introduction? 2. In this classification essay, Sen argues against classification, yet he does have a structure. What is that structure? How does he classify? 3. Sen relies on many examples to make his point. Mention two examples he gives, and explain what purpose they serve in the essay. 4. Much of this essay is used to work against a popular viewpoint. How does Sen work to refute this idea? 5. Near the end of the essay, Sen stops giving examples. Why does he do this, and is this effective? 6. Paraphrase Sen’s argument in his conclusion. Is the closing effective? Why? Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. Do singular classifications always have a negative effect on public discourse? Can you think of any examples of how they can have a positive effect? What are they? 2. Sometimes, it seems, classifying a group of people by a single concept is unavoidable. What would Sen say to this objection, in your opinion? 3. Sen is particularly worried about the use of singular classification by political leaders. Are they the people we need to worry about? Argue for or against this idea.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Argument Through Classification 127

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Make a list of singular classifications that you come across every day—for example, New Yorkers, bald people, dog lovers. How are those classifications useful? Why do we persist in employing them in everyday speech? Are they harmless, beneficial, or neutral? Writing a Guided Argument Many singular classifications not related to charged topics such as religion or race do not have the same emotion attached to them, and they cannot be seen as quite as dangerous. Nevertheless, these singular classifications can have their harmful effects on both the subject and the speaker of the terms. Write a humorous essay in which you choose three classifications and offer examples of how “harmful” they can be.
1. Begin with a declaration of mock alarm, explaining that there is a serious problem. 2. Discuss the “dangers” of speaking in generalizations about groups of people. 3. Offer your first example, and show how people might “suffer” from being classified. For example, New Yorkers might begin to see themselves as rude if defined that way, and begin to act rudely. 4. Give examples of how the negative effects take hold. 5. Repeat the process for the other two classifications. 6. Conclude by proposing alternate ways of referring to people. Instead of Californians, for example, people from San Francisco. Explain why this would help.

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively In small groups, discuss the stereotypes associated with your ethnic groups, and offer examples of why that stereotype is often not true. One person in the group should create a list of the group’s members’ ethnic groups and the debunking examples. Offer the evidence to the rest of the class. Writing About the Text Sen mentions a number of different religions in paragraph 2, including Hindi, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and the Jain and Sikh religions. Choose one of these religions, and write an essay of classification. Look up the traditional divisions within the religion you choose, and explain the differences and similarities. Explain which form of the religion has been most tolerant over history.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

128 Patterns of Argument

More Writing Ideas 1. Do some research to find an example of a political leader who thought in terms of singular classification even though, as Sen mentions in his conclusion, his or her “intentions [were] very different.” Write in your journal about what happened. 2. In a paragraph, define what is meant by “globalization” and why someone would be against it. 3. What particular prejudices are present in your community? Write an essay about the problems of singular classification in your neighborhood. Offer examples of intolerance, and propose a solution at the end.

Mixing Patterns

RONALD TAKAKI
The Harmful Myth of Asian Superiority
Ronald Takaki is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he received his Ph.D. in 1967. His books include Pau Hana: Plantation Life and Labor in Hawaii (1983), Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans (1989), and Hiroshima (2001). In this selection, Takaki writes about the way even positive stereotypes can have unexpected negative effects.

Prereading: Thinking About the Essay in Advance
What are the positive stereotypes of various immigrant groups? Why might those stereotypes be “harmful”?

Words to Watch provocatively (par. 2) designed to get a reaction ubiquity (par. 2) state of being everywhere entrepreneurial (par. 2) individually business-minded plight (par. 3) serious problem homogenizes (par. 7) makes the same median (par. 12) a kind of statistical average paragons (par. 12) perfect examples exacerbates (par. 15) makes worse sian Americans have increasingly come to be viewed as a “model minority.” But are they as successful as claimed? And for whom are they supposed to be a model? Asian Americans have been described in the media as “excessively, even 2 provocatively” successful in gaining admission to universities. Asian Ameri1
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

A

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Mixing Patterns 129 can shopkeepers have been congratulated as well as criticized, for their ubiquity and entrepreneurial effectiveness. If Asian Americans can make it, many politicians and pundits ask why 3 can’t African Americans? Such comparisons pit minorites against each other and generate African American resentment toward Asian Americans. The victims are blamed for their plight, rather than racism and an economy that has made many young African American workers superfluous. The celebration of Asian Americans has obscured reality. For example, fig- 4 ures on the high earnings of Asian Americans relative to Caucasians are misleading. Most Asian Americans live in California, Hawaii, and New York—states with higher incomes and higher costs of living than the national average. Even Japanese Americans, often touted for their upward mobility, have 5 not reached equality. While Japanese American men in California earned an average income comparable to Caucasian men in 1980, they did so only by acquiring more education and working more hours. Comparing family incomes is even more deceptive. Some Asian Ameri- 6 can groups do have higher family incomes than Caucasians. But they have more workers per family. The “model minority” image homogenizes Asian Americans and hides 7 their differences. For example, while thousands of Vietnamese American young people attend universities, others are on the streets. They live in motels and hang out in pool halls in places like East Los Angeles; some join gangs. Twenty-five percent of the people in New York City’s Chinatown lived 8 below the poverty level in 1980, compared with 17 percent of the city’s population. Some 60 percent of the workers in the Chinatowns of Los Angeles and San Francisco are crowded into low-paying jobs in garment factories and restaurants. “Most immigrants coming into Chinatown with a language barrier can- 9 not go outside this confined area into the mainstream of American industry,” a Chinese immigrant said, “Before, I was a painter in Hong Kong, but I can’t do it here. I got no license, no education. I want a living; so it’s dishwasher, janitor, or cook.” Hmong and Mien refugees from Laos have unemployment rates that 10 reach as high as 80 percent. A 1987 California study showed that three out of ten Southeast Asian refugee families had been on welfare for four to ten years. Although college-educated Asian Americans are entering the professions 11 and earning good salaries, many hit the “glass ceiling”—the barrier through which high management positions can be seen but not reached. In 1988, only 8 percent of Asian Americans were “officials” and “managers,” compared with 12 percent for all groups. Finally, the triumph of Korean immigrants has been exaggerated. In 12 1988, Koreans in the New York metropolitan area earned only 68 percent of the median income of non-Asians. More than three-quarters of Korean greengrocers, those so-called paragons of bootstrap entrepreneurialism came to America with a college education. Engineers, teachers, or administrators while in Korea, they became shopkeepers after their arrival. For
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

130 Patterns of Argument many of them, the greengrocery represents dashed dreams, a step downward in status. 13 For all their hard work and long hours, most Korean shopkeepers do not actually earn very much: $17,000 to $35,000 a year, usually representing the income from the labor of an entire family. 14 But most Korean immigrants do not become shopkeepers. Instead, many find themselves trapped as clerks in grocery stores, service workers in restaurants, seamstresses in garment factories, and janitors in hotels. 15 Most Asian Americans know their “success” is largely a myth. They also see how the celebration of Asian Americans as a “model minority” perpetuates their inequality and exacerbates relations between them and African Americans.

Building Vocabulary
Takaki uses terms and concepts drawn from the social sciences, especially sociology and economics. Define the following terms: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. “model minority” (par. 1) racism (par. 3) upward mobility (par. 5) poverty level (par. 8) “glass ceiling” (par. 11) median income (par. 12)

Thinking Critically About the Argument
Understanding the Writer’s Argument 1. Why are Asian Americans considered a “model minority”? 2. How is the supposed business success of Asian Americans misinterpreted? 3. How does the image of Asian Americans as a “model minority” affect African Americans, according to Takaki? 4. How does the idea of the model minority “homogenize” Asian Americans? 5. What problems do college-educated Asian Americans face? 6. Why is the success of Korean shopkeepers not considered a success for many of the shopkeepers themselves? Understanding the Writer’s Techniques 1. What is Takaki’s claim? 2. The writer uses a number of different rhetorical modes in this essay. What are they? Give examples. 3. Takaki writes two questions in the first paragraph. Why does he do that? Does he answer his own questions? Where, and if not, why not?

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Mixing Patterns 131 4. Takaki makes a number of points to back up his claim. What are the arguments he outlines? 5. There are a number of examples in this essay. Make a list of the examples and the point each one makes.

Exploring the Writer’s Argument 1. If the term “Asian American” is too broad, what do you think Takaki would say about the term “Chinese” or “Korean”? Are those terms too broad? Why or why not? 2. Takaki mentions many ways in which the idea of the Asian American as a model minority can be a negative thing, but can it be positive? Can it work for Asian Americans? 3. Takaki states that many Korean immigrants consider their position as shopkeepers to be a step down. If this is true, why did they come to the United States? Does your answer change your view of Takaki’s argument?

Ideas for Writing Arguments
Prewriting Do you know someone who people consider successful but who does not consider himself or herself successful? What are the reasons for the difference of opinion? Write down examples of the person’s self-perception and those of his or her friends and neighbors. Writing a Guided Argument Write an essay called “The Myth of Success” about an acquaintance, family member, friend, or yourself. Make the myth an idea that people have about the success of that person, and explore the difference between the person’s public persona and how the person feels about himself or herself. Perhaps the person is a successful teacher who feels like a failure or a good mother who thinks she could do better.
1. Begin by stating the myth. Question the myth’s truth, or raise the idea of it being an idea or point of view. 2. Explain the difference between the myth and the person’s perception of himself or herself. 3. Use at least three examples of how the external view of the person and the person’s view of himself or herself differs. 4. Use techniques of comparison and contrast, illustration, definition, and narration to advance the claim of what you think is the proper view of the person. 5. Conclude by restating your belief about the success of the person, and give an example of why you think this is so.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

132 Patterns of Argument

Thinking, Arguing, and Writing Collaboratively Exchange Writing a Guided Argument essays with another member of the class. Has your partner written an effective paper? Is the myth well defined? Is the difference between points of view clear? Is there a thesis, and is it backed up by good examples? Write a note to your partner explaining how his or her paper can be improved. Writing About the Text In an essay, compare Takaki’s argument with Amartya Sen’s. Can you find any differences? What are the similarities? What is your personal opinion about stereotypes, both positive and negative? More Writing Ideas 1. Write a journal entry about the struggles of your ancestors who were immigrants. How do you think society perceived them? 2. What myths are attached to your ethnic group? Write a paragraph in which you outline the harmful myths attached to your ethnic group. 3. Many immigrant groups struggle when they come to the United States. Read “False Gold” by Fae Myenne Ng and write an essay about the harmful myth of American success to Asian immigrants, offering examples from both Ng’s and Takaki’s essays.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

4

Writing from Research

T

his text builds on the assumption that you will write, at some point, a fully developed research paper that incorporates multiple sources. Thus, it gives complete coverage of the writing process and the mechanics of documentation. However, it also serves another purpose: It will make you confident in your ability to find information and present it effectively in all kinds of ways and for all sorts of projects: • • • • • A theme in freshman English on the value of comedy A paper in history on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal A report in a physics class on the moon’s effects on ocean tides An archeological field report on Indian burial mounds A brief biographical study of a famous person, such as Alexander Hamilton

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

All of these papers require some type of researched writing. Papers similar to these will appear on your schedule during your first two years of college and increase in frequency in upper-division courses. This text relieves the pressure—it shows you how to research comedy or the New Deal, and it demonstrates the correct methods for documenting your sources. We conduct informal research all the time. We examine various models and their options before buying a car, and we check out another person informally before proposing or accepting a first date. We sometimes search the classified ads to find a summer job, or we roam the mall to find a new tennis racket, the right pair of sports shoes, or the latest CD. Research, then, is not foreign to us. It has become commonplace to use a search engine to explore the Internet for information on any subject—from personal concerns, such as the likely side effects of a prescribed drug, to complex issues, such as robotics or acupuncture. In the classroom, we begin thinking about a serious and systematic activity, one that involves the library, the Internet, or field research. A research paper, like a personal essay, requires you to choose a topic you care about and are willing to invest many hours in thinking about. However, unlike a personal essay or short report, you will develop your ideas by gathering an array of information, reading sources critically, and collecting notes. As you pull your project together, you will continue to express personal ideas, but now they are supported by and based on the collective evidence and the opinions of experts on the topic. 135
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

136 Writing from Research Some instructors prefer the description researched writing, for this type of writing grows from investigation, and the research is used in different ways, in different amounts, and for different purposes. Each classroom and each instructor will make different demands on your talents. The guidelines here are general; your instructors will provide the specifics. This text therefore introduces research as an engaging, sometimes exciting pursuit on several fronts—your personal knowledge, ideas gleaned from printed and electronic sources, and research in the field.

Why Do Research?
Instructors ask you to write a research paper for several reasons:
Research teaches methods of discovery. It asks you to discover what you

know on a topic and what others can teach you. Beyond reading, it often expects you to venture into the field for interviews, observation, and experimentation. The process tests your curiosity as you probe a complex subject. You may not arrive at any final answers or solutions, but you will come to understand the different views on a subject. In your final paper, you will synthesize your ideas and discoveries with the knowledge and opinions of others.
Research teaches investigative skills. A research project requires you to

investigate a subject, gain a grasp of its essentials, and disclose your findings. The exercise teaches important methods for gaining knowledge on a complex topic. Your success will depend on your negotiating the various sources of information, from reference books in the library to computer databases and from special archival collections to the most recent articles in printed periodicals. Finding material on the Internet: Chapter 6. The Internet, with its vast quantity of information, will challenge you to find reliable sources. If you conduct research by observation, interviews, surveys, and laboratory experiments, you will discover additional methods of investigation.
Research teaches critical thinking. As you wade through the evidence on your subject, you will learn to discriminate between useful information and unfounded or ill-conceived comments. Some sources, such as the Internet, will provide timely, reliable material but may also entice you with worthless and undocumented opinions. Research teaches logic. Like a judge in the courtroom, you must make

perceptive judgments about the issues surrounding a specific topic. Your decisions, in effect, will be based on the wisdom gained from research of the subject. Your paper and your readers will rely on your logical response to your reading, observation, interviews, and testing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Understanding a Research Assignment 137
Research teaches the basic ingredients of argument. In most cases,

a research paper requires you to make a claim and support it with reasons and evidence. For example, if you argue that “urban sprawl has invited wild animals into our backyards,” you will learn to anticipate challenges to your theory and to defend your assertion with evidence.

Learning Format Variations
Scholarly writing in each discipline follows certain conventions—that is, special forms are required for citing the sources and for designing the pages. These rules make uniform the numerous articles written internationally by millions of scholars. The society of language and literature scholars, the Modern Language Association, has a set of guidelines generally known as MLA style. Similarly, the American Psychological Association has its own APA style. Other groups of scholars prefer a footnote system, while still others use a numbering system. These variations are not meant to confuse; they have evolved within disciplines as the preferred style. What is important for you, right now, is to determine which format to use. Many composition instructors will ask you to use MLA style, as explained in Chapters 14–17, but they are just as likely to ask for APA style (Chapter 18) if your topic concerns one of the social sciences. In a like manner, your art appreciaMLA Style, Chapter 17 tion instructor might expect the footnote APA Style, Chapter 18 style but could just as easily request the APA Chicago (CMS) Style, Chapter 19 CSE Style, Chapter 20 style. Ask your instructor early which style to use and organize accordingly.

Understanding a Research Assignment
Beyond selecting an effective subject, you need a reason for writing the paper. Literature instructors might expect you to make judgments about the structure of a story or poem. Education instructors might ask you to examine the merits of a testing program. History instructors might want you to explore an event—perhaps the causes and consequences of the 2003 U.S. war on Iraq. Your inquiry can be a response to a question, such as “What about Hamlet and his long-winded speeches?” Prompted by her own question, Melinda Mosier developed a paper on Hamlet’s soliloquies, which is reproduced in Chapter 16. Another student, Valerie Nesbitt-Hall, noticed a cartoon on the Internet that tickled her fancy and caused her to wonder about and then investigate online matchmaking services and chat rooms. Her research helped her develop a paper entitled “Arranged Marriages: The Revival Is Online” (see Chapter 18). Thus, different kinds of topics and questions can motivate you to explore your own thoughts and discover what others are saying.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

138 Writing from Research

Understanding the Terminology
Assignments in literature, history, and the fine arts will often require you to interpret, evaluate, and perform causal analysis. Assignments in education, psychology, political science, and other social science disciplines will usually require analysis, definition, comparison, or a search for precedents leading to a proposal. In the sciences, your experiments and testing will usually require a discussion of the implications of your findings. The next few pages explain these assignments.

Evaluation To evaluate, you first need to establish clear criteria of judgment and then explain how the subject meets these criteria. For example, student evaluations of faculty members are based on a set of expressed criteria—an interest in student progress, a thorough knowledge of the subject, and so forth. Similarly, you may be asked to judge the merits of a poem, an art show, or new computer software. Your first step should be to create your criteria. What makes a good movie? How important is a poem’s form and structure? Is space a special factor in architecture? You can’t expect the sources to provide the final answers; you need to experience the work and make your final judgments on it. Let’s see how evaluation develops with one student, Sarah Bemis, who was asked to examine diabetes. At first, Sarah worked to define the disease and its basic attack on the human system. However, as she read the literature she shifted her focus from a basic definition to evaluate and examine the methods for controlling diabetes. Her paper, “Diabetes Management: A Delicate Balance,” appears in Chapter 20. The same evaluative process applies to other subjects. For example, student Jamie Johnston conducted his inquiry on how prehistoric tribes were not the noble savages that some historians thought them to be. His study evaluated recent sources to learn that, in truth, war has long been a part of human history. His paper, “Prehistoric War: We Have Always Hated Each Other,” is located in Chapter 19. In many ways, every research paper is an evaluation. Interpretation To interpret, you must usually answer, “What does it mean?” You may be asked to explain the symbolism in a piece of literature, examine a point of law, or make sense of test results. Questions often point toward interpretation:
What does this passage mean? What are the implications of these results? What does this data tell us? Can you explain your reading of the problem to others? For example, your instructor might ask you to interpret the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, interpret test results on pond water at site A and site B, or interpret a scene from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Understanding a Research Assignment 139 In her paper on Internet dating, Nesbitt-Hall found herself asking two interpretive questions: What are the social implications of computer dating? and What are the psychological implications?

Definition Sometimes you will need to provide an extended definition to show that your subject fits into a selected and well-defined category. Note these examples:
1. Slapping a child on the face is child abuse. You will need to define child abuse and then show that an act of slapping fits the definition. 2. Title IX is a law, not an option, for athletic programs. You will need to define the law in detail. 3. Plagiarism should be considered a criminal misdemeanor. You will need to define a criminal misdemeanor and prove that plagiarism fits the definition. 4. Cheerleaders are athletes who deserve scholarships. You will need to define “athletes who deserve scholarships” and find a way to place cheerleaders within that category. These examples demonstrate how vague and elusive our language can be. We know what an athlete is in general, but the argument needs a careful analysis of the term scholarship athlete. The writer will need to work carefully to reach agreement with the reader about the terminology. What’s more, the writer will need to define in some detail the term cheerleader. A good definition usually includes three elements: the subject (cheerleaders); the class to which the subject belongs (athlete); and the difference from others in this class (gymnast). The assumption is that a gymnast is a scholarship athlete. If the writer can associate the cheerleader with the gymnast, then the argument might have merit. Definition will almost always become a part of your work when some of the terminology is subjective. If you argue, for example, that medical experiments on animals are cruel and inhumane, you may need to define what you mean by cruel and explain why humane standards should be applied to animals that are not human. Thus, definition might serve as your major thesis. Definition is also necessary with technical and scientific terminology, as shown by Sarah Bemis in her paper on diabetes. The paper needed a careful, detailed definition of the medical disorder in addition to the methods for managing it. By her inquiry, she reached her conclusion that medication in harmony with diet and exercise were necessary for victims of the disease. Thus, most writers build their paper on an issue that gives them a reason for inquiry and investigation of their own attitudes and beliefs as well as ideas from written sources, interviews, observation, and other research methods.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

140 Writing from Research

Proposal This type of argument says to the reader, “We should do something.” It often has practical applications, as shown by these examples:
1. We should change the annual yearbook into a semiannual magazine because student interest and participation in and response to the yearbook are extremely poor. 2. We should cancel all drug testing of athletes because it presumes guilt and demeans the innocent. 3. A chipping mill should not be allowed in this area because its insatiable demand for timber will strip our local forests. As shown by these examples, the proposal argument calls for action—a change in policy, a change in the law, and, sometimes, an alteration of accepted procedures. Again, the writer must advance the thesis and support it with reasons and evidence. In addition, a proposal demands special considerations. First, writers should convince readers that a problem exists and is serious enough to merit action. In the example above about chipping mills, the writer will need to establish that, indeed, chipping mills have been proposed and perhaps even approved for the area. Then the writer will need to argue that they endanger the environment: They grind vast amounts of timber of any size and shave it into chips that are reprocessed in various ways. As a result, lumberjacks cut even the immature trees, stripping forests into barren wastelands. The writer presumes that clear-cutting damages the land. Second, the writer must explain the consequences to convince the reader that the proposal has validity. The paper must defend the principle that clearcutting damages the land, and it should show, if possible, how chipping mills in other parts of the country have damaged the environment. Third, the writer will need to address any opposing positions, competing proposals, and alternative solutions. For example, chipping mills produce chip board for decking the floors of houses, thus saving trees that might be required for making expensive plywood boards. Without chipping mills, we might run short on paper and homebuilding products. The writer will need to note opposing views and consider them in the paper. In its own way, Sarah Bemis’s paper on diabetes offers a proposal, one that people with this disorder might use to manage it—a balance of medication, exercise, and diet.

Causal Argument Unlike proposals, which predict consequences, causal arguments show that a condition exists because of specific circumstances—that is, something has caused or created this situation, and we need to know why. For example, a student’s investigation uncovered reasons why schools in one state benefit greatly from a lottery but do not in another. Let’s look at another student who asked the question, “Why do numerous students, like me, who otherwise score well on the ACT test, score poorly
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Understanding a Research Assignment 141 in the math section of the test and, consequently, enroll in developmental courses that offer no college credit?” This question merited his investigation, so he gathered evidence from his personal experience as well as data drawn from interviews, surveys, critical reading, and accumulated test results. Ultimately, he explored and wrote on a combination of related issues—students’ poor study skills, bias in the testing program, and inadequate instruction in grade school and high school. He discovered something about himself and many things about the testing program. Student Norman Berkowitz uses causal analysis to build his paper, “The World’s Water Supply: The Ethics of Distribution” (see Chapter 16). He traces the causes of water shortages, identifies key areas approaching a desert status, and discusses the consequences, saying that people with water must be willing to help those without. In addition, Valerie Nesbitt-Hall (see Chapter 18) uses causal argument in her essay about online romance, showing that availability, privacy, and low cost are forces that drive this new type of dating. Sarah Bemis (see Chapter 20) uses a similar kind of causal argument in her essay on diabetes management; she traces the causes for the disease and then examines the methods for controlling it: medication, diet, and exercise.

Comparison, Including Analogy An argument often compares and likens a subject to something else. You might be asked to compare a pair of poems or to compare stock markets— Nasdaq with the New York Stock Exchange. Comparison is seldom the focus of an entire paper, but it can be useful in a paragraph about the banking policy of Andrew Jackson and that of his congressional opponents. An analogy is a figurative comparison that allows the writer to draw several parallels of similarity. For example, the human circulatory system is like a transportation system with a hub, a highway system, and a fleet of trucks to carry the cargo. Valerie Nesbitt-Hall uses comparison in her essay. She describes online matchmaking as similar to the practice of prearranged marriages. When families arrange a marriage, they cautiously seek a good match in matters of nationality, economics, political alliances, and so forth. In comparison, says Nesbitt-Hall, couples on the Internet can seek a good match on similar grounds. Precedence Precedence refers to conventions or customs, usually well established. In judicial decisions, it is a standard set by previous cases, a legal precedent. Therefore, a thesis statement built on precedence requires a past event that establishes a rule of law or a point of procedure. As an example, let’s return to the argument against the chipping mill. If the researcher can prove that another mill in another part of the country ruined the environment, then the researcher has a precedent for how damaging such an operation can be. Norman Berkowitz, in his study of the world’s water supply, examines the role of a commodity, such as timber and oil resources, and its precedence
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

142 Writing from Research in the case of water. If water is a commodity, nations can buy and sell. The courts in Canada are currently resolving that issue.

Implications If you conduct any kind of test or observation, you will probably make field notes in a research journal and tabulate your results at regular intervals. At some point, however, you will be expected to explain your findings, arrive at conclusions, and discuss the implications of your scientific inquiry. Lab reports are elementary forms of this task. What did you discover, and what does it mean? For example, one student explored the world of drug testing before companies place the products on the market. His discussions had chilling implications for consumers. Another student examined the role of mice as carriers of Lyme disease. This work required reading as well as field research and testing to arrive at final judgments. In literature, a student examined the recurring images of birds in the poetry of Thomas Hardy to discuss the implications of the birds in terms of his basic themes. In review, fit one or more of these argument types to the context of your project:
• • • • • • • • Evaluation Interpretation Definition Proposal Causal argument Analogy Precedence Implications

Establishing a Schedule
The steps for producing a research paper have remained fundamental for many years. You will do well to follow them, even to the point of setting deadlines on the calendar for each step. In the spaces below, write dates to remind yourself when deadlines should be met. _____ Topic approved by the instructor. The topic must have a built-in question or argument so you can interpret an issue and cite the opinions found in the source materials. _____ Reading and creating a working bibliography. Preliminary reading establishes the basis for your research, helping you discover the quantity and quality of available sources. If you can’t find much, your topic is too narrow. If you find far too many sources, your topic is too broad and needs narrowing. Chapters 6 and 7 explain the processes of finding reliable, expert sources online and in the library.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Establishing a Schedule 143 _____ Organizing. Instructors will require different types of plans. For some, your research journal will indicate the direction of your work. Others ask for a formal outline. In either case, see Chapter 11. _____ Creating notes. Begin entering notes in your computer or on notecards, if you prefer. Write plenty of notes and collect a supply of photocopied pages, which you should carefully label. Some notes will be summaries, others will need carefully drawn quotations from the sources, and some will be paraphrases written in your own voice. Chapter 12 explains these various techniques. _____ Drafting the paper. During your writing, let your instructor scan the draft to give you feedback and guidance. He or she might see further complications for your exploration and also steer you clear of any simplistic conclusions. Drafting is also a stage for peer review, in which a classmate or two looks at your work. The instructor may also have classroom workshops that offer in-class review of your work in progress. Chapters 13, 14, and 15 explain matters of drafting the paper. _____ Formatting the paper. Proper manuscript design places your paper within the required design for your discipline, such as the number system for a scientific project or the APA style for an education paper. Chapters 17–20 provide the guidelines for the various disciplines. _____ Writing a list of your references. You will need to list in the proper format the various sources used in your study. Chapters 17–20 provide documentation guidelines. _____ Revision and proofreading. At the end of the project, you should be conscientious about examining the manuscript and making all necessary corrections. With the aid of computers, you can check spelling and some aspects of style. Chapter 16 gives tips on revision and editing. Appendix A is a glossary of terms to explain aspects of form and style. _____ Submitting the manuscript. Like all writers, you will need at some point to “publish” the paper and release it to the audience, which might be your instructor, your classmates, or perhaps a larger group. Plan well in advance to meet this final deadline. You may publish the paper in a variety of ways—on paper, on a disk, on a CD-ROM, or on your own Web site.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

5

Finding a Topic

nstructors usually allow students to find their own topics for a major writing assignment; thus, choose something of interest so you won’t get bored after a few days. At the same time, your chosen topic will need a scholarly perspective. To clarify what we mean, let’s take a look at how two students launched their projects. • Valerie Nesbitt-Hall saw a cartoon about a young woman saying to a man, “Sorry—I only have relationships over the Internet. I’m cybersexual.” Although laughing, Valerie knew she had discovered her topic—online romance. Upon investigation, she found her scholarly angle: Matching services and chat rooms are like the arranged marriages from years gone by. You can read her paper in Chapter 18. • Norman Berkowitz, while watching news reports of the Iraqi War of 2003, noticed dry and barren land, yet history had taught him that this land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers was formerly a land of fruit and honey, perhaps even the Garden of Eden. What happened to it? His interest focused, thereafter, on the world’s water supply, and his scholarly focus centered on the ethics of distribution of water. You can read his paper in Chapter 16. As these examples show, an informed choice of subject is crucial for fulfilling the research assignment. You might be tempted to write from a personal interest, such as “Fishing at Lake Cumberland”; however, the content and the context of your course and the assignment itself should drive you toward a serious, scholarly perspective: “The Effects of Toxic Chemicals on the Fish of Lake Cumberland.” This topic would probably send you into the field for hands-on investigation (see Chapter 8 for more on field research). Look for a special edge or angle. The topic “Symbolism in Hawthorne’s Fiction” has no originality, but “Hester Prynne in the Twenty-First Century” does. Similarly, “The Sufferings of Native Americans” could be improved to “Urban Sprawl in Morton County: The Bulldozing of Indian Burial Grounds.” Melina Mosier, in Chapter 16, entitles her paper “Listening to Hamlet: The Soliloquies,” but her special focus is the setting within which Hamlet performs—that is, the events prior to, during, and after each of his speeches.

I

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

144
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Finding a Topic 145 In another example, you might be tempted by the topic “Computer Games,” but the research assignment requires an evaluation of issues, not a description. It also requires detailed definition. A better topic might be “Learned Dexterity with Video and Computer Games,” which requires the definition of learned dexterity and how some video games promote it. Even in a first-year composition class, your instructor may expect discipline-specific topics, such as: Education Political Science Literature Health Sociology The Visually Impaired: Options for Classroom Participation Conservative Republicans and the Religious Right Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and the Women’s Movement The Effects of Smoking during Pregnancy Parents Who Lie to Their Children

A scholarly topic requires inquiry, like those above, and it sometimes requires problem solving. For example, Sarah Bemis has a problem—she has diabetes—and she went in search of ways to manage it. Her solution—a balance of medication, monitoring, diet, and exercise—gave her the heart and soul of a good research paper. Thus, your inquiry into the issues or your effort to solve a problem will empower the research and the paper you produce. When your topic addresses such issues, you have a reason to: • Examine with intellectual curiosity the evidence found in the library, on the Internet, and in the field. • Share your investigation of the issues with readers, bringing them special perspectives and enlightening details. • Write a meaningful conclusion that discusses the implications of your study rather than merely presenting a summary of what you said in the body. This chapter will help you mold a general subject into a workable topic. It explains how to: • Relate your personal ideas to a scholarly problem. • Search computer sources for issues worthy of investigation. • Participate in online discussion groups to see what others consider important. • Examine the library’s printed sources for confirmation that your topic has been discussed in the academic literature.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

146 Finding a Topic

CHECKLIST

Narrowing a General Subject into a Scholarly Topic
Unlike a general subject, a scholarly topic should: • Examine one narrowed issue, not a broad subject. • Address knowledgeable readers and carry them to another plateau of knowledge. • Have a serious purpose—one that demands analysis of the issues, argues from a position, and explains complex details. • Meet the expectations of the instructor and conform to the course requirements.

Relating Your Personal Ideas to a Scholarly Problem
Try to make a connection between your interests and the inherent issues of the subject. For instance, a student whose mother became seriously addicted to the Internet developed a paper from the personal experiences of her dysfunctional family. She worked within the sociology discipline and consulted journals of that field. Another student, who worked at Wal-Mart, developed a research project on discount pricing and its effect on small-town shop owners. She worked within the discipline of marketing and business management, reading appropriate literature in those areas. Begin with two activities: 1. Relate your experiences to scholarly problems and academic disciplines. 2. Speculate about the subject by listing issues, asking questions, engaging in free writing, and using other idea-generating techniques.

Connecting Personal Experience to Scholarly Topics
You can’t write a personal essay and call it a research paper, yet you can choose topics close to your life. Use one of the techniques described below: 1. Combine personal interests with an aspect of academic studies: Personal interest: Academic subject: Possible topics: Skiing Sports medicine “Protecting the Knees” “Therapy for Strained Muscles” “Skin Treatments”

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Relating Your Personal Ideas to a Scholarly Problem 147 2. Consider social issues that affect you and your family: The education of my child The behavior of my child in school “Children Who Are Hyperactive” “Should Schoolchildren Take Medicine to Calm Their Hyperactivity?” 3. Consider scientific subjects, if appropriate: Personal interest: The ponds and well water on the family farm Scientific subject: Chemical toxins in the water Possible topic: “The Poisoning of Underground Water Tables” 4. Let your cultural background prompt you toward detailed research into your roots, your culture, and the mythology and history of your ethnic background: Ethnic background: Personal interest: Possible topic: Ethnic background: Personal interest: Possible topic: Native American History of the Apache tribes “The Indian Wars from the Native American’s Point of View” Hispanic Struggles of the Mexican child in an American classroom “Bicultural Experiences of Hispanic Students: The Failures and Triumphs” Personal interest: Social issue: Possible topics:

HINT: Learn the special language of the academic discipline and use it. Every field of study, whether sociology, geology, or literature, has words to describe its analytical approach to topics, such as the demographics of a target audience (marketing), the function of loops and arrays (computer science), the symbolism of Maya Angelou’s poetry (literature), and observation of human subjects (psychology). Part of your task is learning the terminology and using it appropriately.

Speculating about Your Subject to Discover Ideas and to Focus on the Issues
At some point you may need to sit back, relax, and use your imagination to contemplate the issues and problems worthy of investigation. Ideas can be generated in the following ways:
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Free Writing To free write, merely focus on a topic and write whatever comes to mind. Do not worry about grammar, style, or penmanship, but keep

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

148 Finding a Topic writing nonstop for a page or so to develop valuable phrases, comparisons, personal anecdotes, and specific thoughts that help focus issues of concern. Below, Jamie Johnston comments on violence and, perhaps, finds his topic.
The savagery of the recent hazing incident at Glenbrook North High School demonstrates that humans, men and women, love a good fight. People want power over others, even in infancy. Just look at how siblings fight. And I read one time that twins inside the womb actually fight for supremacy, and one fetus might even devour or absorb the other one. Weird, but I guess it’s true. And we fight vicariously, too, watching boxing and wrestling, cheering at fights during a hockey game, and on and on. So personally, I think human beings have always been blood thirsty and power hungry. The French philosopher Rousseau might claim a “noble savage” once existed, but personally I think we’ve always hated others.

This free writing set the path for this writer’s investigation into the role of war in human history. Johnston found a topic for exploration. (The complete paper, Prehistoric Wars: We’ve Always Hated Each Other, is located in Chapter 19.)

Listing Keywords Keep a list of words, the fundamental terms, that you see in the literature. These can help focus the direction of your research. Jamie Johnston built this list of terms: prehistoric wars remains of early victims sacrificial victims limited resources early weapons early massacres human nature religious sacrifices noble savages slaves power honor

These key words can help in writing the rough outline, as explained below.

Arranging Keywords into a Preliminary Outline Writing a rough outline early in the project might help you see if the topic has substance so you can sustain it for the length required. At this point, the researcher needs to recognize the hierarchy of major and minor issues.
Prehistoric wars Evidence of early brutality Mutilated skeletons
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Relating Your Personal Ideas to a Scholarly Problem 149
Evidence of early weapons Clubs, bows, slings, maces, etc. Walled fortresses for defense Speculations on reasons for war Resources Slaves Revenge Religion Human nature and war Quest for power Biological urge to conquer

This initial ranking of ideas would grow in length and mature in depth during Johnston’s research (see Chapter 19 for his paper).

Clustering Another method for discovering the hierarchy of your primary topics and subtopics is to cluster ideas around a central subject. The cluster of related topics can generate a multitude of interconnected ideas. Here’s an example by Jamie Johnston:
Slaves

Resources

Racial Pride Honor Reasons for Prehistoric Wars Concubines Gold and Silver Protect Trade Routes

Revenge

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Narrowing by Comparison Comparison limits a discussion to specific differences. Any two works, any two persons, any two groups may serve as the basis for a comparative study. Historians compare Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. Political scientists compare conservatives and liberals. Literary scholars compare the merits of free verse and those of formal verse. Jamie Johnston discovered a comparative study in his work, as expressed in this way:
Ultimately, the key questions about the cause of war, whether ancient or current, centers on one’s choice between biology and
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

150 Finding a Topic culture. One the one side, society as a whole wants to preserve its culture, in peace if possible. Yet the biological history of men and women suggests that we love a good fight.

That comparative choice became the capstone of Johnston’s conclusion (see Chapter 19).

Asking Questions Stretch your imagination with questions.
1. General questions examine terminology, issues, causes, etc. For example, having read Henry Thoreau’s essay “Civil Disobedience,” one writer asked: What is civil disobedience? Is dissent legal? Is it moral? Is it patriotic? Is dissent a liberal activity? Conservative? Should the government encourage or stifle dissent? Is passive resistance effective? Answering the questions can lead the writer to a central issue or argument, such as “Civil Disobedience: Shaping Our Nation by Confronting Unjust Laws.” 2. Rhetorical questions use the modes of writing as a basis. One student framed these questions: How does a state lottery compare with horse racing? Definition: What is a lottery in legal terms? in religious terms? Cause/Effect: What are the consequences of a state lottery on funding for education, highways, prisons, and social programs? Process: How are winnings distributed? Classification: What types of lotteries exist, and which are available in this state? Evaluation: What is the value of a lottery to the average citizen? What are the disadvantages? 3. Academic disciplines across the curriculum provide questions, as framed by one student on the topic of sports gambling. Economics: Does sports gambling benefit a college’s athletic budget? Does it benefit the national economy? What is the effect of gambling on the mental attitude of the college athlete who knows huge sums hang in the balance on his or her performance? Comparison:

Psychology:

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Talking with Others to Refine the Topic 151 Does gambling on sporting events have an identifiable tradition? Sociology: What compulsion in human nature prompts people to gamble on the prowess of an athlete or team? 4. Journalism questions explore the basic elements of a subject: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How? For example: Who? Athletes What? Illegal drugs When? During off-season training and also on game day Where? Training rooms and elsewhere Why? To enhance performance How? By pills and injections The journalist’s questions direct you toward the issues, such as “win at all costs” or “damaging the body for immediate gratification.” 5. Kenneth Burke’s pentad questions five aspects of a topic: act, agent, scene, agency, purpose. What happened (the act)? Who did it (agent)? Where and when (scene)? How did it occur (the agency)? What is a possible motive for this event (purpose)? Crucifixion scene in The Old Man and the Sea. Santiago, the old fisherman. At the novel’s end. Santiago carries the mast of his boat up the hill. Hemingway wanted to make a martyr of the old man. History:

Example from a journal entry as based on these questions and answers:
The crucifixion scene in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea shows Santiago hoisting the mast of his boat on his shoulder and struggling up the Cuban hillside. Hemingway suggests Christian connotations with this scene, so I wonder if, perhaps, he has used other Christian images in the novel.

This researcher can now search the novel with a purpose—to find other Christian images, rank and classify them, and determine if, indeed, the study has merit.

Talking with Others to Refine the Topic
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Personal Interviews
Like some researchers, you may need to consult formally with an expert on the topic or explore a subject informally while having coffee or a soda with

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

152 Finding a Topic

CHECKLIST

Exploring Ideas with Others
• Consult with your instructor. • Discuss your topic with three or four classmates. • • • • • Listen to the concerns of others. Conduct a formal interview (see Chapter 8). Join a computer discussion group. Take careful notes. Adjust your research accordingly.

a colleague, relative, or work associate. Ask people in your community for ideas and for their reactions to your general subject. For example, Valerie Nesbitt-Hall knew about a couple who married after having met initially in a chat Nesbitt-Hall’s interview, Chapter 8; room on the Internet. She requested an the interview in the finished paper, Chapter 18. interview and got it. Casual conversations that contribute to your understanding of the subject need not be documented. However, the conscientious writer will credit a formal interview if the person approves. The interviewed subjects on pages 212–213 preferred anonymity.

Internet Discussion Groups
What are other people saying about your subject? You might use the computer to share ideas and messages with other scholars interested in your subject. Somebody may answer a question or point to an interesting aspect that has not occurred to you. With discussion groups, you have a choice: • Classroom e-mail groups that participate in online discussions of various issues • Online courses that feature a discussion room • MUD and MOO discussion groups on the Internet • Real-time chatting with participants online—even with audio and video, in some cases For example, your instructor may set up an informal classroom discussion list and expect you to participate online with her and your fellow students. In other cases, the instructor might suggest that you investigate a specific site, such as alt.religion
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing. ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Using the World Wide Web to Refine Your Topic for a religious subject or alt.current-events.usa

153

for a paper on gun control laws. You can find many discussion groups, but the manner in which you use them is vital to your academic success. Rather than chat, solicit ideas and get responses to your questions about your research.

Using the World Wide Web to Refine Your Topic
The Internet provides a quick and easy way to find a topic and refine it to academic standards. Chapter 6 discusses these matters in greater detail. For now, use the subject directories and keyInternet searches, Chapter 6. word searches.

Using an Internet Subject Directory
Many search engines have a directory of subjects on the home page that can link you quickly to specific topics. With each mouse click, the topic narrows. For example, one student studying Thomas Jefferson consulted AltaVista’s subject categories and clicked on Reference where she found Archives, then Early American Archives, and eventually Early American Review, a journal that featured an article entitled “Jefferson and His Daughters.” The search occurs quickly—in seconds, not minutes. However, the Internet has made it difficult to apply traditional evaluations to an electronic article: Is it accurate, authoritative, objective, current, timely, and thorough in coverage? Some Internet sites are advocates to special interests, some sites market products or sprinkle the site with banners to commercial sites and sales items, some sites are personal home pages, and then many sites offer objective news and scholarly information. The answers: 1. Go to the reliable databases available through your library, such as InfoTrac, PsychInfo, UMI ProQuest, Electric Library, and EBSCOhost. These are monitored sites that give information filtered by editorial boards and peer review. You can reach them from remote locations at home or the dorm by connecting electronically to your library. 2. Look for articles on the Internet that first appeared in a printed version. These will have been, in most cases, examined by an editorial board. 3. Look for a reputable sponsor, especially a university, museum, or professional organization. 4. Go to Chapter 6, which discusses the pros and cons of Internet searching, and also look at the Web site accompanying this book for additional tips on methods for evaluating Internet sources, with examples, at .
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

154 Finding a Topic

FIGURE 5.1 A Library of Congress site “Words and Deeds in American History,” found by using a keyword search for American history manuscripts.

Using an Internet Keyword Search
To find sites quickly, enter the keywords for a topic you wish to explore. For example, entering “American history manuscripts” at one of the browsers such as Google will produce a page like that shown in Figure 5.1. It has links to search the files by keyword, name, subject, and chronological list. From there you can search for comments on the Puritans, the Jeffersonian years, the Andrew Jackson administration, and so forth. Internet search engines will force you to narrow your general subject. For example, one student entered “Internet + addiction,” and the computer brought up thousands of sources. By tightening the request to the phrase “Internet addiction,” enclosed within quotation marks, she cut the list considerably and Help with keyword searches, discovered other keywords: cyber-wellness, Chapter 6. weboholics, and netaddiction. She realized she had a workable topic.

Using the Library’s Electronic Databases to Find and Narrow a Subject
College libraries have academic databases not found on general search engines, such as InfoTrac, Silverplatter, and UMI-ProQuest. These database
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Using the Library’s Electronic Book Catalog to Find a Topic 155 files are reliable because they refer you to thousands of articles that have been peer reviewed by experts or filtered through editorial processes. For now, examine various titles as you search for your own topic. If you see one of interest, click on it for more information. Follow these steps:

Evaluating Internet Sources, Chapter 6, and also this book’s Web site at .

1. Select a database. Some databases, such as InfoTrac and UMI-ProQuest, are general; use them to find a subject. Other databases focus on one discipline; for example, PsycINFO searches psychological sources, ERIC indexes educational sources, and Health & Wellness describes itself. These databases will move you quickly to a list of articles on your topic. 2. List keywords or a phrase to describe your topic, enclosed within quotation marks. Avoid using just one general word. For example, the word food on the EBSCOhost database produced 10,000 possible sites. The two-word phrase “healing foods” produced a manageable 22 sites. Here is one of 22 entries: “Healing Foods.” Psychology Today 32.4 (JulyAug. 1999): 24. 3. Examine the various entries for possible topics. Look for relevant articles, browse the descriptions, read the abstracts, and—when you find something valuable—print the full text, if it’s available.

Using the Library’s Electronic Book Catalog to Find a Topic
Instructors expect you to cite information from a few books, and the library’s book index will suggest topics and confirm that your subject has been treated with in-depth studies in book form, not just on the Internet or in magazines. Called by different names at each library (e.g., Acorn, Felix, Access), the electronic index lists all books housed in the library, plus film strips, videotapes, and similar items. It does not index articles in magazines and journals, but it will tell you which periodicals are housed in the library and whether they are in printed form or on microforms. Like the electronic databases, the index will help you find a workable topic by guiding you quickly from general subjects to subtopics and, finally, to specific books. Chapter 7 describes the process in great detail with examples. For now, enter your subject, such as food, nutrition, allergies, to see what titles are available in the library. The titles, such as Children and Food Allergies, Environmental Poisons in Our Food, or Living with Something in the Air, will suggest a possible topic, perhaps “Special Diets to Control Allergic Reactions to Food.” If you go into the stacks to find a book, take the time to examine nearby books on the same shelf, for they will likely treat the same subject.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

156 Finding a Topic With your working topic in hand, do some exploratory reading in books to enhance your understanding of the topic. Look to see how your subject is discussed in the literature. Carefully read the titles of books and chapter titles, noting any key terms: The Lessons of the French Revolution Napoleon’s Ambition and the Quest for Domination “Perspectives: Napoleon’s Relations with the Catholic Church” These titles provide several keywords and possible topics for a research paper: Napoleon’s ambition, Napoleon and the church, the French Revolution. Inspect a book’s table of contents to find topics of interest. A typical history book might display these headings in the table of contents: The French Revolution The Era of Napoleon Reaction to Napoleon and More Revolutions The Second Empire of France If any of these headings look interesting, go to the book’s index for additional headings, such as this sample: Napoleon becomes Emperor, 174–176 becomes First Consul, 173 becomes Life Consul, 174 and the Catholic Church, 176–178 character of, 168–176 and codes of law, 178–179 defeated by enemies, 192–197 defeats Austrians, 170 encounters opposition, 190–191 extends empire in Europe, 180–189 seizes power for “One Hundred Days” 198 sent to Elba, 197 sent to St. Helena, 199 If you see something that looks interesting, read the designated pages to consider the topic further. For example, you might read about Napoleon’s return from Elba to his beloved France for a few additional days of glory before the darkness of confinement at St. Helena. HINT: Topic selection goes beyond choosing a general category (e.g., “single mothers”). It includes finding a research-provoking issue or question, such as “The foster parent program seems to have replaced the orphanage system. Has it been effective?” That is, you need to take a stand, adopt a belief, or begin asking questions.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Expressing a Thesis Sentence, Enthymeme, or Hypothesis 157

Expressing a Thesis Sentence, Enthymeme, or Hypothesis
One central statement will usually control an essay’s direction and content, so as early as possible, begin thinking in terms of a controlling idea. Each has a separate mission: • A thesis sentence advances a conclusion the writer will defend: Contrary to what some philosophers have advanced, human beings have always participated in wars. • An enthymeme uses a because clause to make a claim the writer will defend: There has never been a “noble savage,” as such, because even prehistoric human beings fought frequent wars for numerous reasons. • A hypothesis is a theory that must be tested in the lab, in the literature, and/or by field research to prove its validity: Human beings are motivated by biological instincts toward the physical overthrow of perceived enemies. Let us look at each type in more detail.

Thesis A thesis sentence expands your topic into a scholarly proposal, one that you will try to prove and defend in your paper. It does not state the obvious, such as “Langston Hughes was a great poet from Harlem.” That sentence will not provoke an academic discussion because your readers know that any published poet has talent. The writer must narrow and isolate one issue by finding a critical focus, such as this one that a student considered for her essay:
Langston Hughes used a controversial vernacular language that paved the way for later artists, even today’s rap musicians.

This sentence advances an idea the writer can develop fully and defend with evidence. The writer has made a connection between the subject, Langston Hughes, and the focusing agent, vernacular language. Look at two other writers’ preliminary thesis statements: THESIS: THESIS:
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Chat rooms and online matching services enable people to meet only after a prearranged engagement by email. Hamlet’s character is shaped, in part, by Shakespeare’s manipulation of the stage setting for Hamlet’s soliloquies.

In the first, the writer will defend online romance as similar to prearranged marriages of the past. In the second, the writer will discuss how various shifts in dramatic setting can affect the message of the primary character.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

158 Finding a Topic Depending on the critical approach, one topic might produce several issues from which the writer might pick: Biological approach: Functional foods may be a promising addition to the diet of those who wish to avoid certain diseases. Economic approach: Functional foods can become an economic weapon in the battle against rising health care costs. Historic approach: Other civilizations, including primitive tribes, have known about food’s healing properties for centuries. Why did we let modern chemistry blind us to its benefits? Each statement above will provoke a response from the reader, who will demand a carefully structured defense in the body of the paper. Your thesis anticipates your conclusion by setting in motion the examination of facts and pointing the reader toward the special idea of your paper. Note below how three writers developed different thesis sentences even though they had the same topic, “Santiago in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.” (This novel narrates the toils of an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who desperately needs the money to be gained by returning with a good catch of fish. On this day he catches a marlin. After a long struggle, Santiago ties the huge marlin to the side of his small boat. However, during the return in the darkness, sharks attack the marlin so that he arrives home with only a skeleton of the fish. He removes his mast and carries it, like a cross, up the hill to his home.) THESIS:
Poverty forced Santiago to venture too far and struggle beyond reason in his attempt to land the marlin.

This writer will examine the economic conditions of Santiago’s trade. THESIS:
The giant marlin is a symbol for all of life’s obstacles and hurdles, and Santiago is a symbol for all suffering humans.

This writer will examine the religious and social symbolism of the novel. THESIS:
Hemingway’s portrayal of Santiago demonstrates the author’s deep respect for Cuba and its stoic heroes.

This writer takes a social approach in order to examine the Cuban culture and its influence on Hemingway.

Enthymeme Your instructor might want the research paper to develop an argument expressed as an enthymeme, which is a claim supported with a because clause. Examples:
ENTHYMEME:
Hyperactive children need medication because ADHD is a medical disorder, not a behavioral problem.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Expressing a Thesis Sentence, Enthymeme, or Hypothesis 159 The claim that children need medication is supported by the stated reason that the condition is a medical problem, not one of behavior. This writer will need to address any unstated assumptions—for example, that medication alone will solve the problem. ENTHYMEME:
Because people are dying all around the globe from water shortages, the countries with an abundance of water have an ethical obligation to share it.

The claim that countries with water have an ethical obligation to share is, of course, the point of contention.

Hypothesis As a theory, the hypothesis requires careful examination to prove its validity, and sometimes that doesn’t happen. The proof isn’t there, so the writer must present negative results—and that’s okay. Disproving a theory is just as valid as proving it. Here are the various types of hypotheses.
The Theoretical Hypothesis:
Discrimination against young women in the classroom, known as “shortchanging,” harms the women academically, socially, and psychologically.

Here the student will produce a theoretical study by citing literature on “shortchanging.”
The Conditional Hypothesis:
Diabetes can be controlled by medication, monitoring, diet, and exercise.

Certain conditions must be met. The control will depend on the patient’s ability to perform the four tasks adequately to prove the hypothesis valid.
The Relational Hypothesis:
Class size affects the number of written assignments by writing instructors.

This type of hypothesis claims that as one variable changes, so does another, or it claims that something is more or less than another. It could be tested by examining and correlating class size and assignments, a type of field research (see pages 218–220).
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

The Causal Hypothesis:
A child’s toy is determined by television commercials.

This causal hypothesis assumes the mutual occurrence of two factors and asserts that one factor is responsible for the other. The student who is a
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

160 Finding a Topic parent could conduct research to prove or disprove the supposition. A review of the literature might also serve the writer. In effect, your work as based on a hypothesis might be a theoretical examination of the literature, but it might also be an actual visit to an Indian burial ground or a field test of one species of hybrid corn. Everything is subject to examination, even the number of times you blink while reading this text.

Drafting a Research Proposal
A research proposal is presented in one of two forms: (1) a short paragraph to identify the project for yourself and your instructor, or (2) a formal, multipage report that provides background information, your rationale for conducting the study, a review of the literature, your methods, and the conclusions you hope to prove.

The Short Proposal
A short proposal identifies five essential ingredients of your work: • • • • • The specific topic The purpose of the paper (explain, analyze, argue) The intended audience (general or specialized) Your voice as the writer (informer or advocate) The preliminary thesis sentence or opening hypothesis

For example, here is the proposal of Norman Berkowitz (see his paper in Chapter 16):
The world is running out of fresh water while we sip our Evian. However, the bottled water craze signals something—we don’t trust our fresh tap water. We have an emerging crisis on our hands, and some authorities forecast world wars over water rights. The issue of water touches almost every facet of our lives, from religious rituals and food supply to disease and political instability. We might frame this hypothesis: Water will soon replace oil as the economic resource most treasured by nations of the world. However, that assertion would prove difficult to defend and may not be true at all. Rather, we need to look elsewhere, at human behavior, and at human responsibility for preserving the environment for our children. Accordingly, this paper will examine (1) the issues with regard to supply and demand, (2) the political power struggles that may emerge, and (3) the ethical implications for those who control the world’s scattered supply of fresh water.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing. ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Drafting a Research Proposal 161 This writer has identified the basic nature of his project and can now go in search of evidence that will defend the argument.

The Long Proposal
Some instructors may assign the long proposal, which includes some or all of the following elements: 1. A cover page with the title of the project, your name, and the person or agency to whom you are submitting the proposal:
Arranged Marriages: The Revival Is Online By Valerie Nesbitt-Hall Submitted to Dr. Lee Ling and The University Committee on Computers

2. An abstract that summarizes your project in 50 to 100 words (see Chapter 16 for additional information).
Arranged marriages are considered old-fashioned or a product of some foreign cultures, but the Internet, especially its online dating services and chat rooms, has brought arranged marriages into the twenty-first century. The Internet provides an opportunity for people to meet, chat, reveal themselves at their own pace, and find, perhaps, a friend, lover, and even a spouse. Thus, computer matchmaking has social and psychological implications that have been explored by psychologists and sociologists. The social implications affect the roles of both men and women in the workplace and in marital relations. The psychological implications involve online infidelity, cybersexual addiction, and damage to self-esteem; yet those dangers are balanced against success stories. Those persons who maintain an anonymous distance until a true romance blossoms are anticipating, in essence, a carefully arranged date that might become a marriage.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5

3. A purpose statement with your rationale for the project. In essence, this is your thesis sentence or hypothesis, along with your identification of the audience that your work will address and the role you will play as investigator and advocate.
This project was suggested by Dr. Lee Ling to fulfill the writing project for English 2100 and also to serve the University Committee on
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

162 Finding a Topic

CHECKLIST

Addressing the Reader
Identify your audience. Have you visualized your audience, its expertise, and its expectations? Your perception of the reader will affect your voice, style, and choice of words. Identify your discipline. Readers in each discipline will bring differing expectations to your paper with regard to content, language, design, and documentation format. Meet the needs of your readers. Are you saying something worthwhile? something new? Do not bore the reader with known facts from an encyclopedia. (This latter danger is the reason many instructors discourage the use of an encyclopedia as a source.) Engage and even challenge your readers. Find an interesting or different point of view. For example, a report on farm life can become a challenging examination of chemical contamination because of industrial sprawl into rural areas, and an interpretation of a novel can become an examination of the prison system rather than a routine discourse on theme or characterization.

Computers, which has launched a project on Student Internet Awareness. This paper, if approved, would become part of the committee’s Student Booklet on Internet Protocol.

4. A statement of qualification that explains your experience and, perhaps, the special qualities you bring to the project. Nesbitt-Hall included this comment in her proposal:
I bring first-hand experience to this study. I have explored the Internet like many other students. I joined a service, entered my profile, and began looking at photographs and profiles. It was exciting at first, but then I became bored; it seemed that everything and everybody blended into a fog of indifference. Then when some jerk sent a vulgar message I withdrew my profile and user name. I’ll just remain old-fashioned and start my dates with a soda at the student center.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

If you have no experience with the subject, you can omit the statement of qualification. 5. A review of the literature, which surveys the articles and books that you have examined in your preliminary work.
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Drafting a Research Proposal 163
Limited research is being done in the area of online romance. My search of the literature produced a surprisingly short list of journal articles. Maheu (1999) has discussed methods of helping clients, even to the point of counseling in cyberspace itself, which would establish professional relationships online. Schneider and Weiss (2001) describe it but offer little psychoanalysis. Cooper (2002) has an excellent collection of articles in his guidebook for clinicians, and he has argued that online dating has the potential to lower the nation’s divorce rate. Kass (2003) has identified the “distanced nearness” of a chat room that encourages “self-revelation while maintaining personal boundaries” (cited in Rasdan, 2003, p. 71). Epstein (2003) has argued that many arranged marriages, by parents or by cyberspace, have produced enduring love because of rational deliberation performed before moments of passionate impulse. In addition, Schneider and Weiss (2001) have listed some of the advantages to online romance: It links people miles apart; impressions are made by words, not looks; there is time to contemplate a message; there is time to compose a well-written response; and messages can be reviewed and revised before transmission (p. 66).

6. A description of your research methods, which is the design of the materials you will need, your timetable, and, where applicable, your budget. These elements are often a part of a scientific study, so see Chapters 18 and 20 for work in the social, physical, and biological sciences. Here is Nesbitt-Hall’s description:
This paper will examine online dating as a forum for arranging dates and even marriages. The Method section will explore the role of Match.com and other dating services as a testing board for people with similar interests to form communication lines that might last one minute or one year. The Subjects section will examine the people who participate, from the modest person to one who is aggressive, and from high-profile people like Rush Limbaugh to those with low profiles and
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

quiet lifestyles. The Procedures section examines the process so common to the services: to bring two compatible people together on the Web. There they can e-mail each other, participate in IM chats, send attachments of favorite songs or personal photographs, and
Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

164 Finding a Topic

CHECKLIST

Explaining Your Purpose in the Research Proposal
Research papers accomplish several tasks: • They explain and define the topic. • They analyze the specific issues. • They persuade the reader with the weight of the evidence. 1. Use explanation to review and itemize factual data. Sarah Bemis explains how diabetes can be managed (see Chapter 20), and Jamie Johnston explains the nature of prehistoric wars (see Chapter 19). 2. Use analysis to classify various parts of the subject and to investigate each one in depth. Melinda Mosier examines Hamlet’s soliloquies (Chapter 16) and Valerie Nesbitt-Hall analyzes Internet romance (Chapter 18). 3. Use persuasion to question the general attitudes about a problem and then to affirm new theories, advance a solution, recommend a course of action, or—in the least—invite the reader into an intellectual dialog. Norman Berkowitz argues for ethical distribution of the world’s water supply (Chapter 16).

eventually exchange real names, phone numbers, and addresses. The various services provide not only lists of available people but also personality tests, detailed profiles of subjects, and even nightclubs with calling cards for patrons to share with others whom they find interesting. The Results section explains the obvious—that online romance can prove productive for some people, interesting for the lurking voyeur, and an absolute disaster for the gullible and careless. The Case Study provides a success story for online dating. The Discussion section explores the social and psychological implications for men and women, especially for those captured by cybersexual addiction.
ISBN 0-558-55519-5

Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Your Research Project

165

YOUR RESEARCH PROJECT
1. Make a list of your personal interests and items that affect your mental and physical activities, such as homework, hiking, or relations with your family. Examine each item on the list to see if you can find an academic angle that will make the topic fit the context of your research assignment. See Relating Your Personal Ideas to a Scholarly Problem, earlier in this chapter for more help. 2. Ask questions about a possible subject, using the list in this chapter. 3. Look around your campus or community for subjects. Talk with your classmates and even your instructor about campus issues. Focus on your hometown community in search of a problem, such as the demise of the Main Street merchants. Investigate any environmental concerns in your area, from urban sprawl to beach erosion to waste disposal. Think seriously about a piece of literature you have read, perhaps Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. If you are a parent, consider issues related to children, such as finding adequate child care. Once you have a subject of interest, apply to it some of the narrowing techniques, such as clustering, free writing, or listing keywords. 4. To determine if sufficient sources will be available and to narrow the subject even further, visit the Internet, investigate the library’s databases (e.g., InfoTrac), and dip into the electronic book catalog at your library. Keep printouts of any interesting articles or book titles.

ISBN 0-558-55519-5 Research and Writing, Custom Edition. Published by Pearson Custom Publishing. Copyright © 2006 by Pearson Custom Publishing.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Logistic

...manufacturing, logistics and finance departments? Explain the logistics department’s role in the introduction of the new products. Logistics professionals and other knowledge managers realize, however that in spite of all the hype about the Internet, successful organizations must manage order fulfillment to their customers effectively and efficiently to build and sustain competitive advantage and profitability. At the same time, the competitive marketplace demands efficiency are controlling transportation, inventory, and other logistics related costs. A different perspective on supply chain managements views it as a complex of the logistics systems and related activities of all the individual organizations that are a part of particular supply chain. In addition, there are three principle ways in which logistics adds value such as place, time and quantity utilities. The interactions needed to take place among the marketing, manufacturing, logistics and finance departments are very important. Logistics obviously are focuses on process that cut across traditional functional boundaries, particularly in today environment with its emphasis on the supply chain. Logistics interfaces between manufacturing and logistics are related with length of the production run. Advantages and disadvantages are gives impact on inventories. The logistics managers are responsible for the inbound movement and storage of raw materials and components that will support production, logistics and......

Words: 1398 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Logistics

...LOGISTICS is the function responsible for the flow of materials from suppliers into an organisation, through operations within the organisation, and then out to customers. Supply chain management, however, is about managing the flow of materials, components and information throughout the total pipeline from raw materials to end user, and is based on effective customer/supplier relationships to ensure quality, delivery, cost and flexibility can be improved throughout the supply chain. This integration will result in a reduction in the total cost of logistics rather than the cost of each activity. This is due to the improved flow of material and information, improved transport and warehouse asset utilisation and elimination of duplicated department efforts. Consequently this results in an improved capability to respond to customers ―Quick Response‖ needs. The goal is to improve customer service, save cost and increase revenues. to satisfy the end customer whilst achieving competitive advantage over any competitors through ensuring maximum efficiency and return. To respond more accurately to actual customer demand and keep inventory to a minimum (Pull System), leading companies have adopted a number of speed-to-market management techniques that help them to build a comprehensive supply chain structure, such as just in time (JIT), quick response (QR), efficient consumer response (ECR) and vendor managed inventory (VMI). There is a need to develop collaborative......

Words: 4484 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Logistics

...TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING LOGISTICS AND SPORT MANAGEMENT CLASS TEST 1 (LGS300T) DATE: WEEK OF 25 FEB 2014 TIME: 20 MIN TOTAL MARKS: 10 INSTRUCTIONS: 1 ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS 2 THIS TEST IS AN OPEN BOOK TEST QUESTIONS (MULTIPLE CHOICE): 1. Which of the below is not one of the external forces driving the rate of change and shaping our economic and political landscape? a. Government policy b. Technology c. Environmental concerns d. Globalization Outsourcing involves a. moving company facilities away from the home office. b. hiring foreign nationals to manage parts of the business. c. obtaining materials, parts, and products from other companies. d. building a factory in another country. The Supply Chain Concept a. is very new and considered cutting edge technology. b. is highly dependent of computerization. c. not always well understood by senior managers. d. developed from the previous Physical Distribution concept. Logistics, in its simplest form, a. is a military term, as it was developed originally to supply the battlefield. b. combines inbound logistics with the outbound logistics of physical distribution. c. is another term for transportation management. d. does not involve customer service or other related functions. Which of the following is not part of the Supply Chain network? a. Plants b. stores c. terminals d. distribution centers Complexity in the supply chain is caused by a. the number of SKUs. c.......

Words: 406 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Logistics

...Logistics Name Course Institution Professor Date Abstract Logistics management implies to the process of controlling the movement of goods from the manufactures to the ultimate consumers. Activities in logistics management involves management of transportation inside a company as well as outside it, the handling of materials, management of inventory, warehousing, fulfillment of orders, the management of fleet and supply and demand planning (Commonwealth, 2007). Additionally it involves customer service, sourcing, production arrangement, packaging and procurement. There are three levels of planning and implementation that logistics management form part they include; tactical, operational and strategic level. Basically logistics management encompasses the process of amalgamation that ensures coordination between all activities that involve transportation and merging transport activities with other activities in business for instance marketing, information technology, manufacturing and finance. In this case it may be understood that logistics management is constituted in the control of supply chain processes of goods. These processes involves the arrangement, execution and control in an effective and efficient way product storage and services aimed at meeting expectations from customers (John and Langley, 2002). Activities of online logistics for instance operations that involve sourcing, international transportation as well......

Words: 1892 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Logistic

...Logistics Planning and Management Lecture 1 Prof. Ying-Ju Chen Agenda Course Information Objectives and Learning Outcomes Structure and Grading Class Participation Topics Agenda Course Information Objectives and Learning Outcomes Structure and Grading Class Participation Topics Course Information Course Title • IELM 3450: Logistics Planning and Service Management • ISOM 3760: Logistics Management Instructor • Prof. Ying-Ju Chen • Office: LSK 4035 (Business building) • Email: imchen@ust.hk • Ph: 2358-7758 Instructor Qualification • BS &MS, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University • M Phil &PhD, IOMS-Operations Management Group, Stern School of Business, New York University Instructor Past Experience • Faculty, IEOR Department, University of California at Berkeley, 2007-2014 Taught Courses • Dynamic programming • Service operations management • Production system analysis •… Instructor Current Appointment • Department of ISOM, School of Business and Management • Department of IELM, School of Engineering • Joint (50 & 50) appointment • Home dept & office: SBM • Teaching: 50 & 50 • Service: 100 & 100 … Agenda Course Information Objectives and Learning Outcomes Structure and Grading Class Participation Topics Course Objectives Understand role of strategic logistics management in global firms Analyze logistics problems on a functional, business and......

Words: 736 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Logistics

...1. Why can the current movement toward supply chains be characterized as a revolution? Traditionally firms felt the need to cooperate with their supply chain partners. However the association was limited to an acknowledged dependency and institutional specialization. There was a lack of commitment primarily due to lack of high quality information. However during the last decade, rapid advancements have taken place in the area of information technology. This has enhanced the speed of obtaining and sharing of information between the supply chain partners and consequently increased the level of collaboration within the traditional distribution channel. This process was accelerated with the Internet and worldwide web explosion. With this arrangement, managers were able to reduce non-value-added services, duplication, and redundancy between the consecutive stages of order fulfillment process. Moreover the managers began to believe that such sharing could beneficial for the partners. These efforts to extend and leverage the operating range of the individual firms have propelled the manifestation of collaborative supply chains. This transformation has been so rapid and abrupt that it could be labeled as a revolution. 2. Compare the concept of a modern supply chain with more traditional distribution channels. Be specific regarding similarities and differences. Traditional distribution channels typically had an order fulfillment time of 15-30 days. But if something went wrong, this...

Words: 1968 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Logistics

...What does inventory management mean? Inventory management is the supervision of non-capitalized assets (inventory) and stock items.  A component of supply chain management, inventory management supervises the flow of goods from manufacturers to warehouses and from these facilities to point of sale. A key function of inventory management is to keep a detailed record of each new or returned product as it enters or leaves a warehouse or point of sale. Breaking down inventory management Successful inventory management involves creating a purchasing plan that will ensure that items are available when they are needed (but that neither too much nor too little is purchased) and keeping track of existing inventory and its use. Two common inventory-management strategies are the just-in-time method, where companies plan to receive items as they are needed rather than maintaining high inventory levels, and materials requirement planning, which schedules material deliveries based on sales forecasts. Some aspects of inventory CYCLE STOCK Cycle stock is the average amount of inventory a business needs to meet customer demand between the times it orders more inventory from suppliers. A company goes through its cycle stock inventory as it sells products and restocks inventory. It is required in order to meet demand under conditions of certainty ; that is, when the firm can predict demand and replenishment times(lead times). Cycle inventory is also known as “normal inventory” or......

Words: 1002 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Logistics

...Furthermore, once the size, number, and the location are determined, the production flows through its customers will be available. Ruthwik (2008) states these decisions will have a great significant to the firm since they have access to customer markets and will be having considerable impact on the revenue, cost and level of service. These decisions should consider a lot of things such as production cost, limitation, traffic, distribution cost and so forth. It can be said, even though the location decisions are mainly strategic, it has the impact on the operational level. Another critical issue is the capacity of manufacturing facilities, this depends on the extent of the vertical integration with in the firm. In other words, the location of the logistics is important in order to locate the manufacturing firms. On the other hand, determining the location of manufacturing includes the distribution centers or warehouse. It is important to determine the location of distribution center or warehouses because it holds inventory. In determining the location of distribution center or warehouses, it should be located near the company because it can reduce the cost of transportation. In other words, distribution centers or warehouses should be located around major transportation hubs. This can make the transportation easier and more efficient. Example, a company from UK is a distributor and always delivers products to ASIA. It can be said, the transportation cost is expensive. It is......

Words: 295 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Logistics

...Logistics is the management of the flow of goods, information and other resources, including energy and people, between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet the requirements of consumers (frequently, and originally, military organizations). Logistics involve the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material-handling, and packaging. Logistics is a channel of the supply chain which adds the value of time and place utility. Origins and definition The term "logistics" originates from the ancient Greek " " ("logos"—"ratio, λόγος word, calculation, reason, speech, oration"). Logistics is considered to have originated in the military's need to supply themselves with arms, ammunition and rations as they moved from their base to a forward position. In ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine empires, there were military officers with the title ‘Logistikas’ who were responsible for financial and supply distribution matters. The Oxford English dictionary defines logistics as: “The branch of military science having to do with procuring, maintaining and transporting material, personnel and facilities.”Another dictionary definition is: "The time related positioning of resources." As such, logistics is commonly seen as a branch of engineering which creates "people systems" rather than "machine systems".... Military logistics In military logistics, logistics officers manage how and when to move resources to the places they are......

Words: 3529 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Logistics

...The Logistics System: A Key Element of Contraceptive Security Planning A logistics system provides excellent customer service by fulfilling the six “rights”: ensuring that the right goods, in the right quantities, in the right condition, are delivered to the right place, at the right time, for the right cost. Logistics Cycle Over the years, experts have developed a logistics cycle that describes the activities of a logistics system. The logistics cycle comprises the following: • The logistics management information system (LMIS), which is at the heart of the cycle; • Quality monitoring, which is a continuing activity throughout the cycle; and • Policies and adaptability, which constitute the logistics environment. Each activity in the logistics cycle must contribute to excellence in customer service. Logistics management includes several activities that support the six rights. The logistics cycle (JSI/DEVILVER Web site, 2005) emphasizes the interdependence of the various activities (see Figure 1). For example, product selection is based on serving customers. What would happen if, for medical reasons, customers refused to use a particular product? Logistics managers would need to reconsider their earlier decision and order products more acceptable to the customer. The decision would, in turn, affect procurement and storage, which are two other activities in the logistics cycle. Figure 1. The Main Activities in the Logistics......

Words: 1522 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Logistics

...Logistics has an important relationship to manufacturing, marketing, finance, and other areas of the organization * Logistics Interfaces with Operations/Manufacturing * Logistics Interfaces with Marketing * Logistics Interfaces with Other Areas Interfaces w/operations/manufacturing -Length of production runs Balance economies of long production runs against increased costs of high inventories. -Seasonal demand Acceptance of seasonal inventory to balance lead production times. -Supply-side interfaces Stocking adequate supplies to ensure uninterrupted production now a logistics function. -Protective packaging Principal purpose is to protect the product from damage. -Foreign & third party alternatives Some logistics functions are being outsourced. Logistics Interfaces with Marketing: The Marketing Mix – Four Ps * Price * Product * Promotion * Place -Manufacturing and marketing are probably the two most important internal, functional interfaces with logistics. -Other important interfaces now include finance and accounting. Logistics can have a major impact on return on assets and return on investment. Logistics costs reported by cost systems measure supply chain trade-offs and performance. Economic utilities and means that add value to a product or service in the SCM * Production * Form Utility (by assembling parts into finished...

Words: 1640 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Logistics

...DISTANCE EDUCATION CENTRE Assessment Attachment Form DISTANCE EDUCATION CENTRE Assessment Attachment Form Student ID: Place X if YMCA Singapore student UTAS email address: 176069 | x x | Aj16@postoffice.utas.edu.au | Name and return postal address: Unit code and name: | | JNB225 | Block 216#04-289, | | Unit Co-ordinator: | Bukit Batok St 21, | | Hilary Pateman | Singapore (650216) | | Assessment no.: | 1 | | Due Date: | 18 August 2014 | Date submitted: | 20 August 2014 | Checklist Assignment conforms to the Department’s presentation and referencing guidelines Each page is numbered as per the Department’s guidelines A Reference page is included at the end of the assignment Assignment has been read to check for spelling errors and careless construction The word count is clearly visible on the cover page (exclude assignment question, abstract and list of references in word count) You have kept a copy of this assignment for your own records ------------------------------------------------- Plagiarism Declaration: *By submitting this assignment and cover sheet electronically, in whatever form, you are deemed to have made the declaration set out below. I declare that all material in this assignment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgment or reference to the work of others and I have complied with and agreed to the University statement on Plagiarism......

Words: 1959 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Logistics

...1- IMPERIAL Logistics, one of three divisions within the diversified, international industrial services Group, is a global logistics and supply chain leader that moves business and industry through innovation, inspiration and foresight. They deliver excellence in end-to-end logistics and supply chain management, daily – enabling customers to grow in an efficient, proactive and cost effective manner. a. Location: Established in 1975, today Imperial are at the forefront of the logistics industry with extensive operations in Europe and Africa, including countries such as Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Southern Africa division currently houses more than 70 operating companies. b. Volume: Employer of 17,000+ in southern Africa and largest employer of industrial engineers and professional logisticians in South Africa. Total storage capacity > 2,240,000 m² and under cover warehouse capacity 1,500,000 m². c. Competitors: 1. Unitrans 2. Barloworld Logistics d. Competitive Advantage: 1. Exposed to diverse industries, markets, countries and clients 2. Expansion in inland waterway shipping due to Lehnkering acquisition 3. Extensive, established operations in 14 African countries 4. Leader in private sector transport and warehousing operation in Africa 5. Financially strong company and good market position e. Inventory Management: Transportation solutions: IMPERIAL Logistics is a global leader in...

Words: 832 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Logistics

...LOGISTICS For the manufacture and sale of commercial and industrial pumps, there is no export controls placed on the selling of the company’s product to the target primary market. There is no validated export license required to export the product to the primary target market. Product can be exported under the NLR (no license required) provision. Licensing requirements were determined from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Export Administration. Government regulations and standards do exist in the primary market of Kazakhstan. These requirements govern material contents, labeling requirements, electric current cycles and voltage, environment standards, CE marking requirements, and ISO compliance. With the use of an outside partner agency, the company can easily fulfill these standards and regulations. There are no geographic or climate differences that will affect product functions. The product is impervious to humidity, heat and/or cold conditions. With the product being sold to industrialized and commercial operations, there are no buyer preferences that must be acknowledged in this new buyer group. There are no product size, packaging or color preferences that need to be addressed. There are no outside preferences that will influence buying decisions. Cultural aspects might influence acceptance of the product. Religious beliefs, taste preferences, habits and lifestyles will need to be discovered and addressed prior to the implementation of the plan......

Words: 1118 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Logistics

...1st Edition Logistics Disaster Management Training Programme DHA/94/2 GE.94-00020 Logistics 1st Edition Module prepared by R.S. Stephenson, Ph.D. Disaster Management Training Programme 1993 2 STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION OF RELIEF LOGISTICS CONTENTS Acknowledgements ................................................................................6 Introduction ............................................................................................7 Part 1 Relief logistics ..................................................................... 9 Introduction ............................................................................................9 Relief logistics .........................................................................................9 The operating environment ....................................................................12 Case Study – Part 1 .............................................................................12 Planning for effective implementation of logistics programs .....................14 International involvement .......................................................................15 Part 2 Structure and organization of relief logistics ................. 17 The flow of transport and goods ............................................................17 Facilities and equipment ........................................................................19 Operational and support functions ................

Words: 16078 - Pages: 65