Exercises from Chapter 19 – 19. 1-19. 11 19. 1



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English 120 – Rosichan
Exercises from Chapter 19 – 19.1-19.11
19.1: Write an assertion of opinion that states your position on one of the following controversial issues:


  • Should English be the official language of the United States and the only language used in local, state, and federal governments’ oral and written communications?

  • Should teenagers be required to get their parents’ permission to obtain birth control information and contraceptives?

  • Should high schools or colleges require students to perform community service as a condition for graduation?

  • Should marriage between same-sex couples be legal? (this one is outdated, obviously)

Constructing a persuasive argument on any of these issues would obviously require careful deliberation and research. For this exercise, however, all you need to do is construct an arguable, clear, and appropriately qualified thesis.


19.2: Find the thesis in one of the argument essays in Chapters 6–10. Then decide whether the thesis meets the three requirements: that it be arguable, clear, and appropriately qualified.
19.3: If you have written or are currently working on one of the argument assignments in Chapters 6–10, consider whether your essay thesis is arguable, clear, and appropriately qualified. If you believe it does not meet these requirements, revise it accordingly.
19.4: Identify the examples in paragraphs 9 and 11 in Jessica Statsky’s essay “Children Need to Play, Not Compete” and paragraphs 16–18 in Amitai Etzioni’s essay “Working at McDonald’s” (both in Chapter 6). If you have not read the essays, pause to skim them so that you can evaluate these examples within the context of the entire essay.
How well do the examples meet the standards of representativeness, consistency with experience of readers, and adequacy in number? You will not have all the information you need to evaluate the examples—you rarely do unless you are an expert on the subject—but make a judgment based on the information available to you in the head-notes and the essays.
19.5: In Chapter 6, underline the statistics in paragraphs 5 and 6 of Jessica Statsky’s essay.

If you have not read the essay, pause to skim it so that you can evaluate the writer’s use

of statistics within the context of the whole essay. How well do the statistics meet the

standards of up-to-dateness, relevance, accuracy, and reliance on the original source?

Does the writer indicate where the statistics come from? What do the statistics contribute

to the argument?


19.6: Analyze how authorities are used in paragraphs 4 and 6 of Patrick O’Malley’s essay “More

Testing, More Learning” in Chapter 7 (pp. 302–8). Begin by underlining the authorities’

contributions to these paragraphs, whether through quotation, summary, or paraphrase.

On the basis of the evidence you have available, decide to what extent each source is

authoritative on the subject: qualified to contribute to the subject, trained appropriately,

and recognized widely. How does O’Malley establish each authority’s credentials? Then

decide what each authority contributes to the argument as a whole. (If you have not read

the essay, take time to read or skim it.)


19.7: Evaluate the way an anecdote is used in paragraph 16 of Amitai Etzioni’s essay “Working at McDonald’s” in Chapter 6 (pp. 261–62). Consider whether the story is well told and true to

life. Decide whether it seems to be relevant to the whole argument. Does the writer make

the relevance clear? Does the anecdote support Etzioni’s argument?
19.8: Analyze the use of evidence in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Iris Lee’s essay “Performing a

Doctor’s Duty” in Chapter 10 (pp. 463–66). If you have not read this essay, read it now.

Identify the quotes and paraphrases Lee uses, and then try to identify the phrases or

sentences that comment on or explain this evidence. Consider whether Lee’s evidence in

these two paragraphs seems relevant to her thesis and reasons, appropriately selective,

well balanced between quotes and paraphrases, integrated smoothly into the sentences

she creates, and explained helpfully.
19.9: Richard Estrada acknowledges readers’ concerns in paragraphs 6 and 7 of his essay in

Chapter 6 (pp. 256–57). How, specifically, does Estrada attempt to acknowledge his readers’

concerns? What do you find most and least successful in his acknowledgment? How

does the acknowledgment affect your judgment of the writer’s credibility?


19.10: How does Patrick O’Malley respond to readers’ objections and alternatives in paragraphs 9 and 10 of his Chapter 7 essay (pp. 302–7) arguing for more frequent exams? What seems

successful or unsuccessful in his argument? How do his efforts to acknowledge readers’



concerns or make concessions affect his argument and his credibility?
19.11: Evaluate Kelly D. Brownell and Thomas R. Frieden’s use of refutation in paragraphs 5 and 6 of “Ounces of Prevention—The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages” (Chapter 7, pp. 315–18). How do Brownell and Frieden signal or announce the refutation? How do they support the refutation? What is the tone of the refutation, and how effective do you think the tone would be in convincing readers to take the writers’ argument seriously?

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