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 (this one is outdated, obviously)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.
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?