Draft 2.3 Assignment
|Works Cited||8 Items (Minimum), MLA|
|Due||Tue, March 7|
|Turned in where?||Blackboard (upload file), Interactive Web (copy and paste)|
For Draft 2.3 revise parts of Draft 2.2 that I have recommended and (maybe) your peers have suggested, expand your Works Cited to at least 8 items in MLA Works Cited format, and increase the draft to 1200 words.
Draft 2.1 was a “brainstorming draft”, and Draft 2.2 was a “structuring draft”. Draft 2.3 is the final draft in your second essay cycle (Essay Cycle 2) and should be a “clean copy” draft. (Please read the criteria for the clean-copy draft in that link.)
The main thing you should do for this Draft 2.3 is to read your draft out loud before you turn it in. Student writers tend to make sloppy errors and produce very awkward text that they would normally fix easily if they caught the awkward parts, but their eyes miss them. But their ears —your ears — will catch the awkward parts almost every time.
This second essay cycle does NOT create a complete description of your issue, but only provides a description of the current crisis of your semester issue. Essay Cycle 3 (Draft 3.1, etc.) will engage the “politics” your subject engages, so you must avoid anything but a cursory mention of the political characteristics of your subject. That means to stay away from what politicians are saying or the political parties are promoting. For this essay cycle, you are focusing on what everybody thinks is wrongor dangerous about your issue in this day and time. I have chosen these issues because because they are considered troubling issues in our world today, so you should have no trouble finding information in our library’s database.
Here’s some advice:
- When describing an “increase” of anything, give statistics and corresponding details: who, what, where, when, and why. Better still, make a chart showing the increase over time.
- Specific details are always better than vague generalities.
- When comparing two of anything — populations, countries, dates in time, diseases, whatever — give specific statistics: better, make a chart so that the reader can “see” the comparison.
- When discussing specific laws, give the name and specific background information: who, what, where, when, and why.
- When you quote an expert, provide his or her credentials: “John Howard, professor of history at MIT, says….
Below is the feedback from the professor
“I evaluate Draft 2.2 on organization, quality of sources, proper application of in-text and Works Cited citations, quality of the first paragraph (first sentence, “what/why”), and how carefully the writer has proofread the text (“read out loud”).
The most important sentence is your first sentence, and the most important paragraph is your first paragraph. You want to avoid what I call “fluff” in that first sentence, which is a general, philosophical, open-ended comment that neither startles the reader nor provides the reader new information. You want to make the reader think that he or she is going to read something unusual and informing in the rest of the document, and a weak first sentence in a weak first paragraph doesn’t do that. In addition, you want to tell the reader “what/why,” or what it is you’re going to be writing about and why you are writing it. Unfortunately, this first sentence tells the coyotes-educated reader nothing. Neither the second sentence. Neither, actually, does the third sentence. Nor the fourth. You need to re-think this entire first paragraph, because you are basically stating what is pretty much obvious. Give the reader information that the reader may not know.
You might start with the sentence “Roe V Wade, which people thought would settle the abortion issue in 1973, has actually inflamed the issue.” Then you should go on to explain that because abortion was not legislated, but was instead determined by a court decision, people ever since have felt like it was unfair and did not represent the will of the people. This is what people mean when they say that courts should not be “activist.” There are number people in this country who believe that the court’s decision on integration, abortion, prayer in the schools, and other progressive decisions have not been the result of legislation – the representational process – but because of the ideology of nine people. Now, that is a way that the Constitution set things up, but a lot of people feel that it’s unfair and the conservative attack on “activist judges” ever since has provided a lot of electoral fodder.
In your second paragraph is also not very enlightening. The college-educated reader knows about pro-life and pro-choice and what each represents. And I don’t think you can talk about “the laws of nature,” because the laws that are being talked about are religious, not “natural.” So think a little bit more about your terms “murder,” and “immoral.” These are social conventions, very important, and most often the product of a religious belief. But in our society, we’re supposed to be neutral when it comes to religions. We are not a theocracy, and although a number of people argue that our culture is based upon a Judeo/Christian foundation, which is true, our laws are not based upon Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion.
Your job is not to argue for one side or the other, but to analyze the arguments on either side, and make it clear that you are simply analyzing these issues and not arguing for one side or the other, however you may believe. Our government is not the theocracy but a secular government, and even though all of our politicians will profess strong beliefs in Christianity, nobody is going to say they want a law or legal system based upon the Bible, the Torah, or the Koran. So the issue that you need to flesh out for draft 2.3 is not what is “immoral” or “murder,” but what is protected under law? Pro-life advocates would say that the fetus is protected, but pro-choice would say that the mother’s right to control her own body is protected. So you need to think this through. Does the pregnant woman have a right to control what goes on in her own body? Or, once she is pregnant, does a part of her body become a ward of the state? It’s like the movie Alien. Does the entire part of a person becomes something else and outside that person’s ability to decide?
I’m not arguing for one side of the other, but I’m just suggesting that the situation is a little bit more complicated than talking about murder and immorality. Can the state say, grandson woman is pregnant, and important part of her belongs to the state, to the government, and not to her? Conservatives don’t like the idea of the government that takes our choices away from us, but in the case of women, it has no problem saying that something extremely serious about a woman’s body becomes part of the government’s control when she becomes pregnant.
The other part of course is the religious part, which says that – as you properly say – that life is sacred, and that the fetus at any stage has some sort of special sacred existence. God, in other words, has breathed life into this fetus, and that is not something that people – including the mother – can contravene. I think when you get into this session, you’re doing pretty good, but you need to pin some things down. You almost get there in that long second paragraph, but you need a little bit more research.
But be as precise with your language as you can be. When you say “37% of the people have remained adamant that abortion is against the law and it is immoral,” you can believe that they think it’s immoral but it is certainly not against the law. What you mean is it “should be” against the law.
The moral relativism argument is interesting, I’m not sure it’s all that important here. You can include that in your draft 2.3, but the real problem is with whether an individual person – a woman – a pregnant woman – has a right to make a decision about what’s going on inside of her. That is really the crux of the argument. Is she simply a vessel for carrying out God’s will or societies will, or is she an independent creature? I don’t want to drag you into a lot of difficult ideas, but you are a college student and you should be able to think about this with some depth. In the end, it comes down to who is in charge when it comes to what happens inside a woman. The society? The religion? Or the person?
Your works cited is basically okay, except I don’t think that most of these things work “print” media. I think you found them on the web, right? If you literally open to book and thumb through pages, then you can use your media as print. But even if it was originally print and you found on the web, then it is web access and you should put down media as web. When you have a title as you have with Ellison, you don’t need a period after the question mark. The question mark will do.
Just add 400 and adjust paper below