Abortion Rights

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(Writing Advice)

Draft 2.1 Assignment

Length 400 words
Works Cited 2 Works Cited Items
Due Tue, Feb 21
Turned in where? Blackboard and Interactive Web

Your second Essay Cycle should focus on the “crisis” of your semester issue. I have selected these semester-long issues because I read about them constantly in newspapers and hear about them in the news, and they all are of deep concern to intelligent and responsible people. Now that you have established a background for your issue, “setting the stage” so to speak, you can directly address why so many people are concerned about it currently. Your first draft in an essay cycle is always a “brainstorming draft,” which means that your ideas do not need to be fully formed and your structure can be incomplete, as you enter new terrain.

But for this draft, as opposed to Draft 1.1, I want you to cite at least two sources, preferably from library database sources, Google Scholar, or responsible newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, and so forth — NOT blogs or partisan news sources!). If you encounter a news source that you’re not sure of, search it in Wikipedia and if the Wikipedia article says it is conservative or liberal, leave it alone. Partisan news sources often slant the facts (or sometimes outright lie) in order to push a particular point of view. They are not good sources for college writing unlessyou are specifically describing partisan news sources.

A “crisis” is current and in some fashion threatens people, institutions, or the American society. If you are writing about the Tea Party, for instance, the “crisis” would probably be the Tea Party’s tendency to dominate conservative politics with a policy of “just say no” to everything the federal government tries to do. A good example of this is when a Tea Party advocate holds up a sign that says “Keep your government hands off my Medicare!”

A “crisis” in the changing American military deals with huge expenditures for airplanes and ships that will not help us in our “war on terror.” A “crisis” in the issue of abortion deals with attempts by conservative politicians to limit access to abortion through various regulations, or possibly a coming Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. A “crisis” in obesity is the frightening increase in medical costs due to health conditions exacerbated by more and more people being overweight. A “crisis” in climate change would be the possibility that North Dakota becomes an Hawaiian paradise and Texas becomes a desert. A “crisis” with labor unions would be that conservative politicians are voting away certain “labor rights” that have existed since the 1930s. And so forth.

How to “Find” the Crisis

A “crisis” is determined by a current struggle between two groups of people wrestling for control over a social issue or public policy. That is why most crises deeply involve the political process, something that you should mostly leave for the third essay cycle.

You find the elements of a crises, which your analysis will usually describe as a “pro” and “con,” by searching out the relevant groups of people: those in favor and those against. So you search in Academic Search Complete for articles about each group.

Evaluation Criteria

I will not be looking for grammar and usage problems, but you should read your draft out loud before you turn it in to catch obvious carelessness (which often happens when you write late at night). Use balanced paragraphs and proper in-text and Works Cited MLA formatting. I will be judging these on how closely your ideas fit my description of “crisis” that I have outlined above.


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