fix a pressuasive prompt

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Responding to a Persuasive Prompt

(50 points)

Read the prompt below. Consider your position on
the issue. Then respond to the
prompt with a well-developed multiparagraph essay.You have 30 minutes to
complete this assignment. Your assignment will be graded based on the
Persuasive Prompt Grading Rubric. The rubric can be found in your Unit
Resources.

Prompt

For many Americans, going to a summer sleep-away
camp as a child is an experience to be treasured well into adulthood. Present
and former campers often speak of the experiences and the friendships that
resulted from their time at sleep-away camp as some of the most important and
meaningful ones of their lives. Critics, however, often view summer sleep-away
camps in a very different way, insisting that they are elitist and that the
children who are sent there miss out on valuable bonding time with their
parents and the friends who live in their hometowns. 

Assignment:
On the whole, is going to a summer sleep-away camp as a child a positive
experience or a negative one? Why? Plan
and write a response in which you state your position and persuade readers to
agree with you. Support your opinions with reasons and examples drawn from your
personal experiences, if you have attended such camps, or your knowledge of the
experience of friends and siblings.

Type your
draft here.

Essay Writing

Instructions: Below you
will find two writing prompts and two essays that were written in response to
them. After reading and considering these responses, answer the questions that
follow.

Prompt 1

Getting accepted to college is a top priority for many young
people in the United States; but acceptance, of course, is not automatic.
Nearly all colleges look closely at an applicant’s scores on certain
standardized tests and his or her academic record during the admissions
process. Such has been the case for many decades. More recently, however, some
colleges have begun to consider certain factors unrelated to academic ability,
and some schools now have requirements that prospective students must meet
outside of the classroom. One such requirement is that prospective students
have a record of community service or volunteer activities.

Assignment

Should colleges require prospective students to have a
record of community service or volunteer work in order to be offered admission?
Why or why not? Plan and write a response in which you state your position and
persuade readers to agree with you. Support your opinions with reasons and
examples drawn from your personal experiences.

Sample Response

  In
twenty-first century America, a college education is not guaranteed to anyone.
Young people who wish to continue their schooling after high school must endure
a rigorous, and sometimes expensive, application process, during which their
past academic achievements are reviewed and evaluated by the admission boards
at different colleges. Not only are schools interested in an applicant’s
academic record, but they also consider how an applicant scored on certain
standardized tests and the way in which the applicant expresses himself or herself
in a required essay. In addition, some schools have started requiring
prospective students to have a record of community service or volunteer work
before being granted admission. Such requirements are entirely legitimate and
appropriate because they can help to ensure that a college’s student body will
be composed of compassionate individuals and because they will draw students
whose range of experiences and interests are quite diverse.

  Perhaps the
most obvious reason that colleges should require prospective students to have a
record of community service or volunteer work is that such requirements can
help to ensure that the student body will be composed of compassionate
individuals. Selfish people with one-track minds do not spend their time doing
things for others. I know this from first-hand experience, as I’ve spent the
last two years volunteering at a local hospital twice a week. My
responsibilities at the hospital include offering assistance to those in need
at the information booth near the entrance (giving directions to different
departments, for example) and helping to keep the halls of the hospital clean
and uncluttered. These are not glamorous jobs, but they are important, and my
fellow volunteers and I take them seriously. But we still have fun! We care
about doing what is asked of us because we care about people who are being
treated at the hospital and the people whose friends and relatives are
receiving treatment there. An entire student body made up of similarly
compassionate and caring people would be one which any college would be proud
to call their own.

  Another
excellent reason colleges should require prospective students to have a record
of community service or volunteer work is that such students are bound to have
a very diverse range of experiences and interests. Young people who have served
their community and volunteered are not likely to be as sheltered or naive as
young people who have never volunteered. Again, I can speak from personal
experience here. The hospital where I volunteered was located in the middle of
our city, and people from all different economic, religious, and racial
backgrounds worked there, volunteered there, and were treated there.
Consequently, I got to know and to learn from many people I never would have even
met had I not volunteered there. For instance, one woman I came to know fairly
well was a 90-year old immigrant from Poland, who had come to this country to
escape persecution several decades ago. Her husband was being treated at the
hospital. By talking with her and listening to the stories she told me, I
developed a much deeper appreciation for the freedom that we enjoy in America
and the opportunities that exist for all people here. Meeting this woman also
sparked in me an interest in learning more about the political and social
history of eastern Europe in the twentieth century.

  Now, of
course, there are people who will argue that colleges are institutes of higher
learning, and so they should only focus on the intelligence and intellectual
abilities of prospective students. They will say that colleges should not
require anything of students beyond acceptable performance in the classroom.
These objections are shortsighted and foolish. First of all, colleges should be
places where young people can grow and learn, not just academically, but in all
areas of life. By trying to populate the student body with compassionate people
with a broad range of experiences, schools increase their students’ chances of
developing into well-rounded adults. Second, the social aspect of college—the
element of learning how to fit into a community—is crucial and central. A
student’s college experience is not just about receiving and learning
information or data. If that were the case, one could simply read an
encyclopedia or a textbook. So colleges have a responsibility to try to make
their campus communities places that encourage growth and understanding.

  In
conclusion, requiring potential college students to have a record of community
service or volunteering is entirely valid. Such requirements not only help
ensure that student bodies will be made up of caring and compassionate people,
but also people whose experiences and interests are diverse enough to promote
discourse and encourage growth. To disregard the value of such things in a
school is to essentially admit that information—cold data and facts—is
ultimately more important than true understanding and community in the real
world.

SCORE: 5

Prompt 2

All major cities and most large towns in the United States
offer citizens some form of public transportation. In larger metropolitan
areas, public transportation might take the form of trains, light rail cars or
trolleys, and city buses. Places with fewer people might only have buses.
Almost nowhere in the United States, however, is public transportation free. In
general, riding a train, trolley, or bus requires citizens to pay a relatively
small fare

Assignment

Should public transportation be free in the United States?
Why or why not? Plan and write a response in which you state your position and
persuade readers to agree with you. Support your opinions with reasons and
examples drawn from your personal experiences.

Sample Response

  Every day,
millions and millions of Americans use public transportation to go to their
jobs, to school, and for running errands. Their reasons for using public
transportation vary. In some cases, they might not have access to a car. In
others, the distance they have to cover might be too great for them to traverse
it on a bicycle or on foot. In still other cases, they may choose to use public
transportation because the overall cost of it is cheaper than another means of
travel. In fact, however, public transportation should be entirely free in the
United States because making it free would greatly reduce pollution and improve
the traffic woes that beset many of our cities.

  The biggest
reason that public transportation should be free is that it would significantly
reduce pollution and the harm we do to our environment. This is the case
because people would not drive their own cars if they could take a train or a
trolley or a bus for free. Fewer cars on the road would mean less pollution.
Less pollution is good for the planet. Which is great for everyone! I
experienced this positive consequence of providing free public transportation
last summer, when I traveled with my family to Copenhagen, Denmark. In
Copenhagen, we stayed at a hotel that was about 15 miles outside of the city
center. Yet we never had to rent a car and we never spent so much as a Danish
Krone (their unit of currency) on transportation because there was a bus that
ran from our hotel into the city for free. The bus was packed every day with
Danes on their way to work or school or appointments or shopping destinations,
all of whom had obviously decided to take the free bus rather than drive to the
city in their cars. When we got downtown, my family and I were amazed at how
clean the air was. There were no exhaust fumes choking us from all the
traffic—it was like being out in the country! Imagine how much pollution could
be eliminated if all American cities adopted the Danish plan and made public
transportation free.

  Another
important benefit of providing free public transportation is the tremendous
reduction of traffic that would result. With fewer cars on the road, those of
us who did have to drive for whatever reason would be able to get to our
destinations far quicker. And with much less stress. Again, I can provide proof
of this benefit from personal experience. Two years ago, the professional
baseball team in my area won the world championship and the city held a parade
to celebrate. That day, all trains and buses into the city were free in order
to discourage people from driving into what was sure to be a very crowded and
hectic downtown. As a result, there were very, very few cars on the road that
afternoon and those residents who did have to drive reported no delays as a
result of traffic. When one considers that this was just one day, it is
staggering to think of how much more efficiently goods and people could move on
our roads if they were less crowded all year long.

  Of course,
some naysayers might argue that providing free public transportation is not
economically viable. They insist that letting people ride the bus and the
trolley and the train for free would bankrupt the local government. This is
untrue. Again, take the example of my experience in Copenhagen. That city has
managed to provide free public transportation and its local government is not
bankrupt. Why? Because it uses tax dollars collected from businesses in the
city—businesses that benefit from people coming into town via free public
transportation to spend there money there—to subsidize the cost of running the
trains. The vast majority of our streets and roads are free to the public and
maintained by tax dollars; why can’t we apply the same principle to public
transportation?

  In summary,
public transportation should not be something that charges riders a fare in the
United States. By implementing the system as it already exists in major
European cities, such as Copenhagen, we could greatly reduce the amount of
pollution in this country, improve our air quality, decrease traffic, and
generally improve the quality of life for our citizens. Plus we could use the
money we save cleaning up traffic accidents to pay for other important services
and for paying civil servants, such as teachers. Further, we could afford to do
these things because the economic principles guiding such a change have already
been shown to be viable, both overseas and at home. Let’s not miss this
opportunity to do something truly progressive and good for all members of our
communities.

Questions

1.  Refer to the Essay Scoring Rubric. Based on the rubric, the
sample response to Prompt 1 received an overall score of 5. Look at the rubric
and explain why you think the grader gave the essay that score. Do you agree
with the score? Why?

Type your answer here.

2.  Now consider the response to Prompt 2. Using the rubric, what
score would you give this essay? Justify the score you give it.

Type your answer here.

3.  Below is a sample writing prompt. Read the prompt twice and
consider your position on the issue. Then, create a rough outline for your
persuasive response. Be sure to include in your outline a thesis statement, at
least two reasons that support your view, an opposing view and a
counterargument, and a conclusion. Use your own paper, if necessary.

Prompt

With heart disease on the rise in this country, there has
been an increasingly concerted effort in the United States to encourage people
to live healthier lifestyles. This, of course, means exercising more and eating
better. As a way of promoting healthy behavior and healthy choices, and in
order to keep Americans informed of what they are eating, some cities have
enacted legislation that requires restaurants to divulge the caloric content of
their menu offerings to their customers. In New York City, for instance, a
person who chooses to dine at a chain restaurant can learn exactly how many
calories are contained in a meal made up of a cheeseburger, French fries, and a
medium fountain soda at that restaurant.

Assignment

Should all restaurants be required to provide their
customers with information about the caloric content of their menu offerings?
Why or why not? Plan and write a response in which you state your position and
persuade readers to agree with you. Support your opinions with reasons and
examples drawn from your personal experiences.

Type
your draft here.

Teachers
comment you need to fix:

Your
essay on summer camps is good, but you’ve included yourself and your
experiences/opinions, as well as stories about the experiences of your friends.
If you read over the power point I posted over this, you need to make this
paper very neutral. Summer camps are good for students or summer camps are
detrimental to students – not ‘I believe summer camps are good/bad’ or ‘My
friend went to a summer camp and liked it’ but ‘summer camps are great places
for all sorts of kids’. You also have a tendency to use words incorrectly…
for instance, the phrase, ‘positively overwhelming’ in your second paragraph
reads as ‘camps are too much for students to deal with’ rather than what I
think you meant as ‘a positive experience’. Try to limit the use of adverbs
(anything that ends in ‘ly’) when using adjectives as they seem to trip you up.
Make sure you remove ALL references to your friend and the stories of them and
their camp experiences and your own personal opinions and feelings. Make all
statements neutral so they can apply to all types of kids/people and not
certain ones.

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