Standard: W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
- Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
- Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
- Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
- Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
Learning Target: Students will get their first essay topic and begin to debate about it.
Activator: Mental Floss – 38 common errors in grammar and spelling
Today we’re going to get started on a little writing project! This will be your first essay grade. Remember that if you want to do well in this class – and you should – doing well on your essays is absolutely imperitive. So, let’s get started!
This first essay is an argumentative one. I’m going to present you with a situation in which there is no right (or wrong) answer. I want YOU to choose an answer, argue your point, and defend yourself!! Here’s the deal:
Who Gets the Heart?
Located at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash., is the famous surgical team for heart transplants. It is the only medical hope of life for the people eligible for immediate transplants.
One problem associated with the transplant is that there are many more people who need it than there are available donors. Doctors examine all those with other diseases for whom this would be only a temporary solution. They turn over their list of recommended patients to the hospital administration. At present, the doctors have submitted the names of five people for one heart from a potential donor.
The committee assembled to make the decision has been given a brief biography of each person appearing on the list. It is assumed that each person has an equal chance of remaining alive if allowed the transplant. Thus, the committee is asked to decide which one of these may have first access to a donor heart.
You are a member of this committee. Remember, there is only one vacancy for a transplant, and you must fill it with one of these five people. The only medical information you have is that each equally needs the transplant. It is up to you.
Directions: Read over the information in the attached Biographical and Psychological reports. Make a decision based upon the information you have. YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST TWO STRONG, CONVINCING REASONS FOR YOUR DECISION AND AT LEAST ONE REASON AGAINST EACH OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES. When you have your information in mind, complete an outline for an essay on this topic.
Heart Transplant Psychological Reports Sheet
In routine preadmission interviews the following patients were examined and evaluated as per the following data:
White American male, age 45, married for 21 years. Has two children (boy 18, girl 15). He is a research physicist at the University Medical School, working on a cancer immunization project. Current publications indicate that he is on the verge of a significant medical discovery Alfred is also on the health service staff of the local university member of county medical society member of the Rotary International, and Boy Scout leader for 10 years.
He is currently distraught about his physical condition and reports that it interferes with his work. Seems very committed to his work and appears to be legitimately on the verge of an important cancer discovery. It was hard for the staff to get him to talk about his work in terms they could understand.
Family relations seem strained and have been for some time because of his commitment to his work. The staff feels that he is a first-rate scientist and scholar who has contributed much and could contribute more to medical research. But they also believe him to be a mentally disturbed individual who, in time, will probably need psychiatric help.
Black American male, age 27, married for 5 years. Has one child (girl 3) and wife is six months pregnant. He is currently employed as an auto mechanic in a local car dealership. Bill is attending night school and taking courses in rebuilding automatic transmissions. No community service activities listed. Plans to open an auto transmission repair shop upon completion of the trade school course.
He is an African-American that does not identify strongly with his heritage or with “black culture.” He is strongly devoted to his family and appears to be an excellent husband and father.
Bill’s capacity for growth in his chosen occupation, however, seems limited. His high school record was poor, although he had no record of delinquency and was always regarded by his teachers as a student who tried hard. Therefore, he will probably not succeed with his business plans and will remain employed, permanently at a fixed rate.
His wife is trained as a legal secretary Her prognosis for employment is good, although Bill has discouraged her from seeking work because he wants her to be a full-time mother. Bill seems unaware of the serious implications of his illness.
White American female, age 30, married for 11 years. Has Five children (boy 10, boy 8, girl 7, girl 5, and girl 4 months). Husband self-employed (owns and operates a tavern and short-order restaurant). She is a high school graduate, but has never been employed. The couple has just purchased a home in the local suburbs and Cora is planning the interior to determine whether she has the talent to return to school for courses in interior decorating. Cora is a member of several religious organizations.
One of the staff members evaluating Cora described her as a “professional Jew.” She is president of the local Hadassah organization and seems to be able to talk about nothing but her religion and her children. Although her recently found interest in interior decorating may be a sign of change, it was not clear to the staff whether this interest was real or only generated artificially when she heard of the interview requirement. Cora seems resigned to her illness and likely death. Her husband works long hours, is in good health, and enjoys the respect and love of his children. Cora’s mother, who also lives with the family, handles most of the childcare.
Hispanic American male, age 19, single, but recently announced engagement and plans to marry this summer. He is currently a sophomore at a large eastern university majoring in philosophy and literature. He is fluent in Spanish. Eventually he hopes to earn his Ph.D. and become a college professor. David is a member of several campus political organizations; an outspoken critic of the college administration; was once suspended briefly for “agitation;” has had poetry published “in various literature magazines around the New York area. David’s father is self-employed (owns a lawn care business), mother is deceased, and has two younger sisters ages 15 and 11.
Typical student activist, David is a bright, almost straight “A” student who enjoys the respect of most of his teachers and friends. He appears confused about his future, however and demonstrates a penchant for jeopardizing it by involving himself in various student causes. Indeed, his college dean of student affairs regards him as an individual who will “demonstrate for anything.”
David is bitter, almost paranoid, about his illness. His father has invested a good deal of money, time, and emotion in him and has always hoped that David would become a lawyer His relations with his father are strained, however, and he seems only mildly concerned about his two sisters, although they still think highly of him. His future father-in-law, who is a highly successful businessman, expects him to enter the family enterprise upon college graduation.
Black American female, age 34, single, currently employed as an executive in a large manufacturing company where she has worked since college graduation. Member of local choral society; was alto soloist in Christmas production of Handel’s Messiah. Edna has been very active in several church and charitable groups.
She is a self-contained, inner-directed woman and a model of the “career woman.” It was clear to the staff that her natural aggressiveness and combative tendencies worked against any sort of marital attachment.
Edna’s employers regard her as indispensable. Her work record is superb and her activities in church and charitable groups have been effective. She is well regarded by all who know her, although she seems to have few, if any, close friends.