write an argument paper (research included), any topic.
I will let you write this essay on any topic, so long as it fits the idea of being argumentative in nature and entails having to persuade your reader to authenticate your perspective. That said, the only 2 topics not allowed are the legalization of marijuana and abortion.
Please follow the instructions.
Writing an Issues Essay
You have now had practice in understanding, creating, and refining writing in a few rhetorical modes. As we arrive at the Issues Essay, I am asking that you put to use most, if not all, of the critical skills you have gained in writing so far. As such, you will be required to do outside research, on a topic of your choice, and to present it by utilizing the principles of argumentative/persuasive writing and perhaps by employing the tenets you are familiar with in the way of description/narration and comparison/contrast. As is the case with all of the writing you have done up to this point, the Issues Essay is a progressive undertaking. In the most basic sense, this essay should be thought of as a means of illustrating your argument and providing research to support it. You should also take into consideration the idea of being persuasive, as part of your purpose entails displaying an ability to convince the reader that he/she should buy what you are selling. This is where careful planning may aid you and I encourage you to create an outline, or some sense of a structure, before you even draft the essay. Doing so will help show how your paper will come together eventually and in what order the research will unfold so that your sources continually support your argument as it advances. While I am suggesting that you complete said outline, it is not a requirement. As the essay progresses, you will need to flesh out the paper with a proper introduction, have a proper thesis statement (likely at the end of the introductory paragraph), have your argument develop with research to support it, and have a proper MLA Works Cited page (you may do APA if you clear it with me). In the end, this is a more demanding task than your previous essays and, as such, you should use your time wisely over the next several weeks.
Argument & Persuasion
- An argument makes a point (it is your informed perspective) backed up by evidence that continually supports your claim → your opinion is not enough.
- An argument accounts for all audience needs → seek to convince your reader(s) and account for counter-arguments or rebuttals → challenge the arguments of those against you and show them why you are right.
- A solid argument recognizes and accounts for the intricacies of a subject → do not oversimplify the complexity of the issue(s) or boil it down to basics if the subject is multifaceted → it will make you look like you are uninformed and will not convince any reader(s) that you know what you are talking about.
- Must be a logical connection between evidence and argument(s) → you need sound reasoning to support your argument(s) and cover your claims → make sure your research supports your reasoning otherwise it is a logical fallacy.
- Purpose → seek to move the reader(s) intellectually, not emotionally → emotion leads you away from logic → present yourself as a reasonable person not one who will convince by browbeating the reader(s).
Steps to pre-writing:
- Think about audience and purpose → this will inform your structure and allow you to account for rebuttals.
- Brainstorm about your topic to develop a “working thesis” → figure out what kind of support you will need.
- Plan the organization of your essay → outline, if applicable → it can be altered and amended later, but have some idea of where you’re going.
a) Begin with the introduction
b) Decide where to put your thesis
c) Organize your reasons in a purposeful way
d) Provide support for each aspect of your argument(s)
e) Conclude by restating and project the future of your topic
Name of Student
Name of Professor
29 April 2016.
Abolition of the Death Penalty
Proponents of the death penalty often postulate heated arguments that acknowledge retribution for heinous crimes such as rape and first-degree murder among others, as vital and essential in administering justice. However, it is a well-known and indisputable fact that an eye for an eye eventually leaves the entire world blind. The death penalty which is regarded as a form of capital punishment only instigates an endless cycle of conflict and violence in society (Frank 48). Most, if not all, justice systems are fraught with weaknesses which have continually contributed to the wrongful prosecution of the innocent while setting free the guilty parties. Consequently, numerous prejudices are present during capital punishment cases. In light of this, the death penalty should be outlawed in the country. This essay will focus on key reasons as to why the death penalty needs to be abolished.
To begin with, death penalty intensely violates the principles of both human dignity and human rights. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights acknowledges each and every person’s right to life, security, and liberty. Additionally, Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, protects the right to life. Similarly, the Article prohibits states from depriving individuals of the right to live. The death penalty violates this right which is also the most basic of all human rights. Additionally, it violates the right of every person not to be subjected to torture and any other form of harsh treatment and punishment. It involves harsh treatment being meted out on the convict including death by lethal injection which is the most common of all. No one has the right to take the life of another. The law should not give itself the right to kill people especially when it is done in the name of law and its corresponding citizens. This form of punishment is unfathomable and it is equally inconsistent with the fundamental values of democratic systems. Subjecting people to death makes us exactly like these murderers whom we so despise. As such, the death penalty should be abolished and an alternative measure adopted.
Secondly, there is no conclusive empirical evidence that the death penalty reduces the crime level. There is no document research that shows that crime rates reduce significantly following the execution of the death penalty. If anything, indications are that the continuous use of the death penalty does not deter criminals from indulging in criminal acts and consequently, states which do not inculcate the death penalty tend to have a lower level of crime rate. Much to it, the death penalty has been ranked as the least effective method of curbing crimes. Police reports reveal that gun control, longer sentences and curbing drug use are among the most effective methods of reducing crime waves.
Thirdly, the practice greatly hinders exonerations. Some inmates have in the past been wrongfully sentenced to death but have later been found innocent and acquitted of all charges against them. This however proves to be pointless since the innocent victim is already dead! Despite judicial efforts, wrongful convictions sometimes become inevitable. Death sentence is always final and irrevocable, thus, it prohibits any correction of mistakes by the judicial system in future. Once evidence is contaminated early on during an investigation, post-trial procedures such as appeals are deemed useless. According to Jerome and Barbara, a judge who presides over an appeal case and was not present during the original case is highly likely to dismiss the case as he has no reason to question the jury’s earlier decision (23). Furthermore, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that over 4% of prisoners sentenced to death in the USA are in fact innocent (Gross 7230). As such, the death penalty should be faced out and a more appealing method, say life imprisonment, be adopted to safeguard and protect potential innocents.
Additionally, the death penalty has been found to be a profound basis for discrimination (Petar 73). It can be argued that as long as the death penalty remains in play, it can be abused. For instance, it can be used to disproportionately target the individuals of marginalized groups. This discrimination can be based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity as well as poverty which has been known to be a core determinant in the outcome of capital punishment cases. Nearly all defendants facing the death penalty are people who cannot afford a decent lawyer. As such, they are often assigned inexperienced lawyers who lack efficient resources and predisposition to represent them effectively in capital cases (Petar 40). This eventually leads to conviction since a poorly represented defendant faces a high likelihood of being convicted and handed the death sentence.
Crossing over to racial discrimination, the death sentence is more probable in situations where a white person has been murdered as opposed to ones where the black counterpart was killed. This situation goes to show that the death penalty is racially discordant in that it values white’s lives more than the black ones. Such skewed administration of justice goes to show that the justice system is marred with flaws and this is a more apt reason as to why it should be abolished.
Moreover, the death penalty is undesirable because it constitutes a cruel and an unconventional form of punishment. Suspects are often subjected to gruesome interrogations which involve being chained, having a pistol placed near their heads and being subjected to nudity where they are coerced to strip while being bound up by chains. It is quite evident that all these are inhumane acts which projected onto mere suspects. This raises the question; if suspects can be treated in such a manner, how can we as humans of sound mind and judgment condone the death penalty in the USA? Furthermore, according to the Eighth Amendment of the USA constitution, the death penalty is regarded as illegitimate since it advocates for the use of harsh and unusual punishment tactics. According to Schabas, the death penalty should have no place in international law and should be subjected to abrupt abolishment in states that continue to practice it as a way of meting out justice (203).
Finally, the death penalty is a waste of tax-payers money. When compared to life sentence without parole, it carries a tremendous cost that stems from the extra judicial measures employed in such cases. As such, these measures result in increased cost in lawyer fees and prolonged trials. The lengthy process of conviction, appeals, and delays before execution greatly drain public resources that could otherwise have been used to rehabilitate the offenders or to maintain them during life sentences. Moreover, such money could have been invested in other sectors of the economy in order to maintain a sound and robust economy with the sole aim of achieving economic growth.
In conclusion, it is quite evident that the death penalty has myriad negative implications. Although this is a contentious issue that still continues to trigger strong resistance in many states, the death penalty be abolished and better alternatives adopted to deal with capital crimes. Not only is it inhuman and cruel, it is also an irreversible punishment that should have no place in any modern legal system. Thus, its abolishment needs to be prioritized by all governments if only as a show of respect to human life and the dignity that accompanies it.
Frank, James. Not Guilty. Garden City: Doubleday, 1957. Print.
Gross, Samuel. “US death row study: 4% of defendants sentenced to die are innocent.” Proceedings of the National Assembly of Sciences, 111.20 (2014): 7230-7235. Print.
Petar, Hadij-Ristic. Crime and Justice: Abolishing the Death Penalty. London: Inter Press Service, 2008. Print.
Schabas, William. A. The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.
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