The Case for Discrimination Writing Assignment (Essay Sample)
introduction You may begin with a summary that leads into your thesis statement . Remember that you are responding to a passage so it is important to introduce the topic and the author's argument (premises and conclusion) before you present your own opinion/position on the topic.
Body paragraphs Remember to include a topic sentence as the first sentence in the paragraph (the reason or focus). Supporting details such as personal experience or explaining the significance of a premise or conclusion come after the topic sentence.
Conclusion You can summarize the main points .
here the passage
The Case for Discrimination
Edgardo Cureg was about to catch a Continental Airlines flight home on
New Year's Eve when he ran into a former professor of his. Cureg lent
professor his cell phone and, once on board, went to the professor's seat
retrieve it. Another passenger saw the two "brown-skinned men" (Cureg
is of Filipino descent, the professor Sri Lankan) conferring and became
alarmed that they, and another man, were "behaving suspiciously." The
three men were taken off the plane and forced to get later flights. The
incident is now the subject of a lawsuit by the ACLU.
Several features of Cureg's story are worth noting. First, he was
unfairly, in that he was embarrassed and inconvenienced because he
was wrongly suspected of being a terrorist. Second, he was not treated
unfairly, because he was not wrongly suspected. A fellow passenger,
taking account of his apparent ethnicity, his sex and age, and his
could reasonably come to the conclusion that he was suspicious. Third,
passengers' anxieties, and their inclination to take security matters into
their own hands, increase when they have good reason to worry that
the authorities are not taking all reasonable steps to look into suspicious
Racial profiling of passengers at check-in is not a panacea. John Walker Lindh could have a ticket ;a weapon could be planted on an unwitting 73-years-old nun.But profiling is a way of allocating sufficiently the resources devoted to security. A security system has to, yes,
among levels of threat.
[National Review, July 1, 2002]
In this example, the author has given us a break by alluding tolhe concli-r
sion in the title: Discrimination by racial profiling is a justified security meas-
ure. Notice that this conclusion is not explicitly stated in the text but is implied
by j/arious remarks, including "A security system has to, yes, discriminate."
Given this conclusion, we can see that the entire first paragraph is background
mformation—specifically, an example of racial profiling. The first premise is
implicit. We glean it from the comments in the second paragraph: Racial profil-
ing is a reasonable response in light of our legitimate concerns about security.
The second premise is explicit: Profiling is a way of allocating suffidently the
resources devoted to security. ' r - — -
Laid out in neat order, this argument looks like this:
(1) Racial profiling is a reasonable response in light of our legitimate concerns
(2) Profiling is a way of allocating sufficiently the resources devoted to security.
(3) Therefore, discrimination by racial profiling is a justified security measure.
A fact that can further complicate the argument structure of a long passage is
that complex arguments can sometimes be made up of simpler arguments (sub-
arguments). For example, the condusion of a simple argument can serve as a
premise in another simple argument, with the resulting chain of arguments con-
stituting a larger complex argument. Such a chain can be long. The complex
ment can also be a mix of both deductive and inductive arguments. Fortunately,
all you need to successfully analyze these complex arguments is mastery of the
elementary skills discussed earlier.
Let's take a look at another long passage:
Contemporary debates about torture usually concern its use in getting V ^
information from suspects (often suspected terrorists) regarding future
attacks, the identity of the suspects' associates, the operations of terrorist
cells, and the like. How effective torture is for this purpose is in dispute,
mostly because of a lack of scientific evidence on the question. We are
left with a lot of anecdotal accounts, some of which suggest that torture
works, and some that it doesn't. People who are tortured often lie, saying
anything that will make the torturers stop. On the other hand, in a few
instances torture seems to have gleaned from the tortured some intelli-
gence that helped thwart a terrorist attack.
Is torture sometimes the right thing to do? The answer is yes:in rare
tions torture is indeed justified. Sometimes torturing a terrorist is the only.way to prevent the deaths of hundreds or thousands of people. Consider:
In Washington, D.C. a terrorist has planted a bomb set to detonate soon
and kill a half million people. FBI agents capture him and realize that the
only way to disarm the bomb in time is for the terrorist to tell them where
it is, and the only way to get him to talk is to torture him. Is it morally
permissible then to stick needles under his fingernails or waterboard him?
The consequences of not torturing the terrorist would be a thousand times
worse than torturing him. And according to many plausible moral theo-
ries, the action resulting in the best consequences for all concerned is the
morally correct action/when we weigh the temporary agony of a terrorist
against the deaths of thousands of innocents, the ethical answer seems -
obvious.^ ' -
The length of this passage might suggest to you that the argument within it is
long and tangled. But that's not the case here. The conclusion is this: In rare situ-
ations torture is morally justified. The first paragraph just provides background
information; the second contains two premises. A paraphrase of the first premise
would go something like this: In a ticking-bomb scenario, the consequences of
not torturing a terrorist would be far worse than those of torturing him. The
second premise says that the morally right action is the one that results in the best
consequences for all concerned.
The argument then looks like this:
fl) In a ticking-bomb scenario, the consequences of not torturing a terrorist
be far worse than those of torturing him.
(2) The morally right action is the one that results in the best consequences for
(3) Therefore, in rare situations torture is morally justified.
The best way to learn how to assess long passages is to practice, which you
can do in the following exercises. Be forewarned, however, that this skill depends
heavily on your ability to understand the passage in question. If you do grasp the
author's purpose, then you can more easily paraphrase the premises and conclu-
sion and uncover implicit statements. You will also be better at telling extraneous stuff from the real meat of the argument .
please can you write 1and half page please
The Case for Discrimination
Security agencies work around the clock to ensure that terrorist attacks are thwarted. However, they still happen and when they do, the resultant horror and pain is unforgettable. The often unvoiced public feeling and thought is that something could still have been done to prevent the attacks. Since most of the attacks are carried out by non-whites and people of foreign descent, the inevitable reaction on some of the citizens is suspicion in an attempt to be vigilant. The suspicion of Edgardo Cureg and his former professor by a fellow passenger and subsequent event of their being thrown of a Continental Airlines flight is a good example of the vigilance which results from fear of terrorism and the zeal to prevent it. The effect is discrimination and racial pr
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