1. krazyklassykat
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    krazyklassykat Member

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    Transactional essay... is this a break in unity?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by krazyklassykat, May 19, 2008.

    I'm writing a persuasive essay on why higher education staff and faculty should be allowed to carry guns (with proper training, more than it takes to get a concealed pistol permit).
    I'm having trouble filling in the blanks, so I decided to start with my three arguments, and fill in the rhetoric from there. I can't decide, though, if the arguments fit together quite right. I almost get the feeling that the second one is conditional on the first one, and the third one comes out of left field. It was all I could think of, though.
    Here they are:

    1. Gun laws don't stop school shootings.
    2. When gun violence occurs in schools, there is rarely adequate security.
    3. If everyone with a CPP had guns (instead of just the trained faculty) violence is much more likely, due to hormones, inexperience with firearms, etc.

    #1 is my pioneering argument. I'm basically using that to fuel the whole essay, because I think it's a powerful argument to prove that existing laws and policies are not enough.
    #2 sort of adds to that, saying that a further problem is the lack of security when shootings DO occur. I'm worried that it sounds a little too much like an "If this is true, then this is also true" formula, and I don't know if I can really do that and still present a solid argument.
    #3 is because another possible action would be to allow anyone with a CPP to carry a gun on campus. In the first two paragraphs I would target the dangers of there being NO guns, and in the third, the danger of there being too MANY guns. When I say it that way, it sounds like it could work, but I don't know if the reader would necessarily make that connection. Maybe I could use transition sentences/phrases that would make that connection?

    I don't know.
    Could these three arguments work together (and if so, what are your suggestions for tying them together)? Or should I start looking for some new arguments?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A good persuasive structure would be to begin with the weakest of your (3-5) arguments, buiding to the strongest. If you can, also refute what you feel is the strongest or most prevalent counterargument.

    Your third argument seems tangential to what you are trying to propose. It relates more to the secondary thesis of ONLY arming those who are properly trained.
     
  3. Al B
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    Al B Senior Member

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    Your approach to the subject is not helping matters, and I think that's what is causing the problem. To argue your point, you should really be approaching it by having one thing you want to put over, and a number of subordinate points which support the main thrust. That way your argument, whether pro or con, becomes clear.

    So, if you state it in those terms, then putting it bluntly, really your argument is: 'Do you think people will think twice about committing a gun crime in schools if there is a possibility that someone with better training and the means to do so, will drop them at the first sign of trouble with a couple of well aimed rounds to the head. Would this deter it, or limit the damage if it fails to deter completely? Discuss.'

    So, you need to then state the pros and cons of that suggestion. Such as, cons: it widens the gun culture, it promotes violence as a solution, it means that staff need to become gunslingers and might put off good teachers from wanting to enter the education system, etc. Pros: It will mean there is a safety net, teachers will be empowered, it will restore a sense of the teachers being in charge, etc.

    That's how you should approach any writing which tries to put across a point of view - put across one point only, but use other points to either argue for or aginst your one major point.

    Al
     
  4. krazyklassykat
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    krazyklassykat Member

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    Yeah, that makes sense. I guess I hadn't set my thesis clearly enough. I was stuck on my thesis, and thought maybe if I laid down my arguments first, I could figure out what it was. :p Backwards, I know, but I just couldn't get my thoughts together. The fact that I have to cite references in this essay was also making it difficult for me to come up with arguments I can prove.
    What you said clears my mind a little though.
    Thanks!
     

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