Tag Archives: Work in Progress

Stance for General Education Recommendation Report

The current General Education program at Penn State should have a main focus on Exploration and a secondary focus on Skills.  The Themes option offers a list that is not comprehensive for the enormous diversity of students of different races, ethnicity, religion, and countries of the world.  For upcoming high school seniors that are transitioning to college, Exploration allows the most flexibility in terms of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses available for students.  Even for those students who have completed their first year, Exploration encompasses a broad spectrum of courses that can lead students towards a specific major, minor, or even double-major in particular areas of study.  A secondary focus on Skills can teach students the basic tools sought by employers such as proficiency in EXCEL, coding, and computer programming.  The General Education outline should be represented by about 75% Exploration and 25% Skills.

We, as a collective student-body, must be open to new ideas and opinions that can further our university’s standing in the nation as well as the world.  This means that we should not limit our students’ academic paths with a Theme-based General Education curriculum that is represented by the ideas of an elite minority “General Education Task Force”.  General Education cannot and should not turn into a restrictive academic plan for students that complicates and confuses the students.  The last thing that University officials want to do is create opposition to a newly established General Education plan.  Ultimately, students must feel comfortable and at ease with the final revisions agreed upon by all parties.


Paper 3 Draft: Rebuttal

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has remained active for over two-hundred years.  Prior to the late 19th Century, a predominately Muslim population, along with a smaller Christian population, and an even smaller Jewish population co-existed peacefully.  The current situation between Israel and Palestine has intensified as Israel persistently tries to reclaim territory by force.  On March 14th, 2013, a Penn State student claimed in an article titled, “‘Apartheid’ is an appropriate word to describe Israel” that the treatment of Palestinians and other minority groups in Israel can be described as apartheid.  The student goes on to cite Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to describe the human rights violations that Israel’s government committed during the course of Israel’s reign.  Although the student’s sources validate aspects of his claim of mistreatment, the definition and usage of the term “apartheid” is utilized wrongly and the term cannot stand in his argument.  In order to rectify the student’s claim, the student must re-label the situation in Israel as increasingly hostile towards Palestinians with actual examples of mistreatment and offer an alternative solution to peace between the two sides rather than to just criticize Israel’s inaction on the situation.

To begin with, before applying a word to a specific event or group of people, a writer must fully understand the definition of the word.  In this scenario, the student incorrectly labels Israel’s human rights violations under the term, “apartheid”.  This word is directly associated with the racial segregation of Africans in South Africa from the white minority.  The term literally means the state of being apart or “apart-hood”, which is not nearly the case in Israel.  Black South Africans were gruesomely beat, harassed, and oppressed by their puppet government controlled by the white elitists.  Palestinians in the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are represented by their elected leaders of the Palestinian Authority as well as the Hamas, which was not the case for black South Africans.  An example of the mistreatment and a response against it is shown in an article that states an ex-Israeli soldier, Andre Pshenichnikov, now vows to apply for Palestinian citizenship after he had enough of the human rights violations against Palestinians (New Internationalist).  The extent to which Israel has tormented and humiliated Israeli-Arabs has caused global outrage on the international stage.  Even the U.S. has been warned of the Israeli attacks on Palestinians living in their territories as declared in a 1989 report, “The annual human rights report, released yesterday by the State Department, accuses Israel of a ‘substantial increase in human rights violations’, mainly in relation to the 14-month old Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, producing ‘many avoidable deaths and injuries,’” (Financial Times).  The number of examples of mistreatment and abuse against Palestinians are endless due to the Israeli government’s abilities to cover up events or to ignore the human rights violations committed altogether.

Furthermore, a way and means to create peace and stability in the Palestinian-controlled territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank must be agreed upon.  Presenting reports of human rights violations will not provoke action in the Israeli government; deliberation amongst the powers of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the United States will stir up efforts towards achieving peace as well as non-aggression.  This is highlighted in an excerpt of a commentary that reinforces, “On April 24, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the House Appropriations Committee that U.S. and Arab support for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is contingent on the Netanyahu government’s willingness to accept the two-state solution and make the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state a principal goal,” (Glick 1).  Without talks between all respective parties, there is no opportunity for advancements on the Israeli or Palestinian side.  The Obama Administration has voiced its support for a Palestinian state and Israeli officials have agreed that it is ultimately the only plan that Palestinians would agree upon.  The territory of the Golan Heights would be given back to Syria as a part of this plan.  Regardless of what plan is finally agreed chosen, one must be agreed upon by all parties involved in the talks.

In a final analysis, the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine cannot be described as “apartheid” contrary to popular belief.  The word’s definition and use in context is not proper to describe the wrongful conditions that Palestinians are put under.  Previous co-existence of Muslims, Christians, and Jews proves that present-day peace is attainable. In order to rectify the student’s claim, the student must re-label the situation in Israel as increasingly hostile towards Palestinians with actual examples of mistreatment and offer an alternative solution to peace between the two sides rather than to just criticize Israel’s inaction on the situation.


Works Cited

“Ex-Israeli soldier seeks Palestinian citizenship.” New Internationalist July 2012: 9. Gale Power Search. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Glick, Caroline B. “The stabilization plan.” Commentary 127.6 (2009): 34+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 24 Mar. 2014

Riddell, Peter. “US Attacks Israel on Human Rights.” Financial Times, 8 Feb. 1989. Web. 24 Mar. 2014.

Paper 3: Rebuttal Outline

Article: “Apartheid is an appropriate term to describe Israel”


Introduction:  With my introductory paragraph, I plan to broadly describe the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.  I will be objective and present the facts for both sides of the disputed territory.  I will then reject the claim that the word “apartheid” is an appropriate term to describe Israel using facts and additional support.

Body: In the body, I will address how the word “apartheid” was used incorrectly in describing Israel, describe how the Israel-Palestine conflict is much more complicated than it appears at the surface superficially, and how the writer’s use of words and support are slanted in favor of the Palestinian-cause (I will remain objective in my approach as an outsider).

Conclusion: For the conclusion, I will restate my thesis and show how the argument is invalid.  I will try to convince my audience of my approach and show how the terminology is incorrect.


Outline for Paper 2


 In the introduction, I plan on drawing in the audience by describing media biases that are apparent in newspapers, TV, and online.  I will then describe how media outlets tend to edit stories towards their intended viewers’ opinions — conservative or liberal– to support or bash a politician.  I will introduce the story that I have selected, the shutdown of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey that was reported by Fox News and CNN in my thesis and describe the connotations associated with the word choice utilized by both media and additional rhetoric involved.


In the body, I will identify and compare the connotations/rhetorical similarities and differences in the two stories.  CNN has a more liberal side to the story compared to Fox News and its conservative side that wants to lessen the importance of the bridge closure.  The ethos, logos, and pathos in the media’s talking points will be addressed as well as the syntax and commonplaces brought to life in each story.


In the conclusion, I will restate my thesis in a different way and show how my argument is valid based off of the content from my body paragraphs.  I will represent the positives and negatives in media bias and show how both liberal and conservative media can be deconstructed to allow an individual to make a clearer story *and distinct one* based off of his or her valued judgment.




First Draft: Ram Super Bowl Commercial, “Farmer”

Each year companies attempt to outdo one another in short bits of air time in front of millions of television viewers nationwide for the big game: the Super Bowl.  The main goal for these companies, to conjure up emotions (preferably the ones associated with spending money on their products), can be successfully or unsuccessfully attained.  For successful commercials, the investment of around four million dollars on a thirty second slot during the Super Bowl can make a crucial impact on a company’s turnaround in profit.  On the contrary, unsuccessful commercials that leave television viewers scratching their heads can be detrimental to the company; members of the advertising team may very well lose their jobs, in a short period of time.  Ram’s recent commercial about farmers in the 2014 Super Bowl is a prime example of a successful advertisement.  By evoking pathos in the American audience through the farmer’s work ethic, depicting the culture of American patriotism, and further utilizing rhetorical devices in the commercial, Ram magnificently reveals how the life of an American farmer is surprisingly similar to that of regular people in the United States.

To begin with, the Ram commercial effectively evokes pathos in the American audience in a variety of ways.  As the commercial starts, a single cow in the field is displayed on the television screen and there is no other background noise.  This creates a serious tone that carries on through the entire commercial.  Members of audiences nationwide are immediately drawn to this seemingly unrelated commercial. One narrator begins to describe what the farmer must attend to on the farm over the course of his entire life.  An array of images of farmers are cycled through while the narrator continues to detail the hardships of farmers: “they get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the fields, and milk cows again” among many other things.  During the commercial, few speak a word, and afterwards many speak of the gripping emotional responses experienced from the two-minute commercial.

In addition to evoking pathos, the Ram commercial greatly depicts the culture of American patriotism in all its greatness.  Ram’s advertising team emphasizes the importance of America’s glory and the decorum with which Americans carry themselves.  A frozen shot of an American flag in a windowsill during winter allows for Americans to reflect upon what they have done so far in life and what they will achieve in the future.  The life of an American farmer is intended to represent the average American whom must work tirelessly for a living and perseveres despite the obstacles that get in the way.  An American farmer is a mentor, leader, and friend that is looked up to.

Furthermore, the Ram commercial further utilizes rhetorical devices to continue to make its point about the connection between American farmers and everyday Americans.  The colorful visual and auditory imagery bolster the surreal effect of the commercial within the viewers.  Bright colors of the season bring about a blissful mood, which represents a successful season for crops for farmers; this is the equivalent to a pay raise for a typical American.  By using dark colors, the commercial indicates how droughts, floods, or other ill-fated occurrences could cause trouble for a farmer.  The auditory imagery of an older man narrates the commercial as if it were a bedtime story.  This adds a more touching feel for the overall commercial.  The actual Ram trucks are left in the background of the images to show how the trucks are supports in the lives of farmers.  They must rely on them to guide through the paths of life.

The farmer is a symbol of America’s average worker: tough, persistent, and loyal to all those he interacts with in life.  Ram excellently invested money to promote its line of trucks in this Super Bowl commercial that moved the hearts of an entire nation.  It is evident that living a satisfying life is possible regardless of what one may pursue.  As Americans, we have the opportunity to accomplish an infinite number of goals.  As the commercial states in the end, “To the farmer in all of us”, Ram masterfully brings up the connection between the life of a farmer to the life of an average American by evoking pathos in the American audience through the farmer’s work ethic, depicting the culture of American patriotism, and further utilizing rhetorical devices in the commercial.

2 Possibilities for Paper 1

Possibility #1: P90X

Use of ethos: – Tony Horton, a fitness trainer guides you through each of the workouts, his body is a chick-magnet, people trust him (just look at his body)

Use of logos: – the product makes sense to the consumer, there are no tricks to the workout plan, it is practical because you exercise in the safety and comfort of your own home.

Use of pathos: – Tony and his crew persistently motivate you with passionate emotions, you feel like you are getting one-on-one interaction through your TV

Ideologies:  – the program is a top-seller in the world, Tony even states that there is a 90-day guarantee or your money back, he repeats how “muscle confusion” is the secret to your eventual body transformation, the DVD set targets all parts of your body and you will see and get results!

Commonplaces: – everyone wants to be fit, healthy, and motivated in their lives

Possibility #2: Snuggies

Use of ethos: -the narrator boasts about how warm and convenient it is to wrap yourself up in a Snuggie, you trust the company

Use of logos: -you don’t feel like turning up the heat and wasting money so it seems logical to add layers instead, when you go to sporting events outside and want to be warm, ease of doing things with your hands and legs since there are sleeves for your arms

Use of pathos: -they appeal to you (the consumer) as well as your entire family, the infomercial is set inside a home (symbol for warmth)

Ideologies: – “the blanket with sleeves”, easy to clean (machine-washable), easy to carry wherever you go, made of “ultra-soft fleece”

Commonplaces: -nobody likes being cold and the Snuggie becomes the solution to all of your problems!