Analysis of the appeals of an advocacy website


Another logical appeal is the argument that owning a gun will protect you. The website refers to this as “lawful self defense” but fails to back up this frequently used phrase. I would’ve loved to see some statistics to back up this statement or at least a derivation of where this term stems from, but the NRA does not actually advance this argument beyond one or two sentences.

In all honestly, the only statistics I found that didn’t use blanket statements and lack actual data to back it up, was that approximately 74 million Americans identify as disabled. This may seem completely random, but this number was given in reference to a program dedicated to allowing shooting ranges to adapt to all people.

The website does not explain why they implemented this program or even why it would be beneficial to disabled Americans to practice in a shooting range. The fact that the only numerical data this website offers was only to list the number of disabled people in America and not even the number of disabled Americans interested or currently utilizing these adaptive shooting ranges makes the data seem irrelevant and it makes no effort to go into depth on how this program works, making it seem underdeveloped just like many of the arguments on this site.

Persuasive Essay Draft


Fake news is a legitimate issue for both readers and newspaper organizations

Split essay into two distinct parts: 1.) effect on media (minimizes political check) and 2.) effect on readers (spread on social media)

1.) Effect on the media – minimizes ability to serve as a check on the government

If Trump keeps deeming all news outlets as unreliable, then he is effectively planting a seed of doubt in the minds of American citizens on the news’ ability to report factually.

By doing this, Trump makes it easier for the government to get away with potentially taboo behaviors because, even when the news reports on it, citizens may not view the story as real.

President Donald Trump cites all news sources who do not paint him in a flattering light as fake news.

These aggressive and constant tweets all fall under two categories: fair accusations of inaccurate news articles and disapproval of legitimate news sources.

Calling out an article for its inaccuracies is extremely necessary, but giving that same label to perfectly sound news articles is detrimental to that article and the news organization as a whole.

For example, calling out news sources for reporting fake news that is actually just articles with a liberal slant, hurts the news organization.

Post Deliberation Reflection


In celebration of Deliberation Nation, I attended a deliberation on Greek life on college campuses. While I really like the topic of the deliberation I attended, I wasn’t a fan of the way the group organized and ran the discussion. Immediately after we introduced ourselves, one of the group members asked to raise your hand if you are involved in Greek life. I’m in a sorority on campus so I had to raise my hand and then any time anyone was criticizing an aspect of Greek life they would look at me, as if talking right to me. I noticed the group also seemed to focus their attention on other students involved in Greek life.

While I understand that the group was probably just trying to get a feel for the room, I don’t think they should have focused on preaching the negatives of Greek life solely to sorority and fraternity members. It left out the majority of the discussion group and seemed to target a small percentage of us. As a member of Greek life, I can recognize the issues at hand and understand that changes need to be made but they seemed to assume that being involved in Greek life meant that I supported every aspect of it whole-heartedly.

I also didn’t like how involved the professor was. It made it seem like the group giving the deliberation needed help to keep the conversation going. Whenever the professor stepped back and allowed the group to run their own deliberation, the students behind each approach would be offended if anyone challenged their views. However, many of the approaches focused too heavily on the negative aspects of Greek life or even contained false facts about the organizations. Overall, I liked being able to participate in a community discussion that interested me, but I didn’t like the set-up or the execution of the deliberation I attended.

Freedom of Speech


An article posted by The Daily Collegian in August detailed Penn State President Barron’s move to block white supremacist Richard Spencer from speaking at Penn State. While this move did not spark controversy because people actually wanted to listen to Spencer speak, people did begin to question whether or not it was up to Barron to decide who can speak on campus. The issue of freedom of speech seemingly proves that Barron cannot ban Spencer from speaking, but his decision stood and the white supremacist did not step onto Penn State’s campus.

The second article I looked at was also from the Collegian, posted in October of 2017. As a follow-up to the previous article, this one delved into the lawsuit against Penn State for denying Richard Spencer the right to speak on our campus. Penn State was sued by a seemingly random student at Georgia State University, but still to this day, no progress has been made in this student’s favor. Both of these articles play into our deliberation focus on freedom of speech and what should and should not be allowed on college campuses.

These articles connect to tell the entire story of Penn State’s actions in regards to free speech and how those actions were received by the public. Although one person did not like Barron’s move, most other people did not seem to mind Barron’s discerning of who should speak on campus at Penn State.

In our deliberation, we plan to use articles like these to localize the debate of whether or not free speech should flow unfiltered on college campuses. In pulling from articles covering Barron’s actions in the case of Richard Spencer, we can make this discussion more focused on Penn State and how we should go about allowing or diminishing free speech on our campus.

Preparing for Deliberation


My group’s deliberation “WE ARE… Free to Speak: Or Are We?” focuses on freedom of speech and its limitations on college campuses. Our first approach focuses on the negatives of free speech, which would include heckling in front of the HUB and safe spaces. Our second approach covers the positives of free speech like diversity and inclusion and our third approach covers PSU policies like the Willard Preacher, policies from Eric Barron and other colleges’ policies.



My role is on the outreach team, which for me pertains to creating and sending out invitations to organizations and keeping track of which organizations answer.

On top of these personal tasks, my mini-team will work together on the post-deliberation questionnaire, formatting post-deliberation reports and sending them to policy makers.

Currently, I’m creating and sending visually engaging and personalized emails to the list of organizations I put together earlier that I think would enjoy our deliberation. I will send these emails two weeks in advance of the deliberation and then send a second email one week in advance to anyone who didn’t respond to the first email.

This I Believe


The importance of making your bed in the morning

I believe that the two-minute task of making your bed in the morning is enough to transform your entire day and possibly your life.


I believe that making your bed is a habit that can be passed down through generations. More specifically, I think that I inherited this belief from my mother.

My mom has always been a very put-together woman who never leaves the house without her bed made, her hair blow-dried and her clothes ironed.

If I left to go to school without making my bed she wouldn’t let me do anything after school. I would first have to come home and make my bed with my bed skirt tucked in and my throw pillows in the right order.

While this may seem a little extreme and I did disagree with the notion in my younger years, I definitely understand her logic looking back.

Interestingly enough, my grandmother is also a firm advocate for bed-making and although I never met her, everyone has told me that my great-grandmother was the exact same way.


Making your bed is a small accomplishment. Organizing the disheveled sheets and out-of-place pillows into a clean and put-together bed starts your day off with a success.

Completing this task will give you a small sense of pride and motivate you to complete another task, and another, and another. And, by the end of the day, making your bed will have turned into a list of accomplishments.

If making your bed isn’t enough to inspire achievements and you have a bad day, then at the very least you’ll still come home to a nicely made bed.


A messy bed also symbolizes a messy mind. When your thoughts are in an array like the crumpled sheets and discarded pillows from your unmade bed, how could you possibly get work done?

A clean, put-together bed promotes productivity. If you leave your bedding in a messy heap then you tend to muddle through the day until it’s time to fall back into bed again.

I cannot count the number of times in my life that I have left without making my bed and come back to my room later with a long list of things to do that I simply couldn’t get through.

Perhaps it’s the allure of how quickly I could just crawl back into my unmade bed. Or maybe it’s the guilt of avoiding such an easy task, but once this happens I need to either make my bed or leave the room in order to actually get work done.

If you don’t believe me, feel free to ask my roommate who has frequently watched me leave our dorm room to do schoolwork if my bed was left unmade that morning.

Good habits

 Making your bed every morning is correlated with a greater sense of well-being, too. Somehow that initial shift starts a chain reaction that helps other good habits take hold.

Making your bed every morning without fail is a habit and if you can stick to that simple habit, then you should be able to stick to other habits like eating healthy, going to the gym or drinking enough water.

This may seem like a bit of a stretch, but scientific studies have proven this correlation.

Making your bed gives you a small sense of pride, increases productivity, inspires other good habits and proves that the little things in life matter.

So perhaps you still think that making your bed isn’t worth the time it takes in the morning, but I can assure you that those two minutes can change your life. Not to mention how great it feels to get into a perfectly made bed at the end of a long day.

Ted Talk Script Draft


Social Media is Ruining Your Relationships

Topic: how social media is ruining relationships

Purpose: to enlighten a room full of avid social media users of the effects of their habits

Thesis Statement: Social media is ruining relationships


Attention Strategy/Orienting Material:

  • Personal anecdote – laundry story
    • Couldn’t check any social media for days

Body I: Social media enables lies and deceit.

  1. Family friends anecdote
    • Lying to everyone
    • Social media isn’t real life
    • Happily married couple online, actually separated and preparing for a divorce in real life
  2. Facebook embellishing
    • 75% of people admit to making their lives seem more exciting on social media
    • 50% of people post images to make their friends and family jealous
    • 75% of people judge their peers based on their Facebook profiles
  3. People are fake online
    • Filters
    • Editing apps
    • “Best friends” who post together on Instagram all the time, but trash talk each other all the time in real life

Body II: Social media serves as a distraction from the people that matter to us the most.

  1. Strains on relationships
    • Statistics on the effects of social media
    • Talking online instead of in real life (snapchat = maintaining streaks, not maintaining a relationship)
  2. Makes people seem less real
    • People are known by their online personas
    • Judged by what you post online
    • Not by your actions in real life
  3. When hanging out in person, we ignore our friends
    • In some cases social media can be a talking point
      • “Did you see this person’s post from last night?”
      • But it really only leads to gossip
    • Much more often, social media distracts us and we mindlessly scroll or click instead of engaging with friends or family

Body III: We can’t “live in the moment” anymore

  1. We often “live in the future”
    • Planning out Instagram posts or wearing an outfit or going on a trip somewhere just to be able to post it on social media later
    • So much so that you miss the present moment
    • We’re all going through life on fast forward, mentally ending up too far in advance of the present moment
    • Or…
  2. We end up “living in the past”
    • We waste time looking through our old tweets or Facebook posts
    • We stalk our exes online to remember the way things used to be
    • We throw away the present to go back to the past for a little while and that is a pointless way to pass the time

Conclusion: So post, tweet and like with caution because Instagram and Twitter may very well be killing any chance you have of genuine human connection anymore.

Paradigm Shift Essay Draft


Paradigm shift: Morals and Values

Thesis: By analyzing the generations that have come before us and what we, as a generation, hold highly today, it becomes evident that our morals and values now are a lot different than those of our grandparents.  This shift in values has caused our behaviors to change in ways that reflect these changing morals.


You can see the shift in morals in many different aspects:

  1. Relationships
    1. Grandparents – got into courtships in the hopess that they would lead to marriage.
    2. Us – date for fun most of the time
  1. Shift towards technology
    1. Grandparents – Do not highly value or utilize technology
    2. Us – use technology in our daily lives
  1. Shift away from religion
    1. Grandparents – often very religious, all my grandparents all go to church every Sunday
    2. Us – less likely to be religious, I do not go to church very often

It’s What I Do – Prompt V


I’m a journalism major so this is rarely the case for me, but in Addario’s memoir, It’s What I Do, the pictures truly were the best part.  Each image carries an array of emotions in a way that very few photographers are able to capture.  For me, one photograph that really stood out was the image of two soldiers supporting their wounded comrade during Operation Rock Avalanche in the Korengal Valley in October of 2007.  The wounded soldier is covered in blood from his waist down and has his arm in a sling and, judging by his state in the image, he must rely on his companions in order to move at all.  What really stuck out to me in this image was the theme of companionship and loyalty.  This image also did a stellar job of encapsulating the horrors of the war zone.

The second image that caught my eye was one of Iraqis watching a 3-D movie in Baghdad in 2010.  It felt so strange to see this mundane activity, going to a movie theater to see the latest films, being done during such a tumultuous and tragic time.  These people were right in the midst of all of the violence and should be fearing for their lives, but instead they decided to take a night out to go to the movies.  This image really bridges the gap between Americans and Iraqis and makes it easier to empathize with them and their situation because, after all, they’re just like us.

Although I already incorporate some images in my blog, I want to start introducing more pictures in my posts in order to take full advantage of the platform.  I also think it would be really cool to find a way to introduce a video into one of my blog posts so that is something I will definitely be keeping in mind for the future.

It’s What I Do – Prompt 4


One passage in Part III that showcases Addario’s feelings of conflict is when she begins to discuss her feelings of guilt that came with doing her job.  The part when she says “I was so conflicted about making money from images of people who were so desperate, but I thought of all the years I had struggled to make ends meet to be a photographer, and I knew that any money I made would be invested right back into my work” (146) proves that she often felt conflicted.  She continues to touch on this feeling of conflict in order to broaden the idea and make it relatable for her audience, which really utilizes pathos to call upon the readers’ emotions.


Even if you aren’t a conflict photographer, you’ll still have conflicts.  This became heavily apparent to me when I began the college process.  Some schools’ campuses caught my attention, while other schools had communications programs that were nationally ranked and some schools just felt right when I visited them.  I, being someone who generally likes everything and rarely sees any problems, had a very hard time trying to pick a college.


Whereas many of my friends grew very picky when they visited schools, I had exactly the opposite problem.  I liked almost every school I went to.  Because of this habit, I had to learn to be more critical when I was visiting colleges.  This caused a huge conflict for me because I would force myself to analyze the school in my head so much that I could hardly even take in the campus around me while I was taking the tour.  Luckily for me, I was able to resolve my conflict before the May 1st deadline and chose to attend Penn State.


In my passion blog, I cover the conflict of choosing to try new things rather than staying inside my comfort zone.  This conflict resonates strongly with me and has become the premise of my entire blog.  In the same way that Addario battles her conflicted feelings of guilt versus her duty to capture photographs, I battle the boundaries of my comfort zone with each new experience I document for my blog.