Group B

Stating the Issue

Diane: People say you need to study calculus in order to program, but experience tells me its rarely used and when it is, there are resources to refer to.

  • Tags: education, calculus, comuter science, programing, major, engenering, requirements resource, math, science, Binghamton, Watson school
  1. Question framed specifically: Should BU require calculus for Computer Science?
  2. The practical question framed more generally: Should colleges require calculus for non-math majors?
  3. The specific question framed as theory:Is calculus necessary for programming?
  4. The specific question formed in practical terms: Should BU require two years of calculus for students in the Computer Science program?
  5. Very Specific, Very practical: Will the skills learned in two years of required calculus at BU truly benefit the computer science majors in their future programming careers?

Ling: Although the Chinese government thinks Taiwan should belong to China, I believe Taiwan should be independent.

  • Tags: Chinese, Taiwan, history, independence, democracy vs. communism, territorial disputes, politics, international relations
  1. Should Taiwan remain independent from China?
  2. Should countries have the right to self-determination?
  3. Is Taiwan able to succeed without depending on China?
  4. Will Taiwan benefit from being an independent country?
  5. Will the Taiwanese people be able to support themselves without the influence of China?

Dinesh: People say you have the freedom to be whatever you want to be, but experience tells me that the "free" market isn't always free.

  • Tags: capitalism, freedom, careers, opportunity, education, American Dream, United States, economy, free market, pursuit of happiness, government, equity vs. equality
  1. Does the U.S. economy place a tacit restriction on the pursuit of the dreams of its people?
  2. Should capitalism have such a strong bearing on the decisions of everyday people?
  3. Does the U.S. economy inhibit the free will of its people?
  4. Should the U.S. government play such a significant role in the pursuit of happiness of its citizens?
  5. Should the decision of a young college graduate to pursue a career in neuroscience be hindered by the barriers affiliated with the capitalist policies of the U.S. government?

Courtney: People believe that getting into college is based on high SAT scores, good GPAs, and effective personal essays, but experience has shown me that much of the time, it's just about who you are and who you know.

  • Tags: college, admissions process, standardized tests, grades, high school, essays, personality
  1. Should BU use SAT scores in their admissions process?
  2. Should colleges base so much of their admissions decisions on whether or not the applicants are related to their alumni?
  3. Is the admissions process at BU fair and just for all students or biased based on background and family?
  4. Should BU only based their admissions decisions on standardized tests, GPAs and personal essays?
  5. Will BU benefit from abolishing the use of SAT scores as a deciding factor in their admissions process?

Matt: Some say religion is the key to understanding our fate, my experience tells me we create our own destiny.

  • Tags: religion, atheism, idea of fate, divine intervention, existence of god, purpose of organized religion, church vs. state
  1. Should Roman Catholicism be allowed to claim to provide the only path to spiritual salvation?
  2. Should organized religions preach about the afterlife or provide advice on how to live this one?
  3. Are religious practices necessary to have a wholesome and successful life?
  4. Should Roman Catholicism continue to demean other religious beliefs in its scriptures?
  5. Do strong feelings of attachment to the belief in God and superiority of Roman Catholicism create a healthy lifestyle?

Rhetorical Analysis Proposal

"A Fire in the Basement" by Bob Herbert
Published in his collection of editorials from 1995-2004, "Promises Betrayed: Waking up from the American Dream"

Bob Herbert, in his op-ed piece, seeks to expose the political, economic and social ills that are prevalent in modern-day America, yet continue to go unrecognized by blind and corrupt leaders. He believes that although the United States is not any worse presently than it was in the "golden age" of the fifties and sixties, it is worse off because its growth remains stagnant in this "civically irresponsible generation." In our presentation we will analyze the structure of the article, based on what techniques and rhetorical strategies Herbert uses and what their intentions are. We will demonstrate how Herbert incorporates these techniques in order to make his assertion and how they work. We will explain the context/background of the article, the manner in which the article is organized, and the central assertion made by Herbert. We will use the rhetorical techniques, specifically, tone, rhetorical appeals (pathos), allusions, storytelling present in his piece to show how he attempts to make his point clear and harness his audience. We will show that, although his piece really appeals to the emotions of his audience and makes them think, his extreme position on everything, often aggressive stance towards today's American generation, and random disorganization make his piece less effective as a whole and his assertion less credible.

Diane: Diane will focus on the effectiveness of Herbert's piece, explaining whether or not he achieved his intended goal.

Dinesh: Dinesh will introduce the article, providing segway into the presentation. He will then describe the greater context of the piece and background, as in who the disputants are or what Herbert's occasion for writing it was.

Courtney: Courtney will give the strategies used, examples from the text to show how these strategies were used, and she will connect them to the central assertion.

Matt: Matt will show the intended effects of the strategies used by the author. He will explain what he was trying to get across to his audience and how he intends for his audience to react to the piece.

Ling: Ling will establish what issue is in dispute within the article.

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