Analysis of Argumentative Writing and Language Usage (Essay Sample)
This paper required the student to demonstrate their argumentative writing and language usage skills . The former was to be demonstrated through writing a letter to the U.S congressman regarding the freedom of speech. the latter through writing an esssay on the usage of double negatives.
for the first task, I chose to write about banned books, which was one of the provided topics, and for the second part, I wrote about double-negatives usage.
Task 1: Argumentative writing- A letter on Banned Books
Dear U.S Congressman,
This letter is concerning the ban of certain books in public libraries, school reading lists, and school libraries. As a form of censorship, book banning presents several concerns, the key being its infringement on the rights of students to receive and express ideas, which is protected in the First Amendment. In addition, one of the key functions of education- teaching students to be independent thinkers- is undermined by book banning, especially with children’s literature forming the bulk of banned books. The Library Bill of Rights also forbids the banning of materials and tasks libraries with challenging censorship. It also tasks libraries with providing information and materials that present all viewpoints. The process of book banning begins with the challenging process, thus to understand the concerns presented by book banning, it is essential to understand the challenging process.
A challenge is an effort to restrict access to materials or remove them from libraries due to their content. Various sources initiate challenges. Parents initiate the most challenges, with other sources being political or religious groups and elected officials. In a 1982 Supreme Court ruling, schools were allowed to bar extensively obscene materials. However, banning books chiefly because of having opinions contrary to those expressed in the books was disallowed.
According to the 2020 censorship reports, many books were challenged because they expressed different political or religious viewpoints or had themes about social justice, Black Lives Matter, anti-racism, teen pregnancy, and LGBTQ. Other books were challenged because they tackled divisive topics of sex education or/and promoted Islam.
These challenges are improper because we live in a world where the volume and flow of information are unprecedented. Advancements in communication and technology have influenced the concept of globalization, where people and services move freely across borders. As such, it is not uncommon to come across people from different cultures and backgrounds holding different beliefs and values. Differences among people are often reflected in their literature. Ruling off the opinions and views of other people based on how different their opinions are from ours is intolerance. Hence, banning books for the same reason is not any different. The consequences of intolerance in society are well known. Intolerance causes division and might degenerate to violence.
Book banning not only threatens global harmony by restricting the understanding and appreciation of other cultures. It also threatens harmony in the country, as it infringes on individual freedoms. For instance, books expressing perspectives from the LGBTQ community are commonly challenged and banned. Three percent of students between the ages of 13 – 17, according to a study done in 2019, described themselves as gender nonconforming or transgender. Banning books addressing such concerns sends two wrong messages; that it is unacceptable to be transgender or to have a different sexual orientation. This is likely to affect the self-esteem and mental health of students from the LGBTQ community. It also communicates that a particular group of people from the community are not as important as others, promoting discrimination.
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