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Letter to the EditorSummaryYou will write apersuasive essayto a fictitious newspaper editor (opinion editorial)in which you give your opinion on a current issue in Texas or localpolitics. To write this letter, you mustfirstpick a topicpertaining to Texas or localpolitics. Next,you will develop a persuasive argument and call to action.Once you have your argument, write a letter that explainsyour argument and reasoning/evidence for it. You will submit this assignmentinCanvas(deadline is December 4, 2020). When you save your letter, please use the following format to name your document:Studentname.govt2306.spring2020.instructornameTo complete the assignment,you will do the following:1. Pick a Topic(and a news article)You can write on any topic related to Texaspolitics. In previous semesters, students have written on many different issues, such as the bathroom bill,death penalty, plural executive, sanctuary cities, taxes, local elections,etc. If you do not know what to write about, I suggest reviewing the Texas Tribune, Midland Reporter Telegram, or the Houston Chronicle.That will give you a good idea of current issues in Texaspolitics.When someonewrites an opinion editorial (letter to the editor) to a newspaper, that person is often responding to a recently published news article. Therefore, I want you to select a news article related to your topic. For example, if a student wants to writeabout abortion, they should finda recent news article that discusses abortion, and use that news article as the starting point for theirletter to the editor.Select anews articlepublished any time fromSeptember 1-December 4, 2020from one of the following newspapers/websites. Youwill also wantto lookatthe“Letter to the Editor” pages so you can see examples ofhow to make a persuasive argument based on a news article.MRTTexas TribuneAustin American StatesmanHouston ChronicleDallas Morning NewsSan Antonio Express News2. Development Your ArgumentDo some research on your topic. Read multiple articles and think about different sidesof the issue. As you do research, you will develop a clearerposition on the issue. Once you know what your argument(position)is, you are ready to write the letter to the editor.3. Write the PaperRespond to the news article with your own well-supported perspective and call-to-action in a letter to the editor. •Writea succinct, but persuasive argument, supported by facts, evidence, etc. In other words, your purpose in this letter is to persuade readers to take your side on the issue.•In your conclusion, include suggested actions that you or other like-minded citizensmight take to increase awareness or problem solve the issue you care about.•DO NOT SUMMARIZE THE ARTICLE YOU SELECTED. I want to read your opinion andevidence on the issue.

Your grade will be basedon the following criteria.1.Begin with an address: To the Editor2.Be sure to reference the date, article title, and author of the article in your first line so that the editor know what you are referring to. Be sure the link inyour citation functions.3.Have an introductory statement (a topic sentence) clearlystating your argument on the issue. 4.Have 2-3 examples to support that overall point. This could include personal experience. However, you are also required to provide evidence, facts, data and examples (based on your research) to support your overall point. Facts and figures must be accurate –do the research.5.Explanation of the evidence. This is very important. How does that evidence link to your overall point?6.Have a few concluding sentences that includea call to action and/or a statement of how this issue will affect others.7.Signwith your name, date and city, and your credentials indicating what makes you a credible source. 8.While each publication has their own rules for the number of words a letter to the editor may contain,yourletter must be 450-500words(not including the works cited pageand your personal information. 9.The letter should meet the standards of “good” writing, including having correct spelling, proper grammar, and correct mechanics. Samples of letters to the editor are attached to this assignment. While these examples vary in length, remember that your letter should be 450-500words.

Letter to the EditorExamplesExample 1:Re: Hadley, Stephen. “Commentary: Preventing a terrorist victory in Afghanistan.” TheBulletin.com. The Bulletin 21 August 2017. Web. 22 August 2017. The Bend Bulletin Commentary “Preventing a Terrorist Victory in Afghanistan”In his Aug. 17 op-ed, “Preventing a terrorist victory in Afghanistan,” Stephen J. Hadley declared that President Trump’s main goal in Afghanistan should be to “test” the Taliban’s interest in peace. Mr. Hadley suggested without explanation that insurgents and terrorists can be defeated in Afghanistan, just as the Islamic State was pushed out of Iraq, with a “modest increase” in U.S. forces.While he was right that itis a vital national interest to prevent terrorist attacks against the U.S. homeland, he was widely off the mark to imply that securing the territory of Afghanistan is necessary to produce that outcome.As I personally observed over the course of two combat deployments —in 2005 and 2010 to 2011 —even at the height of President Barack Obama’s surge, there were vast tracts of Afghan territory wholly under control of insurgents.Today, according to the latest report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Afghan government outright controls an astonishingly small part of its own territory, 23.8percent, and only “influences”an additional 35.9 percent. And that is after Mr. Obama’s surge of 17,000 in 2009, his surge of 30,000 in2010 and 16years of total U.S. military operations.What Mr. Hadley called a “new strategy” is nothing more than advocacy for an extension of the failed status quo.The war on terror has already costs us billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Speak out. Inform your community. Contact your elected representatives to let them know we could spend that money on education, healthcare and infrastructure. That decision could save lives.Dxxxx. Dxxxx. Springfield, Illinois

Example 2:To the Editor:Re: @dallasnews. “Why the U.S. Needs a ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’-style Campaign against RoadRage | Editorials.” Dallas News. The Dallas Morning News, 20Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Dec. 2016. Dallas Morning News Editorial “Another Toddler Falls Victim to Road Rage”I am writing in response to the article on your website “Why the U.S. Needs a ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’-style Campaign against Road Rage” on the 20th of December. I agree with the author that there is a need for more public service announcements or other types of awareness platforms regarding aggressive driving, but I do not think these are the only solutions. The author discredits legislation and the effectiveness of laws banningaggressive driving, in favor of pathos and emotional appeal.Myfather, who suffers from extreme mood swings and intense road rage while driving, will likely ignore theseemotional appeals, as years of pleading from his family has done nothingto stop his behavior.The populace should push not only for increase awareness, but for laws against aggressivedriving as well. For example, there should be an increased focus on the dangers of road rage foranyone taking Driver’s Ed. This education curb the problem infuturegenerationsof drivers. Another solution is to suspend licenses for this type of aggressive driving behavior, similar to plan that puts disruptive people on airplanes on the no-fly list.In addition to an increased media presence, these are proactive solutions that citizens can work toward to help stop aggressive driving.Rather than the one or the other approach proposed by the author, I think using both regulations and public appeal could be helpful to stop this increasing epidemic. Public service announcements as discussed in the article are a great idea, but I think pushing for regulations against aggressive driving could be helpful as well.Contact your friends and family to join you in contacting our local, state and national representatives to demand they write and pass legislation that penalizes aggressive driving and road rage. Road rage needs to STOP and we need to doeverything in our power to pass a law against it to protect the lives of people we care about. Exxx. Gxxxxx23 December 2016Student, University of Texas at Austin

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Letter to the EditorSummaryYou will write apersuasive essayto a fictitious newspaper editor (opinion editorial)in which you give your opinion on a current issue in Texas or localpolitics. To write this letter, you mustfirstpick a topicpertaining to Texas or localpolitics. Next,you will develop a persuasive argument and call to action.Once you have your argument, write a letter that explainsyour argument and reasoning/evidence for it. You will submit this assignmentinCanvas(deadline is December 4, 2020). When you save your letter, please use the following format to name your document:Studentname.govt2306.spring2020.instructornameTo complete the assignment,you will do the following:1. Pick a Topic(and a news article)You can write on any topic related to Texaspolitics. In previous semesters, students have written on many different issues, such as the bathroom bill,death penalty, plural executive, sanctuary cities, taxes, local elections,etc. If you do not know what to write about, I suggest reviewing the Texas Tribune, Midland Reporter Telegram, or the Houston Chronicle.That will give you a good idea of current issues in Texaspolitics.When someonewrites an opinion editorial (letter to the editor) to a newspaper, that person is often responding to a recently published news article. Therefore, I want you to select a news article related to your topic. For example, if a student wants to writeabout abortion, they should finda recent news article that discusses abortion, and use that news article as the starting point for theirletter to the editor.Select anews articlepublished any time fromSeptember 1-December 4, 2020from one of the following newspapers/websites. Youwill also wantto lookatthe“Letter to the Editor” pages so you can see examples ofhow to make a persuasive argument based on a news article.MRTTexas TribuneAustin American StatesmanHouston ChronicleDallas Morning NewsSan Antonio Express News2. Development Your ArgumentDo some research on your topic. Read multiple articles and think about different sidesof the issue. As you do research, you will develop a clearerposition on the issue. Once you know what your argument(position)is, you are ready to write the letter to the editor.3. Write the PaperRespond to the news article with your own well-supported perspective and call-to-action in a letter to the editor. •Writea succinct, but persuasive argument, supported by facts, evidence, etc. In other words, your purpose in this letter is to persuade readers to take your side on the issue.•In your conclusion, include suggested actions that you or other like-minded citizensmight take to increase awareness or problem solve the issue you care about.•DO NOT SUMMARIZE THE ARTICLE YOU SELECTED. I want to read your opinion andevidence on the issue.
Your grade will be basedon the following criteria.1.Begin with an address: To the Editor2.Be sure to reference the date, article title, and author of the article in your first line so that the editor know what you are referring to. Be sure the link inyour citation functions.3.Have an introductory statement (a topic sentence) clearlystating your argument on the issue. 4.Have 2-3 examples to support that overall point. This could include personal experience. However, you are also required to provide evidence, facts, data and examples (based on your research) to support your overall point. Facts and figures must be accurate –do the research.5.Explanation of the evidence. This is very important. How does that evidence link to your overall point?6.Have a few concluding sentences that includea call to action and/or a statement of how this issue will affect others.7.Signwith your name, date and city, and your credentials indicating what makes you a credible source. 8.While each publication has their own rules for the number of words a letter to the editor may contain,yourletter must be 450-500words(not including the works cited pageand your personal information. 9.The letter should meet the standards of “good” writing, including having correct spelling, proper grammar, and correct mechanics. Samples of letters to the editor are attached to this assignment. While these examples vary in length, remember that your letter should be 450-500words.
Letter to the EditorExamplesExample 1:Re: Hadley, Stephen. “Commentary: Preventing a terrorist victory in Afghanistan.” TheBulletin.com. The Bulletin 21 August 2017. Web. 22 August 2017. The Bend Bulletin Commentary “Preventing a Terrorist Victory in Afghanistan”In his Aug. 17 op-ed, “Preventing a terrorist victory in Afghanistan,” Stephen J. Hadley declared that President Trump’s main goal in Afghanistan should be to “test” the Taliban’s interest in peace. Mr. Hadley suggested without explanation that insurgents and terrorists can be defeated in Afghanistan, just as the Islamic State was pushed out of Iraq, with a “modest increase” in U.S. forces.While he was right that itis a vital national interest to prevent terrorist attacks against the U.S. homeland, he was widely off the mark to imply that securing the territory of Afghanistan is necessary to produce that outcome.As I personally observed over the course of two combat deployments —in 2005 and 2010 to 2011 —even at the height of President Barack Obama’s surge, there were vast tracts of Afghan territory wholly under control of insurgents.Today, according to the latest report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Afghan government outright controls an astonishingly small part of its own territory, 23.8percent, and only “influences”an additional 35.9 percent. And that is after Mr. Obama’s surge of 17,000 in 2009, his surge of 30,000 in2010 and 16years of total U.S. military operations.What Mr. Hadley called a “new strategy” is nothing more than advocacy for an extension of the failed status quo.The war on terror has already costs us billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Speak out. Inform your community. Contact your elected representatives to let them know we could spend that money on education, healthcare and infrastructure. That decision could save lives.Dxxxx. Dxxxx. Springfield, Illinois
Example 2:To the Editor:Re: @dallasnews. “Why the U.S. Needs a ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’-style Campaign against RoadRage | Editorials.” Dallas News. The Dallas Morning News, 20Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Dec. 2016. Dallas Morning News Editorial “Another Toddler Falls Victim to Road Rage”I am writing in response to the article on your website “Why the U.S. Needs a ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’-style Campaign against Road Rage” on the 20th of December. I agree with the author that there is a need for more public service announcements or other types of awareness platforms regarding aggressive driving, but I do not think these are the only solutions. The author discredits legislation and the effectiveness of laws banningaggressive driving, in favor of pathos and emotional appeal.Myfather, who suffers from extreme mood swings and intense road rage while driving, will likely ignore theseemotional appeals, as years of pleading from his family has done nothingto stop his behavior.The populace should push not only for increase awareness, but for laws against aggressivedriving as well. For example, there should be an increased focus on the dangers of road rage foranyone taking Driver’s Ed. This education curb the problem infuturegenerationsof drivers. Another solution is to suspend licenses for this type of aggressive driving behavior, similar to plan that puts disruptive people on airplanes on the no-fly list.In addition to an increased media presence, these are proactive solutions that citizens can work toward to help stop aggressive driving.Rather than the one or the other approach proposed by the author, I think using both regulations and public appeal could be helpful to stop this increasing epidemic. Public service announcements as discussed in the article are a great idea, but I think pushing for regulations against aggressive driving could be helpful as well.Contact your friends and family to join you in contacting our local, state and national representatives to demand they write and pass legislation that penalizes aggressive driving and road rage. Road rage needs to STOP and we need to doeverything in our power to pass a law against it to protect the lives of people we care about. Exxx. Gxxxxx23 December 2016Student, University of Texas at Austin

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