English 11B Persuasive Writing Fluencies
Persuasive 1 • Many people believe that television violence has a negative effect on society because it promotes violence. Do you agree or disagree?
Rookie Patrolman Ebed Bible, patrolling a gang-infested area, heard a shot and rushed through the Hildegard Restaurant and into its conference room, pictured here. Bible found the body you see, and three armed men whom he was unable to identify. He snapped out, “Who killed him?” • Each man was wearing a T-shirt with the name of a city on it. London pointed to Paris and said, “He killed him.” Paris indicated the paneled door and said, “A man came through there, shot him, and left.” Berlin said, “He shot himself.” • Bible knew he couldn’t hold all three me, and that if he let them go they’d deny ever having been here and would establish strong alibis. But if he could pick the killer and arrest him immediately, Bible would be in for a commendation and a promotion. • If you were Bible, whom would you arrest?
Questions for Consideration • Do you think the gangsters were having a conference? • On the face of it, was London’s story credible? Was Paris’? Was Berlin’s? • Was the victim standing when he was shot? • Is there something false in this picture, and if so, what? • Which one or ones of the three can you prove lied? • Who shot the dead man?
Persuasive 3 • Many of us spend hours in front of our computers and communicate more by e-mail or instant-messaging than in person. Some people believe this is good because it helps shy people communicate more openly with others. Others believe that computer communication prevents us from developing interpersonal skills and limits our ability to have meaningful relationships with others. How do you feel about this issue?
It was not Jibble’s best day. To begin with, it was hot, muggy and sultry. Then at breakfast the milk was sour, the coffee wear, the eggs overcooked and the toast soggy, and just before he left for his job as a department store security officer, his wife, Rose Audrey, announced that she was leaving him. • Her announcement was not entirely unexpected, for she was not at one with Jibble nor in sympathy with his troubles, which were legion. After a relatively short tour of duty in the police department he’d been summarily dismissed because of certain unfortunate arrests he’d made, to wit: 1 The mayor’s wife for speeding; 2 The governor’s girlfriend for drug possession; and 3 The commissioner’s son for disorderly conduct.
Jibble realized that in view of his record any mistake such as a false arrest would be the end of his job and the end of any hopes of a career as a security officer. • He was thoroughly competent; however, and he knew that there were no legal grounds for a charge of larceny while a person was still in the store. Jibble had to wait until a suspect had left the premises and was outside the store and in possession of property which had not been paid for. • Hot days are long, sweaty days, and during the course of this one Jibble caught two unimportant shoplifters and scared off two more. They were routine cases, but when he saw what you see, he had a problem. Was he looking at one shoplifter or two shoplifters or a pair of non-criminals? If you were Jibble, what would you do?
Questions for Consideration • Does the man appear to have merchandise concealed under his jacket? • Do you think he should diet? • Does the woman appear to be pregnant? Is she? • Is she hiding stolen goods underneath her dress? • Should you arrest the man? • Should you arrest the woman?
Persuasive 5 • Since the cloning of the sheep Dolly, there has been much debate over whether or not human beings should be cloned. Many people feel this is a violation of the natural order of things and that all research in the area of human cloning should be banned. Others feel that this is a natural progression of science and human evolution and that research in the area of human cloning should be a priority. How do you feel about this issue?
It is axiomatic that the best poisons are delicious, otherwise who would take them? And the question was whether Caleb C. Custer poured this one by accident, by intention, or whether someone done him in. In any case, his wife, Clara Nettie, rushed into Dr. Minton’s next door apartment at dinner time and screamed out hysterically, “ My husband! He took poison! Help him – quick!” • Dr. Minton entered the Custer dinette at once and found what you see. Three people had had the opportunity of planting the poison in the carafe from which Caleb always poured out a dollop of his eau-de-vie. They were Clara, Caleb’s brother Toby, and his business partner Allan Dale. The police immediately arrested Clara for the best of all reasons – she was there. • Do you think they were justified?
Questions for Consideration • In which chair had Custer been sitting? • Do you think that Custer poured his own poison? • Was Custer’s death suicidal? • Did Custer pay much attention to his wife? • Did she have a good appetite? • Was she compulsively neat? • How do you think the plate broke? • Did Clara Nettie try to save her husband’s life? • Who do you think murdered Caleb?
Persuasive 7 • Medical researchers, cosmetic companies, and others often perform experiments on animals. Many people feel that experimentation on animals is wrong and should be stopped immediately because animals do feel pain, and there are other alternatives. How do you feel?
When wealthy Robert Pickle left the cruise ship Bingo-Bingo somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, the bridge officer looked down at the boat deck from the wing bridge and saw the accompanying scene. It was obvious that Pickle was a goner. Although Julius was on board the Bingo-Bingo, he was too seasick to care, but Julia was shocked when she learned the Pickle had no know heirs. • “What happens to all his money?” Julia asked. • “The state takes it.” • “That’s unfair. It cheats.” • “Escheats,” Julius said. • Julia gave him a dirty look. “The letter of the law,” she said, and with that the incident was closed. But not so for the captain of the Bingo-Bingo. • Summoned to the scene, he took one look and said, “Suicide.” • The bridge officer disagreed. “Homicide,” he said. • What do you think?
Questions for Consideration • Is the folded jacket consistent with the suicide theory? • Is the single shoe consistent with the suicide theory? • Is the handprint consistent with the suicide theory? • Why do you think the handprint was not erased? • Did Pickle commit suicide?
Persuasive 9 • Many science fiction stories deal with the possibility of being able to “design” our children by choosing the specific physical and personality traits we would like them to have. Do you think this is a good idea? Why or why not?
Nobody ever accused little KippyBetcher, ex-jockey, of being brainy, but the best part of whatever he had was squashed with a small iron skillet, whose last use had been to fry an egg, sunny-side up. However, smart or not, he had been due to be a key witness in the coming trial of Scratchy Sonnenbaum, and Detective I. Doolittle was assigned to guard and protect Kippy. • “The little jocko was nuts about carousels,” I. Doolittle said in his singsong voice, “and this one, they call it ‘Night and Day’ on account in the middle of the ride, all the lights go out and the kids scream their heads off. And this being Halloween – well, take a look at all those masks.
“Big deal, huh? But Kippy wants to sit on a horse, so I ask the lieutenant and he says OK, what can happen when Kippy’s with a bunch of kids and all their mothers watching like they’re waiting for the red light to change? SO I check stuff out, put this character on his horse and make sure nobody over the ago of eight is anywheres near him, and I say, ‘OK, Kip. I’ll pick you up at the end of the ride, and don’t go jumping over no fences.’ • “With that settled, I go out for a drink of nice spring water, and when I come back, Kippy’s kaput and falling off the last horse he’s ever gonna ride, and this iron pan’s lying near him, and no prints on it, either. And all those kids – too excited to notice anything. And whoever was next to him, probably got lost in the crow, so what do I do now?” • Julius happened to be near the carousel and saw what you see. As a result he was able to give the police the clue that enabled them to find the killer and take him into custody. • What did Julius tell the police?
Questions for Consideration • Could the skillet have been concealed? • Do you think that the killing was planned? • Would a seven-year-old be strong enough to kill with a blow of a skillet? • Did the killer have to be on an elevation higher than Kippy’s? • Which of the riders would be least able to reach Kippy? • Do you think that an adult would have time (15 seconds of darkness) to climb onto the moving platform, locate Kippy, kill him and step back into the crowd without being noticed by anyone, including the children whom he would have to pass by? • Who killed Kippy?
Persuasive 11 • All-girl schools have been gaining popularity in recent years because of the belief that girls learn better when they aren’t competing with or intimidated by boys, who statistically get more attention in the classroom. Do you think single-sex schools are a good idea? Why or why not?