Policy Papers Samples

Samples

Effect of revision

Non-class samples

Interpreting the Constitution

On the occasion of Justice Day's retirement, Stanley Fish explains words used to describe different styles of interpreting the Constitution. While he does an excellent job of analyzing the words, his main point is that the past record of the "nominee's reasoning" -- that is, "what bodies of evidence does he or she cite" and "what weight ... to precedent."

Policy on global warming

In reading this article on global warming, note that, though it is written by economists, they strive to summarize the technical situation. I have added subhead in blue, not present in the original, to indicate divisions in the article. Read carefully the third paragraph for its good introduction of the concept of greenhouse gases, one of the best I have ever seen. The authors squeeze in a surprising amount of science.

Policy on Kosovo

When you read the Lessons of Kosovo don't concentrate on whether you agree with the writer but instead on how skillfully he organizes his arguments. He starts each point with a sentence (I put in italics) that summarizes a common objection to the administration's Kosovo policy. In the paragraph he argues (often successfully) the fallacy in the point of view and then closes with a sharply worded summary that turns the opening sentence around to his view.

In each paragraph, starting with a clear objection to his position, he shows the weakness of the objection, reversing it to his position. While not perfect, the essay is skillfully done.

Finally note that this short piece has an abstract:

Throughout the 2000 election season and for decades to come, Democrats and Republicans will go on debating who was right and who was wrong in Kosovo. They still don't get it. The point isn't who was wrong. The point is to understand what was wrong and to learn the corresponding lessons.
and a conclusion
Who was wrong about Kosovo? Those who were too cynical to challenge the ways of the world, too preoccupied with the past to see the present, and too obsessed with who was wrong to recognize what was right.

Evaluating the instructor's behavior

Read Stanley Fish's Advocacy and Teaching. Would he take this P596 instructor to task for crossing the line or not? Do you agree with the distinction he makes between studying and advocating? Do you think the instructor is honoring it? If you don't, should you tell him and explain your reason? Or take your objection to a higher level?
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
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[Thursday, 31-Jul-2014 05:24:21 EDT]

Edited by: wilkins@mps.ohio-state.edu on Tuesday, 27-Apr-2010 16:34:19 EDT