how the United States misplaced its power and authority and squandered away is foreign relations by acting as the world police.


Please also respond to two of your classmates’ initial posts (students who have discussed different essays) and bring together pieces of the discussion and take those ideas further.  These responses should be at least 150 words.





Student 1

Claim:  Getting the students to question and understand the subject before writing their opinion.  Basically for them to do their research for facts.

“This fieldtrip has come in April. These composition students entered this class in January, and most of them were adamantly in favor of the U.S. death penalty, too. Now, near the end of our fifteen-week study of America’s system of capital punishment, fully 90% of these students oppose the practice. But how did we get here? To the prison? Sure, on a 60-seat luxury bus normally used by the university’s athletic teams. But how did we get to abolition?” (Gunter, Page 35)

Support:  Dr. Grey states the differences between two writing methods.  One being academic writing in American first-year composition and another method which provoke students to research information on their subject.

“First, via a course structure intent on empowering students to become rhetorical power-players. In American first-year composition programs, we largely teach a single genre: academic writing. Moreover, if academic writing is our destination, process pedagogies are often the vehicle for getting there. Too often, though, “academic writing” remains arbitrary, oppressive, exclusionary, or, perhaps worse, undefined, and processes remain prescriptive. Bucking, for instance, a regulatory textbook industry and restrictive estimations of students, the best way to teach students to write as academics is to regard them as academics, all the while rending apart exactly what “academic writing” means.” (Gunter, Page 35)

Warrant:  Dr. Grey taught the students the fundamentals of writing and getting them to understand they should be more mentally involved in their subject versus just writing about their topic.

“Second, the notion of the student as author was fundamental to this course, and not simply as authors of essays but as (collaborative) authors of selves and of this class. If we remind ourselves that literacy isn’t just a storehouse of knowledge but a kind of action and that discourse isn’t printed text alone but also a way of being in the world, the ideological nature of all discourse is apparent; moreover, if we look at literacy (here, academic literacy specifically) as what we do, not only is literacy a social action, but it is a social call to action. Backing:  Dr. Grey taught her students by getting them involved in each lesson.  The students led discussions and was more hands-on in each lesson.” (Gunter, Pages35, 36)

Rebuttal:  Teaching a student driven lesson could ask a lot on if the teacher or student holds the power in the classroom and if the lesson being taught is received by the students.

“Finally, this class was shaped by a willing surrender, surrender of space, surrender of power, and, in some ways, surrender of course outcomes. The class was not unlike a giant trust fall, with me falling backwards and into the arms of my students, hoping we wouldn’t all end up on our asses. Sometimes frustratingly so, social justice cannot be decreed.” (Gunter, Page 37)

Qualifier:  I was unsure about this one but I think a qualifier is when Dr. Grey stated “Moreover, if academic writing is our destination, process pedagogies are often the vehicle for getting there.” (Gunter, Page 35).




Student 2


The essay that I chose to highlight this week is “9/11 in Retrospect,” by Melvyn Leffler.  This essay attempts to define the foreign policy after 9/11 and point out its short comings and its strengths.  Although inherently flawed due to the authors prejudice and blatant bias which is validated by his lack luster career that narrows his view of world affairs, his faulty discussion points are easily discerned.  Claim, support, warrant, backing, rebuttal, and qualifier are all noted in Leffler’s work, which I will highlight.

Leffler, speaking of foreign policy and actions taken post 9/11, says “Some aspects merit the scorn often heaped on them; other aspects merit praise that was only grudging in the moment. Wherever one positions oneself, it is time to place the era in context and assess it as judiciously as possible.” (Leffler).  This main claim, one which is addressed throughout the article is supported by the body of his essay.  Leffler’s support of his claim is referenced throughout the article.  He speaks about “America’s damaged primacy”, which is the result of the “protracted wars,” that financially crippled United States standing by incurring “$1.3 trillion in debt and counting.” (Leffler).  Leffler refers to the “mobilization of U.S. power,” and its “sense of indispensability” as facets of the administrations proactive approach to the post 9/11 landscape.  Leffler is heavily critical of the Bush administration, and overly negative in his tone about U.S. policy after 9/11.  I must point out that many of the examples that he references are wrong, and subject to his own biased opinion.  Spoken eloquently by a man who spent his life as a career student, and professor, without any real world experience.  Leffler’s warrant which supports his claim, is the numerous disadvantages of the United States’ foreign policy which negatively affected relations.  The entire essay is one long misguided rant about how the United States misplaced its power and authority and squandered away is foreign relations by acting as the world police.  There is plenty of warrant that the author presents as facts.  Leffler uses the increased national debt and decreased national standing, as well as the increase of radical Islamism to back his claim.  This is where his purported facts are misleading, as he places all the blame on the Bush administration for the increase in global terrorism, despite the largest and most destructive rise occurring under President Obama’s term, but I digress.  There is little available to reference as a rebuttal, as Leffler’s overall negative tone criminalizes the Republican Party for ostracizing our international partners and contributing to the rise of terrorism and hate.  Leffler did go on to say that Bush was not alone in his handling of foreign policy.  He stated that Washington, and Jefferson “acted independently,” and most President’s during a time of war “reserved the right to act unilaterally.”  (Leffler).  Lastly, Leffler’s qualifier is his acknowledgement that everything is easier in hindsight, and that during the fog of war, some decisions are regrettable.  He acknowledges that looking back, America must face what worked and what didn’t, and be willing to learn from its mistakes.  Leffler is overly critical of certain administrations, but does offer a disclaimer that notes the majority of Presidents that acted in the interest of the United States despite the negative effects on global partners and further aggression.

Overall, the essay was easy to read, and easy to determine what the main arguments were.  It was interesting to look at an article from the Toulmin points.  I generally enjoy this type of writing, but have a hard time stomaching work that is overly biased and purports bias as fact.  I am generally critical of work, and find it hard to read and respond to work in a professional manner when I feel that an author’s experience does not support their claims.  Then again, that is my opinion speaking.

As far as the analysis of my essay, from what I can tell I am doing ok as far as citations and authenticity of work.  The only highlighted portion that I saw was the citation itself in the works cited.  The citation was listed as 3% as it recognized the website URL in the citation.  Nothing throughout the body of my essay was highlighted, which I suppose means nothing was seen as being plagiarized.



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