Finish the exercise 7 and 8, then use what you wrote to write a 4 pages paper. I give you the links in the first document use for research, exercise 7&8 instructions is the next two document. The fourth one is the instructions about how to write a 4 pages paper. The last one is the sample paper.
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Exercise 7: Proposal for the Open Letter
This exercise asks you to prepare notes for the open letter that you plan to write. Think about it
not as a formal proposal, but rather as a memo to yourself that sketches out the crucial
information that you will need to be able to draft the letter:
describe the controversial issue that you plan to focus on and the practical problem that
explain what is at stake: who is affected by this issue and in what ways? What is the
pressing significance of this issue?
identify a specific person who has the authority to change something;
explain how you imagine your implicit audience (try to be very specific: while your
letter can reach out to everyone hypothetically, what groups of people do you think would
benefit from reading this letter the most? What would you like these people to learn?
What beliefs and values do you think they have, and what ideological forces might be
influencing these people?);
articulate the socio-cultural problem behind the practical problem;
discuss the consequences of ignoring the practical issue and, therefore, the larger sociocultural problem behind it;
suggest some steps that your addressee can take to rectify the issue.
Exercise 8: Annotated Bibliography for the Open Letter essay
The genre of Annotated Bibliography is already well familiar to you, so you know why it is
important to pull together your sources as you prepare for drafting. As with the previous ABs
that you wrote in this class, remember to provide 2 full paragraphs for each source (one
paragraph to represent the source and one paragraph to explain how this source will help you
make your points in the open letter). Dont forget to format each entry according to MLA style.
Please have at least one source for each of the following categories:
For your stance: sources that share the same opinion on the issue as you (opinion
pieces, documentaries, op-docs and editorials, interviews, etc, etc.)
Against what you will argue or call for in your letter: sources that help you anticipate
possible objections, reasons why what you propose is difficult to do, opinions that differ
from yours, sources that complicate the issue
Background sources (context, details of the event/issue, data, facts, figures, etc; i.e.
credible sources that help you provide an informed account of the problem)
A thinking source that would explain the larger socio-cultural or ethical issue behind
the practical problem (this source will not focus on the exact same problem/event that
you are writing about, but about the larger issue, whatever that issue is in your open
letter: racial discrimination, poverty and its effects on children, etc, etc.)
Letter to Mr. Se-hoon Oh
ear Mr. Se-hoon Oh,
Recently, I received some terrible news: the Nonhyuan elementary
school will be destroyed one month from now. Established in 1917, this
school has many years of history and tradition, and Im shocked and dismayed
by your plan.
As one of your citizens, I can understand the reasoning behind such a
radical, controversial move. It may be a boon for certain citizens in our community or certain organizations; they will receive funding originally allocated for the schools development. Those citizens will probably agree with your
decision. They will probably point out that the school routinely produces
children who stray from the path of responsibility and become rebels. Parents
of students in other middle schools around the village will shake their heads,
say nothing but negative things, and give these children disapproving stares,
turning them away. It might be said that the community has already suffered
enough from the rebellious and hostile spirit of these kids, and that you, as a
leader and a representative of our communitys wishes, are hoping to avoid
such misfortunes again. Destroying this school as a wholenot only shutting
it down but demolishing its structurewill be symbolic, perhaps; maybe it
will guarantee the resurrection of our towns reputation, or bring you one
step closer to cementing your own reputation as a political force to be reckoned with. By chopping down what you perceive to be one diseased tree in a
forest, by rooting out one weed to save the garden, by considering the benefits it would bring to members of your winning coalition, by staying firmly in
the present and setting aside children who are widely considered bad seeds
instead of future assets, youve made a decision that seems sound and reasonable.
But I cannot accept your action. It seems to me that by recognizing only
what is superficially practical, you have become blind toor you might be
craftily pretending to ignorethese childrens right to an education. As both
an alumnus of Nonhyuan and a teacher there, I became vividly, achingly
MERCER STREET – 67
involved in the lives of the children in my school, those living in our town of
Gangnam. I can tell you firsthand about the unavoidable fate of their
rebellious future and the hidden consequences of what youve done.
I taught these children in the summer of 2009, during their summer
vacation, and I saw that many of them were just left at home, without supervision. Their parents had to work constantly to maintain a basici.e., impoverishedstandard of living. They could barely maintain their basic supplies.
The children, overlooked and left at home, were nothing more than pets. But
a child isnt a dog or cat. Dogs and cats, at least, are born with an instinct for
survival and self-sufficiency. The most the children of Nonhyuan could do to
keep from starving was to cook some basic food, like eggs, eggplant, or rice.
And they were still unable to take care of themselves. Here is what they, like
most children, couldnt do on their own: cook more than basic food, obtain
clean clothes, do laundry, and keep themselves, their own bodies, clean.
In the face of these glaring problems, the Nonhyuan school devised a
summer program to complement the regular school curriculum. This program gathered together the impoverished children of our community. The
very act of gathering together can make people, particularly children, feel less
lonely, and feel a stronger sense of solidarity and independence. The need to
belong to somethingto ones country, town, school, family, friends, selfis
perhaps the most basic of human needs. Even with limited resources, seats,
rooms, and workers, Nonhyuan was able to teach neglected children not only
the basic necessities that their parents couldnt satisfy, but also a sense of
belonging, independence, and pride. For these children, the school was not
only an academic institution, but also a teacher, friend, cook, laundry, dining
hall, and place for exerciseall that their parents couldnt give them, all they
couldnt get elsewhere. The school itself was a force for them to rely on; in
many ways, it was their home.
Every morning I taught Chinese and English to the children of
Nonhyuan. But beyond my role, which was to give them grammar and syntax, facts, pieces of knowledge, I really enjoyed being with them. I went there
every day around 7:30 a.m. and prepared the breakfast with the other teachers. This was our way of welcoming our precious sons and daughters. In contrast to typical kids, who spend the day waiting to go home, the children of
Nonhyuan cried not to go home. They wanted to stay in school with us. After
class, when the weather allowed, we would go out to the playground and play
soccer, tag, and other traditional childrens games. We enjoyed the nicer
weather whenever we were lucky enough to have it. When we werent so
lucky, we made our own good weather: we stayed in the classroom and played
68 – MERCER STREET
board games, chattering, playing piano, singing, dancing, just relishing the
opportunity that we could laugh together without any worriesat least for
the time being. I went there to educate them, but I learned a great deal
myself. When I say that they became teachers and I became a student, I mean
that I got a lot of energy from them. They nourished me, and the other teachers as well. Thinking of all the kids who had to stay at home, thinking of those
who were neglected and lonely, I felt uncomfortable and sorry. I saw how
loneliness could make a child grow into a rebel, could make her go astray.
How tragic it was! Those left at home children were completely deprived
of love and community; that deprivation, not any innate flaw, propelled them
in a tragic direction. It wasnt their own fault, but the lack of simple love.
In her essay Clamorous To Learn, Eudora Welty describes the influence of her first-grade teacher, Miss Duling, on her entire life. Miss Duling
doesnt replace a parents love and concern, but she does provide aspects of
parental education: she teaches the children about morality, shaping the
future men and women theyll become. By describing Miss Dulings bold,
progressive, decisive stance, a drive for correction and change, Welty shows
us a good teacher who is also a good citizen: When [Miss Duling] wanted
something donesome civic oversight corrected, some injustice made right
overnightshe telephoned the mayor, or the chief of police . . . calling them
by their first names, told them (353). Welty is implying how powerful a
teachers influence can be, how one small change can lead to bigger ones,
given enough sincere and brave motivation. In Miss Dulings classroom,
Welty learned grammar, arithmetic, spelling, reading, writing, geography,
physical training, singingall sorts of facts and skills (353). But she also
learned salvation. All the teachers at the Davis School paid sincere attention
to their students, even if their worries were sometimes distorted by children
who heard them as criticisms. Miss Duling, in Weltys account, was impervious to lies or foolish excuses or the insufferable plea of not knowing any better (353). She was always right because she had this wishthe wish to
learn, teach, care and be cared for, which is what Nonhyuan contained (353).
When their school is destroyed, these children wont have any opportunity to grumble at over-fastidious rules or authorities, like the children at
Weltys school. It may be argued that Welty, unlike the children of
Nonhyuan, received sufficient care and encouragement from her parents to
begin with. She describes sometimes being invigorated and cheered on the
morning before the examination: If the majority can pass, think how much
better you can do, they tell her (354). But when she really delves into her
memories of early school, she becomes more and more aware of the influence
MERCER STREET – 69
of her good teacher, admitting that Miss Duling had stridden into a larger
part of my work than Id realized until now (353). Her right to an education
was the real fortune in her life. Although you may never read this essay, Mr.
Oh, Id like you to know that I think Eudora Welty became a well-known
writer because of the educational community that urged her forward. Her
words are like teachers themselves: they teach us not only facts, but also new
ways to see the world.
Id like you to picture all the kids in the world who are not as fortunate
as Weltythose who are craving education, discipline, protection, boundaries, admonitions, care, love. These are not basic privileges, but without
them, human beings are nothing more than puppets. It is within your power
to make it otherwise for the children under your jurisdiction.
The misfortunes of the children of Nonhyuan are exogenous. They are
not driven by free will. And it is wrong of you to assume that all of these children will ultimately fall into such bad behavior. Isnt it a prejudice on your
part, Mr. Se-hoon Oh, to be so certain about every kids future? Isnt that a
vague and hasty preconception? I can understand your practical reasons, but
please, our respectful mayor, hold your breath for once and wait a little bit.
Dont judge the book by its cover.
We, the teachers, are still trying to rescue them from this direand
dailytragedy. We were, and are, committed fully and most sincerely to these
impressionable young minds, following our passions as teachers and
guardians. Weve seen the power of making one small change, how it can create a ripple effect. If you knew the value of these childrenand how much
they need to be valuedyou would see it too.
Otherwise, the children of Nonhyuan will not be children anymore;
theyll be the inhabitants of a darker world, a place empty of parents and
nourishment. When that happens, their only recourse will be to turn against
themselves, turn against their community, and turn against you.
Welty, Eudora. Clamorous To Learn. Occasions for Writing: Evidence, Idea,
Essay. Ed. Robert DiYanni and Pat C. Hoy II. Boston: Thomson, 2008.
70 – MERCER STREET
PROGRESSION THREE Open Letter, a Positioned Argument (4-5 pages)
In this progression, you will argue for a perspective on a public issue of your choice to reach a
targeted audience. After situating the issue in a specific context and targeting a specific audience,
you will write an epistolary essay to a person in a leadership role in an organization, developing
an idea that leads to well-considered suggestions or implications for action.
The open letter will:
– address a specific addressee;
– point out a specific, contemporary public issue (practical problem) over which the
addressee has some power;
– detail the problem through references to research and define its practical significance;
– identify the socio-cultural problem that underlies the practical problem;
– build a research-based argument that offers both:
a) a response to the socio-cultural problem (your stance, position, attitude to it), and
b) a call to action and specific suggestions on policy change and/or other solutions to the
Research requirements: At least 4 credible, carefully selected sources that provide factual
information, help establish discursive context (public conversation on the issue), and develop a
conceptual framework to approach the socio-cultural problem at the heart of the public issue.
Identifying, through research, an issue faced by some institution, organization or group
and the competing claims and arguments about the issue
Finding and incorporating evidence that gives context to the issue in order to better
understand its complexities
Identifying and understanding, through research, the principles and values of the letter
recipient and the associated organization
Developing an essay that engages the letter-recipient, delivers a critical view not yet
considered, and helps the reader consider the issue more deeply
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