West Chester University

Fall 2001

Spring 2002

West Chester University

Fall 2002



Course Information
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  ENG 020 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Notes on the Art of Fiction: Early Forms
  The Short Story
  Graduate Students Define the Art of Fiction
  Bartleby the Scrivener - Questions for Analysis
  Notes on Melville
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  A Vocabulary for Short Fiction and Beyond
  Study Guide for Fiction Exam
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry
  A Catalogue of Poems
  Notes on Langston Hughes
  Lines of Continuity
  Poetry Take Home Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  A Doll House
  Study Guide for the Final Exam
  A Glossary of Literary Terms

Notes for Basic Writing (ENG 020)
  The Rhetorical Situation
  Essay #1 Assignment Sheet
  Workshop Assignment for Essay#1
  How to Write Descriptively
  Building a Thesis
  Overcoming Reader's Block
  Analysis and the Culture of Advertising
  Essay #2 Assignment Sheet
  Writing Effective Introductions
  Writing Effective Conclusions
  Propaganda Analysis
  Politics and the English Language
  Propaganda: A Sample Analysis
  Midterm Exam: Tips for Writing on the Spot
  Notes on Rational Argument
  Mapping the Parts of an Arugment

General Announcements
  Announcements for LIT 165
  Assignments for LIT 165
  Announcements for ENG 020
  Assignments for ENG 020


Go Exploring
  A Weblog for LIT 165
  A Weblog for ENG 020

Join the Conversation
  LIT 165 Discussion List
  ENG 020 Discussion List

~~ Mapping A Sample Argument ~~

· the writer's claim
· logical reasoning and evidence in support of the claim
· anticipating disagreement: acknowledgment and perhaps accommodation of counterpositions
· refutation of counterpositions

THE CLAIM. Americans should recognize the legality and necessity of hand counting votes cast in several Florida counties where such votes have been requested, because the counting of votes which were not counted otherwise may be the deciding factor in the 2000 Presidential Election.


· Hand counts are a legal part of the election process, as stated in Florida statutes.
· Humans are more accurate than counting machines because they are able to recognize punched holes a machine would ignore. The court has ruled that "lightly punched" ballots should be counted, though counting machines are incapable of counting them.
· Voting irregularities in Florida warrant the extra measures that will ensure a fair counting of votes.

· Florida statutes are friendly to hand counting; they favor hand counting as more accurate than machine counting.
· FACT: The Bush campaign sought and completed hand counts in six Florida counties that were advantageous to Bush. It appears disingenuous for them to object in the counties Gore has requested to be recounted.
· FACT: Hand counts have been used before; in fact, they are considered by some to be commonplace.
· FACT: Florida's Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, is closely affiliated with the Republican Party-she worked for the Bush campaign-which makes her refusal to accept recounts that may favor Gore suspect. She's been ordered by the court to use discretion in deciding what votes
· The Republican party unfairly (possibly illegally) manipulated absentee ballots when they were given access to voter registration ID #s to include on forms they filled out for the Republican candidate and then sent overseas.
· Citizens have claimed they were rushed at the polls, discriminated against at the polls (legal action pending in court), and inordinately confused at the polls because of a redesigned butterfly ballot (which may prove illegal). Exit polls, which favored Gore winning the state and which later did not hold up, indicate that many people's votes were not counted as they were cast. People thought they voted one way but discovered later they had voted another.

Acknowledging, Accommodating, and Refuting Counterpositions

ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (1). Hand counting is "subjective" and the counters are "partisan" (biased against the opposite party's candidate), meaning they are biased against Bush. They are "playing God," trying to "divine the will of the people" when they hold ballot cards up to the light. They look like "Carnac" (a late night talk show character created by Johnny Carson).
REFUTATION: The subjectivity involved in the hand count is counterbalanced or relieved by several factors: (1) reasonable objective standards for interpreting the voter's intention are determined, revised as deemed necessary, and evenly applied; (2) three observers, including one from each party, are present as each ballot is counted, making one person's (or one party's) "subjective" or biased interpretation improbable if not impossible; and (3) holding a ballot up to the light to help one determine whether a hole has been punched doesn't constitute "playing God" or attempting to "divine truth;" rather, it is a logical way to determine whether someone has tried to punch a hole in the ballot card but for some reason has failed to punch the chad all the way through. It may appear funny but it seems unkind to ridicule people who are only doing their job. In any case it is entirely beside the point-a red herring-whether or not the worker looks like 'Carnac' while performing this necessary function.

ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (2). The manual count is too "selective." It's only being conducted in counties that favor Gore.
REFUTATION: It may be true that the counties where the recount is requested favor Gore. However, the Bush campaign could have exercised its right to request manual recounts elsewhere and they didn't (ahead of the deadline). They have received manual counts where they have requested them.
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (3). Hand counting is an attempt to "reinvent" the election process.
REFUTATION: If the process of hand counting is clearly allowed for by law, and has been routinely applied in many other elections, and has even been applied in this election, it can hardly be considered a "reinvention" of the process. On the contrary, as written in the Florida state statute, it is an established part of the process.
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (4). We should only use manual counts when it is proven that the machines have failed.
REFUTATION: When manual recounts reveal, as in one county, 50 votes that were not otherwise counted, this constitutes "machine failure."
ACKNOWLEDGE POINT (5). Hand counts represent the Gore campaign's attempt to continue counting perpetually until "they get the result they want."
REFUTATION: No one representing the Gore campaign has requested a "perpetual" count. They have, however, requested a hand count. However, it is routine to perform a machine recount (sometimes more than one) before hand counting. This may lead to the perception that multiple recounts are actually "perpetual" recounts, although this is not the case. Furthermore, perpetual recounts are not possible by law, even should the Gore team desire them; whereas, hand counts are provided for by law.

CONCLUSION: Every citizen has the right to have his/her vote counted, and should not be disenfranchised by a machine which fails to count the vote as it was cast. The manual recount process is fair, sufficiently free of bias, and reasonable accurate; therefore, all Americans should support it






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