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Alyssa P.
Student Teacher, High School English/History
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Writing
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Question:

How does one go about concluding an argumentative paper?

Alyssa P.
Answer:

It is important in the final paragraph of any opinion piece to accomplish three things: review, convince and reflect. After transitioning so your reader is aware that the piece is ending, the following process is an effective way to conclude a paper: 1. Summarizing your thesis or main claim is crucial to help the reader process all of the information you have just presented them. 2. Including one last fact, statistic, piece of evidence, or quote, is a great way to emphasize and persuade the reader of your claim. As a tip, save something powerful or surprising from your research for this moment. 3. The final sentences of this paragraph should turn the reader back to reality. Suggest, either implicitly or explicitly, to reflect on themselves, those around them, the present world they live within, the past or the future within the frame of your argument.

Literature
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Question:

Thanks to nineteenth-century author Herman Melville, the work that would years later be regarded as the "Great American Novel" was created in 1851: Moby Dick. While the narrator, Ishmael, recounts The Pequod's journey in first-person, it can be sufficiently argued that the "main character" of the story is none other than the ship's ambiguous, fervent leader: Captain Ahab. The question becomes however, is Ahab considered the protagonist or the antagonist? Is he symbolic of a traditional literary tragic hero, or could his idiosyncrasies undermine this label?

Alyssa P.
Answer:

It is precisely this opaque characteristic Ahab embodies that Melville is wanting his readers to grapple with. The answer is, as common in the minds of many romantic writers, a subjective one. The story, as drawn-out and formally eloquent as it is, provides much evidence for each potential answer to those questions. It is Ahab's humanistic moments, whether it be his musings on purpose and what's behind the "pasteboard mask" of life, or his asides reminiscing on his (essentially abandoned) bride back on land, that allow the reader to argue for his humanity and tragic characteristics. Parallel to this however, are his brooding, stubborn moments of dominating masculinity and bloodthirsty vengeance that illuminate him in the opposite light.

US History
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Question:

Reflecting on the Cold War in American history can be rather complex, as this major conflict entertained a different medium, role and after-effect as compared to its predecessors (WWI, WWII, etc.) While many can describe the general patterns of the "war," as well as its key players, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify and analyze the causes for the roughly 45-year event. This is, of course, because of their abstract nature and complicated relationships. Specified and summarized below, what you do believe are the factors that led to the infamous Cold War? Could you pick one to expound on further, possibly as what you think to be the most significant reason?

Alyssa P.
Answer:

With all topics and events in history, it is important to first remember the multi-faceted nature of the subject. Identifying the cause and effect of virtually any moment or person in history requires the consideration of the many factors that may have influenced it. Particularly, in the narrative of the Cold War, one must look at a multitude of possible circumstances that may have led to its origin. Of course the political relationship between the United States and the USSR is quite possibly the most evident lens to acknowledge, but it is not the only one. In a similar fashion, it is equally important to address the internal state of both countries respectively, in regards to social affairs, the economy, and government administrations. It can also be effectively argued that the status of the rest of the world- all of the countries between the US and USSR, and their stance on and role in the conflict between the two are just as important as themselves. While stronghold leaders, nuclear weapons, competing ideologies, and desperation for certain global economic markets all contributed greatly to the cause of the war, there is one facet of the conflict that often is glossed over, and in my opinion, shouldn't be. After WWII, the US claimed to stand for the symbol of "freedom" in the West, the USSR claimed to represent the same in the East. It was the case, however, that conflicting views on sovereignty and universal human rights troubled both countries domestically, and therefore, degraded their claims of liberty and overall superiority. At this time in American society, racial tension was rampant. Economic access for minorities was compromised by the dominating view of individual property rights over social equality. Often times, cultural ideals were rooted in discrimination, and it was this racist presence that highlighted the undemocratic hypocrisy of the country; it can be argued that their strides to "defeat communism" were sometimes simply masked acts of segregation. 5,000 miles across the Pacific, in the USSR, the same type of situation was occurring, due to tyrannical and violent rule, as well as a quest for an empire by many leaders of the Kremlin. The fact is, in summation, that the internal social chaos of both the US and USSR, cannot be ignored when reflecting on the many facets to the origin of the conflict.

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