Portfolio Verification Day



We’ll be double-checking your Portfolio for completeness and compliance on the last day of class, WED MAY 01. Consider it your Final Exam, essential to passing the course.

Once we’ve verified your Portfolio complete,
I’ll confirm your appointment for our Grade Conference,
which will occur on MON MAY 06.

Conferences are our only opportunity to review your overall class performance and agree on your grade. No grade dispute will be entertained for a student who doesn’t attend an end-of-semester Grade Conference.


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Research- MysteryLimbo

Prisoners Are People Too

Felons in the United States have second class citizenship. Becoming a felon in the United States makes one a second class citizen. Second class citizens do not have the same rights as the average American such as the right to vote, a fair and honest work environment, and all the other rights that our constitution gives us.  Felons in the United States are second-class citizens, deprived of their fundamental constitutional rights, among them the right to vote and the right to a fair and honest work environment. Most if not all, misdemeanors do not affect one’s right as an American. Having rights is something that was created with the founding of our nation but it is also something that our founding fathers left for their successors to change as the world is changing every day, the founders were not cruel, and either should we be. Though this is a clear principle our founding father wanted for this country, those who want the government to remain small believe it is not the government’s job to mandate every problem and especially if has to do with prisoners. Efforts to reform the system is thwarted by politicians who want to deprive petty criminals of their fundamental rights. Petty crimes are usually things like possession of marijuana or even small traces of crack or heroin on clothing could land someone a sentence without parole. If they can be prosecuted as felonies, the consequences of these victimless crimes are devastating to the prisoners. Some have said name one that opponents of prisoner reform are trying to suppress the votes of specifically these prisoners whose, they feel would go to another party. There is no constitutional justification for depriving even rightfully convicted felons of their rights once they have served their sentences.

Let’s look at the governments The First Step Act the bill was passed with a bipartisan agreement of 360-59. Although the bill is going in the right direction for the future of our prison reform, it does not address the problem of mass incarceration. According to Chrysse Haynes’ of Equal Justice Under Law, “The Act solely focuses on the “back-end” by allowing prisoners to accrue “time credits” and some can exchange those credits for early release into a halfway house or home confinement. Therefore, this Act does not resolve the problem of extremely long sentences being imposed on prisoners at the outset.” meaning prisoners are not really being fully freed after doing time credits because now prisoners would need to serve time between home arrest and/or in the halfway house. There are people thrown into federal prison due to the “war on drugs” despite the fact that the biggest drug problem in the United States is the pain-relieving drugs prescribed by doctors otherwise known as opioids. Additionally, minorities only make up about twelve percent of the opioid overdoses in the United States. This is a much lower percentage than white, non-Hispanic people to make up about 78 percent of the total overdoses. Petty crimes are counted as felonies in our justice system and many people view this as a way to suppress minorities and low-income households because of the emphasis on cash bail. Cash Bail is money that people pay as a deposit for the release of a person who has been arrested. The Department of Finance holds the money to help incentivize that the defendant will return to court for their trial. This cash bail system is in place in all 50 states in the United States.

The reason why cash bail does not work is that bail ranges from $500-$25,000 and if one can not afford to pay for the bail one could get a bond which is usually 10% of bail but all in all cash bail is an expensive cash grab from the government. Although in the in past the United States government had used like poll taxes making it harder for minority groups to vote. Even today it is still hard to vote because of gerrymandering and the political fight constantly going on in the United States. In the state of South Carolina, their gerrymandering has successfully suppressed the minority votes in South Carolina’s 6th district because of their control in the Governor seat politicians were able to keep most of South Carolina black votes in one district. Obviously, things like this happening nationwide to gain political capital but it is illegal and it restricts the people’s right to elect anyone into office with our current system in place.

Although, the system is run from the top down according to The Economist  “two new reports that look at changing local fortunes in America over the last decade and over the past 35 years suggest that opportunities for poor Americans are diminishing. Both report that there has been no recent progress in achieving regional income equality.” meaning over the course of the last 35 years it has been harder to achieve the American dream even more than ever. According to U.S Poverty Statistic, “While the poverty rate for the population as a whole is 12.3% the rate varies greatly by race. Blacks have the highest poverty rate at 21.2% and non-Hispanic whites the lowest at 8.7%. The Poverty rate for Blacks and Hispanics is more than double that of non-Hispanic whites.” further my point that minority groups are put into this never-ending cycle of prison and poverty. Although one should not do not want to refer to white people as being inherently evil because it is the politicians that we need to blame. Politicians will do anything to stay in power and are willing to let people suffer to achieve that.

Prison system here in the United States is far from perfect. Using cash bail as a “get out jail free card” is a low blow to freedom. Black, Hispanics, and other minority groups are stuck in a system of poverty and mass incarceration compared to white people. Politicians use techniques such as gerrymandering to help the minorities votes by keeping them contained to certain areas. Minorities are unfairly targeted for non-fatal drug offenses and tend to face much harsher sentences than white people who are charged with the same crime. Additionally, politicians claim to be passing bills to help with prison reforms but, are actually just creating more ways to keep formerly incarcerated minorities from fully rejoining society. This is clearly demonstrated through examples such as halfway houses and home confinement. Subsequently, the government have done nothing to address the current problems of mass incarceration. This country has had a history of trying to keep not only black people but other minorities separate from the rest of society and that can still be seen today through our government and justice system.

The justice system and prison sentencing date back to ancient civilizations keeping prisoners in work camps or prisons, or even to execute them. Most forms of those previous incarceration/confinement methods are now unjust in most countries including the United States. The Soviet Union was known for having work camps known as gulags that worked prisoners work to death. The United States is no exception to the mistreatment of prisoners. Then considering Russia and the United States are completely different in ideology it is clear that the United States tends to care less about their prisoner population compared to Russia. Russia had a prison reform in 2009 and abolished capital punishment in 1999 showing the level of empathy that the Russian government compared to the United States. With most of the industrialized world condemning the United States for keeping such an inhumane justice system. In the past the United States government had prisoners make roads, railroads, and concrete for little to no money. It is often said that these harsh conditions are unheard of in modern-day prisons in the United States. That is nonsense because in 2018, according to Abigail Hess from CNBC, “Roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates.” This makes the ratio of firefighters in Mendocino, California alone 7 normal firefighters for every 1 inmate firefighter. Some critics even saying, “fear that the financial benefits of cheap prison labor incentivize mass incarceration. During an unsuccessful run for California Lieutenant Governor, Gayle McLaughlin went so far as to call the program “slave labor.” The United States cannot subject itself to slave labor and it is disgusting that the government is willing to restrict one’s freedom to keep cost-efficient labor. The population in California, according to the public policy institute of California, is about 39 million people and is 39% Latino/Latino American, 38% White, 14% Asian American, 6% African American, or 3% multiracial. According to that same source, it states the following about the prison population in California “California’s prison population peaked at nearly 163,000 in 2006; public safety realignment in 2011 and subsequent reforms accelerated its decline to a low of about 111,000 in 2015.” The public policy institute of California titled the issued as African American men remain overrepresented in the prison population and said, “At the end of 2016, 29% of the male prisoners in state prisons were African American, while only 6% of the state’s male residents are African American. The incarceration rate for African American men is 4,180 per 100,000 people. White men are imprisoned at a rate of 420 per 100,000 people, and imprisonment rates for Latino men and men of other races are 1,028 and 335 per 100,000 people, respectively.” meaning that comparatively speaking a black male then is 4 times more likely to be convicted and sentenced for a crime than a white man who committed the same crime. This gives African Americans a dangerous and threatening persona making all Americans judgemental and thus paranoid.

California is arguably the most progressive state in the country is the first state to have medical marijuana in 1996; California, decriminalized Marijuana and in the middle of  2016, California legalized the drug for recreational use. San Francisco was the first place in the United States to recognize same-sex marriage. The LGBT community is most prominent in California and yet the minorities are still misrepresented because of racial injustice within the United States justice system. Even with the government’s involvement, California has the largest prison population whose population consists of mostly minorities, especially African Americans and Latino Americans. With this problem continuously being ignored, African Americans that were previously felons struggle with receiving any form of federal aid like food stamps, student loan benefits, and employment. This evolves into a larger problem of why ethnic minorities are more likely to born into poverty. These “petty crimes” make our country’s justice system look weak and ultimately bias. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Paper 78 wrote: “The general liberty of the people can never be endangered” from the judiciary, so long as it “remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the executive.” Meaning justice shouldn’t be politically motivated, but is harsh prison sentencing a way for extremist political government officials to silence voters? That would be in clear violation of the founding principles of our country.

What has been stated could be mistaken for defending criminals, it is actually defending those who use the constitution and was ultimately failed by the document due to fees, policies, and cash bail. Due to lack of money blacks cannot pay for their cash bond which is usually about 10% of the bail which ranges from $500-$25,000 (Each state varies) that is from crimes such as small possession to serial rape. If a person is out on bail are not in jail until their trial but if one is unable to pay their bond unfortunately that person is forced to stay in jail overnight and have to face the judge in the orange jumpsuit. The reason wearing an orange jumpsuit in front of a judge matters is because when guilty felons are pleading for a lesser sentence the judge is going to assume the person on trial is not good enough to pay for the bond and judges will focus on is the fact the person on trial is in a jumpsuit ready to go to prison.

All in all, this problem has caused fear mongering done by political figures and people of influence to make minorities look like the enemy which makes the country a much more violent place. One could empathize with the people that feel this way in particular because America’s feel as if their culture is slowly being taken away from them because of the over-saturation of trying to diverse schools, social media, television, and business with this new generation of pop-culture and inclusion. Concluding that prison reform is a must in the United States, there should be no reason why the richest country and most powerful nation in the world should have the highest number of incarcerated people in the world. The United States has a total of 2,121,600 people in prison and then China has 1,649,804. It should be noted that China has a population of 1.386 billion people and the United State has a population of 325.7 million people. Which also means 0.1% of people in China are incarcerated and 0.6% of people are incarcerated in the United States. Although there can be various angles one could say the reason why the United States has more people in prison than any other country in the world, it is important to note that the United States and government bureaucrats tend to put minorities in jail for political gain and the total number of incarcerated people in the country reflects their cruel treatment of minorities.

The United States is the most developed, richest, and sophisticated nation in the world and is what the rest of the world views as a role model even though mass incarceration is happening in the United States without a reasonable doubt. The United States still leads the world in the most incarcerated people the United States has a total of 2.121 million people in prison and a population of 325.7 million people. That’s  6.5 prisoners for every 1000 US citizens. America’s thriving economy and famous freedoms MASK the sad reality. Prisons are disproportionately black and Hispanic in the United States Most inmates are minorities. The root of the argument could simply be diffused by saying, “criminals commit the crime; therefore, they were incarcerated” but it is not that simple. It is because of the lack of money and knowledge that low-income areas receive without proper education and money the cycle of poverty and mass incarceration will continue.

According to NPR, “About 40 percent of prisoners lack a high school education. Sixteen percent of state prisoners have a high school diploma.”  Education is important and very much overlooked because of how available it is. The United States use to be one of the best countries in education but in recent years the United States has slowly been falling down the list of most educated countries in 2018 according to Masters and More the United States ranked 14th in the world in education. This is discouraging as an American because we have the money, resources, and the time for education reform but our government refuses to fund something so fundamental to this country. According to Alliance for Excellent Education “There is an indirect correlation between educational attainment and arrest and incarceration rates, particularly among males, the report finds. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice, 56 percent of federal inmates, 67 percent of inmates in state prisons, and 69 percent of inmates in local jails did not complete high school. Additionally, the number of incarcerated individuals without a high school diploma is increasing over time.” Also meaning that if our government fixed our education system it would not only make a smarter society it will also keep fewer men in prison and more men in the workforce.

Compromise is something that dates back to the founding of the United States. Throughout early history in America when both ends of the aisle did not agree, both sides would meet in the middle and come up with some sort of compromise giving both parties something that each side wants. Now there is this political debate about which party is correct about very essential problems that are occurring in the United States. To others, criminals are the bottom of the bucket and don’t deserve rights. This ideology is inherently evil and goes against the fundamentals that government officials wish to preserve. Though most of the country should agree that people convinced of violent crimes need to be punished to the full extent of the law but saying nonviolent drug crimes should receive the same punish is preposterous. Prison’s are something that should be taken seriously and with the government expanding the federal prison system needs reform. Though ignoring the problem of prison reform seemly protects our country from people that want to do harm in the future it doesn’t protect the rights that prisoners are entitled to. According to the 8th amendment cruel and unusual punishment are not allowed in prisons and the 8th amendment is among the 10 amendments that make up the bill of right in the United States. The bill of rights are the founding concepts that were founded back with the constitution in 1787.

The fight to conserve the traditional style of small federal government roots from a greater argument to avoid tyranny, corruption, and economic downfall. Conserving tradition is not a bad thing and it should be encouraged nationwide and globally. The point is that the government is an entirely different entity from the belief of their country the United States was founded of this new ideology of freedom and the “pursuit of happiness”. The founding fathers knew any government that based their practice on traditions, cultural value, and/or monarchy would inevitably fail. Conserving tradition can be done individually and should not be implemented into any of our laws because it is systemically unfair.  

The government has a job to protect its citizens and enforce the law. According to the World Economics forum the government has 3 responsibilities, “Protect, provide, and Invest in talent” The United government has taken this basic understanding and expanded on the idea of government by expanding that it is becoming an increasing concern for many people. This concern is coming from a just point of view that should be apart of conversation when it comes to controversial laws, precedent or election if that matters. Prison reform is not as important as health care, gun control, or abortion because criminals are not as important as the Americans that are able to keep their freedom. Like conditions and unhealthy life that prisoners have to endure are not already bad. The United States is a beacon of freedom yet the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Meaning any person is more likely to be arrested in the United States than any other country in the world. Which is ironic because the beacon of freedom is throwing the most people into prison hence removing their freedom. The government cannot run away from this problem much longer. The more time that goes on, people become more informed and therefore this will become an even larger problem than it already is.

Expanding on the idea that as time goes on this problem would only get worse. The longer the United States waits on prison reform it makes the country that is supposed to be the beacon of freedom a weak position on incarceration on the world stage. The country that has been so influential over the last 50 years should have the equipment, brainstorm, and the budget to execute the obvious flaws in their justice system. Which raises the questions of  “Why don’t they fix the justice system?” but it is not to easy to get 535 people to agree on prison reform and not to mention the review to see if the law is constitutional. The process is tedious without a doubt but legislators in the past have made compromises with a bipartisan agreement and made laws and other programs to help the people of the United States. All in all lawmakers today do not make the same effort as the lawmakers of the past. People are more driven by ideology rather than compromise.

Minorities are still the most affected by the United States justice system. Ignoring the problem of racial injustice is flat out wrong and the government should be ashamed that the government is silencing people that minor nonviolent offenses. According to Prison Reform, “47% of the prison population is nonviolent crimes and about half of those are considered “petty crimes” such as small traces of heroin in clothing, marijuana offenses, and even tax evasion. This problem is large and when the government starts paying attention to prison reform the faster the people can heal as a country. Prisoners are people too and deserve their right to be not be treated cruelly and/or unusually.


Pfeifer , Robert S. U.S. Poverty Statistics. 2019, federalsafetynet.com/us-poverty-statistics.html.

2018, The Economist, The gap between poor and rich neighbourhoods is growing.

Haynes, Chrysse. “The First Step Act.” Equal Justice Under Law, 30 Aug. 2018, equaljusticeunderlaw.org/thejusticereport/2018/8/21/the-first-step-act-a-pros-and-cons-list.

Chapman-Allison, M. (2016). Disparities and systematic racism policies and practices related to healthcare reform, employment, and incarcerations: A multi-faceted analysis of contemporary experiences in the United States. Niagara University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. doi:10127523

Hess, A. (2018, November 12). California is paying inmates $1 an hour to fight wildfires. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/california-is-paying-inmates-1-an-hour-to-fight-wildfires.html

Goss, J., & Hayes, J. (2018, February). California’s Changing Prison Population. Retrieved from https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-changing-prison-population/

Johnson, H. (2017, March). California’s Population. Retrieved from https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-population/

Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Total. (n.d.). Retrieved from


Tata, C. (n.d.). Reducing prison sentencing through pre-sentence reports? Why the quasi-market logic of selling alternatives to custody fails (4th ed., Vol. 57). Howard journal of crime and justice. doi:10.1111/hojo.12276

Sentencing and Prison Reform (1st ed., Vol. 7). (2017). Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection

Vasquez, A. E. (2007). The impact of aggressive priming, rumination, and frustration on prison sentencing(8th ed., Vol. 33). Aggressive behavior. doi:10.1002/ab.20203

J., Amos. (2013). Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment, 2013 Alliance Report Finds. Retrieved from


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Open Strong-rowanstudent

By definition, a placebo is “a harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any psychological effect.” While a placebo is used to create a mental state that does in fact promote well-being and healing, it can be argued whether it is “harmless.” Remedies for physical illness benefit from a positive mental outlook, at the same time a pessimistic outlook can make people feel increasingly sick. Even terminally ill patients can alleviate their suffering if they commit to a belief in their own cure. While no reputable physician would lay hands on a patient and advise him or her to assign a cure to a higher power, providing patients with a placebo has much the same effect in patients whose commitment to the curative power of the therapy is strong enough. The placebo effect effectively deceives patients into believing that they are receiving medication to heal them while leaving the actual work to their psychological systems. In addition to this, the inconsistency of studies regarding what’s called the placebo effect and the ethical issues surrounding the use of “illusionary medicine” by medical professionals create a moral ambiguity surrounding placebos and their uses.

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Annotated Bibliography- doorknob9

  1. Stine, Carl. (2012, April 1). 50 Top College Football Quarterbacks Who Didn’t Pan out as Pros. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1126774-50-top-college-football-quarterbacks-who-didnt-pan-out-as-pros

Background: This source listed the top 50 college quarterbacks that didn’t pan out to be as good as they were in the NFL. It goes on to describe how their play was as college athletes and what went wrong as to why they weren’t as successful as they could have been.

How I Used It: I took some of the players from this list and compared them to Rams quarterback Jared Goff, duet the fact that my essay is about how Jared Goff is the worst NFC West quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. I discussed the fact that Goff is too young for the Rams to put full blown faith in to, and that there is plenty examples as to why they shouldn’t be hitting him with a big pay day.

2. McAtee, Riley. (2019, February 4). Jared Goff had the Worse Game of his Life on the Biggest Stage. Retrieved fromhttps://www.theringer.com/nfl/2019/2/4/18210099/jared-goff-los-angeles-rams-super-bowl-liii

Background: This article is about Jared Goff and his performance in the Super Bowl. It goes on to explain how the Rams had one of the worst offensive performances in Super Bowl history and listed his sub par stats. Beyond the numbers, the article tells us about how even his play was off, being late on throws and causing a false start.

How I Used It: What I pulled from this article weren’t his numbers, but focusing on how poor Goff’s play was and how sloppy he looked throughout the contest. This game was the worst offensive performance under coach Sean McVay, supporting my claim that Goff is a problem for LA.

3. https://www.profootballhof.com/news/super-bowl-starting-qbs/

Background: This source contains information about starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl. It tells us what starters played in the Super Bowl, how old they whereat the time, what college they went to, and the date that the Super Bowl took place.

How I Used It: What I pulled from this source was just information about what quarterbacks won their Super Bowls at their age, and then compared it to 24 year-old Jared Goff that had played in the most recent Super Bowl.

4. DaSilva, C. (2019, March 4). Signing Jared Goff to an extension this offseason would be a mistake. Retrieved from https://theramswire.usatoday.com/2019/03/04/nfl-rams-jared-goff-contract-extension-offseason/

Background: This article explains why the Los Angeles Rams should wait to sign Jared Goff to a long-term deal instead of rushing to sign him. A large part of this is because if they do sign him long term, they won’t have the money to sign players to positions that they need to either maintain or fill in.

How I Used It: I used the argument that Jared Goff simply isn’t good enough, and that if the Rams do decide to sign him to a long-term deal, he may begin to play lazy or even just the fact that they need to maintain the good players they already have on the roster in order for Goff to see an success in the future.

5. Ruiz, S. (2018, December 17). If Jared Goff is their future, the Rams are running out of time. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/12/nfl-rams-jared-goff-future-contract

Background: In this article, it goes into more depth about why the Rams should wait to sign Goff, and how if they do, it might be a horrible decision for LA. It talks about his current contract and it’s details but also gives information about how Rams coach Sean McVay criticized Goff and his play in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at home.

How I Used It: I used this article by taking what McVay said and really using it against Goff, giving him a bad look considering his coach is the one discussing Goff’s poor play. I also mentioned what the Rams should do with Goff, ultimately not signing him to a long term deal.

6. http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=0&statisticCategory=PASSING&qualified=true&season=2018&seasonType=REG

Background: This link will take you to a number of passing statistics in the NFL season, covering basically any numbers you could think of that are relevant to one’s performance. You can see not only how players threw the ball, but more importantly, how they threw the ball in the post season and how it compared to other passers. It also shows stats from just about every position on the field.

How I Used It: What I used from this source was mainly statistics of Goff’s teammates to prove the quality of the players he was competing with and how he failed to capitalize in a big moment like the Super Bowl even with the proper tools. I also brought up multiple stats from Goff’s playoff performances.

7. Ray, J. A. (2015, July 05). WHAT IS GREATNESS. Retrieved on March 10 2019 from https://www.jamesray.com/w0hat-is-greatness/

Background: In this article, James Arthur Ray discussed what makes an individual great and how greatness can be measured. Throughout the article, Ray defines that the word means and what one needs to do to be considered “great”. Ray offered questions regarding greatness, and answered them throughout the article.

How I Used It: I used this article by taking quotes from Ray’s article and applying it to Goff’s career. The things that describe greatness do not match what Goff has proved thus far in his career, and he has not proved that he is great nor shows signs of greatness.

8. Maske, M. (2019, February 03). Patriots beat Rams, 13-3, for a record-tying sixth Super Bowl championship. Retrieved on March 10 2019 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/patriots-beat-rams-13-3-for-a-record-tying-sixth-super-bowl-championship/2019/02/03/10992a8c-27f6-11e9-984d-9b8fba003e81_story.html?utm_term=.3970ea663fa9

Background: This article talks about the Super Bowl Goff competed in, Super Bowl 53, in which the Los Angeles Rams faced off against the New England Patriots. It goes into detail about what players from both teams had to say about the game and how they played during the contest.

How I Used It: What I in used this article was the numbers brought up on how the players performed, comparing the performance of 41 year-old Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to 24 year-old Jared Goff for the Rams, even though the numbers were comparable.

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Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

I just want to thank my classmates and Professor Hodges for helping me improve my papers. Throughout the semester, I looked for important ways to improve my writing. Having the option to ask for feedback please helped me with my rewrites. The feedback I received for my Casual Argument was awesome. At first, I was actually clueless and my second conference with Professor Hodges helped me jump start my argument. Learning ways I could grab my information out of sources or even shorting my argument into different paragraphs was a big key. As the semester started to slow down, I realized that I could now make better papers with just asking for feedback.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

At the beginning of the semester, I learned how to properly cite sources without committing plagiarism. Professor Hodges often explained to us that it’s okay to have a lot of sources in an argument. I realized the having different perspectives but the same position on an argument can help your argument. In my Research Paper, I used a lot of sources but also followed the correct APA format. Starting a conversation with the author claims helps to start a conversation a lot better than just the claim and page number. Classmates would comment on my post when spotting an error with my mechanics. I learn how to synthesize my ideas based on all on my sources named in my Research Paper.


Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Learning how to analyze the purpose of a piece is very important. In my visual rhetoric, I learned how to take information out of a piece without words. Finding the meaning of a piece by just going through a video second by seconds. My first post failed because of some bad techniques, but the feedback helped me improve. My Visual Rewrite was a lot better than the first one because I didn’t leave out information. The readers could now understand what’s going on and not be clueless throughout the visual. The feedback helped me improve my argument and gain better information from my sources.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

Throughout the semester, I found a lot of sources helping or arguing with my argument. Learning how to get sources from Google Scholar helped my Rebuttal Argument. The skills helped me pick out the best information and apply it to my argument without switching sides. My topic is very controversial, so it’s important to fall back from a lot of sources with the author’s opinions. Learning how to apply sources and finding ones with just information helped me with not just my Rebuttal, but all of my arguments.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

Appropriate citations are very important in this class. In Comp 1 we never used APA, but I had to learn fast because of that’s what we used in Comp 2. Taking somebody’s work without citing is just wrong. The skills I’ve learned in this class helped me be fair to all of the authors of my sources. I understand that it’s my responsibility to get ideas from the outside, but being fair by including the author in the sentence. Today, I understand how to properly cite in APA format and stay away from inside citations.

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Annotated Bibliography- MysteryLimbo

1.Hess, A. (2018, November 12). California is paying inmates $1 an hour to fight wildfires. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/14/california-is-paying-inmates-1-an-hour-to-fight-wildfires.html

Background: This article is about how California is paying inmates $1 an hour to fight wildfires. Abigail Hess goes into depth on how prisoners. In specific it is when prisoners volunteer as a firefighter and risking their lives just as much as regular firefighters. Hess’ working saying, “Roughly 14,000 firefighters battled the Mendocino fires. Among them were over than 2,000 inmates.” meaning there are enough inmates that serve in California to make further Hess’ argument. I used her work to show there are prisoners willing to risk their lives yet they get paid so little and no freedom.

How I used it: Throughout my research paper I used Hess’ article by making the comparison of firefighters in Mendocino, California showing that regular firefighters only outnumber inmate firefighters 7 to 1.   How I used Hess’ work was by displaying it eliminating any possible rebuttals of letting the opposition trying to discuss dangerous criminals participate. Dangerous criminals like a rapist, murders, and other violent criminal are not allowed to participate in the program.

2.Goss, J., & Hayes, J. (2018, February). California’s Changing Prison Population. Retrieved from https://www.ppic.org/publication/californias-changing-prison-population/

Background: The work done by Joseph Hayes and Justin Goss is showing California’s prison population is decreasing from being one of the highest in the country to a steady decrease of over time. That is due to fiscal reform and new legislation.

How I used it: I used  Joseph Hayes and Justin Goss works to show that there is only a certain amount of power that the state government could have. The federal government has more money and would be able to with each state wear

3.Haynes, Chrysse. “The First Step Act.” Equal Justice Under Law, 30 Aug. 2018, equaljusticeunderlaw.org/thejusticereport/2018/8/21/the-first-step-act-a-pros-and-cons-list.

Background: The background behind the first step act is that mass incarceration is becoming a growing certain for many. The more as time passes the more educated people will get on the subject. The first step act enables criminals to collect credit while in prison to get a lighter sentence. The step act is known as the most recent activity for prison reform.

How I used it: I used the first step act because it shows that bipartisan does exist today in the United States. Both sides are still willing to move with one another. The first step act is weak and I drove that point home in my paper. The first step act only affects those the government decided to hand pick in prison. The non-violent offenders should all have the shed of light.

4.J., Amos. (2013). Crime Rates Linked To Educational Attainment, 2013 Alliance Report Finds. Retrieved from

Background: The background behind this article is there’s a direct link between the lack of education and crime rates. Crime is something everyone should care about because safety is arguably something one should care about the most. Your safety is what matters the most but when the people in prison have done nothing violent and still have to sit in a cell for the rest of their life. That just isn’t fair considering these people most likely weren’t the most privileged and isn’t educated.

How I used it: I used this article by Amos by using discussing how important education is. The spread of information and propaganda can be simply diffused by education. An educated society is very possible in America. Politicians need to invest in the future rather than temporary fixes. Using this article to show that education plays such a huge role and politician rather keep people uneducated and in prison. There is a generation of prisoners and it is sad to see the same people in the system.

5.Highest to Lowest – Prison Population Total. (2018). Retrieved from


Background: The work done by prison studies is simply the list of the prison population. The prison population beginning with the highest population all the way to the bottom. The study was done at Birkbeck University giving the research validity.How I used It: I used this article by introducing the stats that the university published. I compared the number of prisoners from each country. I found and analyzed the United States has the highest prisoner population and it only gets worse with more people being arrested every day. The justice system is biased to those with money and it seemly ignores money and that’s why so many people are in prison due to lack of fund or education.

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Research Rewrite: Nina

Distinguishing Euthanasia and
Physician Assisted Suicide

When speaking of incurable diseases and the suffering of patients with mental disorders, two options are made available. The first being euthanasia, the second being physician assisted suicide. Euthanasia is a method of the painless killing of a patient who is suffering a painful or incurable disease. The procedure is take place is a hospitable area and the patient is instructed by doctors and other medical professionals of the results of the procedure. In physician assisted suicide, if approved by a doctor and several other medical professionals, a patient does not necessarily have to suffer from an incurable disease to have approval of participating in the procedure.

Next, the biggest difference is the process of which both procedures occur. In euthanasia, once the patient is diagnosed with the terminal disease, if the doctor suggests or offers euthanasia as an alternative from suffering, the patient will make their decision. If the patient decides to prolong the procedure, he or she will than have to inform their family and complete counseling following up to the procedure. Then, the day of the procedure a drug know as pentobarbital is given to the patient by either IV or injection. Pentobarbital eventually makes the patient unconscious in one to two minutes and shuts down the brain and heart functions.

Next, there are three forms of euthanasia, voluntary, non-voluntary, and involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is done with the patients consent, and the patient understands his or her decision. Non-voluntary euthanasia is when the procedure is conducted on someone who was unable to consent due to their current health condition. In that scenario, another appropriate person, on the patients behalf can make the decision.

Lastly, involuntary euthanasia is when the patient or a person is able to give consent but doesn’t and is forced to go through the procedure against their will. To complete the procedure, there are two options the patient has active and passive. Passive euthanasia is when a medical professional offers strong doses of medication which will eventually become toxic to the patient. Active euthanasia is the use of a lethal substance to end a patients life. Active euthanasia is commonly argued and countered against moral, ethical, and religious reasoning.

On the other hand, in assisted suicide is more self reliant procedure. An individual will be administered a strong prescription of drugs.The patient has to sign a total of six to seven times a consent form for the procedure from the day they sign for the procedure to the day of. The reason for many signatures is so the patient doesn’t feel as though they have to proceed in the operation after changing his or her mind. Alongside the paper work, yet another form is asked to be signed 48 hours prior to the operation.

Next, the day of the procedure the participant is given a bottle of prescription pills authorized by a doctor. With a physician alongside him or her, the participant is instructed to take the pills which will slowly put the patient into a deep coma. The patient is allowed to decide when he or she is ready to take the prescription drug.

Another means of difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide is the state of where each procedure can be performed. Active human euthanasia is legal outside the U.S in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Columbia, and Canada. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. In the U.S, assisted suicide is legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Hawaii, Colorado, and California. Retrieved from https://www.deathwithdignity.org/learn/access”>Death by Dignity law.

This law allows terminally ill, qualified adults voluntarily request and receive a prescription drug to hasten their death. One of the most important elements when discussing assisted suicide is the state of mind the patient is in when making the decision. All states that have an active Death with Dignity law require that the patient has no history of extreme mental illness and is competent to make decisions. Though many who believe this counters the right to choose death at your own call, physicians and other medical professionals would not want patients applying for assisted suicide based on a drive of emotions.

What Makes a Person Want to Die

In the mix of Euthanasia and Assisted suicide taking part of how patients choose to die. We should move our focus to why people choose to voluntarily proceed with either procedure. Whether it be because of mental illness or incurable diseases. Individuals believe that they should have the right to choose death for it is a right for people to decide their own fate, not doctors and other medical professionals.

For example, Robert Schwartz, a man who was tested positively for AIDS and suffered many health complications due to his diagnosis. he then decided to take part in the Death by Dignity law to stop his pain and suffering. Through out his journey, not only did his health complications take part in his decision but his personal life and relationships embeded a huge toll onto is final decision . Further down the road of his journey to death, he demonstrated signs of emotional distress, leading to depression. He faced emotional down falls with his lover who would lie, and steal from him during the long road of his process. Depression played a huge role in his decision to pursue death over life. Although Robert made his decision, through out the process the more his lover disappointed his lover made him, the more hopeless he felt.

This shows exactly how much of a toll depression has on a persons decision to choose death. If we allow people to choose death due to depression, we will be regulating suicide and eventually not accept programs such as mentoring and psychology as an option for coping or help. As mentioned earlier, the Death by Dignity Law is active in only 5 states in the U.S. If someone has the resources to choose death, and it is an option. More will be willing to take that route.

Physician assisted suicide was introduced to the United States in 1997, in Oregon. Citizens were made aware of the law and since then, 991 patients have ended their lives with a strong prescribed medication given under law. Many of those who participated were not diagnosed with a terminal illness. Though it seems as though many are choosing to die rather than live, the reason can be supported by the idea of utilitarian ideal. Humans have a say in their moral destiny and can choose death over life and vice versa if their decision means they would be happy. But if we allow for anyone to choose death, even when death isn’t the utilitarian alternative, we will make suicide a solution for anyone.

Another cause of assisted suicide besides illness and depression, is due to the option of suicide being available. If we allowed for assisted suicide in teens and other adults it will cause of number of mass suicide in teens because the option to die is available. This will occur because no one will look to the first alternative options of IPT and CBT when the outcome they want is at the tip of their fingers. The slippery slope argument is that we want to respect the wishes of those who want to be assisted in their suicide, but if we allow euthanasia for the elderly and not the youth, it wont be utilitarian because the respect of other peoples wishes will be denied. Yet to allow this can lead to mass assisted suicide in teens, young adults, and in elders.

Physicians Approve Assisted Suicide

Physicians argue that if patients are eligible for assisted suicide, it will contribute to the utilitarian ways of the rights of human beings. But, if encourage individuals to choose when they die with no legitimate reason all because it is “utilitarian” is morally unethical. This will lead to a number of people asking for assisted suicide due to a drive of emotions only because the option is available.

This practice not only affects the person pursuing the procedure, it passes on the suffering to other similar people, who will fear they are the next person to be seen as having a worthless life. Physicians will counter this argument that their jobs are to be healers and ease pain. Although assisted suicide may help relieve a patient of pain and suffering, the role of a healer is incompatible and would cause more harm than good.

To continue, there was a survey handed out my mail in Washington D.C directly to Physicians. Of the 1600 survey mailed, only a select 1139 replied to the questions asked. The physicians were ask how many request they have received from citizens for assisted suicide, how many of them had families, and to report if they have had any prior experience in assisted suicide. After the survey was completed, it was reported that of the ones who responded, reported that over 140 people on average have applied for assisted suicide. But, nearly only only 10 to 12% of medical professionals have completed the procedure.

Physicians would continue to argue that Physician Assisted Suicide (P.A.S) is like autonomy and bodily integrity as a marriage or relationship. Patients can determine what they want to commit to and when. On the contrary, this would be giving doctors and specialist the choice of whether or not you are eligible to receive P.A.S. Professionals and legislatures will have the power to choose who lives and who dies. We have the right to pursue life, not to pursue death.

Yet another physicians obligation to assisted suicide is that their job is to assist in helping people die more comfortably by easing the pain through a series of painless options for the procedure. In contrast, the physicians job is to tell the patient whats wrong and offer options of healing. Physicians are not operating the procedures because patients have six months, and even a forty-eight hour reassurance period up to the day of the procedure to decide if P.A.S is a remaining option.

Most conversations that surround abolishing the law in places where assisted suicide is legal has been introduced. In Oregon, one of the seven states in America where assisted suicide is legal show fear of the opponents of law who want to abolish the Death with Dignity law. Many are astonished that they will have to face chronic, agonizing, pain rather then the option of assisted suicide. Though facing this dilemma will rise questions about the fate of ill citizens, assisted suicide is a profit driven system. Meaning, insurers and physicians are doing what is the ” cheaper” option rather than a series of expensive treatments and medicine. So, if an insurer were to deny someone of assisted suicide, the only fatal measure is clinics losing money from unperformed operations.

Lastly, we cannot forget that not only are humans given euthanasia. but our very own animals are as well. But , why is it that we are more acceptable to end the suffering of animals by inducing death, but expect human beings to push through their pain and live as long as they possibly could? This is simply because, we are not animals. In this video by Advokate Life and Education Services, we are taught to not let our animals suffer and to give them the best option possible.

As humans we cannot detect animals and their feelings, therefore when humans hear that an animal is suffering or dying, we make the journey easier for them and induce a heavy sedative to end the suffering. On the other hand, when human suffer from incurable diseases or are diagnosed with depression for say, we are taught to value life over death. Therefore, modern medicine is considered more suitable for human beings rather than assisted suicide or euthanasia.

The weight of being diagnosed with depression or an incurable disease results in weary thoughts and takes a toll on the patient. If P.A.S or euthanasia is a common response to handling these issues, we will teach others who suffer that suicide is the appropriate response to curing themselves.



Asch, D. A. (2017, May 23). The Role of Critical Care Nurses in Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide | NEJM. Retrieved from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199605233342106

D’Antoni, T. (2014, October 26). Robert’s Story:Dying with Dignity (Improved video). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO_NAbjYvUY

Diekstra, R. F. W., & DIEKSTRA, R. F. W. (1995). Dying in dignity: The pros and cons of assisted suicide. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 49(1), S139-S148. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1819.1995.tb01917.x

Gopal, A. A. (2015, June 01). Physician-Assisted Suicide: Considering the Evidence, Existential Distress, and an Emerging Role for Psychiatry. Retrieved from http://jaapl.org/content/43/2/183

How to Access and Use Death with Dignity Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.deathwithdignity.org/learn/access

Nathansen, S. (n.d.). Act and Rule of Utilitarianism. Retrieved from https://www.iep.utm.edu/util-a-r/

Peirce, J. (2011, November 29). Human and Animal Euthanasia: Dare to Compare? Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-dogs-go-heaven/201111/human-and-animal-euthanasia-dare-compare

Services, A. L. (2014, November 25). Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide FAQ – Video 1. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk0_X7Yb7jA

Smietana, B. (2017, August 23). Most Americans Say Assisted Suicide is Morally Acceptable. Retrieved from https://lifewayresearch.com/2016/12/06/most-americans-say-assisted-suicide-is-morally-acceptable/

Top 10 Pro & Con Arguments. (2018, September 10). Retrieved from https://euthanasia.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000126

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biggarz-self reflection

  1. Core Value I: Understand that writing is a practice that involves a multi-stage, recursive, and social process. (In particular, students should address how they have engaged in self-directed revision.)

This was beaten into my brain not only this year but since I have been writing essays. It is crazy that no matter how many times you change something it isn’t always perfect. This course really showed how important the writing process is. We wrote three mini essays and each one we had to revise.

2.  Core Value II. Understand that close and critical reading/analysis allows writers to understand how and why texts create meaning.

This was done with the visual rhetoric assignment. The understanding to really look closely at things like short videos and picking each second of it and analyzing what it means.

3. Core Value III. Understand that writing is shaped by audience, purpose, and context.

This I feel is an extremely important skill to have not just in writing, but in life. Before an interview or something of importance make sure you know the audience and why you are saying what you are saying. For the course it is easy, every paper we write the audience is always the teacher.

4. Core Value IV. Understand the role of information literacy in the practice of writing.

One big thing about research papers is reading. Reading and understanding what you read is extremely important for when you want to communicate it with your audience. For example one should understand his sources before using it in the paper.

5. Core Value V. Understand the ethical dimensions of writing.

Writing is a powerful tool. It can be perceived in many ways and have endless combinations with words. However you have to have great responsibility with it meaning no plagiarism and making sure everything has the correct citations.

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Definition Rewrite- Jets1313

High Profile Lawyers: Their Role in and Unbalanced Criminal Justice System

High profile lawyers and an unbalanced criminal justice system coinside with each other. Our justice system is one that needs a tramendous amount of work especially when it comes to wealth discrimination. However, this form of discrimination starts with the lawyers. Celebrities will obviously achieve to obtain the best lawyer they can find when being accused of a crime. The average person is already at a disadvantage because lawyers that are not public defenders can cost thousands of dollars. Lawyers of high stature cause a ripple in our system because they have been known to find legitimate ways to keep their clients out of jail. They also are known to simaltaneously use shameless self promotion when in the media for their own benefit. These methods that they use are another reason the justice system is plumetting. There is a criminal justice system for the average person, and then a completely different one for high class people, and that is something that needs to be changed in this country.

High profile lawyers primerily take cases that involve celebrities, this means that they are paid more generously by their clients. High profile lawyers by definition are well-respected lawyers of higher notoriety in our justice system, that are able to gain media attention and are only available to people with a lot of money. Usually, the only clientele that can afford this type of lawyer is also of a higher profile or is wealthy. As explained in an article written by H. Patrick Furman called “Publicity in High Profile Criminal Cases”, these lawyers also have connections and power in the media that is higher than that of a public defender. This means that a client of higher status may have more options and plea deals at the time of sentencing because a jury may have formed an opinion influenced by a tabloid. This will allow an unfair trial to take place for the client, possibly because of the lawyers’ reputation. Lawyers of this stature do not typically use legitimate strategies when it comes to defending and keeping their clients out of jail. However, this is tolorated because the lawyer may once again have a favorable reputation. Winning the case is the ideal situation for these lawyers. However, one of the most important things about representing a celebrity for a lawyer is the exposure they get afterwars. This exposure can be very beneficial to the lawyer. It is also explained in the article by Furman that “it seemed that the lawyers spent more time in front of the camera than in front of the bench. Ironically, after the trial, half of the lawyers got their own television shows.” This proves the definition above, and leaves you wondering if money is the only motivation for these lawyers.

The criminal justice system has never and will never have a perfectly balanced system based on two things, guilty and not guilty. In the more recent years, it seems that the justice system has gotten better at trying to be fair and serve justice where it is needed. Unfortunately, one of the setbacks to the development of an equal justice system is that not all people have access to the same kind of defense from a lawyer. People who are wealthy are beginning to have an easier time in court. Many people who are accused of committing a crime have to make use of the public defender they are given. What many dont know is that public defenders take on a lot oof cases at once since they are not paid as much, and this is not fair considering that their clients case is not getting enough attention for it to be successful. An unbalanced criminal justice system is a system by which the courts treat a person differently than they treat other people because of their status. According to an article titled “Celebrity Justice” by John Gibeaut “advocates say today’s unmatched effort at secrecy cheats the public out of its First Amendment right to observe and criticize the system through its surrogates in the press. Ideally, public oversight is supposed to keep the system honest.” Also, if a person is of a higher status it should be expected by themselves and whoever is representing them that it is inevitable that the case will somehow get into the media. A low profile case may not end up in the media and all over tabloids, but, that does not mean that the infromation is not public. It seems that the advantages for wealthy people are endless, while the disadvantages for the average person keep piling up on the other end. John Gilbeaut thinks that this type of separation helps to “[create] the appearance of a two-tiered justice system-one for celebrities and the other for everyone else-media”. It is further explained that our justice system is unbalanced and unjust when it comes to higher profile cases. It should not matter who you are, no alligations should be ignored and everyone should be held accountable for their actions.

It is not difficult to understand that high profile lawyers find their way around the system. Their methods are known to be unlawful and discriminatory, they are also known for gaining a lot of media attention while representing someone that everyone knows. It is unclear what the motive behind their work actually is. It is entirely possible that high profile lawyers are only defending a majority of these people because they are wealthy. I can not think of a case where a high profile lawyer did something or represented someone that did not have a lot of money. Also, people of the lower and middle class a lot of the time do not have access to these kinds of lawyers, therefore they do no get the same type of representation. Everyone should be able to get the same type of representation, without wealth discrimination and no one should be above the law. That is what is wrong with our criminal justice system today.


Gibeaut, J. (2005). Celebrity justice. ABA Journal, 91(1), 43-49.

Furman, H. (1998). Publicity in high profile criminal cases. St. Thomas Law Review, 10(3), 507-536.

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biggarz-visual rhetoric


I see nothing too special. Smokey the bear as an animoji, some kids smiling, a tent, a forest of pine trees to the left and regular trees on the right. Grass looks dry and dead like winter is approaching. Same with the trees


Bear starts to talk. Background has no change kids are now gone.


Background remains the same still. Bear is not actually smokey it is Steven Colbert. Bear winks.


Balloons show up. 75 year anniversary for smokey the bear. Voice goes to smokey and says his famous line. Back to Colbert after though.


Still Steven Colbert as Smokey. Bear is still centered and the main focus. Background is blurred out.


Kids and tent are back. They look happy then automatically sad after Smokey says 90% of wildfires are started by us humans


Going on about wildfires


Grill pops up. Dumping leftover coals can be harmful.


Blaming the fires on humans still. “We started the fire.” Fire emojis around the grass


Still the fire emojis. They’re gone back to only smokey. Now saying he loves trees no matter the scented kinds or coniferous.


No more animoji. Now it is just a graphic of smokey holding his balloon for 75 years being alive. Brown background. Has patches for the foundations

My experience with this video was overall a good one. It was pretty simple to understand and the message was very clear. I personally thought that this video was a great example of all three. However, it was more along the lines of pathos because it appealed to emotions mostly being bright and fun. However getting acoss an important message.

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