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Please consider the following points as you read the rough draft; check off and write COMMENTS for EACH editing point below to improve the assignment (please read ALL). Thank you for your careful consideration of your classmate’s writing.

_____ Title:  Is the title appropriate, telling/informative, or needs improvement? Why/How?

_____ Thesis statement:  Is the thesis statement/purpose clear from the outset?

______Introduction: Does the introduction create interest?  Sets the scene? How?

______ Specific details to support position:  Cite two to three specific details the writer uses to support their claims about the ethical issue. Is the evidence sufficient?

_____ Logical organization:  Easy flow of ideas from one point to the next?  Paragraphs arranged in a logical manor? Transitions from point to point?

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_____ Are there any issues with spelling, punctuation, grammar?

_____ Conclusion:  Does the writer summarize the main points of emphasis relating back to the thesis statement?  Is there a clear call to action?

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How about ”

Should the Death Penalty be Abolished?”

College Rankings: Fact or Fiction
Every year, students from all over the country apply to colleges and universities
in hopes that they are accepted for enrollment. These colleges range in different prices
of tuition, location, and programs they have to offer to their prospective and enrolled
students. So, the question remaining is, which one is best for the student? Some may
say it is the one that has the better program for their major, while others may say the
one with the best reputation. Overall, students often look to college rankings to better
aid them in their decision-making process, regardless of what would be the best
personal fit for them.
It is widely known that Ivy League institutions are considered to be some of the
highest-ranking universities in the country due to what they can do for their students
while enrolled and after graduation. For example, one well-known benefit that can come
from graduating from an Ivy League is a higher salary, especially when first starting out.
According to the US Department of Education, the average salary of bachelor degree
graduates is $55,700 (“Income of Young Adults”). However, the average salaries of Ivy
League graduates are around $73,000 with the top ten percent making over $200,000
on a yearly basis (Ingraham). It is also recognized that Ivy Leagues can provide great
networking opportunities. In fact, “The Ivy League is renowned for its solid and
welcoming alumni networks…After graduating, not only are you equipped with a worldclass education, you are now part of an elite group of graduates. attending an Ivy can
provide you with the resources and contacts needed to get your foot-in-the-door at
world-renowned companies and agencies” (“Are Ivy League Schools Worth It? 4 Benefits
to Consider”). In other words, attending an Ivy League may increase your value in
competitive job markets.
While it is true that there are possible benefits to attending a high-ranking
university, to what extent are the rankings credible? Katie Burns, Former Senior Assistant
Director of Admissions at MIT, claims that, “methodologies for college rankings are
usually quite limited. Not only that, but sometimes a huge portion of ranking is made up
of the opinion of a few high-up individuals at universities across the country”
(Farrington). From this it can be determined that these rankings are created from a large
bias that favor the interests of said individuals. This then questions the validity of the
rankings to some degree. Furthermore, this bias could be related to the large financial
influence upon the ranking of the colleges. Brady Norvall, founder of the education life
coaching firm, FindaBetterU, states, “We know that money creates higher rankings and
higher rankings then brings in more money…Therefore, the ranking system is just a
judgment of an institution’s capacity to fundraise and spend their money on the shiny
aspects which rankings identify as valuable” (Farrington). In conclusion, the partisanship
that underlies these prestigious colleges questions the validity of their rankings.
…………..
Should the Death Penalty be Abolished?
Capital punishment, or the death penalty, refers to the process in which a convicted
offender is sentenced to death for committing a capital offense (Bureau of Justice
Statistics, 2021). The death penalty has existed for centuries with the first death penalty
laws being established as early as the eighteenth century B.C. and the first recorded
execution occurring in 1608. The U.S. federal government lists numerous crimes that are
punishable by death including espionage and treason, but mainly consist of various
types of murder (ProCon, 2021). Incarcerated offenders who are sentenced to death and
awaiting execution are known to be “on death row.” According to the Death Penalty
Information Center (DPIC), all prisoners currently on death row were convicted for
murder. I believe that the death penalty should be abolished for numerous reasons: [list
reasons].
Who are we to decide who lives and dies in this world? As the American Civil Liberties
Union (ACLU) states, “…the state should not give itself the right to kill human beings especially when it kills with premeditation and ceremony, in the name of law or in the
name of its people, and when it does so in arbitrary and discriminatory fashion” (ACLU,
2022). The ACLU goes onto condemn capital punishment as it goes against the
fundamental values of our democratic system. Likewise, the death penalty violates the
Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and unusual punishment.
Moreover, the death penalty system is discriminatory due to its dependence on
socioeconomic status, access to skilled attorneys, race, and location. Minorities are more
likely to be executed than their white counterparts, especially if the victim is white.
Additionally, the death penalty is wasteful. It wastes taxpayer money and fails to
contribute to public safety. When surveyed, police chiefs around the nation ranked
capital punishment least effective in reducing violent crime (ACLU, 2022).
All in all, the death penalty is unethical and goes against the core values of our
democratic system.

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