The following paragraph recently appeared in an editorial printed in the opinion section of a local newspaper:
The recent surge in violence in the southern part of the city is a result of a shortage of police officers and an absence of leadership on the part of the city council. In order to rectify the burgeoning growth of crime that threatens the community, the city council must address this issue seriously. Instead of spending time on peripheral issues such as education quality, community vitality, and job opportunity, the city council must realize that the crime issue is serious and double the police force, even if this action requires budget cuts from other city programs.
Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. In your discussion be sure to analyze the line of reasoning and use the evidence in the argument. For example, you may need to consider what questionable assumptions underlie the thinking and what alternative explanations or counterexamples might weaken the conclusion. You can also discuss what sort of evidence would strengthen or refuse the argument, what changes in the argument would make it more logically sound, and what, if anything, would help you better evaluate its conclusion.
Download AWA sample essay (.pdf) responding to this prompt.
What is being created here is a culture of victimhood in which 'Islamophobia' has become one-stop cause of the myriad of problems facing Muslims. Take, for instance, the social problems which beset Muslim communities. The figures are truly appalling. Bangladeshis and Pakistanis (who comprise most of Muslims in this country) are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than are whites. Average earnings among Muslim men are 68 per cent that of non-Muslim men. 65 per cent of Bangladeshis are semi-skilled manual workers compared with 23 per cent among other ethnic minorities and 15 per cent among white Britons. Fifty four per cent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi homes receive income support. In 2000, 30 per cent of Pakistani students gained five or more good GCSEs, compared with 50 per cent in the population as a whole.