Essay/Term paper: Justice
Essay, term paper, research paper: Argumentative Essays
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Justice is something everyone deserves, but it isn"t always what they get. Justice can be unfair at home, school, and even in the workplace.
Siblings always seem to complain about chores. This family member may get too many, while another doesn"t get enough. Chores are an argument because they aren"t exactly done willingly.
Privileges are another reason to fight. If one brother gets to go out until 12 o"clock, the other should have the same curfew. That"s not always the case. An excuse such as he"s older, or he has plans. If they are the same age, or close to it, the curfew should be the same. (This is true unless it"s a punishment.) Another example of this would be when one sister uses the car all week, while her brother has to ride his bike. No one deserves the car more, so there should be equal amounts of use.
Another place where injustices occur is at school. Budging in the lunch-line, pop quizzes, homework, detentions, and cheating are just a few of the complaints that occur at school.
Budging, whether in the lunch-line or the bathroom line, is completely unfair. (Unless, of course, you"re the person budging.) A line is formed as a way to make everyone wait the same. The whole system is ruined if someone budges. Budging is rarely caught, but when it is, the punishment is severe. The person who budged usually has to go to the end of the line. The only problem with this is that people aren"t caught often enough.
Cheating is yet another of the unfair practices that go on in school. This kind of deceit is a no-win situation. The assignment was given for a reason, and it defeats the purpose if someone cheats to get it done. The student will not learn the lesson, so when it is time to take the test, they"ll most likely flunk. There is no excuse for cheating. The teacher was probably available for help if they were struggling, and if they didn"t have time, that"s not an excuse. This is also something that isn"t caught enough. If it was, there wouldn"t be this problem.
Probably the place where the most injustices occur is the workplace. People will eventually need jobs, and usually they spend most of their time at their jobs. Employers, employees, and even customers experience these unfair acts, but they also initiate some.
When a potential employee is applying for a job, it is illegal for the employer to judge someone on their age, sex, religion, race, creed, handi-caps, or status. This is not always the case. Employers can base their judgments on morals or even prejudices. This is unfair because the employer doesn"t even get to know the applicant. As soon as the employer sees the person, their mind is made up as to if they will hire the applicant or not. The employers will continue to do this because there really isn"t a way to prove this.
Promotions never seem to be fair because the person who complains is usually jealous. Thoughts of why didn"t I or what did he do fill their head. To make it seem like they"re not jealous, they get upset over promotions. Promotions usually
entail more money, a new office, or even a company car.
At home, school, or even the workplace, things aren"t always fair. In the American society, these injustices are considered every day life. Things need to change, but a tree can"t grow overnight. To change practices like these, it takes time.
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Students will read and respond to the YES! Magazine article, “I Can’t Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe.” In this story, author and entrepreneur Gerald Mitchell wrestles with the enormity of the situation in Ferguson and the unjust deaths of so many unarmed Black Americans by police. He takes an honest look at himself to see how he’s part of the problem, and commits to joining others in building a better world of justice for all.
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YES! Magazine Article and Writing Prompt
Read the YES! Magazine article by Gerald Mitchell, "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe."
Gerald Mitchell feels that the root of the mistreatment and tragic deaths of unarmed Black people is not just racist police practices. The cause also stems from inhumane, exploitative societal practices, like shopping at places that don't pay their workers enough to support their families, that all of us—consciously or not—participate in and support every day.
We can start acknowledging our problem by realizing that there is always a human being on the other side of our actions. As we are all part of the problem, we also are all part of the solution in gaining justice for Black people and beyond.
Like Gerald Mitchell, dig deep to identify and explain how you personally can treat people more justly. Describe what treating people fairly and humanely looks like to you. How might your actions make a difference where you live (school and community)? In greater society?
The writing guidelines below are intended to be just that—a guide. Please adapt to fit your curriculum.
- Provide an original essay title
- Reference the article
- Limit the essay to no more than 700 words
- Pay attention to grammar and organization
- Be original. provide personal examples and insights
- Demonstrate clarity of content and ideas
This writing exercise meets several Common Core State Standards for grades 6-12, including W. 9-10.3 and W. 9-10.14 for Writing, and RI. 9-10 and RI. 9-10.2 for Reading: Informational Text.*
*This standard applies to other grade levels. "9-10" is used as an examples.
The essays below were selected as winners for the Fall 2015 Student Writing Competition. Please use them as sample essays or mentor text. The ideas, structure, and writing style of these essays may provide inspiration for your own students' writing—and an excellent platform for analysis and discussion.
Stay Tuned to Change the World by Cate Landry, Grade 8
Read Cate's essay about how TV can educate us on the endless opportunities to create change.
A Deafening Silence by Amani Lazarus, Grade 8
Read Amani's essay about how we can't stand quietly while others scream in pain, that we must speak for those who have been silenced by social injustice.
Black Girl, White Space by Naomi Blair, High School Junior
Read Naomi's essay about the prejudice she faces in her AP Class and the experiment she is doing to expose it.
Love: Free of Fear and Judgement by Karen Jordan, High School Senior
Read Karen's essay about how feeling better in her own skin has helped her see the potential in our society.
Compassionate Communities by Elizabeth Schmidt, Kent State University
Read Elizabeth's essay about the importance of regaining the depth in our feelings so that we may live with awareness and connect with the rest of the world.
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