Writing 39C Advocacy Paper

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Writing 39C Advocacy Paper: It’s time to Protect the Sacramento-san Joaquin Delta

Organizing the Advocacy

Part I: Introduce the problem

The first section of your paper, anywhere from one paragraph to two pages, should introduce your problem. In this process, you need to give your reader ample information from diverse sources, so that he/she can understand the problem. At the same time, you need to convince your reader that your problem is one that he/she should be interested in solving.

I remember very clearly the first time I saw a unicorn. I was seven years old, and I had been out in the woods all day hunting for wild mushrooms. After several hours of searching, I realized that I was lost. Of course I was instantly terrified, and began to cry. Before my first tear could even hit the ground, a proud white unicorn strode up behind me. She knelt down so I could get onto her back, and she took me straight home, humming a sweet song along the way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 79,000 lost children were saved by unicorns between 2000 and 2005. This staggering number makes abundantly clear that these animals are more than just beautiful creatures to behold; they keep our nation’s children safe from harm. Although many of us never see the elusive creatures, they are always around us, working to protect us.

Unfortunately, despite their beauty and caring nature, illegal unicorn hunting has become immensely popular over the last twenty years. According to James Smiley, spokesman for the Unicorn Protection Agency (UPA), over 5,000 unicorns were killed for sport in 2005 (54). This number is made all the more startling when you realize that there are only 15,000 unicorns remaining in the wild in North America, and fewer than 4,000 in the United States (Laughlin 43).

There are no defensible reasons for this mass slaughter. John Abrams, founder of the outlaw Unicorn Hunter’s Club, claims on his website that “Unicorns are actually vicious creatures that kill more children than they save, and it is our job as responsible citizens to eliminate this threat to our families.” Abrams’ claims, however, have no basis in fact. In a multi-university research study that tracked the patterns of 600 Montana unicorns, the animals killed or hurt no children at all, and returned 763 children to their homes in a three year period (Folds 88). Jennifer Folds, who holds a Ph.D. in Zoology and was lead investigator in the study, writes that “[e]ven when threatened, unicorns have never been known to attack humans. Unfortunately, this very fact makes them an easy target for hunters. These intelligent creatures simply will not exhibit aggressive behavior, not even against those trying to kill them” (89).

Folds makes it very clear that unicorns are harmless to children and are intelligent animals that should be spared unfair persecution.

Transitioning to Part II: Explaining your solution

In this section of your paper, you need to introduce your solution to the problem and explain why it is the best solution. Give a clear and complete explanation of the policy you advocate, and indicate which parts of the policy you will focus upon. Conclude the paragraph(s) with your thesis, which should make clear why your policy is the best solution.

Groups such as the UPA have been agitating on behalf of unicorns for over twenty years now, with little success. Thankfully, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy has introduced the Unicorn Protection Act (S.9999). In a recent speech to the Senate, Kennedy explained that his bill

undertakes a three-pronged approach to the problem. First, it provides “haven forests” for unicorns, which are surrounded by high fences that only unicorns and birds can fly over. Second, it stiffens the penalties against those convicted of unicorn hunting, making the crime a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Finally, it sets up a series of educational outlets, including television commercials, that help the American public understand that, despite myths to the contrary, unicorns are gentle, intelligent creatures.

This bill is the best solution to this problem because it cuts right to the two causes of the problem—permissive laws and ignorance—while providing unicorns with a safe living option while these two changes take effect. Unlike other bills which defer the problem by suggesting we do more studies of unicorns or even worsen the problem by suggesting the institution of a unicorn hunting license, this bill ensures that we will lessen the number of people who want to kill unicorns in the long run through education and legal penalties, and we can protect unicorns in the short run by providing safe havens for them.

Part II: Support of your solution as the best available solution

Here is where you support your assertion of why your plan is best with researched evidence. Make sure that in these paragraphs you explain what it is about the plan that gives it this superiority and quote from the plan as necessary. Cite detailed data from good sources to show how the plan would work to justify this reason, that is, how it would address the problem (who exactly would it affect, and how). You may quote the general conclusions of experts, but also give specific examples of the kind of evidence on which these conclusions are based. Deal with potential objections to the reasons you provide to support your assertions. Be sure to split overly long paragraphs into sub-topic paragraphs. As always, help readers follow the logical flow from point to point and from paragraph to paragraph by providing transitions. This section should also include paragraphs in which you explain why alternatives to your solution are inferior to it.

 No matter what we decide to do to stop the killing of unicorns, we need to establish a short-term solution that protects unicorns in the meantime; S.9999 does just this by setting up unicorn habitats. The bill goes into detail about the plan to set up unicorn habitats: “In every state that has a unicorn population, 100 acres of federal parkland should be set aside for unicorn habitat. Fences should limit human access to this land. The fences should be built so that the smaller animals in the habitat will be able to pass through them, but humans will not be able to penetrate the fences.” The plan is reasonable, logical, and relatively inexpensive. As its foes point out, however, it does not come without costs. Wiley Wilson, op-ed writer for The New York Times, wondered in a recent article: “Won’t this just disrupt our nation’s forests by putting ugly fences in the middle of nature’s majesty and getting in the way of other animals? Are unicorns really worth the trouble?” (A13). Timothy Wanderlust, well known animal rights activist, responded to this concern in The Nation, writing that “although these fences will initially be disruptive to the environments…long term damage over ten years will be negligible” (14). Clearly, a relatively minor sacrifice to save this wonderful species is well worth it. Chuck Tucker, a fence expert based in the city of Long Beach, California, explains that new fence technology has resulted in incredibly strong fences that are less expensive and less visible that older fence technology. In an interview with the author, Chuck explained that “I could put a fence around your bed while you slept, and when you got up you’d walk right into it. They blend right into their surroundings.” The fences will be minimally disruptive to both animals and humans who also enjoy our nation’s parks, while saving unicorn lives.

A second problem with the habitat program—that young unicorns often can’t fly well enough to get over the fences—also proves to be a false concern. [paragraph continues.]

While the habitats are protecting unicorns, judges will begin putting unicorn killers behind bars for the first time…[paper continues].

Obviously, the Unicorn Protection Act provides a comprehensive solution to the problem of unicorn hunting. Several other plans have been advanced, but each is deeply flawed. For example, Senator Bill Frist’s proposal to create a special unicorn hunting license in order to cut down on the practice is both cruel and ineffective. Frist suggests we offer a limited number of very expensive licenses for unicorn hunting, in order to limit its practice. As researcher John Wong, author of Unicorns Are Our Friends, points out, Frist misses the point altogether, in that his plan doesn’t work to eliminate this cruel practice (45). Even more problematic is that unicorn hunting is already illegal, and this bill doesn’t provide a way of punishing those who hunt without the license any more severely that they are already punished. Finally, as Wong goes on to suggest, people will continue to fear unicorns, and to want them to die, because the bill provides no fund for education of the public on this issue.