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Creative Writing: The Death Penalty

Consider a particular position you've taken, a plan you're making, a direction you plan to head off into. This can be any kind of issue: why you've become a vegetarian, why is it reasonable to live in downtown L.A? Why is two years of community college a good idea, rather than heading off to a four-year school right away? Why buy a used truck rather than a brand-spanking new one? why you've moved from one place to another, why you refuse to listen to a particular performer's CDs. The important qualification is that this topic you select needs to be a stand or action that another person might disagree with.

Envision someone who misunderstands this position of yours. Assume that this person is someone you essentially respect a parent, a teacher, a friend left behind--so that even though this person may not share your perspective, you do think they're worth an explanation; you don't think they're just crazy or hostile.
For this writing, write the explanation you would provide so that your reader will understand your position. Your main purpose isn't so much to change or challenge the reader's point of view; you are explaining what motivates you to do this action or have this belief, what you feel it will bring you, or where it will take you. You're explaining your point of view, and doing so in enough detail that the evidence will build its own case.

The thesis statement needs to clearly set out your position; the support for the thesis needs to provide more than just emotional motives or reasons. Offer facts, evidence, observations from others that have helped you come to the position you hold. (why is it reasonable to live in downtown L.A? Why is two years of community college a good idea, rather than heading off to a four-year school right away? Why buy a used truck rather than a brand-spanking new one?) Describe your perspective thoroughly and clearly enough, with examples and details so the reader can follow your logic and understand your reasoning--even if he or she doesn't agree, your case has adequate grounds to support it.

Also, don't feel that this has to be a serious or life-and-death topic; you could write about cultural preferences (this will require more of a different kind of evidence, but it can be done) such as movies to see, music to listen to, entertainment you choose to participate in (why skate board? Why pay money to go see opera? Why do you not subscribe to cable televison?)

Pick a topic you do have some interest in, but one that you can discuss in other than purely personal terms. Then offer your rationale to your readers, with the hopes of making it clear, and also making an impression on them.


Solution Preview

One of the most debated topics in America today has to do with the death penalty and whether or not it is a justified form of punishment for violent offenders. Usually there are a host of different reasons why a person would be for or against the death penalty. Some say that it is justice served while others say that it is a barbaric way for society to react to an act of violence. Personally, I feel that the death penalty is wrong only because death is an easier option for a violent offender than living with the crime committed. It is far better means of punishment to force a violent offender to live with his or her conscience until a natural death occurs rather than giving them an easy way out. And although many would disagree with this stand, it will be defended simply because the slow and intentional torture of living with one's crimes would be a far more effective punishment than a quick and easy end. Clearly, the death penalty should be eliminated and replaced with ways to constantly remind violent offenders of what they did until they depart from this Earth through natural means.

Crime is part of everyday society, and it is recognized that something has to be done to punish the offenders who commit the crimes. In fact, throughout history, different civilizations dealt with crimes in a variety of ways including ...

Solution Summary

The death penalty for creative writing are examined.