Academic argument: Read the following essays:

  1. Aiken, William, and Garret Harding. “Lifeboat Ethics? A Letter to Garret Hardin by William

Aiken, and a Response by Garret Hardin.” Bioscience 29.6 (1979): 336. Print.

  1. Bizzell, Patricia. “Composition Studies Saves the World!” College English 72.2 (2009): 174–87. Print.

3.Nixon, Rob. “Neoliberalism, Genre, and ‘The Tragedy of the Commons.’” PMLA 127 (May 2012): 593–99. Print.

Module Discussion

For this module, we will have a short class discussion on the articles. Please choose one of the readings and try to position yourself in the debate. Do you agree with Hardin, Aiken, or Nixon? Do you agree with Fish or Bizzell? As you do so, please consider the following questions:

  • Writer please make 300-350 words for my main post. 350 words is best. Thank you
  1. Is Hardin’s response to Aiken effective, or do you agree with Aiken? Why? Defend your position with argument, examples, and evidence.
  2. Rob Nixon argues that Hardin’s ideas have led to further abuse of the environment. Do you agree? Why or why not? Defend your position with argument, examples, and evidence.
  3. Is Bizzell correct that readings related to social justice have a place in the composition classroom? Why? Defend your position with argument, examples, and evidence.


  1. Establish Your Position

Now, choose one of the three questions and write a 250 to 350 word response to the question, establishing your position. You should try to provide evidence or examples to support your response.

  1. Respond to a Classmate’s Position – SEE THE NEXT PAGE OF MY CLASSMATE’S POST.

Once you have submitted your response, please read at least two of your classmates’ responses and post a 100 to 150 word response to one of them.

  1. Defend Your Position

You then need to post a 50 to 100 word response to one of your “responders” (a classmate who responded to your question). – I will send this as soon as I get a response to my post.

Your posts need to be formal, academic, and, as an added challenge, you cannot use the words like, nice, interesting, or good in your posts. This kind of a restriction may seem artificial, but it actually moves our responses toward deeper engagement with each other’s ideas.

Classmate’s post – writer please make a response to one of the post.

Classmate 1:

William Aiken raises sensible questions in his letter “Lifeboat Ethics?” as a counterargument to Garrett Hardin’s theory. The analogy of the developed world sitting safely in their lifeboat while the developing world is abandoned out to sea sounds harsh, egotistical, and unethical; however, Hardin is advocating for the long-term preservation of the Earth and the posterity of humankind, is this not a matter of ethics? A noble and worthy cause?

Hardin is warranted in his comment, “What passes as ‘compassion’ is too often no more than momentary, face-to-face concern, with no thought of coming generations” (337). Tough and impartial decisions are required in the face of posterity and as Hardin mentioned the only peaceful way to make these tough decisions is by nation-state sovereignty and responsibility. The entire world attempting to equally divide resources peacefully without an “impartial manager” seems impossible (337).

While Hardin approaches Aiken’s counterargument with contention, his philosophy that third-world population is predominantly contributing to the deterioration of the Earth’s resources is overzealous. The population is certainly a factor; however, the industrialization and consumerism of the developed world are notably more concerning. Professor Colin Butler and Professor Stephen Dovers, in their article “Population and Environment: a Global Challenge,” identify that “individuals living in developed countries have, in general, a much bigger ecological footprint than those living in developing countries” (Butler). Additionally, Butler and Dovers state “in 2014 Australia’s ecological footprint was calculated at 6.7 global hectares per person . . . if the rest of the world lived like [Australia], we would need the equivalent of 3.6 Earths to meet the demand” (Butler).

The Earth’s resources and posterity of humankind will only thrive at a cost and a sacrifice for some if not all. Hardin pragmatically argues this reality however harsh and unethical it may seem.

Classmate 2:

While in the in book Save the World on Your Own Time by Stanley Fish, it does bring up topics for discussion that are valid for academe, I  do however agree with Patrica Bizzell’s argument that counteracts Fish as it brings a more in-depth knowledge of how students and education have advanced throughout the years and how teachers must adapt.

Bizzell’s argument is that she believes it is an important task for a teacher to go beyond only teaching their disciple the clear cut way and then expecting students to apply their learnings to real-world factors. However, Bizzell believes it is the educators’ job to help students genuinely learn the disciple that is being taught and help students advance through their educational careers successfully through the use of “composition studies.” (175).

Bizzell counteracts Fish’s argument that “academics are not to try to do someone else’s job,” (180) which can involve both character development activities and influencing political stance that can be brought on by a teacher such as Bizzell, “you are not to make your students better people or better citizens.” (180) I agree partly with Fish that I do find it critical for educators to attempt to keep academics separate from personal political views as a way of being unbiased while teaching. Students; however, can benefit from being exposed to other political views from individuals in their surroundings such as educators, it can allow them to have a more in-depth view of their own stance, or can allow them to broaden their view to something they haven’t suggested.

Bizzell continues this agreement by agreeing with Donald Lazere’s observation of “the critical study of political rhetoric,” (182) she believes it it “forms excellent academic content for writing class.” (182)  Bizzell acknowledges that she does go against Fish’s stance of no politics in the classroom, she admits that she believes when her “students encounter [her] as a writing teacher, they encounter all of [her],… religious, political, moral, and social commitments.” (183)

Overall Patrica Bizzell brings an important perspective and credibility that counteracts Stanley Fish in a formal and professional manner on the discussion that the education system should learn and grow with their students.

Guidelines for Academic Argument

Five helpful guidelines for academic argument are presented below.

  1. Be formal. Know your audience. They are experts and professionals, so write (or speak) to them as such. Use the language and style of the discipline to show you belong professionally.
  2. Be graceful. Treat your opponents with respect. Yes, truth or agreement is your goal, but do not resort to impolite behaviour. Do not become arrogant or close-minded.
  3. Be intelligent. It is possible, in the course of day-to-day life, to cause social discomfort by insisting on logical or clear arguments based on evidence. This is not the case in academic work. Allow yourself to be an expert (but remember the above warning against arrogance or dogmatism).
  4. Use evidence. Do not hesitate to provide your ideas and your insights, but try to demonstrate that you know your field. Who has written on this topic? What were their ideas? Are they useful ideas, or should they be discarded?
  5. Be specific. Do not rely on vague terms, generalizations, or words that do not function without context. As you revise your essays, eliminate and clarify every sentence that begins with “This” or “That,” especially if the sentence is without a noun (or if there is no clear noun antecedent for “this” or “that”).

    Customer Area

    Make your order right away

    Confidentiality and privacy guaranteed

    satisfaction guaranteed