Argument Prompt :
“The following is part of a memorandum from the president of Humana University.
'Last year the number of students who enrolled in online degree programs offered by nearby Omni University increased by 50 percent. During the same year, Omni showed a significant decrease from prior years in expenditures for dormitory and classroom space, most likely because online instruction takes place via the Internet. In contrast, over the past three years, enrollment at Humana University has failed to grow and the cost of maintaining buildings has increased. Thus, to increase enrollment and solve the problem of budget deficits at Humana University, we should initiate and actively promote online degree programs like those at Omni.'
Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted.”
Essay: In a comparison of his own university and Omni University, the president of Humana University comes to the conclusion that Omni University’s increased online degree program enrollment is to thank for lower costs for dormitory and classroom spaces. Due to the fact that Humana University enrollment has stagnated during the past three years, the president proposes that Humana starts ACTIVELY advertising online degree programs, in hopes that this will lower rising building maintenance costs and increase enrollment.
While it is a fact that Omni University’s online degree programs have seen a surge in enrollment of 50%, the president of Humana assumes that this increase is at least partially made up of new students who were not already attending. This assumption may not be correct, as currently enrolled students could have simply chosen to switch to online degree programs for any number of reasons. It is entirely possible that Omni University started advertising their online degree programs more aggressively to their current students, or they could have offered incentive for their students to switch to online degree program, such as reduced costs, or classes available year-round that one could normally only take during specific terms.
Omni University also boasts a decrease in expenses in dormitories and classrooms compared with previous years, which could be attributed to more students enrolled online, However, there are many factors which could explain the reductions. For example, if Omni had recently implement more energy-efficient lights, or appliances, or even if they had installed many solar panels to reduce their energy costs. As previously discussed, the increased online degree program enrollment may have been due to current students changing their status or signing up for an additional degree to complete online and compliment their other degree in progress.
Enrollment at Humana hasn’t grown over the past three years, while building costs have increased. But has the number of students enrolled in online degree programs increased? If Humana hasn’t been making the effort to promote their online degree programs to those outside the university, then their degree programs could be filled with students who switched from regular degrees to online programs.
Humana University’s enrollment has not been increasing over the past three years, while their building maintenance costs have only gone up. Although it is possible that promoting their online degree program could both reduce their building maintenance costs and increase enrollment, the evidence this conclusion was based on needs further analysis. It is not certain that Omni University has increased their overall enrollment as a result of their online degree program, nor that the decrease in costs related to dormitories and classrooms can be attributed to this increase. Therefore, the evidence seen at Omni needs to be further inspected before Humana decides to go ahead with their promotion of their online degree programs.
Issue Prompt: “The main benefit of the study of history is to dispel the illusion that people living now are significantly different from people who lived in earlier times.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.”
Essay: It is thought that that study of history is most beneficial due to its ability to discredit the notion that modern humans are noticeably different from those who lived in the past. History allows us to compare modern ideas, technology, government, science, and more to whatever degree of each existed at a certain point in the past. But is truly the most important reason behind the study of history that it allows us to realize that we live and act differently from our ancestors?
At some point during primary schools, most Americans study both world history and US history, Undoubtedly, the most catastrophic events are discussed – world wars, revolutions, slavery, independence, changes in government, and more. Understanding the decisions that led to suffering, displacement, and death of people informs us of what mistakes should not be repeated in modern times. An example of this is the division of the Middle East that led to the countries we know of today, and the myriad of ongoing or recent problems many of them have faced. It is now known that the more or less random drawing of borders – by European countries staking claim to the land there – is to blame for many of these issues. This mistake has allowed us to realize today that it’s not only unwise, but also unjust for militarily powerful countries dominate more vulnerable countries in such a way.
Modern medicine is fairly recent, although science and technology has existed in less complex forms for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. In Ancient Egypt, the most advanced technology, combined with human labor, was used to construct the pyramids, which have withstood the test of time. Now we can look back on these feats and be more appreciative of the advances that have led to where we are now, when a single person can operate a crane capable of lifting thousands of pounds of material, allowing skyscrapers to be built in the span of months, not the decades that were needed to build the pyramids. Similarly, as recently as one hundred years ago, a common cold could easily prove to be fatal, whereas more serious illness might have been treated in relatively unproductive ways, such as bloodletting, to allow the “bad blood” to leave the body. However, advances in medicine and industrialization have made simple cold medicine available on the shelves of your local supermarket, and many formerly serious illness have been tackled, with those still remaining a worry being actively researched every day by scientists around the world.
On the other hand, history is not always inferior to the present. The study of prior use of tools or organic materials can inform researchers today of new ways to use technology and the materials available to use. Before the massacre and destruction of culture that Native Americans in the US faced, some of them used eucalyptus leaves in their noses to clear congestion. Now, eucalyptus oil is commonly used in cold remedies.
The study of history is very useful in informing us of past mistakes, while allowing us to appreciate the advances we’ve made since. Conversely, the tools and practices of the past can still help inform our usage of tools and materials today. Regardless of this, the study of history is essential in allowing us to understand the ways we are different from our ancestors, and degree to which this is the case.