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Directions: After reading Singer’s essay, please answer the following short answer questions below. Please remember that short answer assignments require you to write brief paragraph response to questions in your own words (5-7 sentences, excluding the direct quotations from the text). A good response will carefully analyze the text, offer textual evidence from the piece or pieces that will directly support your answer and will explain how this evidence supports your answer. However, please do not just say something is true, prove it. Show how the evidence supports the answer; supply reasons to show how your response is correct.
Question #1: Singer opens his essay by describing a situation from a movie, yet it could be argued that seeing movies is, in fact, a luxury that one advocating his position should forgo. To what extent does this interpretation undermine Singer’s argument?
Question #2: Singer argues that prosperous people should donate to overseas aid organizations such as UNICEF or Oxfam America all money not needed for the basic requirements of life. Singer indicates thar “the formula is simple: whatever money you’re spending on luxuries, not necessities, should be given away.” Evaluate the pros and cons of Singer’s argument using appropriate evidence for the text, and indicate which position you find more persuasive.
Question #3: If you made six figures, should you be responsible for giving a portion of your salary to charity? If you were a millionaire, should it be mandatory for you to give a portion of your income to charity? Would you give up everyday luxuries because other people cannot afford them?
Question #4: How do you respond to the charge that by spending money on what we don’t require, instead of donating to poverty relief, we are allowing children to die?
Question #5: This essay appeared in the New York Times Magazine in 1999. What does that fact tell you about the audience to whom Singer is appealing? To what extent do you think he is effective in reaching his targeted audience?
Tips for Writing Effective Short Answer Responses
Content: Good short answer responses are relevant to the question. Read each question carefully and pay attention to the instruction words like identify, explain, compare, discuss, analyze and so on. To determine exactly what the question is asking of you, it is a good idea to underline key words and phrases. Once you have analyzed the question, brainstorm ideas for your response and look for information in your course materials to help support your ideas. This means you will need to cite evidence from the text means to return to the reading and find at least one quote, direct or indirect, which supports your answer. Direct quotes are often better, but having both is best!