Definition Argument- lbirch141

Detectors Causing Harm

People around the world live in a very dangerous, harmful world with many things that can go wrong. One of the most dangerous things people have that are potentially dangerous is smoke detectors. Detectors, whether it is for smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide, go unnoticed every day and are not even thought to be harmful or potentially dangerous. The beeping pieces of plastic on your ceiling could turn into a hazard if not cared for or thought about daily. Detectors do have many benefits if properly used, and can save many lives annually. But detectors do have dangers that it is trying to prevent. They have the risk of not alerting when there is a threat of fire or smoke, or could start a fire itself.

It may seem like these detectors are a benefit, considering fire departments and fire protection agencies hand them out. But the risk starts if installation of the product is not efficient and installed properly. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “Considerations For Installation Of Smoke Alarms On Residential Branch Circuits“, the proper installation of a detector is essential in order to decrease the risk of fires starting from detectors. Shortages, overheating wires and overloaded circuits can start a fire at any time if installation is not done correctly. Wires overheating due to excess current in the detector is a main issue that does cause electrical fires.

As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also states, there are some techniques being used to cut down electrical fires. Fuses are now being put into place so if overheating does occur, a fuse will be set off, not allowing any more current to go through the circuit. Overheating would be hard to catch, but a small fuse does make it easier to prevent any fires from starting from your detectors.

Short circuits are a common cause of fires, which a detector can do. According to Elizabeth McGrath’s “What Causes Short Circuits“, a short circuit occurs when part of a wire carrying current touches another wire or part of the circuit and gives the electricity a path of less resistance. For example, if a wire with faulty insulation becomes exposed and touches a metal light switch, current can flow along the light switch and result in a shock. Short circuits will produce more heat in a circuit and results in burns and electrical fires.

Something else that can actually cause a fire are the batteries used to power the detectors. But in many incidences, an ordinary item that may be found in your “junk drawer” may have a higher risk of catching fire than you think. Fire Protection Team writes that if a metal object touches the posts of the batteries, the battery may short circuit, which creates enough heat to start a fire. There have been reports of this across the country of these batteries actually starting a fire, and enough that homeowners are launching a campaign to provide awareness of this unexpected hazard.

But new technology creates a better way to prevent this also. McGrath states that a short circuit will cause your household breaker to trip, allowing you to see something was shorted out. But there are still some risks and dangers even with this technology and advancing improvements. Internal shortages can happen within your ceiling, which are harder to spot and can lead to a fire if it is not noticed fast enough.

It is sometimes hard to believe that a device used to alert you of a fire is actually causing them. There have been some reported fires that have started due to a detector, which have not been researched to see what actually caused the fire. An article titled “Fire services on alert after smoke detector is blamed for causing Two blazes” published by Daily Mail, provides two cases in the United Kingdom where smoke detectors caught fire inside houses. Fire investigators on the case say they are on the side of caution because of these incidents and are taking the situation very seriously. These detectors were installed by fire services for a fire prevention safety campaign.

Poor maintenance and upkeep of detectors can be a major role in your family’s fire safety. What some do not know is that even hardwired detectors have a battery which is used for backup purposes. If electricity is lost in your household and that backup battery is dead, there will be no way in knowing if there is smoke in your house or not.

A deadly example of this is in an article written by Bruce Krasnow, titled “Fire Starts During Annual Smoke Detector Warning…“, which states that a fire started in a house that did not have smoke detectors at all, which may have saved the lives of four children. Fire investigators said that the fire was smoldering long before it ignited, and if a detector was present, the four children would have been alerted and would have been able to get out safely. It is a tragic story that did not need to happen if a smoke detector was properly installed in the home.

This seems strange to think about. No one would think that a device used to alert individuals that there is fire, could be the reason the fire starts in the first place. As a fire fighter, I would not think this at all because of the positives I see, and what many others see also. We all see that blinking red light and hear that loud beep, but never do think about if it is doing more bad than good.


Brooke, C. (2011, November 08). Fire services on alert after smoke detector is blamed for causing TWO blazes. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from 


Lee, A., & Lee, D. (2005, October). Considerations For Installation Of Smoke Alarms On Residential Branch Circuits. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from

McGrath, E. (2017, July 11). What Causes Short Circuits?. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from

Nichols, B. (2014, June 30). How 9-Volt Batteries Can be a Home Hazard. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from 

Definition Argument-Dohertyk9

The dictionary at defines consent as “permission, approval, or agreement; compliance; acquiescence”, “agreement in sentiment, opinion, a course of action, etc.”, and “accord; concord; harmony”. What the dictionary fails to state is the definition of consent as it relates to law, particularly laws regarding rape.

Rape itself is defined by the same website as “unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.” However, if you consider how the law defines rape, it sheds a very different light; in fact, until recently, rape could only be a man against a woman, and the woman could not be the man’s wife. Certain factors also contributed to whether or not an offense was considered rape; as the Free Dictionary states, “women who were raped were expected to have physically resisted to the utmost of their powers or their assailant would not be convicted of rape.” In the modern era, society uses the more inclusive definition stated at the beginning of this paragraph. Even the up-to-date definition does not explicitly cover everything, though. Because consent has the ability to vary from court-to-court, so does the definition of rape.

Not only do societal views define rape, those same views formulate the laws that define rape. In approximately 1780 B.C., people believed that only virgins could be raped; this was reflected in their laws, which stated that rape of a virgin was property damage against her father. For most of history, it was also agreed that only women could be raped. Men were only recently included in the definition of rape. In 1290, the definition of rape changed; without a woman’s consent, she could not get pregnant. Basically, if you get pregnant from rape, it was never rape to begin with. The definition was altered again in the 1300s. The intensity of the punishment was affected by how promiscuous the woman was; a virgin was more legitimate in her charge of rape than a whore was. At the end of the 1300s, the definition of rape changed yet again. Virgins were no more credible than other women, and girls younger than 12 could not consent. In 1670, it was concluded that a man can legally rape his wife, because the marriage contract forfeited his wife’s right to consent. Sir Matthew Hale, an English judge and lawyer at the time, stated, “[T]he husband cannot be guilty of a rape committed by himself upon his lawful wife, for by their mutual matrimonial consent and contract the wife hath given up herself in this kind unto her husband, which she cannot retract.” Furthermore, race was a deciding factor; black women could not be raped, or at least if they were, the law did not care. It was decided in 1814 that rape could be determined by pregnancy; if a woman was raped, she could not become pregnant. Samuel Farr, an English physician at the time, decided that a woman could not become pregnant without an orgasm, and rape could not occur if there was an orgasm. In his Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, he says, “For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.” In the 19th century, it was agreed that if the woman did not actively resist her rapist, she was not raped. Throughout time and across different places, the definition of rape changes. Although the modern definition of rape is much more inclusive than, for example, the definition from 1780 B.C., it is likely that the definition will change yet again in the future.

If consent is an “agreement in sentiment”, then what exactly constitutes this “agreement”? That question can be extremely difficult to answer; it is the reason why many feel they have been wrongly convicted, as well as why many victims feel that they have not received adequate justice. The problem is that consent is not always explicitly voiced. For example, it is likely that not everyone outright asks their person of interest, “do you want to have sex?”, but rather goes through the motions, seeking nonverbal cues to express their intentions. Nonverbal cues are vague and easy to misinterpret, however. Discomfort may look like consent to a less socially observant person. The unobservant person can now be charged with rape simply because he could not pick up on the subtle nonverbal cues of his partner. At the same time, his partner could have believed that her discomfort was clear and obvious and did not need to be stated aloud.

Even when consent is clearly stated, it may not be consensual to the victim. The victim may feel as though the consent was forced from her and therefore not true consent. In this instance, a man may feel that he is justified in continuing with a sexual act, when in reality, his partner does not consent to it. Therefore, it can be concluded that consent can never actually be given.

Every sexual act is rape. A person could clearly and explicitly tell her partner “yes”, but if for even a moment she doubts her feelings or feels any amount of discomfort, the consent is void and she could consider the situation to be rape. No one is capable of stating “yes” in every single moment of a sexual act. The second a man’s partner stops saying “yes” to take a breath of air, his partner has relinquished her consent. And a sexual act without consent is rape. It is especially true that every sexual act is rape because the modern definition includes people of all races and all genders. In the past, it could be argued that almost nothing was rape. Unless you were white and a virgin, you could not be raped in the 1780s B.C. Slowly, more people were included into the definition of rape, until it included the wide range of cases it now encompasses.


Works Cited

Eichelberger, E. (2017, June 25). Men Defining Rape: A History. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

Consent. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from

Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from




Definition argument- Morty39

Pitbulls can and should be used as police dogs. There are tons and tons of pitbulls sitting in shelters right now, waiting for a home and somebody to love. Nobody wants them, because they are viewed as being dangerous and harmful, even though this is false people will not let them in their homes. If these dogs are considered dangerous, but can be trained, why not train them to be police dogs to get them out of the public. This is not a new idea, to take dogs from animal shelters and train them to be part of a canine unit (surprising police). They usually do not take pitbulls, because of their bad reputation. On the website they do not list pitbulls as police dogs, which proves my point that people do not think these dogs could be useful to them, even though they have dogs like rottweilers which can be even more dangerous than pitbulls, they even have the same qualities. Dobermans are listed as part of the police dog unit too, they are also known to be mean and very unfriendly, the only difference is that that stereotype is actually true. Pitbulls on the other hand have a stereotype that is not fair to them, they are lovable and easy to train dogs. Which is perfect for police dogs, because the dogs live with their handlers and their families, and when they retire they stay with their handlers. They are family dogs and working dogs. They show this even when they are used as fighting dogs, pitbulls are trained specifically not to bite their handlers and know when to stop fighting, they were even bred that way. The ones that would bite their human or continue fighting were killed and not bred, even though that is awful for those dogs it helped them become great dogs for police. It solves two problems in one, get rid of pitbulls in animal shelters and prevent them from being killed because of too much space and on top of that the police get great dogs to work with and have a best friend for life.

Model Definition Essay Available

Help if you need it.

I’ve posted the first draft of my Definition Argument for your benefit.

This post will remain pinned to the top of the blog
until I’m sure you’ve had a chance to see it.

Mine “defines” a term by comparing it to another.

  • I began my research with the belief that polio eradication would be very similar to smallpox eradication based on similarities in the approaches taken by health organizations to immunize entire populations with vaccine.
  • What I learned by reading is that the polio virus, the body’s method of fighting it, and the effectiveness of vaccines against it are fundamentally different than the same factors for smallpox.
  • Therefore, my argument concludes, eradicating polio will be very different than eradicating smallpox, perhaps even impossible. At a minimum, we’ll have to harm a lot of intended beneficiaries in the process, which did not happen in the smallpox campaign.

In other words, polio eradication DOES NOT BELONG to the category: world health campaigns that can be accomplished with just money and effort.


  1. My post is about 1100 words before the References section.
  2. It uses in-text citations WITHOUT parentheses.
    • Please follow this model in your posts as well.
  3. It uses an AP-style References section
    • AP is the new style choice of the Writing Arts Department
    • I made mine for free using
  4. It DOES NOT cite the dictionary or in any way telegraph that its job is to define a term. Instead it makes a persuasive argument (about the difficulty of eradicating polio) that clarifies an aspect of polio: it’s NOT LIKE smallpox.
  5. It’s a first draft, so it will embarrass me until I revise it.
  6. Once I revise it, it will be a second draft, still embarrassing but less so.
  7. Questions? Use the Reply field below this post.

Definition Argument – summergirl1999

Life Delayed by Student Debt

In American society, a college education and degree hold a vast amount of weight. “Successful”, is an adjective most Americans want to describe themselves as, American society says that college is a prime factor to help graduates move in the right direction towards success. A college degree is important to Americans because it can potentially mean determination, larger salaries, and a steady career. Due to the high increase of college tuition, it is making many Americans feel like college is not worth its penny. The drastic number of money that needs to be paid back after graduating is leaving graduates in enormous amounts of debt. Student debt is greatly impacting graduate’s lives.

Student debt is one of the largest amounts of debt that American holds. It is also the most popular, making many people’s lives more challenging. “Fewer know that growing alongside 42 million indebted students is a formidable private industry that has been enriched by those very loans.” (Steele. 2016.) Steele is sarcastically stating the large population of Americans that have student loans. Depending on the university attended and the money granted, the amount of student debt per-person fluctuates. Leaving some graduates in more challenging situations than others. “’I feel I kind of ruined my life by going to college,’ says Jackie Krowen, 32, of Portland, Oregon, a nurse with a student loan balance of $152,000. ‘I can’t plan for an actual future.’” (Steele. 2016.) This woman encountered such a large amount of debt, it is making her hesitant about her future. To take out student loans, students need loan companies. Companies that loan student’s money for their college tuition, but the money must be paid back and with interest. Interest on loans can vary depending the company.

The longer you hold the loan, the more it will cost. Although the five-year plan comes with much higher monthly payments, following the 25-year plan will cost you $17,402 extra in the end. In all cases, the interest on your student loans means you’ll be paying more than what you borrowed to go to school. Even on the shortest payment plan, you’d be forking over $3,704 more than you originally received.” (Insler. 2017.)

Although $3,704 is not as large as the student debt itself, it is still a factor.

The high amount of student debt is delaying society, and affecting American’s personal lives. “More student loan debt means some kids are starting households later and moving from renting to ownership later than their parents did, which ripples throughout the economy—so when you don’t form a household, you delay when would purchase a car, furniture, appliances and utilities.” (Peterson-Withorn. 2014.) Many graduates are postponing or limiting purchases on common expenses and utilities, because they need to save enough to have the monthly payment. A report from “Life Delayed” by the American Student Assistance, did research and surveys on graduates that encounter student debt. “According to the survey, 62 percent of respondents said their student debt posed a hardship on their personal budget when combined with all other household spending.” (Lanza. 2016.) Having a college diploma should come with great honor and relief, for all of the hard work. “While loans are intended to expand college access to a broader population, the nature of risk that they entail also produces the opposite result. Low- and middle-income students worried about the consequences of taking out a loan will be more likely to decide that college attendance is not worth the risk.” (Freedman. 2014.) Along with college, loans were put into place to help students no matter their financial background have the opportunity to attend college.

Graduates that come out of college with a degree are still not guaranteed a job in the field that they studied and not guaranteed a high paying career right away. Graduates that go out in the real world need a job to pay for all of their expenses, beyond what they owe on their student loans. Although students attend college so they can have a higher chance – or even a chance at all at pursuing a career, the career is not always guaranteed. “If we tell our young people that more education leads to higher earnings, we are not telling the whole truth. Higher education will increase the chances of a well-paying job, but there is no guarantee.” (Parker. 2017.) Loan companies usually give the graduate a six-month curtesy period to get themselves ready to pay back their loans. It is not the colleges or the degrees fault for not being able to seek a job, there are just more college graduates than careers. “The number of jobs paying what college graduates expect depends on the needs of employers. That number will not increase because there are more graduates.” (Parker. 2017.) Loan companies do not usually care about the personal or financial situations that graduates may be in when they finish college, companies are mainly worried about the money being paid back to them. A website named “Money Crashers” that was featured on CNN, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal gives tips and “helpful” advice for graduates that cannot find a job. “Stay positive, reduce your cost of living, move back home, and put yourself on a budget.” (Slide.) Job popularity can have an effect on graduates not being able to find a profession’s. “At a median wage of $83,580 a year, the occupation with the fastest projected job growth, industrial-organizational psychologists, pays well. But, there’s not much demand for this type of psychologist. The field will generate only 900 jobs in 10 years, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook.” (Weiner. 2014.) Graduates may have degrees in professions that are not so popular anymore which means less jobs.

Attending college is a choice that is given to everyone. Going to college and having a college degree does have its benefits and pros. The rise of college tuition and student debt graduates encounter after college are a couple cons. Student debt is impacting many lives of graduates.


“Student Debt—Lives on Hold.” Consumer Reports. June 2016.

 “How Today’s Student Loan Debt Is Failing Future Generations.” Forbes. July 2014.

“Student Loans are a Drag on the Economy and Society.” Forbes. February 2014.

 “What Do You Do If You Can’t Find a Job After College.” Money Crashers.

 “Why Sally can’t get a Good Job with her College Degree.” The Washington Post. September 2014.

Definition Argument – picklerick

Reading books is no different than consuming any other type of media. Many people believe that reading is a hobby to be prouder of than watching television, for example. Why is television any different though? You receive language and picture on a TV, whereas reading a book only gives you the language. This often makes it more difficult to understand concepts from text than it would be from a screen. One may argue that you will learn far more from reading than from television because reading offers infinite knowledge from nonfiction literature. Sure, learning from nonfiction may be more beneficial than watching shows like, “SpongeBob.” But there are countless documentaries and other informational films to watch that will allow to you learn just as much. Another reason why reading is no better than any other form of media is that it does nothing to improve your long-term health. There is a growing problem of adults staying sedentary for too long. A study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) concluded that an average of 60% of adults’ waking hours are spent sedentary (Matthews). This is detrimental to our health because without an active lifestyle, your whole body slows down. In his manuscript, “Too Much sitting: The Population-Health Science of Sedentary Behavior,” Neville Owens suggests, “Canadians who reported spending the majority of their day sitting had significantly poorer long-term mortality outcomes than did those who reported that they spent less time sitting.” While you may think you are benefiting yourself by sitting down and reading a book all day, it may be a healthier idea to go for a walk or participate in a more active hobby.


Works Cited

Owen, N., Healy, G. N., Matthews, C. E., & Dunstan, D. W. (2010). Too Much Sitting. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 38(3), 105-113. doi:10.1097/jes.0b013e3181e373a2
Matthews, C. E., Chen, K. Y., Freedson, P. S., Buchowski, M. S., Beech, B. M., Pate, R. R., & Troiano, R. P. (2008). Amount of Time Spent in Sedentary Behaviors in the United States, 2003-2004. American Journal of Epidemiology, 167(7), 875-881. doi:10.1093/aje/kwm390