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The essay under review is an assignment written by an undergraduate for

his academic writing class. The title of the essay is to discuss the boons
and banes of nuclear energy. The authors aims are to persuade the
readers that using nuclear energy is bad and convince readers that there
are alternative energy sources. However, the essay is ineffective in
achieving his purposes due to confusing thoughts, noises and poor
credibility.
Firstly, the essay is confusing as the flow is disjoined. In paragraph 4, the
author tries to bring back the point (cost), which is the claim in paragraph
2. This obstructs the flow of the essay, which affects the logical and
systematic development of ideas because the point was brought out in
paragraph 2 but it is being elaborated in paragraph 4.
Secondly, the purposes are unclear. The authors thesis statement calls for
a discussion on the boons and banes of nuclear energy. However, the
essay focuses primarily on the disadvantages of using nuclear energy.
There is no evidence of advantages from using this energy.
Thirdly, there are noises present in the essay. The first noise is, the author
discusses too much disadvantages of using nuclear energy and neglected
the advantages. The second noise is, there are frequent uses of pronouns,
which create informal expressions. In paragraph 1 line 6, the author
mentions that he will discuss whether nuclear energy is the only solution,
this diverge the readers attention from the main topic.
Lastly, the credibility of the author is poor. There are no proper citations in
the essay. This can be shown in paragraph 1, line 4 ...discredited by
scientists and researchers... and paragraph 4, line 4 Dr. Xenons claims
in cars magazines... (Did not use correct style of citations). In other
words, the author is merely giving his own opinions, unjustified. People are
unlikely to take unsupported opinions seriously.
Furthermore, there are various types of fallacies such as hasty
generalization and slippery slope are spotted in the essay. For example, in
paragraph 2, line 13 ... nobody wants to empty their wallets to do so.
and in paragraph 3, line 33, the author assumes that if we continue to use
nuclear energy, mishaps are bound to repeat. In all, fallacies mislead the
readers to believe what the author said is true without needing further
justification.
However, there are merits in the essay. The author has a strong stand and
did his best to provide an insight/analysis of what he thinks about the
nuclear energy. However, he is too focused on that and fails to provide the
essay with a balance, which is to state some of the advantages of nuclear
energy. As a result, the essay is weakened because the author did not
bring in counter arguments.

In conclusion, the essay is not thesis driven and it fails to bring the
message across the audience. The author did not organize the essay well
enough for the readers to read smoothly without any doubts. There are no
proper citations, this will undermine the authors credibility and the noises
present in the essay affect the authors stance and arguments.

HW0110 Effective Communication


AY2013-2014 Semester 2
Assignment 1 (Group Work) 35%
Due Date: Submit during tutorial class in Tutorial 7 (Week 8)
_________________________________________________________________________

Introduction
This assignment aims to consolidate what you have learnt from weeks 1-7.
As a group assignment, this is also a test of your ability to work in a group,
applying the principles of good group communication and problem-solving.
Overview:
You are required to:
1. Form a group of 4 to 5 to carry out this assignment.
2. Read the essay on the next page Nuclear Energy: Boon or Bane?
3. Write a critique of not more than 1000 words based on your
evaluation.
Specific Instructions:
1. As a group, discuss your first impressions of the effectiveness of
the article.
2. Analyze the article systematically, in order to explain why it is
effective or ineffective in relation to the communication model. Be
sure to pay attention to specific details at every stage, and look out
for general patterns as well.
3. Plan-Organize-Write-Edit-Re-write your essay, making clear your
overall assessment of the article, and explaining clearly with
reference to specific details what the writer has done well, or where
the writer may have fallen short.
4. Your essay should be type-written, in Times New Roman 12 pt, and
double-spaced. Submit a hardcopy to your tutor and make sure you
upload your essay to Turnitin.
Guidelines:
In writing your essay, you should divide it into 3 sections:
INTRODUCTION, BODY, and CONCLUSION:
1. In the introduction, you should give an overview of your essay by
a. stating clearly your overall assessment of the text

b. summarizing or suggesting the main factors accounting for


the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the text, in relation to
the communication model
2.
In the body, you should
a. further elaborate on your assessment with a systematic
discussion of the text
b. provide specific evidence and examples from the text in
support of your points
3.
In the conclusion, you should re-iterate the main points of
your essay and sum up what can be learnt from your analysis.
Grading
You will be graded based on the level of critical analysis in your
arguments, as well as organizational and academic writing skills.
Penalties for Late Submission (hardcopy and softcopy)
Marks drop by 20% for each day that an assignment is submitted
late. If the assignment is not received by the tutor after the 5th
day (including Saturday and Sunday), it is understood that you
are not submitting it.
Appendix 1:
Below is an essay written as an out-of-class assignment for an
undergraduate academic writing class in Singapore.
Nuclear Energy: Boon or Bane?
A recent editorial in the local press with the headline Nuclear energy: The
time has come points to nuclear energy as the solution to the energy
crisis that the world has to confront. After Chernobyl and Fukushima, it is
crazy that a journalist in such a high position would still hold such a
position, a stance that has been discredited by scientists and researchers
all over the world in recent years. Allow me now to jump into this
ridiculous discussion on the boons and banes of nuclear energy, and why
we need to think more clearly if nuclear energy is our only way out.
The costs of nuclear power stations are colossal. Due to the stringent
safety regulations that must be put in place to prevent a nuclear disaster,
governments, or rather, taxpayers have to pour in huge amounts of
money to set up these installations. To me, these amounts of money could
have been better utilized by investing in research and development of
alternative energy sources. Unfortunately, most nations are dragging their
feet in researching and developing alternative energy as nobody wants to
empty their wallets to do so. Why? Because everyone knows that oil and
gas are still cheaper in comparison to the money needed for research on
alternative energy. However, fossil fuels will soon become scare, and my
personal bet is that necessity will force us to cut down on energy
consumption and tap into alternative energy sources sooner or later. If
governments were prepared to put the huge level of resources into

research and development of alternative energy sources that have now


been going into developing nuclear energy, the prospects of alternative
energy will largely increase and even materialize in the near future. In any
case, blame it on the unreliable predictions of reports in the 1970s that
projected that fossil fuels would run out in two decades. Although this
hasnt come true, theres no reason for us to be complacent and continue
to fall back on fossil fuels instead of looking out for alternative sources.
As Ive mention in the beginning, Chernobyl and Fukushima pollute the
atmosphere and leave a radioactive legacy that will hang around for
generations to come. Is this the kind of world we want to leave behind for
our children? Polluted rivers, contaminated forests, tainted food, rampant
diseases? Chernobyls the best illustration of such catastrophes caused by
nuclear energy plants. Decades after the industrial accident of 1986,
strips of Ukraine near the disaster site continued to record horrific cancer
rates. Outside the region, the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere
led to contamination of places as far as the upland farms of Scotland
where sheep are reared. Even after the farms were declared radioactive
free by authorities many years later, the stigma that their farm produces
are contaminated remain. Such tragedies are waiting to repeat
themselves if we allow nuclear power stations to continue to stay in
business.
Everybody knew that nuclear waste isn't biodegradable and hence
threatening to all living creatures. Nuclear waste today is generally stored
in concrete basins filled with water, and such wastes remain radioactive
for thousands of years. We need to think twice concerning Dr. Xenons
claim in Cars magazine that nuclear energy produce little pollutants (he
can keep his nuclear-powered cars to himself). Unlike Homer Simpson who
lives in Springfield where a nuclear plant is located, I am sure few people
in real life would like the idea of living in the vicinity of one. Truth is after
decades of well-funded and thorough research, we still do not know how to
get rid of high level radioactive waste safely. So what if nuclear energy is
carbon free and produce more electricity than solar and wind energy?
Other fans of nuclear energy like to outline its cost effectiveness as the
most attractive factor to start generating nuclear energy. No doubt,
compared to coal, wind and solar energy, nuclear energy can produce
more kilowatts of energy for much less. But if you factor in the total costs
of building nuclear plants with all the stringent safety requirements, the
maintenance cost of nuclear plants, the decommissioning cost of old
power plants as well as the tedious efforts and high cost of storing nuclear
waste and disposal, the benefit of cost effectiveness quickly diffuses And
in the event that there is leakage or theft of nuclear materials and these
fall into the wrong hands resulting in the making of dirty bombs, the cost
in terms of human life as a result of terrorist acts will render any talk of
cost effectiveness invalid and redundant.

Whos to say that uranium, which is needed for the production of nuclear
energy, will not run out some day? Worst, whether by coincidence or
deliberation that nobody knows, uranium mining is often carried out in
lands belonging to traditional communities or indigenous people in parts
of the world, including North America and Europe. The greedy
industrialists, working in tandem with mercenary local and national
officials, not only displace these people from their lands but by building
nuclear plants on these lands or in the vicinity, are essentially culpable of
genocide when the indigenous people develop and die from cancer due to
contact with hazardous nuclear materials. Despite these ugly truths, the
champions of nuclear energy still argue that uranium is more reliable than
solar and wind energy. They claimed that in places where the sun is not
shining or when the wind is not blowing, these alternative energy forms
can come to a halt. This may be truth but we can at least say that no
human rights were trampled on in the building of wind mills, solar panels
and hydroelectric dams.
There is evident that the advocates of nuclear energy done so not because
they are serious about solving the energy crisis but because they
recognize that whoever leads in nuclear development has an edge
politically and militarily in the world stage. Developed nations pour in
money to help underdeveloped nations develop nuclear power technology
not for altruistic reasons but to make these poorer nations indebted to
them and to control them. Less developed countries with nuclear power
stations actually have higher safety risks because these are the countries
with little experience with nuclear energy, no regulatory background in
the field and some questionable records on quality control, safety and
corruption." These are the shrewd observations of Professor Peter
Bradford. Militarily, the development of nuclear power in turn fuels the
proliferation of nuclear weapons, which is a zero sum game for all parties
involved. Indeed, Jim Green has reported boldly that of the 10 nations that
have developed nuclear weapons, "six did so with political cover and/or
technical support from their supposedly peaceful nuclear program - India,
Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, North Korea and France."
The world faces an energy crisis, this nobody can deny. Its hard to see
how alternative sources of energy will fulfill growing power needs but we
must not be fooled into believing that nuclear energy is the way to go.
The inefficiency of alternative energy technologies may make them
impractical as solutions for our energy needs, but the threat posed by
nuclear power to human existence makes alternative energy sources the
safer and more viable way to go. The pros and cons of nuclear energy
have been outlined in this discussion and the question whether nuclear
energy is the answer to our energy crisis is left to the readers own
discretion. The detrimental effects of nuclear power on humans, the
environment and wildlife especially aquatic life are clear for all to see. It
would be unwise to add problem to problem, but wise to adopt solutions
that will serve the greater good, and could sustain in the long run