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What is the main argument of the passage? What claims does the author make to support the argument?

by Sara Teasdale
Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children’s faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.
What is the meaning of “Barter”? How does the author’s word choice, figurative language, and use of poetic devices convey the meaning and the tone? Use evidence from the text to support your response. Your response should be one or two complete paragraphs.
Type your answer here.
(Score for Question 2: ___ of 12 points)
Read the excerpt from “Acres of Diamonds,” a speech given by Russell H. Conwell at a graduation ceremony at Temple University. Then answer the question.
excerpt from “Acres of Diamonds”
As I come here to-night and look around this audience I am seeing again what through these fifty years I have continually seen—men that are making precisely that same mistake. I often wish I could see the younger people, and would that the Academy had been filled to-night with our high-school scholars and our grammar-school scholars, that I could have them to talk to. While I would have preferred such an audience as that, because they are most susceptible, as they have not grown up into their prejudices as we have, they have not gotten into any custom that they cannot break, they have not met with any failures as we have; and while I could perhaps do such an audience as that more good than I can do grown-up people, yet I will do the best I can with the material I have. I say to you that you have “acres of diamonds” in Philadelphia right where you now live. “Oh,” but you will say, “you cannot know much about your city if you think there are any ‘acres of diamonds’ here.”
I was greatly interested in that account in the newspaper of the young man who found that diamond in North Carolina. It was one of the purest diamonds that has ever been discovered, and it has several predecessors near the same locality. I went to a distinguished professor in mineralogy and asked him where he thought those diamonds came from. The professor secured the map of the geologic formations of our continent, and traced it. He said it went either through the underlying carboniferous strata adapted for such production, westward through Ohio and the Mississippi, or in more probability came eastward through Virginia and up the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a fact that the diamonds were there, for they have been discovered and sold; and that they were carried down there during the drift period, from some northern locality. Now who can say but some person going down with his drill in Philadelphia will find some trace of a diamond-mine yet down here? Oh, friends! you cannot say that you are not over one of the greatest diamond-mines in the world, for such a diamond as that only comes from the most profitable mines that are found on earth.
But it serves simply to illustrate my thought, which I emphasize by saying if you do not have the actual diamond-mines literally you have all that they would be good for to you. Because now that the Queen of England has given the greatest compliment ever conferred upon American woman for her attire because she did not appear with any jewels at all at the late reception in England, it has almost done away with the use of diamonds anyhow. All you would care for would be the few you would wear if you wish to be modest, and the rest you would sell for money.
Now then, I say again that the opportunity to get rich, to attain unto great wealth, is here in Philadelphia now, within the reach of almost every man and woman who hears me speak to-night, and I mean just what I say. I have not come to this platform even under these circumstances to recite something to you. I have come to tell you what in God’s sight I believe to be the truth, and if the years of life have been of any value to me in the attainment of common sense, I know I am right; that the men and women sitting here, who found it difficult perhaps to buy a ticket to this lecture or gathering to-night, have within their reach “acres of diamonds,” opportunities to get largely wealthy. There never was a place on earth more adapted than the city of Philadelphia to-day, and never in the history of the world did a poor man without capital have such an opportunity to get rich quickly and honestly as he has now in our city. I say it is the truth, and I want you to accept it as such; for if you think I have come to simply recite something, then I would better not be here. I have no time to waste in any such talk, but to say the things I believe, and unless some of you get richer for what I am saying to-night my time is wasted.
I say that you ought to get rich, and it is your duty to get rich. How many of my pious brethren say to me, “Do you, a Christian minister, spend your time going up and down the country advising young people to get rich, to get money?” “Yes, of course I do.” They say, “Isn’t that awful! Why don’t you preach the gospel instead of preaching about man’s making money?” “Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel.” That is the reason. The men who get rich may be the most honest men you find in the community.
“Oh,” but says some young man here to-night, “I have been told all my life that if a person has money he is very dishonest and dishonorable and mean and contemptible.” My friend, that is the reason why you have none, because you have that idea of people. The foundation of your faith is altogether false. Let me say here clearly, and say it briefly, though subject to discussion which I have not time for here, ninety-eight out of one hundred of the rich men of America are honest. That is why they are rich. That is why they are trusted with money. That is why they carry on great enterprises and find plenty of people to work with them. It is because they are honest men.
What is the speaker’s purpose and viewpoint in “Acres of Diamonds”? How does the speaker use rhetoric to advance his purpose and clearly convey his viewpoint? Use evidence from the text to support your response. Your response should be one or two complete paragraphs.
Type your answer here.
(Score for Question 3: ___ of 16 points)
Read the passage. Then answer the question.
Face-to-Face vs. Virtual Friends
In a digital world, opportunities to connect with other people abound. We e-mail recipes, text funny jokes, leave rambling voice messages, write opinionated blog posts, and send digital birthday cards.
Some of us boast online “friends” in the thousands who routinely “like” our comments about politics and pop culture. In turn, we “like” pictures of their dogs in holiday sweaters and photos of them with their friends doing fun and exciting things.
Are these the kind of friends we can depend on? What if we get stranded at the library during a storm and can’t reach anyone at home? How many of these friends would we feel comfortable calling to ask for help? More important, of those we might call, how many would help us in this situation? A real friend is someone for whom we feel affection or personal regard. It’s the person who helps us when we’re in need.
Despite our social interactions with a stream of online acquaintances, studies show that we are lonelier than ever. According to Relationships Australia, a community-based support services organization, people under age 35 are the most active online communicators. Yet, they report feeling more isolated and lonesome than any other age group.
Authentic friendships involve sharing our deepest secrets and dreams with the people we trust most. This sort of sharing doesn’t happen with our long lists of virtual friends. But despite their online friendships, many people find it difficult to have authentic friendships and are lonely. To some, it may be easier to communicate online. They may lack social skills and have trouble initiating a conversation with someone new. Or, they may find it easy to meet people but haven’t developed the skills to maintain friendships. Others may be highly sensitive and are easily hurt when someone is thoughtless. They may take things too personally, so they avoid personal interaction with people they don’t know very well.
Some people will argue that online friendships offer all of the same emotional benefits as in-person friendships do. And while it’s certainly true that people can form emotional bonds without ever meeting face-to-face, it is the lack of shared real-world experiences that prevents online-only friendships from offering people the kind of positive reinforcement and mental wellbeing that in-person friendships do.
In the 1960s, a study was done at the University of California, Los Angles (UCLA). Professor Albert Mehrabian and his colleagues determined that only 7 percent of communication is based on the written or voiced word. Fifty-five percent is based on body language, and 38 percent is based on tone of voice. Real communication doesn’t come from reading someone’s words on a screen. It comes from hearing the person’s voice and the tone in which they say things. Seeing the look in their eyes, their gestures, facial expressions, and body language provide additional cues to their meaning. True friends have a physical connection. They cry on each other’s shoulders and hug each other with affection. When they hear exciting news, they grasp hands and jump up and down. So if we try to forge new friendships or maintain existing ones based on digital media only, our nonverbal cues disappear. The use of abbreviations, a few quick words, and emoticons may not truly convey what we want to say. And they may not provide the kind of comfort or emotion that our friends need to hear. If our only contact with some of our friends is through social media because of distance or time constraints, then those relationships may suffer.
It’s important to have real person-to-person conversations to maintain friendships. One hazard of communicating with friends electronically instead of talking with them in person or over the phone is that when people dash off a comment or a response, the nuances of their meaning may be lost. If they respond in a curt sentence or phrase, the receiver of the e-mail may misunderstand the writer’s meaning and become offended. When someone e-mails a question, and the recipient delays responding because he or she is unsure how to answer, the sender may think the other person doesn’t care. In face-to-face communication, there might be a response such as “I don’t know” or “Can I get back to you on that?” A concerned look or shrug of the shoulders will also let a friend know that the other person is listening. But not responding to an e-mail is similar to walking away from a person and saying nothing. They don’t know if they have been heard. Through digital media, misunderstandings can happen and feelings can get hurt.
Social media is, however, a good way to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away. It also allows us to reconnect with people with whom we’ve lost touch. But if we focus more on the people online than those who are nearby physically, or if we allow our friends who are in close proximity to become online friends only, then we have a problem. We can maintain those online friendships, but we should never substitute them for real friendships with people with whom we can talk and do things in person. Some in-person relationships may be difficult. But they are more likely to result in positive experiences and provide opportunities for us to grow.
True friendship will save us from loneliness. A person who has lots of in-person friendships will never feel any loneliness. When we are going through a difficult time, it’s our friends who pull us through. It’s not only their words that help us, but it’s a reassuring smile that everything will be okay and a warm hug that will make us feel loved and comforted. This is something a smiley emoticon will never be able to do. It cannot replace genuine human interaction. Virtual friends will never meet our need for human touch.
We need to shut off our computers and phones and make an effort to get out there and connect with people in person.
What is the main argument of the passage? What claims does the author make to support the argument? How valid, relevant, and sufficient is the reasoning and evidence used to support the argument and claims? Does the author use false statements or fallacious reasoning to support the argument and claims? Use evidence from the text to support your response. Your evaluation of the argument should be two or three complete paragraphs.

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