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Writing Guide with Handbook

19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar

Writing Guide with Handbook19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. The Things We Carry: Experience, Culture, and Language
    1. 1 Unit Introduction
    2. 1 The Digital World: Building on What You Already Know to Respond Critically
      1. Introduction
      2. 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
      3. 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
      4. 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
      5. 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
      6. 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
      7. 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
      8. 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
      9. 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    3. 2 Language, Identity, and Culture: Exploring, Employing, Embracing
      1. Introduction
      2. 2.1 Seeds of Self
      3. 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
      4. 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
      5. 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
      6. 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
      7. 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
      8. 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
      9. 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    4. 3 Literacy Narrative: Building Bridges, Bridging Gaps
      1. Introduction
      2. 3.1 Identity and Expression
      3. 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
      4. 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
      5. 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
      6. 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
      7. 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
      8. 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
      9. 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
      10. 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
      13. Works Consulted
  3. Bridging the Divide Between Personal Identity and Academia
    1. 2 Unit Introduction
    2. 4 Memoir or Personal Narrative: Learning Lessons from the Personal
      1. Introduction
      2. 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
      3. 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
      4. 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
      5. 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
      6. 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
      7. 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
      8. 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
      9. 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
      10. 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    3. 5 Profile: Telling a Rich and Compelling Story
      1. Introduction
      2. 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
      3. 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
      4. 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
      5. 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
      6. 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
      7. 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
      8. 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
      9. 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
      10. 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
      11. Works Cited
    4. 6 Proposal: Writing About Problems and Solutions
      1. Introduction
      2. 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
      3. 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
      4. 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
      5. 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
      6. 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
      7. 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
      8. 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
      9. 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
      10. 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    5. 7 Evaluation or Review: Would You Recommend It?
      1. Introduction
      2. 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
      3. 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
      4. 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
      5. 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
      6. 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
      7. 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
      8. 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
      9. 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
      10. 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    6. 8 Analytical Report: Writing from Facts
      1. Introduction
      2. 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
      3. 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
      4. 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
      5. 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
      6. 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
      7. 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
      8. 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
      9. 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
      10. 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    7. 9 Rhetorical Analysis: Interpreting the Art of Rhetoric
      1. Introduction
      2. 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
      3. 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
      4. 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
      5. 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
      6. 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
      7. 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
      8. 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
      9. 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
      10. 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    8. 10 Position Argument: Practicing the Art of Rhetoric
      1. Introduction
      2. 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
      3. 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
      4. 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
      5. 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
      6. 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
      7. 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
      8. 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
      9. 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
      10. 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    9. 11 Reasoning Strategies: Improving Critical Thinking
      1. Introduction
      2. 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
      3. 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
      4. 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
      5. 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
      6. 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
      7. Further Reading
      8. Works Cited
    10. 12 Argumentative Research: Enhancing the Art of Rhetoric with Evidence
      1. Introduction
      2. 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
      3. 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
      4. 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
      5. 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
      6. 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
      7. 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
      8. 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
      9. 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
      10. 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    11. 13 Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information
      1. Introduction
      2. 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
      3. 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
      4. 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
      5. 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
      6. 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
      7. 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
      8. Further Reading
      9. Works Cited
    12. 14 Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources
      1. Introduction
      2. 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
      3. 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
      4. 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
      5. 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
      6. Further Reading
      7. Works Cited
    13. 15 Case Study Profile: What One Person Says About All
      1. Introduction
      2. 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
      3. 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
      4. 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
      5. 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
      6. 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
      7. 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
      8. 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
      9. 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
      10. 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
  4. Navigating Rhetoric in Real Life
    1. 3 Unit Introduction
    2. 16 Print or Textual Analysis: What You Read
      1. Introduction
      2. 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
      3. 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
      4. 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
      5. 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
      6. 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
      7. 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
      8. 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
      9. 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
      10. 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    3. 17 Image Analysis: What You See
      1. Introduction
      2. 17.1 “Reading” Images
      3. 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
      4. 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
      5. 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
      6. 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
      7. 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
      8. 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
      9. 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
      10. 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
      11. Further Reading
      12. Works Cited
    4. 18 Multimodal and Online Writing: Creative Interaction between Text and Image
      1. Introduction
      2. 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
      3. 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
      4. 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
      5. 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
      6. 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
      7. 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
      8. 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
      9. 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    5. 19 Scripting for the Public Forum: Writing to Speak
      1. Introduction
      2. 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
      3. 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
      4. 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
      5. 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
      6. 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
      7. 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
      8. 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
      9. 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
    6. 20 Portfolio Reflection: Your Growth as a Writer
      1. Introduction
      2. 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
      3. 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
      4. 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
      5. 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
      6. 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
      7. 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
      8. 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
      9. 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context
      10. Further Reading
      11. Works Cited
  5. Handbook
  6. Index

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how conventions of writing, including rhetorical devices, reflect purpose, culture, or audience expectations.
  • Analyze the relationships between ideas and patterns of organization in a speech.


A script may take many forms, but effective speakers connect with their audience, clearly state a main idea or thesis, and support that thesis by backing up key ideas with evidence and reasoning. In this feature, you will read a speech that examines whether U.S. Department of Transportation regulations discriminate against people who depend on service animals. The full transcript of the speech, rather than the outline, is provided here to allow you to study aspects of delivery as well as preparation. Notice not only the disapproving tone and conversational style but also the way in which the author builds and supports the thesis.

Living by Their Own Words

It's a Dog Fight

student sample textSeveral years ago, I sat in the waiting area of a major airport, trying to ignore the constant yapping of a small, clearly agitated dog being restrained with difficulty on the lap of a fellow passenger. An airline rep approached the passenger and asked the only two questions allowed by law: “Is that a service animal? What service does it provide for you?”end student sample text

student sample text“Yes. It keeps me from having panic attacks,” the woman said defiantly, and the airline employee retreated.end student sample text

student sample textShortly after that, another passenger arrived at the gate. She gripped the high, stiff handle on the harness of a Labrador retriever that wore a vest emblazoned with the words “The Seeing Eye.” Without warning, the smaller dog launched itself from its owner’s lap, snarling and snapping at the guide dog. The owner of the small dog jumped up and retrieved her animal from the Labrador’s vest and stomped back to her seat. That neither she nor the still-yapping dog had an obvious panic attack amazed me, as I questioned, to myself of course, what service was being provided—other than a moment of exercise for the woman and her dog.end student sample text

annotated textIntroduction. The opening anecdote grabs the listener’s attention with a relatable story about an interaction at an airport. It provides an illustration of the point that Zain A. Kumar will make next in the introduction.end annotated text

annotated textPathos. Using strong words such as snarling and snapping, Kumar connects his argument to emotions.end annotated text

annotated textTone. Kumar clearly expresses disapproval of the small dog and its owner, implying that the woman is lying and the dog is untrained.end annotated text

student sample textThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has recently established new regulations regarding service animals on domestic and international flights. This regulation has provoked a flurry of protests by people who are accustomed to taking their pets for free in airplane cabins by claiming they are emotional support animals. Are these new regulations discriminating against persons with disabilities? Let’s look at some details.end student sample text

annotated textSignpost Language. Kumar uses a rhetorical question, or a question used for effect and not meant to be answered, to establish the central discussion in the script: whether restrictions put in place for service animals infringe on the rights of people with disabilities. This signpost language tells listeners that this is important information.end annotated text

annotated textIntroduction. Following the anecdote, this introductory paragraph establishes the problem and provides background information.end annotated text

annotated textTone. Kumar’s use of rhetorical questions and phrases such as Let’s look at creates an informal, conversational tone that is well suited to script.end annotated text

student sample textThe new rule has 12 provisions. The first is the definition: a service animal is a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.end student sample text

annotated textDefinition. The definition of a service animal provides context for the focus of the script.end annotated text

student sample textOkay, how was the service dog trained? Well, as a puppy it lived with a foster family that taught it basic behavior and socialization. When it was between 13 and 19 months old, it came to the Seeing Eye campus to work with an individual instructor for four months of intensive training. At the end of the four months, the dog took a final exam: leading the instructor successfully on a field trip to New York City. About 75 percent of the dogs pass this training and are matched with a person who is blind or visually impaired. The new owner works with the dog and its instructor for an additional 25 days on campus before the owner and the dog go home. But the training doesn’t end there. The new owner continually reinforces the dog with praise and correction, and The Seeing Eye staff members are always available for telephone consultations and even home visits if needed.end student sample text

annotated textTone. The question opening the paragraph contributes to the conversational tone of the script.end annotated text

annotated textEvidence. This paragraph firmly establishes the “credibility” of the guide dog, detailing its training. This rigorous process will be contrasted with the background of the emotional support dog from the opening anecdote to draw a comparison.end annotated text

student sample textNow, what about that emotional support dog in the airport? The law requires no specific training for emotional support animals. The rationale is that their presence is enough to support people who have anxiety, depression, or stress. The only requirement is that the animal be manageable in public and not create a nuisance. In light of this requirement, the little dog did not do well.end student sample text

annotated textEvidence. This paragraph contrasts the guide dog with the emotional support dog and shows that the latter cannot meet even the minimum standard set by the airlines.end annotated text

student sample textThe second provision of the new DOT regulation is that emotional support animals are no longer considered service animals. However, the third provision grants psychiatric service animals the same status as other service animals. In other words, a person with an emotional or psychiatric disability can still obtain and travel with a service companion that has appropriate documentation.end student sample text

annotated textTransition. This signpost language allows the listener to know that the author is moving from one key idea to another.end annotated text

student sample textThree other regulations deal with this documentation. The DOT has developed forms attesting to the animal’s health, behavior, and training. Airlines may require these to be submitted 48 hours before travel or may require them at the departure gate. Providing these forms is no problem for a passenger with a Seeing Eye–certified or other officially trained dog.end student sample text

Kaye Kay-Smith, a Paralympian from New Zealand accompanied by a guide dog, is pictured with Governor-General Patsy Reddy.
Figure 19.7 Certified Seeing Eye dogs provide accessibility to those with vision impairments. (credit: “Kaye Kay-Smith and Patsy Reddy” by New Zealand Government, Office of the Governor-General/Wikimedia Creative Commons, CC BY 4.0)

student sample textBut what about the certification for an emotional support animal? Until the new regulations were passed, this wasn’t a problem. A person wishing to claim a pet as an emotional support animal could simply go online and purchase certification from a for-profit agency. On one such site, for $54, a basic kit offers lifetime registration in a national database maintained by the company, plus a framed certificate, ID card with leash clip, and two official-looking vest patches. “Deluxe” and “premium” packages added more goodies for $114 and $154, respectively. The applicant could also obtain a certification letter from a licensed mental health professional for an additional fee. Just out of curiosity, I took the free online assessment—10 multiple-choice questions like these: “In the past two weeks, how often have you had little interest or pleasure in doing things that you usually like to do?” “How often have you felt sad or depressed?” “How often have you felt worried, anxious, or on edge?” The multiple choice options were never, sometimes, or often; I replied with 5 often, 4 sometimes, and 1 never response. My results were immediate: “Congratulations! Based on your responses, you are a good candidate to qualify for an ESA.” All that was left for me to do was fill in my credit card info and upload a photo of my pet to have a certified emotional support animal. This certification, by the way, must be renewed annually—for a fee. Big surprise!end student sample text

annotated textSupporting Evidence. Though it has not yet been expressly stated, audience members should have a sense of the thesis. This anecdote serves as evidence that Kumar will use to support the claim that regulations are not discriminatory.end annotated text

annotated textTone. The sarcastic words “Big surprise!” reflect Kumar’s disapproval of the for-profit agency issuing certification for service animals.end annotated text

student sample textAdditional DOT regulations allow airlines to require that service animals be harnessed, leashed, or tethered at all times in the airport and on the aircraft and to limit a single passenger to two service animals. The regulations also allow airlines to require a service animal to fit within its handler’s foot space on the aircraft. This is not a hardship; I have personally seen a full-grown Labrador tuck herself comfortably into the space for carry-ons and go to sleep.end student sample text

annotated textPersonal Anecdote. Kumar frequently uses personal anecdotes to support his points and establish credibility on the subject.end annotated text

student sample textThe bottom line? I don’t believe the DOT’s new regulations are discriminatory.end student sample text

annotated textThesis. Although the structure is unusual, Kumar finally states the thesis: the new regulations do not discriminate against persons with disabilities.end annotated text

student sample textDeveloped after receiving over 15,000 comments from individuals with disabilities; airline and airport personnel, including flight attendants; and other members of the public, these restrictions close loopholes that have been exploited by pet owners who want to take their pets along in airplane cabins without using a pet carrier or paying the pet fee. Individuals with a genuine need can still be accompanied by their documented and trained service animals—including psychiatric service animals—when they travel. In fact, travel just became less challenging in one major respect: people no longer have to abide fake emotional support animals having fuzzy four-footed panic attacks during the trip.end student sample text

annotated textLogos. Kumar uses logical appeals to support the thesis, talking through points in an organized and rational manner.end annotated text

annotated textReasoning. Drawing on previous anecdotes, evidence, and explanations, Kumar explains why the new regulations do not discriminate against people with real disabilities.end annotated text

annotated textParallel Conclusion. Kumar concludes the speech in the same casual manner and tone as the rest of the script. In addition, the ending is meaningful, once again drawing in the reader’s/listener’s attention by circling back to the opening anecdote.end annotated text

Discussion Questions

1 .
What is the impact of opening the introduction with an anecdote?
2 .
Which parts of the script show that the author has a good understanding of the audience and is trying to connect with them? Explain your response.
3 .
Why has the author used rhetorical questions within the script?
4 .
Why might the author have chosen to save the thesis for near the end of the script? What effect does this placement have on the overall text?
5 .
How does the author support the thesis with reasoning? In your opinion, is it sufficiently supported? Why or why not?
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