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The following sampleEssay prompt is followed by an annotated version of the source text thatsuggests some of the ways that students might analyze the text in response tothe prompt. The annotations are only examples of elements of the passagestudents may choose to write about.
As you read the passagebelow, consider how Paul Bogard uses
Evidence,such as facts or examples, to support claims.
Reasoning todevelop ideas and to connect claims and evidence.
stylistic orpersuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, ?to add powerto the ideas expressed.
Adapted fromPaul Bogard, “Let There be Dark.” ?2012 by the Los Angeles Times. Originallypublished December 21, 2012.
At myfamily’s cabin on a Minnesota lake, I knew woods so dark that my handsdisappeared before my eyes. I knew night skies in which meteors left smokytrails across sugary spreads of stars. But now, when 8 of 10 children born inthe United States will never know a sky dark enough for the Milky Way, I worrywe are rapidly losing night’s natural darkness before realizing its worth. Thiswinter solstice, as we cheer the days’ gradual movement back toward light, letus also remember the irreplaceable value of darkness.
All lifeevolved to the steady rhythm of bright days and dark nights. Today, though,when we feel the closeness of nightfall, we reach quickly for a light switch.And too little darkness, meaning too much artificial light at night, spellstrouble for all.
Already theWorld Health Organization classifies working the night shift as a probablehuman carcinogen, and the American Medical Association has voiced its unanimoussupport for “light pollution reduction efforts and glare reduction efforts atboth the national and state levels.” Our bodies need darkness to produce thehormone melatonin, which keeps certain cancers from developing, and our bodiesneed darkness for sleep.
Sleep disorders havebeen linked to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression, andrecent research suggests one main cause of “short sleep” is “long light.”Whether we work at night or simply take our tablets, notebooks and smartphonesto bed, there isn’t a place for this much artificial light in our lives.
The rest of the worlddepends on darkness as well, including nocturnal and crepuscular species ofbirds, insects, mammals, fish and reptiles. Some examples are well known—the400 species of birds that migrate at night?in North America, the sea turtlesthat come ashore to lay their eggs—and some are not, such as the bats that saveAmerican farmers billions in pest control and the moths that pollinate 80% ofthe world’s flora. Ecological light pollution is like the bulldozer of thenight, wrecking habitat and disrupting ecosystems several billion years in themaking. Simply put, without darkness, Earth’s ecology would collapse . . .
In today’s crowded,louder, more fast-paced world, night’s darkness?can provide solitude, quiet andstillness, qualities increasingly in short supply. Every religious traditionhas considered darkness invaluable for a soulful life, and the chance towitness the universe has inspired artists, philosophers and everyday stargazerssince time began. In a world awash with electric light. . . how would Van Goghhave given the world his “Starry Night”? Who knows what this vision of thenight sky might inspire in each of us, in our children or grandchildren?
Yet all over the world,our nights are growing brighter. In the United States and Western Europe, theamount of light in the sky increases an average of about 6% every year.Computer images of the United States at night, based on NASA photographs, showthat what was a very dark country as recently as the 1950s is now nearlycovered with a blanket of light. Much of this light is wasted energy, whichmeans wasted dollars. Those of us over 35 are perhaps among the last generationto have known truly dark nights. Even the northern lake where I was lucky tospend my summers has seen its darkness diminish.
It doesn’t have to bethis way. Light pollution is readily within our ability to solve, using newlighting technologies and shielding existing lights. Already, many cities andtowns across North America and Europe are changing to LED streetlights, whichoffer dramatic possibilities for controlling wasted light. Other communitiesare finding success with simply turning off portions of their public lightingafter midnight. Even Paris, the famed “city of light,” which already turns offits monument lighting after 1 a.m., will this summer start to require itsshops, offices and public buildings to turn off lights after 2 a.m. Thoughprimarily designed to save energy, such reductions in light will also go far inaddressing light pollution. But we will never truly address the problem oflight pollution until we become aware of the irreplaceable value and beauty ofthe darkness we are losing.
Assignment: Write anessay in which you explain how Paul Bogard builds an argument to persuade hisaudience that natural darkness should be preserved. In your essay, analyze howBogard uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features ofyour own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Besure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.
Your essay should not explainwhether you agree with Bogard’s?claims, but rather explain how Bogard builds anargument to persuade his audience.
a) The descriptive words used inthis sentence add visual intensity, evoking the wonder of the night sky. 作者是如何使用词汇来突出文章的画面感。
b) The writer chooses his wordscarefully in this paragraph in order to shape readers’ perceptions and bolsterhis claims. For example, he argues that we are using too much light when lessis needed by referring to light being “wasted.” He also suggests how easily theproblem of light pollution might be addressed, using “simply” to describe what“other communities” are doing. 作者是如何选择词汇来加强自己的论证，同时说服读者相信自己的观点。
2. 论据：The writer uses this statistic as evidence to inform his subsequent claimthat we “are rapidly losing night’s natural darkness. 作者是如何使用数据作为论据引出下面他的观点的。
3. 如何展开文章：The writer continues to draw ?on evidence from the authorities citedabove. He uses this evidence to inform his subsequent point ?that “whether wework at night or simply take our . . . smartphones to bed, there isn’t a placefor this much artificial light in our lives.” 作者是如何展开论证，使得整篇文章连为一体，整体联会贯通。
4. 如何使用论据支持文章：The presentation of facts and evidence supports the claim that follows atthe end of the paragraph that “without darkness, Earth’s ecology wouldcollapse.” 作者如何使用合适和相关的论据来支持自己的观点。
a) The writer compares lightpollution to the effects of a “bulldozer,” a machine that can be used to ravageland. This imagery dramatizes the destructive potential of light pollution.
b) The use of rhetoricalquestions encourages the reader to consider a world without Van Gogh’s belovedpainting and what Van Gogh’s vision inspires in us all. The suggestion of aworld without such artistry and the notion that darkness is “invaluable to asoulful life” are also designed to evoke an emotional reaction in the reader. 作者是如何使用假设来强调自己的论点。