Comfort in Death Essay

Comfort in Death Essay

Comfort in Death Essay


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Use Signal Phrases for MLA and CMS

Use signal phrases for all sources. Just choose a few you like and it is ok to just use those; since the last paper and this paper are both arguments, I like According to…or states, claims, argues, says, refutes.

Try to correctly paraphrase the source’s words or just use the in-text citations (quotations).

When you are finished with the source’s statements, then correctly mark your end-boundary: for MLA (Seattle Channel) or (Library of Congress).For CMS instead of the parenthetical citation, use the footnote or endnote as your end-marker Comfort in Death Essay

Avoid placing book titles, article titles, or long descriptions in the draft body.

I want to see you use sources effectively and in the correct, required sections; watch for paragraph unity! Typically, one source equals one paragraph.


“Signal Phrases in Common Citation Styles

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Writing Center

By: Jann Harris

All style guides require some sort of signal phrase when integrating ideas and words that belong to other scholars. Let’s take a closer look at signal verbs, which are a significant part of the signal phrase, and their preferred tenses when integrating scholarly research and ideas according to the most used style guides: APA, CMS, CSE, and MLA.

Signal verbs used in CMS, CSE and MLA are all in simple present tense. Let’s look at a few examples:

Simple present tense expresses an action that is happening now or happens continuously.

explain/explains illustrate/illustrates write/writes

Professor Smith argues…

Owens states…

The researchers claim…

MLA and CMS styles require simple present tense because they require that you show the ideas and words of scholars and researchers are continuous, ongoing and growing, even though you may have read them in the past.


As a writer, it’s important to select signal verbs carefully because they reflect your understanding of the sources you are presenting. When choosing signal verbs, think about verb tense as a prescription of style guides. On the other hand, the actual verbs you choose to become a part of your text reflect your credibility as a writer and researcher; they should directly reflect the tone, purpose, and substance of the author and material you have chosen to become part of your work as a scholar.” Comfort in Death Essay



How to use Sources for legalizing Aid in Dying: easy!

A few suggestions to help you easily develop key paragraphs for aid in dying:


Skim through the HBO Documentary, How To Die In Oregon (online through our library’s Kanopy service or on HBO and Netflix) for a rich source of integrated quotes (be aware  that this documentary does show a terminal patient drinking the lethal medication):

For example, you can use the opening patient’s statements (Roger Sagner) to support Choice, but more specifically after a paragraph first using the Declaration of Independence’s phrase, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”—where you italicize the key phrase, pursuit of happiness [emphasis added]. You will need one more sentence after this quote to show how the “pursuit of happiness” supports aid in dying—that is your job. Now, after this paragraph, then use Roger Sagner’s statement in response to the Compassion and Choices volunteer to show how Sagner’s statement is in line with Jefferson’s Declaration. These are the types of sources and strategies that will keep you in clear control of your development and also satisfy the requirements for this paper to use a variety of sources (not usually thought of to use) to give your paper a powerful density and persuasiveness.

Also under Choice, find Arline Hinckley’s succinct and powerful statement from the Seattle Channel video where she sums up Choice: she says, “It all boils down to whom do you want to make that final decision……….” (Seattle Channel).


Easy! You see? Now you have three correctly sourced paragraphs under Choice! The paper writes itself with this pattern once you understand its logic. Comfort in Death Essay

Then throw in a paragraph from Locke or Hobbes here, under Choice.

A caveat! Simply An Option is not the same as Choice!!! Simply An Option is primarily a logical appeal whereas Choice is primarily an ethical and value appeal. So, for Simply An Option, find those powerful statistics that show the high percentage of terminally ill patients, already prescribed the lethal medications, who do not take them! They had them, “just in case.”


Under Maintains Dignity, find the one article from the UN Declaration of Human Rights that supports dignity and then a few more paragraphs of your choosing that supports Dignity—try a philosopher like Hannah Arendt or maybe Hume—your job, but now you know how to quickly and easily find what you need!


Under Relieves Pain and Suffering, use the Eighth Amendment’s proscription against “cruel and unusual.” Remember, after every quote, you must make the connection or your claim how that quote supports that reason.

Good luck! You can do a good job!




Remember,  submit only one First Draft: submit your draft here for the legalize aid in dying  first draft.

Please review the Student Position Paper Final. PDF for a good example of your First Draft and your Final position paper (this paper has a few minor glitches, but overall, it is a good example for you to use as a guide).

Although this writing pattern evolves from a decent pro/con list (which I provided), for expediency, effectiveness, retention (of the pattern), and accomplishment, your position will be to legalize aid in dying. Please focus on learning this pattern, using a variety of strategies, and developing confidence in looking at both sides of any issue (we want to help you become a critical thinker, a good citizen of the world, and one smart cookie!). Comfort in Death Essay

Need a title and an opening quote (italicized).

Need three to five pages of body; and at least ten works cited (actually, at least ten signal phrases in paper body). Use active voice and strong and clear verbs. Please pay attention to paragraph unity. Use a variety of strategies (for example, do not overuse illustrations (stories), and please avoid plagiarism.

Use MLA citation system; make sure to mark your boundaries with a signal phrase and a parenthetical citation; Include one footnote (brief sentence or two that would not go in your paper body). Times New Roman, or Calibri, size 12, double-spaced. Do not triple-space, and use one inch margins.

Remember, you must use all four of the reasons: Choice, Simply An Option, Relieves Pain and Suffering, and Maintains Dignity.

Choice is different from Simply An Option; Choice is primarily ethical, a value–use freedom of speech–arguing that the decision to take the lethal meds is ultimately a “speech act” manifested by spoken word. You can also use T.Jefferson, et al, statement in the Declaration of Independence–everyone has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” italicizing “pursuit of happiness followed by the brackets [emphasis added] and then argue how the choice to take lethal meds is that patient’s definition of pursuing “happiness.”

For a strong and short third paragraph in that argument, consider using Roger Sagner’s powerful and clear statement at the beginning of How to Die In Oregon when the Compassion and Choices volunteer asks Roger to make that speech act: he says, “It will kill me and make me happy.”

Now, Simply An Option is primarily a “logical” reason, not an “ethical” reason; make sense? Use the phrase, “just in case,” and that will make clear the difference between the two reasons. Here, use statistics from the Oregon Health Authority or from Washington’s Department of Health, that show the significant percentage of terminal patients who received the lethal prescription (they had the seconal or nebutal) but they did not take them. They had the meds there, “just in case.”

Include at least one amendment from the Bill of Rights (or the 14th amendment), and at least one article from the UN Declaration of Human Rights; but you should easily see that you can use key parts of the First Amendment to support Choice (right of expression–this is what I want); Locke and/or Hobbes to also support Choice; a key statistic from either the Oregon Health Authority or Washington State Department of Health to support Simply An Option (statistic showing how many patients were prescribed the lethal medication and how many actually took it–the percentage will run from 25% to 35%, depending on the time-frame you use); and the Eighth Amendment to support Relieves Pain and Suffering (using a reversal, of sorts, arguing that to make someone suffer is “cruel and unusual”). Comfort in Death Essay

Make sure your draft follows the required five-point pattern. Use bolded sub-titles; and capitalize important words in all sub-titles.This draft must be properly formatted, according to the listed requirements.

Remember, your position is to legalize aid in dying; then, you must use the four “reasons” bolded as sub-titles (bolded sub-titles help you organize and control your paper): your paper must use the following four reasons. Argue directly for each reason (do not mix-up the reasons).


Simply An Option

Relieves Pain and Suffering

Maintains Dignity (or Autonomy)


Then, you would just take only two objections, bold them, add a question mark, and they would be your counterarguments:

Violates Oath?

Pain Is Managed?

Too Depressed To Make A Rational Decision?

Slippery Slope To Euthanasia? 

Prognosis Incorrect?

Promotes Suicide?


Your Call To Action section: only use subtitles Looking Forward or Where Do We Go From Here for your last section. For this section, check-out Dan Diaz and Brittany’s mother in the Brittanny Maynard videos–they make great call to action statements, honoring Brittanny’s sacrifice and dignity; or you can come back to Randy’s story and quote or paraphrase one of his last conversations with Nancy when he asked her to promise him something and then build a common ground or shared value ethical appeal from that promise. I give examples in one of the posted videos.

Remember, this is not a pro/con paper; this is not a “Introduction, support, and conclusion” paper.

This is a source-based paper; this is not a reflection, pro/con, or response paper. You must use sources for every section!

Make sure to use correct terminology (do not refer to this issue with the terms,  “assisted suicide” or “physician assisted suicide”).

please submit only  one draft (between the two topics) and submit only .doc or docx






Aid in Dying sources

2016 summary from the Oregon Health Authority

 (Links to an external site.)


Cody Curtis wrote the following summary of her struggle; she was a brave soul, indeed.

 (Links to an external site.)


A more modern oath (to counter the Hippocratic Oath)

 (Links to an external site.)


Research rich source (good stuff!)

 (Links to an external site.)


Recent article from the Los Angeles Times summarizing California’s use of the right to die (legalized in June 2016–one of five states).

 (Links to an external site.)


Death with Dignity is a good place to start to more accurately separate and then understand the terms used in this controversial debate:

 (Links to an external site.)


Another good terminology article: Is Death with Dignity Suicide?

 (Links to an external site.)


Remember! Do not use the term “suicide” in support of aid in dying–outdated and inaccurate. For example, California recently legalized aid in dying and their initiative title was Physician Assisted Dying–not Physician Assisted Suicide.

 (Links to an external site.)



Oregon Death with Dignity Guidebook (for health-care professionals)

 (Links to an external site.)


Californians against assisted suicide group (con)


Journal debate in New York, April 2016

 (Links to an external site.)



End of Life Washington (new name for Compassion and Choices Washington).

Also check out their Facebook page.

 (Links to an external site.)


Oregon Health Authority


Washington State Department of Health

 (Links to an external site.)


United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (for example, article #1 could be used to support “dignity”. and article #5 could be used to support “Relieves Pain and Suffering”).


Short video from Brittanny Maynard’s website: several good quote options here. Look for a quote supporting Choice and a quote for a call to action (From Brittany). Also consider using her husband or mother in the call to action (several other good video’s available for Maynard).

 (Links to an external site.)

A Video For All My Friends

A Video For All My Friends

 (Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site.

The Brittany Maynard Story

The Brittany Maynard Story

 (Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site.

TedX The Brittany Effect

The Brittany Effect -Transforming the Death with Dignity Movement | Barbara Coombs Lee | TEDxMarin

 (Links to an external site.)

Links to an external site.




Editorial in support of death with dignity (San Jose Mercury News)


From Pew Research Center (good source for surveys):

 (Links to an external site.)


Seattle Channel video: great source for both sides.

 (Links to an external site.)


How To Die In Oregon, HBO documentary. You can watch this documentary on HBO, Netflix, and through our library Kanopy streaming videos.

The opening shows Roger Sagner taking the lethal medications (trigger warning); you can use Roger’s proclamation to support Choice.

Cody Curtis, the main patient of this video, makes a powerful call to action statement that can be used in the last section of this writing pattern: 1:00:56 time-mark.

Ray Carney’s story can be used to counter Slippery Slope To Euthanasia (remember, the key requirement of self-administration counters euthanasia): 55:10 time-mark.

Ray Njeldski’s story is also highlighted in this video as well as in the Seattle Channel video.

Google Chrome seems to be the best browser for Kanopy.

 (Links to an external site.)


How To Die In Oregon, TUBI video:

 (Links to an external site.)


National Public Radio

 (Links to an external site.)


Good stuff from John Locke and Hobbes (natural law and natural rights, which privileges the individual): for example, In Hobbes’s state of nature, “men are free and independent, having a right to pursue their own self-interest, and no duties to one another”.

 (Links to an external site.)













Five pages of body; only one heading, on the left margin; creative title and an opening quote; and fifteen to  twenty sources cited in the paper-body (several could be from the same source).

Please remember that this is a source-based paper; use sources for every section.

Must follow the required five-point pattern, with bolded subtitles for only the #3, #4, and #5; use clear signal phrases for all sources; Times New Roman,or Calibri, size 12 font; do not triple-space between paragraphs; one inch margins; need one footnote or endnote; pay attention to paragraph unity (one claim statement or main sentence per paragraph, and then only supporting sentences); edit your final paper for grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, use the MLA citation system (w/ Works Cited page).

Do your best to use active voice (versus passive voice).

Use a variety of sources/strategies (avoid overusing illustrations).

Avoid plagiarism; review the earlier pdf on Using Sources for a refresher.

What follows are a few more general reminders for everyone:

Remember, this is a source-based paper, not a Reflection or a Response paper.

Use a signal phrase for each source and mark the end boundary with the parenthetical citation, modified (Seattle Channel) or (Library of Congress), instead of page numbers.

Review the excellent PDF posted on How to use sources.

Keep the paragraphs short–probably three to four sentences each; avoid the temptation to “pad” the source with wordy or circular responses (cluster connections)

Avoid first-person and avoid passive voice.

Use the bolded sub-titles to help you keep control, to organize effectively, and to save you time.\; argue directly for each reason (bolded sub-title).

Pay attention to paragraph unity–one source, one paragraph.

Do not mix up reasons; for example, do not mix-up Choice with Simply An Option (for the position Legalize aid in dying) or do not mix Cruel with Unusual for the Abolish the Death Penalty topic–use in separate paragraphs: Cruel could be solitary confinement and Unusual could be that it is unusual for the State to kill its own citizens.

Review the applicable Student Example Essays. Remember, those essays are not “perfect” but should help you better “see” the required paper pattern.

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