Liberty and Justice
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Learning Activity # 3: Position Essay Self-Assessment

Denise Thornton

Ohio Christian University

Professor Gerald Spence

Position Essay Self-Assessment

            Writing a Position-based essay was very rewarding. Especially because composing it called for not only presenting my position but also defending it with scholarly support. Coming to grips with the hard truth about liberty and justice for all was no easy feat. Not only that, the process was painful. There came a point after looking back down memory lane, when making a decision to be dismissive to reality or blatantly honest was simple. I chose the latter because I believe honesty is the best policy.

Identifying, recognizing and accepting reality contributed to developing a good thesis. There were no issues with researching or arguing my position and it did not hurt choosing an issue that I care about deeply. Because I am passionate about the subject of whether “liberty and justice for all” is afforded to all as asserted in The Pledge of Allegiance, it was possible for me to stay focused on the issue throughout my essay. I was also confident that I was on an academic track for the paper once I found scholarly support in the form of journals written about controversy surrounding “The Pledge of Allegiance.”

Key points supporting my thesis include but are not limited to:

  1. The Pledge of Allegiance contains false allegations
  2. Although the Pledge asserts that “liberty and justice” is afforded to all it is not
  3. Many individuals recite the pledge knowing of its false claims
  4. The Pledge of Allegiance misrepresents what it alleges to stand for
  5. Due to obvious false claims made in the Pledge fallacies should be removed or The Pledge of Allegiance put to death

            Controversy surrounding The Pledge of Allegiance is real as well as legitimate which made it possible to discover credible resources to underscore the above referenced main points of my “position essay paper.” Effectively organizing this essay paper to the best of my ability was important to me because I felt it was important to give readers a foundation for my argument. Additionally, including a copy of actual Pledge language from the original and latest revision of the Pledge was instrumental in providing readers with a visual the source of my argument.

            Bringing elements of facts and written evidence allowed me to take an arguable position without the risk of coming across vague or unsure about the stand I chose to take. Perhaps, the research paper can be looked at as a new spin on and old idea, and the possible solution to the problem a problem, because the paper does offer a solution to correcting all fallacies found in The Pledge of Allegiance. Fallacies can be removed, the pledge revised or done away with.

I was careful not to make my thesis too broad or narrow. The research question was researchable within the given time frame and location. The information I needed was support that proved the Pledge is in error in its claim that “liberty and justice is afforded to all.”  To narrow the focus of support I decided to research the state of race relations in America during (1892) and later, when and after Francis Bellamy wrote The Pledge of Allegiance. Through deliberate research I could compile a list of cited work that supports my argument assertion that “liberty and justice” has never been available to all.

            After reviewing peer-review results from my classmates I realized that there were areas that I could improve on in my essay paper. I added an additional citation of an author’s work that focused on the cruel treatment of African-Americans during the era in which The Pledge of Allegiance was penned. I believe this source strengthened my thesis paper because it cast serious doubt on the pledge and assertions of “liberty and justice” existing for all, especially at the time author Bellamy crafted the creed. I also found areas in my essay that seemed too wordy and repetitive. Basically, before submitting my final “Position Draft” I read over it several more times and tweaked it as best as I could. I am pleased with the final product.

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