Debate Paper: Should Pit Bulls Be Banned from Society?
[Writing suggestion: Unless in a quote or a title, avoid rhetorical questions in academic writing. A good idea is to provide answers, not questions] Team A:
October, 23, 2013
Debate Paper: Should Pit Bulls Be Banned from Society?
Have you [Eliminate second person (you, your) in academic documents and avoid addressing the reader directly. Prefer third-person pronouns (he, she, they, it)] ever tuned in to the [Check spelling–“into” is one word (in most applications)] news and [Grammar: A run-on sentence requires a comma before “and” (or other conjunction) linking main clauses] the deadline was, “Coming up next. Vicious dog attack sends child to hospital”. [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] If you [second person] are like most people there is only one possible culprit that automatically come to mind. “Its gotta be a Pit bull”. [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] No matter what breed of dog get eventually turns out to be we [Use “we,” “us,” or “our” to mean yourself and coauthors, not general humanity (or yourself and the reader)] in America are per-conditioned to equate Pitt bulls with viciousness. Whether in attacks on pets or people sensational headlines seem to have made the American Pit bull the media’s favorite animal villain. But [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] how did such a popular pet that makes up an estimated 20% of the American dog population get such a bad media reputation? Ounce known as the babysitter, Pit bulls were once portrayed [The passive voice is a form of “be” (were) and a participle (portrayed). Over-use of the passive voice can make paragraphs officious and tedious to read. Prefer the active voice. For example, passive voice = The paper was completed on time. Active voice = the student completed the paper on time. See Center for Writing Excellence > Tutorials & Guides > Grammar & Writing Guides > Active & passive voice] in film and TV as a loyal but protective family friendly pet. Who can forget the “Little Rascal’s” faithful companion Petey the Pup? Through good or bad, through thick and [in academic writing, if this is a series, place a comma before the final conjunction (and)] thin, the Little Rascal’s beloved Pitt bull was always there. Through all their adventures, Petey was one of the gang and every bodyeverybody at one time or another wanted a dog just like him. So why has the Pit bulls image change so drastically.drastically? Pit bull’s have powerful jaws that grip and crush a [Use “an”] anything that they lock on to. Pit bulls or “BullysBullies where originally breed for hunting large game animals where their powerful jaws helped them hold on to prey. In time this often abuse animal the pet of choice of irresponsible owners and drug dealers who train them to be vicious guard dogs. As in the case of in NFL superstar quarterback Michael Vick owners turn them into fight animals. The dogs were tortured [Passive voice ] and trained to be vicious in order to [Writing suggestion–the meaning will be the same (and less wordy) by removing “in order”] be used [Passive voice ] in illegal dog fights. But [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] pit bulls where the victims in this case.
It’s [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write it out] [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write out “It is”] [Contractions are inappropriate in college writing, spell out “it is” (or “it has”)] all [Writing suggestion: “All” or “all of” used as an intensifier very often can be removed with no loss of meaning] the times the other way around when it’s [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write out “it is”] [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write it out] [Contractions are inappropriate in college writing, spell out “it is” (or “it has”)] reported in the news. It is sad to say that the damaged image of pit bulls is so bad that Michael Vick a notorious dog abuser has been given [Passive voice ] a second chance in the media, but the American pit bulls he was convicted [Passive voice ] of abusing have been denied [Passive voice ] the same chance to redeem their image. There’s [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write it out] [A contraction ending in “s” (meaning “is”) is inappropriate in academic writing–write out “There is”] no denying the fact that [Wordiness–“the fact that” can often be reduced to
simply “that”] Pit bulls can be very dangerous animals if mishandled. But [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] certain elements of human society such as irresponsible-owns, violent street gang, and dog fighters are just as responsible for the tragedies associated with pit bull attacks? And [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] evidence concludes that these types of bands rarely work. The fact is pit bulls do bite people and when they bite they do a lot of [Only commercial shipments and real estate are measured in lots. To use “a lot of” to mean “many,” “much,” or “a large amount” is a colloquialism (not universally clear). Use another term.] damage. But [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] [Grammar: A run-on sentence requires a comma before “But” (or other conjunction) linking main clauses] the Bulls are not the dogs that do the most biting. Maybe the public has more to fear from other breeds of dogs then [Adjust spelling: “Then” has to do with time or conditions (The sky grew dark, then the rain fell); “than” deals with comparisons (Ice cream is sweeter than corn flakes and melts more quickly than ice)] [consider removing “then”] they do from pit Bulls. The rush to band pit bulls maybe [Check spelling: “maybe” means “perhaps.” The verb is “may be” `] based largely on fear and ignorance of the breed. And [In academic writing, avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction ] recent stereotype driven by the media may not be a fair representation of the American pit bull’s true nature.
A menace to society
Media has captured many scenes of vicious pit bull attacks on children, the elderly, and anyone who dares to cross their [Check pronoun agreement–if “their” refers to “anyone” (or a singular subject), it should be singular, too (his or her)] path. Some may say this is just sensationalism, however, [Place semicolon instead of a comma before this conjunctive adverb if it begins a new clause (and if a semicolon follows it, replace it with a comma)] the statistics paint a different picture. Animal control or health departments in at least 26 U.S. states report that pit bulls are biting more than all other dog breeds. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New
York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and [in academic writing, if this is a series, place a comma before the final conjunction (and)] Wisconsin. The oft-quoted myth by pro-pit bull groups that pit bulls “do [Check the quotation–if it is a complete sentence, a comma should precede the opening quotation mark, and the first word should be capitalized] [Check capitalization: the first word of a quotation is capitalized if it begins a complete sentence] not bite more than other breeds” is positively false. (“Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ [Check punctuation–Single quotation marks are only for a quotation within a quotation. Otherwise, use double quotes ] Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties – DogsBite.org”, 2013) The study goes on to list names and accounts throughout the states. The victims range from one year olds to eighty-four year olds. The details concerning the attacks are graphic. “Lower jaw ripped off by a pit bull” (Luna, 2013) [The citation for a direct quote needs the page number] and “Four year old mauled by chained pit bull” are just a few examples of graphic captions from news articles. (“Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties – DogsBite.org”, [Place commas and periods inside quotation marks] [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] 2013) The degree of the harm done to victims ranges from severe to fatal. There are very few reports of little or no harm done in incidents involving a pit bull attack. The most damaging evidence is that pit bulls are responsible for more fatalities than any other breed. Although all dogs are considered [Passive voice ] capable of biting, when a pit bull bites, it is often fatal. “Together, pit bulls (23) and Rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 68% of all fatal attacks in 2012. In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, this combination accounted for 73% (183) of the total recorded deaths (251). . (“Pit Bulls Lead ‘Bite’ Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties – DogsBite.org”, [Place commas and periods inside quotation marks] [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] 2013) Even though the Rottweiler is also considered viscous, the pit bull outnumbers it almost ten [Express numbers higher than nine in digits (when not the first word in the sentence)] to one in fatalities. Current Laws Banning Pit bulls
Several cities and neighborhoods have already selected to ban pit bulls.
Miami Dade County has banned pit bulls since 1989 and haven’t [Contractions are inappropriate in academic writing–write it out] had a fatality from a dog bite since. Other Florida counties that have laws prohibiting breed banning have suffered attacks and fatalities from pit bulls.(Lynn, 2013) Many counties are considering banning the breed and are seriously weighing the pros and cons. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama [insert comma] a retired police chief is involved [Passive voice ] in determining whether or not a ban or some ordinance should be implemented [Passive voice ] to deal with the pit bull problem. He recounts several incidents of attacks while [“While” is accurate in linking simultaneous events (meaning “during”), but if that is not the case here, use “although,” “whereas,” “and,” or “but”] he was in office. He believes there should be something done but is not sure what that should be. The city attorney is working on an ordinance which [Use “that” for a restrictive phrase (or place a comma before “which”)] fines up to $200 and/or [“and/or” is an awkward construction, a shortcut appropriate in a legal document, not in academic writing] seizure of pet if violated. The Mayor agrees with the ordinance stating, “We have thoroughly studied [Doctoral-level comment (also recommended for any academic writer)–do not divide two-part verb beginning with has/have/had. Try to place “thoroughly” before or after the two-part verb (have studied)–“thoroughly have studied” or “have studied thoroughly” (or place “thoroughly” later in the sentence)] this issue. Our local veterinarians have shared information with us . . . My opinion is pit bull dogs are really [Writing suggestion–“real” or “really” means “existing in actuality”–it adds little to the meaning (and using it to mean “big,” “very,” or “genuine” is slang); replace it with a more expressive word] [Place comma before “unlike” (and another at the end of the phrase)] unlike any other breed. They require a special level of responsibility and attention.” [Move the period to follow the citation] (Reynolds, 2013) [Needs page number] . Many other states have laws banning pit bulls that have been successful in decreasing overall [Wordiness: unless meaning denim work clothes, “overall” is general and vague and contributes little to the sentence] number of dog attacks and fatalities. The highest court in Maryland declared pit bulls “inherently dangerous.” “Since 1986, 18 appellate decisions have upheld lower-court findings that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dog breeds.” [Move the period to follow the
citation] (Lynn, 2013) [Needs page number] There have been more ordinances and laws concerning pit bulls than any other breed. The idea of banning or implementing stricter laws concerning this breed appears to be gaining momentum. Once the evidence of decreasing attacks and fatalities are presented [Passive voice ] , the idea of banning becomes more appealing and tenable. The behavior of a Pit bull
One argument against banning the pit bull is that “there are no bad dogs, just bad owners”. [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] The home culture of a dog and his living environment will always play a part in raising any breed. “ ‘There are general breed temperaments, but anybody can do anything to any breed,’ said Melissa Bain, the chief of services of clinical animal behavior services at University of California, Davis. ‘You just have to learn how to manage them.’” (Shimura, 2010) [Needs page number] Bain also goes on to say that Pit bulls tend to show more aggression than other dogs because they are bred [Passive voice ] to fight . [do not leave a space before a period] Even border collies that are [Writing suggestion: rewrite the sentence to remove “that are”] bred [Passive voice ] to herd can develop compulsive disorders if not trained properly. Many other dog specialists agree with this assessment of the Pit bull’s behavior in comparison to other dogs. The Pit bull is an aggressive breed and because of its nature it is often not friendly with other dogs. There are several stories of how pit bulls attack other dogs veraciously. One ordinance called the “Dangerous Dog Law makes dog owners responsible for dogs considered to be dangerous. A dog is considered dangerous if it attacks a human or kills or severely injures a domestic animal without provocation while off its owner’s property.”(Kroger [Leave a space after the quotation mark] , 2007) This definition of the law would definitely make [Avoid splitting a verb (make) from its modal (would). Try “…would make definitely” or “definitely would make”] several Pit bulls “dangerous dogs”. [A period or comma goes inside the closing quotation mark] Pet lovers cringe at the thought of banning any pet or breed. It just doesn’t [Write out contractions] seem fair. The nature, disposition, and past record of the Pitt bull warrants taking a closer look at the place of this breed in society. It is in the best interest of the public health and safety if
restrictions and limits are placed [Passive voice ] on animals that repeatedly pose a threat to the community. Pit bulls are misunderstood.
There are no bad dogs, simply bad owners. Dog owners are training Pit bulls to be aggressive and vigorous to fight other dogs. Pit Bulls are being [the word “Being” is hard to imagine; it means “existing.” Try to rewrite this without using “being”–with action words like “attending,” “working,” “living,” “experiencing,” simply “as”–or even removing “being” completely] beaten, neglected, starved, and tortured by owners to make them into killers for their own personal financial gain. In 2007 Michael Vick professional football player was convicted [Passive voice ] of operating a dog fighting ring. Over [“Over” is used to describe something physically above something else (e.g., over the rainbow) or time (over a period of years); for comparisons of amount, try “more than” ] Seventy dogs were confiscated [Passive voice ] from his Virginia Home. All Seventy dogs confiscated where Pit Bull Terriers. Dogs follow the behavior of their owner, which is the pack leader. Bad owners are given [Passive voice ] Pit bulls a bad rap, because [Remove comma; “because” is not a conjunction] they are using these breeds to associate negative activities such as dog fighting. If owners where to breed and use a Boston Terrier as a dog fighter then [consider removing “then”] society would conclude that the Terrier would be associated as an aggressive and untamed animal as well. Pit bulls are being unfairly targeted [Passive voice ] and stigmatized.Pit bulls should not be banned [Passive voice ] from society they are a loyal and well-mannered dog breed. National experts, meanwhile, [Place semicolon instead of a comma before this conjunctive adverb if it begins a new clause (and if a semicolon follows it, replace it with a comma)] say bans on specific breeds simply don’t [Write out contractions] work and that cities would do better to focus on dog behavior, owners’ actions and on spaying and neutering dogs. One major problem with breed specific bans is how often people even animal control professional misidentify a dog’s breed. (Catchpole, 2013).
All dogs bite not just Pit bulls.
Any dog is capable of biting another dog or a human. If we ban one breed from society, we would need to look at all breeds in the interest of fairness.
[Move the period to follow the citation] (Weber, 2011). There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill. Statistics state females and neutered male dogs are less likely to bite a human. [Move the period to follow the citation] (Catchpole, 2013). When PiT bulls bites it will make news in every way possible, but when another dog attacks it is not reported. (Scarcella, 2013). The number one dog that was reported [Passive voice ] to have biten individuals was the German shepherd, which accounts for 5.4% of licensed dogs that were [Writing suggestion: rewrite the sentence to remove “that were”] responsible for about 15% of dog bite incidents. Second was the chow and third was a Golden Retriever. The Pit bull was listed [Passive voice ] at number 26 and if you [second person] take into account that the Pit bull makes up that 20 % [The percent symbol should be attached to the number] to 40% of the entire dog population, then [consider removing “then”] you [second person] can understand the numbers. Eighty Percent of fatal attacks this year have occurred with mixed breeds. Pit bulls make up less than 1% of total United States dog bites yearly. [Move the period to follow the citation] (Sinoski, 2013). The Pit bull gets bad rap.
In today’s society the Pit bull breed has been related [Passive voice ] to gangster rappers, paroles, and gang members. These negative entities associate with the breed because they have a strong muscular appearance and people want to be seen [Passive voice ] as strong and dominate such as the Pit bull. Pit bull isn’t [Write out contractions] actually [Cliché: “actual” and “actually” are weak words whose meaning is nothing more than “in point of fact.” They are often used as intensifiers but usually can be deleted with no change in meaning ] a single breed [“Single” is often used as an intensifier, but it is redundant–how is “t actually a single breed” different from “t actually a breed”? ] , but rather refers to several similar breeds. They can easily be mistaken [Passive voice ] for different breeds such as Staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog, or American Staffordshire terrier. The identity of the breed can easily be mistaken [Passive voice ] with other breeds with similar muscular build or short hair. DNA Testing is the most accurate way to determine exactly what the
dog’s heritage is. [Move the period to follow the citation] (Catchpole, 2013)
There are many preconceived [Passive voice ] events that would consider the Pit bull to be the number one breed to be banned [Passive voice ] from society. The facts state that Pit bulls are rated [Passive voice ] top ten [Express numbers higher than nine in digits (when not the first word in the sentence)] for smartest dog breed. They are used [Passive voice ] for hunting and friendly house playmates. A recent headline from October 8, 2013 states that a Pit bull saves the life of a four year old [four-year-old is a hyphenated word] boy. The Pit bull can be a man’s best friend. It is important that dog owners practice encouraging dog behavior and disassociate the breed with a negative stigma. Pit bulls should remain equal to other dog breeds and should never be banned [Passive voice ] from society. In Conclusion
In Conclusion both arguments have been presented [Passive voice ] . While great [Writing suggestion: “great” is an overworked word, too frequently seen, and too vague. It has too many meanings: huge, superior, numerous, etc. Use a more specific adjective] facts where [Check spelling–“where” refers to a location; “were” is a state-of-being verb] declared in respect to whether Pit bulls should be banned [Passive voice ] or remain in society. The data states for both argument in depth [As an adjective, these two words are hyphenated] about the pit bull and how society have a dramatic view point [Check spelling: in most cases the preceding two words should be spelled as one word] on dog breeds. Each argument points out [This is a phrasal verb, two words that together mean something different from their individual definitions–looking up each word in the dictionary would not produce the meaning, which could cause misinterpretation in an international business communication. Try different wording, such as simply a form of “indicate,” “show,” “highlight,” etc.] supporting information as well as statistics to state their final claim. The decision is up to [Colloquialism–if “is up to” is intended to mean “the responsibility of,” this phrase might not be universally understood–avoid it in academic or international business writing] society to conclude if the Pit bull breed
will remain equal with other breeds or be banned [Passive voice ] from society.
Catchpole Yakima Herald-Republic, D. (2013, September 11). Yakima Herald Republic | Yakima?s pit bull ban breeds many questions. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/1477171-8/yakimas-pit-bull-ban-breeds-many-questions Clifton, M. (2012, December 31). Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to December 31, 2012 – By Merritt Clifton – DogsBite.org. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-study-dog-attacks-and-maimings-merritt-clifton.php Kroeger, J. (2007, Apr 04). 2 pit bulls get loose; attack 2 other dogs. McClatchy -Tribune Business News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/459420039?accountid=458 Pit Bull Attack: Case Report and Literature Review, by Steven F. Vegas, MD, Jason H. Calhoun, MD, M. Eng., John Mader, MD, Texas Medicine Vol. 84, November 1988. Reynolds, B. (2009, May 20). Fayette considers banning pit bulls. The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/379691776?accountid=458 Scarcella The Daily Item, F. (2013, September 10). Local Dog Experts: Pitbulls get a bad rap » News » The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x862167152/Dog-Experts-Pitbulls-get-a-bad-rap Shimura, T. (2010, Sep 10). PIT BULLS. McClatchy – Tribune Business News. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/750131141?accountid=458 References (continued)
Sinoski Vancouver Sun, K. (2013, September 10). Burnaby considers stiffer fines for dangerous dogs. Retrieved October 5, 2013, from
http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Burnaby+considers+stiffer+fines+dangerous+dogs/8895277/story.html Weber, M. (2011, January 5). Pit Bulls: To Ban or Not To Ban? Retrieved October 5, 2013, from http://www.rochestermedia.com/pit-bulls-to-ban-or-not-to-ban-that-is-the-question
Debate Paper: Should Pit Bulls Be Banned from Society?