Sample Opening

Gerrymandering is a political tool that both parties use to gain favor when they are the minority.When parties map out voting, gerrymandering can allow for those that are in, say the 40% out of 100, to actually win over the other 60%. In a democracy we’re all about fairness, but with enough gerrymandering this can cause various issues. At Tufts University a group of mathematicians figured out a way to get geometry into the court rooms to fight this political cartography and make it “fair”for both parties.

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1 Response to Sample Opening

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is very strong, Nick.

    1. You are quite right to declare both parties guilty of gerrymandering.
    2. You explain well that the minority can overwhelm or overrule the majority party by redrawing voting districts.
    3. Your simple ethical objection that gerrymandering is unfair is just right.
    4. You’re right to point out that mathematicians are bringing geometry to court to fight what you beautifully describe as “political cartography.”
    5. Your concluding sentence restores fairness, which resolves your objection.

    My recommendations are few.
    1. In just a few words, explain how the minority can be in charge of drawing the maps.
    2. If possible, describe the mechanism for winning the majority of districts with a minority of votes (by conceding a few unwinnable districts by whopping margins and wasting no votes to pull out squeakers everywhere else). I wouldn’t ask everyone to do this, but I think you’re capable.
    3. Don’t let readers wonder what you mean by “cause various issues.” If there’s one issue, name it. If you don’t want to name an issue, lose the whole claim. It’s too weak to carry any weight.
    4. Fix that “it” in your last sentence. Make WHAT fair?

    Really strong, Nick. Always improvable. I welcome your response.
    I also recommend a revision for an upgrade.
    So far, 2/3.

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