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In teaching and in life, people sometimes face difficult situations about whether to...

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joremz01 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 3, 2013 at 7:18 PM via web

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In teaching and in life, people sometimes face difficult situations about whether to intervene in a conflict between people, such as students or other teachers.  Concerns about how one will be perceived, fear of personal danger, or sometimes even ambiguity about whether it is better to let the parties resolve the conflict themselves all can make the decision about whether to intervene a challenging one.  In an essay to be read by an audience of educated adults, describe a situation in which you faced such a decision about whether to intervene, and explain how you handled the situation.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 3, 2013 at 7:45 PM (Answer #1)

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In constructing an essay which narrates an event in your life regarding a scenario where you had to intervene in a conflict, you must be sure to define the issues one may have with an intervention. As stated, one may choose not to intervene based upon how others will see him or her, fear of a physical attack or retaliation, or if it would even be right.

Given that the essay is to be read by "educated adults," it needs to be academic in nature. The language of the essay needs to be elevated and free of slang, contractions, or grammatical errors. Since a typical narrative essay illustrates an actual event in the life of the writer, a first person point of view is appropriate.

As with any essay, one must be careful to show the importance behind the subject matter. A writer does not need to simply tell what happened. A good rule of thumb is to ask the following question: What is the point? Show. Don't tell.

You could break the essay down into three different sections defining three different situations where you address each of the situations above (one where you were worried about how others would see you; one where you were worried about your safety; one where you were not quite sure if you should intervene or not). Within each body paragraph explaining each situation, you would include what your decision was and the thought process behind it.

Another way to look at the essay could be defining one specific situation. The body paragraphs would be broken down into different "phases" of the situation: the conflict, your thoughts on the conflict, your actions regarding the conflict, and what happened based upon your decision to act or not.

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