Argumentative Essay Wikileaks Documents

  • 1

    Familiarize yourself with the controversies and history surrounding WikiLeaks. Read news articles. Sometimes news sites will have a place below the article for user comments. It can be informative to read through some of them because they can offer a layman's perspectives and opinions.

  • 2

    Decide what kind of stand you will take. Will the essay be informative? Will you argue your opinion and try to convince people that you are right? Will you argue for an opinion that you don't really care for? This last choice is a good way to open your mind and expand your horizons. You may also not be given a choice and have the type of essay given to you by your professor.

  • 3

    Come up with a thesis statement'. This isn't difficult. It just involves taking a stand or stating what you hope to accomplish. For example (don't use these - come up with your own):
    • Wikileaks has damaged the credibility of many powerful nations.
    • Wikileaks has benefited mankind through the disclosure of shady foreign policy wranglings.
    • WikiLeaks provides many people with insight into diplomacy between great nations.
    • Bradley Manning's actions in disclosing classified documents to Wikileaks were shallow and misled.
  • 4

    Decide who your audience will be. Is your teacher or professor going to be the only one to read this essay? Will you be addressing a group of peers? Your tone and respectfulness can make or break your argument. Maintain your tone by being consistent with the way you are addressing your audience, or you may seem wishy-washy. Stay true to your thesis.

  • 5

    Begin assembling reading material and references that support your thesis. You want to look for works that are academic or respected sources, such as journals, periodicals, and respected press articles. Blogs, Wikipedia, and personal websites generally do not qualify as reliable sources. Google Books is a good place to begin searching. Also, there are online journal websites that may give free access to information, but most require some sort of membership. Wikipedia, although unacceptable as a source, can be a great stepping stone to building your formal sources.

  • 6

    Get a library card. You will be required to get physical books most likely and you don't want to be stuck without a means of acquiring them at the last minute.

  • 7

    Begin reading your reference material and taking notes on things that you find important and that support your views. You may also include notes on opposing views, so that you can be better armed to defend your opinion.

  • 8

    Decide how your essay will be structured. In academic environments, this may be dictated to you. A good thumb-rule to use is "tell them, tell them what you told them, and then tell them again". That is, introduce the reader to what you will be writing about, including stating your thesis, then make each point with support, and finally, conclude by restating what you have covered. Be sure to explore the different ways of structuring an essay.

  • 9

    Some assignments require the references to be formalized and approved before writing begins. In this case, assemble your bibliography page in the format approved by your organization, professor, or teacher. Typical styles include MLA or APA. The Rules for Writers handbook is an awesome resource for learning how to cite sources.

  • 10

    Write an outline (or first draft, if your professor doesn't require an outline). This will nail down the structure of your essay. Start with the introduction and simply list each point you will cover. Longer essays may require multiple paragraph introductions, so don't feel that you have to keep it to one paragraph. Move on to the body supporting paragraphs. Include your source citations. Finally, write your conclusion paragraph(s) by stating what you have already covered.

  • 11

    Write your Wikileaks essay final draft. Review the criticisms, corrections, and advice that your professor has given you and incorporate them into your writing. Flesh out each paragraph with your further thoughts on each point. Read a paragraph out loud to a friend or family member and have them ask questions. Answer those questions in writing.

  • 12

    Assemble the essay. Use a protective cover and a title page if required. Be sure to include the bibliography page.

  • 13

    Turn the essay in and enjoy the fruit of your labor: an easy "A"!

  • Since it was founded in December 2006, WikiLeaks has exposed internal memos about the dumping of toxic material off the African coast, the membership rolls of a racist British party, and the American military’s manual for operating its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

    “We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies,” the organization’s Web site says. “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information.”

    The trove of war reports posted Sunday dwarfs the scope and volume of documents that the organization has made public in the past.

    In a telephone interview from London, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, said the documents would reveal broader and more pervasive levels of violence in Afghanistan than the military or the news media had previously reported. “It shows not only the severe incidents but the general squalor of war, from the death of individual children to major operations that kill hundreds,” he said.

    WikiLeaks withheld some 15,000 documents from release until its technicians could redact names of individuals in the reports whose safety could be jeopardized.

    WikiLeaks’ critics range from the military, which says it jeopardizes operations, to some open government advocates who say the organization is endangering the privacy rights of others in favor of self promotion.

    Steven Aftergood, head of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, in his blog posting on June 28 accused WikiLeaks of “information vandalism” with no regard for privacy or social usefulness. “WikiLeaks must be counted among the enemies of open society because it does not respect the rule of law nor does it honor the rights of individuals,” he wrote.

    The release of the data comes nearly three weeks after new charges were filed against an American soldier in Iraq who had been arrested on charges of leaking a video of a deadly American helicopter attack in Baghdad in 2007 that killed 12 people, including a reporter and photographer from the news agency Reuters. He was also charged with downloading more than 150,000 highly classified diplomatic cables.

    WikiLeaks made public a 38-minute video of the helicopter attack as well as a 17-minute edited version that it called “Collateral Murder.” The abridged version drew criticism for failing to make clear that the attacks happened during clashes in a Baghdad neighborhood and that one of the men fired on by the helicopter was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade.

    WikiLeaks has also made public a cable entitled “Reykjavik13,” about the banking crisis in Iceland, which was cited in the criminal charges against the soldier, Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, 22, an Army intelligence analyst. In keeping with its policy to protect the anonymity of its sources, WikiLeaks has not acknowledged receiving the cables or video from Private Manning. In the telephone interview, Mr. Assange, an Australian activist, refused to say whether the war reports came from Private Manning. But Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks had offered to help pay for Private Manning’s legal counsel or provide lawyers to defend him.

    Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker who earlier this year traded instant messages with Private Manning, said the soldier claimed he had leaked the cables and video to WikiLeaks. Mr. Lamo, who in 2004 pleaded guilty to hacking into the internal computer system of The New York Times, said he turned in Private Manning to the authorities for national security reasons. Private Manning, who served with the Second Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Contingency Operating Station Hammer east of Baghdad, was arrested in May after the military authorities said that he had revealed his activities in online chats with Mr. Lamo.

    Investigators now believe that Private Manning exploited a loophole in Defense Department security to copy thousands of files onto compact discs over a six-month period.

    WikiLeaks has a core group of about half a dozen full-time volunteers, and there are 800 to 1,000 people whom the group can call on for expertise in areas like encryption, programming and writing news releases.

    Mr. Assange, 39, said the site operated from servers in several countries, including Sweden and Belgium, where laws provided more protection for its disclosures.

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