1.5.1: Feedback on Article Discussion
- Congratulations to everyone who read and responded to the article in your discussion forum.
- Students did a great job discussing each branch of government illustrated in the article, referring to specific sentences in the article, and adding comments or questions. Some students did some of those things but not all of them. For example, sometimes students did not discuss each branch of government or did not refer specifically to sentences in the article.
- Almost all students did well using English words that they knew to respond to the article. As a reminder, do not plug in Spanish sentences to computer-assisted translation software. It won’t help you learn English and the result is often difficult to understand. Do not copy and paste information from the internet, either. It’s not a very effective way to improve English and is a little confusing for the reader.
Specific Feedback 1
- Students tended to use the word “mention”. Mention suggests something said casually. So it might not be the best choice when referring to a newspaper article or legal text. In any event, you don’t want to repeat the same word too many times.
- Read the following example of the original text being reworded to avoid repeating “mention”. What words does the writer use instead of “mention”?
Sentences 4 & 7 mention the legislative branch, which has the power to enact laws. The executive branch is mentioned in sentence  and that the President has the power to veto laws. The judicial branch is mentioned in sentence 10 and it discusses Roe v. Wade.
Sentences 4 & 7 refer to Congress, the legislative branch, which has the power to enact laws. Sentence  states that the President has the power to veto laws. Sentence  discusses the Supreme Court, representing the judicial branch, which has the power to interpret the Constitution and how its recent decision overturned Roe v. Wade.
Specific Feedback 2
- Students tended to use the word faculty, capacity, and competence to discuss the powers of the three branches of government. When discussing the powers of the three branches of government, it is more common and natural-sounding to use the words “power” or “authority“.
- Notice how the writer replaces
facultyand competencein the following example:
The executive branch embodied by the President (Biden) has the capacity to veto law and the capacity to sign a law in order to pass it (sentences 1,2,3, 6 and 9). The legislative branch (Congress) has the capacity to pass laws (sentence 8). The judicial branch embodied in this case by the Supreme Court of the United States has the faculty to overturn past rulings (such as Roe v Wade) (sentences 4 and 10). This article shows the exercise of the capacities of each of the powers as a counterweight to the acts and capacities of the other powers, which is the exact aim of the division of powers in order to avoid the concentration of power.
The article highlights the three branches of government in the US: the Executive branch, embodied by President Biden; the Legislative branch, represented by Congress; and the Judicial branch, represented by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The President has the power to veto laws and sign them into law (as mentioned in sentences 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9). Meanwhile, the Legislative branch has the authority to pass laws (as stated in sentence 8). The Supreme Court, as part of the Judicial branch, has the ability to overturn past rulings, such as the landmark case of Roe v. Wade (as described in sentences 4 and 10).
The article demonstrates how each branch serves as a check on the others, preventing the concentration of power and maintaining the balance of government.
Specific Feedback 3
- Summaries read best when they were cohesive.
- Students created more cohesion with a first sentence that introduced a topic.
- In addition, students created more cohesion by explaining how the different powers of government relate to each other.
- Look at the following examples. How do the writers introduce the topic and explain how the different powers of government relate to each other?
The article explains the allocation of power in the US government among the three branches: Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. Congress has the power to enact laws, while the President holds the authority to veto them. The Supreme Court, as a part of the Judicial branch, has the power to declare a law unconstitutional. This system of checks and balances ensures that each branch of government operates within its designated limits, providing oversight and accountability to prevent any one branch from accumulating too much power.
The article demonstrates different branches of government and the separation of powers. The legislative branch is responsible for creating new laws, while the executive branch has the power to veto them. The judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, serves as a check on the actions of both branches, with the authority to declare a law unconstitutional. The idea of checks and balances is essential to maintain the proper functioning of government and ensure that each branch operates within its designated limits. The Supreme Court’s ability to determine the constitutionality of a law is a key aspect of this system, providing an additional layer of oversight and accountability.
The article is about the three branches of government and the system of checks and balances which prevents any branch from becoming too powerful. On the one hand, Congress has the power to enact laws, while on the other hand, the President holds the power to veto them. The judicial branch, including the Supreme Court, serves as a check on the actions of both branches, because it can interpret the Constitution. The article explains how the Supreme Court held that there was a Constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade but recently overturned this decision.
- Read the excerpt of the article again.
- Go to our shared google document. How many different ways can you rewrite the following sentences?
The article mentions the different branches of government. Congress is the legislative branch. It has the faculty to make laws. The President is part of the executive branch. His competence is to veto laws. The Supreme Court has the faculty to interpret the Constitution and whether laws are Constitutional.
Biden Says he Will Veto Republican Abortion Bill
WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters)
 U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday vowed to use his veto power to protect women’s rights if Republicans win control of Congress in next month’s midterm elections and pass laws to outlaw abortion nationwide.
 Biden, asked in an interview with MSNBC what he would do to protect women’s rights should Republicans gain control of the legislature, said: “Veto anything they do.”
 The Democratic president this week sought to mobilize his left-leaning base by promising to sign a law to codify abortion rights in January if Democrats triumph in next month’s elections.
 Biden’s Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate too, in the November vote.  The president is trying to rally the party and its supporters around abortion rights, which were sharply curtailed by the Supreme Court’s decision nearly four months ago to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade ruling.
 If Democrats elect more senators and keep control of the House, Biden said he would sign a law in January to ensure women’s right to abortion across the country.
 Democrats, who largely support abortion rights, currently have a slim majority in the House and control the 50-50 Senate through Vice President Kamala Harris’ ability to cast tie-breaking votes. Republicans largely oppose abortion rights.
 In order to outlaw abortion, Republicans would have to pass legislation, but it would not become the law of the land unless Biden signed it.
 “The president has to sign it. I’ll veto it,” he said.
 The Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that recognized women’s constitutional right to abortion in June, drawing condemnation from Biden and spurring optimism among Democrats that outrage over the decision would drive voters to the polls in November.
 But high inflation has remained at the top of voters’ minds, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, and just 8% of Americans cited the end of national abortion rights as the issue that will most influence how they vote in November, compared with 27% who cited inflation in a poll conducted Sept. 27 to Oct. 3.