Affirmative Action: A Good Idea Gone Bad Persuasive Essay by Sdressel

Affirmative Action: A Good Idea Gone Bad
An exploration of the pros and cons of affirmative action and a proposed solution to achieve diversity in colleges through different means.
# 117035 | 2,025 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2009 | US
Published on Nov 09, 2009 in Education (Higher) , Hot Topics (Affirmative Action) , Sociology (Multiculturalism)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper discusses the perspective of proponents of affirmative action who believe that affirmative action is not a racial policy but it tries to fix inequalities and provide opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged groups. The paper then explains that some colleges have stopped using affirmative action because it advances the notion that minorities need additional assistance to succeed while at the same time is discriminatory towards non-minority students. The paper also asserts that affirmative action allows some minority students entrance to colleges and schools they are not suitable for. The paper suggests that percentage plans will instead allow each student's individual achievements in their environment to determine their future success. The paper includes an annotated bibliography.

From the Paper:

"Cindy Lou with her blonde hair, blue eyes, and milky white skin has been dreaming of getting into her state university since she was a little girl. Cindy Lou studied hard, had a good GPA and an above average SAT score. Unfortunately for her, her state university uses affirmative action to diversify the college. Poor little Cindy Lou was the first Caucasian not accepted in favor of a minority student with less qualifications to meet the schools preferred diversity levels. Is it fair that Cindy Lou was judged on the basis of her skin color by the very policy designed to create better opportunity for minorities that have a different skin color? Or should there be a better way to create diversity in today's colleges than by the use of affirmative action?"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Egan, Timothy. "Little Asia on the Hill". New York Times 7 Jan. 2007. 22 Feb. 2009 <>.This article addresses the issues Asian students face in American colleges today. Egan covers multiple topics including the rising percentage of Asian students in California colleges and how they are not being passed over for admissions of less qualified other minority students. This article shows that the stereotype of the smart Asian majoring in math or engineering hinders this group in the admissions process. This text can be used to show that even minorities are discriminated against under the affirmative action policies at colleges.
  • Gratz et al. v. Bollinger et al. No. 02-516. Supreme Ct. of the US. 23 June 2003. 20 Feb. 2009. <>.The Supreme Court case involving undergraduate students at the University of Michigan proves that in some cases affirmative action in undergraduate admission is unconstitutional. This case brings to light the fine line that affirmative action walks in the admissions process. Just the slightest change in policy can be unconstitutional. This case is important because it shows that affirmative action is not always constitutional and may harm other individual students.
  • Johns, Ann M., and Maureen Kelley Sipp. Diversity in College Classrooms: Practices for Today's Campuses. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press, 2004.In Johns and Sipp's book the benefits to having diversity in college classrooms is the main topic. This book gives research and statistics showing why diversity in the classroom is beneficial to and needed in colleges today. By showing that diversity is necessary this book determines the need of the argument over creating diversity as valid.
  • Ling, Huping. "A Debate Over Affirmative Action." Chinese American Forum 15.2 (Oct. 1999): 33-35. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Perry Library. Norfolk, VA. 22 Feb. 2009 < st-live>.In Ling's article multiple viewpoints from the Asian community on affirmative action in college admissions are discussed. This article gives accounts from people actually involved in the affirmative action issues and how they feel about it. Using personal opinions and stories can help to make the issue more real for many readers.
  • Moore, Jamillah. Race and College Admissions: A Case for Affirmative Action. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc, 2005.Based on three years of research, this book shows why the author feels that affirmative action is a good way to create diversity in colleges. This source shows the arguments for affirmative action and allows the reader to see both sides of the argument, which is important when making an informed opinion. "Narrow use of affirmative action preserved in college admissions." 25 Dec. 2003.23 Feb 2009 <>.This source discusses the impact of the Supreme Court ruling that affirmative action can be a factor for universities to try and gain diversity at their schools. This article brings up the difficulty of ensuring that using affirmative action is not harming other individuals. The controversy surrounding the issue in this article will help to show that affirmative action may not be in the best interest of all and there may be a better way to create diversity at colleges.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Affirmative Action: A Good Idea Gone Bad (2009, November 09) Retrieved July 04, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Affirmative Action: A Good Idea Gone Bad" 09 November 2009. Web. 04 July. 2020. <>