Reflective Assignment #2 and Vagueness and Ambiguity Discussion

I’ve attached the powerpoint slides and complete pages of Chapter 4 to help you complete the writing assignment.


This assignment is automatically submitted to Turnitin. You can see your own score and resubmit up to 3x until the due date. You can also use ETS grammar check.

In your own words (you can use others’ ideas if you would like, but your answers need to be original, i.e, not copied or pasted or practically verbatim, meaning word for word):

1) interpret one or more of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights for ambiguity or vagueness, and

2) give at least one an example of a problem the vagueness might cause (see pages 74-75 in the book for the context of the discussion):


Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Your answer should be a minimum of 500 words (in your own words). Please spell check and correct grammar, as this is part of the grade for this assignment, in addition to answering the responding to the prompt in full.


Vagueness and Ambiguity Discussion

What is one situation where you found information/message to be be vague/ambiguous (for example, a message from a parent, boss, school counselor, politician, athlete, the government-including the Bill of Rights in writing assignment #4-and so on)? Give one good specific example. How might the situation been resolved (see 4.3 pages 72-73 in your textbook)? Do you think that that the message was intentionally ambiguous/vague or accidentally ambiguous/vague?

Each answer should be at least one paragraph (a paragraph is approximately 4-7 sentences). Responses can be any length, but should respond specifically to the student’s post and should be written in academic English (that might mean proof-reading or spell-checking!). I will respond occasionally to posts.

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