Essay Question: Academic Essay

Topic: Writer’s choice
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Essay Question:
Although a federal investigation concluded that the World Trade Center (WTC) towers were successful
at withstanding the impact of two 767s on September 11, 2001 for a time, critics have argued that
certain design and construction decisions contributed to the collapse of the buildings and the deaths of
thousands of individuals. Is there an ethical issue here? Why or why not? What is your assessment of
the engineering decisions made for the WTC in 1960s and the towers’ performance on 9/11? If the WTC
was rebuilt today using identical design plans, would your opinion change? How and why? At what
point can engineers be absolved of responsibility for their designs or products? (You must consider the
articles “After the Fall,” “How to Dispel Your Illusions” and the film Why the Towers Fell in your

Remember: You should draw on information from the readings to answer the questions. In answering the questions, be sure to:
• Use specific examples whenever possible
• Describe the example you are using (explain how it supports your argument)
• Have an introduction with thesis statement, supporting paragraphs, and conclusion
and answer all parts of the question

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