In college, as in life, you will be asked to take a stand on a variety of issues—from your interpretation of a text to your opinion on a key social issue to your rationale for proposing a particular solution to a given problem. This assignment prepares you to present your future opinions by teaching you to think critically and to pay close attention to the specific context of a given controversy—including engaging with other people’s perspectives and opinions.
Assignment: Write a 3-5 page essay that outlines two perspectives on a key issue related to education and describe your own experiences, thoughts, and arguments to add to the debate. Your paper must be followed by a Works Cited page in correct MLA style.
I. GETTING STARTED: Choose two of our six assigned readings (i.e., Gatto, Bennett, Eggers, Graff, Baron, & Kozol) that address a particular theme that interests you – something more specific than “education” or “problems in education. ” As you consider this theme, focus specifically on the motivating question that the authors are responding to. What is the issue at stake? How do they each respond?
II. THEY SAY: Keeping this theme/question in mind, write a few paragraphs introducing each author’s argument by summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting the original text. Mention the essay’s main idea and supporting points, but focus on the sections of the essay that concern your specific theme/question. Then, write at least one paragraph in which you compare and contrast the two author’s views on this theme.
III. I SAY: Now, write a few paragraphs describing at least one specific personal experience and your ideas concerning this theme and show how your ideas relate to the two authors’ arguments. You may agree with both authors, disagree with both authors, or agree with one author and disagree with the other. You may also simultaneously…