In this essay, you will orchestrate a conversation between two texts that discuss the values and purpose of education. Selecting two of the essays we read in this segment (Menand, Karabel, and hooks*), you will identify an intellectual problem you wish to explore (as we have discussed in class, a problem can take the form of a tension, an ambiguity, a contradiction, or a site of possible misunderstanding).
Working with the texts, you discuss the issues of higher education in relation to a real world example of your choice. For instance, you may talk about your college – a particular aspect of it (ie. the new core)/a historical moment of this school/your personal experience here etc. This will be a source of evidence for you to join this conversation about the state of higher education and its values/norms/practices.
Identify a problem that is worth addressing, using passages that will reward close reading. Frame your problem as a motivatingquestion.
Formulate a claim that makes a strong argument and is not obvious.
Establish a motive for your essay. Here you will answer the “So What?” question, suggesting why your essay is important and interesting to an intelligent reader. Draw out the implications of the argument in your conclusion.
Structure your essay around your central claim, making sure that each paragraph is adding an essential piece to your argument.
Use evidence persuasively, quoting from the text when necessary, summarizing or paraphrasing accurately and responsibly when appropriate. Do not provide evidence from other sources or make general assertions (e.g., claims about “human nature”).
*You may substitute one of the texts with one of your choice – so long as it is about education – upon my approval. The substitute text must have a theoretical aspect to it (ie. a scholarly article).
As with the previous essays, your essay is for an informed general audience who don’t know your texts or the background information (ie. Yeshiva College). You must present both texts accurately as well as the background information of your personal experience with higher education.
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