Sum up readings and make an argument about the writer’s main claim. Your argument should offer some analysis about the validity (or lack thereof) of the writer’s claim, should provide solid reasoning and text-based evidence for your ideas, and should say something about what you hope the paper will contribute to the larger academic conversation. The paper should be able to be understood without prior knowledge of the class readings; it should include a summary of the main argument your chosen writer makes, as well as summarize information, as needed, from the larger conversation in order to support (or complicate) your claim, as well as anticipate opposing positions.
Note that your assessment might not be all pro or all contra—there may be aspects of the writer’s claim that you may agree with, and aspects that you will wish to counter. When assessing the writer’s ideas, you may not draw on outside sources.
Potential questions your paper might explore include, but are not limited to, the following:
What is the purpose of education? More specifically, what are the goals of public education and universities? Have they evolved over time? Do they need to continue to change? Do we go to school to gain a set of skills that are directly transferable to a job? Or should a broad, liberal arts education be valued in its own right? Should universities prioritize career training and job placement over other educational goals, or should they specifically resist this approach? How should we make choices about work, in particular choosing what to do for work? How should we make choices about educational pursuits? When and how should we value happiness as we think about our educational and professional choices? How do our choices relate to satisfaction over the course of our lives?
When outlining your paper, you may want to consider how to answer SOME of the following questions:
What is the writer’s claim? What questions does the writer seem to be interested in even if the argument does not definitely answer them? What does the writer NOT take into account that you think is important? How might the other authors we have read shed light on or complicate the argument you have chosen to analyze? How do the questions they raise contribute to your understanding of the essay you have chosen? What question do you hope your analysis will answer? Why is this particular question important for us to think about? 4 pages.
To do this, think through the prompt carefully, explore the questions it offers, and make decisions about how you’ll focus your analysis. Your introduction should emerge from a debatable question you plan to explore and should contextualize the claim you want to make. Be sure to write your introduction in such a way that your guiding question and claim are easy for the reader to find. Work to create an introduction that is focused and specific. For the introduction itself, shoot for one, full page.
The sources are below and the based argument is also listed below as a file: named 1B.