essay #2 entering the conversation

Essay #2: Entering the Conversation

In Essay #2, write an essay that makes a thesis-based argument about education. Your essay must respond specifically to at least one of the assigned articles from Ch. 14 (listed below). You will choose the audience for your essay, but remember: your job is to “enter the conversation” about education begun by your sources.

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Assigned articles from Ch. 14:

“Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? A Word to the Incoming Class.” by Mark Edmundson

“Why American Schools Are Even More Unequal Than We Thought” by Susan Dynarski

Your essay should include all of the following features:

A precise thesis, or main claim
A clearly defined audience
Direct quotations or paraphrases of at least 1 article from Ch. 14 of From Inquiry to Academic Writing

Your instructor may provide more specific instructions for this assignment — check the Announcements for any updates or changes.

Guidelines for Essay #2
Sample Essays:

Please examine the sample essay below (either in MLA or APA per your preference) as they provide detailed information and examples of how to structure and develop the Unit 3 essay. These essays are not “perfect” but they do give you an overview of what I am looking for. Pay very specific attention to the notes I make in the margins of the paper as they give more insight into what makes this paper a model and how this author could have improved the paper even more. Take into consideration the feedback provided in these sample essays.

Entering The Conversation _Sample Essay_APA.docx

Entering The Conversation _Sample Essay_MLA.docx

Additional Resources:

For additional information on developing an argumentative essay, please examine the resources below. Please pay special attention to the video on creating a thesis statement. While our weekly readings and other resources may indicate that a thesis can be one or two sentences, I require the thesis to be one single sentence that identifies your overall argument/claim and your three reasons for support. Please look at the example below.

Website Resources on Argumentative Essays:
(Links to an external site.)
(Links to an external site.)

Video Tutorial on Creating a Thesis Statement:

Sample Thesis:

Edmundson’s perspective of college importance and its potential for future jobs is mostly accurate, although it is important to factor in military and trade schools as they are much more cost efficient and can create job opportunities.

This thesis statement lets the reader know that the author of the paper agrees with Edmundson but believes we must also consider military and trade schools-and specifically that the paper will focus on two areas: cost and job opportunities. The video below discusses how to create a thesis with at least three main points. This is pretty standard; however, I will accept a thesis that identifies just two main points if those points can provide enough information within the paper. Please do not create a thesis with just one main point. Aim for 2-3 main points.

Length/Due Date: approximately 800-1,000 words, due Sunday, November 8 midnight Central Standard Time (CST).

Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN106, should be formatted in a standard scholarly format. (Most students follow MLA or APA guidelines, which are outlined in Easy Writer.) No matter what format you follow, be sure to do the following:

Use 12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
Use 1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides.
Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript.

References: Your essay must use at least one source — the article from Ch. 14 that has begun the conversation. Most likely, you will also refer to additional outside sources. For each source you cite or reference in your essay, include in-text citations, using MLA or APA guidelines.

File format: Please submit your essay as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. These formats are available in most word processors, including Google Docs and Open Office, and will ensure that your instructor is able to comment on your work.

Works Cited/References: Please create an appropriate bibliography that lists each source you cite or reference in your essay. Use MLA or APA guidelines for your bibliography.

Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your thesis. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source.

Deadline: Submit your final draft essay no later than midnight on Sunday November 8.

Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of course, will only be used for educational purposes.

Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Information.

Why Is This Assignment Important?

This essay assignment is designed to reinforce three “habits of mind” of academic writers: making inquiries, seeking and valuing complexity, and seeing writing as a conversation.

First, to complete this assignment successfully, you must read closely and analytically. In doing so, you will practice observation, asking questions, and examining varied perspectives. The issue you are writing about is multi-faceted, so you must treat it that way. Do not present a simple pro/con view of an issue. Instead, read actively, asking questions of your source. In this way, this assignment will teach you to recognize and value complex perspectives — another habit of mind of effective academic writers.

Finally, completing this essay assignment will help you see how writing is a conversation. Each article is “in conversation” with other articles. Your job will be to “synthesize,” or tie together diverse perspectives. By arguing your own position to your chosen audience, your essay will also add to the academic conversation.


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