Read every word below carefully, more than once, before starting your essay.
The purpose: This assignment builds important critical thinking skills in considering alternative viewpoints to your own argument. It also continues building important skills in developing effective and persuasive communication that will prove valuable in the rest of this class, in other classes where you are called to think critically and/or communicate with others, and in your lives beyond your college years, in your personal lives and in the workplace.
Choose one of the following options and respond in 750-1100 words (in the body of the essay, excluding headers, name, date, title, works cited entries, etc.). Raise a central question at the end of your introduction that the rest of the paper strives to answer, especially in its topic sentences.
For details of the physical formatting of your paper on papermargins, headers, titles, etc.see the simple stuff page. For guidelines on documenting quotations, see the quotations page. All options require quotations, so a works cited page is necessary.
I encourage you to seek my help with your paper outside of class. I cannot respond to whole drafts through email, but I will be glad to go over your paper from start to finish with you in person or via videoconference before you turn it in. If my office hours don't mesh with your schedule, let me know and we'll make arrangements for other times.
Writing center requirement: As a graded assignment, you should schedule and attend an appointment in the Writing Center to get feedback on any part of the writing process: crafting topic sentences, drafting, revising, or final editing. You can also work on specific grammatic issues if you wish: comma splices (GR7), subject-verb agreement (S5a), etc. You can book appointments in the Writing Center
Paper proposals: Before you begin writing the essay, construct a topic sentence outline just as we have done in multiple exercises and for the first paper: begin the outline with the literal question your paper addresses, then give full topic sentences that answer the question directly for each primary point in your paper (i.e. for each body paragraph), just as they will appear in the essay itself, and conclude the outline with the paper's overall thesis, answering the central question directly and combining your essential points from the various topic sentences. See sample topic sentence outlines on my writing tips page and on the paper proposal assignment page.
Works cited info: For bibliographic information on "Why Do Americans Learn So Little?" see the referring page from our schedule of readings and assignments.
1) Argue for or against Paul Goodman's proposal to abolish grading at the college level. If you agree with Goodman, be wary of simply restating his argumentargue for Goodman's ideas, but concentrate primarily on explaining why you agree with them. Structure this argument in persuasive format, presenting at least one opposing viewpoint before your own (I would recommend one or two opposing views and at least two of your own views). Quote Goodman's article at least three times: you might also quote Diane Ravitch's "In Defense of Testing" and/or Joy Alonso's "Two cheers for Examination," but you are not required to do so. For works cited entries, see Q5fb.
2) What qualities make a teacher effectivethat is, what makes a good teacher? Structure this argument in persuasive format, presenting at least one opposing viewpoint before your own (I would recommend one or two opposing views and at least two of your own views). Include at least three quotations from any our readings on education or from the web (cite sources carefully!). For works cited entries, see Q5fb and/or Q5w.
Make every topic sentence answer the central question directly.
Introduce all quotes: see nugget 3.
Sweat the details: use the Golden Rules, Nuggets, Simple Stuff, and Quotations pages and proofread carefully.
Offer concrete evidence (quotes) in support of each of your major assertions.
See me in the office or email if you have questions or problems.
Use the Writing Center! I encourage you to see tutors for help with your papers at the Writing Center. We have well-trained, qualified tutors who can give you plenty of one-on-one attention with any aspect of the writing process. Be sure to take a copy of this assignment with you to any tutoring session, or show your tutor this assignment page on the web.