Is College the Best Option?
Today, a global pandemic is affecting some students’ decisions about college and careers,
yet a college degree is still necessary in many fields. Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill, authors
of “Should Everyone Go to College?” say that for most students, a college education is a worthwhile investment. In “The New Liberal Arts,” Sanford J. Unger argues that the real benefit
of college is not career preparation, but rather an opportunity to develop critical thinking,
writing, and communication skills that give college graduates an advantage in many fields. On
the other hand, Charles Murray, author of “Are Too Many People Going to College?” suggests
that for some, college is a waste of time. Finally, Liz Addison argues that community colleges
are the best choice for some students in “Two Years Are Better Than Four.”If you were a high school guidance counselor, what would you tell students who ask you if
college is the best option? What would you want students to know about the potential benefits
and possible disadvantages of enrolling in college?
Your essay should be five to six pages in length, typed, and double-spaced, in Times New
Roman, 12 point. A separate Works Cited page is required. Please refer to the Works Cited model for Essay #1. Create an original title for your essay.A minimum of three sources chosen from the assigned readings listed below. In addition, you may cite the TED Talks by Emelie Wapnik and Sir Ken Robinson.Use MLA documentation style and format.
Writer’s Memo: After the Works Cited page on the final draft, include a three-paragraph response to these questions:
1.) What specific changes did you make in the final draft and why did you make them?
2.) How did you use my feedback on Essay #1 to help you revise Essay #2?
Engage your readers with a relevant and interesting opening. Why is this topic timely and
important to your audience (high school seniors, their families, your peers, others)?
Present your argument as part of a larger conversation. Consider using one or more of the
templates in Chapter 1 – “’They Say’: Starting with What Others Are Saying.”
Clearly state your essay’s thesis. Offer one or more reasons for your position. A thesis
statement is often “qualified;” that is, it recognizes more than one position, but emphasizes your own viewpoint.
Include significant support from at least three assigned readings listed below. Introduce,
cite, and explain quotations or summaries. Avoid “hit-and-run” quotations.
Use MLA style to document and integrate quotations and provide context for references.
Use transitional words, phrases, and sentences that contribute to the logical flow of ideas.
At the end of the essay, readers should feel that they have learned something. The
conclusion should answer the questions “So what?” and “Who cares?”
Carefully proofread your final draft and correct any grammar errors.
Readings in They Say / I Say – Use at least three in your essay.
“Should Everyone Go to College?” by Stephanie Owen and Isabel Sawhill, p. 318
“The New Liberal Arts” by Sanford J. Unger, p. 336
“Are Too Many People Going to College?” by Charles Murray, p. 344
“Two Years Are Better Than Four” by Liz Addison, p. 365
Additional Sources: You may reference these TED Talks in your essay.
“Do School Kill Creatively?” by Sir Ken Robinson and “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True
Calling” by Emelie Wapnik
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