Reading link: Whats the Point of a Professor?
WR 121: Summary and Response #2
For this second summary and response assignment, I want us to go deeper into our responses.
1.Make sure your response is driven by a clear thesis. Please read over the PDF How to Write a Good Argument. This document walks you through crafting a strong thesis statement.
2.I want you to develop your thesis statements by breaking your argument down into at least two points. Each point should be a separate paragraph.
3.There are several ways to break an argument down. A lot will depend on what your argument is. Lets look at an example:
a.Not everyone should go to college right out of high school because many people do not know what they want to do for a career.
b.My claim is that not everyone should go to college right out of high school. This is debatable, especially given that a college degree in our society highly increases ones career opportunities. Furthermore, some may say that even if you dont know what you want to do for a career, college is the perfect place to explore your options.
c.My main reason that supports my claim is that many people do not know what they want to do for a career. When we unpack this reason and how it connects to the claim, Ive started to break down the argument:
i.College is expensive, and if you dont know what you want to do career-wise, you will not go through college as efficiently nor will you make the most of the resources and opportunities available to you.
ii.College is challenging. Without a clear focus and goal, you might struggle to overcome the challenges and truly grow as a person.
iii.For some people, getting hands-on skills at first can make the schoolwork much easier. Some people need concrete experience to connect ideas and theories to, otherwise the ideas and theories make little sense.
d.After looking at How to Write a Good Argument, you should be asking what kind of claim you are making. The example Im working with here is a claim about policy/solution. The problem is whether or not going to college straight out of high school is the best decision for students. A key word that indicates claims about policy is should: this indicates action in the world, whereas some of the other claims are not as concerned about what action one should or should not take.
e.Now, Ive generated a list of three points that I can make to support my thesis. However, for this summary and response paper, I can choose to make only two of those points (unless Im in dire need of a higher word count!).
4. For this summary and response paper, I want you to articulate the significance of your argument as emphasized in chapter 7 of They Say, I Say. Some of you may have inadvertently done this in your previous paper, but lets be intentional this time around. In order to intentionally articulate the significance, you should identify who cares in your response and answer the so what? question. In the same way that many of you have started your summaries by indicating the group of people the author is addressing, you can do the same in this summary section and continue speaking to that group in your response. However, its possible that your audience might differ from the audience the article author addresses. In that case, indicate your audience in your response. Page 95 in They Say, I Say gives you templates to work with. Many of those templates refer to researchers or critics; you may find that your audience is directed toward students (as in the case of my example above) or teachers. Pages 98-99 in They Say, I Say give you templates for articulating why your argument matters. You can front your argument by expressing its significance in the first paragraph, or you might consider including a short conclusion for this paper that ends on by expressing your arguments significance.
5.As in the first summary and response paragraph, continue to provide evidence to support your claims!
6.Your summary should be about 200-300 words, and this time your response should be about 400-500 words (600-800 words total).