Going to Class
We have looked at the use of comparisons in both daily life and in academic and work settings. We also looked at the distinction between simple and complex comparisons. We talked about how comparisons can solve problems, illustrate values and beliefs, and create a space for critical thinking.
This assignment emphasizes the use of comparison to identify differences and similarities in the kind of student valued by two schools: Barnard College and Macomb Community College. We can produce a rough comparison chart that helped identify differences in the websites that might indicate the audience they hope to attract.
We have read and discussed essays, web sites, and information about different types of schools. We have discussed how different schools represent different ideas about the purpose of education. Not only do we have these new readings, but we have valuable information from the two previous papers that can help build a more valuable claim. For example, these previous papers required readings by Malady, Gray, Culik, White, Anyon, Gray, and Johnson. We have talked about how each assignment builds on the previous assignments. Thus, we've seen that it's valuable to re-read all of our materials for use in this topic.
We have completed a Terms, Expectations, & Questions Sheet (TEQ Sheet) for these readings:
• The College Board. "Types of Colleges: the basics."
• Nicholas Tampio. "There is No Such Thing as Free Community College."
• Kevin Gannon. "Let Them Eat (Unbundled) Cake!"
• Joseph Treaster. "Liberal Arts, a Lost Cause?"
• Jon Marcus. "Colleges Help Drifting Students Map Path to Success."
• George Anders. "That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket."
ASSIGNMENT: implied audiences
In an essay of 750-1500 words (3-5 pages) do the following:
Begin by discovering similarities in the websites for Macomb Community College and Barnard College. The comparison should identify the categories shared by the websites. What is similar in terms of what they offer students? What are areas of similarity in how they present their respective schools?
Then, identify what is different about each website. What categories are present in one website and absent in the other? Students who have created a comparison chart will find this an easier task.
After discovering the similarities and differences of the two websites, take the next step by addressing the "So what?" What kind of student does each website appeal to? Use the term "implied audience." What does this implied audience believe about the purposes of education? How do the web sites speak to different concerns about education, training, critical thinking, skeptical citizenship, etc.? Conclude with a "boost" in your conclusion that discuses how the value system of each type of education fits your own values and needs. Explain why you would choose one or the other school.
This assignment has a trap: you will be tempted to write about the schools, but your job is to write about the the implied audience for the websites. Don't get confused and mistake the websites for the schools. Again, your job is to write about the implied audience of the websites.
In order to do write this paper, you will need to complete the two steps below to develop a worthwhile claim. Each is a separate paper in its own right.
•Identifying Gaps in the Map: The Purpose & Problem Statement
After building background knowledge by completing your TEQ Sheets, go to the "Purpose and Problem" (P&P) link on the "Tools" page, and create a P&P Statement about an issue that connects to the background readings.
•Re-Drawing the Map: the Prospectus
At this point, you probably have some clear ideas about what you would like to say about the kind of writing education you've had. Go to the "Prospectus" link on the Tools page, and create a Prospectus that summarizes the key evidence and ideas of your (unwritten) paper.
7 TEQ sheets
1 Purpose & Problem Statement
1. The paper must avoid any form of the verb, "to be." Examples of this verb include "am," "is," "are," "was," "were," "being," "been." This verb creates vague and questionable statements.
2. The paper may not use second person ("you" or "your"). The terms confuse the reader.
3. The paper not use "one" as a substitute for second person.
4. First person ("I") is acceptable only at the sentences that state your own, most important insight, question, hypothesis, or experience.