Why Are You in College? What is the Value of College?
As you read in week 1, many people are debating the value of college. Some see tremendous benefits–financially, personally, and intellectually–to attending and completing college. Others are concerned with the cost of certain majors, and the time it takes to complete a degree. Still others suggest that “intellectualism” doesn’t necessarily have to happen in the classroom. For your first essay assignment, you will get a chance to weigh in on the debate by using your personal reasons for attending De Anza as evidence or proof to your argument. The very act of you enrolling in college makes an argument for the value of college. So, everyone in this class, in a sense, sees college as valuable. As you learned this week in “Planting a Naysayer,” however, strong academic thinkers keep their critics in mind. So while you will not only elaborate on your reasons for going to college to make an argument, you will also address, concede, and rebuttal against the arguments you’ve read about and are aware of regarding the reasons not to attend college. In other words, you will explain your motivation and the benefits of college (for you and others), while also keeping in mind “the pain” as Mark Manson writes.
Write a personal and argumentative 4-6 page essay in which you answer why you are in college and why college is valuable. Draw on your own personal experience (goals, aspirations, feelings, events, etc) and from the essays we’ve read as “proof” to show how, what, or why these social forces (social, environmental, personal) led you to attend college. Use your personal experience and the readings to prove why college is the right choice for you. Ultimately, through your personal experiences, you will argue why college is a valuable choice for others. As a good academic thinker, you must also include a naysayer or counter-argument in which you acknowledge one or more challenge in your educational journey, and then explain why that “pain” is worth enduring for your goal/s.
To receive credit for this assignment, this paper must:
- Be handed in on time (no late papers unless arranged prior to the date the paper is due). This essay is due on Wednesday 1/30 by 11:55pm on Canvas.
- Be 4-6 FULL pages, double spaced (3 and a half pages does not count as 4 pages)
- Follow MLA formatting guidelines
- Practice PIE or TEA paragraph structure (see week 3 for information on this paragraph structure)
- Use at least three quotes from our readings.
- Include a naysayer in which you rebuttal
Tips for Success
- You can’t write about everything—you have to pick and choose, organize, focus and describe the most relevant events, goals, aspirations, feelings, etc that motivated you to come to college, and explain why they are significant.
- Remember, your reader wasn’t there at the events you’re describing. You have to describe these experiences using specific language, as if you’re writing to a stranger.
- Do NOT tell a “story,” a list of events in order. An essay is more than just a list of events told in order. Your essay should focus on “points/claims” backed up by “proof” that then “analyzes” your reasons for coming to college, despite the challenges or “pain.”
- You must use your experiences as well as the authors’ points to inform your points.
- You can use ‘I’ in this paper, but avoid addressing your reader directly (avoid ‘you’—it’s like pointing a finger at your reader).
Brainstorming Questions to Consider (Consider using these questions to generate ideas for your draft)
- Make a list of all the things that led you to come to college. What themes/patterns do you see? Does this theme appear in one of the essay’s we’ve read? How is your experience similar to that of the authors’? How so?
- If you had to pick the three or four events, times, places, conversations that influenced your decision to go to college, what would they be?
- How did each event lead you closer to your decision?
- Is there a specific person who influenced you to be here? What is your relationship to that person?
- Why are these events, or people significant?
- What did you decide to major in?
- How did people react to your decision?
- How do you feel about being a college student?
- Who has had the biggest impact on this decision?
- What are your future academic and life goals? Why did you pick these goals?
- What challenges have you already faced as a college student?
- What challenges do you expect to face?
Please let me know if you have any questions!
I got a draft for the essay but it is out of track. The most important thing about this essay is to talk about personal experience rather than statistic. And I made that mistake for my draft. The essay required 3 supporting paragraph and one counter argument. Feel free to change the thesis statement or rewrite the supporting paragraph to make it more relevant to personal experience. The final essay has to be at least 4 full pages, double spaces, MLA format. Using TEA paragraph structure(Topic Sentence(claim)+proof+analysis)
Here is my Thesis statement: Even though few uneducated individuals succeed in the society(counter argument), from my perspective, a college degree is very crucial in the contemporary world. Considering the benefits such as its chance of improving one’s quality of life(First point); enhancing an informed and independent decision-making process in one’s life(Second point). In addition, it heightens a chance to get a well-paying job which earns higher wages than our less educated counterparts. (The third point)
Attached is my draft.