For your Final Essay, you must choose to address one of the two debates represented in Chapter 7: Persuasion and Argument. The two debates are: A Debate About College Sports, represented by the essays “The Shame of College Sports” by Taylor Branch, and “Should College Athletes Be Paid? Why, They Already Are” by Seth Davis; and A Debate About Liberal Arts, represented by the essays “To Boost Post-College Prospects, Cut Humanities Departments” by Peter Cohan, and “What is College For?” by William Deresiewicz. You should first choose which debate you would like to address. Once you have chosen, you should read both essays that address this debate; these will be your sources. You should use only these two sources and no other sources. This means you should pay careful attention to the Hierarchy of Information in both essays. Taking notes on both essays will be crucial because in your essay I will be looking for evidence that you have read and understood both arguments and that you understand how they relate to one another, where they agree, and where they disagree. It will be your task to take a side in the debate. By taking a side in the debate, you will be making a claim. This claim will be the thesis of your essay. Your supporting points will come from the source essays. You should point out where you think one author is correct and where you think the other author is wrong. You should use one author to support your claim by showing where their argument, logic, information is superior to the other author. Remember the work we did on Summary. Make sure you are able to summarize both essays. The difference is that this time, instead of objectively restating the argument, you are summarizing strategically to show your reader where one argument is superior to the other. All essays should be at least 3 and no more than 4 pages. Essays that are not 3 full pages in length will lose points. All essays should be in MLA format. Essays that are not in MLA format will lose points. A Works Cited Page is not required. All essays are due by midnight on our last day of class: Saturday, December 19th. In the last section of the course, we have considered two debates: one about college athletes and one about college curriculum. We have considered two sets of essays that are in conversation with one another. We have paid careful attention to the Hierarchy of Information to ascertain the moving parts of the essays and how they relate to one another. A synthesis is a combination of separate things to form a whole. In our last synthesis, you combined two different genres together; in this essay, you are asked to combine two different arguments in an effort to persuade your reader which argument is more convincing. You will choose one of the two essay pairs to make your argument. This means your sources will be either: “The Shame of College Sports” and “Should College Athletes Be Paid? Why, They Already Are,” or “To Boost Post-College Prospects, Cut Humanities Departments” and “What is College For?” Your task is to enter into one of these debates by using the two corresponding articles as sources. You will do this by making a claim that sides with one author or the other. This will be the thesis that organizes your essay. In order to develop this claim, your supporting points should be drawn from each essay. Summarize the various points of each essay in terms of the other. Which author’s argument do you find more compelling and why? Where does the argument of the author with whom you disagree fall short in your estimation? Remember that the Hierarchy of Information is both a key to understanding the source material as well as a way to structure your own argument. I will continue to look for good grammar and clarity at the sentence level, unified paragraph structure with smooth transitions, and overall essay structure. The essay must be typed out in MLA format and will be due on D2L on Saturday, December 19th.
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