Humanities
The Strategic Importance of Ignorance essay

Question Description

Prompt: Using Michael Moore’s essay, “Idiot Nation,” write an essay in which you expound or refute the idea that the American culture/society is not “stupid”, but rather a nation of “idiots” that goes out of its way to be ignorant. And because of this, Americans are living in a dangerous time because as they sit by idle, consumed by media, oblivious to the world, the rest of the world is gaining ground on the things Americans take for granted. And the really frightening part is that as mediocrity becomes increasingly acceptable, America runs the risk of becoming a nation of idiots, run by idiots. You must use three additional sources*, which you cite directly. You may use one of the other assigned essays from the “education” chapter of our textbook as one of your three additional sources


establish your own thesis that is inspired by the source identified in the prompt. Do not cite a source in your introduction so that your thesis stands out, and it does not appear you are simply echoing or repeating the source. Your thesis is the next step in the argument, be it for or against the source author's point. You are not writing an analysis or explication of the source essay of the prompt--doing so would limit your grade to no better than a C. The article identified in the prompt is no more important than the other research you will include.

Your essay must begin with an introduction that contains a clearly defined, purpose driven, and arguable thesis. The introduction should clearly identify any supporting main ideas that will support the thesis. Body paragraphs should contain minor claims (topic sentences) that advance controlling ideas and that support the thesis. All ideas should be supported with evidence. Your paper must cite examples from the stated texts in the prompt and from your outside sources*. Each example must be supported with critical thinking that explains the significance of the chosen quotation/citation as is relates to your ideas. In your conclusion make a final statement that clearly identifies why what has been shown in your essay is important.

*additional sources must come only from the following: an article located on EBSCOhost (or from a similar database), an article in a major newspaper or magazine, or a book (but not the class textbook or other course material); sources that do not meet this criteria will not count toward the minimum required sources.

*You may cite the film Idiocracy, however it does not count toward the minimum required additional sources.

Your paper must:

include an original title that speaks to your thesis

be a minimum of 4 full pages (approximately 1400-1500 words)

contain a minimum of 4 cited sources

be typed, double-spaced, using Times New Roman 12pt font

be formatted according to MLA

use MLA guidelines for in-text citations and Works Cited page

be written using strictly an academic, third-person point-of-view

Final Answer

Here you go, student. Let me know if you need edits.

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The Strategic Importance of Ignorance
Michael Moore’s essay, “Idiot Nation”, starts out as a sentimental tirade against the
American people. The frustrations that guide Moore’s indignation are easy to understand – in a
nation that can boast one of the largest GDPs in the world, education should have achieved better
result. Instead, to the frustrations of individual like Michael Moore, the United States can boast of
an environment where ignorance and anti-intellectualism thrive; in words more aligned with the
text’s tone, this lack of attention to education has created a nation of idiots. As enticing as it might
be to put the blame on individuals – as Moore starts out doing in the essay – the management of
the education system is a much larger determinant factor than individual choice. As Moore
eventually realizes, a failed education system has set this stage and shaped its actors so that the
average person, the Ivy League student, and the political leader can boast about how much they do
not know. The lack of attention placed to the American education system is certainly a tragedy –
children throughout the nation are being coerced out of certain opportunities because of the
malicious mismanagement of the system – but it is likely not accidental. It is not a fad, either, antiintellectualism has been part of American culture for a large section of its history. It can be argued
that the decision to underfund schools and to engrain anti-intellectualism in American culture, the
ruling class gains a strategic advantage over the numerical minority.
It has long been understood that, for a nation to thrive, it is imperative to invest in its
schooling system. From Pre-K to PhD programs, the government ought to have the responsibility

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to ensure that their citizens, regardless of their identity or socioeconomic status, have access to an
education system that is built to prepare them for success. Giving schools the sufficient funding
for their facilities, staff, texts and other resources can guarantee an improvement to the quality of
education that is given to the child (Ehrenfreund, 2015), exactly as one would expect. In turn,
better educational o...

eetorres (9082)
Purdue University

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