WR 121 UOFM Mark Bauerlein Whats the Point of A Professor Article Discussion

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WR 121

University of Michigan



Reading link: What’s 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. Let’s 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 one’s career opportunities. Furthermore, some may say that even if you don’t 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, I’ve started to “break down” the argument:

i.College is expensive, and if you don’t 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 I’m 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, I’ve 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 I’m 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 let’s 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, it’s 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 argument’s 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).

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Explanation & Answer

Attached. Please let me know if you have any questions or need revisions.

Surname 1
The article "What's the point of a Professor" by Mark Bauerlein, published on 9 May
2015 by the New York Times, highlights a professor's opinion on higher education in recent
times. The article highlights that the earlier days saw great respect for professors. Passion and
desire drove studies as opposed to today's studies, which are driven by financial gain. Students in
the older days (the 1960s and 1970s) respected and looked up to their professors for academic
and moral guidance. Bauerlein notes that the attitude towards higher education has changed, with
current students seeking higher education to make money. The major challenge in higher
education today revolves around students no longer consulting their professors in their education
or moral guidance.
The current education has seen fewer and fewer conversations between professors and
students. According to Bauerlein, professors' lack of involvement in students' lives is to blame
for the attitudinal changes. Professors are no longer challenging students, losing their grip as the
moral authority for students. The focus fo...

Really great stuff, couldn't ask for more.


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