Providing Context & Taking a Positions by Charles Murray

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Introduction Paragraph

                “They Say” – Background [chapters 1-3]

Provide a focused summary of the article and the viewpoint you are responding to. Provide in-text citations (including page numbers!) for your summary; select details from the text to summarize that relate to the specific debate you are entering. This summary should be 4-5 sentences.

“Are Too Many People Going to College?” is an article by Charles Murray published in 2008. Charles Murray in his article disputes the need for pumping every student to college level education when there are other avenues to venture based on the students capabilities and attitudes. Murray claims that core knowledge in liberal education can be gained adequately at elementary school and middle school levels without the need for college (Murray 2). The article further claims that liberal education is not the key to the success for any American since the system is has created bottlenecks for entry through complex SATs and GPAs and is inclined more to memorization of facts rather than enjoyment and complete comprehension of the subject matter (Murray 4). Murray believes that college education is tough work for many average students who would otherwise benefit from community centers, vocational schools and online courses and believes only very bright students should be left to pursue college education (Murray 7).

                “I Say” – Thesis Statement [chapter 4]

Select a template from chapter 4 to express your position on this issue. Review the lists on page 60 (“Disagreeing with Reasons) or page 65-66 (“Agreeing and Disagreeing Simultaneously”).

Although Murray gives detailed reasoning on his claims, I disagree that college level education should only be left to the brightest students and most competitive and rigorous courses like law and medicine; that conventional brick and mortar college set ups are obsolete and not important and that college education should be based on the money returns rather than knowledge gained.

Body Paragraph Structure – PEE [Point/Evidence/Explanation]

Note: This is an example for one paragraph only; you will need to complete multiple body paragraphs for this paper.

                Point [Topic Sentence]

What point do you want to prove in this paragraph? This sentence should not include any quotes or specific details from the articles. This sentence should reflect a REASON for your belief (e.g., X is wrong because ….)

I disagree with Murray’s claims that college level education should only be left to the brightest students and the most competitive and rigorous courses like law and medicine because the students pursuing them can grasp the content, spend long time in school and ultimately benefit the country through service.

                Evidence

What details and examples from the readings or from your observations/life experiences support this point? REMEMBER TO INCLUDE CITATIONS FOR ANY QUOTES, PARAPHRASE, OR SUMMARY!!

According to Murray’s statement on a 98th percentile lady pursuing law, “…it seems essential that she spend her undergraduate years getting a rigorous liberal education. Apart from a liberal education’s value to her, the nation will benefit…” Murray ignores the importance of college-level education to many young people.

                Explanation [Concluding Sentence]

How does your evidence support your topic sentence/main point? Explain your thinking–connect the dots for readers about how you are making sense of this information. Your paragraph SHOULD NOT end with a quote or a detail from the text; it should end with an explanation of how the evidence you’ve presented supports your thesis.

A college degree is essential to any person because it is an eye opener to life and to the intended job market. For instance, a person intending to be a good web designer, needs a suitable environment and qualified lecturers who are able to guide him/her to completion through a series of tasks, practicals and above all good theory background. College is usually the best place for such an opportunity. Many careers including elementary school teachers need college degree qualifications to be in a better position to nurture children and encourage them to aim for the highest and become the best they can in life. Claiming that four-year liberal education is ridiculous to pursue such careers as accounting, teaching and journalism is misguided on the part of Murray. In fact, these students get immense exposure both in theory and practice when they learn detailed account of their careers.

Sandwich Method Review [chapter 3]

When you use a quote from the text to support your thesis, remember to use the “sandwich method” to integrate the quote into your paragraph seamlessly.

“…it seems essential that she spend her undergraduate years getting a rigorous liberal education. Apart from a liberal education’s value to her, the nation will benefit…”(Murray 12)

Murray claims that college level education should only be left to the brightest students and the most competitive and rigorous courses like law and medicine because the students pursuing them can grasp the content, spend long time in school and ultimately benefit the country through service.

Putting It All Together

This may seem redundant, but I want you to take the exercise you did above and put it together with perfect punctuation and formatting exactly as it would appear in your paper for extra practice using and applying these skills. You can copy/paste your work from the boxes above. Pay particular attention to commas and capitalization.

According Murray, brick and mortar college set-up is obsolete and is not the only way to get an education. He believes that internet has revolutionized learning in higher education.

Addressing Naysayers and Saying Why It Matters

                Planting a Naysayer [chapter 6]

Select templates from chapter 6 to acknowledge and refute opposing viewpoints; the following example is modified from page 89. Your refutation should be at least 2-3 sentences and address a SPECIFIC counterargument.

Some might believe that long distance learning through the internet, universal access to school study materials though the web instead of conventional static libraries and the input of video-conferencing or taping to instructional materials is the way to go, however I still insist that not all students have the technical know-how to operate, afford or prefer these gadgets.

                Saying Why It Matters [chapter 7]

Select templates from chapter 7 to explain who cares about your claim and why it matters; the following example is from page 98. This should be 4-5 sentences.

This issue is important because technology can never be equated to social interaction between human beings. One appreciates more when they see, hear and perform actions in real-time rather than downloading pre-recorded materials and watching or reading on their own.