This essay provides you the opportunity to conduct secondary research on a topic that is personally meaningful to you. You will locate, evaluate, incorporate, and cite sources using MLA style as you write the essay.
This assignment requires you to read (and incorporate) the following:
Original research in the research databases and/or Google Scholar
You must have 5 sources.
Extra credit if any of your sources are peer-reviewed journals (also called “juried” or “refereed”) (Links to an external site.).
You must have a Works Cited page in MLA format. There are many online, automatic generators to help you as well as full explanation of MLA in The West Guide.
In a four-page double-spaced (Links to an external site.) essay, address the following prompt:
Imagine you are the next Secretary of Education. You can redesign the American educational system in any way you want. (You don’t have to state this premise in the essay.)
What changes would you make to college, and why?
Your thesis statement should indicate what changes you would make, and each topic sentence should be one of the changes.
Develop each change section with an explanation of why the change is needed and why/how your change is better than the status quo. Use research to support your assertions (to help you show the problem, the solution, or both).
You can suggest changes to any aspect of college, from financial aspects, to required classes, to how classes are taught, who teaches them, when college meets, what happens in class, curriculum, majors, length of college, what services are available to students, etc.
Be completely creative and have fun with this. Make a strong case and convince me!
To find supporting research:
1. Consider if any of the books/articles we used this semester can help you. One example is the learning from exercise reading. That could totally be integrated into an idea (without saying more!). The stereotype threat article might be useful too if you can suggest a way to prevent it.
2. To support change ideas you do not have class articles for, brainstorm search terms to find what you need. For example, “student-centered pedagogy” would yield articles about classroom instruction that is not lecture based. “Free college” would yield articles about why college should be free. Feel free to message me if you are not sure what search term would work best for the changes you are suggesting.
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