Essay 6 – Asian and American Education

Spring, 2014
Instructor: Prof. Mitchell Smith

Essay #6 Instruction Sheet
Examining American and Asian Educational Methods

 Reminder–In your final draft, make sure to:
Include a Works Cited page
Double underline your Thesis Statement
Single underline your Topic Sentences 

Length: 5-6 pages, approximately 1250-1500 words

Due Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prompt: The prompt, or issue, for this assignment asks the question: “Which educational system is best for the United States? Our current system? The Asian system? Or would a mix of the two work best?

Because of years of declining test scores and behavioral problems, the American educational system has come under attack for failing to provide students with the basic skills needed for college and the work force. As a result, some people have suggested that we use the Asian model of education in our schools, while others argue that we need to retain our system but merely implement it better.

So, you will write an essay in which you examine American and Asian educational methods, noting the advantages and disadvantages of each. Use as many of the essays in your textbook as you can for support and cite them using MLA style in-text citations. Use original ideas as well—after all you are a veteran of the education system and so something of an expert—as you decide what elements from each system would fit the American culture, economy, demographics, and government. Then come to a conclusion about either which system you think is best for the United States and why or what combination of the two systems you think should be instituted.

Purpose: This is a compare and contrast essay, so your main purpose will be to inform the reader of the advantages and disadvantages of each system of education, the Asian and American.

Audience: In this case, imagine writing your paper for an American audience that is familiar with education in this country, but not others. Also, the reader has not read the essays in our text and may not know about any other countries’ educational system.

Essay Structure and Content: The essay should have an identifiable Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. In your introduction, you should explain your purpose, your method and your thesis. The purpose will explain the question you are exploring and why it might be important to you or others. The method will be the comparison and contrast of the two systems. The thesis will tell us in general terms either which system you think is best for the United States and why or what combination of the two systems you think should be instituted.

In the body of your essay, compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of the American and Asian educational methods. There are a couple of common approaches to organizing information in compare and contrast essays: block style or point-by-point. The block style would look at all points in one school system, and then all points in another. For this subject point-by-point would be more effective, looking at one point of comparison (such as curriculum, class size, parental involvement, budget, administration, testing, etc.) in both school systems and then moving onto another point.

Paragraph structure: Use the PIE model we discussed in class. “P” is the Point, which you will put in your Topic Sentence. In this essay, this is the place where you will identify one of the emotional appeals you have found to repeat in several ads. “I” is the Information you use to support your Point, and in this case is will be all the interpretations of the individual ads. “E” which ends the paragraph is the Explanation. What does the provided information mean? This is the explanation is the writer’s analysis, and for this paper, you might describe what the appeal you have just explored says about the advertisers’ beliefs about their readers. What do they think the readers are like (demographics) or what they feel and value (psychographics)? Your conclusion will tie all those E’s together, giving demographic and psychographic details in more specific terms.

Sentence structure: By this point we have studied strategies for shaping sentences with adjectives, verb forms, and prepositional phrases. Include sentences that use such sentences, cutting out “deadwood” and choppy, repetitive phrases. We have also worked on proper use of coordination, subordination, and transitional words and phrases. Use these tools thoughtfully (meaning both grammatically correct and clear in meaning) to create complex sentences in each of your paragraphs.

Usage Errors: This is your sixth essay, and usage errors will impact your grade. You may make up to two errors per page without a penalty. More than that will result in a grade of NP (not passing) and a required revision. Beyond basic grammar and spelling skills that incoming 96 students are expected to know, you will not be held responsible for grammar issues that we have not yet covered in the course. You will be responsible for rules about the following in your essay:

  • Correct spelling and word choice
  • Sentence Fragments
  • Run-Together Sentences
  • Basic Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Capitalization
  • Conjunctive adverbs, transitional phrases, and subordinating conjunctions
  • Homonym errors
  • Apostrophes and Possessives
  • Punctuation of titles
  • Quotation marks
  • Semicolon, Colon, and End punctuation
  • Pronoun antecedents, reference, and case

As we write more essays and cover more sentence development elements, your responsibilities will increase.

Format: Use the correct MLA manuscript format (the sample page will remain posted on the course webpage and can be found in your text Hacker p.583). Highlights include:

  • All essays must be typed and double-spaced
  • Margins must be 1-inch on all sides of the page
  • Use 12 point Courier or Times font (personal preference discussed in class)
  • Each essay should have your name, professor name (“Professor Smith”), course number (English 96 plus section number), and date at the top left corner of the first page
  • The title (not underlined or italicized or in quotes) should be centered above the first paragraph
  • A variation on MLA format: please staple multiple pages of final drafts (only) in the upper left corner
  • Double underline your Thesis Statement
  • Single underline your Topic Sentences
  • A Works Cited page
  • MLA In-text citations

Writing Steps:

  • List of the Advantages and Disadvantages of American and Asian Education Systems (In-class 3/18)
  • Peer-review sheets (In-class 4/10)
  • Final draft with peer-proofreading (Due 4/15)

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