What is your thesis in response to this argument?

Instructions:  Read the article “The Real Value of Higher Education” by former UNC System President , Tom Ross,  (handout) and  compose a summary/ response essay that refers to, summarizes, analyzes, and responds to this article, which we have read and discussed.  Also, consider the debates that are raging about changes to higher education in North Carolina. (For help with this, consult “How to Right Size a University System” on lavender paper.) Your essay must contain a minimum of 500 words, and it should be at least 2 pages in length.  

You should both paraphrase (at least twice) and quote directly (at least twice) from Ross’ article, making sure to distinguish between the two.  (See the samples below.)  Please use correct MLA citations (author’s last name and pg. # only in parentheses).  You may quote or paraphrase more frequently as you choose; however, make sure to achieve a balance by offering your personal observations.  Remember to proofread your essay meticulously (at least once out loud) for clarity, grammar errors, vocabulary, and careless errors (typos), and make necessary corrections.  When you turn in the final essay, it should include final essay, typed rough draft and/or handwritten rough draft of the summary, any pre-writing, this assignment sheet, and the copy of the articles (in this order).  Please follow the directions below.

– Introduce the issue about the challenges facing students and higher education institutions in North Carolina.  Think about what you have heard on the news, in your community, and in our class discussions. Consider your own experiences.  See also the article “How to Right-Size a University System” for background information. 

–Summarize the article. (in one or two paragraphs)

Summarize the article in one or two paragraphs.  Make sure to include the most important points.  You should paraphrase from the essay in order to complete your summary.  Use signal phrases to refer to the author and include the title of the essay (enclosed in quotation marks) in the opening sentence.See the sample below.  

Sample Summary Sentence – In an article from the News & Observer, “The Real Value of Higher Education” former UNC System President Tom Ross argues that higher education benefits students far more than simply preparing them for careers.  He also explains the benefits that the University of North Carolina brings to our state (1-2).

See also the prompts below for help in developing your summary.  

• What is this about?  Write at least one well-developedparagraph. 
• What is the problem or issue the author is addressing? 
• Give only highlights.  For the most part, details will come in the analysis section.
• What is your thesis in response to this argument?

–Analyze (This should be 1 or 2 paragraphs in length.)

• What is the author’s main argument? 
• What is new about this argument?
• Analyze two (or more) of the opinions, facts, evidence, and examples that the author uses to make his points.
• Is the material convincing?  Why or why not?  Quote specific passages and interpret and evaluate them based on your understanding.  (See the sample below.)    
• Make sure to use signal phrases and correct MLA citations! 
• Give a brief “flavor” of how the author makes his case. 

Sample Quote –  Ross warns that “America is losing her way with regard to higher education” (Ross  1).      

(Always enclose quoted material in quotation marks).

–Respond  (This will include your concluding comments.)

• Respond to the articles theme and arguments. Give your own opinions on the author’s ideas and your beliefs about these issues for our UNC schools, especially UNC Pembroke
• Do you agree or disagree with the author?  
• In your opinion, what is the most important point the author makes?  Carefully explain why. 
• If you choose, share personal observations from your own experiences with specific examples, which connect to the theme of this article.  
• Compare and contrast your views with the author’s as appropriate.  
• Recommend a particular solution or course of action that the UNC System should take. 
• Also, describe some of the actions that our legislature could take to ensure the quality of higher education in NC and the wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff.  What can students do to protect our university system? 

• Make sure to include what actions should be taken to ensure the quality of education for all students on NC public college campuses (based on evidence from the articles and your own observation and experiences).  

A note on evidence….

**What is “Evidence?” 

The standards of evidence differ by academic discipline and you need to familiarize yourself with how scholars in your field define it.  Consider the following:

• Scholars tend to be distrustful of arguments whose “proof” lies entirely in words.  Language that is merely forceful or clever is seldom enough to carry a debate.  Academics seldom accept anything that might fall into a “because I said so” category.

• Among the most obvious forms of evidence are measurable data, examples, and documents.  A “you-could-look-it-up” standard is a high one.  So too is any argument whose proofs can be tested independently or whose experiments can be verified or replicated.  

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