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Introduction

Going to college is a dream come true for thousands of students a year. But getting there and staying there is not always an easy task. Coming into a college is often perceived as crossing a border of a kind, coming into an institution of higher education where not all students always feel welcomed or comfortable. There are many reasons for that, but teachers and administrators are not always aware of what has happened in a students’ past experiences or what is happening in their current lives outside of school. Yet, one can argue that to be effective teachers and successful students, we have to bridge that gap and work to understand and support each other.

In the past few days, we have completed readings and watched videos that deal with the issue of educational borders or barriers, whether those include childhood trauma, economic hardships, unsupportive families, and often deep inequalities. Martin Luther King Jr. gave us insight into the purpose of education, but then Malcolm X, Sherman Alexie and the four California students from First Generation showed us that the path to learning is not necessarily a smooth one.

Barriers to education are things that prevent students from attending school or completing their schoolwork. Some barriers are physical, such as a shortage of schools or transportation to them while others may be related to the circumstances in which a student lives, such as financial struggle, unhealthy family environments, learning disabilities or simply lack of encouragement or support. These barriers can result in students dropping out of school early or never attending at all, and we have to find a way to fight that.

In order to address the issue, we will look at our own experiences and barriers in relation to what the authors we have worked with over the last couple of weeks.

Reading and Writing Skills

Over the course of this assignment, we will continue to work on developing key academic reading and writing skills, which you will use throughout your career as a student and which constitute the basis of most scholarly writing. You will be focusing on developing a strong thesis, summarizing a text concisely and clearly, and making an argument using your own experiences as support (information).

Focusing Questions

Now that you briefly understand what we are doing with this assignment and why we are doing it, I will now introduce our guiding questions. Through our reading and writing over the next few weeks, we will be considering and discussing the following: What claims about education does your author make? What educational barriers have you faced? Can you find any connections between your experiences on those of the individuals we have read and watched?

Assignment Overview

The section below outlines the specific requirement of this assignment.

Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is to:

  1. Read and respond to a college-level text.
  2. Compose college-level writing.
  3. Produce an academic summary of an article.
  4. Respond to a topic with an original argument.

Goals

This assignment will help students meet the following Student Learning Objectives, as stated on the course syllabus:

  1. Use personal experiences to provide evidence in support of an argument.
  2. Synthesize researched material from multiple texts to create and support an argument in response to a prompt. Draw direct evidence from texts in support of claims and analyze how that evidence supports the claim.
  3. Utilize the various phases in the writing process—prewriting, writing revision, and proofreading—to produce clear, articulate, well-supported, well-organized essays.
  4. Avoid plagiarism by properly citing quoted, summarized, and paraphrased material using MLA format.

Task

Compose a summary and response essay, between 700-900 words in length, in which you clearly summarize one of our class texts (or one of the trauma videos/ OTHER VIDEO OF TRAUMA or the experience of one student from First Generation) and then respond to it by agreeing or disagreeing with the author’s ideas based on connections between the author’s claims and your own experiences.

Note that you are not allowed to use any outside articles or sources.

Please make sure to review your lecture on Writing a Summary and Response.

More Specifically, the paper should have four paragraphs:

  1. Introduction: The introduction should introduce the readers to the idea of educational borders. It should introduce the article you have chosen to summarize. It should end with a thesis that states how the article relates to your experiences in education so far.
  2. Summary: Your summary of the one text you chose formatted in Academic Summary format.
  3. Response: Ideas and points you acceptdisagree with examples from your own experiences. This should be formatted in PIE paragraph structure.
  • In the Point (topic sentence), you should name what you agree or disagree with the author about.
  • The Information will give an example of your personal experiences to show why you agree or disagree. The
  • Explanation will explain to the reader how your experiences prove that the author is correct or wrong in his/her assertions.

4. Conclusions: Restates your thesis and provides a final thought.

NOTE: Since you are citing an article or video, don’t forget your Works Cited page.

Rubric

Summary and Response Essay Rubric

Summary and Response Essay Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeINTRODUCTION

10.0 to >7.5 pts

Well Done: Well-developed introductory paragraph introduces the essay’s topic and the chosen text. The writer expresses a clear thesis statement that agrees or disagrees with the original author’s thesis statement and major support. Located at the end of the introduction, the thesis expresses the central idea of the paper.

7.5 to >5.0 pts

Strong but Needs a Few Changes: Introductory paragraph contains some background information on the essay’s topic. It introduces the chosen text. The thesis demonstrates engagement with text and a clear compelling argument in response to the text, regarding its effectiveness or significance, though may be lacking in specificity or detail.

5.0 to >2.5 pts

Almost There: Introduction states the thesis, but does not sufficiently introduce the topic of the essay/does not introduce the chosen text. The thesis responds to text, though argument may be vague or lacking in critical engagement.

2.5 to >0 pts

Not Yet: Introduction is too brief to properly introduce the topic, or it does not include a thesis.

10.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeCONCLUSION

5.0 to >3.75 pts

Well Done: Conclusion summarizes the main topics without repeating previous sentences; writer’s opinions are logical and well thought out.

3.75 to >2.5 pts

Strong but Needs a Few Changes: Conclusion summarizes main topics. There are some final thoughts but those might be unclear.

2.5 to >1.25 pts

Almost There: Conclusion summarizes main topics, but is repetitive. The thesis is not clearly restated.

1.25 to >0 pts

Not Yet: Conclusion does not adequately summarize the main points, restate the thesis or give final thoughts.

5.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSUMMARY PARAGRPAPH

15.0 to >11.25 pts

Well Done: The summary follows the four steps of an academic summary. It shows a clear understanding of the major ideas of the reading. The student can clearly distinguish between the major claims and statements and the less relevant digressions or details in the reading, and her summary is focused on the former and not the latter.

11.25 to >7.5 pts

Strong but Needs a Few Changes: The summary follows at least three of the four steps of an academic summary. It shows a a good understanding of the text, but may have missed some important claims.

7.5 to >3.75 pts

Almost There: The summary follows at least two of the four steps of an academic summary. It shows basic understanding of the text, but misses major claims or supports.

3.75 to >0 pts

Not Yet: The summary does not follow the four step academic summary structure.

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeRESPONSE PARAGRAPH

15.0 to >11.25 pts

Well Done: The response paragraph is formatted as a PIE paragraph with a clear Point, Information and Explanation. Responses use detailed support and examples in abundance to make the writer’s major points come alive.

11.25 to >7.5 pts

Strong but Needs a Few Changes: The response follow PIE paragraph structure, but at least one of the three parts (point, information, explanation) lacks details or depth.

7.5 to >3.75 pts

Almost There: The response has at least two of the three elements of a PIE paragraph, or it includes all three PIE elements but they all lack detail and depth.

3.75 to >0 pts

Not Yet: The response is not yet formatted in PIE paragraph structure and does not yet include enough details about the writer’s personal experiences as related to the text.

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGRAMMAR AND MLA FORMATTING

5.0 to >3.75 pts

Well Done: Adheres to all assignment requirements regarding MLA formatting, length, and topic. Grammar is largely free of errors.

3.75 to >2.5 pts

Strong but Needs a Few Changes: Adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with very few MLA or grammar issues.

2.5 to >1.25 pts

Almost There: Mostly adheres to assignment requirements concerning length and topic with few MLA formatting or grammatical issues.

1.25 to >0 pts

Not Yet: Does not yet adhere to essay length or topic requirements and includes consistent MLA formatting or major grammar issues.

5.0 pts

Total Points: 50.0