The Value of College Education Is a Powerful Weapon Synthesis Essay

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SYNTHESIS ESSAY ASSIGNMENT

Synthesis comes from a Greek word that means “to put together” and often refers to the combining of information or ideas from a variety of sources into a coherent whole. Synthesis refers to both a thought process and a type of essay. A synthesis essay involves bringing ideas together from different sources into a unified piece of writing and varies from a simple comparison and contrast essay to a complex researched argument.

For this assignment, you will write an argument synthesis essay on a topic related to education and any of the issues raised within the McArdle, Weissmann, and Rose articles. You should select an issue or aspect of the topic that interests you or that is critical to the conversation. The purpose of your essay is to persuade readers of the correctness of your thesis (central claim of your argument) by providing relevant evidence and analysis. Within your essay, you must synthesize ideas from all readings. Document all ideas from outside sources, providing MLA in-text citations to identify the source for every paraphrase, summary, and quotation. Include a Works Cited that lists all sources you cite within the essay.

The following are questions and possible topics that you could address within your essay, but you can select any issue or question that is raised within the McArdle, Weissmann, and Rose articles:

  • What is the value of a college education? How useful is such an education in the 21st century workplace?
  • How important is a college degree or graduate school now and for jobs in the future?
  • What is the purpose of a college education? What are students learning?
  • What could be done to improve the learning that goes on at colleges? What do colleges need to do to improve the education that students receive?
  • Do you agree with McArdle that more and more students would be better off not going to college? Why?
  • Is there a college bubble? Is it similar to the housing bubble? What has caused it and what needs to be done to prevent it from popping?
  • What about the cost of college? What has caused the increases in tuition? Is the cost worth it?
  • What about student loans? Are they part of the problem?
  • What can be done to solve the problems related to the costs of college and other issues colleges are facing? What is the government’s role? What can the government do to help solve the problems at universities?

Format and Length: 3-4 pages, double spaced, with one-inch margins; 12-point standard font.

  • Put your name, course, and date in the upper left hand corner.
  • Provide a title for the essay (centered), and number the pages.
  • Use MLA documentation: in-text citations and a list of sources at the end of the essay.

Audience: The professor and other students who are familiar with the topic of education and the assigned readings.

Essay Guidelines:

  • Provide a thesis that presents your overall claim on an issue related to education.
  • Organize your argument effectively with an introduction that establishes a context for your paper, presents your thesis, and prepares readers for what follows; a body that develops and supports your thesis; and a closing that restates the thesis and provides a sense of completeness to the essay.
  • Support your thesis with evidence from the three articles.

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