Standardized testing are unfair

Essay 3: Problem/ Solution


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In Unit 2, we examined different issues and debates related to education, and we examined the different perspectives people have on them. For your final essay, you will choose one issue related to the intersection of education and history that interests you; you will explore it further through your own research. You can:

  1. Write about an issue or debate about history and education (i.e. confederate monuments, cultural artifacts in museums, etc.)
  2. Or, you can write about an issue or debate in education and address the history of that issue—how it was 50 years ago, or even just 10, or what has happened in the past that has influenced how it is today.

You can choose a topic closely related to your previous essay, but it needs to be a new topic that you haven’t written about before. You’ll want to choose a topic that is not too broad. Be careful in selecting your topic because you’ll be sticking with it for the rest of the semester.


The Process

Your research will be guided by inquiry rather than assertion; therefore, you’ll need to develop a research question to guide your work. We’ll work on this together. In order to create your research question, I recommend doing some exploratory research. Find articles that interest and excite you. Think outside the box; don’t be afraid to explore an issue that is unfamiliar to you, or that others may not initially think of as a problem.


Once you have your research question, you will delve deeper into research, attempting to answer it; you will consider different facts and stances in order to evaluate the issue you’ve chosen. Then, you will arrive at your stance.


For this essay, you will want to gather as much textual evidence as you can and think about how your different sources relate to one another (this is part of practicing synthesis). Compose a rough draft, crafting a rough thesis statement that identifies both a problem and a solution. (Of course, we will work on this together.) Look back at your different sources in order to develop your main analytical points. (This should be done after you have read through all of your articles.) Then, consider counterpoints. You may not arrive at your thesis statement until partway through or at the end of writing your rough draft; this is completely fine.


General Considerations:

For this essay, you’ll need to decide what you want your scope and audience to be. Your scope and audience can be specific and localized, for example focusing on an issue at Suffolk and writing your essay for Suffolk administrators and community members to read. Or, you can be more far ranging, writing about an issue’s national presence and with, say, the Department of Education in mind as your audience.


The goal for this essay is to 1) convince your readers of the seriousness of your chosen problem, 2) thoroughly explain the nature of the problem, 3) recommend and explain a solution, and 4) persuade them of the soundness of your solution.


Source Requirements:

You are required to use five sources for this essay.

  • All sources must be found through library research databases (One Search, Academic Search Complete, or another database we have discussed in class), with the exception of the creative source option, explained below.
  • All of your sources should be relevant and help to develop and support your arguments, lending to the logic, ethos, and overall strength of your argument.
  • At least two sources should be academic/ scholarly articles
  • You may also include credible journalistic pieces found through the databases, films, credible opinion pieces, book chapters, etc.
  • It is your job to evaluate which sources to include, using Everyone’s An Author and class activities to help you in this endeavor.
  • Creative Source Option: If you want, one of your five sources may be a creative source– a poem, a film, a work of art, a song, etc. This source will likely contribute to the pathos of your argument, and it should not be relied on heavily to carry the logic of your argument.


Basic Requirements:

  • 7 to 8 full pages (not 6 pages and two lines onto the 7th page)

Essays that don’t meet the page requirement will receive zero credit

  • A correctly formatted Works Cited page in MLA or the style of your discipline which does not count toward the final page length
  • Correctly formatted in-text citations to cite evidence
  • 12-point Times New Roman Font
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • No extra spaces between paragraphs or lines
  • Double-spaced
  • Must have a creative and informative title


Due the last day of class, Friday, December 11th


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