High School Vs. College Writing

High School Vs. College Writing - Dr. Susan McHugh English...

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Dr. Susan McHugh English 110 High School Writing vs. College Writing This handout offers students guidelines about what elements are included in a convincing argument. It does so specifically by foregrounding the notion of audience and confronting the fact that an argument that sounded compelling to a high school audience won't necessarily sound compelling to a college audience. The High School Essay This is the "three reasons why" paper, or the five-paragraph theme. This essay had its time and place: it helped you learn to present an argument, to support that argument with evidence, and to organize your sentences into paragraphs. But is it all that you are capable of as a writer? The problem with this form is that it forces you to argue extremes: you're either for or against something; it's either this or that. Your reader ends up thinking that you haven't really thought very deeply about the issues involved; your reader is constantly asking herself questions like, "But what about this other example?" or "Is this always the case?" By sticking to the five-paragraph essay form, high-school writers oversimplify what might otherwise develop into mature insight. For example, suppose you were given the paper topic "Is the America the 'Land of Opportunity?'" The "three reasons why" form gives you two options: (Option 1) Intro/Thesis: America is the "Land of Opportunity." Paragraph I/First piece of evidence: There are many examples of people who started with "nothing" and ended up with "something." Paragraph 2/Second piece of evidence: In America, everyone is entitled to an education, which provides everyone with the opportunity to succeed. Paragraph 3/Third piece of evidence: America is a democracy. Therefore,
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High School Vs. College Writing - Dr. Susan McHugh English...

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