Question Description

For this in-class essay, you will be formulating and defending your own argument. Instead of coming up with your own topic, you will have to write about the following topic…

  • Higher Education: a four-year degree seems to mean nothing when compared to the real world. A college degree does not guarantee a steady, well-paid job. In fact, classes such as Psychology, English Literature, and even Biology have nothing to do with the realities of working, paying the bills, buying a house, and retiring with enough money to spare. Why should people learn and study such topics? ARGUE OTHERWISE. Make a convincing argument explaining why a college education is important.DO NOT make the clichéd argument about a college degree being a requirement for getting a good job. What are the intangible benefits of receiving a college education beyond simply getting a job? What is the value of exploring ideas and developing critical thinking skills, for example?

The basic requirements are as follows: one introduction, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion. However, you do not have to be so formal in this essay assignment. Play with language and tone, even in your intro and conclusion. You can use “I”, “you”, or “we” in this assignment. Nonetheless, you need to incorporate several rhetorical strategies in your body paragraphs. Here are the rhetorical issues that you need to consider and utilize:

  • Evidence: you should use the reading material that I have provided in preparation for this in-class essay. Therefore, you should quote from William Bowen’s essay, “Increasing the Value of a Liberal Education.” For example, you can quote his personal experience (eyewitness testimony) as a grad student, or you can quote Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, and use his personal story (eyewitness testimony) as evidence. You can also quote any of the experts such as Woodie Flowers and use his words as expert testimony. The goal here is to find strong evidence in the reading material and build a strong appeal off of that evidence.
  • Appeal: you should develop both logical (logos) and ethical (ethos) appeal. Please keep in mind that logical appeal is a series of statements that lead the reader (your teacher in this case) to a logical conclusion. Thus, you can first quote Bowen, and then build a series of statements that will lead me to the conclusion that the intangible value of higher education makes sense. When using ethical appeal, you must convince me that you promote the right ethics and that you are the moral authority. In other words, you need to establish your credibility, which should make your argument the ethical choice. For instance, could you build a strong ethos off of Jeff Bezo’s eyewitness testimony?
  • Language: you should employ both connotative and denotative language. With denotative language, you need to give me a specific and literal definition. For example, how do you define post-secondary education? What is a four-year university as opposed to a community college? With connotative language, you need to figure out what metaphors you want to create. How will your metaphorical language (connotative language) help you explain your argument?
  • Tone: you should decide what sort of tone you want to establish in your argument. You can create a specific attitude in your writing (sarcastic, friendly, authoritative, etc.). In addition, you can be aggressive in your tone, or you can be casual and conversational. Whatever you do, your tone must enhance and aid your argument.
  • Please be aware that the purpose of this assignment is to combine all of the rhetorical tool (evidence, appeal, language, and tone)to create a cohesive argument.

Even though this is an in-class assignment, you can bring in an outline or notes in preparation for your essay, but you must attach them to your essay before turning it in. You cannot have anything pre-written. You must write your essay during the class session. Additionally, you cannot write on a laptop, so your essay must be hand-written.


  • Please bring in college-ruled lined paper; a green examination book is not necessary. I will only accept black or blue ink. You can either print or write in cursive as long as your writing is legible. Please be aware that this essay must be hand-written.
  • Please write your name, my name, English 101, and the date in the upper left-hand corner of your first page.
  • There is no specific required length, but you must write at least five paragraphs (intro, three body paragraphs, and conclusion) for this assignment.
  • You can bring in any notes or outlines to class, but you must attach them to the essay before turning anything in. You cannothave your essay already written before the scheduled in-class assignment. If you have anything that looks too similar to paragraphs or a complete essay, you will receive a failing grade (0%). In addition to your notes and/or outline, you should bring copies of the reading material that I have provided specifically for this in-class essay assignment.
  • This essay is scheduled for Friday, 5/24. You will have at least two full hours to complete this in-class assignment.

Topic: Social Media Corporations Regulating the Internet: because of the rise of trolls and cyberbullying, should there be some sort of regulation of what is posted on social media sites and such? Is it the responsibility of companies such as Facebook to monitor and censor any posts that are threatening or dangerous (such as allowing Holocaust deniers to spread their beliefs)? People should be allowed to enjoy the internet without the fear of harassment, so sometimes kicking out and blocking offensive material on certain sites is a good thing in the long run. However, does such censorship violate the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution? If Facebook decides to censor alt-right posts, what will stop them from censoring other ones?