College Knowledge

Essay #4:  Analysis and Reflection


In order to increase your stake in shaping your college education and to integrate ideas from the texts we’ve read together, we want you to ponder an issue and use sources to   shed light on it.  In some manner or fashion, use at least two and preferably three texts from this course to sketch your portrait of a good education. 


TOPIC:  Based on what you’ve read in this class, describe the features of a GOOD college education, focusing on 2-3 essential features of one.  Write about each of these in separate, beefy paragraphs.  After you’ve written these paragraphs, go back to the books and use what other writers say; figure out how you might use their wisdom to support your own judgment.  You can use these texts as positive evidence (for example, Socrates’ habit of questioning is an essential feature of a good education) or as negative evidence (Victor Frankenstein’s monomaniacal devotion to science does not constitute a good education).  However you use them, they are only support for YOUR thoughts on the topic. 



AUDIENCE:  your favorite older relative who hasn’t completed college.  This means you have to work to make the topic interesting and then write in sufficient detail to be thorough and convincing.  Because this reader hasn’t read our course texts, you have to justify why you’ve selected the texts you’ve included.




Opdike, In My Hands

Plato, Trial and Death of Socrates

Shelley, Frankenstein

Dusenbery et al., College Knowledge—must use as one source

Your book club selection



PROCEDURE:  In your introduction, you’ll need an energetic opener to tell your relative why the issue is important. You’ll want to lead this older relative logically and clearly to the end of the paragraph where your thesis is, and that thesis is your claim about the nature of a good higher education.


In each of two or three body paragraphs, explain in detail a single feature of a good education.  Start with your topic sentence that clarifies your feature, and then discuss it in sufficient detail—with personal examples and with textual evidence from one or more source.  End each paragraph with a statements about what this evidence and your own thinking reveal about that aspect of an education.


In your conclusion, you’ll subtly reveal to your Aunt Lily or Uncle Tom why it was worth her/his while to read your analysis.


End with a Works Cited page that looks like this but includes only those documents that appear in your essay.  We have not supplied all the information in these entries because you need to learn where to find this info and to put it in yourself!




Works Cited


hooks, bell.  “Keeping Close to Home:  Class and Education.”  College Knowledge:


Entries into Academic Culture.  Eds. Pam Dusenberry, Dutch Henry and T. Sean


Rody.  City of publication:  Publisher, year.  Pages.


Ehrenreich, Barbara.  Nickel and Dimed:  On (Not) Getting By in America.  City of


publication:  Publisher, year. 


Opdike, Irene Gut.  In My Hands:  Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer.  With Jennifer


Armstrong.  City of publication:  Publisher, year.


Plato.  Apology.  Trial 20-48.


---.  Crito.  Trial pages.


---.  Euthyphro.  Trial pages.


---.  Phaedo Death Scene.  Trial pages.


---.  The Trial and Death of Socrates.  Trans. G. M. A. Grube.  City of Publication:


Publisher, year.