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					PRE-WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


1.    Read the following passage carefully.


      In his essay entitled “Culture Has Consequences,” Charles Krauthammer
observes that

      Kids see 10,000 killings on TV by age 18. Is it any wonder that a
growing number might like to commit just one? Sexual aggression and
misogyny are celebrated in rap. Is it any wonder that kids arrested for
rape and murder are utterly conscienceless and uncomprehending?


2.   Krauthammer suggests that culture (television and rap
music, in this case) can influence the way people behave in
society. What do you think is the connection between
culture and society? How much influence do you think
popular culture has over people’s behavior?


WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


3.   Think of one specific example             of “culture” (a
television show, a musical artist,             a film, a work of art, a
piece of literature, etc.), and in             a short essay, discuss
its positive or negative influence             on society.


Helpful Hints

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experience

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get to the
  point right away
PRE-WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


1.   Read carefully the following excerpt from Ji-Yeon Mary
Yuhfill’s essay, “Let’s Tell the Story of All America’s
Cultures.”

       “A committee of scholars and teachers gathered by the New York State
Department of Education recommends that public schools provide a
„multicultural education, anchored to the shared principles of a liberal
democracy.‟ What that means is recognizing that America was shaped and
continues to be shaped by people of diverse backgrounds. But several dissenting
members of the committee worry that America will splinter into ethnic
fragments if this multicultural curriculum is adopted. They argue that the
committee‟s report puts the focus on ethnicity at the expense of national unity.”


WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


2.   In a short essay, either support or attack the idea
that the public schools should “tell the story of all
America’s cultures” instead of just the story of the
dominant culture.


Helpful Writing Tips

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experience

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get to the
  point right away
PRE-WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


1.   Read carefully the following excerpt from Theodore
Sizer’s essay, “What High School Is.”


       “School is like a job: you start in the morning and end in the afternoon,
five days a week. You don‟t get much of a lunch hour, so you go home early,
unless you are an athlete or are involved in some special school or
extracurricular activity. School is conceived of as the children‟s workplace, and it
takes young people off parents‟ hands and out of the labor market during prime-
time work hours. Not surprisingly, many students see going to school as little
more than a dogged necessity. They perceive the day-to-day routine, a
Minnesota study reports, as one of „boredom and lethargy.‟ One of the students
summarizes: School is „boring, restless, tiresome, puts ya to sleep, tedious,
monotonous, pain in the neck.‟”


WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


3.


Helpful Hints

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experience

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get right to
  your main point
PRE-WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


1.   Read carefully the following excerpt from Roger
Sipher’s essay, “So That Nobody Has to Go to School If They
Don’t Want To.”

       “A decline in standardized test scores is but the most recent indicator that
American education is in trouble. One reason for the crisis is that present
mandatory-attendance laws force many to attend school who have no wish to be
there. Such children have little desire to learn and are so antagonistic to school
that neither they nor more highly motivated students receive the quality
education that is the birthright of every American.
       The solution to this problem is simple: Abolish compulsory-attendance
laws and allow only those who are committed to getting an education to attend.”

2.   Think for a few minutes about the implications of
abolishing compulsory-attendance laws. What are the
benefits of compulsory-attendance laws? How would this
country be affected if all young people were not forced to
attend school for 12 years? Think about your own experience
of attending school.


WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


3.   Write an essay in which you either support or attack
Sipher’s claim that the solution to the crisis in American
education is to abolish compulsory-attendance laws.


Helpful Hints

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experience

•    Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get right to
    your main point

• Decide whether to support or attack Sipher’s claim; don’t
  try to do both
PRE-WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


1.   Read carefully the following excerpt from Michael
Medved’s article, “Hollywood’s Poison Factory.”


       “America‟s long-running romance with Hollywood is over. For millions
of people, the entertainment industry no longer represents a source of
enchantment, of magical fantasy, of uplift, or even of harmless diversion.
Popular culture is viewed now as an implacable enemy, a threat to their basic
values and a menace to the raising of their children. The Hollywood dream
factory has become the poison factory. Hollywood no longer reflects--or even
respects--the values that most Americans cherish.”


2.   Think for a few minutes about your attitude towards
contemporary Hollywood movies; do you think that most
Hollywood movies are antagonistic to “mainstream American
values”? Medved clearly believes that movies ought to be a
source of “enchantment, of magical fantasy, of uplift, [and]
of harmless diversion”; do you agree? What else might
movies be a source of?


WRITING INSTRUCTIONS


3.   In a short essay, either support or attack Medved’s
claim that “Hollywood no longer reflects--or even
respects--the values that most Americans cherish.”


Helpful Hints

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples of
  movies you’ve seen

• Decide whether to support or attack Medved’s claim; don’t
  try to do both

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get right to
  your main point
Pre-Writing Instructions


1.    Read the following passage carefully.


      We all proceed with people on the basis of an unspoken rule that
everyone is as he or she looks. In other words, we all seem to think--despite
evidence to the contrary--that we can judge people mainly by their physical
appearance. People whose looks approximate the cultural ideal possess unfair
advantages in our current value system. If you look good, you can get ahead.


Writing Instructions


2.   Do you think the emphasis on a person’s physical
appearance is increasing or decreasing? Write an essay in
which you cite specific evidence for your position. Do you
think that the emphasis on looks is a problem in our current
value system? What can, or should, be done about this
problem?


Helpful Writing Tips


• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experience.

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get to the
  point right away.
Pre-Writing Instructions


1.    Read the following passage carefully.


        Americans are more materialistic and achievement-oriented than they are
willing to admit. While many people sing the praises of “family values,”
Americans really only value the dollar. Family values should be a strengthening
of relationships with others, not with money and competition


Writing Instructions


2.   In a short essay, discuss whether or not the complaint
that family values and money are incompatible is valid. Are
Americans obsessed with getting more and more money? Can you
have money and family values too? Why or why not?


Helpful Writing Tips

• Be as specific as possible; you may use examples from
  your own experiences.

• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get to the
  point right away.
Pre-Writing Instructions


1.   Read the following excerpt from an essay by George
Orwell carefully.

    Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred,
    jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in
    witnessing violence; in other words, it is war minus the shooting.

2.   Think for a few minutes about professional and
collegiate American sports; how important is fair play, or
playing by the rules? What is the place of violence in
American sports?


Writing Instructions

3.   In a short essay, either support or attack Orwell’s
claims about “serious sport.” Focus on one or two specific
sports to make your argument.



Helpful Writing Tips


• Don’t waste time on a lengthy introduction; get to the
  point right away.

• Do not try to discuss sports in general; instead, use
  specific examples from one or two sports

				
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