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Writing Essays

Assignment Close Reading/Summary of Paulo Freire’s “The Banking Concept of Education” A very common type of writing you will produce in your academic career involves carefully reading and developing a summary of a given text. The ability to engage in close reading— to identify salient (key) arguments and represent them fairly—is foundational to entering academic conversations as a competent and articulate participant. Summaries also serve an important role in helping other readers make sense of a difficult text.
As you learned from Greene and Lidinsky’s chapter, writing a summary involves a great deal of critical thinking and evaluation on the part of the writer. You must identify the author’s thesis (what Greene and Lidinsky call “the gist”), uncover how the key claims of that thesis are supported and developed, evaluate the conversational contexts of the author’s work, and, at all points, consider how your perspective affects your interpretation of the text.
In Essay #1, you will write a summary of an excerpt from educational philosopher Paulo Freire’s famous work Pedagogy of the Oppressed after working with peers in class discussion to understand this difficult text. Your audience will be educated peers who have read Freire’s essay but who need your assistance understanding its “gist” and supporting arguments.
Your summary essay should include those elements Greene and Lidinsky recommend: •the conversational context of Freire’s argument, •a clear statement of what you feel to be “the gist” of Freire’s argument, •a description of the key claims of the text, and •relevant examples (direct quotations or paraphrases) taken from the text to support your interpretation. As no summary is neutral, you will want to weave an evaluative thread throughout your summary that suggests to the reader your judgment of the value of Freire to your understanding of multiculturalism, education, etc.
Guidelines for Essay #1 Length/Due Date: approximately 600 words, due Sunday midnight Central Standard Time (CST). Style/Format: This, as all essays in EN 106, will be formatted according to MLA (Modern Language Association) guidelines for scholarship in the humanities: •12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced. •1-inch margins top, bottom, and sides. •Although no cover page is needed, you should include your name, my name, the course number/title, and date at the upper left-hand corner of the manuscript. •To view a sample MLA-formatted paper, see p. 46 in Easy Writer References: Essay #1 will include at least three references to the assigned reading. Such references will utilize quotation or paraphrasing, and they will include in-text citations (the author’s last name and page number in parentheses; however, use only the page number if EN 106Page 1 of 2© Park University, 2011 the author’s last name is mentioned in the text leading up to the quote or if the previous in-text citation included the name of the same author). File format: Please submit your essay in Rich Text Format (RTF).
This is available in most word processing programs; it will ensure maximum document accessibility for all operating platforms. Works Cited: Your essay will include a Works Cited page, with one entry for Freire’s essay. Titles: Include a descriptive title at the beginning of your essay that tips your readers off to your central interpretation of Freire’s work. Do not format your title with quotation marks, boldface, underlining or italics. Quotation marks or underlining are only appropriate if the title borrows words from another source. Cover pages: Please do not format your essay to include a cover page.
Deadline: Submit your final draft essay to the essay #1 Dropbox no later than Midnight CST on Sunday at the end of this week by clicking on the gray “Dropbox” tab at the top of the eCollege course screen. Use of essays for future courses: Please understand that your essay may be used— anonymously—as a sample for future EN 106 students and instructors unless you expressly request that it not be used. Your work, of course, will only be used for educational purposes. Assessment: See the “Grading and Assessment” content item under Course Home to see the criteria and rubric I will use to grade your essay.

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