Higher Education Assignment #2: As They Put It: A Dialogue

Choose one educational policy that you want to learn more about [“No Child Left Behind,” remediation, or affirmative action] as the focus for this assignment. Summarize, paraphrase, and quote from various sources (those we have discussed in class and some that you find on your own) as you create a transcript of a debate between two fictitious individuals. Give your speakers identities: names, ages, jobs, and stakes in American higher education. How will each speaker use your sources to persuade the other about his or her opinions on this policy? The climax of the dialogue should have one major point of contention. The dialogue should also come to some new moment of clarity or resolution by the time it concludes. (Speakers can “agree to disagree,” as long as each speaker’s precise position has been articulated effectively.)

Format: 5-6 double-spaced pages, MLA format


Type: Develop an analytical argument using original research that includes both primary and secondary texts

Rationale: The purpose of this essay is for students to move beyond summary to critical analysis of outside sources by inventing a scenario in which two opposing policymakers use argument and counterargument to persuade each other on the issue.  By investing themselves in the creation of both players in this imagined debate, students practice the skill of articulating both sides of an argument.

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