This paper provides an opportunity for you to reflect on the readings in the course up to this point and apply them to your own life and college career. As such the paper will have two objectives. First, you will define what it means to be an educated person. Select from the class readings and discussions a minimum of four characteristics of an educated person. These should be characteristics you believe are essential and would like to consider as goals for your college career. Consider such things as the purposes of the liberal arts, learning as power, and intrinsic motivation vs. external motivation (grades). The purpose of the first section of the paper is to create a foundation for the second section.
In the second part of the paper you will reflect on your own identity and goals as a learner. Use the list of questions below to stimulate your thinking. The paper is NOT to be a sequence of answers to these questions; the questions are intended only to direct your thinking about the ideas you might want to cover in the paper. Organize your reflection around the four (or more) characteristics of an educated person. Describe the ideal ‘you four years from now, that educated person you hope to be. Discuss how you plan to nurture the characteristics you have identified in order to attain this ideal.
There is no “right answer” or “correct position” to hold on this subject. You are free to disagree with the sources we have used, but you must demonstrate your knowledge of the issues. You may write in a reflective tone, but take note of quality academic writing as well. You will need to cite a minimum of five of your course readings/film resources
Questions for reflection.
Why did you come to college? What did you hope to gain from the experience? Is it turning out to be what you expected?
What are the goals of a liberal arts education? Remember that our readings and the film Educating Rita offer a range of answers to this question, not a single answer. Get a grasp on the range of options, and include specific answers from at least three different primary sources (our class readings and the film).
Which, if any, of the goals suggested by class materials are consistent with your own goals?
What motivates you to learn, and what diminishes or destroys your desire to learn?
To which teaching styles (“banking,” “dialogic,” etc.,) do you respond best, and why?
What is the role of other people in your education? To what extent are you responsible for you own education?
How do you plan to achieve your learning goals? Is there anything that you need to change about yourself or your environment in order to improve your chances of reaching your goals?
Writing the paper
Begin the writing process by formulating a thesis statement that incorporates the four characteristics you have chosen. A thesis statement is a declaration of your belief about some topic that you plan to explain or defend. Spend some time on this step since the shape of the thesis statement will guide your writing and thinking. If you need help generating a thesis statement, please talk with me or visit the writing center.
Next, organize your paper. List the various topics and sub-topics you plan to cover, and then organize them into a logical structure. Create an outline from which to write. This is an essential step. Failure to organize your paper before you begin to write will result in an ineffective paper.
In your paper, be sure to include specific references to class materials, at least five as stated above. Reference to more than five would be even better. Give credit to your sources by using the MLA style, that is, after your quotation or summary of an authors idea, list the authors last name and the page number in parentheses. Example: (Giammati, 41). Include the credits as you write; dont wait until youre done, because youre too likely to forget where and to whom you need to give credit. At the end of your paper provide a list of all the sources you have cited. The format of this list must conform to MLA style. Instructions for MLA style may be found on the Vogel Library web site under “Mona Lisa” or on the Purdue OWL website. The writing center can also give you guidance on proper citation.