Topic Prompts- Book Analysis

Topic Prompts

For this Task you must analyze the book, Educated, by Tara Westover. This paper will be in MLA Style and formatting—that is, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-pt., like you see here and like you should have been doing all semester. It will be NO fewer than THREE PAGES, and no more than four. If you turn in fewer than three pages, I will automatically grade it as an “F.”Make sure to choose a minimum of three quotes from the reading of the book (I say “at least three” but you might have four or five because you might have four or five body paragraphs). The quotes must also reflect the social issue that I’m outlining in the topic prompts below. These quotes will act as evidence for your thoughts on the subject.

For example, find three quotes that show the importance of “education,” perhaps, or three that show “family influence/parental influence (or lack thereof)” or three quotes that reflect “economics/poverty” in the book. Make sure to write clearly and simply. Revise, revise, and revise. Eliminate mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. THE TOPIC: How about delving into emotional/psychological and physical abuse? In Educated, Shawn is clearly disturbed and clearly an abuser. Tara is a victim of this abuse. Who enables this abuse? How does this relate to what happens in our society, regarding the abuser and his/her victim(s)? Where is the “gas-lighting” element to Shawn’s/Tara’s relationship (look it up)? Where does this happen today? Why can’t Tara simply leave? (This last question is loaded.)

Further Description

(KEEP READING)Choose three (or more) points that you might want to make—they can be fully against what the writer is trying to get across or your points can be supportive of what they are saying. Or it can be a combination of both. But remember, your thoughts MUST always relate to who we are in our society, how we do things, how we reinforce ideas, etc. How does your analysis of the various societal subjects that Westover is, in essence, really commenting on, reflect US? If you can focus in on this, then you are getting to the heart of what matters. Assessment: You will be graded on “content” and “mechanics,” as always. Content is: your claim or argument (thesis claim/statement). How well you refer back to the thesis and “prove” your points with evidence (quotes and explanation),

Organization of ideas and the logic of those ideas, how well you relate the examples you use with the societal issues you point out. Mechanics are: grammar (comma splices, run-ons, fragments, clear sentences, simplicity), punctuation, spelling, TEE structure, MLA style and formatting, but also whether or not you addressed issues pointed out to you in previous drafts, and length of the essay (meet the minimum # of pages!).A tip here: The topic prompts are just that, prompts. They are intended to be springboards for ideas. That means you need not answer every question I pose here. In fact, just answering the questions in a methodical way is exactly how you’ll fail this Task. Instead, take one or more of the ideas that I’m proposing about the essays and start brainstorming.

In Summary

What do you think about these “problems” or “issues” that Westover is pointing to and that we find ourselves talking about in relation to our society—gender roles (mother, father), family influence, education, society pressure, importance of education versus not being so, etc.? Choose one area. Another tip: remember, I’m not asking that you find dialogue that characters speak as quotes. I’m saying that you will quote from Westover’s writing when you recognize that what she’s really writing about is one of the many societal issues.

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