Instructions How to Write

How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why by John Taylor Gatto

Here is an outline of your five-paragraph persuasive analytical essay:
1.Introductory Paragraph –Writing Assignment #1
2.Body Paragraph X (Topic: Individuality)
3.Body Paragraph Y (Topic: Childishness)
4.Body Paragraph Z (Topic: Liberal Education)
5.Concluding Paragraph and MLA Works Cited Page

#1paragraph lets your reader know that in each of your three body paragraphs(Body Paragraph X, Body Paragraph Y, and Body Paragraph Z), you will argue one different negative effect of public schooling. (Each negative effect is designated by the place holder X, Y, and Z.)

As you compose Writing Assignment #2 (Body Paragraph X,Y, and Z), please make sure to include all of the “Steps” in the Body Paragraph X model, below, in the same order that you see them here; otherwise, your grade would be heavily penalized. You need to color-code your draft in blue, purple, orange, green, and pink as I have done, below, in order to assure that you have included every “Step” in the correct order. A missing
and/or misplaced “Step” in your paragraph would affect coherence and would, thus, result in a heavy penalty.
BODY PARAGRAPH X (MODEL PARAGRAPH): Below, is a sample paragraph (Body Paragraph X) for you
to use as a model when you compose Writing Assignment #2: Body Paragraph Y. (See “locking them into a
permanent state of childishness” in your thesis statement, above.)
Step #1 (Topic Sentence): Public schools [X] repress students’ individuality in order to condition them to
serve the demands of the corporate workforce after they graduate.
Step #2 (Signal Phrase + Quotation + Parenthetical Citation):
Signal Phrase Formula (Place all commas correctly to avoid a fragment and/or a problem with clarity.)
• In his article [Begin your signal phrase with this prepositional phrase.]
• Include the complete title of Gatto’s article, correctly capitalized and enclosed within quotation marks.
• Include his full name.
• Include his basic professional credentials.
• Include a signal word in the present tense and a comma before the quotation.


EXAMPLE: In his article, “Against School: How Public Education Cripples Our Kids, and Why,” John Taylor Gatto, who is a former New York City and New York State Teacher of the Year, references Alexander Inglis, who published Principles of Secondary Education in 1918. Gatto states that in that book “Inglis breaks down the purpose–the actual purpose–of modern schooling” (page number). Gatto observes that Inglis identified “ ‘the integrating function,’ ” which Gatto calls the [X] conformity function because “its intention is to make children as [X] alike as possible” (page number). –

Introductory Paragraph (Summary)
The IMDb.com Website states that the 1974 film Conrack is directed by Martin Ritt and is produced by the film company Twentieth Century Fox. Writers Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. helped take this film from the hands of many devoted readers to seeing the words play out on the big screen. The movie is a derivative to the autobiographical novel The Water Is Wide. Pat Conroy, the American author, published this novel in 1972 during the Civil Rights Era and Vietnam War. The setting is a segregated school for African American children on a small, impoverished island off the coast of South Carolina, in 1969 during the Civil Rights Era and Vietnam War. The movie is about the struggle of a young white teacher, Pat Conroy or “Conrack,” to liberate his students from the oppressive public educational system in which they are trapped. Jon Voight plays Pat Conroy or “Conrack,” Madge Sinclair plays Mrs. Scott, who is a middle-aged African American principal, and Hume Cronyn plays Mr. Skeffington, the older white school superintendent. Although Conrack was released forty-six years ago, the problems in public education that it identifies continue to persist in our nation’s public schools today, including the public school system’s aim to dehumanize and control people in order to fit them for the corporate workforce by repressing their individuality,(X) locking them into a permanent state of childishness,(Y) and depriving them of a liberal education.(Z)

for example ...in your first body paragraph, which we will call Body Paragraph X, you will argue that the public educational system [X] represses students’ individuality and makes them think and behave “alike.”

paragraphs (Y) and (Z) the same way


The last paragraph of your essay will be your CONCLUSION(TBH, Ch. 1g). Your concluding paragraph will be developed using this standard formula: 1)Do not begin with the cliché, “In conclusion.” Instead, find an original way to let your reader know that this is the last paragraph of your essay. Search online for alternate phrasing. 2)In your first sentence, you need to remind your reader of the claim and grounds (X, Y, Z) that are stated in your thesis statement, which is the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.3)Then, fill up this paragraph by elaborating on possible solutions to the problem with the public educational system that you argued in each of your three body paragraphs(X, Y, Z). For example, the claim in the first body paragraph is that public schooling[X] represses students’ individuality, so in your conclusion you will elaborate on a solution to X. Then you will propose a solution to the problem with public education that you identified in Body Paragraph Y, and then you will propose a solution to the problem with public education that you identified in Body Paragraph Z.4)Paint a graphic picture of how society may look in the future if these problems(X, Y, Z)are not acknowledged and addressed before it is too late and present a heart-felt call to action, admonishing your reader to become an active part of the solution.

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