RIP, American Dream? Why It’s So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today”

Progression One, Exercise Three: Response (Critique) to an Essay

In academia when a written work is produced it is adding to the “discourse” of the chosen topic. In other words, you are adding your voice to the public discussion. As in any lively discussion, not everyone involved will agree with your opinions. Often, a critique, a response to written work, is produced to address these divergent points of view.

For this assignment you will read “RIP, American Dream? Why It’s So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead Today” The purpose of this assignment is to test your critical reading skills. The quality of your response will depend greatly on your initial reading of the text AND your summary and reconstruction skills.

Your task for this assignment will be to respond to a the author’s main points. Unlike the letter to the author, this response should assume a different tone because the audience is changed. In this response, you will need to give a brief summary of the article in discussion.  So first, provide a summary (not more than 5-8 lines) of the main points. Then identify any points the writer makes that you have a different opinion on. You don’t have to completely disagree; you can provide another way of interpreting a quote, or suggest another portion of the text to look at. The point is to add to the conversation in a constructive manner. Again, make sure you’re looking at the texts rhetorically, not merely mentioning what you liked or disliked in the article.

Length: 500-600 words

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