five pages

Wesley Yang, “Paper Tigers”

Ta-Nehisi Coates “From Between the World and Me”

In the book Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates presents his own life story, growing up black in the US, and learning about the social injustices that surround us. The excerpt you read is focused on the role of education in his life, on how schools failed him and other African Americans by cultivating a sense of compliance and resisted curiosity: “I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance” (93). In the article “Paper Tigers” Wesley Yang presents a very different education experience. He discusses the role of education related to Asian American stereotypes – whether positive or negative. Both authors discuss the limitations of the current education system, and the impact is had on defining their own individual identities. In your fourth essay I would like you to look carefully at these two experiences, and using specific textual evidence from both articles, please answer the following question: How does education shape the individual?

Here are some things to think about:

  • What challenges do Asian Americans face when it comes to education and cultural acceptance? How about African Americans? How are these challenges different, and how are they similar?
  • What is the relationship between education and success?
  • To what extent is education a mechanism for overcoming the limitations of social class?
  • What role does ethnicity play in one’s education? How about in one’s professional life?
  • What makes education successful?
  • What is unconscious bias?
  • What role does education play in creating diversity?

I will evaluate your paper by looking at:

  1. Your thesis: You should express and support your own idea about the assigned topic and use textual evidence from the two readings to help develop and support your claim.
  2. Your use of textual evidence and protocols: Choose relevant quotations and examples to further your project. (Each body paragraph should have two quotes, one from each writer.
  3. Your organization: Paragraphs should focus on one idea, build upon each other logically, and work toward the development of the total project. Think connectively!
  4. Your sentence clarity and correctness: Proofread your essay for grammar and spelling errors.
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