English placement essay

Overview: The ability to read carefully, summarize, and compare the claims of an author or multiple authors is vital for successful writing at the college level. For your English placement essay, you will be asked to read four articles articles based on a single topic. This year the topic is “work and play.” Your goal is to analyze and evaluate two of these four readings and write a 600-750-word essay that synthesizes and responds to the claims of these authors.

In order to write this synthesis and response essay you should follow these basic steps: Introduce the topic you’ll be addressing and explain that you will be looking at how your chosen authors view this topic. Summarize and compare the authors’ ideas, making sure to point out how each of the authors relate to the common topic as well as to each other’s argument or viewpoint. Offer your own response to the topic based on the thoughts and opinions you developed while reading and analyzing these articles. If you’d like you can answer the question: When thinking about my career after college, what are some things that I will value? How do I currently think about my own work-life balance? Your essay should demonstrate your ability to read carefully, think critically about, and respond thoughtfully to the words of others. It should be reasoned, developed (backed-up), logical, coherent, clear, and focused.

Readings: Kohll, Alan. “The Evolving Definition of Work-Life Blanace.” Forbes. 27 March 2018. Gayle, Laura. “How Gen Z is Transforming the Workplace.” Fei Daily. 22 Aug. 2019. Miller, Clair Cain and Sanam Yar. “Young People are Going to Save Us All from Office Life.” New York Times. 20 Sept. 2019. Hughes, Jazmine. “Need to Keep Gen Z Workers Happy?” New York Times. 19 Feb. 2020.

Questions to consider as you write the essay: What is the main idea of each of the articles? What similarities do you identify between the authors’ approaches to the topic of work and play? Where and how do the authors diverge from each other on this topic? To what extent do you agree or disagree with the writer(s)? Why? Can you cite specific examples from your own knowledge or experience that support or conflict with the positions of one or more of the authors?

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