I am writing to share with you the work I have completed during the Spring 2015 semester in Mrs. Miller’s Engl 112 Dual Enrollment College Composition II course at Brooke Point High School. Continuing our work from the first semester, this course emphasized research and argumentative writing for both the social sciences and the humanities, and a very challenging multi-genre project on a topic of our choice. Mrs. Miller encouraged us to strengthen our research skills through the use of annotated bibliographies developed from using readings from our textbook (Graff 2008), and online research databases available through the Germanna Community College Library website, including Opposing Views in Context. I also used Academic Search Complete…show more content… This assignment asked students to construct a summary and to synthesize a response to the various points of view included in the readings. I selected the chapter that addressed the value of a college education. Writing effective and analytical summaries is always a challenge, but as I worked on the assignment I could see how this process is really important to developing an argument in objective terms. In other words, deciding what I thought about a topic and then finding research to support my ideas is not an effective way to complete good research. Instead, good research consists of looking a variety of opinions and then drawing conclusions about what arguments were most compelling. Moreover, using APA style forced me to look closely at the timeliness of the different essays and to consider how opinions shift over time.
The second project assigned consisted of developing the information we synthesized from our first project into our own argument. I had originally planned to write about the value of a liberal arts education because that is the model I have always expected to follow, but after completing my preliminary reading I realized that the exploitation of students by for-profit colleges was more compelling to me. The process of drafting the essay was simplified because I had a clear understanding of the larger issues involved, but making sure the essay was properly structured as an