Bennett and Desmond

Essay 1 Assignment: Bennett and Desmond

Respond to the writing prompt below to write an essay of 5-7 paragraphs that answers the question using support from “Why Work Doesn’t Work Anymore” and “On Campus, Failure is on the Syllabus”

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Assignment question:
Matthew Desmond says that a common idea in America is “if you work hard, you will succeed. So those who do not succeed have not worked hard” (5, emphasis his). He says that, because of this common idea, Americans often believe that poverty or other struggles are an individual’s fault. This is why, Desmond says, many Americans do not support welfare and other economic support programs. However, in Jessica Bennett’s essay “On Campus, Failure is on the Syllabus,” she explores college programs that are designed to support students through their problems, rather than blame the students for them. Not only that, but these programs are designed to “’destigmatize failure’” and “’teach that failure is not a bug of learning, it’s the feature’” (1).

Consider these ideas about success and failure, as well as notions of punishment, reward, support, and independence in both texts to answer the following question:

When and how should people who are struggling be supported and helped, and when should they be left to solve their problems or figure it out for themselves?

You may narrow your focus to certain types of struggle, certain types of support, and/or certain groups of people (for example, students).

This assignment includes multiple parts. For details on each assignment, including due dates, please see the Materials by Week pages in Canvas

• Find quote pairs
• Write body paragraphs
• Submit a rough draft – should include at least 3 body paragraphs and an introductory paragraph
• Participate in a peer review workshop
• Read my comments/feedback on your rough draft
• Revise your rough draft based on feedback from your peers and from me, as well as your own ideas
• Submit a final draft for grading – should include an introductory paragraph, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. It should quote directly from both texts (Desmond and Bennett), and it should be in correct MLA format.

Note: In Canvas, you will see an “Essay 1 Rough Draft” assignment. This is where you will submit your draft and receive feedback. The assignment is listed as worth 0 (zero) points, but you will get credit for it, and for participating in the peer review, in the grade for the Final Draft. For more information on Bennett and Desmond visit this:

Bennett and Desmond

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