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Essay # 1 Summary
September 10, 2011
Caroline Bird’s essay “College is a Waste of Time and Money” explains her beliefs on why, for some people, going to college is an ineffective and inefficient use of their time. She states that many students do not belong in college because they are there for the wrong reasons and they are not happy learning. She also gives evidence to suggest that going to college and getting a degree does not actually allows a person to make more money in their life time. Her final claim is that college does not prepare most students for the real world and the jobs they will have once they graduate.
Bird believes most students are not in college for the reason, which is to learn, but many of them are there because it has become “the thing to do,” they want to be supported financially by their parents or tax payers, their parents want them to go, or because going to college is better than getting a nine to five job. Because students are in college for the wrong reasons, they are unhappy there. According to Bird’s findings, only 25% of students enter college because they have a desire to learn. For the other 75%, it is just a social center or even a prison. She believes they are unhappy in college because they see themselves as “unwanted adults.” Many students see their time in college as a sentence to be served before they can serve a purpose in society. Bird confirms her argument by citing research by the Carnegie Commission which estimates that 5-30% of students are in college reluctantly and that according to a study by Leon Lefkowitz, 200 of 300 students felt that a college education was a waste of money (Bird 2). In her argument about students being unhappy in college she uses all three methods of persuasion, but her main argumentative tool is pathos. She deeply explains the unhappiness that college students feel in an attempt to evoke sympathy from the audience. She also...
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