Final Exam

I am satisfied with the work I have done in this class. The work I have done helps me become a growing persuasive writer. Although I make effort in this class, I still have some goals left to accomplish.

Overall, I am satisfied with most of the work I have done in this class. I think most of my writings meet the requirements of the assignments. I am satisfied with most of my writings, especially reading responses. I can summarize, analyze arguments of the assigned readings, and write about how those readings change my views of the world. However, I am not satisfied with my participance in class discussions. I feel that class discussion is one of the most difficult parts of this course. I can understand the main ideas of the materials discussed in class, but I sometimes feel it is difficult to come about some deep thoughts that relate to the discussions. For the article Syria Gay Girl in Damascus Blog a Hoax by US Man, I can understand that the article is talking about a girl who is in trouble because a man made up a story of her. However, I cannot come about some consequences that mass media brought to the Syrian girl.  Another challenge is that I misunderstand some of arguments that come from my cited sources. For the formal assignment two, DesMarais says that individual is often to blame when their information is compromised. I wrongly understand her position. I thought that she put all blames on location-based apps. Therefore, the cited arguments fail to support my arguments because of my misunderstandings. I now make some progress in understanding some difficult arguments. I learn to find some examples in the articles that relate to arguments so that it is easier to understand arguments.

Before I took this class, I never wrote any persuasive essays. I remember when I did my first formal assignment, I felt it is difficult to write a persuasive essay. Now I learn many writing skills , and I am confident in writing persuasive essays. I learn how to respond. It is necessary to state clearly whether I agree, disagree, or both. In the past, I launched directly into a mass of details instead of stating my position at first. Now I realize that readers can easily know my positions of topics if I state clearly whether I agree, disagree,or both. I knew I needed to explain why I agree, disagree, or both before mid-term exam. However, I did not know much about how to explain why I agree, disagree, or both. I learn that I can disagree not with the position itself, but with the assumption that it may be a new revelation. It  helps me to think more about why I disagree. I also learn some templates for introducing other people’s ideas. For instance, ” someone argues that we should do something.” I usually put a lot of information in one paragraph. The professor suggested me that I could consider breaking some paragraphs up into some smaller chunks. I tried to break paragraphs when I introduced a new topic in my third formal assignment final draft. Different ideas are more clearly conveyed when I separate different ideas.

Although I make some progress in writing persuasive essays,I still have some goals left to accomplish. I need to work on writing topic sentences. Some of my topic sentences are too general. In my formal assignment two, one of my topic sentences is that DesMarais only blames location-based apps. I fail to state what position DesMarais fails to see. I also need to work on writing a good summary. I can summarize topics, but some of my summaries are not strong enough to convey the main ideas of the materials. My major is International trade;therefore, I need to write some reports to convey ideas and concepts. If I fail to write a good summary, others may confuse about what I want to convey in my reports. I can use skills I have learned in this class to help me writing a good summary. I need to hierarchize  information first. In the job field of business, people need to write e-mails and reports. A successful summary can save customers’ time to understand main points of e-mails and reports. I also need to work on writing counterarguments. Counterarguments are also important in a business report. When people write a business report, they not only need to state their thoughts, but also need to provide opponents’ ideas. I can use the suggestion in handout that logic and emotion can help analyze counterarguments. When I try to analyze opponents’ ideas in reports, I can think whether those ideas contains logic false. The skill of summarizing and analyzing arguments can also be applied to my future job field.

I have learned many skills that can be applied to my future job, such as ways to evaluate counterarguments, summarize and write thesis statements. I still need to work on writing topic sentences and summaries. I think my writing is improved after I take this class.

 

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Is It Time to Choose Single-sex schools

Education relates to every family. Parents cannot avoid making decisions of choosing the type of education for their children. During recent years, single-sex education is becoming increasingly popular. Some public schools even offer single-sex classes such as math and science. Single-sex education competes with coed-sex education. Some parents do not know whether they should choose single-sex education or coed-sex education since they do not know which type of education is better. It is not surprising that parents do not know which type of education is better since the debate over whether single-sex education is better than coed-sex education never ends. People who embrace single-sex education think that students can become more confident while people who are against single-sex education believe that students may have gender stereotypes if they choose single-sex education. Until now, there is no scientific proof to analyze which type of education benefits students more. Each type of education has pros and cons. It is difficult to state clearly which type of education is better.

Based on students’ performance, people cannot conclude whether single-sex education is better than coed-sex education.  When comparing the performance differences between single-sex groups and coed-sex groups, the results vary in gender. As Laster mentioned, “The Mississippi Curriculum Test shows that girls in single-sex groups and coed-sex groups get the same scores (100%) in reading” (Laster). There is no difference in girls’ performance in reading when girls are assigned to single-sex groups and coed-sex groups since girls are skilled in reading.  Therefore, study environment in which girls learn to read does not affect their performance in reading . However, boys perform better in reading in single-sex groups. As Laster mentioned, “Reading scores of boys in the single-sex group is 97% while boys get 85% in the mixed group” (Laster). There is a huge reading performance difference between  all-boys groups and coed groups. Boys may have more confidence in reading when they are in all-boys groups since boys are generally weaker in reading than girls.  When comparing the performance differences between single-sex groups and coed-sex groups, the results also vary in subjects. Laster mentioned that ” Boys perform better in math in coed groups”(Laster).  This result is different from boys’ performance in reading.  Boys are generally better in math than girls. When boys are assigned to coed groups, they may feel that they have an advantage over girls in math. Therefore, they can make greater achievements in math in coed groups. Laster also mentioned that ” Girls’  math scores in single-sex group is 94% while their math scores in coed-sex groups is 92%”(Laster). Girls’ performance in math only changes slightly in two types of groups. For reading, it is better to have single-sex classes since boys’ reading performance is  better in single- sex classes while girls’ performance remain unchanged in single-sex classes. For math, it is better to have coed-sex classes since boys perform better in coed-sex classes while girls’ performance change slightly in coed-sex classes. It is wrong to suggest that coed-sex education is better since boys cannot benefit from coed-sex reading classes. Reading is a girls’ subject in coed groups.

Students’ performance fails to tell people whether single-sex education is better than coed-sex education. Many people use students’ school success to weigh the quality of education. Unfortunately, it is hard to judge whether single-sex schools make students more successful than coed-sex schools . Children’s academic performance has no relation to the type of education they receive. As Gross-Loh said” Janet Hyde,coauthor of the 2014 study told her that parental education and income are the best predictors of  children’s school success” (Gross-Loh). Children in low-income families are more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than children in high-income families. The financial hardship may preclude  poor families’ children from continuing education.  Parents with high level education can motivate children to achieve academic success. As Hanly  pointed out, “Parents with lower levels of education are less likely to have high expectations for the children’s academic careers.  When parents do not have high expectations for children’s academic achievement, the children are unlikely to have expectations for themselves. “( Hanly ). As for myself, both of my parents got higher education. I always failed in my exams in high school; therefore, I lost motivation in study and did not want to attend college. But my mom expected me to attend college and accompanied me when I studied. Her action helped me regain my original expectation for myself. Some people may argue that students in single-sex schools perform well in academics. Those people do not realize that parents’ decision determines the type of education their children receive. Most single-sex schools are private schools. Only parents with high income can afford for their children to attend single-sex education. Since income determines students’ success, students who attend single-sex schools will achieve school success even if they go to coed-sex schools. As Gross-Loh believed,” Students in single-sex schools would have thrived, regardless of the environment they were in”(Gross-Loh). Students in single-sex schools have an advantage in school success over students in coed-sex schools. It is unfair to compare students’ school success in two types of schools since students in single-sex schools have better family background.  Separating gender does not contribute to students’ school success. 

The difficulty of conducting research on single-sex education decreases the probability of judging which type of education is better. Doing research on single-sex education requires people randomly to assign boys and girls to single-sex schools. It is impossible to do so. Students should voluntarily choose to attend single-sex schools. According to Gross-Loh, ” The methodology of conducting research on single-sex education is challenging. ” If researchers assign students who do not like single-sex schools to single-sex schools, the research results may not be reliable since students’ performances  may be affected by their negative emotions of resistance. Generalization makes the methodology of doing research on single-sex education difficult. Arms considered that “. Most studies of single-sex schools compare schools for women with coeducational schools”(Arms). The methodology is wrong since all-girl schools cannot represent all-boy schools. Boys and girls are naturally different in academic performance. Another issue about generalization is that many studies only focus on specific single-sex classes. Arms wrote that”.Some single-sex interventions focused on helping girls in math and science “(Arms). When I search for some research about single-sex classes, almost all the sources I search focus on math and science. Few sources focus girls’ performance in reading and other language classes. The performance in math and science cannot be used to generalize all academic performance. Moreover, many studies of single-sex education fails to take counterarguments into consideration. Those who support coed-sex education believe that single-sex   education causes gender discrimination. As Arms pointed out,” Few single-sex education studies answer the question that whether the single-sex education decrease sex discrimination”(Arms). Many researchers fail to analyze gender equity when they think about single-sex education.

Additionally, both single-sex education and coed-sex education have pros and cons, which makes it difficult to say which type of education is more beneficial for students. Girls are more motivated in single-sex classes. As Laster specified,”The science/computer teacher reported the girls in the same-sex classes are more open to ask questions and determined to make the highest grade on all tests”(Laster).  In my previous academic years, when I saw some talented boys work out math problems very quickly, I lost confidence in working out the problems and my performance in math class was affected by my loss in confidence.  If some boys handed in their papers very quickly,I sometimes blamed myself for doing papers slowly. Maybe those boys got lower scores than I; however,  I would be distracted from my paper for a short period due to  their action of handing in paper early.When I was in coed-sex classes, I was afraid of asking questions in front of the whole class since I thought some clever boys would laugh at me asking easy questions. Nevertheless, girls may feel more stressed when they are in single-sex classes. As Laster demonstrated,”For girls, the pressure to perform for students in the single-sex classes was very high”(Laster). This explains that girls’ performance in math is almost the same in single-sex groups and coed-sex groups.Although girls may become more open to answer questions and are more motivated to learn math in single-sex classes, they may not do very well in math because of the pressure from the same sex. Girls usually care a lot about what other girls think about themselves.Moreover, single-sex classes can help remove the distraction from the opposite sex. In adolescent years, boys and girls are easily attracted by the opposite sex. As  Bradley  said,”Students in single-sex schools may be less concerned about impressing the opposite sex and more focused on instruction”( Bradley ). When students always think about ways to make the opposite sex pay attention to them, they are less focused on their study. How can they improve their grades then?  Carroll pointed out that teachers say that the number one distraction from doing tasks is the opposite sex( Carroll). Almost all people experience the time when they start to notice the opposite sex. It is a normal behavior. But if girls and boys are separated, they are less likely to be distracted by the opposite sex since the chance of communicating and interacting with the opposite sex is decreasing. Students in single-sex classes may have less problem of distraction from the opposite sex; however, less communication with the opposite sex brings some problems. Students may not know how to get along with the opposite sex if they are in single-sex classes. Single-sex classes separate gender. In the real world, it is impossible to separate gender. When students graduate from schools and enter the workplace, they cannot choose to work with same-sex colleagues. If they do not know much about how to communicate and work with opposite-sex colleagues, they may feel their jobs are challenging. As  Gumede wrote,” Graeme Bloch,of the Wits Public and Development Management school said that separating people will not help reach gender equality and integration”( Gumede ). In today’s workplace, cooperation and communication play more and more  important roles. Employers not only pay attention to professional skills, but also focus on the skill of integrating with people.  Comparing a job applicant with high professional skill but medium -level communication skill with the opposite sex with another job applicant with medium- level professional skill but high communication skill, employers may choose the one with high communication skill. With the high skill of communication, the relative weakness of professional skill may be diminished. But the first applicant’s relative weakness of communication skill may be magnified in the workplace.

Both single-sex education and coed-sex education has drawbacks and advantages. However, more and more students attend single-sex schools. Some factors affect the choice of single-sex schools. Firstly, family characteristics affect the choice of single-sex schools. Students who have relatives that attend single-sex schools are more likely to attend single-sex schools than other students. As Valerie E. Lee and Helen M. Marks wrote,” Close to half of students in single-sex secondary schools have brothers or sisters who also attend single-sex schools” (Lee and Marks).When students have siblings who attend single-sex schools, parents may not want to risk trying another type of education.Parental religious belief also has influence on choosing single-sex schools. Lee and Marks also found that” A large proportion of boys in single-sex schools come from Catholic groups”( Lee and Marks). Since many Catholic schools are private single-sex schools, Catholic parents choose single-sex schools for their children.Students’ personal characteristics also contributes to the choice  of single-sex schools. Students’ religious belief affects their choice of single-sex schools. As Lee and Marks said,”Students in single-sex schools perceive themselves as more religious than do their coeducational counterparts”(Lee and Marks). Since parental religious belief relates to the choice of single-sex schools, it is reasonable that students’ religious belief also has a relationship with the choice of single-sex schools  because parental religious belief is always the same with students’ religious belief. As Lee and Marks pointed out”45 per cent of all-girl schools and 55 per cent of all-boy schools require students to attend religious service”(Lee and Marks). If an atheist wants to attend a single-sex school that requires attendance of religious service, the atheist may not  choose that single-sex school. However, a student who has religious belief may choose a single-sex school that requires attendance of religious service because of the religious environment at that school.  Moreover, students who focus on academics are more likely to choose single-sex schools. Some students who choose single-sex schools may believe that single-sex schools offer better education and have higher academic reputation. Last but not least, former academic experience plays an important role in the choice of single-sex education. Lee and Marks wrote that “A good proportion of students who attend single-sex schools have been in the same schools for their entire educational lives”(Lee and Marks).

Parental religious belief, personal religious belief and former academic experience relates to the choice of single-sex schools. It is interesting that there is gender difference in choosing the type of education. One gender difference is educational background. Lee and Marks pointed out that”A family tradition of single-sex education is especially strong for girls”(Lee and Marks).  More than half of girls’ schools enroll K-12 students while less than half of boys’ schools enroll K-12 students. Girls’ education is more stable than boys’ education; therefore, girls are less likely to transfer to other schools. Moreover, educational background is also different for boys and girls, and educational background affects entrance exam. Lee and Marks found that”Boys and girls also differ on an
aspect of educational background that is  important to their choice of secondary schools -entrance exams”( Lee and Marks). As I wrote in the previous paragraphs, girls’ academic performance is totally different from boys’ academic performance. Parents think about gender differences when they choose single-sex schools. Even in the same family, parents have different criteria to choose the type of school for their sons and daughters. As Lee and Marks pointed out,” families [may] apply different criteria in selecting a secondary school for their children. For boys, parents focus on academic achievement while parents focus on a safe social environment for girls”(Lee and Marks). Parents may care more about girls’ safety than boys.  During teenagers’ growth, boys and girls have different problems. Therefore, it is wise for parents to focus on different things when they choose schools for their sons and daughters.

It is hard to weigh whether single-sex education is better than coed-sex education. Each type of education has advantages and disadvantages. Since doing research on single-sex education is extremely difficult, people cannot draw an objective conclusion about  which type of education is better. Educators should not focus on debating which type of education is better. Instead, they should make effort to improve both types of education to meet students’ need. Generally, parents who have religious belief are more likely to choose single-sex education since many Catholic schools offer single-sex classes and let students attend religious service.  For parents, before they choose the type of education for their children, they should do some research about both types education.  Parents should realize that boys and girls are naturally different. Therefore, they should not set the same criteria for their sons and daughters when they choose the type of school. It is not a wise choice to follow the mainstream. Instead, parents should ask themselves what they care about and what type of education is the most suitable choice for their children. If girls’ parents are worried that their daughters may be distracted by the opposite sex, then they may consider single-sex education. If parents want their children to become more socially, then they may consider coed-sex education. If a girl is too shy, single-sex education may help her become more motivated in academics. Many parents may wrongly think that single-sex schools offer better education since they hear or see some children do very well in single-sex classes. If they do some research before they choose single-sex schools, they should realize that students in single-sex schools may do well even if they do not receive single-sex education. Those students who attend single-sex schools may have better family background than students in coed-sex school. Since family background has a big effect on students’ success. It is not single-sex education that makes some single-sex school students become successful. Parents should consider their children’s characteristic before they choose education.

Works Cited

Arms,Emily. “Gender Equity in Coeducational And Single-sex Environments.” Feminist Majority Foundation, n.d. TheFeministMajorityFoundation. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Blakesley, Kim. “Family Factors That Influence Students’ Behavior in School.” Global Post, n.d. TheGlobalPost. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Carroll ,David. “Single-gender Classes Boost Scores at 2 Schools.” World Now. The World Now, 8 Nov.2013. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Gross-Loh, Christine. “The Never-Ending Controversy Over All-Girls Education.” Atlantic Monthly Group. TheAtlanticMonthlyGroup, 20 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

GumedeSinenhlanhla . “Coed-classes Benefit Social Learning.” IOL Life Style. TheIOLLifeStyle, 3 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Hanly, Samantha. “Parental Education as a Factor in Academic Achievement.” Global Post, n.d. TheGlobalPost. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Laster, Carol. “Why We Must Try Same-Sex Instruction.” Education Digest. EducationDigest, Sep. 2004. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

Lee, Valerie E. and Helen M. Marks. ”Who Goes Where? Choice of Single-sex and Coeducational Independent Secondary Schools.” Sociology of Education. Sociology of Education, 65(3), Jul. 1992, 226-253. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 29 Mar. 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Time to Choose Single-sex schools

1. Single-sex education competes with coed-sex education. Single-sex education is becoming increasingly popular. Some public schools even offer single-sex classes such as math and science. The debate that whether single-sex education is better than coed-sex education never ends. People who embrace single-sex education think that students can gain more confidence from single-sex education while people who are against single-sex education believe that students may have gender stereotypes if they choose single-sex education. Until now, there is no scientific proof to analyze which type of education benefits students more. Each type of education has pros and cons. It is difficult to clearly state which type of education is better.Parents should analyze each type of education before they make decisions. I would like to seek questions that whether students perform better in single-sex classes, what types of parents will choose single-sex education and the pros and cons of single-sex education and coed-sex education.

2. My topic is worth exploring. Separate-sex education has a long history. But the reasons why separate-sex education exists are different in different eras. In the past, it is unethical to put girls and boys in the same classroom. But now single-sex education occurs since parents have new needs for children’s education. The authority changes evaluations of single-sex education. As Gross-Loh wrote,”In 1972, Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments said that discrimination on the basis of gender is illegal. However, Title IX amended in 2006 so that single-sex education is legal”(Gross-Loh). With the popularity of single-sex education, some people may easily draw the conclusion that single-sex education is better than coed-sex education. But actually, single-sex education and coed-sex education has its cons and pros. Only with thorough exploration of two types of education, people can get objective ideas about two types of education.

3. I have learned from Gross-Loh’s article that “Doing research on single-sex education is extremely difficult since methodology of research is challenging”(Gross-Loh). A convincing research requires people to randomly assign students to single-sex schools and coed-sex schools. Students should choose single-sex schools voluntarily. It is not a wise choice to force students to attend single-sex schools. Therefore, it is difficult to tell which type of education is better. Single-sex education motivates students since girls are more open to ask questions in single-sex classes. As Laster wrote,”The science/computer teacher reported the girls in the same-sex class as more open to ask questions “(Laster).But students may have more pressure in single-sex classes since girls care more about what others think about themselves when they are in all-girls’ classes. Coed-sex education has a social benefit for students. In the workplace, it is impossible to separate employees based on their genders. The environment that boys and girls learn together can help students learn how to cooperate with opposite sex. Parents and students have some reasons to choose single-sex education. As Gross-Loh said,”The reason that girls and their families choose single-sex education is not just because of desirable characteristics of single-sex schools, but also because only girls are in single-sex schools”(Gross-Loh). Some parents may think girls are less likely to be distracted from study when they are in all-girl schools. Social reputation is a significant reason for parents to choose single-sex education. Most of single-sex schools are private schools and are expensive. Sending children to single-sex schools can reveal parents’ high social status. Students who have siblings in private schools are more likely to attend single-sex schools than students who don’t have siblings in private schools. When students have siblings who attend single-sex schools, parents may not want to risk trying another type of education. Students focus on academic reputation and college-replacement record when they make decision on choosing education. Parental religious belief also has influence on choosing single-sex schools. Lee and Marks also found that” A large proportion of boys in single-sex schools come from Catholic groups”(Lee and Marks). Since many Catholic schools are private single-sex schools, Catholic parents choose single-sex schools for their children.

4. My tentative thesis is that it is difficult to judge whether single-sex education or coed-sex education is better. Two authors of my citations both do not give conclusions about which type of education is better. Laster thinks that we may try single-sex education. But she agrees that that coed groups are more like real life. Gross-Loh thinks that it is difficult to prove whether single-sex education is effective or not.Gross-Loh neither criticizes single-sex education nor coed-sex education. She concludes in her article that students should experience the benefits of single-sex education even though science cannot tell people whether single-sex education is effective.

5.I will give some arguments to analyze why it is difficult to tell which type of education is better. Gross-Loh said that,”Doing research on single-sex education is extremely difficult since methodology of research is challenging”(Gross-Loh). Doing research on single-sex education requires people to randomly assign students to single-sex schools. Students should attend single-sex schools voluntarily since they have rights to choose the type of schools. It is unethical to assign students who do not want to attend single-sex schools to single-sex schools. It is difficult to conclude that students perform better in single-sex education.Test data shows that boys perform better in language arts when in single-sex groups while boys perform better in math coed groups. For girls, there is only a small difference between coed-groups and single-sex groups when testing math scores. Students can gain some social skills when they are in coed-sex schools since there is no gender separation in workplace. But some girls and boys can be easily distracted from the opposite sex when they are in coed schools. Single-sex education benefits students’ adolescent developments to some degree. Moreover, research shows that students’ success has no relation to single-sex education or coed-sex education. Parental education and income affect students’ success. Educators or the public should not focus on debating single-sex education and coed-sex education. Instead, they should make efforts to improve both types of education so that education can help students develop their potential.

Works Cited

 

Gross-Loh,Christine.”The Never-Ending Controversy Over All-Girls Education.”TheAtlanticMonthlyGroup, 20 March.2014.Web.29 Mar. 2014.

 

Laster, Carol.”Why We Must Try Same-Sex Instruction.”EducationDigest, Sep.2004.Web.29 Mar. 2014.

 

Lee, Valerie E.; Marks, Helen M.”Who Goes Where?Choice of Single-sex and Coeducational Independent Secondary Schools.”Sociology of Education. Jul92, Vol. 65 Issue 3, p226-253. 28p. Database: MasterFILE Premier.Web.29 Mar. 2014.

Annotated Bibliography

Gross-Loh,Christine.”The Never-Ending Controversy Over All-Girls Education.”TheAtlanticMonthlyGroup, 20 March.2014.Web.29 Mar. 2014.

Gross-Loh thinks that it is difficult to prove whether single-sex education is effective or not. Gross-Loh points out that doing research on single-sex education is extremely difficult since methodology of research is challenging. Gross-Loh analyzes reasons why some people are against single-sex education. Opponents think that the benefits of single-sex education have no scientific proof. Moreover, children who study in single-sex schools may have gender stereotypes.Gross-Loh also lists reasons supporters call for single-sex education. Supporters think that girls can do better in math and science when they are separated from boys. The head in one single-sex education says that girls have high level energy in single-sex schools so that girls have more developments in single-sex schools. Gross-Loh takes both sides of the debate into consideration. Gross-Loh thinks that students should experience the benefits of single-sex education even though science cannot tell people whether single-sex education is effective.

This article is definitely a good source. This source is objective and reliable. The writer analyzes supporters’ and opponents’ arguments for single-sex education. Unlike other sources in my bibliography, the writer neither criticizes single-sex education nor double-sex education. The writer also provides the history of single-sex education to state the fact that boys and girls learn differently. My goal of using this source is to give me a comprehensive analysis of single-sex education.

This source is helpful to me since it enlightens me to think more about the single-sex education and double-sex education. I can use the examples Gross-Loh provided in my research paper. Gross-Loh gives examples of the head of single-sex school and a student who attends single-sex school. This source changes my thoughts about single-sex school. Before I read this article, I thought a lot about disadvantages of single-sex education. Gross-Loh mentions that the STEM gender career gap is one reason that some people support single-sex education. The example that some talented boys answer questions quickly occurs in the coed-sex classes. When I saw some talented boys work out math problems very quickly, I felt discouraged and my performance in math class was affected by my discouragement. I did not think that this may be due to the fact that boys and girls learn differently.

Carol,Laster.”Why We Must Try Same-Sex Instruction.”EducationDigest, Sep.2004.Web.29 Mar. 2014.

Carol thinks that we may try single-sex education since research shows that students are more motivated in single-sex classes. She uses test data to show that less discipline problems occur in single-sex classes than in coed classes. She uses a principal’s words to support the idea that students are motivated in single-sex classes since girls are more open to ask questions in single-sex classes. Carol gives an instructor’s words to display that students may have more pressure in single-sex classes since girls care more about what others think about themselves when they are in all-girls’ classes. Carol concludes that more research should be done to determine the effects of single-sex education. Educational outcomes should be improved so that parents can have more options to choose the type of education that meets children’s needs.

Carol’s article is a good source for me. The article contains a large amount of research results and test data. I can use them in my research paper. The research results are objective. She uses an instructor’s words that coed groups are more like real life since boys and girls are not separated. Although most research results Carol uses show that students can perform better in single-sex classes, she also gives some exceptions. There is no difference in girls’ reading performance between single-sex groups and coed groups. Moreover, boys do better in math in coed groups than in single-sex groups.

This source helps me shape the argument that we can try single-sex classes in some subjects. Boys perform better in reading in single-sex education while there are no performance differences for girls. We can have single-sex classes in reading. There is only a small performance difference in math for girls between single-sex groups and coed groups. However, boys in the mixed group performed at a higher level than boys in the single-sex group. Because girls’ performance in math is unchanged and boys perform betterin math in coed-sex classes, we may try coed classes in math. This source changes my thoughts about single-sex education. Before I read this article, I thought that girls performed better in all subjects when they were assigned to single-sex groups. This article helps me realize that girls’ performance in reading in single-sex classes is almost the same with that of in coed classes.

Using Identity Technology Teaches Us to Live Better

Shelly Turkle tells us that we should use what we have learned in the virtual world about ourselves to live better. She compares people’s past relationship with technology with present relationship with technology. People did not know much about online chatting in the past while people cannot live without technology now. But now some problems appear. Shelly thinks that people want to be each other, but they also want to connect to other places. She uses an example of people’s action in the meeting to convince readers. People pay attention to what interests them in the meeting while check e-mails or texts when they hear some parts that are least interesting. Shelly uses an adolescent’s example to talk about the reality that young people do not know how to have a face-to-face conversation. She then analyzes some reasons that why  people tend to get addicted to online networks. People feel that cellphones care about us. Technology can give us companionship without building friendships. But technology causes a problem that we do not feel like ourselves unless we have connection with technology. Shelly takes counterarguments into consideration. She realizes that it is difficult to live without technology. She says that her daughter sleeps with her cellphone. However, she suggests that we need to  focus on ways technology brings us back to our lives.

 

The examples Shelly shares are closely related to my life. When I was in my first college year in my country, I did not focus all my attention on some optional classes. I checked e-mails and texts during most optional classes’ period. But when I heard something teachers taught  were intersesting, I looked up my head and put my cellphone away. I only focused on topics I was interested in. So I continued to check things on my cellphone if the next  topic did not interest me. Moreover, I feel that having a conversation with one person is completely different from sending texts to that person. I may make fun of the person I am texting to. But when I have a conservation with the same person, I think about if my words are harmful before I start talking. Sometimes, I really do not know how to have a conversation since I am get used to online chatting anfd texts. Before I watched Shelly’s video, I never thought that people can use identity technology teaches us to live better lives since many writers just criticized technology harms self identity. But now I realize that we can regain our identity even when we use technology.

Midterm

I do not have many experience of writing before since English is not my native language. Since this semester I have learned some writing skills that help me grow as a writer. I hope my writing can be progressed during the remaining of this semester. Writing is essential in my major(international trade). If I keep focusing on writing in the remaining semester, I can improve writing in this class and in other classes that relate to my major.

I did not write any formal essays before I took ENGL 1010. Before I came to the United States, I only wrote some short essays based on given titles. All I needed to do for my previous writings is to support ideas and give evidence. I mistakenly thought that advanced vocabularies and various sentence patterns made a good essay. But now I realize that I not only need to support ideas, but also to explain I support and compare my arguments with counterarguments. I remembered my writing experience of first formal essay assignment in ENGL 1010. I needed to write an essay about 1000 words. I did not know how to start. I spent an hour to think about how to write, but my mind still went blank. I consulted my professor. She gave me some writing strategies like freewriting and brainstorming. I was amazed since I had thought she would tell me how to write. I tried to freewrite and brainstorm. Finally, it worked.

I have learned some writing skills since this semester. I start thinking about why I support ideas when I write argumentative essays. I learn how to summarize. It is necessary to hierarchize information when I summarize. In the past, I thought I only needed to provide evidence of ideas. But now I know that I need to consider counterarguments and think about why I disagree. Credibility, emotion and logic helps analyze counterarguments. I also learn some templates for introducing what others say and what I say. For instance, “In their work,Y and Z have offered harsh critiques of X for idea A.” I always forget to use transitions between paragraphs. The professor suggested me that I could use transitions in my formal assignment one. Ideas are more clearly conveyed in final submission than in first draft. I realize that transitions can give readers logical connections between sentences. For the first draft of assignment one, I did not know how to evaluate counterarguments. I now that I can think about differences between my arguments and counterarguments. My primary goals for the remaining semester are to focus on MLA format of citation and evaluate counterarguments. In my formal assignment one, some of my citations were in wrong patterns. Although I know some rules of citation, I am not well versed in citing resources. I hope that I can improve my skill of citation. Although I know some strategies of evaluating counterarguments , sometimes I still cannot come up with ideas about how to evaluate counterarguments. For the following assigned readings, I can focus on how writers analyze their counterarguments. Moreover, I can compare my ways of analyzing counterarguments with theirs.

My major is International Trade; therefore, I need to write some reports to convey ideas and concepts. I need to clearly state and evaluate ideas. I can use the suggestion in the book They Say I Say that evaluating ideas rely on logic. I should also write why I hold ideas and weaknesses of counterarguments to convince others in my reports. Convincing others require the skill of summarizing. I need to hierarchize my ideas to make readers clear about what I want to say. In the job field of business, people need to write e-mails and reports. A successful e-mail can save customers’ time to understand the main points of the e-mail. I hope my reports or e-mails will not make others confuse about what I want to convey. I can practice writing summaries of topics I am interested in for the remaining assigned readings so that my writings about my major can be improved.

Although I have fewer writing experience than others, I think my writing can be progressed for the remaining semester. I can use the skills I have learned in class to polish my writings. These skills can also be implied to writings in my major since report writings require skills of summarizing and arguing.

Location-based Apps Should Not Be Blamed

With the increasing popularity of social networks, online privacy becomes a hot topic among people. As people can get access to many social networks, people share more information about themselves than before. Some people think that oversharing is a good way to communicate with friends and other people online, while some people suggest that oversharing has some potential perils. I would like to compare two different arguments about oversharing. One article is written by Steven Johnson, and the other one is written by Christina DesMarais. Johnson thinks that people who need help can use resources shared by other online users, including what we tend to think of as extremely private information. DesMarais disagrees with oversharing because of underlying risks of oversharing. Personally, I think that Johnson’s arguments are more convincing.

I support Johnson’s arguments since he provides his arguments and counterarguments. However, DesMarais only analyzes one side of oversharing. Johnson uses his friend’s experience of announcing disease online to argue that oversharing can get some useful feedback from others. Johnson’s friend’s example is similar to one of my friends’example. My friend’s cellphone was cracked. My friend wanted to repair the cellphone by herself; however, she did not know the steps of fixing cellphone. She posted a message online to ask for help. Many strangers gave her some useful tips. She successfully fixed her cellphone at last. When people share their sadness or problems online, they are not alone since friends and some warmhearted strangers can provide help. People can see many posts about personal sad stories on YourSadStory.com. Suppose that people cannot get any help or feel more relieved, few people will be willing to share privacy online. Sharing online can not only relieve our sorrow , but also can let friends know where we are. Johnson points out that sharing online can announce our location the moment we change our location. Johnson uses Adrienne Erin’s word in his article that location sharing can result in spontaneous or informal meetings, which may help to drive a lot of new business.

Nevertheless, DesMarais says that a location-based app causes some potential risks for women since people may share strangers’ personal information with the world. People who use location-based apps can see nearby women’s personal information if those women open check-ins. DesMarais fails to take the counterargument of the risks of sharing location into consideration. All the sentences she writes are against oversharing. Some women may feel uncomfortable when they know location-based apps enable strangers to get access to their personal information. But DesMarais should mention that some women enjoy the convenience location-based apps bring them since those women initiatively want to date others. Many people use the location-based app tinder to meet strangers. The location-based app DesMarais mentions may put women in a dangerous position. However, DesMarais should not deny all loction-based apps. Therefore, her article is not compelling.However,Johnson gives some opposing arguments in his article. He gives us an opposing example: a teen is charged with posting nude pics of his girlfriend online. Actually we cannot avoid some unethical people posting uncivilized behavior. Johnson points out that people need a new understanding of how the public life can serve a higher purpose(Johnson).People need to realize what type of information they can share and what type of information yhey must not share. Even if people are not in the digital age, some people may also share some uncivilized behavior.

Additionally, DesMarais only blames location-based apps. DesMarais thinks that some strange men may use the location based app to initiate conversations with women. When a stranger talks a lot of things that we like, we may question how a stranger can know our likes. It is not a coincidence that all the things the stranger talks about are exactly what we like or dislike. Then we should be cautious and try to avoid that person. If women continue to talk to the stranger even though they think about coincidence, they should also blame themselves when something bad happens. Definitely, strangers who do bad things to women should be criticized. But women should also be responsible for their actions. Suppose that we go to see a doctor who we know before that the doctor does not have a certificate, we feel worse than before. We should take some part of responsibility since we should realize the risk of consulting a person who does not have a certificate. Women who are victims should take some responsibility only when they realize the risk of talking to strangers but not avoid strangers. What DesMarais says is true since some bad cases happen. However, it does not mean that all location-based apps are bad. Some people meet more friends by using location-based apps. DesMarais fails to realize the good sides of location-based apps . Johnson analyzes the reality of online privacy.Johnson says that in the past we lived in a environment where only famous people’s lives had no privacy. We cannot avoid some technology to expose our privacy now. However, we have the choice to decide whether to use location check-ins. If we want strangers to know us, we can open our check-ins. We are in an initiative position since nobody compels us to open our check-ins on the phone. Johnson does not deny that our privacy is exposed to strangers. His argument is logical since when we enjoy the technology of check-ins, we should realize that there is a possibility that strangers know our personal information. Everything has a bad side, and it is impossible that we do not use social media in digital age. What we can do is to try our best to avoid letting bad things happen. One blogger on Cyber Diary says that Google can collect our information to locate where we are (Sibichen).Therefore, unless we never use Internet, our locations are always exposed to the search engine we use. What we think is private is not private any more.

Johnson’s article is more convincing than DesMarais’s article.Johnson uses the example of Facebook to support his ideas. He thinks that Facebook’s setting protects users’ privacy since only immediate friends can see our photos and religious views. Our personal information on Facebook has a long list; however, people do not abandon using Facebook. Instead, people are actively embrace privacy encroachments(Johnson). Johnson also uses an example of posting on Twitter. He believes that our breakfast tweets may give good ideas to nearby Twitterers about good meals. We may have an similar experience of being enlightened by other online users. DesMarais fails to give convincing evidences to support her ideas. She says that location-based technology serves some strangers. In her article, she gives John Brownlee’s example that he can see Zoe’s full name, education background and birthday. However, John Brownlee does not use Zoe’s information to gain some profits. He only sees Zoe’s personal information. If people know others’ personal information, it does not mean that all people will use these information to commit a crime or gain some financial profits. In the real world, many companies sell customers’ information to others. Those companies gain profits from exposing people’s personal information. In the case DesMarais mentioned, how can technology serve John Brownlee? John Brownlee did nothing when he knew Zoe’s personal information. DesMarais just assumes that many strangers on the Internet are bad guys. Maybe people use location based apps just for fun.

DesMarais says some women may be in a unsafe position due to online privacy exposure. That is a good point to alert people to be cautious online. However, what really makes women in danger is not the location-based app, but check-ins. Women have the choice to decide whether to use check-ins. If they do not use check-ins, stangers cannot know their privacy at all. People should realize that when we enjoy the convenience of check-ins, we lose our privacy. Moreover, personal information is not private any more.

DesMarais only blames location-based apps. She fails to understand that we cannot avoid online privacy exposure even if we do not use location-based apps. In the meanwhile, DesMarais does not provide any counterarguments. Johnson thinks a lot about counterarguments. His counterarguments serves his positions well. Therefore, I think Johnson’s article is more valuable and convincing.

Works Cited
1.DesMarais, Christina.”Online Oversharing Can Be Dangerous.”TechHive.IDG Consumer& SMB, 31 March.2012.Web.22 Feb 2014.
2. Johnson,Steven.”Web Privacy: In Praise of Oversharing
.”Time Magazine. Time Inc,20 May.2012. Web.22 Feb 2014.
3. Sibichen, Mathew.”No Privacy Anymore? A Critical Look at Google’s New Privacy Policy
.”The Cyber Diary. Blogspot, 29 Jan.2012. Web.22 Feb 2014.