Example Outline



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Hook: I believe the hook here should be something you find to be true or at least something that you used to believe to be true until you read the essays.


Here are my recommendations for the hook:


· Over the years, western society has seemed to be proud of the quality of its educational system and achievements, but is it really working?

· What comes to mind when we talk about education? Probably classrooms, exams, schools, long hours sitting on a desk, etc. But this maybe just due to the wrong approach that we have taken on it.

· Are we having the right approach in our educational system?



Introduce their text: here you introduce the text you are analyzing. It could be directly as in “I will analyze the..” or kind of indirectly “In his paper, Jon Spayde talks about…”


· I will analyze Jon Spayde’s 2004 essay “Learning in the Key of Life.”, which takes a look at what is wrong with the educational system and how to understand education in a broader sense.

· In his 2004 essay, “Learning in the Key of Life.”, Jon Spayde …


Thesis: you will have to choose your own thesis and work on that. I have some suggestions, opposing views:

· (1)I will argue, along the lines of Jon Spayde, that to be educated means more than just to receive information and to be able to be useful in the world. It means interacting with the real world and being able to solve problems in real life. The state of education now has a clear class division, which is something that we should change. In his essay, Spayde makes it clear what the problems are and how we should begin to assess them.

· (2) I will argue, against what Jon Spayde maintains, that to be educated is not so much about having real world experience, as much as it is about having the correct information to solve specific problems in an specific scenario or culture. Spayde is mistaken in believing that “the whole world’s a classroom”, because this would lead to having no control over what one learns and may even lead to having contradictory views or ideas.





First paragraph: Approach the main idea of the current view of education and how it is wrong or at least imperfect.

· Argument: look for data about school/college dropouts. Life satisfaction. Etc.

Quote: from Spayde, Jon. “There is no divide in American life that hurts more than the one between those we consider well educated and those who are poorly or inadequately schooled.”

· Analyze quote: look for data about the intersection of higher education and class/socioeconomic status. This should serve as an analysis.

· Second quote: from John Holt, “School Is Bad for Children

· Analyze second quote: this shows how the main focus in education is not about education or self realization or any of the other values it should be about.

· Synthesis: current view of education is wrong due to the aforementioned reasons. .




Second paragraph: Approach the idea of other views about education. There used to be other approaches.

· Argument: There are other views and positions that may be more effective.

· Quote: from Jon Spayde, “Learning in the Key of Life

· Analyze quote: In the past, the idea of an enclosed building with a very specific teaching goal was nonexistent. The idea of a kind of holistic way of learning was fruitful in the past.

Second quote: from John Henry Newman, “The Idea of a University

· Analyze second quote: there are two kindS of knowledge, and we should focus on the ……..

· Synthesis: there is more than just one possible approach and we should try to find the best.

· Holt: “Let children work together, help each other, learn from each other and each others’ mistakes”




Third paragraph: Here the idea of what is education for. Or what should be its goal.

· Argument: We should focus on the development of the human as a useful member of society, yes, but also as a being with the potential to fulfill its own expectations and create new ones.

· Quote: From Jon Spayde, “Learning in the Key of Life

· Second quote: from John Holt, “School Is Bad for Children

· A real education gives a person the tools not just to fit as a productive member of society but to get along in the world, and reflecting on it, thus achieving a level of self understanding.

· Synthesis: education has gone the wrong way, looking for the wrong goals, but here are the real goals we should be pursuing.



CONCLUSION: here goes your own conclusion. Remember you can go with something you are certain of (it is a fact) or just leave the question open but giving your own inclination for one scenario (it is not certain that this model of education would actually be better but…)





By John Holt

· He learns many other things. He learns that to be wrong, uncertain, confused, is a crime. Right Answers are what the school wants, and he learns countless strategies for prying these answers out of the teacher, for conning her into thinking he knows what he doesn’t know. He learns to dodge, bluff, fake, cheat. He learns to be lazy! Before he came to school, he would work for hours on end, on his own, with no thought of reward, at business of making sense of the world and gaining competence in it. In school he learns, like every buck private, how to goldbrick, how not to work when the sergeant isn’t looking, how to know when he is looking, how to make him think you are working even when he is looking.


· The child comes to school curious about other people, particularly other children, and the school teaches him to be indifferent. The most interesting thing in the classroom – often the only interesting thing in it – is the other children, but he has to act as if these other children, all about him, only a few feet away, are not really there. He cannot interact with them, talk with them, smile at them


· You might say that school is a long lesson in how to turn yourself off


· We should abolish compulsory school attendance. At the very least we should modify it perhaps by giving children every year a large number of authorized absences.


Holt: “Children want, more than they want anything else, and even after years of miseducation, to make sense of the world, themselves, other human beings. Let them get at this job, with our help if they ask for it, in the way that makes most sense to them.”




The Idea of University, John Henry Newman


· All branches of knowledge are connected together, because the subject-matter of knowledge is intimately united in itself.

· It is a great point to enlarge the range of studies which a University professes.

· A habit of mind is formed which lasts through life, of which the attributes are, freedom, equitableness, calmness, moderation, and wisdom.

· University is not a birthplace of poets or of immortal authors, of founders of schools, leaders of colonies or conquerors of nations.



Here you can back up each claim taking the other two essays into account:

· (1) In “School is bad for children”, Jon Holt points out that “We don’t know now, and we never will know, how to measure what another person knows or understands. We certainly can’t find out by asking him questions.”, which goes along the idea of education being more than just storing information.

· (1) In “The Idea of University”, John Henry Newman argues that a university is not just a place to learn about an specific set of information in one area, but to learn how to interact with the world, here he states that a person after passing through university becomes “is at home in any society, he has common ground with every class; he knows when to speak and when to be silent; he is able to converse, he is able to listen; he can ask a question pertinently, and gain a lesson seasonably.”

· (2) In “The Idea of University”, John Henry Newman argues that the institution of universities is necessary for education, this goes against the idea of the world being the source of education. Newman says that “University is the great ordinary means to a great but ordinary end”