Unit 2 Discussion/ "How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life" by Laura Pappano


Welcome to the unit discussion area for EN106. This area will fill up quickly with lively interchanges among you, your colleagues and your instructor. Check back often!

Important!  Most units, you are required to post your own responses before you can see your classmates’ responses. The reason for this is that your instructor and classmates are interested in your thoughts on the subject! Remember, most of the topics in discussion have to do with your analysis and interpretation, not an objective right/wrong answer. Your unit discussion responses are graded not only for accuracy but also for creativity and insight. See the Grading and Assessment page for more details.

Due Dates: Your initial (first) post is due no later than Thursday, 12:00 p.m. CT (noon), with the expectation that you will return between Thursday and Sunday to converse with your peers.

Assessment: See the Grading and Assessment content item under Course Information.

For all references, use MLA formatting. Discussion Topic

To complete this unit’s discussion, create two separate posts: one for each of the 2 prompts below.

Prompt 1

Effective academic writers know how to summarize. In this prompt, use Greene and Lidinsky’s categories to practice summarizing one of the assigned articles from Chapter 14:

“Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? A Word to the Incoming Class” by Mark Edmundson

“How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life” by Laura Pappano

“Why American Schools Are Even More Unequal Than We Thought” by Susan Dynarski

Create a post that does all of the following:

Describe the key claims of the text. To understand the shape and direction of the argument, study how paragraphs begin and end and pay attention to the author’s point of view and use of transitions. Then, combine what you have learned into a few sentences describing the key claims.

Select a representative quotation to illustrate the author’s argument. Find one quotation that illustrates the “flavor” of the article and that illustrates the author’s most important ideas.

Present the gist of the author’s argument. Describe the author’s central idea in your own language with an eye to where you expect your argument to go. (Hint: to ensure that you are using your own language, try to present the argument in a different order than the writer does. In other words, don’t try to summarize paragraph by paragraph. Instead, try to explain her/his position as simply and clearly as you can.)

Contextualize what you summarize. Cue your readers into the conversation. Who is the author? Where and when did the text appear? Why was the author writing? Who else is in the conversation?

Your post for this prompt should be a minimum of 150 words and should include in-text citations for any quoted, summarized, or paraphrased material.

Prompt 2

As you learned in this week’s lecture, academic writing can be thought of as a conversation. (Remember Burke’s metaphor of the parlor?) After reading the assigned articles from Chapter 14, how would you describe the conversation of ideas these articles are a part of? What is the subject of this “parlor”? If you were to make a contribution to this conversation, what you say?

Your post for this prompt should be a minimum of 100 words and should include in-text citations for any quoted, summarized, or paraphrased material.