Summary and Response Essay

1886 Words May 17th, 2014 8 Pages
Outstanding Student
Paul Brown (MW or TR)
Summary and Response due date
This is a Sample Summary and Response In his article "Making the Grade," Kurt Wiesenfeld presents a problem regarding the ethical value of grades in modern society. A physics professor, Wiesenfeld opens the article by making the "rookie error" of being in his "office the day after final grades were posted." (paragraph 1) Several students then attempt to influence him to change their grades for the class. What concerns Wiesenfeld is that many of his more recent students consider a grade to be a negotiable commodity rather than accept the grade as an accurate representation of efforts and performance and how much they learned. The author indicates that part of this
…show more content…
When Wiesenfeld presents his thesis in paragraph four, the reader knows that this new knowledge concerns the value of grades. The author also makes good use of word choices and figurative language to help the reader visualize situations and problems presented in the article. Wiesenfeld employs connotation to emphasize the problem: "In a society saturated with surface values" the "benefits of fame and wealth are more obvious" than the "eccentric" ideas of knowledge for its own sake. (paragraph 8) The author first uses "saturated" to describe how society places all the emphasis possible on "surface values" that can be obviously displayed. In using the word "saturated" the author makes the reader imagine a sponge that has soaked up all the liquid it possibly can. What he means is that society puts too much emphasis on surface values—so much emphasis, in fact, that nothing else seems important. When the author uses the word "eccentric" to describe the love of knowledge he influences the reader to imagine a person who is a bit silly, or behaves outside what is considered normal, or has just plain lost their grip on reality. By utilizing the contrast between these connotations, Wiesenfeld illustrates the tension that exists between these two different points of view—one side is seeing the surface level and the other side is focused on what that surface level thing, the grade, actually means. There are two metaphors that help illustrate the overall

Related Documents