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Step   1

: complete all assigned components,   use and cite


sources, and answer reflection questions   (earning up to 100% of the possible points)

Please   note that there is no “step 2” (revise and resubmit option) for   this assignment. Completion of the “initial submission” using and   citing


sources will earn you up to 100% of the possible   points. The

Case Study Project, Revised Draft

is   to be submitted and graded as a separate assignment.

To   see required components and associated points in the assignment rubric,   please view this assignment through the Assignments area of the classroom and   scroll to the bottom.

Connection   to other Course Assignments

The Case Study Project is the culminating assignment, where you        will tie together all of the information and ideas from the course.

All of the reading, writing, thinking, and discussing that you        have done over the past several weeks have led up to this assignment.

Step   1: Submission (

earn up to 100% of the possible points for the assignment


Your   submission should include all of the following components:


Describe a “real life” instance of your selected social issue in        a professional or a personal setting.

Discuss your perspective on your selected social issue, including        the reasons for your viewpoint.

Discuss how your core values inform or influence your perspective        on your selected social issue.

Demonstrate that you are really thinking about your issue—don’t        settle for easy answers, don’t pretend that conflicting evidence doesn’t        exist, and don’t feel that you have to take an either-or position.

Discuss the complexities of your selected social issue. For        example, do not just conclude that using academic language is always        good, or that government surveillance is always bad, or that wealth        automatically leads to health. Think about the intricacies of these        issues and how they play out in everyday life.


Include an

introductory paragraph

, where you clearly        outline a “real-life” instance of your social issue and you give a        thesis statement that indicates your perspective (

see Part 2:        Writing Your Introduction for an example



3-5 body paragraphs

where you include        details, examples, and quotes from at least three of the course readings        and two additional readings to help you develop and support your key        points (

see Part 3: Writing Your Body Paragraphs for an example



one body paragraph

where you discuss how        your core values inform or influence your perspective on your selected        social issue (

see Part 3: Writing Your Body Paragraphs for an example


End your essay with a

concluding paragraph

where        you restate your thesis, summarize your key points, and leave the reader        with the “so what?”

( see Part 4: Writing Your        Conclusion for an example).

Language   Choices

As a writer, you are free to decide how you use language, keeping        the following in mind:


: your language choices should result in a consistent writing         style that is purposeful and aligned with your goals


: your language choices should ensure that your ideas are clear         and easy to follow

When composing your paper, think about the conventions for        academic writing, including:


: this includes things such as recommended use of commas,         colons, and apostrophes.

word-level accurac

y: this includes things such as capitalization, spelling,         word-tense, and usage.

sentence-level accuracy

: this includes things such as sentence boundaries, subject-verb         agreement, and pronoun-antecedent agreement.

Take time to review your language choices after you’ve written        your essay. Think about your goals for the style of this essay and your        own writing habits (like using “text-speak,” omitting capitalization, or        writing sentence fragments). Revise as necessary to accomplish your        style and readability goals.

Reading your paper aloud is helpful technique when reviewing your        language choices for style and readability.

Sources   and Documentation

To   earn the maximum possible points on this assignment, use and cite at   least



Use and cite


of the assigned course        readings on your selected issue (

language and power; freedom and        security; health and wealth

). Sources from the assigned readings do        not require a reference list for this assignment.

Use and cite two more sources (course readings or otherwise).        Sources that are not from the assigned readings must be listed at the        end of the paper on a reference page. List author, year of publication,        title, and URL. Full APA format is not required for the reference page.

In-text citations for all sources should be in APA style.

These   examples show options for citing a paraphrase:

This   is a paraphrased sentence (Author, year).

Author   (year) explains that ….

These   examples show options for citing a quote:

A   recent study showed that “this is the quoted passage” (Author,   year, p./para. number).

Author   (year) explains, “this is the quoted passage” (p./para. number).

Note   that it is possible to earn a B (up to 85%) on this assignment by using only   three sources from the course readings and no reference page. To earn an A   (up to 100%) will require an additional two sources and reference page, if   needed.

Format   and Length

At the top of the page, include your name, the assignment name,        and a title that reflects your specific essay focus. (See example        below.)

Your paper should be typed, double-spaced and in 12-point font.

Your final product should be a minimum of six paragraphs (about        900-1100 words) in length. However, the quality of the content of this        essay is most important. Be sure to fully answer the prompt.

Sample Header and Title for Assignment     Submissions

Kim     Lee (

student’s name


Case Study Project, first draft (

assignment     name


Education Doesn’t Mean Empowerment (



Reflection   Questions

The   reflection questions are to be answered separately. (They are not part of the   essay.) Post these in the “comments” box when submitting your   assignment. You can number your answers or write the in paragraph   form. Be sure to address all four questions.

Aside from simply meeting the requirements, what were   your personal goals for this assignment?

When reviewing your language choices, what choices did   you make to approach your goals for staying within or moving beyond   conventions for academic writing?

What parts of your work on this assignment are you most   proud of?

What challenged you in this assignment and/or where do   you need additional support from your instructor?

Kim Lee
Case Study Project
Education Doesn’t Mean Empowerment
Ingrained in our society is the belief that education equals empowerment. Through
education and hard work, anyone can achieve success. Imagine an individual who gets through
K-12 schooling and then attends and successfully completes college. Many would see this
individual as someone on the brink of empowerment. A college education is the ticket to a bright
and fulfilling future, right? In reality, this college-educated individual enters the job market only
to find that her degree from the local state college is not as desirable as the same degree from an
Ivy League institution. She also finds that as a woman, employers consider her less qualified
than her male peers. In light of this, her ability to make a comparable salary and to be promoted
is limited. Contrary to popular opinion, education does not always lead to empowerment. Lack of
Commented [SF1]: Here, the author of this
case study presents the real-life example of
the social issue.
access, limited employment opportunities, and potential discrimination can hinder the success of
educated individuals.
One reason that education does not always lead to empowerment is that everyone does
not have access to a quality education. As illustrated in Jean Anyon’s (1980) article, “Social
Class and the Hidden Curriculum of Work,” American schools are set up to fully educate
students from upper-class backgrounds and to give a limited education to students from lowerclass backgrounds. She conducted studies of several public schools in the New Jersey area, and
she found that wealthier schools prepared the students for high-paying careers, while schools in
poorer areas prepared students for low-wage work. This was accomplished by giving the
wealthier students exposure to advanced math and science courses, along with language arts
courses that really taught the students how to read, write, think, and speak in ways required for
success in college and in professional life. Student in less wealthy schools were taught only very
Commented [SF2]: In this thesis statement,
the author presents an assertion and
outlines the key points of support she will
use in her body paragraphs.
Commented [SF3]: This body paragraph
begins with a strong topic sentence that
connects to the first point outlined in the
thesis statement.
basic math and very basic grammar, which makes it almost impossible to get into college or find
a well-paying job. Anyon (1980) concluded that this how the rich stay rich and the poor stay
poor. Without access to a quality education, it is impossible to have opportunities for success.
Unfortunately, even when someone does achieve higher education, in today’s economy,
there is a reality that limited employment opportunities await many college graduates. College
graduates still do better in our economy than someone who has just a high school diploma.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2021), the employment rate for
college graduates is 79 percent, compared to a 72 percent employment rate for those who have a
high school diploma. However, these statistics do not address issues of underemployment for
many college graduates. Sometimes, just having a job is not enough for someone to support
themselves, a family, and pay off student loans. In the article “Underemployment Persists
Throughout College Graduates’ Careers,” Cooper (2018) explains that 43 percent of college
graduates are underemployed for their first job out of college, landing jobs that do not require
their degrees or utilize their education and skills. Most alarming is the fact that of those 43
Commented [SF4]: Each body paragraph of
the case study includes evidence from
readings to help support the topic sentences.
In your Case Study, your evidence will
include at least three course reading.
Additional sources may be from course
readings or elsewhere.
An APA citation is provided for this
paraphrased evidence.
percent, half of them are still underemployed after five years. Even STEM majors are impacted
by limited opportunities. According to Cooper (2018) three in ten Engineering majors are
underemployed after graduating college. A college education is not necessarily a path to
empowerment in our culture, and, for many, underemployment coupled with educational debt
can lead to a lifetime of struggle.
Finally, discrimination is an obstacle that many educated people face, which keeps them
from experiencing empowerment in our culture. One issue women and minorities face is pay
discrimination. In America, on average, women make 84 cents for every dollar men make
(Barroso & Brown, 2021). According to a 2019 article published in Time magazine, this wage
Commented [SF5]: Transition words help
move readers from one paragraph to the
gap between men and women equals about “$900 billion in annual lost earnings for women
holding full-time jobs” (Gelfand & Choi, 2019, para. 1). But that is not the end of the
discrimination some people can face at work. According to Gelfand and Choi (2019), women,
especially minority women, are more likely to face punishments at work for doing the same
Commented [SF6]: Because the author of
this essay shared a direct quote, her citation
includes a page or paragraph number, which
APA requires.
things their male colleagues do without punishment, such as coming into work a little bit late.
They write, “One of the most overlooked forms of discrimination is unequal discipline, and our
research indicates that females employees responsible for trivial to small missteps are subject to
far worse penalties than males” (para. 2). The reality is that the obstacles to empowerment can be
greater for women and minorities, even those with college educations.
In addition to the reasons discussed above, the core values of equality, justice, and truth
inform the perspective that education does not always lead to empowerment. Some may consider
the perspective that education does not equal empowerment to be pessimistic, but it is a truth that
must be faced. Pretending that anyone with an education will be successful is dangerous because
it hides the truth. If there is to be equality and justice, there must first be truth.
By acknowledging that education does not always equal empowerment, light is shed on
Commented [SF7]: After presenting her
evidence to support her thesis, the author of
this essay makes a connection to her core
values, as required by the assignment.
This author chose to stay in third person for
the core values paragraph. You might choose
to use first person, with phrases such as “my
core values.”
the roadblocks and inequities that many face. Roadblocks, such as lack of access, limited
employment opportunities, and potential discrimination are real for many people and must be
acknowledged. Once these roadblocks and inequities are identified, working towards equality
and justice is possible. Working towards equality and justice in the area of education will
hopefully make the connection between education and empowerment a reality for everyone.
When a culture provides a path to empowerment for its people, everyone’s lives are improved.
Commented [SF8]: In the conclusion, the
author reminds her readers of her thesis
statement without repeating it verbatim.
Barroso, A., & Brown, A. (2021). Gender pay gap in U.S. held steady in 2020. Pew Research
Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/05/25/gender-pay-gap-facts/
National Center for Education Statistics. (2021). Income of young adults.
Commented [SF9]: The assignment requires
a reference list providing bibliographic
information for sources other than course

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