Learning Objective: In this assignment you will
• Develop ideas with appropriate support and attribution
• Write in a style appropriate to audience and purpose
• Use edited American English in Academic Essays
• Read, reflect, and respond to text
An excerpt from Growing Up by Russell Baker
Write a 1-2 page paper that addresses the following question. Use MLA format (Review Q1-Q3 in your text). Use evidence from story.
In your own words state what Baker believes he learned in the eleventh grade about the art of writing. What incidents or statements help identify this lesson for readers? What lesson, if any, did you learn from the essay?
Sample student paper
The Art of Eating Spaghetti
I found this short narrative very refreshing. Russell Baker began his writing career bored out of his mind writing assignments for classes that he was obligated to do, or else he would receive failing grades. He enjoyed writing, however did not take it seriously when thinking of jobs after he was out of school. Russell was then given what he thought was a list of boring prompts, one of which he was to pick, the one that caught his eye was “The Art of eating Spaghetti.” These words immediately triggered him to write about a memorable experience he shared with his family when they were joking about the correct and polite way to eat spaghetti. He decided to just write about this because it seemed enjoyable and later he would turn in a different story because he didn’t think it would be up to par with what his teacher, Mr. Fleagle, was looking for. It ended up being too late and Baker settled for turning that paper in. It turned out that Mr. Fleagle, ironically enough, loved the essay and used it as a model for the other students. Even as unexpected that it was, this made Russell realize that he really did have talent and writing was something that he loved to do. Now, Russell Baker is writing for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated. He made it so far by just doing something that he loves. This story introduced me to somewhat of a new outlook on my future. I am thinking that I want to be a recreational therapist when I graduate, yet it is not set in stone and I am not even sure if I will end up enjoying it. Reading this passage makes me think that whatever interests me will stand out eventually and I will too find something that I am going to enjoy doing when I least expect it.
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