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Baton Rouge College Historically Black Colleges and Universities Essay


We’re going to keep talking about schools and teachers, but this time in the form of a comparison. For this assignment, you’ll be comparing historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and predominantly white institutions (PWIs). We will read a variety of articles concerning each of these types of institutions and it will be your job to lay out all of the facts. You might consider the differences in tuition, student body, professors, and anything else we discover together as a class. Ultimately, what information do high school students need in order to make the best decision for themselves? What information do you wish you had before committing to Southern?

Though you will have an opportunity to give your opinion in the conclusion, this paper is about practicing your ability to convey information without emotion. In other words, this paper will be based purely in factual evidence. It will be more like you are compiling all of the information for someone else, so that they can make an informed decision. It doesn’t mean you can’t suggest that HBCUs are far superior; it just means you’ll need the experts to say it for you instead of relying on your own opinions and experiences. The articles that we will read together should give you ample evidence to pull from, but you are free to do your own research if you need to fill out more information.

Structure:There are two ways to organize a comparison paper. One will have 4 total paragraphs and the other will have 5.

  • Each body paragraph considers one type of university (4 paragraph essay):
    • HBCUs
    • PWI
  • Or, each body paragraph a topic as it applies to both HBCUs and PWIs, in a 5 paragraph essay. For example, you might have a paragraph on the following subjects:
    • Tuition for both HBCUs and PWIs
    • Athletics for both HBCUs and PWIs
    • Diversity for both HBCUs and PWIs

i.Within this paragraph, you will discuss 3 points. For example, you may want to show how HBCUs offer a better sense of community, smaller class sizes, and wider scholarship availability.

i.And, in the other body paragraph, you might want to point out reputation, the potential to professionalize in sports, and university funding as aspects that make PWIs a potentially good choice for college.

In the first choice, each paragraph will consider a variety of concerns and one type of university. In the second, each paragraph will consider a topic for both PWIs and HBCUs. You are free to choose whichever form you prefer, and we’ll discuss both of them in class. Your conclusion will ultimate sum up what you’ve already shown, so that readers are reminded of your points.

Evidence:Regardless of the format you select, every paragraph needs to include at least one quote from an article we read together or that you found on your own. This means that every paragraph needs to feature a statistic, expert opinion, or some kind of logical evidence that proves what you assert. 

You will be graded on:

  • Picking one structure and sticking to it
  • An introduction that discusses the importance of this comparison
  • A thesis statement that expresses the importance of weighing your college options and makes it clear what topics you will cover. For example:
    • Before committing to a college, it is important to research the difference between PWIs and HBCUs, particularly regarding tuition cost, community, and athletic opportunity.
  • Topic sentences that clearly indicate what the paragraph will be about
  • Effectively integrated evidence (at least one per paragraph)
  • Effective analysis after evidence

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