Educated Person Essay

The Educated Person Essay

English 12



Education Unit: What is an Educated Person?


Hopefully the works that we’ve examined and discussed in class over the past few weeks have gotten you thinking about the idea of education in general and reflecting on your own experiences and opinions regarding this topic.


The following assignment is to be based on your readings:


Discuss the purpose of education in the past, now and in the future. Come up with your definition of “the educated person,” and relate the works covered in the unit to your personal educational journey.  Your essay must include references to a minimum of FOUR of the following works:


“This Is Why You Don’t Succeed” – Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation

“Do Grades Matter?” Buzzfeed (writer’s notebook #4)

“Why is School Important?” John Green (writer’s notebook #4)

“What Student’s Need to Hear” Chase Meilke (are teacher’s important)

Clint Smith “The Danger of Silence” (are teacher’s important)

Rita Pierson “Every Child Needs a Champion” (are teacher’s important)

“Remedial Writing” Paul Diederich

Dead Poets Society clips

“Another Brick in the Wall” Pink Floyd

“Six Lesson Schoolteacher” John Gatto

Rick Rigsby

“Zen and the Art of Burglary”

“When I Hear the Learn’d Astronomer” Walt Whitman

“The Tables Turned” William Wordsworth

The Danger of a Single Story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Confessions of a Miseducated Man” Norman Cousins


The first part of the essay will discuss the purpose of education. You will discuss what the purpose of education was in the distant past. You will discuss what you think the purpose of education is today. And, you will discuss what the purpose of education should be, in your opinion. This will be the first page or two or first paragraph or two, depending on how you handle it. Minimum 3 cited passages in this section.


The second part will be your definition of an “educated person” using required works to support and develop your own ideas.  The key is to make clear to the reader (me!) that you have read (or watched) and understood the works that you have chosen to discuss.  This will be the next page or two or paragraph or two (or three), depending on how you handle it. Minimum 3 cited passages in this section.


The third part of the essay will describe your educational journey from preschool to now (and even beyond if you wish). This section will also include your conclusion. This will be the next page or two or paragraph or two (or three), depending on how you handle it. Minimum 3 cited passages in this section.


We are going to do most of the work in class. I will take you step by step through each paragraph. If you do what you are supposed to do in class, then what you will have to do at home will be a piece of cake. If you choose not to work in class then you will be on your own.


Remember when I say minimum, that’s what it means, A+ essays will have probably double the minimum of cited passages. It’s not that you can’t get an A+ with 9 cited passages, but I’m telling you it’s highly unlikely.


The Educated Person Essay Outline


1st Paragraph (or more)/1st Page (or somewhere in between)

  1. Discuss the purpose of education in the past, purpose of education today, what you think the purpose of education should be.
  2. Use sandwich method of inserting passages (use as many as you need):



  1. Conclude-wrap up paragraph


2nd Paragraph (or more)/2nd Page (or somewhere in between)

  1. Topic sentence: Describe an educated person.
  2. Use examples/quotes from the pieces to prove your point.
  3. SANDWICH MAKING: Make sure you introduce QUOTE/EXAMPLE, CITE the quote, and EXPLAIN how this quote/example proves your definition. Use as many sandwiches as you need.
  4. You should be explaining more than one adjective (creative, hands on learner, independent), at least two, more would be better.
  5. Conclude-wrap up the paragraph.


3rd Paragraph (or more)/3rd page (or somewhere in between)

  1. Travel through your educational journey. Telling me about your experiences as a student utilizing passages and quotes and examples from the text we used.



  1. Use this paragraph to do any of a number of things (concluding paragraph must be at least 5 sentences):
  2. Do any or all of the following things (you can just do one or combine a few)
    1. Remind everyone (not in the exact words) what your thesis/definition is.
    2. Remind everyone (not in the exact words) how you proved your point.
    3. Add your own personal thoughts.
    4. Tell a story about your personal educational experience.
    5. Summarize you explanations.
    6. Tell why you liked a particular piece of this unit.
    7. Explain how you are the educated person you defined.
    8. Explain hoe you are not the educated person you defined.
    9. Explain how you would like to be a better student.
    10. If you can think of anything else, let me know.

Basic Purpose Paragraph Examples

Educated Person Essay


Ask scholars about the origins of education and one will receive an enormous amount of opinions. However, one thing is clear. The origins of education, however diverse, were really about controlling the masses. First, education served to “instruct youth in religious doctrine[s]” (Sloan). Early education was provided by religious institutions in order to get everyone on the same page religiously. In fact most people couldn’t read, “The Church actually discouraged the populace from reading the Bible on their own” (Starr). They did this so the people wouldn’t come up with their own ideas and everyone thought the in the same way. In the United States the primary purpose of education was, “to prepare [people] to live in a democracy, to assimilate immigrants into mainstream society, to prepare workers for the industrialized 20th century workplace” (Sloan). In essence, at the onset of public education, the purpose was to make people good citizens, capable to work, pay taxes, and assimilate into the predominant culture. Education precluded individual thinking in order to make a “more perfect union”.

Today, schools have become a little better in allowing students to forge their own paths. However, it seems as though the educational system does not allow for too much deep thought. Educator John Gatto says, “I demand that [students] become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with each other for my favor. But when the bell rings I insist that they drop the work at once and proceed quickly to the next work station. Nothing important is ever finished in my class, nor in any other class I know of” (Gatto). Here Gatto is referring to the short amount of time we spend on a lot of subjects. Each class teaches only the surface of a topic never getting deeper than a quick drink of the subject. Gatto further tells us that, “Curiosity has no important place in my work, only conformity” meaning that kids cannot decide for themselves what to study or what to find interest in. He further tells us that, “Bad kids fight against this, of course, trying openly or covertly to make decisions for themselves about what they will learn” (Gatto). This is where he makes a great point. Students need to take it upon themselves to learn and fight against a system that does not give them autonomy in which to learn and make individual choices.

Thus, it is clear that the purpose of education should be to instill in students the desire to learn, the audacity to fight the system, and to change what they don’t like. Education should be personal and personally fulfilling. Students need to take matters into their own hands even when the odds seem so stacked against them. Teachers should be saying, “Step up.  No more excuses.  No more justifications.  No blaming.  No quitting.  Just pick your head up.  Rip the cords out of your ears.  Grab the frickin’ pencil and let’s do this” (Mielke). Education should be a personal responsibility with help from teachers along the way. Rita Pierson talks about “the value and importance of human connection, relationships.” In the time of social emotional upheaval, broken families and a country torn apart, it is up to the youth to take matters into their own hands guided by teachers they love, who with support will help them forge their own paths. The purpose of education today should teach students the value of relationships, perseverance, and independence. Add in a little fight and grit and question asking, and the youth might just teach the teachers a thing or two.












Basic Body Paragraph Examples

Educated Person Essay


An educated person simply goes to school, attends classes, and in that way he becomes educated. By being in school one can be classified as an educated person. In Finding Forrester Jamal, Fly and Claire attended school. Jamal and Fly attend their local public school where their tired teacher tries to get the kids to talk about Edgar Allen Poe. The movie also shows all of the kids including Claire and Jamal in classes at Mailor Callow. At Mailer Callow the kids are in classes learning about poets, writing, and are given general reading assignments to complete (Finding Forrester). In “When I Heard the Learned Astronomer” the “learned astronomer” was the teacher and student was in the “lecture-room” (Whitman). The poem shows the student in the class listening to the lecture of his professor. Both of these pieces show that an educated person goes to a place of learning and is thus educated.


Also, the poem “When I Heard the Learned Astronomer” reflects the definition that an educated person attends university, studies and follows the instructions of his teachers. The student in this poem attended a university. We know this because he was in class listening to “the learned astronomer” in the “lecture-room” (Whitman). We know that the student studied because “the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before” him (Whitman). Finally, we know that the student listened to the teacher because when he went outside to look at the sky on his own he, “looked up in perfect silence at the stars” (Whitman). The student was able to appreciate the stars because of what he learned in class. The preceding examples show that this student was an educated person as he went to class, studied what he was taught and listened to the teacher.


An educated person is someone who is willing to learn on a daily basis. Learning something new each day and expanding knowledge is certainly a way a person is educated. In a TED Talk from Rita Pierson, she explains that she told her students to say, “I deserve the education that I get here. I have things to do, people to impress, and places to go” (Pierson). A student that wants to have a good education really deserves it. Students have to believe that they deserve an education in order for it to work. Learning daily can impress others with grades or skill and show that it really matters to do one’s best. An educated person has places to go like college. Going to college is impressive and people deserve it if they try their best each day. “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer” by Walt Whitman states “Till rising and gliding out, I wander off by myself, in the mystical moist air and from time to time look’d up in the perfect silence of the stars” (Whitman). This student is in a college class learning. But, some people have different learning tactics and this kid specifically wasn’t someone who learned in a classroom or a lecture. He would leave the boring lecture setting and look up into the stars and realize what they really wanted out of life. He learned both inside and outside of school, even if he was a reluctant reader in the classroom. An educated person is someone who can learn each day. A person who has the integrity to learn every day deserves to have a great education.










Educational Journey Your Personal Narrative and Concluding Paragraph:


Begin with a strong theme: the theme of your educational journey. Make certain you can discuss this theme all through your narrative. A theme is a sentence, not a word or a fragment which explains concisely how your educational journey has shaped you as a person.


Tell me the story of your educational journey weaving this theme throughout and proving that this, indeed, was your story. Make sure to use at least three passages from the works we studied in class to support your narrative.


Concluding paragraph: do any or all of the following. Conclusion should comment on what you just wrote. 5-7 sentences would be fine (C-ish). 8-10 sentences might be better.

  1. Reflect upon the implications of your thesis.
  2. Discuss education today and what you think about it.
  3. Give an especially compelling example of an interesting educational experience.
  4. Strike a note of hope or despair about education.
  5. Look ahead to the future, maybe about what education in the future will look like when you have kids.
  6. Make a new, pertinent observation or discuss the essay’s broader implications.
  7. Answer the question “So what?” by showing your readers why this paper was really important.
  8. Bring together the ideas presented in the essay that you feel are most significant in your argument (though do not merely sum up).


Concluding paragraph example


I find that I am worried for the future of education. Generation to generation the value of an educated person is decreased in society. Educated people are viewed negatively in the image of the youth, and now it is not “cool” to be educated. I completely disagree with this. The mind is the most important tool a person will ever use in life, it will help determine the choices they make, the opinions they have, the purpose they believe is within himself and the path they follow in life. Education is important to giving people the basic knowledge they need to get through life, but by answering questions, learning who they are, and forming bonds they will expand their knowledge beyond what education is capable of teaching them. Education is something that has become more dreaded than going to prison; education is something that has become less important than running the streets. Things like drugs and sex have become more valued than opening a book and expanding your mind. I am worried that within time, there will be less youth enrolled in school than the amount of youth in correctional facilities. Education is in deep need of change.















Your guide to italics versus quotation marks AND citing.


“This Is Why You Don’t Succeed” – Simon Sinek on The Millennial Generation            (Sinek)

“Do Grades Matter?” Buzzfeed                                                                                (“Do Grades Matter?”)

“Why is School Important?” John Green                                                                (Green)

“What Student’s Need to Hear” Chase Meilke                                                       (Meilke)

Clint Smith “The Danger of Silence”                                                                        (Smith)

Rita Pierson “Every Child Needs a Champion”                                                      (Pierson)

“Remedial Writing” Paul Diederich                                                                         (Diederich)

Dead Poets Society                                                                                                     (Dead Poets Society)

“Another Brick in the Wall” Pink Floyd                                                                  (Pink Floyd)

“Six Lesson Schoolteacher” John Gatto                                                                  (Gatto)

Rick Rigsby                                                                                                                (Rigsby)

“Zen and the Art of Burglary”                                                                                 (Fa-yen)

“When I Hear the Learn’d Astronomer” Walt Whitman                                      (Whitman)

“The Tables Turned” William Wordsworth                                                           (Wordsworth)

The Danger of a Single Story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie                                 (Adichie)

“Confessions of a Miseducated Man” Norman Cousins                                        (Cousins)


For anything from the internet:

Use the author’s last name, if there is no author use the title of the article IN QUOTATION MARKS, within you parenthesis of course.






Try very hard to keep first person prose to a minimum except in the third section of the essay.


Make sure your quotes/passages are not dropped in; they need to be surrounded by your words.


Provide good connections between your quotes/passages and what you are theorizing.

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