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Most of us use critical reading strategies everyday to effectively process all of the information we are consistently bombarded with. This assignment allows you continue to explore ideas of reading and writing rhetorically, as you will use different strategies to write your summary and your strong response.
This assignment will have two parts:
Summarize in 150-200 words the article your instructor has chosen from the assignment: “Children Need to Play, Not Compete,” on pages 250-255 of your 10th edition textbook (or pages 270-274 of your 9th edition textbook).** In this summary, you should relay the article’s main points, completely and accurately, in your own words. If you find yourself in a situation in which the author’s words needed to be quoted directly (perhaps for emphasis), you must make it clear that these words are the author’s by using quotation marks appropriately. You will not want to quote anything over one sentence in length, and you will want to limit yourself to no more than 2-3 direct quotes, if you use any at all. Remember that the whole point of this portion of the assignment is for you to restate the author’s points objectively in your own words.
In general, I recommend you structure your first sentence something like this:
In “Children Need to Play, Not Compete, Jessica Statsky…
This will function as the thesis statement of your summary, so this first sentence will need to convey the main point(s) of the article to give your reader an overall view.
Write a 1 ½ to 2 page response to “Children Need to Play, Not Compete.” Before you even begin drafting, you will want to decide on the terms of your response. Once you decide on the terms (or grounds) of your response, you’ll want to figure out how you can support your points—using logic, outside evidence, examples from your personal life—whatever is appropriate.
an example of a summary
Summary of “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names”
In “Sticks and Stones and Sports Team Names,” Richard Estrada argues that sports teams should not be allowed to
continue using ethnic-based names and mascots. Estrada claims that teams such as the Braves, Indians, Seminoles, and
Redskins—no matter how established or popular—should change their team names and mascots, which are degrading to
Native Americans. He further suggests that the stereotypes accompanying these mascots, such as “tomahawk chops
and war chants,” dehumanize and single out Native Americans, setting them aside from the rest of society. “Nobody likes
to be trivialized or deprived of his or her dignity,” Estrada asserts, and yet allowing ethnic-based mascots enables—and
even promotes—such trivialization. What makes matters worse, according to Estrada, is that such mascots target one of
our nation’s least politically powerful ethnic groups. He provides examples of other possible team names based on other
ethnic minorities (such as the “New York Jews”), which would never be tolerated in our society. As a result, Estrada
concludes that Native Americans should be treated with simple human dignity, just like everyone else.
example of strong response
Sticks and Stones and False Concerns
I strongly disagree with Richard Estrada’s article, “Sticks and Stones and Sport Team Names.” As a Native American
myself, I have no real problem with the use of ethnic mascots. In my opinion, this is the least of our problems. Further, I feel
Richard Estrada has no authority whatsoever in writing about this subject.
First, allow me to discuss my own Native American heritage. I am only one-quarter Native American; my father is half.
My adopted brother, Reeve, is also half Native American. In other words, our family has a strong sense of heritage when it
comes to our respective tribes. (My father’s side is Cherokee; my brother’s tribe is Cheyenne Arapaho.) All three of us are
registered with our tribes, and we still occasionally attend tribal events. So I am sensitive—and actively engaged with—Native
Unappealing mascots, however, are the least of our problems. Most of the Native Americans I know have a sense of
humor about the whole mascot issue. They’re surprised people even bother to talk about it. Who cares if a bunch of white
people want to flap their arms in public and pretend they even know what a “tomahawk chop” is? Who really cares what goes
on at a football game? Who really believes that a bunch of beer-drinking ball-following hicks are seriously capable of
The answer is simple: Not Native Americans. At least not any of the Native Americans that I know.
Our tribes face must bigger problems in the real world. We have been pushed to the corners of this country,
environments and economies unsuitable for sustaining our livelihoods. We have sought solace wherever we could get it
through generations—including in the bottle. What does Richard Estrada have to say about this? Nothing.
Estrada would claim that mascots are a symbol of cultural appropriation—white society taking what it wants from Native
American culture. I agree that the appropriation of our culture is a problem. However, once again, unappealing mascots are
the least important aspect of this phenomenon. How many white people own dream catchers, turquoise necklaces, trickster
figures and the like? How many of those people know anything about the traditions that are behind all of these “cute little
trinkets”? How many of those people know anything real about Native American heritage?
But this, again, is a minor problem in reality. The real problem we as Native Americans face is the appropriation of our
voices. How many Native Americans have been asked if they are offended by mascots? How many articles on Native American
issues are actually written by Native Americans? The answer is practically none. Instead, the Richard Estrada’s of the world
are doing all of the talking. Is Richard Estrada a Native American? I highly doubt it.
As a Native American myself, I’m tired of the false concerns of all of the non-Native-American liberal do-gooders. If you
really want to know about the problems of Native Americans, stop talking. Try listening.
Try it now!
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