Purpose and Overview
For this final assignment of the semester, you will write an evaluation argument, focusing upon the book Tiny Beautiful Things. This type of argument attempts to determine the â€œsuccessâ€ or â€œeffectivenessâ€ of an itemâ€”in this case, Cheryl Strayedâ€™s book. Youâ€™ll be concentrating upon an important aspect of a book like hers: whether or not you can believe in and/or trust the advice that sheâ€™s giving. This is your last out-of-class essay of the semester, so make sure that you end the semester with a successful one.
Strayed, Cheryl. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. Vintage, 2012.
In an essay of at least 1,200 words (roughly 3-4 pages), answer the following question:
How reliable or trustworthy is the advice that Cheryl Strayed gives as â€œDear Sugarâ€ in Tiny Beautiful Things?
You must use at least three different responses that Strayed writes in her book to help to support your primary claim. These responses you choose should be examples that help you to demonstrate your main point about her overall reliability and/or trustworthiness. Pay close attention to the advice that she gives, and examine whether or not such advice would be effective or successful if the letter writer accepts it. Consider whether or not her advice conforms to the kinds of advice that professionals in these fields (psychology, sociology, etc.) might give.
You might want to emphasize a particular overarching theme rather than focusing upon the individual pieces of advice that she gives. Your paragraphs should connect to each other directly rather than each taking up a different example and/or trait demonstrated in her writing. Having a primary claim that makes a statement about how reliable or trustworthy she is throughout her book (and a clear reason or rationale for that overall judgment) could help to link the different examples that you use throughout your discussion.
Remember that your overall goal is to examine and analyze the book rather than merely summarize it. You should use examples from the book to demonstrate your points about how or why Strayedâ€™s advice is trustworthy and/or reliable.
You will need to use at least two additional sources besides Strayedâ€™s book. The sources that you select should help you to demonstrate whether or not her advice is sound. You might want to compare what she says in some of her examples to the kinds of advice and/or support others would give in a similar situation. Be certain to use reputable sources in your examination. You are not relying solely upon your own opinion as to whether or not you think Strayed gives good advice, but youâ€™ll want to demonstrate at the end of the semester that you can select sources that provide credibility and authority to your discussion.
Use MLA format when introducing and citing sources, including Strayedâ€™s book. You will also need to include a Works Cited list that includes all of the outside sources you used in your final draft. The Works Cited list does not count toward the minimum word count.
You will need to have made a tentative selection of a possible overall assessment of the bookâ€™s reliability and/or trustworthiness and located at least one outside source other than the Strayed book itself. You should have also considered which examples you might be planning to use in your essay. And, finally, you might want to consider what an opposing point of view would be. (If you think her advice is sound, would another personâ€”a reasonable personâ€”have a different perspective?)