For Friday

Read “Worlds Apart,” p. 25 in Best American Magazine Writing 2017 or right here, from the NYTimes Magazine..  Post a comment to this blog post on anything you notice, especially what it means to write an essay in the public sphere incorporating research.


9 thoughts on “For Friday”

  1. I noticed that to incorporate research in an essay in the public sphere, two parts are as important as one the other. First, we need to focus on what issues we are reporting in the public sphere: it best come from something we notice from our own experience or we are witnessing from others. Second, we could explain why we are paying attention to the issue. And after that, to incorporate data is important. First-hand knowledge would be good as Nikole presents her knowledge in segregation. We would also need to quote from sources to enhance credibility.


  2. A very interesting essay to say the least. The way it integrates research into a public sphere is really cool. By showing the reader what the demographics are for an NYC public school and really give the reader a clear image to think about. But the statistics that really resonates with me is hearing about all the low-income areas in NYC and how it affects the public school system. Most of the time when I think about NYC it is about the bright lights, and how the city never sleeps. But this makes me think about the public school system problems in NYC and how the can be fixed.


  3. I believe the author’s method of incorporating research into her article was effective and necessary. Disparities in the ways in which children of different minorities receive education is an issue that many are not conversant with. In fact, people typically are of the mindset that all children have an equal opportunity to achieve success through education. In more extreme cases, many believe minority students are actually at an advantage because of affirmative action policies. That is not remotely the case, as there are inherent disadvantages associated with where a child is born. Such disadvantages stem from a shameful history of discriminatory redlining and disenfranchisement, a cycle that has been difficult to break free from. If the author did not substantiate her claims with research that corroborates these claims, she may have undercut her own credibility, and her concerns would be swept under the rug by those who refuse to acknowledge their own privilege.


  4. I believe this essay is a great example of integrated research with your personal life. The author did a really good job in giving hard facts about the reasons why she feared her daughter going to a segregated black school. I also feel like giving historical context gives a better understanding to someone who have little information about the history of segregation in the United States. She also gives readers who might not be familiar with NYC’s education, a good explanation by talking about the data of housing and schooling. One of the other things I found mostly useful is the interviews she had with parents and also including the meeting that the PS 8 parents had and how they seemed very nervous and angry of the fact that their children could be send to a mostly black and Latino school, it shows that they are aware of the dis-proportionality and segregation but choose to keep their children “safe”. I think the author does a good job in making the reader empathize with her even if you do not have a child, as a black woman at least. I think her fears of making her daughter an “experiment” are the same fears many Black and Latino families who do not want to fall onto the idea that “my children have to go to the best school even if it is predominantly white” and forget all about the other low income kids who are segregated into the worst school but wants don’t want their children to be an “experiment” of that segregation.


  5. One of the best essays that I have read in a long time in my opinion. I really like how the author begins with his personal experiences to set up a more broader topic about the public school system, how it’s integrated, and the problems/effects that stem from that. As well as having lived through some of the problems of the NYC public school system, the author had to do a great deal of research in order to gather the statistics and numbers to back up his argument. The author seemed very passionate about this issue, and you can distinctly hear that voice throughout the essay which I think really helps draw the reader in. I think that when talking about important issues, such as this one, it is important to keep the reader engaged with your personal story, and also gain some knowledge about the topic. I would love to see a change in the NYC public school systems, for the children’s sake, and I think that this essay, this author, have taken the right steps in addressing the issues/concerns – and making them known publicly.


  6. I really enjoyed reading “Worlds Apart” this week for class. I think the author did a really good job in this essay of incorporating research into her article. I always find articles to be the most effective when the author does that because I am able to get a better understanding of the overall topic. I also think when talking about an issue relating to the public sphere, it has to be really interesting so it engages the readers and actually makes them want to sit down and read it. I believe the author choosing to talk about NYC public schools, did a great job of doing that. I also liked the fact that she was able to talk about why she was able to focus on that specific issue and I think by her adding a personal experience in the beginning was very important and further interested the readers. Historical context is also very important because it informs the reader about what is happening if they did not have any previous information about the topic.


  7. This essay does a great job of bringing up a lot of controversial topics that occur in our country today. While this author is able to talk so eloquently about racial divide this country deals with she is also able to add great details from her and his familes life. What i enjoyed the most about the story was when she was bringing up events that took place in her and her husbands education as a youth. Although she was brought up in the better school system, she could see the probelms that stemmed from these types of choices. While I feel as this is an issue that needs attention in more ways then one, I believe the government should invest more their time into ways of making education in low income areas more desirable. The author crafts this this story in a way that keeps the reader engaged the entire time. With rich detail from the in’s and out’s of her story the reader can cleary see the flow of essay.


  8. What a thought provoking read! I learned a great deal about the New York City public-school system. Nikole does an excellent job at incorporating research into this piece. She uses factual evidence from history, psychology, and other fields to advocate for a much-needed change in New York City public-school system. In his response to this article, Adrian said: “If the author did not substantiate her claims with research that corroborates these claims, she may have undercut her own credibility, and her concerns would be swept under the rug by those who refuse to acknowledge their own privilege.” I strongly agree with this point. Nikole limits the space for comments like: “she’s exaggerating” “she’s emotional” or “she’s generalizing” by incorporating research in this piece. Evidence increases credibility. It helps support one’s ideas and arguments, which then creates a sense of reliability. This is particularly true when one’s writing is based on a personal narrative. Moreover, Nikole does an excellent job at getting her readers sympathy. I say this because I found myself empathizing with the author most in matters of parenting that I am not concerned with. For instance, Nikole writes: “I had moments when I couldn’t ignore the nagging fear that in my quest for fairness, I was being unfair to my own daughter. I worried — I worry still — about whether I made the right decision for our little girl. But I knew I made the just one.” Here, I feel for Nikole.


  9. I really like how this essay does not at all feel like a research essay. It is very personal and very much so reflects personal experience and opinion. This is not a conflict I have ever dealt with in my life, and I likely never will. Reading this essay really paints a vivid picture of the struggle behind the circumstances that someone like me would’ve never seen. I really like how the author used such personal anecdotes to really make her point I thought that was very powerful. I personally am finding writing a research article in the public sphere very challenging, but I think this essay gives a good structure for what it can look like.


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