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College English

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I need help with expanding the following essay.

Hoagland describes that he feels like a city rat, living in New York City. There is a lot more violence than there used to be, yet after seeing or hearing about it one just goes on with their life. People have worked out a system to living in New York City. You cannot react to every act of violence or tragedy. Hoagland turns on different types of music for each time of day to drown out the sounds coming from outside. Although there are parks in the city, he has tired of them quickly and seems to associate parks such as Central Park, Washington Square, and Tompkins with New York City. Hoagland says, “And the last time my wife and I picnicked in Van Cortland Park, which is more countrified, we needed to cut at top speed through the woods to escape two men who were stalking us. (Hoagland, 127)” All the places in the city remind him of certain events and hold memories. Yet as much as people want to get out of New York City, the city is where the action is and many of us have an almost magnetic pull to action. Hoagland wonders if it’s the right thing to raise his young daughter here with sooty air amongst all the cultural institution, as well as the violence. He feels as if he is a true New Yorker, yet he does not want to live in this sooty city filled with tragedy and violence.

I sometimes wonder just like Hoagland does, would I want to raise my children in New York City. The city that never sleeps seems to have a hold on me. The cultural institutions are just a subway ride away and there is always something happening. In contrast, I also imagine living in a more countrified area, where the air is clearer and where kids have more room to run around. The center of town is just a strip mall consisting of the most basic stores and the community close-knit. Then I wonder that if by the time these same kids are teenagers, do they feel enclosed or entrapped in a safe town that doesn’t provide much in the way of entertainment.

  • College English -

    I have several questions for you:

    1. What is your assignment? That is, what type of paper are you supposed to be writing?

    2. What is your thesis statement?

    3. Do you have a plan or outline, written up before you started your rough draft?

    Let us know.

  • College English -

    It's a response paper to Hoagland's City Rat. I don't have a thesis or outline. I'm better at writing up a paper and then putting in a thesis and organizing it. I'm not even sure how well I understand the story, so if there are things that I didn't get, can you please let me know?

  • College English -

    I am reminded of going hunting years ago, the gent I took was shooting wildly, one bullet flew over me. In a rage, I confronted him...angrily...asked him wth....he stated that he was better shooting than aiming.

    Your writing is without aim, whether you agree or not. It just seems to have no thread, or purpose. Yes, you don't have a thesis (a central bullseye) nor an outline (a plan to hit the bullseye).

    In critical reading, one looks for the central theme as a purpose of the story. One takes notes on that, writing in margins, or in notebooks. What was the theme, what was the thread that wove it together? A plot within a setting usually does this. The output of a critical analysis is a "thesis".

    Your acknowledgment of not understanding the story fits here, and in my experience, not getting things, means you are not seeing the target.

    My experience with teaching reading to college prep students tells me that you could benefit from honest application of the skills introduced here:

    I hope you give it a try, but my experience tells me that you won't.

    Good luck.

  • College English -

    Surely your professor gave more guidance than the simple word "response." Is it to be one paragraph, a 3-paragraph paper, a 5-paragraph paper. No matter HOW you plan the paper and planning/organizing is a large part of success in writing, you WILL need a thesis statement, an introduction, the "proof" of your thesis statement and a conclusion.

    If you don't know how to do these things, it's simply time to learn!

    Try some of the following links on how to write a good thesis statement:

    Try here for a good introduction:

    Here for how to write a good conclusion:

    College professors assume you have had a decent high school English class to train you. My student's minimum was a 5-paragraph essay (AP & IB) so here are some guidelines:

    Sra (aka Mme)

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