Houston Community College It Is Expensive to Be Poor by Barbara Ehrenreich

Critical Opinion Essay (CO)

Length: 2-2.5 pages
MLA Format

Objective: To write an essay that critically analyzes a text and synthesizes or combines your opinion.

Read the essay “‘It Is Expensive to be Poor” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Write an essay evaluating how Ehrenreich engages her audience. How does she “hook” the audience to her essay? Discuss what you think her argument is and include how she supports her idea. Note her use of examples; do they fully support her point of view? What do you think of Ehrenreich’s closing remarks: “It’s time to revive the notion of collective national responsibility to the poorest among us, who are disproportionately women and especially women of color. Until that happens, we need to wake up to the fact that the underpaid women who clean our homes and offices, prepare and serve our meals, and care for our elderly–earning wages that do not provide enough to live on–are the true philanthropists of our society?” (par. 14).

You must also include at least two quotes from Ehrenreich’s essay to support your ideas.

Method:
(1) Have an introduction that hooks your audience and provides background about the topic.
(2) Include the author’s name and title.
(3) Lead to your thesis statement.
(4) Your body paragraph should contain a brief summary of his essay (1-2 sentences).
(5) Your remaining body paragraphs contain your analysis and explanation of the questions.
(6) Finish with a wrap up of your main ideas as well as any final thoughts.

Critical Opinion Essay Rubric

Critical Opinion Essay Rubric

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent/Organization: Key elements of the assignment are covered; major points are stated clearly and are supported by specific details, examples, or analysis. Two sources are included within the essay.

25.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent/Organization: Paper develops a central theme or idea directed toward appropriate audience. Major points are organized logically.

25.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent/Organization: Use of paragraph transitions maintain the flow throughout the paper.

20.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormat/Style/Mechanics: Sentences are complete, clear, and concise. Sentences are well structured and varied.

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormat/Style/Mechanics: Rules of grammar, usage, and punctation are followed. Spelling is correct. The paper follows correct MLA formatting.