Department or School

English, Literature, and Modern Languages

Essay Genre


Instructor's Note

Madison Grapes, Elise Parsons, and Ruth Towne’s argumentative synthesis demonstrates how effectively freshmen can collaborate on a research project. When Madie, Elise, and Ruth first ran their topic choice by me, I initially responded, “Are you sure this is a viable topic? Is it even controversial?” Because they’d already conducted some preliminary research, they were able to answer that question in detail: Presently, educators disagree for many reasons on how important it is for students to learn cursive writing. The three students’ paper represents the attentiveness to detail, thoroughness of research, and thoughtful consideration of opposing viewpoints this type of persuasive essay requires. It also meets its intended audience of scholars and sensitively negotiates the complexities educators and their students face in regards to this controversy. Although you may never have considered whether students should learn cursive writing in elementary school, what do you conclude after reading this essay? Think about what does, or doesn’t, convince you? What do you find to be the most effective part of the paper? How does the paper live up to its name and synthesize diverse scholars’ perspectives? And as you read it, could you see yourself, back in elementary school, learning (or not learning, as the case may be) cursive writing? If so, how did these writers incorporate appeals to pathos amid such a scholarly discussion that is logos-heavy?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

About the Author

Enjoying her first year at Cedarville, Madison Grapes (or Madie) is a sophomore by credit and plans on achieving a dual major in English and Graphic Design. If she ever finds some free time, she enjoys reading the classics, writing flash fiction, playing her violin, and singing with the Cedarville University Women’s Choir. 95 Apart from her artsy side, she proudly cheers on the sports teams from her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Elise Parsons, a Graphic Design and English dual major, has taken her love of poignant words and images all over the United States following her father’s Air Force career. She continues to entertain (and pester) her supportive family with scraps of original poetry and serial fiction while living at home in Cedarville, Ohio. While she is most often on the edges of events with a camera or notebook, you may also find her jogging or playing tennis, performing in the viola section of the Cedarville University Orchestra, or making progress on her growing list of books to read. A native of Southern Maine, Ruth Towne is a freshman Technical and Professional Communications major with a Creative Writing minor. Because she enjoys her tea-time, Russian novels, T.S. Eliot, dabbling in creative fiction, and the occasional crossword, people often tell her that “she was born ‘old.’” However, when she is not engaged in scholarly pursuits, she enjoys participating in many different sports—especially track and field— antagonizing her three brothers, and going out to eat breakfast with her Nanny.



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