Why School Uniforms Should Be Mandated: Genre Analysis
“We live in a materialistic world and, we are constantly being judged by others on our appearance especially the way we dress. I believe by implementing school uniforms we won’t have to feel like we’re going to fashion show.” This was my thesis statement as a freshman in high school on should school uniforms be mandated. I went to a private high school so we wore our uniform everyday which consisted of khaki pants and a collared shirt that had Elder High School and our mascot the panther stitched on the upper left hand corner of our shirt. I felt the need to really persuade that school uniforms would be an effective policy since after all I wore one for 12 years. The assignment I am analyzing is specifically a persuasive essay to narrow the minds of our school board why school uniforms would be helpful if mandated. The paper required us to persuade the school board that school uniforms were either good or bad.
Another requirement was the 2 page paper had to be a certain format called MLA style, which was completely new to me. Some key things the rubric included were, “sharp, distinct controlling point presented as a position and made convincing through a clear, thoughtful, and substantiated argument with evident awareness of task and audience.” Also, the paper had to be a thoroughly elaborated argument that includes a clear position consistently supported with precise and relevant evidence, which was the biggest emphasis our teacher gave for the rubric. My reasons for why uniforms should be mandatory were, it would improve the learning environment, make schools safer, and the cost would be lowered. Schools report that when students dress in “work clothes/uniforms” rather than “play clothes” they take a more serious approach to their studies. A study done by Freakonomics in 2011 show that uniforms have a positive influence on student attendance and teacher retention. When students wear uniforms, more energy is directed toward the internal and away from the external.
Secondly, there is a huge problem in schools across the country and that is bullying/violence. Kids get picked on and bullied for just about anything hobbies, looks, and because of what they wear. Many times students receive hand-me downs from siblings or families and just can’t afford the new and popular name brand clothes. With uniforms, everyone is equally dressed and no one will stand out because of what they wear. Thirdly, buying uniforms are more affordable for students and their parents. With fashion constantly changing from year to year, and season to season, parents have always felt the pressure from their children to provide them with the latest designs. Uniforms reduce the cost of keeping up since they remain the same day after day. This assignment helped me fully understand how something as small as school uniforms can impact the lives of the students, parents, and teachers, which I would not have noticed without this specific assignment. The audience was my professor who had her master’s degree in English Literature from Indiana University, so she knew more about writing than Shakespeare, at the time it seemed. Also the Ohio School Board would be reading our papers to get our opinions and input on the issue whether or not school uniforms should be imperative or not. Because of this, my paper had to be flawless; my position had to be clear backed up with purposeful content and examples. I did this by using effective organizational strategies and structures, such as logical order and transitions, to develop my position. As my teacher was giving the assignment out she was explaining how the hardest part for us was going to be keeping it no more than two pages.
So she said, “write this essay like it was your last, when people read this, is this how you want to be thought of.” This was useful because it really helped me from not “bullshitting” and helped me on focus on the strong and important points I needed to make in this short two page essay. Based on the grade I received, I fulfilled most of the criteria that the teacher was expecting. She expected precise control of language, stylistic techniques, and sentence structures that creates a consistent and effective position throughout the paper. Also it was important to provide specific examples from real life supporting my case why uniforms should be mandatory. For example, “In Detroit, an 18 year old was shot and killed in school for his parka and Nike shoes worth $70.”(According to Darnton Newsweek in 1990).
No kid should lose his life over 70 dollars’ worth of clothes; if they had been wearing uniforms it could have potentially saved his life. Reading actual documents that picked at the topic was helpful and provided more details opposed to my own thoughts and beliefs. Since I had no real work with persuasive genre before, I would have liked to have more practice with more persuasive essays. I believe if I had more practice I would have had a stronger point rather than throwing out my ideas to make an argument. I believe I could have really given the School Board something to read and re-read to help with this problem. Mandating uniforms won’t bring world peace, but it could bring peace to our schools. Former president Bill Clinton has even said, “to teach character education, to teach good values and good citizenship.
And if it means that teenagers will stop killing each other over designer jackets, then our public schools should be able to require their students to wear school uniforms.” In, “A Genre Approach to Writing Assignments” by Irene Clark, says that, “writing assignments, like stage directions, can be viewed as a performance oriented text genre, the purpose of which is to generate particular understanding and action that will ultimately lead to a subsequent genre.” This persuasive genre was difficult because there was no direct format to follow unlike writing assignments and stage directions. You had to present the points by precise and relevant evidence by taking a clear position in the assignment. Overall this assignment really pulled all my thoughts out to make it a great persuasive essay and learning experience.