Essay Topic: Slee (2011) and Graham and Slee (2008) suggest that the special school-regular school dichotomy is no longer a useful way of framing education, and that barriers that exist in both sectors need to be removed so as to produce what is, in the end, unlike either (that is, they suggest the ‘irregular school’).

Write a critical essay of 2,500 words for ONE of the following:

  • Slee (2011) and Graham and Slee (2008) suggest that the special school-regular school dichotomy is no longer a useful way of framing education, and that barriers that exist in both sectors need to be removed so as to produce what is, in the end, unlike either (that is, they suggest the ‘irregular school’).

A critical essay requires you to question the opinions in a text and present your evaluation or judgement of the text. To do this well, you should attempt to understand the topic from different perspectives (i.e. read related texts) and in relation to the theories, approaches and frameworks in the course.

1:    Review the literature in the field, this means reviewing the reading materials and the learning activities in the modules and any other reading in the area that you have chosen.

2:    Your aim is to provide each side of the argument and discuss the implications of each to Inclusive Education.

3:   Search for texts or journal articles about that specific topic. Your modules may guide you towards certain authors or articles that you can use. Summarise the main points that appeal to you from each argument. Make sure you keep these notes and the references they belong to. You may want to start an Endnote library to store your references (see library web site).

4:    You now have enough information to structure your essay.

5:    Introduction: Begin with a planning introduction. You will rewrite the introduction as the final part of the essay but it is good to have a plan to work from. Briefly explain what your topic is and why it is important. Then summarise what topics (slants) you will consider in the essay.

6:  Body of essay: Each point you want to argue will be at least one paragraph long (5-7 sentences). Use your favorite authors to substantiate your position or argue your point. Explain why you disagree with others or why their point of view is not as convincing. Make your comments interesting with anecdotes, statistics or direct quotes.

7: Make sure you state your point of view as an essay that simply quotes a lot of other people is not an argument. You can usually state your point of view at the end of each paragraph or you may begin the paragraph with your own comment and then lead on to the way other people refer to the topic.

8: Linkages: Lead the reader from one paragraph to the next with linkages. These are statements that make your writing coherent by joining together different thoughts, for example: And that leads to our next point of…; In addition, ….; Further consideration should also be given to….; and so on.

9: Conclusion: Summarise only the main points and restate why the topic is important. Do not bring in any new information at this stage.

10: Check the introduction and see if you have been faithful to your plan. Sometimes the introduction needs shaping up to match the flow and conviction in your essay. Include your main support author in the introduction.

11: 2,500 words is not a long essay so be careful that you do not lose track of what you want to say. Concise and structured are attributes of a good essay. You can have complex ideas but keep the structure and expression clear. Keep it simple is a good theme.

12: Reference according to APA 7 style.

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