We’re Better Than They Think

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/weekinreview/29graduates.html?_r=0

This article is about how older generations look at millennials and consider them to be lazy and unsuccessful, and it proves that millennials are actually the opposite. The author’s general claim is that millennials are not as bad and lazy as they are portrayed and thought to be. She defends this claim by mentioning ideas and supporting them or refuting them.

The basis of her claim is that elders thing lowly of millennials. She provides evidence of this by generally quoting authors of books similar to “The Dumbest Generation” and “Generation Me.” She also provides statistics from a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. She mentions “three in four Americans believe that today’s youth are less virtuous and industrious than their elders” and “two-thirds of millennials said older adults were superior to the younger generation when it came to moral values and work ethic.” (Rampell) Her evidence seems relevant and trustworthy.

The second idea she provides evidence for is that it is easier for students now to get A’s in school. She provided evidence stating that “the typical grade-point average in college rose to about 3.11 by the middle of the last decade, from 2.52 in the 1950s, according to a recent study by Stuart Rojstaczer, professor emeritus at Duke, and Christopher Healy of Furman University.” (Rampell) The author then goes on to say that “college students also spend fewer hours studying each week than did their counterparts in 1961, according to a new working paper by Philip S. Babcock of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Mindy Marks of the University of California, Riverside” (Rampell). This evidence is relevant and seems to be trustworthy based on the credentials of the sources they are from.

Now to refute the claims that millennials are lazy, she states that there is ample evidence that proves that young people are productive and hard working, and that their extra time is not spent wasting time (Rampell). She references the Labor Department: “the share of college students working full time generally grew from 1985 onward — until the Great Recession knocked many millennials out of the labor force (Rampell). As well, she got evidence from a survey conducted at Rutgers: “44 percent of students today say that work or personal savings helped finance their higher educations, according to a survey of recent graduates by Rutgers University.” (Rampell). The Labor Department is a reliable source for evidence. The survey conducted by students at Rutgers University may also be reliable, but not as much as the evidence from the Labor Department.

She also supports the fact that millennials are volunteering more than usual: “Between 1989 and 2006, the share of teenagers who were volunteering doubled, to 26.4 percent from 13.4 percent, according to a report by the Corporation for National and Community Service. And the share of incoming college freshmen who say they plan to volunteer is at a record high of 32.1 percent, too, U.C.L.A.’s annual incoming freshman survey found.” (Rampell) While the U.C.L.A.’s survey may not be extremely trustworthy, the evidence from the report by the Corporation for National and Community Service seems reliable due to the source.

The author then goes on to provide general evidence regarding how the behaviors of millennials that elders consider laziness are actually beneficial. She quotes several authors of different books and the director of polling at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. These pieces of evidence are relevant and also seem to come from reliable sources due to the credibility of the people.

Overall, this author seems to back up her claim with relevant and trustworthy evidence.

Annotated Article

 

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1 Response to We’re Better Than They Think

  1. Evangelos Katsoudas says:

    Very interesting article. I like how the author would refute the most common things that the previous generation thinks is wrong with this generation. One of the facts that I really find amazing is how it is easier for our generation to get an A in college and how the average GPA is much higher. I don’t really believe that college students today do less homework a week, considering how much I do, but the stats are probably correct. The editorial seemed to be highly credible with all the sources used to back up claims and I agree with you on its reputability. Its unique how the article used volunteering rates of this generation to counteract the belief that our generation is lazy. That point really resonated with me as strong evidence against laziness. I think this editorial should be a great one to use for the editorial assignment and good luck with it.

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