Is Extreme Parenting Effective?


Is Extreme Parenting Effective? Possibilities: yes or no. Your answer and reasons become your thesis and main points.

We begin with the primary source Amy Chua who talks about driving her two girls to excellence. The secondary sources are all the articles written in response to Chua, some for, most against.

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  • Chua’s article and
  • two articles from the secondary sources in your Reading Assignments: Carey, Brooks, Kolbert, and Cha.
  • The source may not speak specifically on your main point, but you may find valuable information, examples, or statistics.


Minimum of 650 words. Try not to go more than 100-200 words over the minimum.


Generate ideas. Post to Discussion.

Organize ideas that you generated in Discussion on Pro-Con Sheet. Submit to Dropbox

Outline ideas. Submit to Dropbox.

Write rough draft.

Read articles and highlight/note points, examples, and statistics that are relevant to your essay.

Use mixture of summary, paraphrase, and quotation to integrate your sources.

Submit Body I to Dropbox.

Format your Works Cited page based upon your sources: LBH chap. 46.2, model 27, 9c, or 11c. See Writing Center Module, MLA Style.

Revise and edit your rough draft.

Get your Pro-Con Sheet (a blank one from the Dropbox) and fill it out as you are reading these instructions. You will also need your ideas that you generated in the Discussion Topic because your views will be either the effective or not effective and the opposing view will be the opposite of either effective or not effective.

A good argumentative essay presents logical reasoning and solid evidence that will persuade readers to accept your point of view.

I. Development

A. Know why your hold your views

1. Make a Pro-Con Sheet.

2. Write a list of the reasons or points (3 or 4) that support your opinion on the topic.

B. Anticipate opposing views.

1. Write down two or three of the strongest opposing views.

2. Write an answer to each opposing view.

C. Decide which points of argument to include.

1. Look over your list and pick two of your strongest points to argue.

2. Pick one of your opposition’s points to refute, usually the strongest.

3. Make sure that the points do not overlap.

D. Formulate a working thesis statement in an although-because format:

Although some say that children will achieve academically, extreme parenting is not effective because of work-life balance and psychological damage.

E. Organize your essay clearly. The following is based upon the sample thesis above:


Introduce controversy.

State thesis: see D above

Body I—Present opposition’s strongest point: achieve academically.

Explain point.

Refute point: can achieve academically without being number one in everything.

Body II—Present your first main point: no work-life balance.

Present your sub-point.

Give your supporting details/examples.

Present your sub-point.

Give your supporting details/examples.

Body III—Present your second main point: psychological damage.

Present your sub-point.

Give your supporting details/examples.

Present your sub-point.

Give your supporting details/examples.

Conclusion—summarize, OR point to future, OR tell significance of your views.

F. Argue your ideas logically: you must provide sufficient reasons for your position: you must give more than mere opinion (thesis). You must offer logical arguments to back up your opinion.

1. Give examples (real or hypothetical).

2. Present a comparison or contrast.

3. Show a cause-effect relationship.

4. Define.

G. Offer evidence that effectively supports your opinion.

1. Personal experience (what you have witnessed, but no I or you in paper)

2. The experiences or testimony of others whose opinions are relevant to the


3. Factual information that you have gathered from sources

4. Statistics from current, reliable sources

5. Testimony from authorities and experts

H. Find the appropriate tone.

1. A condescending or insulting tone will alienate readers.

2. Instead of laying on the insults or sarcasm, present your ideas in a

moderate, reasonable spirit.

II. Problems to avoid

A. Logical fallacies: errors in reasoning.

B. Some common logical fallacies:

1. hasty generalization: not enough evidence for this conclusion.

2. red herring: arguing a different point from the one in discussion.

Pro-Con Sheet

A blank one is in the Dropbox under Argument Pro Con.




Points that support your opinion (you need at least three):

Opposing views and answer to each (you need at least two):

Points of argument to include in essay; choose from above. There should be no repetition of points:

Opposing View (Body I) Point 1 (Body II) Point 2 (Body III)

Thesis statement:


Thesis: Although some say that children will achieve academic success, extreme parenting is not effective because of work-life balance and psychological damage.

I. Some claim extreme parenting will produce academically successful children.

A. Explanation–Children graduate early, with honors, and attend Ivy League colleges.

B. Refutation–Excellence does not mean being number 1 in every subject.

1. Some memorize rather than think critically.

2. Academics have a social component.

3. Many who are successful in life did not walk across college stage.

II. One reason extreme parenting is not effective is lack of work-life balance.

A. Children work all the time.

1. detail/example

2. detail/example

B. Children do not have a life.

1. etc.

III. Another reason extreme parenting is not effective is the psychological damage.

A. etc.

Example of Body Paragraph I


Thesis: Although some say that children will achieve academic success, extreme parenting is not effective because of work-life balance and psychological damage.

Some say that extreme parenting produces academically successful children. This is the parenting done by what Chua calls “Chinese mothers” (270). Chinese mothers’ children are in what amounts to academic boot camp and they graduate early, sometimes, with honors, and attend an Ivy League school, or two, the way that Chua’s daughters did. However, students can achieve academically without being number one “in every subject except gym and drama,” as Chua required (270). Some 4.0 student have merely memorized the material. They want the right answer so that they can spit it back to the teacher, which does not show the critical thinking skills that the truly educated have. From Chua’s own admission, Elizabeth Kolbert discerns that “. . . Chua is not a probing person” (285). School has always been about the whole student, social and academic. The social part of education teaches students to function in groups, the way that we work on jobs, as David Brooks explains (275). To further illustrate that success is not just about academics, Partick Goldstein cites the number of very successful people who have made a huge impact on our lives (think Jobs, Zuckerburg, Gates), yet are college dropouts or shirkers (280-81).


1. The first point comes directly from the thesis statement.

2. Since it is the opposition’s point, you must let your readers know: Some say, The opposers say, etc.

3. If a source addresses the opposition’s point, it is good to include him or her in your paragraph; the word however begins the refutation (your response to the opposition’s point).


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