Argument Topic: Why do relatively few women work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics?

Assigned Reading: “Why Do Women Shun STEM? It’s Complicated.”

Write a summary-and-response essay and reveal your own ideas, opinions, critiques, or connections as a response to Barbara Oakley’s argument:  “Why Do Women Shun STEM? It’s Complicated.”

Assignment Details: Your job for this essay is to respond to Barbara Oakley’s article. Please include the title, author, and main idea near the beginning of your essay. You need to explain Oakley’s key ideas and respond to them. Please do NOT think of a summary/response essay as “half an essay of summary, then half an essay of response.” Instead, integrate your skills of summary and response, using summary as needed to refer to the text and response as needed to contribute your own ideas, opinions, and/or examples. 

More Writing Tips:

You’ll need to make sure that your ideas respond to the topic using the basic elements of every strong essay, a strong thesis statement that explains YOUR  main idea about the topic.

In the case of a response paper, the first or second sentence of your essay will likely contain the title and topic of the reading to which you are responding, and the name (first and last) of the author.

Your intro paragraph will continue to explain the topic and/or the author’s ideas and lead into a connection or response idea of your own.

The last sentence of your introductory paragraph should contain your main stance or position on the subject you are writing about–this is your thesis.

Note: Keep in mind that her essay, which first appeared in a 2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal is also a summary and response essay. Oakley’s essay responds to a persuasive essay titled  , 

 by Stuart Reges. In it, he claims that women are underrepresented in computer science because of personal preference, not because institutional barriers deter them from pursuing careers in tech. Many people reacted to his article and opinion with outrage and the knowledge that while some of his ideas may explain a part of whats happening with women considering STEM education, it mostly ignores the main problems that can be addressed to bring more women into the STEM field and it largely oversimplifies the situation. You may include references to Reges’s text or other articles you’ve across if you want to, but it is not required for this assignment.