Kareem Abdul-Jabbar by Dan WintersKareem Abdul-Jabbar

Photo by Dan Winters

Summer Reading 2017

Writings on the Wall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The following prompts ask you to make an argument based upon your reading and analysis of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Writings on the Wall. Please select one of the following prompts and compose an argument, using details and quotes from the text to support and defend your points. Your essay should appropriately cite your sources and be approximately 1,000 words.

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes, "One thing all history has taught me is the dangers of the uninformed, quickly formed and ill-informed opinion...Facts, statistics and opinions of authorities aren't enough to form solid opinions, though. One also has to filter that information through the insights gained from reflecting on personal experiences" (7). Select a passage in the text in which Abdul-Jabbar filters information and evidence through his own personal experience. How do you think that his personal experiences influence the meaning of the evidence? In what ways do your own experiences influence how you read the passage? Provide a specific personal experience that speaks to your interpretation of the text.
  2. At the end of each chapter, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outlines a series of action items, outlining a path that critical, engaged citizens should follow if they agree that the American dream should represent a "commitment to make the opportunity for a life that is 'better and richer and fuller' available to everyone" (231). Select a chapter that is especially important to you and consider more deeply the actions that Abdul-Jabbar recommends. First, evaluate how these actions address the issues he raised in the chapter and in the rest of the book. Then, make an argument for the specific ways a College of Wooster student embody or enact one or more of these actions.

How to Submit Your Essay

Essays are due the first day of FYS, the deadline is extended until September 8th for International Students.

Submissions need to be Word or PDF documents, with your last name as the document title, and a full name and email address listed at the top of the essay. Please submit your essay to the following two locations:

  1. Submit it to your FYS professor, instructions for submitting the paper will be given during Orientation.
  2. Upload your essay to the Select Survey dropbox.

Essay Contest

The Writing Center is organizing an essay contest! Those students who submit the strongest essays will be invited to attend special events, including an opportunity to meet this year’s summer reading author, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. To be considered, essays must be submitted to the Select Survey dropbox.