Douglas Foster, “The Disease Is Adolescence”



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Douglas Foster, “The Disease Is Adolescence”

  • Who is Barbara Staggers?
  • What is a disease? What is adolescence? Why does Foster characterize adolescence as a disease?
  • What are this disease’s symptoms? What are its consequences?

Douglas Foster, “The Disease Is Adolescence”

  • How does Foster introduce his essay? Is this an effective strategy—why or why not?
  • What is the thesis, the controlling argument, of this essay?
  • What is Foster’s rhetorical method of supporting this thesis? (How does he provide evidence to support his thesis?)
  • Who is the audience for this essay? What suggests the answer to this question?

Douglas Foster, “The Disease Is Adolescence”

  • Working in groups of two or three:
  • Is a wide range of examples effective, or would Foster’s point be better supported by one sustained example?
  • What were the positive and negative effects of your own adolescence? How does your experience fit Foster’s argument?
  • Choose one of the following paragraphs or set of paragraphs: 34, 37-38, 41, 50, 55-56. As a group, can you put this paragraph or pair of paragraphs in your own words?


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