Wages & Worth: Letter for a Pay Raise

Long Writing

Money Changes Everything

  • Duration:
  • Intended for: Individuals
  • Formality: Graded
  • Completes in: 6 steps
  • Comments: 0
  • Materials: 2
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Melody has been teaching developmental writing at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park since 2011, having previously taught composition and developmental writing at Southwestern Illinois College,…

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Assignment Overview

Image from: AmericanProgress.org

Money Changes Everything offers several essays that examine wages and labor. Students discuss:

-how wages determine our worth

-what wages say about who we value in society

-how wages are both static and fluid entities

-whether they currently make enough money

-whether it’s “professional” to advocate for your own pay raise

-how costly poverty is (from Ehrenreich’s essay)

-how wages, and other factors, determine one’s social class

-how they align with recent patterns and trends in American wages (from Warren’s essay)

Then, for this assignment, students must write a letter to their current employer, asking for a pay raise. (Overall, I found students truly believed they needed and deserved higher wages, but if they are not in the position to write to their own employer, students may write on behalf of someone else who they believe deserves a raise.)

Required Materials
  • Money Changes Everything reader
  • Computer
Skills developed
  • Argument
  • Letter Genre
  • Audience Appeals
  • Writing Process
  • Reading Comprehension
6 Steps to complete

1. Readings

2. Reading Comprehension

3. Rhetorical Analysis

4. Drafting

5. Draft Review

6. Final Submission

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