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QUESTIONS ON ‘THE PREGNANCY TRAP”
THE FACTS
1. How does Garibaldi begin his essay? What does the beginning tell us? What
connection does the beginning have with the point he is trying to make?
2. What prediction does the author make? What reason does he give for his prediction?
Does this reason seem logical to you? Why or why not?
3. Who is Nicole, and what role does she play in this essay? Would some appropriate
statistics be more convincing than Nicole’s example? Cite the advantage, if any, of
citing one specific experience over numerous statistics.
4. What are the grim statistics pulled from articles read by Maria and Nicole? How do
the two girls react to the statistics? What might you advise these two girls if you were
their teacher?
5. What happened to Jasmine’s baby when she left him with his father? How old was
the baby? How did this incident affect Jasmine’s education? What is your opinion of
Jasmine’s decision?
THE STRATEGIES
1. How does the author achieve a sense of drama as he develops his thesis? Does this
strategy add or detract from the seriousness of the problem being analyzed? Give
reasons for your answer.
2. In paragraph 12, what rhetorical strategy is used? How does this strategy help the
reader? Be specific in your answer.
3. What simile is used in each of these paragraphs: 10, 22, and 45? Explain the use of
each simile and be prepared to state how they boost the writing.
4. Why does the author use the word “Trap” in the title? Explain the use of this word. Is
it appropriate in terms of the author’s purpose? Give reasons for your answer.
5. What is the latest government innovation concerning education? What is the author’s
purpose in mentioning the innovation? Is this a good strategy? Explain your answer.
THE ISSUES
1. Piercing to the heart of the teenage educational catastrophe described, what ingredient
is missing, according to the author, in order to make any headway in curing the
problem? Where in the essay is the problem diagnosed? What is your reaction to the
author’s view? Defend, dispute, or qualify his opinion.
2. Paragraph 12 mentions a list of welfare benefits for which pregnant teenage girls can
qualify. Do you think the government should continue these benefits? If not, why
not? If yes, to what extent and under what circumstances?
3. What explanation can you provide for the comments made by the author in paragraph
16? Clarify the phrases “walk on eggshells,” “broker remarks,” and “negotiate
insults.”
4. What does the author mean when he states that Nicole was becoming “too connected”
with him? Does this seem like a realistic problem? How should it be overcome?
How would you deal with such a problem as you tried to be helpful to the girl?
5. Do you think that many of the girls who become teenage mothers make the kind of
mothers you would want for your child? What might be their strengths and what
might be their weaknesses?