Tag Archive for first essay

Brainstorm your Tuesday!

Standard: W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: Students will get their first essay topic and begin to debate about it.

Daily Video: 

Welcome to Tuesday!! Today we’re going to start our first essay for this semester. I introduced these people to you yesterday, but we will run through it again and then you guys can start the brainstorming process 🙂 go ahead and grab a sheet of paper and we will do a thinking map together on the board to help get some of our ideas down on paper!

Next up, we’ll be doing an outline. I’ll write the outline down on the board for you and you can copy it onto your own paper so you kind of have the format down. Our target word count for the final essay is 500 words.

You’ll turn in your brainstorming and outlining today. Brainstorming is worth 10% of your essay grade; outlining is worth 30% of your final essay grade.

Here’s the info again 🙂

Located at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash., is the famous surgical team for heart transplants. It is the only medical hope of life for the people eligible for immediate transplants.

One problem associated with the transplant is that there are many more people who need it than there are available donors. Doctors examine all those with other diseases for whom this would be only a temporary solution. They turn over their list of recommended patients to the hospital administration. At present, the doctors have submitted the names of five people for one heart from a potential donor.

The committee assembled to make the decision has been given a brief biography of each person appearing on the list. It is assumed that each person has an equal chance of remaining alive if allowed the transplant. Thus, the committee is asked to decide which one of these may have first access to a donor heart.

You are a member of this committee. Remember, there is only one vacancy for a transplant, and you must fill it with one of these five people. The only medical information you have is that each equally needs the transplant. It is up to you.

Directions: Read over the information in the attached Biographical and Psychological reports. Make a decision based upon the information you have. YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST TWO STRONG, CONVINCING REASONS FOR YOUR DECISION AND AT LEAST ONE REASON AGAINST EACH OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES. When you have your information in mind, complete an outline for an essay on this topic.

Heart Transplant Psychological Reports Sheet

In routine preadmission interviews the following patients were examined and evaluated as per the following data:

Alfred:

American male, age 45, married for 21 years. Has two children (boy 18, girl 15). He is a research physicist at the University Medical School, working on a cancer immunization project. Current publications indicate that he is on the verge of a significant medical discovery Alfred is also on the health service staff of the local university member of county medical society member of the Rotary International, and Boy Scout leader for 10 years.

He is currently distraught about his physical condition and reports that it interferes with his work. Seems very committed to his work and appears to be legitimately on the verge of an important cancer discovery. It was hard for the staff to get him to talk about his work in terms they could understand.

Family relations seem strained and have been for some time because of his commitment to his work. The staff feels that he is a first-rate scientist and scholar who has contributed much and could contribute more to medical research. But they also believe him to be a mentally disturbed individual who, in time, will probably need psychiatric help.

Bill:

American male, age 27, married for 5 years. Has one child (girl 3) and wife is six months pregnant. He is currently employed as an auto mechanic in a local car dealership. Bill is attending night school and taking courses in rebuilding automatic transmissions. He is active in his church. Plans to open an auto transmission repair shop upon completion of the trade school course. He is strongly devoted to his family and appears to be an excellent husband and father. Bill made average grades in high school, and he had no record of delinquency and was always regarded by his teachers as a student who tried hard.

His wife is trained as a legal secretary. Her prognosis for employment is good, although Bill has discouraged her from seeking work because he wants her to be a full-time mother. Bill seems unaware of the serious implications of his illness.

Cora:

American female, age 30, married for 11 years. Has five children (boy 10, boy 8, girl 7, girl 5, and girl 4 months). Husband self-employed (owns and operates a tavern and short-order restaurant). She is a high school graduate, but has never been employed. The couple has just purchased a home in the local suburbs and Cora is planning the interior to determine whether she has the talent to return to school for courses in interior decorating. Cora is very devoted to her local animal rescue.

The staff members evaluating Cora noted that her animal rescue is a very large part of her life. She is president of the local ASPCA organization and seems to be able to talk about nothing but her dogs and her children. She has recently developed a passion for interior decorating, but it seems to take a backseat to her rescue activities. Cora seems resigned to her illness and likely death. Her husband works long hours, is in good health, and enjoys the respect and love of his children. Cora’s mother, who also lives with the family, handles most of the childcare.

David:

American male, age 19, single, but recently announced engagement and plans to marry this summer. He is currently a sophomore at a large eastern university majoring in philosophy and literature. He is fluent in Spanish. Eventually he hopes to earn his Ph.D. and become a college professor. David is a member of several campus political organizations; an outspoken critic of the college administration; was once suspended briefly for “agitation;” has had poetry published “in various literature magazines around the New York area. David’s father is self-employed (owns a lawn care business), mother is deceased, and has two younger sisters ages 15 and 11.

Typical student activist, David is a bright, almost straight “A” student who enjoys the respect of most of his teachers and friends. He appears confused about his future, however and demonstrates a penchant for jeopardizing it by involving himself in various student causes. Indeed, his college dean of student affairs regards him as an individual who will “demonstrate for anything.”

David is bitter, almost paranoid, about his illness. His father has invested a good deal of money, time, and emotion in him and has always hoped that David would become a lawyer. His relations with his father are strained, however, and he seems only mildly concerned about his two sisters, although they still think highly of him. His future father-in-law, who is a highly successful businessman, expects him to enter the family enterprise upon college graduation.

Edna:

American female, age 34, single, currently employed as an executive in a large manufacturing company where she has worked since college graduation. Member of local choral society; was alto soloist in Christmas production of Handel’s Messiah. Edna has been very active in several church and charitable groups.

She is a self-contained, inner-directed woman and a model of the “career woman.” It was clear to the staff that her natural aggressiveness and combative tendencies worked against any sort of marital attachment.

Edna’s employers regard her as indispensable. Her work record is superb and her activities in church and charitable groups have been effective. She is well regarded by all who know her, although she seems to have few, if any, close friends.

Differentiation: Process – students will be given guided outline sheets as needed, as well as models for brainstorming using Thinking Maps.

Assessment: Brainstorming will be worth 10% of the essay grade; outline will be worth 30% of the essay grade.

Media Center Friday!

Standard: W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using validreasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: Students will type their first essay for the class.

Activator: MLA Format demonstration

Welcome to the media center, everyone! Today I’ll start off class by showing you how to set up your paper in MLA format. After you’ve gotten that done, I want you to use this class time to type up your final draft of your essay.

Your essay is due at the end of class today! Type it up, print it out and TURN IT IN!!!

Essay format suggestion (Feel free to deviate from this, but this is my suggestion)

  1. Introduction paragraph – explain the problem and who the people are. Be brief, but make sure your reader knows what’s going on.
  2. Reasins for your choice – give at least 2 strong, convincing reasons why your choice should get the heart.
  3. Reasons against the others – give at least 1 reason against each other candidate.
  4. Counterargument – “Some people say that _______________ should not get the heart transplant because ____________, but those people are wrong because __________________________________.”
  5. Conclusion

Welcome to Wednesday!

Standard: W.9-10.1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: Students will get their first essay topic and begin to debate about it.

Activator: Mental Floss – 38 common errors in grammar and spelling

Today we’re going to get started on a little writing project! This will be your first essay grade. Remember that if you want to do well in this class – and you should – doing well on your essays is absolutely imperitive. So, let’s get started!

This first essay is an argumentative one. I’m going to present you with a situation in which there is no right (or wrong) answer. I want YOU to choose an answer, argue your point, and defend yourself!! Here’s the deal:

Who Gets the Heart?

Located at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Wash., is the famous surgical team for heart transplants. It is the only medical hope of life for the people eligible for immediate transplants.

 

One problem associated with the transplant is that there are many more people who need it than there are available donors. Doctors examine all those with other diseases for whom this would be only a temporary solution. They turn over their list of recommended patients to the hospital administration. At present, the doctors have submitted the names of five people for one heart from a potential donor.

 

The committee assembled to make the decision has been given a brief biography of each person appearing on the list. It is assumed that each person has an equal chance of remaining alive if allowed the transplant. Thus, the committee is asked to decide which one of these may have first access to a donor heart.

 

You are a member of this committee. Remember, there is only one vacancy for a transplant, and you must fill it with one of these five people. The only medical information you have is that each equally needs the transplant. It is up to you.

 

Directions: Read over the information in the attached Biographical and Psychological reports. Make a decision based upon the information you have. YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST TWO STRONG, CONVINCING REASONS FOR YOUR DECISION AND AT LEAST ONE REASON AGAINST EACH OF THE OTHER CANDIDATES. When you have your information in mind, complete an outline for an essay on this topic.

Heart Transplant Psychological Reports Sheet

 

 

In routine preadmission interviews the following patients were examined and evaluated as per the following data:

 

Alfred:

White American male, age 45, married for 21 years. Has two children (boy 18, girl 15). He is a research physicist at the University Medical School, working on a cancer immunization project. Current publications indicate that he is on the verge of a significant medical discovery Alfred is also on the health service staff of the local university member of county medical society member of the Rotary International, and Boy Scout leader for 10 years.

He is currently distraught about his physical condition and reports that it interferes with his work. Seems very committed to his work and appears to be legitimately on the verge of an important cancer discovery. It was hard for the staff to get him to talk about his work in terms they could understand.

Family relations seem strained and have been for some time because of his commitment to his work. The staff feels that he is a first-rate scientist and scholar who has contributed much and could contribute more to medical research. But they also believe him to be a mentally disturbed individual who, in time, will probably need psychiatric help.

 

Bill:

Black American male, age 27, married for 5 years. Has one child (girl 3) and wife is six months pregnant. He is currently employed as an auto mechanic in a local car dealership. Bill is attending night school and taking courses in rebuilding automatic transmissions. No community service activities listed. Plans to open an auto transmission repair shop upon completion of the trade school course.

He is an African-American that does not identify strongly with his heritage or with “black culture.” He is strongly devoted to his family and appears to be an excellent husband and father.

Bill’s capacity for growth in his chosen occupation, however, seems limited. His high school record was poor, although he had no record of delinquency and was always regarded by his teachers as a student who tried hard. Therefore, he will probably not succeed with his business plans and will remain employed, permanently at a fixed rate.

His wife is trained as a legal secretary Her prognosis for employment is good, although Bill has discouraged her from seeking work because he wants her to be a full-time mother. Bill seems unaware of the serious implications of his illness.

 

Cora:

White American female, age 30, married for 11 years. Has Five children (boy 10, boy 8, girl 7, girl 5, and girl 4 months). Husband self-employed (owns and operates a tavern and short-order restaurant). She is a high school graduate, but has never been employed. The couple has just purchased a home in the local suburbs and Cora is planning the interior to determine whether she has the talent to return to school for courses in interior decorating. Cora is a member of several religious organizations.

One of the staff members evaluating Cora described her as a “professional Jew.” She is president of the local Hadassah organization and seems to be able to talk about nothing but her religion and her children. Although her recently found interest in interior decorating may be a sign of change, it was not clear to the staff whether this interest was real or only generated artificially when she heard of the interview requirement. Cora seems resigned to her illness and likely death. Her husband works long hours, is in good health, and enjoys the respect and love of his children. Cora’s mother, who also lives with the family, handles most of the childcare.

 

David:

Hispanic American male, age 19, single, but recently announced engagement and plans to marry this summer. He is currently a sophomore at a large eastern university majoring in philosophy and literature. He is fluent in Spanish. Eventually he hopes to earn his Ph.D. and become a college professor. David is a member of several campus political organizations; an outspoken critic of the college administration; was once suspended briefly for “agitation;” has had poetry published “in various literature magazines around the New York area. David’s father is self-employed (owns a lawn care business), mother is deceased, and has two younger sisters ages 15 and 11.

Typical student activist, David is a bright, almost straight “A” student who enjoys the respect of most of his teachers and friends. He appears confused about his future, however and demonstrates a penchant for jeopardizing it by involving himself in various student causes. Indeed, his college dean of student affairs regards him as an individual who will “demonstrate for anything.”

David is bitter, almost paranoid, about his illness. His father has invested a good deal of money, time, and emotion in him and has always hoped that David would become a lawyer His relations with his father are strained, however, and he seems only mildly concerned about his two sisters, although they still think highly of him. His future father-in-law, who is a highly successful businessman, expects him to enter the family enterprise upon college graduation.

 

Edna:

Black American female, age 34, single, currently employed as an executive in a large manufacturing company where she has worked since college graduation. Member of local choral society; was alto soloist in Christmas production of Handel’s Messiah. Edna has been very active in several church and charitable groups.

She is a self-contained, inner-directed woman and a model of the “career woman.” It was clear to the staff that her natural aggressiveness and combative tendencies worked against any sort of marital attachment.

Edna’s employers regard her as indispensable. Her work record is superb and her activities in church and charitable groups have been effective. She is well regarded by all who know her, although she seems to have few, if any, close friends.

 

Rainy Monday…

Standard:

Learning Target: Students will complete their introduction and conclusion paragraphs for their racial profiling essay.

Activator: Schoolhouse Rock!

Welcome back to Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend – I know mine was awesome 🙂

Today we’re going to be working more on our first essay. I want you guys to spend some time today with the introduction and conclusion paragraphs. I always find that these are the hardest ones to write, because they just seem so short when I do it! So I figure if we work on it together a little bit, it might be easier on you when we go to write our essays.

Let’s start with the introduction, shall we? Your intro should contain four main components: A hook, an introduction of your topic, any explanations or definitions the reader might need, and the thesis statement. Personally, I like them in that order, but the only hard and fast rule is that the thesis statement must come last. Here’s an example paragraph for you:

Have you ever felt like you were a problem? In the book How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? by Moustafa Bayoumi, the issues of racial profiling and people being considered “problems” by society feature prominently. The book tells the story of seven young Arab- and Muslim-Americans who are living in a post-9/11 world where they are considered the bane of society. Bayoumi tells their stories of being subject to prejudice and racism because of their ethnicity and creed. However, racial profiling is a much larger problem than one book can define. In today’s society, racial profiling is the largest single problem, and until it is eradicated, the real problems of society cannot be solved.

See what I did there? I gave the title and author of the book, explained what I’m writing about and defined it, and made sure I gave my thesis statement. Of course, my thesis clearly states what I’m writing about (racial profiling) and what side I’m on (it’s bad.)

Take some time to write your intro, and then we’ll move onto the conclusion!! The conclusion is sort of the opposite of the introduction, and it’s also kind of upside down. You’re going to start off with a restatement of your thesis, to kind of remind your reader what you’ve been talking about. Then, you’re going to summarize each of your arguments in one sentence or less. Finally, it’s best to end with a reference back to the hook – this is a psychological trick that makes your reader feel like the argument is over because it’s come full circle, so they won’t want to argue back. Cool, right? Here’s an example conclusion:

The single largest problem in today’s society is racial profiling. Every day people are subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment because of their religion or skin color – a practice that’s normally forbidden by our government. The practice of racial profiling does nothiing more than promote racism in the name of safety and security. Even though it has been endorsed by major government figures, it is no different than major government figures endorsing “separate but equal.” Although some people might feel safer knowing that everyone who looks different is behind bars, those people would change their tune if they felt just one time what it’s like to be a problem.

See? Easy peasy, right? That’s what we’re going to work on today – tomorrow we’ll continue with working on the ideas and the main body of our papers. Then we’ll get a draft written and BAM! Your first essay will be done before you know it!! YAY!!!

Have a great day, everyone!

More essay means more fun!

Welcome to FRIDAY!!!! YAY! FRIDAY!!!!

Standard: SL.9-10.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Learning Target: Students will work together to write an argumentative thesis statement in order to learn methods of argumentative writing.

Activator: Jeff-f-faaaah Dun-HAM!

Today we’re going to spend some time working on those thesis statements we came up with yesterday. I’m going to hand back your outlines that we worked on yesterday (I think about 90% of you guys finished, so YAY! we don’t need extra time on them!) and then we’re going to dig a little deeper into them.

Everyone should have an outline handed back to them that is not their own. The first part of this we’re going to do independently, which means we will do it without talking to one another. I want you to read over your partner’s outline and answer the following questions on the back:

  1. What topic is this person writing about? Is it clearly stated in the thesis statement?
  2. What side is this person on? Do they choose one side, and do they seem to have a strong opinion about it?
  3. What are this person’s reasons for their point of view? Do BOTH their reasons back up their opinion?
  4. What counterargument does this person give? Does it seem like a legitimate argument?
  5. How do they refute the counterargument, or explain why it is wrong? Does their explanation make sense?

After we take a few minutes to answer these questions on our own, we’re going to discuss the answers with the original authors. So get up, move around the class, and figure out who has your outline! Because they are all jumbled up, you might end up joining a discussion in progress if you find your outline belongs to someone that’s already found a partner. Anyway, when you’ve matched your outline to the person who wrote it, start discussing your answers to the questions above.

Were any parts of the outline confusing? Did any of the reasons or statements not make sense? If not, why? What confused you? How do you think this person could solve those problems?

Take a few minutes to talk to each other about what happened on the outlines, then break apart and head back to your original places with your original outlines. When you’re there, I want you to carefully read through what’s written on the back of your outline, consider what your classmates said, and then make at least two revisions to your outline. Don’t tell me your outline is perfect! No one is perfect, not even me! So make at least 2 changes – perhaps they’re to spelling, or your argument didn’t make sense, or whatever. 2 changes! GO!!

That’ll be about it for the day, guys. It should take you plenty of time to talk to your outline people and make your own revisions 🙂 And that’s it for week 2!!! That’s right guys! 2 weeks down!!! YAY!