Informational Essay – Proofreading and Self Assessing

Now that you’ve written your informational compare and contrast essay, I would like you to look back over your work.

Proofreading is an important part of writing – however, based on the number of errors and lack of capitalization I see often in your work, I worry that many of you do not do (or do not understand the importance of) proofreading.

 

Proofreading and self assessment is an important part of being a good writer – it helps us improve and grow. I help you better understand the importance of this step, I am going to have you self assess your own writing. In the chart linked below, indicate if or how well you met the requirements. In the box at the end, explain why you gave yourself the grade you did.

The goal here is for you to slowly work through your own writing and really check your performance with the stated requirements. Often times we rush or write without thinking critically – this leads to low grades and poor performance. Being mindful of our writing practices is the first step to help us improve.

NOTE: This must be an accurate self-assessment. Do not give yourself all 4’s if you did not earn them. I will be looking at your assessment as I read and prepare to grade your paper. If it is clear that you just filled this out without critical thinking or honest assessment you will be required to redo the assignment. Until it is redone your essay will not be graded and this assignment will be marked missing.

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Informational Essay Outlining and Writing

 

Now that we’ve reviewed what an informational essay is and you’ve brainstormed your ideas for the following prompt:

      • Select two poems that you have read an analyzed from Fireside poets. Think about the themes and devices used in BOTH poems. Then write an explanatory essay in your own words comparing and contrasting how the poems, their style  and their themes are similar or different. Be sure to use information from BOTH passages in your explanatory essay.

it is time to begin the next step in the writing process – planning out and writing your essay.

Compare and contrast essay have two distinct structure, subject by subject or point by point. For the purpose of our essay prompt about, it is best if we look at point by point. Watch the video from class below if you need a review of these structures:

In class we took notes and reviewed exactly how to structure your paper:

*Notice that we also came up with a quick structure for your thesis, and I wrote an example thesis for you


In class we wrote clear thesis statements and used them to determine how many point (or paragraphs) we would have in our essay. As you work on your essay, please be sure to review the writer’s checklist I provided you to ensure you include all the required items:

Writer’s Checklist

Be sure to:

  • Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes sense.
  • Use information from the two passages so that your essay includes important details.
  • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • Identify the passages by title or number when using details or facts directly from the passages.
  • Develop your ideas clearly and use your own words, except when quoting directly from the passages.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to connect ideas and to clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
  • Use clear language and vocabulary.
  • Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • Provide a conclusion that supports the information presented.
  • Check your work for correct usage, grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

You can also assess your own work with the EOC grading rubric I will use – click here to access the prompt and the rubric. 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019 Uncategorized

Informational Essays – Structure and Brainstorming

For this unit’s writing assessment, you will write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided.

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

There are also different types of information essays with different structures –

 

 

For this first essay we will be writing a compare and contrast essay.  Our prompt is as follows:

      • Select two poems that you have read an analyzed from Fireside poets. Think about the themes and devices used in BOTH poems. Then write an explanatory essay in your own words comparing and contrasting how the poems, their style  and their themes are similar or different. Be sure to use information from BOTH passages in your explanatory essay.

In class we discussed the importance of the writing process, specifically brainstorming and planning, to write a high quality essay. You first step is to choose the two poems from class you would like to use and brainstorm ways that they are similar or different – use the venn diagram as we demonstrated in class, or a three column chart to organize your ideas. This is the first step to writing a solid essay, and you’ll need it in class later!

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Structuring a Successful Argument

Imagine you are having an argument with your siblings – who should get the car Friday night? You each want to convince your parents that you are the most deserving child – but how? If you just yell at your sibling the whole time, you won’t look very mature or credible. You’ve helped around the house all week and you have good grades, shouldn’t you bring that up? Plus, its your friend’s birthday party and their dad is going to be relocated to a different base soon – you won’t be together for their next birthday. How do you present all of this information so that you win the argument and get the car?

Know how to structure argument is useful for many reasons – for real life arguments and debates over issues big and small, in writing your own arguments and in reading and analyzing the arguments of others.

The first thing you want to consider is what is your point – what is your claim? This will be the stance or position you take on the given topic or situation.

Next, what evidence do you have to support your claim? What do you have to ‘back up’ what you’re saying?

Also, is that evidence reliable, unbiased, and balanced (ethos/pathos/logos)? If its not trustworthy, why should we listen to it? If you don’t use all three rhetorical appeals, how can we know/trust/feel for you?

Finally, do you acknowledge your opponent? Remember, you are having an argument – if you don’t talk about your opponent’s point, you’re not really arguing, you’re just informing me on your own ideas and position.

Let’s review the elements of an argument and how to organize your argument-

 

Remember, your arguments will be assessed using the rubric – please click here to view it and please be sure to review the rubric before submitting your final essays!

Your 1st essay topic will use the resources from Patrick Henry and Joseph Galloway’s speech – your prompt is “Whose side would you support – the Loyalist or the Colonist, Joseph Galloway or Patrick Henry – in the Revolution? 

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Writing Your Second Informational, or Expository, Essay

For this unit’s writing assessment, you will write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Be sure to review your feedback from the first informational essay to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes twice! Below you’ll find additional review over informational essays if you need it:

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

You will be graded with a rubric based on the EOC test rubric – please click here to review the grading tool.

For this essay you will be explaining some of the challenges that young people your age are facing in India today, as the country’s culture is quickly changing. Be sure to use information from BOTH passages provided to you in your essay.

Click here to access Word Doc versions of the documents:

Click here for your essay prompt.

Click here to access Source 1.

dreaming-big-in-the-new-india

 

Click to access PDF Versions of the documents:

Click here for your essay prompt.

Click here to access Source 1.

Click here to access Source 2. 

Remember:

• Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
• Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
sense.
• Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
examples related to the topic.
• Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
• Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
• Use clear language and vocabulary to inform about the topic.
• Provide a conclusion that follows the information presented.
• Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

10th Grade Literature Spring 2019

Writing an Informational, or Expository, Essay

For our unit’s writing assessment, you will have to either write an informational essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Many of you have written informational essay before in 9th grade, and even in middle school, but a little bit of review can always help! 🙂

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment.  Does your thesis answer the prompt? If not, fix it!

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include support.

Each paragraph should be limited to one general idea. Each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Support! Support! (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

You should have two pieces of quality evidence from the sources that support your thesis statement in general, and the topic of that particular paragraph specifically. Use a mix of direct quotes and paraphrases.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of  writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

You will be graded with a rubric based on the EOC test rubric – please click here to review the grading tool.

Your essay will explain  how visuals can aid learning by using information from BOTH passages provided to you. Please click here to access the essay prompt and the sources.

Remember:

• Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
• Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
sense.
• Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
examples related to the topic.
• Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
• Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
• Use clear language and vocabulary to inform about the topic.
• Provide a conclusion that follows the information presented.
• Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

For a sample of a student’s first page with correct MLA headings, an interesting title, a creative hook and clear thesis in the introduction, clear topic sentences and skillful use of evidence in the first body paragraph, click here.

10th Grade Literature Fall 2017 Spring 2019

1984 – Exemplification Essay

For this unit you will be writing a series of essays which relate directly to , or to the themes of, George Orwell’s novel 1984. In each essay you will be practicing a new mode of writing – for our first essay you will be writing an exemplification essay.

What is exemplification?

Exemplification essays use examples to illustrate or explain a point or abstract concept. Think of exemplification as a more sophisticated version of the informational essays you’ve written in the past.

What is effective exemplification?

The most effective presentations, discussion and speakers use plenty of specific examples – they don’t provide vague generalizations or broad statement. The same is true to the most effectively written examples of exemplification: you need plenty of specific examples from reliable sources to illustrate the point you are making or topic you are discussing. You can use examples in exemplification for three purposes:

  • Explain and clarify – this makes your point clear and answers any questions the reader may have.
  • Add interest – this makes your point clear and keeps the audience engaged.
  • Persuade – this makes your point clear, while convincing your audience your point is reasonable and worth considering.

How many examples should I use?

You are required to use a minimum of five examples for this essay, but you can use more if you like. You have to have enough examples to support and explain your idea – however, you should not simply have long block quotations or paraphrases that make up the bulk of the writing – you are making a clear point, and illustrating that point with well chosen, relevant examples.

Make sure you use transitions between the examples you’ve chosen as well – otherwise your paper can seem choppy if it is not obvious to the reader what the connection between you examples is.

What type of examples can I use?

You should use relevant, reliable examples. Remember, this means sources from scholarly, peer reviewed sources; government documents or surveys (.gov); studies or reports from educational institutions (.edu); reports and data from non-profit, unbias organizations (.org); interviews and unbias articles from reliable news organizations.

Remember, you MUST LOOK CRITICALLY at .org and news sources – many are unbias and should not be referenced for this paper.

How should I order my examples?

Be sure to choose an organizational strategy that works best  – either presenting your examples to help illustrate your point in chronological order, order of importance or order of complexity. Which strategy you choose will depend on which examples you’ve chosen.

 

Now that you’ve reviewed what exemplification is, you can begin brainstorming and finding examples to illustrate your point to the question:

How important is language to society?

In responding to this prompt, you must use 1984 as one of your sources, as well as one current event from a reliable source. The paper must be formatted in MLA, with a minimum of 5 citations total.

Click here to access the Exemplification Rubric for grading

Click here to access a sample exemplification article.

12th Grade Literature Fall 2018