Do you have a favorite school memory? What is your proudest moment? What was your most memorable birthday?

Invention and Organization

 

This week’s assignment is intended to help get you started on the persuasive essay we will be working on throughout the remainder of this course. Before getting started on this assignment, it might be beneficial for you to read the criteria for the Week Six Persuasive Essay.

For this week, we will be practicing topic selection and outlining. Because this is preparation for next week’s persuasive essay, you will need to start by picking a topic that is persuasive. This topic must meet the following criteria:

  • Arguable (are there at least two logical, yet opposite ways to look at the issue? Are there at least two sides?)
  • Solvable (i.e. avoid religious, moral, or politically charged topics)
  • Manageable (keep your topic focused and specific)

Think of a specific problem or issue that you are interested in researching and writing an essay about. This issue should be argumentative in nature, so the topic that you choose should have an equally valid opposing viewpoint.

An example of an appropriate topic would be this:

A specific community is debating an ordinance banning the ownership of pit bulls. Some residents agree that pit bulls should be banned, while others disagree with this position (there is plenty of research to back up either side of the argument).

Your job from there will be to explore the issue, look at both sides of the argument as completely as you can, and take a side. Your essay will be an attempt to convince others to join you in your decision.

 

Directions

  • Look up and read the following article in the EBSCOhost Database:
  • Step-by-step through the writing process. (2007). Writing, 30. 1-8.
  • (Note: You do not need to answer any of the questions from the reading in your assignment).
  • Read and respond to EACH of the following questions and submit them and your outline in a single document (both parts must be completed).

 

Part One: Topic Search

For the first part of this assignment, consider the following three questions:

  • What issue or problem would you like to write about? Illegal Immigration
  • Choose a side. What is your view on the issue? What is the opposing view? I oppose having a direct pathway for illegal immigrants to US citizenship

 

  • What specific change might fix this issue? Enforce current policies and laws that are in place

Then, freewrite for 10-15 minutes about the topic you have chosen. Share all of the reasons you can think of for why your problem needs to be fixed. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, or format. Do not edit. Write what comes to mind. Do not research yet. If you are stumped and cannot write what you know for 10-15 minutes, go back to #1 and start with a new topic.

 

Part Two: The Outline

Draft an informal outline for your upcoming persuasive paper. Do not include quotations or paraphrased material. Your outline should be built from your current knowledge of the topic. You can refine this later when you conduct your research.

Basic Outline for a Five Paragraph Essay

  • Introductory Paragraph (five to seven sentences that include a hook, background information, and a thesis)
  • Body Paragraphs
    • First Topic Sentence
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
    • Second Topic Sentence
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
    • Third Topic Sentence
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
      • Supporting Point
    • Closing paragraph (five to seven sentences that include a restatement of the thesis, summary of the main ideas, and a closing thought)

If you are having trouble with your outline, the following link leads to a video that should help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXWMPbfKtUI

 

 

 

 

Assistance  for  Persuasive writing

 

 

EBSCO Reading Step-by Step Through the Writing Process

 

Step-by-Step Through The Writing Process

Contents

  • Brainstorming
  • Thesis Statements
  • Freewriting
  • Story Mapping
  • Organizing
  • Brainstorming: Pick Your Brain
  • 1 . Pick a topic.
  • Thesis Statement: What’s Your Big Idea?
  • Paragraph 1
  • Paragraph 2
  • Freewriting: Free to Be
  • Story Mapping: Map Your Story
  • Essay Writing: Getting Organized Part 1
  • Essay Writing: Getting Organized Parts 2 and 3
  • Paragraph 1
  • Introduction
  • Paragraph 5
  • Now write your essay!
  • Revision: Clean Up Useless Phrases
  • Example
  • Teachers — fold this answer key over before photocopying:

Listen

 

 

American Accent

Australian Accent

British Accent

 

 

 

 

 

Section:

Skills Extenders

Brainstorming Thesis Statements Freewriting Story Mapping Organizing

Editing

Name: —– Date: —–    READ Writing

Brainstorming: Pick Your Brain

Brainstorming is a way to gather many ideas. Make a list of possibile topics that you could write about. Jot down anything that comes to mind, even if it seems silly. When you’re done brainstorming, look over your list and highlight the items that are most interesting to you. Use them as a starting point to narrow the focus of your paper.

Directions: Imagine you have to write a paper on a topic of your choice. Follow these simple steps to brainstorm about your topic. We’ve used the Civil War as a sample topic. In the blanks, write the ideas that come to mind for your own topic. Use a separate sheet of paper if you need more space.

1 . Pick a topic.

Sample topic: Civil War

Your topic: —–

2 . In the blank spaces, write every name that comes to mind when you think of your topic.

Civil War name:         Robert E. Lee

Your names: —–

  1. Write every place associated with your topic.

Civil War place:    Gettysburg, Pa.

Your places:           —–

  1. Ask yourself a question about the topic, and then answer it.

Civil War question:   What is one of the issues related

to the Civil War? Answer: Slavery

Your question:      —–

Your answers:       —–

  1. What other facts do you know about the topic?

Civil War fact:   Began in 1861

Your facts:       —–

Thesis Statement: What’s Your Big Idea?

A thesis statement is an essential part of an essay or a research paper. It appears at the beginning of a paper or a paragraph and states your BIG IDEA boiled down into a single sentence. Your thesis statement is also the answer to the “big question” in your paper or essay.

Directions: The paragraphs below take positions on two different topics. Read the paragraphs, and then write a thesis statement for each.

Paragraph 1

School uniforms have negative aspects. They do not allow students to show creativity. Uniforms also might be expensive for parents to buy. However, school uniforms enable everyone in the school to know when an intruder enters because he or she will be wearing different clothes. Uniforms also make it easier for teens to get dressed in the morning because they don’t have to worry about picking out an outfit. If schools have uniforms, then teens won’t have to worry about being able to afford trendy and fashionable clothes.

What is the big question being asked?

—–

What is the thesis statement?

—–

Paragraph 2

School should be in session year-round because students would get multiple vacations throughout the year instead of just one long vacation in the summer. If students do not have a long summer break, they are more likely to remember their lessons, and teachers won’t have to spend time reviewing information from the previous year. In addition, students who are having trouble keeping up with the lessons can catch up and review during the short breaks, so they won’t fall behind. However, there are some negative aspects to having school year-round. Students might not have the same vacation schedule as the rest of their family, so planning trips could be difficult. Concentrating on work is sometimes difficult in the summer heat. Another negative aspect of year-round school is that if other schools are on a regular schedule, organizing sporting events might be difficult.

What is the big question being asked?

—–

What is the thesis statement?

—–

Freewriting: Free to Be

Directions: Freewriting is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Choose one of the prompts below, and write about it for 10 minutes without stopping. Don’t lift your pen off the page, and don’t worry about grammar or spelling. If you need more space, use the back of this page or a separate piece of paper. If you’re stuck, rewrite the first sentence and keep going from there. Or write the words “I don’t know what to write” over and over. After a while, you will find the words.

Writing Prompts

Something weird happened to me when …

I hate it when my parents …

When I went on vacation, I …

If I could change one thing in my life, I …

The person I admire most is …

If I had superpowers …

My prompt: —–

Story Mapping: Map Your Story

Directions: Are you searching for a story idea? This map can give you some direction! All stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Use the map to help you plan your story.

If you’re stuck for an imaginative story idea, use your memory. Did a good friend ever move away? Do you have a favorite school memory? What is your proudest moment? What was your most memorable birthday? What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?

Essay Writing: Getting Organized Part 1

  1. Directions: Your assignment is to write a five-paragraph narrative essay about your favorite band or musician. In Part 1, fill in the blanks with points of information to be included in your essay. (There are also five blanks for you to create your own points.) The points do not need to be listed in any particular order, nor do you have to include each one in the finished essay.

1 . Name of band or musician: —–

  1. Genre (type of music): —–
  2. Musician’s or band members’ names and

instruments played: —–

  1. Concerts you have attended: —–
  2. Where and when you listen to the music: —–
  3. How the music makes you feel: —–
  4. Your favorite songs by this musician or band: —–

8 . Aspects that make the band or musician

special or unique: —–

  1. Awards or accomplishments the band or musician

has received: —–

  1. The musician’s or band’s musical

influences: —–

  1. —–
  2. —–
  3. —–
  4. —–
  5. —–

Now that you have listed the points you want to make in your essay, it’s time to organize them. Go to Part 2.

Weekly Reader grants teacher-subscribers of READ and Writing permission to reproduce this page for use in their classrooms only. Copyright © 2007 by Weekly Reader Corporation. READ and Writing are federally registered trademarks of Weekly Reader Corporation.

Essay Writing: Getting Organized Parts 2 and 3

  1. Directions: Arrange your points into three subtopics. Each subtopic will form a supporting paragraph in your essay. Write the numbers of your previously listed points on the corresponding lines below.
  2. Description of the band or musician: —–
  3. Analysis of the band or musician: —–
  4. Personal response to the music: —–
  5. Directions: Rewrite your points on the lines below. Come up with supporting details for each.

Paragraph 1 Introduction

(transition)

Paragraph 2

Subtopic 1: —–

Supporting details

  1. —–
  2. —–
  3. —–

(transition)

Paragraph 3

Subtopic 2: —–

Supporting details

  1. —–
  2. —–
  3. —–

(transition)

Paragraph 4

Subtopic 3: —–

Supporting details

  1. —–
  2. —–
  3. —–

(transition)

Paragraph 5

Conclusion

Now write your essay! Revision: Clean Up Useless Phrases

Directions: The following sentences contain useless phrases — ones that have redundancies or unnecessary words. Your job is to clean them up — that is, to strike out the words that are not necessary to the meaning of the sentences. In some cases, you may need to rewrite the sentences.

Example

To be honest, I prefer pumpkin pie.

To be honest, I prefer pumpkin pie.

  1. He is a guy who always tries too hard to be cool.

—–

  1. Due to the fact that Sierra has already seen the movie we planned to see, she wants to do something else.

—–

  1. The truck is dark red in color, and its tires are unusually large in size.

—–

  1. The leaves on the trees are golden in color, and the days until winter are few in number.

—–

  1. I just wanted to say that I care about your feelings.

—–

  1. After missing the school bus, Lizzie had to walk a distance of 3 miles to get home.

—–

  1. Owen is such an amazing artist; his paintings are the most unique I have ever seen.

—–

  1. The truth of the matter is I don’t like your sequined pink T-shirt.

—–

  1. The bottom line, when it’s all said and done, is that you don’t have what it takes to become a professional basketball player.

—–

  1. Danny, a confirmed carnivore, ordered his pizza with sausage, pepperoni, meatballs, and also with bacon.

—–

Teachers — fold this answer key over before photocopying:

Eliminate the following: 1. is a guy who; 2. Due to the fact that; replace with Because; 3. in color, in size; 4. in color, in number; 5.1 just wanted to say that; 6. a distance of; 7. the most unique I have ever seen; replace with unique; 8. The truth of the matter is (or, if the speaker wants to emphasize that this opinion is an honest one, replace with The truth is); 9. The bottom line, when it’s all said and done is that; 10. also with

A supplement to READ and Writing

Fall 2007

WHEN and WHERE does your story take place? Describe the location in detail.

WHO are the characters (animals, talking cars) in your story? What traits describe them? Are they bold, grouchy, honest, mischievous?

WHAT big problem does your main character have to face?

PLAN your plot. What events happen along the way? Why?

HOW does the problem get solved? What does your main character learn? Is there a message to your story? If so, what it is it?

Weekly Reader grants teacher-subscribers of READ and Writing permission to reproduce this page for use in their classrooms only. Copyright © 2007 by Weekly Reader Corporation. READ and Writing are federally registered trademarks of Weekly Reader Corporation.

Copyright © 2007 by Weekly Reader Corporation. READ and Writing magazines are federally registered trademarks of Weekly Reader Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Publishing, Executive, and Editorial Offices: Weekly Reader Publishing, 1 Reader’s Digest Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570. Subscription Offices: 3001 Cindel Drive, Delran, NJ 08075. Printed in the U.S.A. Weekly Reader grants teacher-subscribers of this supplement permission to reproduce the program’s Skills Extenders for use in classrooms only.

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