Day 18 (Thursday, October 22nd)
Attendance and introduction (2-3 minutes)
Assign a post-script and collect student work (10 minutes)
Prompt students to reflect on the Annotated Bibliography assignment by giving them postscript questions to answer. Collect the postscripts along with annotations, sources, and the Inquiry Essay. Here are some sample postscript questions:
Transition to argument (10-15 minutes)
Now that students have inquired, they are ready to write arguments. Because of the research and questions generated by the inquiries, students have many options. They can use any of their group members’ sources to write an argument about their inquiry subject, or they can use another group’s research to write an argument about another topic and issue, or they can draw from several inquiries to write an argument about an issue that is relevant to more than one inquiry.
It’s important that students understand that they will be working within a new writing situation, which means that their argument should “feel” different from their Inquiry Essay (sometimes students say “it feels like I’m writing the same paper” when they write an argument about a topic they have just explained; it shouldn’t).
Show the differences in writing situations by prompting students to describe the writing situation for the Inquiry Essay and then asking how it might be different in an argument. You might end up with a two-column list like this:
|Writer: peer, familiar individual||Writer: individual reader doesn't know|
|Purpose: explain issue||Purpose: convince others|
|Audience: this class||Audience: wider academic community|
|Text: Forum post||Text: MLA-style academic paper|
|Subject: your inquiry question||Subject: individual stance|
Distribute and discuss assignment sheet for Assignment #4: Academic Argument, Adding Your Voice to the Conversation (10-15 minutes)
At the end of the inquiry essay, students presented a tentative thesis statement in preparation for this argument. However, before students decide upon a subject for the argument essay, they need to understand the assignment itself. Distribute the assignment sheet and discuss it in the way your class has become accustomed to. Be sure to allow time for students to ask questions.
Distribute and discuss conference sign-up sheet (15-20 minutes)
You will need to allow some time to prepare students for individual conferences. You’ll need to explain and schedule conferences. Also your students need to see an example of the conference dialogue sheet so they understand what they need to prepare for a fruitful conference.
Explain to students that they will not meet for class on the Tuesday of Week 10 (or other class you'll forgo for conference time) but instead they will meet you for a 10-15 minute conference at your office to discuss the transition from inquiry to academic argument. Send around a sign-up sheet that has at least a few more conference times than you have students. When you create this sheet, remember to leave yourself a few breaks here and there. Even though you will cancel Tuesday’s class in order to hold conferences, you can spread conferences out over Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Conference Dialogue Sheet (10-20 minutes)
To prepare for next week’s conferences, distribute the conference dialogue sheet and have students interview each other in order to begin formulating ideas to be discussed in conference. This will allow students to see where they need to fill in gaps over the weekend in order to prepare for a fruitful conference:
Conference Dialogue Worksheet
1) What question did you begin with and how has it changed? (You should be prepared for this section of the dialogue, since most of these questions were answered in your Inquiry Essay)
2) Summarize the various arguments and/or opinions you discovered during your research.
3) What have you found out about the context of this issue? In other words,
4) Transitioning to Argument
Conclude Class and Explain Conference Expectations (3-5 minutes)
Next week we will conference individually in my office for about 15 minutes to talk about your transition from inquiry to argument. Monday’s class will be canceled in lieu of these conferences, though we won’t be able to do all of the conferences on one day. Please write down the conference day and time you signed up for, as well as my office number, so that you are on time and prepared for our discussion. Missing a conference will result in a class absence.
Homework for Week 10 (next week is the shift from daily plans to weekly plans, so be sure to adjust homework accordingly in your own daily plans and agenda).