To address students’ concerns about writing their Inquiry Essay; to provide them with some concrete criteria and a model essay; and to discuss evaluating their sources.
Although there are several small activities and objectives planned for today’s lesson, the overall goal is to help students understand the varied purposes and functions of different types of writing (in this case, for writing the Inquiry Essay). By constructing criteria and examining a sample essay, students should see how this type of writing achieves a different purpose than those they’ve previously written for this class.
Have your groups get together. In the groups, trade papers and have one person read and give feedback on at least one paper. On an overhead, put your instructions for this short workshop. Ask students to write a question or two they want their workshop partner to answer. Then write not more than three questions for workshop partners to answer, focusing on a) a narrowed issue, b) effective appeals and evidence for their audience, c) an organization or plan for their essay. If the writers have time, let them take 3 minutes to make a revision plan: the most important things they need to work on over the weekend when they revise their draft.
Since the Inquiry Essay guides readers through the writer’s process of thinking and research, it is essential that students learn how to write clear transitions. Transitions and hooks will help a student’s paper read more coherently. Use pages 342 – 343 in the PHG to develop a lesson on transitions and hooks. Once teaching these concepts, you might ask students to identify the transitions and hooks used in the sample essay.
You may find that this is an opportune time to discuss essay organization. Ask students to generate ideas on how to logically organize their inquiry essay. Then, if there’s time, you might ask students to draft out an outline for their own paper.
Transition: Develop a transition here.
Remind students that they will need to include an MLA Works Cited page with their papers. Use pages 655- 665 in the PHG as a guide for developing a lesson on documenting sources. Carefully explain how to cite sources in-text, but simply refer students to the additional pages for guidelines on citing sources at the end of their essay.
Use this time to also discuss the importance of avoiding plagiarism. Refer to pgs. 643 – 644 in the PHG as a guide for this lesson.
Students should plan to workshop their Inquiry Essay with one other peer before they revise and submit it. You may construct your own guidelines for this activity, but here are a few suggestions:
Explain that you will collect both the Inquiry Journal and Inquiry Essay on Tuesday. Also, let students know if there are any other portfolio contents you’d like to collect.