Thursday, October 27th

Thursday, October 27th

Lesson Objectives:

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.

Connection to Course Goals:

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.

WTL – Concerns for Portfolio II (5-7 minutes)

Ask students to write about the concerns they have about writing their Inquiry Essay.

What questions do they have? What confusions are they facing? What steps do they need to complete before they can write this paper? Remind them to come to your office hours and/or attend the Writing Center (in Eddy room 6) for assistance.

Address WTL Concerns (5 minutes)

Take a few minutes to address students’ concerns. Remind them to come to your office hours and/or attend the Writing Center (in Eddy room 6) for assistance.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Develop Criteria for the Inquiry Essay (10 minutes)

To help students visualize the components of an effective inquiry, construct some criteria on the board. You might ask: What will an effective Inquiry Essay look like? Then, list criteria (of course, you have to be careful to ward off any incorrect ideas here. Otherwise, the class may become confused about the goals and requirements for the essay). Also, you may want to prepare your own list of criteria to refer to just in case students forget to include essential points.

Sample Transition: Now that we’ve constructed some criteria for this essay, let’s consider how well the sample essay you read for today addresses these criteria.

Discuss the Sample Essay and its Effectiveness (15 – 20 minutes)

First, give students a few minutes to read or skim back over the student sample essay they brought in for today. Then, discuss the ways in which the essay effectively addresses the assignment criteria. Also, discuss areas in which the essay could improve.

Transition: Develop a transition here.

Discuss the Importance of Transitions and Hooks (15 – 20 minutes)

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.

Discuss Using MLA Format and Avoiding Plagiarism (10 minutes)

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.

Make Arrangements for Workshop (5 minutes)

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:

Review Portfolio II Materials (2 minutes)

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.


  1. Complete any additional research you need for your Inquiry Essay.
  2. Write a draft of your Inquiry Essay and complete the workshop with one of your other group members.
  3. Revise your Inquiry Essay and prepare to submit all Portfolio II contents.