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.
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. Evaluating source material is also an important goal connected to critical reading.
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.
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.
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.
Use pages 639 – 643 in the PHG to start a class discussion about evaluating sources. Be sure to cover all the criteria. To make this discussion more interesting or engaging, bring in a sample text (perhaps put it on an overhead) from a reliable and/or unreliable source and ask students to evaluate its effectiveness according to the criteria in the PHG.
1.) Write a rough first draft of your Inquiry essay. This may be an entire draft or a draft of portions of the essay and an outline or plan for the rest of the essay. Bring your draft to class on Friday.
2.) In the PHG, read pages 342-343 on paragraph transitions and hooks, pages 655-65 in the PHG on using the MLA format and pp. 643-644 on avoiding plagiarism. Bring the PHG to class.