An argumentative research paper is harder than researching a topic and presenting findings. In this class, students learn to research an event and then come up with their own argument about the significance of that event, based on the facts. They learn to follow the facts and to present their findings in an argumentative research essay. Students begin by learning the steps of research: how to get organized, ask research questions, search smart to find resources online, read informational texts, and take notes so that they avoid plagiarism. Then they learn to synthesize it all together into a research essay with an annotated bibliography page. This class includes workshop time, which we have found increases student success in writing the paper.
High School Writing Series:
This class is part of a series that prepares students to do dual enrollment college classes or are entering college. The series gets progressively more difficult and are scheduled in order. You can still jump in whenever you’d like! Completion of all of these classes, which takes about 6 months will cover all necessary high school writing! They make up a complete high school writing plan.
Live: Foundations of Essay Writing (5 weeks/10 classes)
Self-Paced: Essay Essentials
Live: Argumentative Writing (5 weeks/10 classes)
Live: Pen to Paper: Essential High School Writing – The Literary Analysis Essay (3 weeks/6 classes)
Live: The College Essay (4 days)
Day 1: AN INTRO TO HISTORICAL RESEARCH–Students will learn how to get organized for historical research. Students will learn the difference between primary/secondary/tertiary sources. They are given a list of topics and can choose what they want to study. They can come up with their own ideas as well, but their idea must be approved so that they will have success and be able to finish their essay without weeks of research. This is an introduction to historical research so that they learn the process. They will be given an informational text to build some background knowledge. After reading their first article, they start to ask research questions that guide their efforts.
Day 2: HISTORICAL RESEARCH & NOTE TAKING–Students learn how to choose a reliable source and how to explore their topic further answering basic questions about their topic. This includes how to search smart and how to evaluate sources for bias and reliability. During class time students will find two more sources. Then, they will learn reading strategies and tips on how to read their sources while taking notes. Avoiding plagiarism, they will take effective notes, cite sources, and paraphrase their information. They will work to decipher what information is important. Some class time will be devoted to independent reading and note-taking, so the instructor can guide students to make sure they are on track, reading well, and taking quality notes. Students will also learn how to write an annotated bibliography and how to do this as they progress with their research.
Day 3: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 4: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 5: HISTORICAL CONTEXT–Students will research the important people involved with the topic, create maps, and construct a timeline. Students will learn what historical context is and begin studying the historical context of their topic using accurate and appropriate references to the time period by specifying the political, economic, social, and cultural influences—events, ideas, people, places, and objects. They will begin to get a historical perspective and will begin to study and think about the causes and consequences of an event, or the relationship of a local topic to a larger trend or event. They write a body paragraph about the historical context.
Day 6: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 7: DEEP RESEARCH— Students will then be taught the importance of doing balanced research, where they look at all sides of an issue to understand other opinions, points of view, and controversies. For example, they will ask questions such as: who suffered? Who benefited? What about women? Children? Men? People from other racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups? What about people in other geographical areas, those with different values and motivations? They will choose the strongest point of view and then write a paper countering those arguments. They will begin to answer their research questions. Students write a paragraph about what they discovered in their balanced research.
Day 8: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 9: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 10: ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION–This is when students begin asking and answering “why?” and “how?” questions on their topic to think deeper and discover more. Students will explore the historical impact on a deeper level and write the rest of their essay. They will research and communicate answers to these questions: How did your event impact history over time? Why is this event important in history? Third, they will begin to develop their thesis and how to write a historical thesis statement. Students will write multiple body paragraphs that support their thesis.
Day 11: Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 12 Workshop Day so students have their instructor to guide them along in the hard work of research.
Day 13: Students learn how to write the introduction & conclusion, and they do it in class with teacher guidance and support.
Day 14: Last, they learn to create a separate annotated bibliography page and how to revise and edit their entire essay. For homework, they fine-tune their essay and turn them in for final teacher feedback.