ALL CLASSES: Asking the Right Question

In English and in History, we are dealing with the same basic scenario: students need to create an argument and prove its validity. Follow this process:

  1. Turn the topic into a question. If your topic is Mongolian battle tactics, consider the question Why were Mongolian battle tactics so effective? Similarly, if your topic is the Purpose of Education, write a question like What is the purpose of Eduacation?
  2. Brainstorm/research. Gather all of the ideas and bits of evidence that are relevant to your question.
  3. Categorize your findings. Take the information from step 2, and organize it into a few categories. For high school assignments, 2-4 categories are usually best; most high school assignments aren’t long enough to require more.
  4. Name your categories. The names should be concise; if the names are lengthy and complicated, step 5 will be very difficult. Make sure that your information is well-suited to the names you have chosen for the categories;  if a bit of evidence feels misplaced, you need to re-categorize it or rename its category.
  5. Write your thesis. Use the names you chose for each category to write your thesis. Make sure your thesis reflects every category.
  6. Write your topic sentences.  Each category requires a topic sentence; make sure the topic sentence reflects the content of the category and connects directly to the thesis.

What are the advantages of this approach?

  • you will have something to prove.
  • your work will be focused on your thesis (no plot summary or retelling of facts)
  • your thesis will be specific and relevant.

CHW 3M INSTRUCTIONS

  • Make sure your presentation has a clear thesis. State your thesis in the opening moments of your presentation.
  • Immediately after stating your thesis, explain how your presentation is organized. Tell us what you examine: “First we will…..; then, we will ……….; finally, we will show that ………….”

ENG 2D INSTRUCTIONS

By the end of today, I want you to have print off a working version of your essay:

  • You do not need to write an introduction today. If you wrote an intro yesterday, you may include it; if you didn’t, simply write your thesis at the top of the page. We will get to the introductions later this week
  • Write your body paragraphs. Make sure each paragraph has a topic sentence that is clear, relevant, and argumentative.
  • Only write a conclusion if time permits.

ENG 4U INSTRUCTIONS

  • Make sure your seminar has a clear thesis. State your thesis in the opening moments of your seminar.
  • Immediately after stating your thesis, explain how your presentation is organized. Tell us what you examine: “First we will…..; then, we will ……….; finally, we will show that ………….”

 

 

 

 

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