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VanderSlik

Unit Plan: Argumentative Essay


Argumentative Essay: An essay based on Kurt Vonnegut Jrs Harrison Bergeron. Context: This essay is part of a comprehensive writing curriculum which includes the following papers: narrative, summary and response, analytical response to literature, comparison and contrast, and creative writing. Given the level of sophistication required, it should be taught later in the semester. This paper serves as a precursor to a research paper, which will require many of the same citation and argumentation skills. Unit Objectives: Students will: read analytically and cultivate critical thinking skills; develop an original thesis; support their thesis using logical argumentation and evidence; integrate textual evidence to support their argument; show evidence of argumentation skills by addressing the arguments of others in the creation of their own arguments; use a variety of forms in incorporating sources into the essay (summary, paraphrasing, direct quote, etc.) use appropriate and relevant examples from society and/or their personal lives to support their argument when appropriate; organize their paper logically and in essay format (title, introduction, body, and conclusion); use MLA format for in-text citations as well as a list of works cited; integrate quotations and examples effectively; create a polished draft (correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice, etc.);and maintain a positive attitude while actively participating in all aspects of the writing process. Overview of Unit: Day 1 Class Assign

Pre-reading discussion of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Mini-Lesson: Types of arguments and evidence Read Vonneguts Harrison Bergeron

VanderSlik Day 2 Class Assign

Discuss essay and free write topic: Should everyone be equal? Why or why not? What does it mean to be equal? Class discussion using discussion questions, if time Handout writing assignment Re-read and markup essay for evidence supporting their argument, taking notes as necessary. Make sure to include location/citation information. Mini-Lesson: Summarizing, paraphrasing, direct quotes and their use in responding to an essay Game: Name That Method Write first draft of essay including supporting evidence Share draft in small groups Mini-Lesson: Incorporating counter-arguments Divide students into groups, allow each group to choose a topic with an argument from a hat, and create a counter-argument for the issue. Brainstorm (whole class or small group) possible arguments for and against the issue of equality Choose an argument from those listed in class or use one of your own and journal a response to the opposition that you would like to address in your paper. Be sure to use your knowledge of the types of arguments and evidence to create a strong argument. Mini Lesson (Review): Creating a strong thesis statement Break into small groups to review/revise thesis statements Mini Lesson: Structure of an argumentative essay (title, intro, thesis, body, conclusion) Read a sample paper, marking the parts of the paper Journal: Was the paper effective? Why or why not? What role did the format of the paper play in its effectiveness? Mini Lesson: Use of support details and quotes Read sample paper, marking and labeling the support details and quotes Discuss Sample Paper: What was effective? What wasnt? Why? Ideas for improvement? Re-write essay (typed) focusing on thesis, strength of supporting arguments, and evidence (textual quote and examples)

Day 3

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Assign Day 4 Class

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Day 5

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Day 6

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VanderSlik Day 7 Class Assign Assign Day 9 Class Draft 2 Due Workshopping Mini Lesson: Titles, Introductions, & Conclusions Read introductions and conclusions handout Revise your introduction and conclusion Brainstorm a list of possible titles for your essay Mini Lesson: Documentation Demonstration: Citation tools such as KnightCite and the MLA Handbook Activity: In small groups, indentify whether citations are correct. If they are not, how should they be fixed? Complete final draft Essay Due Celebrate by allowing students to share their essays if they choose Discussion or free write: Did your views on equality change at all in the paper writing process? If so, how? Do you have any insights to share? What was the hardest/most challenging part of the process for you? Why?

Day 8

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