Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to Write a Good Argumentative Essay: Logical Structure

Independent Reading (SSR) Project

From Book to Screen

To encourage the reading of books from beginning to end, and not just skipping around and putting in your time, we are going to do an SSR project. This will be an ongoing project that can be submitted any time up to January 7th, but will not be accepted after that date. Reading time will be provided in class, but not work time on this project as some will finish in a week and others will drag it out until the final day.

From The Wizard of OZ to The Hunger Games and many books in between, books have often provided the fodder for screenplays. The list is substantial: The Notebook, The Hobbit, Harry Potter, The Godfather, Snow White, Les Miserables (various movies), and many many more.

Your task is to take a book that has not been made into a movie and plan a screenplay based upon that book. You do NOT need to write the actual screenplay, but you will need to plan it taking the following into consideration:
  • Characters: Also consider which characters would be eliminated, featured, or combined?
    • Actors: Who would play the different characters? How would you want them to play those characters?
  • Story: How would the story be adapted? What portions of the story would be left out or expanded or changed?
  • Location(s): Where would this book be filmed?
  • Director: Who would direct the movie?

For all of these elements, you MUST to provide your rationale (the reasons that explain your thinking and choices) for your decisions.

Additionally, you MUST include some visual elements in your screenplay plan. Some ideas include headshots, location drawings or photographs, and scene storyboards.

This assignment will be graded using the following criteria:
  • Completion -- Are all elements of the project accounted for? 40%
  • Quality -- How well-thought-out are the decisions and how well developed are the explanations/rationales? 50%
  • Professional appearance 10%

DUE: Anytime up to and including January 7, 2014. No projects will be accepted after January 7th.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Letter to Mr. Giddings

Write a letter to Mr. Giddings (C'est moi!) containing to following elements:
  • At least one interesting thing about you
  • Your expectations for the class, i.e. what are the areas in which you want/need to learn more
  • Your goals for this year in the areas of reading, writing, and speaking
  • Anything else I should know that you think might help me teach you more effectively this year (Yes, I do realize that I am the teacher, but no one knows you and your individual situation like you do. For instance, if you can barely read but you're smart and can fake it, I could probably help you more if I knew that in September, rather than figuring it out in December or even May depending on how good you are at hiding it. It could also be something like you've never finished a novel or you have ADD or, or, or.)
Due Wednesday September 3rd.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Reflection Paper

We will be working on the Reflection Paper in the lab next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is due June 7th.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rough Draft Day

Share your paper with at least one other person. When you read their paper, provide them with four (4) things they can do to improve their essay. Only one can be an editing type thing like spelling, punctuation, etc.

Remember to put your essay in MLA format.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Classical Arrangement

Use this structure instead of the typical 5-paragraph essay. It provides room for greater flexibility and sophistication.

Part 1: Introduction -- What inspired my argumentative response?
Part 2: Background -- What preceded my argument and/or what needs to be clarified?
Part 3: Confirmation -- What supports my argument?
Part 4: Refutation -- What challenges my argument?
Part 5: Conclusion -- What are the benefits of accepting my argument?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Trying Argument

Try hard!
Your task is to write an essay that defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester.  Evidence consists of your reading, experience, and observations that is appropriate and appealing to your audience.

An A effectively defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester. The evidence is appropriate and convincing and the argument is coherent and well-developed. The writing is clear and effectively adds to your argument.

A B adequately defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester. The evidence is appropriate and sufficient, and the argument is adequately developed and coherent. The writing is generally clear and does not detract from the argument.

A C defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester. Evidence and examples may be uneven, inconsistent, or limited. Writing may have some problems, but gets the writer’s ideas across.

A D inadequately defends, challenges, or qualifies the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester. Evidence or explanations may be inappropriate, insufficient, or less convincing. The argument may be inadequately developed or have lapses in coherence. The writing generally conveys the writer’s ideas, but may be less consistent or have lapses in control.

An F has less success in defending, challenging, or qualifying the claim that you should try harder in your classes this semester. These essays may wander off topic or provide an inadequate or inappropriate explanation. The paper has grammatical problems and may lack development or organization.

Length: 600 words +/- 10%
Due: Friday February 8th

We will be working on this in class. I expect 4th and 5th period to use their time better. Good job today 3rd period.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This I Believe

Ninja Nakayla Chan
Your This I Believe essay is due on Tuesday January 22nd. You need to bring in two copies -- one for me and one for you. At least the one for me needs to be typed. You will be reading your essay aloud in class. I will read along and grade the live presentation. Here are the requirements adapted from the This I Believe submission page (I encourage you to submit them to This I Believe if you wish). Keep the following in mind when you write your essay:
  1. Limit your essay to 350-500 words.
  2. Describe an event that shaped your beliefs or a person who inspired them.
  3. Avoid sermons and editorials—no soapbox declamations, please!
  4. Read more of the This I Believe essay-writing tips.
You can peruse multiple examples at Often the ones put on the radio are a bit better, but not necessarily so.

Andrea Kang's (Class of 2009) This I Believe essay. They re-posted it from its original posting so all of the comments are gone, but her essay is there.