Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines The Thesis Statement - Section 3: Writing Workshop: Thesis Statement




I'll get right back to you after I go have a nap.




When we undertook this history day project, we knew it would be a ton of work.  Both departments laid out expectations that we had.  One of the huge things that the English department asked for was that students had a rough draft before we started writing.  We couldn't do anything without a rough draft. 


We were oh, so right and oh, so wrong.


On the one hand, every student having a rough draft did give us something to work with. We could go through their rough draft, extract their three key ideas, and write a thesis statement.  And if this project had just been an essay for history, that would have worked.


But it wasn't.  This project had a theme--rights and responsibilities.  The English department tried so hard to make that work with the revisions, but sometimes it wasn't possible.  That's where we went wrong.  Some of the topics couldn't/wouldn't/didn't work with the theme of rights and responsibilities.  One student picked kamakazi pilots.  The pilots had a right and responsibility to kill themselves for their country? Another student had the cotton gin.  Did Eli Whitney have a responsibility to consider the working conditions of slaves?  Another student had scientists as his topic.  We finally came up with that scientists had a right to conduct experiments, but they also have a responsibility to make sure that their experiments didn't kill anyone and that they had a responsibility to follow laws. 


I'm pretty sure that everyone's head exploded at least once an hour. 


One of the big changes that we're going to make for next year (please excuse me while I sob in the corner thinking about next year) is we'll have students do a couple of weeks of research in social studies, then talk about thesis statements.  Then students can do more research based on their thesis statements that are connected to the theme



  Rights and Responsibilities of Collaborating with other Departments
  Writing Across the Disciplines: Rights and Responsibilities of Collaborating with other Departments
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The Thesis Statement

Unit 6: Argumentative Writing and Research with National History Day
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to clearly introduce a claim and preview what is to come by writing a three prong thesis statement.

Big Idea: Don't let the reader get lost in the essay--write a clear thesis statement that clearly introduces and previews the essay.

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