Reflection: Essay Writing The End of Another Argumentative Essay - Section 2: Students Write

 

When students’ final essays are finally in my hands, it is time for me to learn where my students writing skills stand, what part of my instruction worked and what I need to do to support their writing development. This student's final essay is an interesting example because she clearly paid attention to all the mini lessons and implemented what I asked them all to implement. For instance, her body paragraphs include the sentence starters I gave them for the sentences that presented their textual evidence. It also includes explicit use of analytical verbs, exactly two analytical sentences for every piece of evidence, transition words like “moreover,” and a clear attempt at cohesion by making sure analytical sentences speak of the idea in her topic sentences. Also, her central idea is based on a concept we studied in this unit, feminism, and makes an argument about the main character actively challenging sexism. This is what I pushed them all to do in their body paragraphs and if they do it, it will get us to a good place. Her argument is good, her selection of quotes is excellent, and she presents a clear perspective, that Jody Starks is a sexist man and Janie challenging him makes her a feminist character. The resources I gave them appear to have helped this student. Also, the fact that the actual prompt was very open in that it asked them to just make an argument about the way Their Eyes Were Watching God addresses any of the concepts we learned in this unit, also seems to have given this student the freedom to find an angle she was interested in taking. This same essay also pointed to the need for more practice elaborating their ideas. This student stuck to the bare minimum of two analytical sentences per textual evidence and when I read her analysis of quotes, it feels limited. She is sticking close to her stated argument, but she needs to develop it more. All the things she did implement successfully in this body paragraph make up a lengthy list and that is an important accomplishment. In future lessons, I need to help them develop their ideas for a fuller argument.

  Essay Writing: Students' Final Essays
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The End of Another Argumentative Essay

Unit 2: Writing About Their Eyes Were Watching God
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: SWBAT complete an essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God that establishes and develops an argument to the best of their ability by using available resources and engaging in heavy editing.

Big Idea: The most successful student essays provide an insight into the success of the multiple scaffolds provided during this writing process.

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