The next three days are for students to continue work on their research essays and for me to continue working with individual students on their work. The first day, however, I will spend a few minutes in class emphasizing the fact that they should pay attention to the rhetorical situation and what appeals they want to make through evidence choices before going to the library (given yesterday's crummy first drafts where students were really just summarizing resources rather than focusing on their own argument, I want to really emphasize how they should be using the rhetorical skills they've learned all year, thinking all the time about their own specific purpose and audience, and how to appeal to them through language use, organization, and selection of evidence). To do this, I will simply brainstorm a list of types of evidence such as expert, statistical, anecdotal, current event, historical, etc., (this should be review) and then ask what kind of appeals these types of evidence can make (for example, a personal story will have a more emotional appeal, or create a persona, while statistical evidence often supports a logical appeal). Hopefully this mini-lesson will help them in their decision making as they write.
Once in the library, I will circulate and work with individuals, with my primary questions being “what is the central idea” and “who is your audience and how do you want them to feel at the end of reading this?” to enter conversations with the students about their work rather than waiting for them to ask; this is clearly a new enough task that I’m not sure they know what to ask. I've also asked all of the students to write their essays in Google docs if possible so I can read and give them feedback (they will have a few days after the library days are over to work on these independently before the final drafts are due). Whether they use Google docs or not, they will be required to hand in a strong draft by the end of the third day so I can review them and provide feedback.