Reflection: Student Feedback Building an Argument Through Research (2 days) - Section 2: Building an Argument Through Research


I know research has been a weakness for students generally, but I’m a bit surprised how deep the weakness is.  First, they are very literal in their search terms, looking for the exact article that states what they are thinking, rather than learning about the issue to then find their own perspective.   For example, one student researching the connection of income and happiness in considering their post-college lives, searched “happiness and after-college income,” but didn’t consider “philosophical ideas of happiness” or something along those lines.  Essentially, I did a lot of brainstorming search terms to help them expand their research and get a larger picture of their topic.  They get the idea of synthesis, at least from the AP exam perspective where the resources are handed to them, but the actual going out and reviewing literature to develop their own perspective is a skill they clearly need to hone as they prepare for college (though I had an interesting conversation with an English professor at a local Community College as part of an exchange we are doing to prepare for PARCC; colleges have such stronger resources for researching, that perhaps the synthesis part is the skill to really strengthen with high school students, then it is at the college level that they learn the more advanced research skills).

The other surprise was that every student chose to research something about the economic impact of college.  I know this is on their minds, but was surprised at just how deeply their concern is around paying for college and the debt they will get into by going to college.  It will be interesting to see where they go with these papers, and what perspectives they take.  Clearly they are emotionally invested, though, given the topic selection.

  A Slow Start
  Student Feedback: A Slow Start
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Building an Argument Through Research (2 days)

Unit 11: Writing a Research Argument
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT use data bases to research a topic and build a unique point of view by evaluating these resources for central idea and type of evidence.

Big Idea: Reading resources critically helps build a unique point of view on a topic.

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