Every English teacher needs new ways to teach argument, rhetoric, and analytical writing. The Inquiry-Based Synthesis Essay
is here to save the day!
This argument essay is designed to help you out in a quick fix OR to teach in-depth rhetorical analysis. The essay can be scaffolded up or down, from highly difficult and challenging to ELL and SpEd friendly. In a nutshell: The essay question asks students to develop an argument about the question: does a #hashtag create real social change? Their job is to read the sources (articles, videos, etc.) provided, annotate them, look for evidence that supports each side, choose a side, and then finally compose an essay arguing to answer the question.
In this crazy time of news media and social media overlapping, it's now more than ever that students need to be investigating questions like this. Watch your students debate whether or not #metoo and #blacklivesmatter are truly movements for social change or just shallow nods at activism.
Here's what you're getting:
೦ An easy to read Teacher Lesson Plan with an overview of the assignment and a daily implementation plan
೦ A single-page essay prompt sheet for students to use to break down the question and do initial brainstorming. Here is a preview of the prompt:
From tragedy to political unrest, our world has been bombarded with events and issues worth our attention. One of the ways we’ve been sharing information, passing along condolences, and raising awareness is through what’s been nicknamed “hashtag activism”. After a shooter murdered dozens of people in Las Vegas, the hashtag #PrayforVegas instantly went viral. Women across the world have spoken out about abuse using #MeToo. But are these hashtags just shallow ways of connecting in a digital world, or are they transformative weapons for change? You have been given a mission: read, analyze, and annotate the readings, then, based on all of the evidence you’ve accumulated and observed, make a decision and answer the question below:
According to the articles and readings provided,
does a #hashtag create real social change?
೦ A list of TEN
specially curated sources for this particular question. Explore articles, videos, Ted Talks, infographics and more that all offer rich perspectives in answering the question. Each source is screened, hand-picked, and valuable for class discussion, homework assignments, and even small group work.
೦ An "evidence tracker" graphic organizer for students to use while reading and examining sources. Students keep track of evidence and which side of the argument is getting stronger as they read deeper and deeper into the ten different sources.
೦ TWO different essay outline options including clear directions and definitions for each part of a strong body paragraph. This product uses common core language (claim, subclaim, evidence, etc.)
೦ ALL sources are provided to you, the teacher, in Google Docs format. This means that you are free to edit, change, and customize each and every handout to meet your own personal teaching style. Also, you can assign this easily on Google Classroom OR simply print the handouts as-is.
Questions? Feel free to ask in the Q&A section!
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