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: what is "happiness" and is it important? 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.
It's also a great addition to any curriculum you have for any of the following novels or short stories:
The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet, Fahrenheit 451, Harrison Bergeron, Anna Karenina, A Room with a View, The Phantom of the Opera, The Princess Bride, The Scarlet Letter and more!
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:
Happiness. It’s what it seems like everyone is always searching for. No matter how modern our society becomes, no matter how many new ways there are of staying in touch and maintaining relationships, it seems like happiness is just as possible as it is impossible. Some say that happiness is a necessary force that drives people to work harder and live longer. Others say that there are much more important things to be done in this world than chase an elusive, unimportant state of mind.
According to the articles and readings provided,
define “happiness” and argue, is happiness important?
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 "What is 'happiness' and is it important?" 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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