Vladimir Todd Discussion.
Check out this super great City of Ember Discussion!
The conflicts group chats about… conflicts!
A group of students wax poetic about the state of education!
A group of students wax poetic and discuss hunger and malnutrition.
A group of students discuss, and in discussing, come to some sort of realization about the nature of terrorism and the effects of terrorism. They then go on to ponder strategies and solutions.
So, if I was a student (and we’re all students, really), this is how I would write a research report.
Step 1: Find a topic! Think of something you really enjoy. Make sure it isn’t too broad. Make sure it isn’t too narrow. Maybe begin by brainstorming using a program like bubbl.us.
Notice how I begin with a broad topic and narrow it down bit by bit.
Step 2: Develop a question that you will try and answer throughout the course of your research. Let’s take a look at Jackie Robinson. Instead of writing about Jackie Robinson, your goal should be to write about Jackie Robinson’s significance in the grand scheme of life, things, and stuff. Your over all driving purpose should be to examine the meaning of Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson was an important cultural figure.
Jackie Robinson was an important cultural figure because of his actions both on and off the baseball field.
We call these driving statements thesis statements.
Step 3: You should outline with everything you write. Something as simple as the aforementioned bubbl.us or this Essay Map program would work quite well. This Persuasion Map would also be a beneficial place to begin.
You should start by dividing up the paragraphs you are creating into subsections. The main purpose of these subsections should be to back-up your thesis statement.
Before you bite off more than you can chew, see how concise you can be. Try and keep your initial writing to five-seven paragraphs. Think of three interesting assertions (an assertion is a statement of opinion) that you will use to back-up your main statement.
You should then use an in-text citation to back-up the assertion you use to start each paragraph. The citation should come from a relevant source. It can be a quote or a paraphrase of a quote, but either way it needs to be formatted properly (the link above will help guide you).
Once you have a good direct or paraphrased quote, you should explain, in your own words, how the quote backs up the main point you are trying to make. If you repeated this pattern twice per paragraph, I guarantee that the relevant facts will wow your audience.
Jackie Robinson was an important cultural figure because of his actions both on and off the baseball field. “I never saw anyone who played as hard as Jackie Robinson,” said Duke Snider. “He oozed courage” (Snider 25). Teammates and opponents both felt the power of Jackie Robinson. He knew he couldn’t fight back, so he let his play on the field speak for him.
The (Snider 25) in-text citation supposes that the quote came from a book written by Duke Snider. The number “25” is the page number for the quote.
The in-text citation should be matched with an entry on the works cited page.Works CitedSnider, Duke. Super Bum. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003. Print.
Sometimes the most difficult thing with writing is just getting started. Here are some excellent websites and resources that will help you get the writing process started. Explore them. Use them.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST
CD/DVD COVER CREATOR
FLIP A CHIP
FRACTURED FAIRY TALES
CHARACTER TRADING CARDS
I really want you all to be writing whatever you want to write. The only caveat, is that you need to focus on at least one narrative piece, one research paper, one response to literature essay, and one persuasive piece. Otherwise, I’m cool with you doing whatever, whenever… as long as you are always constantly writing.
Here are some ideas for pieces that you could put together (some of them will definitely work for one of the required genres). Again, if something is rooted in history, you might be able to knock off some English I Cans and some history I Cans at the same time.
- Book Reviews
- Poetry (There are so many types of poetry that you might want to explore, this should really be its own post.)
- Letters to the editor
- Letters to friends, family
- Fan letters
- Letters of Recommendation (for a friend in class, for a character in something you’re reading)
These are just a few examples. There are so many different genres, so many different types of writing. Stretch yourself. Find something that is both engaging and challenging.
I can’t recommend this site highly enough. The Writer’s Digest site has some of the best prompts for writing on the web. If you are having trouble coming up with a topic for a writing assignment, I would check this site out. The prompts are most helpful with narrative writing, but you can find a wide variety of prompts that hit on a wide variety of topics.