Two of your high school friends are thinking about dropping out of school. They are juniors, and they tell you they are tired of books, rules, and useless classes. They want to get full-time jobs, so they can buy a car, get an apartment, and live the good life. Some students in your class think your friends are doing the right thing while others disagree. What do you think?
Directions for Writing
Write a letter to your friends explaining why you support or oppose their decision to leave school. Include reasons and evidence for your opinion.
Prewriting Stage Grouping Options
Whole group instruction to explain writing assignment requirements
Question/Answer period to clarify misunderstandings
Individual work with freedom to confer with peers or teacher
Cultural Needs: Collaborative work with peers or teacher
Linguistic Needs: Collaborative work with peers, teacher, or migrant ed. teacher
Developmental Needs: Equal access to thesaurus, spell check, the internet, and other on-line resources through individual computer use
Prewriting Stage Accommodations/modifications
Developmental: Equal access to computer and its resources
Cultural: Collaborative work as well as conferencing with teacher individually
Linguistic: Collaborative work with peers as well as classroom teacher and migrant ed. teacher assistance
Read topic carefully
Determine your purpose
Identify your audience
Gather necessary information to substantiate your stance
Decide on your organizational plan
Complete your graphic organizer
Prewriting Stage Instructional Procedures
Write an essay either defending or criticizing a person who, like Gatsby, focuses all attention on a particular goal.
Using the Persuasive Essay Organizer, identify the advantages/disadvantages of a single focus
Arrange ideas in order of importance
Use your double-entry journals to refresh your knowledge of advantages/disadvantages of a single focus in one’s life
5 IDEAS AND EXPLANATIONS (at least two) are insightful, thorough, convincing, and supported by a variety of compelling evidence that appeals to both logic and emotion. Explains the main opposing arguments and offers strong rebuttal.
5 ORGANIZATION uses appropriate transitions between and within paragraphs for consistently clear, smooth, and logical relationships among ideas.
5 STYLE is a “pleasure to read” ----graceful, uncluttered, rich, and vivid.
4 IDEAS AND EXPLANATIONS (at least two) are reasonable, substantial, and supported by relevant evidence that appeals to both logic and emotion. Explains opposing arguments and offers rebuttal.
4 ORGANIZATION is logical and appropriate for content, but not as smooth as a 5.
4 STYLE is clear, shows sentence variety, and uses interesting and precise vocabulary.
4 GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS errors are occasional.
3 IDEAS AND EXPLANATIONS are mostly understandable and on topic, but evidence is limited and explanations are often too simple, obvious, brief, vague, or illogical. May mention opposing arguments, but rebuttal is weak or absent; may ignore key arguments.
3 ORGANIZATION maintains one idea per paragraph, but is simplistic or idea relationships are sometimes unclear.
3 STYLE is functional but sentence variety and vocabulary are limited or style is lively but wordy.
3 GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS errors are frequent.
2 IDEAS AND EXPLANATIONS are too simple, brief, vague, repetitious, hard to follow, irrelevant, weakly supported, and/or inaccurate.
2 ORGANIZATION show some minor skill but has major flaws – e.g., no controlling idea; poor paragraphing; redundant sections.
2 STYLE has major flaws – e.g., simplistic, wordy, repetitious, monotonous, often unclear.
2 GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS errors exist in almost every sentence and may interfere with meaning.
1 IDEAS AND EXPLANATIONS are absent, irrelevant, unsupported by evidence, or incompatible.
1 ORGANIZATION lacks paragraphing and is illogical and confusing or essay is too short to have any organization.
1 STYLE has such severe flaws that sentences are hard to understand or essay is too short to judge.
1 GRAMMAR AND MECHANICS errors are pervasive and obstruct meaning or essay is too short to judge grammar/mechanics.