My Honors kids have been struggling with thesis statements. They have great ideas, they just aren’t articulating them into arguments. And thus their papers (and grades) are suffering. So I decided to do something a little different for their Old Man and the Sea papers. I wanted to help them out.
For the past few days, I slowed things down. I started with the thesis statement, then the attention-getter, than the intro paragraph, and finally the paper outline. I took everything step-by-step. I broke it down. We talked about arguments. The students created their own paper topics. Then they wrote thesis statements and I worked individually with them. [To read more about that, click here].
Next was attention-getters, finding ways to bring the audience in. We talked about framing, and I read them the It’s a Frame Up! article.
Then introductions and the components of a good introduction paragraph: attention-getter, background information, title and author, thesis.
And finally, I wanted them to start thinking towards their rough draft, so I created an outline. This was a make-shift, rough outline sketch, but it would help the students think, especially, about their topic sentences and transitions. First, what were their ideas/three main points? Second, how were they organizing and introducing their ideas?
I posted the Outline to the Google Classroom site. This way I was able to post and edit the students’ outlines on the computer and give every student individualized, immediate feedback. I think this was very helpful and useful in getting students on the right track with their papers.