On the last day of the break, we had one last day of practice with citations. This time, we worked only on in-text citation. The assignment was to read 1 of the following:
Article 1: Plugged-In Over Preppy: Teenagers Favor Tech Over Clothes
Short Story: The Last Night of the World
Article 2: How Google Is Quietly Taking Over
After reading, write one paragraph summarizing the article or story and one paragraph responding the the article or story. Each paragraph should be at least 5 sentences in length. Use at least 2 in-text parenthetical citations over the course of the 2 paragraphs.
Have a wonderful break!
Today in class, we focused on another issue that I noticed in the happiness essays. Many students struggled to find enough information about their essay topics. The root of the issue was not in the topics that were chosen. Rather, the issue was that many students didn't have very many research techniques at their disposal.
So, today, we focused on research techniques that involve breaking a topic down into its smaller component pieces and researching each component individually. For instance, if my topic for the happiness essay was pets, and I researched the topic generally, I might come across a site like this one.
Based on the information I found on this site, I could further break down my topic into three component pieces:
1. Pets improve physical and emotional health
2. Pets connect their owners to a social community
3. Pets increase the amount of exercise their owner gets
After breaking the topic down into its components, I could then research each component individually. This would give me much more material to research and write about. I could research how pets increase physical and emotional health, I could look into how being a part of a community makes people happy, and I could look at how exercise increases one's happiness and well-being. In the course of the body paragraphs of my essay, I would then be tying these sub-topics back to the overall topic of pets bringing happiness.
The assignment in class, and as homework if you did not complete it, is as follows:
We are revisiting the process of the happiness essay since it is familiar. We are not actually writing an essay; this is only for practice with breaking a topic down, researching it, and citing sources.
Here are the steps:
1. Your sample topic is: social relationships make people happy.
2. Break this topic down into three smaller topics and research each one individually
3. Find one online source for each smaller topic and cite it in MLA format as you would for a works cited page.
4. Your completed assignment should have 3 sub-topics and 3 sources cited in MLA format.
Read all of Part 2 of Things Fall Apart (pgs. 130 - 167).
Today's class consisted of practice with various areas that showed room for improvement in the majority of the class' essays on happiness.
These issues were: improperly formatting titles, misusing or misspelling common words, not using proper MLA formatting throughout, and various issues with in-text citations and works cited pages.
For practice with formatting titles, we completed an in-class activity, and I handed out this reference sheet for future use:
For practice with commonly misused and misspelled words, we went to this page and completed tests 1 and 2. I then handed out this sheet for reference:
FInally, we took on the issue of MLA formatting. Students accessed this page, read through the 8 small pages on MLA formatting, and completed the MLA quiz on that same website.
Find an article (with a stated author) online, in a magazine, or in a newspaper; read the article; create a works cited page citation for the article; and give an example of an in-text parenthetical citation for the article.
Today in class, I handed back work from Learning Period 2, you turned in your work from the break, and we took a vocabulary test. If you were not at school for the test, you will need to make it up. Please talk to me about setting up a time to make up the test.
Then, I handed out the homework which consisted of questions for chapters 11 - 13 in Things Fall Apart. They are due at the beginning of our next class.
Chris Trompas - English teacher at the Learning Choice Academy in Chula Vista and La Mesa, CA.