Every year roughly 225 sophomore students from all over Illinois appear in our English classes for the first time. Though they all are accepted into the school on the basis of strong math and science abilities, their backgrounds and abilities in literature and writing are quite varied. As an English team, therefore, we have designed a "writing bootcamp" – a nine-week sequence of lessons and assignments – to give our students a firm basis in the structures of academic writing. In the unit we work through thesis statements, topic sentences, quotation usage, MLA citation, and the revision process. Here we have collected many of these lessons for your use or adaptation in your own classroom.
"We'd love to hear your feedback! Please tell us (and other readers) about your experience with these lessons: what worked, what didn't? How did you improve the lesson, or modify it for your students? Thanks for your time."
Resources from 2011
Thesis Group Activity, Margaret T. Cain
The Headless Paragraph: Back-forming Topic Sentences, Dan Gleason
Revising Thesis Statements, Leah Kind
Claims and Enthymemes: The Rudiments of Argument, Adam Kotlarczyk
Writing a Professional Email: Netiquette, Adam Kotlarczyk
Creating a "Mock Essay" to Teach MLA Format, Erin Micklo
Simplifying Writing, Erin Micklo
Composing the Working Thesis, Nicole Trackman
Peer Review Writing Workshops, Nicole Trackman