Writing is important. It allows us to synthesize our thoughts, express our ideas, and learn how to better communicate. Although writing is emphasized throughout much of grade school (and essay writing specifically in high school), the purpose to that writing is often misunderstood as a “hoop to jump through” in order to graduate. However, the purposes of informative (and argumentative) writing extend far beyond high school or even the academic world in general. The key important aspects of writing lie in the ways that it helps us understand communication and the acquisition of ideas. If a person becomes a good essay writer, they, by default, understand the concepts of communication. Communication, therefore, is a skill that translates into almost every aspect of life.
Over the next few weeks you will be writing an informative essay on a topic of your choosing. You will conduct research to better understand your topic so that you can relay information about it in an articulate and intellectual way. There will be a strong emphasis on the research that you do. The purpose of this is to help you understand that to truly know anything, you must study and try to become an expert. As we learned in Fahrenheit 451, “A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again” (Bradbury 106).
It would also be wise to choose an informative topic that you could transform into an argumentative essay. This can be to a great advantage for you so that, when you start working on your argumentative essay (once we’ve completed our informative essays) you will have much of your research done; you will also have a greater understanding of your topic.
You will receive grades on the following:
- Documented research — You have documented all of your research in a Google Doc’s page. You cite each source in MLA and provide a brief explanation of the article.
- Rough Draft and Peer-Review — All essays will be peer-reviewed by two individuals on a certain day. Peer-reviews will require a verbalized reading of the essays (as a group), and peer-review worksheets filled out by groups. Essays will also be graded (based on the informative rubric) by peers.
- Final Draft — Essays are turned in on time with a rubric stapled to the front. Essays must be in MLA format, including a works cited page. They will be graded by a third party (revision after grading is encouraged, if needed).
All informative essays will be graded, based on the rubric below (follow the link). This essay must follow the standard formatting of the essay structure and contain all parts of an informative essay.