Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blog #6: Making Progress on your Nonfiction Project

Due: Saturday, February 28
Words: 300-350
Minimum Links: 1
This blog is an official check in on your research process.

Welcome to your first blog post on your nonfiction project.

You've decided a topic and even started some research on it. You're in the process of collecting information and finding experts to contact or experiences you can have related to your topic.

This is your first official check-in since you shared your original Google Doc. Some of you have changed your topic and others have altered it from its original form. Let's see where you're at today.

Please try to write this as a cohesive post instead of just listing and answering questions.

Some questions to get you thinking:

  • What topic are you pursuing? How could you turn that topic into a question or two.
    • For example; If you are studying the impact of grades on learning, you may have questions like "When can grades be harmful and helpful?", "Are grades fair?", "What do grades really reflect?"

  • How will you share your project? We'll all be doing some formal writing, but think about how you'll share your discoveries with the class. Think about videos, presentations, Podcasts, websites, VoiceThreads, interactive multimedia, or other options. Don't say "PowerPoint." Describe different ways your finished project could look?

  • What are/were your thoughts or preconceptions on this topic at the start of it. What would you imagine you'd find out about the topic? Go ahead and make assumptions and hypotheses here and don't worry about being right or wrong.

  • What sort of research have you done about your topic through print resources and research databases?

  • What kind of first-hand research could you do?

  • What experts or professionals have you reached out to? What sort of responses have you had? If you haven't where and how can you start looking for these people?

  • What questions you do have at this point or what roadblocks/setbacks have you encountered?

  • What are your next steps going to be?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Blog #8: Claim, Evidence, Warrant

Due: Friday, February 13 at midnight
Minimum words: 400
Minimum links (evidence): 3

Note: This blog entry is worth more than the traditional 25 point blog entry. You will be evaluated by more than one person, including members of the Journalism 2 class at Buffalo High School.

For the past few weeks, we've been talking about Claim, Evidence, and Warrant as a way of presenting an argument. If you're totally baffled by this, check out this helpful site that will walk you through it. Also, this page may be even more helpful with examples.

We're pretty awesome at creating arguable claims, and we're starting to get great at Evidence. Warrant is giving us a headache.

Warrant is the "So what?" It explains why your evidence is important and how your evidence connects to your claim. It makes a claim convincing.

Your task? It's easy.

Choose a topic. It could be the same as your Satire topic, something that can help you with your nonfiction project, or just something you're interested in. Then, you get to engage it with informational writing using Claim - Evidence - Warrant.

  1. Make an arguable claim that you actually believe.

  2. Provide valid evidence for your claim from authoritative sources and link to that evidence.

  3. Provide warrant.

  4. Anticipate a counter-claim and briefly argue against it, explaining how your argument is better through evidence and warrant.
I ask that you make a claim that you actually believe in or one that you actually can support. Remember that an arguable claim is one that can be debated, so go ahead and pick something that not everyone agrees with you about.

Your writing should be polished and your evidence should be sound. You should put emphasis on proofreading your entry and work toward having a clear and audience-friendly final draft.

Need help? Try it first!