Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday, February 16th


Please don't forget: D.E.A.R. Projects are due on Monday!

Today we started our first on-demand essay of the third quarter. For those of you who have forgotten, on-demand essay simply means writing an essay on a topic cold, meaning you did not know what the topic was going to be before you began to write.

The reason we do on-demand essays is twofold:

  1. First, as a writer, student, and human being, it is really important that you develop the critical-thinking skills necessary to "think on your feet" or to produce writing, ideas, work etc... quickly, in any given situation. Just as being able to write a great novel given no time constraints is a great skill, being able to produce a coherent, functional, and (hopefully) great piece of writing in a short amount of time is just as important a skill. 
  2. Second, the reason we do on-demand essays is to teach you the time-management skills necessary for you to succeed during standardized test-taking situations. All of you will move on to high school at some point, where, in the 10th grade, you will have to take the AIMS test in writing. Also, many of you--hopefully all of you!--will move on to college; before you can be accepted to college, you will have to showcase your writing skills on either the ACT or SAT, which both assess writing in a traditional standardized test format. 
So, just as we talked about today in class, even though many of you do not "like" or "enjoy" writing essays, especially on-demand, it is a crucial skill to learn nonetheless!

Thank you for trying your hardest and giving your education everything you have! You will be rewarded for all your hard work!

If you were absent, I would like you to write for thirty minutes on the following topic. It is essential that you only write thirty minutes, as that is the same amount of time I gave students today. Tomorrow, you will be given another thirty minutes to finish your essay. 

The topic:

On-Demand Essay #3

In twelve years of school most students spend time in more than fifty different classes and courses. With all that experience, students develop certain ideas about what they like and don’t like about school and about the courses they take. Students have definite opinions about what schools “should” and “should not” be like. From your experiences, what ideas do you have for changing or improving schools?
        Identify one change you would make in order to improve your school. Explain three reasons why this change would make your school better or more effective. Give specific reasons to help the reader understand your position. 

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