Intro to Argumentation: Day 47

1. Honors Project. All students received information about the Honors Project, which is a choose-your-own project to be completed between now and June alongside one of the units of study. Here is the information:

Honors: You must complete at least one Honors project this school year. Additional projects will count for 5 points project extra credit. If enrolled in English I (not Honors), you may complete an Honors project for 10 points extra credit.

Project Options



approximate time frame

To Kill a Mockingbird

Participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and show Ms. G. your novel


To Kill a Mockingbird

Read Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms and include references to it in your collaborative essay



Create a Literature Review section with fifteen references.


Of Mice and Men

Read or watch Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and write a comparison analysis of the two stories



Memorize a poem for the “Poetry Out Loud” Project

November, February-March

Romeo and Juliet

Read The Taming of the Shrew and include references to it in your essay


The Odyssey

Read the full length version of The Odyssey translated by Robert Fagles and include references to it in your essay


2. Argumentation. Everybody likes to argue, so why doesn’t everybody love writing essays? It’s the same thing! As we read To Kill a Mockingbird, we will be looking at argumentation in light of the fact that we are (collaboratively) writing essays after we read it, and that a portion of the book involves argumentation in court. Students began to examine the three appeals by writing. Here is what we did:

(Sorry to parents–I did not come up with this prompt but borrowed it from John Golden’s book Reading in the Reel World about using documentaries in class)

Scenario: You arrive home one hour after your curfew and your parent or guardian has decided that you should be grounded for a week as punishment. Try to persuade your parent or guardian to change his or her mind by using the three types of arguments.

Argument 1: Appeal to your parent or guardian by showing that you are trustworthy and that you care deeply about the situation and its effect on him or her. You should use “I.”

Argument 2: Appeal to your parent or guardian by telling a sotry with lots of details in order to create pity for yourself and your situation. You can use “I” though you may refer to other people as well.

Argument 3: Appeal to your parent or guardian by citing statistics and commonly held beliefs. Refer to experts and facts that can be supported and explained. You should not use “I.”

Students discussed and then wrote their own versions for Arguments 1 and 2. We will cover Argument 3 tomorrow as well as the names for these appeals.

HW: Bring signed permission slip (both sides) tomorrow if you want to see the film on Thursday.