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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

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This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and

This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.

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2018-05

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Insect Girls: Poems

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Insect Girls is a chapbook-length collection of poems exploring the human inclination toward, and desire for, violence. Using insects and other bugs as motifs to show how people can often be treated like insects, these 25 poems complicate the relationships

Insect Girls is a chapbook-length collection of poems exploring the human inclination toward, and desire for, violence. Using insects and other bugs as motifs to show how people can often be treated like insects, these 25 poems complicate the relationships between violent people and their victims. The collection specifically focuses on women's issues such as domestic violence and female sexuality. The speakers range from a prostitute waiting in the rain, to a submissive girl at a fetish party, to a housewife with a werewolf for a husband. Violence and sex are depicted as inherently intertwined. Because of this, many characters in the book show a connection between desire and violence, how cruelty can have a kind of sex appeal. This is explored in the collection with depictions of sadomasochism and BDSM, where power dynamics can be at certain times problematic, and at others, beautiful. In writing these poems, I was inspired by the fact that upon seeing a harmless bug, so many people's first instinct is to crush it, for no reason at all except because they can. Bug imagery appears throughout the collection, illustrating the dehumanizing aspect of cruelty. The capture of a butterfly serves as a metaphor for sexual assault, and elsewhere bee wings show a desire for escape. Imagery as a whole is important to the collection because it illustrates not only the physical scars that result from violent actions, but also the strength and loveliness within the survivors. In Insect Girls, I didn't want to hide away ugliness, but I didn't want to hide away beauty either.

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2016-12