I provided 2 examples of students’ persuasive essays. My students wrote a persuasive essay in response to the question: Who is most responsible for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet? As I planned the writing curriculum, I focused on three main areas: claims, reasons, and evidence. I scaffolded the writing process, so that students brainstormed, outlined using a graphic organizer, submitted a rough draft for peer and teacher feedback, and lastly submitted a final draft. I gave students ample time in class to work on their essays. Some students used time wisely while others did not.
The first student either met or exceeded the standard into each of the criteria (claim; reasons; evidence; explanation of evidence; conventions; and learning and self-management). Her essay clearly demonstrates why Friar Laurence is most responsible. The second student, who only received a 37% on his essay, only met the standard in one of the criteria. The second student’s main issue was that he did not use his time wisely in class, and as a result did not submit a complete rough draft for review. Had he handed in a complete rough draft, I would have gone over each paragraph to make sure it had the requirements (reason, evidence, and explanation of the evidence).
Overall, the majority of students met the standard in the claims, reasons, and evidence sections of the rubric. If I were to do the assignment again, I would have only required 3 pieces of evidence or had students annotate the text while they read, because students spent a lot of time looking for evidence.