WHL - Writing assignments

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: WHL Research Paper

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:03 pm

I usually like to chime in on writing threads, but I'm probably not the best person for this situation, since my son's WHL research paper took much longer than planned. We got really into interviews, and those happen in their own time. It was kind of like my college honors thesis, which grew into its own thing and went outside usual deadlines and size parameters. And now with that background, my poor son only has me to teach him :)

I did want to mention, though, that each student is very different. My older dd would have needed a push to get things written, while my youngest son has no trouble writing (talking at the keyboard) but needs a TON of editing (and resists every inch, just wants to start over and write something different). For ds's WHL research, getting it all written out was just a very small first step, and then I had to talk him through what exactly he was trying to say, and whether he was saying it, paragraph by paragraph. So for writing in general, at my house we've spent time on each child's weaknesses, taking the opportunity as homeschoolers to identify their personal challenges, and sweated through moving those forward bit by bit.

I also feel that, despite the extra time and probably too-large scope, my son's accomplishment deserved an A because he pulled together a 10+ page paper, brought in original interviews, and organized it in a basically comprehensible way. It was a first attempt and was nowhere near polished, but I think equal to any public school paper my other kids ever produced. It looks like MFW assigns another research paper in 12th grade, and I'll look for progress towards college level work at that point. So I guess that's just to say that one option is to not be too hard on a 10th grader for this first one ;)

Hope that contributes some little thing,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

luv2tch
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:36 pm

Re: WHL Research Paper

Unread post by luv2tch » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:31 pm

Thank you, Julie and Crystal, for your encouragement! That does really help.
Crystal, I like your idea for breaking down the writing and am going to suggest that.
Julie, my dd is also including some personal interviews, which are great additions to her research, but did require a different timetable, for sure! You are so right that they are all different in their styles and approaches. My dd is a perfectionist and I know that, while her 1st draft will likely take her a long time to write, she probably won't have a ton of editing to do in the revising stage. That is a good thing to remember.
It really helps to hear from other moms. I don't have very many personal homeschool friends who are using MFW high school, so it's nice to feel like we are not alone! That being said, I am recommending it to anyone I know who is looking for good high school material. It is a great program so far.
Thank you, ladies, for encouraging me! I know she (and I) are learning lots through this process! :-)
Rhonda
Rhonda--Married 19 years to David
Traded classroom teaching for homeschooling!
Currently: C2G, AHL, and US 1
dd, 11th grade
ds, 9th grade
ds, 6th grade
"His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness..." 2 Peter 1:3

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

research paper

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:21 pm

sandi wrote:My son is working on his research paper for WHL. We are having a hard time narrowing down his thesis. He wants to write about world war 2. He wanted to write about how world war 2 was the most tragic time in world history. I explained to him that i thought this was to broad. He says that it effected so much of the world and it was tragic. I am really having a hard time getting him to hone in on a thesis statement that we could work with. I had suggested, world war 2 had many effects on different parts of the world. Then we could elaborate on what those effects were, political, financially, what it did to people emotionally.... things like that. As you can tell I am not good at this at all. I made a B on my research paper in college but that was so many years ago. I really would appreciate any ideas for topics and thesis statements on anything that has to do with world war 2. I was thankful that at least he said what he wanted to write about. We just can't seem to come up with how to narrow this down.
This technique really depends on the student. But with my youngest, I have him go ahead and start writing, because that isn't painful for him. Then when we have something to look at, I start exploring what I hear him saying to me, and ask him if that was his intended point, and so on. Then I might make a tentative outline of what it looks like from a "reader's perspective" (Thesis, point A, point B, etc), and we'll discuss whether it's going the way he wanted it to and where it needs to be reworked.

That wouldn't work with a child for whom it was painful to get some paragraphs down on paper.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL- High School Week 31 World War II Writing Assignment

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:31 pm

sewardmom wrote:High School WHL Week 31 World War II Writing Assignment:

Since World War II veterans are getting more difficult to find, did anyone do an alternate assignment for this?

~ Terri
As I recall, we just read an interview and report that my son had already done with my dad in about 8th grade (a small option in 1850MOD that we expanded on), and he was doing some book club things. My dad is a Vietnam vet. I seem to remember the assignment said any vet would do, but my memory banks could be faulty on that.

Do you know any vets around you at all? If not, you could visit a local fort or veteran's organization of some sort, if you'd like to do the assignment. If you want something different, you could watch a veteran documentary with interviews. I can't find the one I was thinking of with real letters read aloud, but there's Ken Burns "The War" or "Top Secret Rosies" (I saw both on Netflix streaming). Then, the student could write a little something about those personal interviews. I have other videos we watched regarding WII posted here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 000#p47510

For a personal interview, really any family member would be of value, even if not a veteran. I feel like my son's interview was one of the most special things he's done, even though it was mostly by email and he probably didn't value it as much then as I did. And if you want to tie in to history, most grandparents have some sort of memories of some war or another, or other national events being studied. Or each parent might be asked, "What were you doing on 9/11/01?"
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

sewardmom
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:51 pm

Re: WHL- High School Week 31 World War II Writing Assignment

Unread post by sewardmom » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:56 pm

Thanks Julie. After reading your post and chatting with my daughter, we decided to go a little different route. She asked to write a post war letter to Corrie from the vantage point of a Jew who had been preserved in the hiding place.

So that's what we are going with. Thanks for the response - I appreciate it.

BTW - my daughter missed that part about another war..... so I probably didn't need to ask at all! :-)

~Terri
Currently US1and US2 High School
Completed ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, AHL, WHL, US1
Nebraksa MFW fan since 2006



May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing....

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: WHL- High School Week 31 World War II Writing Assignment

Unread post by dhudson » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:27 pm

My ds did a shorter research paper on Cryptography in WWII.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

sewardmom
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:51 pm

Re: WHL- High School Week 31 World War II Writing Assignment

Unread post by sewardmom » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:56 am

Cryptography in WWII - Great idea!

Thanks for sharing!
~Terri
Currently US1and US2 High School
Completed ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, AHL, WHL, US1
Nebraksa MFW fan since 2006



May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing....

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL grading question...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:38 pm

4littlehearts wrote:My dd just finished up week 2 and I am not quite sure how to grade the play she wrote. I used the checklist in Writer's inc. to make sure she included everything but is there any other objective way to assign a grade? Thanks!
Here is a part of a thread showing how the length of student plays varied a lot, and a long one could even be given extra credit :)
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 937#p91267

I'll also copy something I wrote, let's see, back in January 2012 so my son was in AHL then. The thing is, every teacher grades differently, whether homeschool or public school. As the parents of our students, we can tailor our grading to our particular students -- choosing our goals, giving credit for their improvement, striving for a balance between encouragement and motivation. So here's one person's way, as best I can describe.
  • I'm not a big grade person, so I probably shouldn't answer. But I'll try to describe what I see myself doing...

    I tend to give an A if my student really did the assignment in a *full* way - taking on the full meaning behind the assignment, really putting in the research time and/or the editing time, and getting that lesson right (not perfect, but as right as he is able, or a lot more right than he was able to do before this assignment).

    I give a B if the student did pretty well on content but didn't edit little things even when reminded, or worked with me and demonstrated improvement but the content is still really so-so, or did cover all the basics asked for in the assignment and edited it just fine but didn't really invest any more effort in learning the writing skill (e.g. my son's short poems in AHL). He'd also get a B if he'd done this type of assignment before and done it well, but he only strove to do it the same this time.

    And a C at my house would be when the assignment itself was done and the quality so-so, but the student really didn't do what I asked in terms of editing or further improvement, or just stuck to imitating the example given for the assignment so he never really *owned* the lesson being taught, even in a small way.

    I don't tend to give a grade of D or F, since I would rather just spend twice as much time until we get something worthy of more.

    Sometimes when he's on the edge, with some good work but some silly mistakes, I start counting. I figure the whole assignment is worth 100, and he needs a 90 to get an A, or 80 for a B. If he knows his elementary school errors and refused to correct them, then I might take off a whole point for each, so he'd better not have more than 10. If he has a factual error or a poor sentence structure or a bad transition paragraph, I might still only take off one point each (or one point for the whole group of run-ons) since those are bigger errors but higher skills or skills we need more work on. So an A might be a solid piece of work, fully getting into the lesson, and no more than 10 criticisms when all is said and done.

    However, there are so many variations. Sometimes I allow my student to bite off more than he can chew, just to learn a lesson about that (in high school, rather than in college), or to get him excited about something. Then I'd probably not count every problem in paragraph transitions and factual details and such. Gasp, I might give an A for an imperfect piece of work! However, I might not give two A's in a row for those same exact results, with no improvement.

    Another thing that can help with evaluating writing is getting a few outside thoughts. A whole outside class might not help you as the parent. Instead, just a little reaction from another reader can sometimes gently pull you out of the mire and into a little more objectivity :o) I've emailed an essay to my older son, or asked my dh to read an essay. You can also post an assignment here or on the MFW board.

    Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL question-research paper - note cards

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:44 pm

4littlehearts wrote:About how many notecards would you expect from a student who needs to write a 5-7 page paper? I know there's not a definite number but I would rather my child have more notecards than not enough. Thanks!
Hello,
Well, I'll help brainstorm and hope someone with the exact answers for you will chime in, too!

My son just used the assignment as an "introduction" to notecards. Well, it was a second intro, since he'd done a few in the state report back in EX1850, too, I think.

My son's research paper ended up being largely based on personal interviews, which I consider equivalent to original research and valuable enough to change the rules :) He took notes and such more than reading books. And even with the books and articles he did include, he just "tried out" the note card method.

I think each student has strengths and weaknesses. My youngest found it easy to summarize and write, and we spent FAR more time on editing and correcting his facts and such. My other kids were different and the note card assignment may have been more important for them.

Anyways, to answer your question more directly...
If I were to assign note cards to one of my other kids, I imagine I might have established a minimum number of books. and then multiplied those by a number of cards per book, probably somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen per book, to get a minimum number of note cards? Just a general rule of thumb like that might help you out?

I will say that now that my ds is writing college papers, the whole formal bibliography seems to be the hardest thing for my ds to write up, and the note card method (if done well) would definitely make his life easier, if he would use it!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Writing assignments in WHL

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:08 pm

Missy OH wrote:Since it's on my mind, I'm thinking about the writing assignments for next year. I will have a senior using WHL mainly for bible and English. We will not be using the Notgrass book as we have already completed it a couple of years ago. Could you tell me where the bulk of the writing assignments come from?
Hi again Missy :)
The research paper is the biggest writing assignment in WHL. The rest of the writing mostly comes from Writers Inc and the various sections of that book. If you scroll through the WHL sample to the table of contents, the English column shows a lot of the writing tasks:
http://www.mfwbooks.com/pages/php/sampl ... ample.html

Ask if you need more info!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Missy OH
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

Re: Writing assignments in WHL

Unread post by Missy OH » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:48 am

Yes, it appears that the majority of essays are coming from literature. Do any come from history?

ark2003
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 10:31 am

Re: Writing assignments in WHL

Unread post by ark2003 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:34 am

We are in week 19 of WHL. Off the top of my head: recently, a letter to the editor about Martin Luther, an editorial about the crusades, oh, and I think there had been another but I can't recall right now!! ;)
Amanda,
Wife to a good looking genius
Mom to five sweet girls 3/97, 4/04, 4/04, 9/08, 9/11
And one tough baby boy 7/13
Have done MFW K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG, AHL, WHL
Homeschooling since 2006

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Rubrics for High School Writing

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:52 am

ark2003 wrote:I really wish MFW would provide rubrics for grading writing assignments in high school. The ones in Writer's Inc. are really just a checklist for the writer. There is absolutely no extra information in the TM for the assignments in weeks 15 & 17 (the letter to the editor & the letter to John Bunyan). I find myself googling rubrics for every writing assignment! I struggle with evaluating writing and lean heavily on rubrics to guide me through. (I actually submitted my daughter's research paper to writeathome.com for evaluation!!)

I'll quit whining now... :) I love MFW.

Anyone know of a good source for rubrics that I can bookmark in my browser? Many Thanks!!!
I'm not a rubric gal (they always seem too simplistic or too teacher-speak to me), but I'm always up for a writing conversation.

I googled, as it sounds like you have, and this site has links to quite a few (common core, 6-trait, etc): http://www.kimskorner4teachertalk.com/w ... brics.html

At the end of this page is a persuasive letter rubric, if you are looking for that in particular (under "student assessment"): http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom ... assessment

I'll just say that I think as homeschoolers, we have the opportunity to just teach writing until we're done with a particular topic. Rather than give my son a low grade, I would just have him work more and improve himself. This thread has the basic "rubric" that I used: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 556#p96556

I remember my son's letter to the editor, because I felt his was very opinionated and not so very persuasive. Therefore, I had him find different examples in newspapers, to see what I meant. Then, he didn't make as many changes as I had hoped, because he said he liked his paper. So, we compromised and I had him write two letters, one he liked and one where we would work on my goals of more graciously drawing his reader in and then persuading her -- not something a 10th grade young man might do intuitively LOL.

Well, there are a couple of links and one other family's style. Hopefully other WHL families will have a chance to chime in, as well!
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL writing - letter to editor & Martin Luther assignments

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:55 am

DS4home wrote:I have a question about a couple of writing assignments that my son has had in WHL. He has had to write a letter to the editor of a fictional newspaper, expressing either support for or opposition to the Crusades, and now this week it's about Martin Luther. My ds has had no problem expressing his opinion, but I'm wondering if there is a certain format he is to be using. Are these type of assignments about learning a writing format or about learning how to put your opinion into words? I guess I'm not sure how to grade it because I'm not sure what aspect I'm grading.

Anybody want to offer some suggestions and help?
Dawn
Mornin' Dawn,
I can't remember the wording of the assignments, but I remember working with my son on one of those. My son had no problem writing his opinion. My problem was that I wanted him to write "convincingly." I guess an extension of the argumentative paper in letter format? In other words, I hoped there would be some small chance that he would draw someone from the other point of view into seeing his side rather than slamming down the paper in anger :~

Because that age group can be so strong in their opinions and such champions for their causes, we compromised and my son wrote two letters - one made him happy and one made mom happy ;)

Interested in hearing how other families handled it.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

4Truth
Posts: 332
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Re: WHL writing - letter to editor & Martin Luther assignmen

Unread post by 4Truth » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:34 am

Julie in MN wrote:My son had no problem writing his opinion. My problem was that I wanted him to write "convincingly." I guess an extension of the argumentative paper in letter format?
This was my take on it, too. My dd needed to learn how to share her opinion with the public *properly* instead of just ranting. (I have a tendency to "rant", and my dd learned from me. :~ ) It's good preparation for some college classes (and later, some career fields)... to be able to respond *properly* in a classroom setting with a teacher and/or other students with whom she doesn't agree. It sort of goes along with the art of argumentation. ;)
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 9th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

DS4home
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: WHL writing - letter to editor & Martin Luther assignmen

Unread post by DS4home » Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:13 pm

Thank you ladies for your input. That helps me see where to focus my thoughts before making some suggestions for editing. ;)

I appreciate the help!

Dawn
Celebrating our 28th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(9th).

2018: AHL for the 4th time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

TriciaMR
Posts: 1000
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

MLA or APA?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:13 pm

CharleneHoell wrote:For those of you who have have done WHL, does it make more sense for my 10th grade son to do APA style (he's getting ready to write his rough draft), which is what I learned in graduate school... and what I hear colleges require? Is there a reason why MFW chooses MLA when the kids are going to eventually have to learn another method of citation? Just wondering what others did or other's opinions on this....
Well, it depends on the discipline which format they prefer. So, maybe do MLA this year, and APA senior year? They should be familiar with both, just in case. They'll need to double check with each professor unless stated on the syllabus.

(The style *I* used in high school and college isn't even used anymore... Sigh... :) )
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

MFW-Lucy

Re: MLA or APA?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:01 am

Yes, I agree with Trish. MLA is also still used in colleges currently, so it will depend on the professor. Either way the goal is to know that you will have to follow some sort of format and to be sure and find out what that is for each college class, if that information is not provided by the professor up front.

Tricia I am with you--it has all changed since I was in college so if I needed to take a class today I would have to look up the required format. Oh that thought makes me a little shaky!

Lucy

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: MLA or APA?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 24, 2015 12:33 pm

Hi Charlene,
So fun to have a topic that I haven't seen come up before and have different folks chime in :)

Out of curiosity, I went ahead and texted my youngest, who's a freshman in college this year (and took college courses here in MN in high school). He said, "So far, it's MLA across the board. Haven't heard of anyone doing differently!" So being the curious mom I am, I then texted my oldest, who is an engineer plus currently in business grad school. He is an A student and likes to write but doesn't seem too concerned: "I think we use APA formatting. For engineering I can't remember exactly. I think it may have been APA as well but as you know the focus was more on the math, haha." They both go to school in Colorado, but 3 different colleges.

The Writers Inc book has some coverage of both, so it would be easy enough to use APA on the WHL paper. As Writers Inc mentions (on pp. 272, 281, 309 in my copy), MLA is most common in English departments, and since the WHL essays are English assignments, it makes sense to use that. Most college freshman have to take at least one English class, too. But it wouldn't hurt anything to change it up.

Like Trish mentioned, each discipline tends to have a favorite style, although like Lucy said, it depends on the prof as well. APA is from the Psychology field and is common in social science research papers plus some other areas like teaching. MLA is used in humanities (cultural majors like art history, literature, etc.). There are even a few other formats out there -- I've heard Chicago is common in Business & History, and I've heard engineers may use something called IEEE.

There aren't that many differences between MLA and APA, anyways. The difference I spot first is the title on the last page -- "works cited" (MLA) vs. "references" (APA) vs. "bibliography" (Chicago). As you mentioned, grad school starts to take these things seriously, creating publication-ready papers. But as you can tell from my sons, not all profs are nit-picky (as long as all references are cited, of course), but it is a good idea to be aware that there are some who are.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

ruthamelia
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: MLA or APA?

Unread post by ruthamelia » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:06 am

Just a few thoughts from one of those "college professors" everyone is referring to! (I am an RN and teach in a college nursing program)

I think having exposure to A writing format, recognizing such things exist, is great. I personally wouldn't have an issue with one over the other unless your student is strongly leaning toward sciences (use APA) or humanities (use MLA). At my college every English 101 class teaches BOTH, assuming that students have never seen either.

Personally, as with other subjects, I would emphasize the idea of learning how to locate and use resources. I used APA all through my graduate program, but when I grade my students' papers I still have to go back and look things up to refresh my memory!
Kids in school: 14, 12, 10, 7, 6, 4, 3
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL - Reasearch Paper

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:38 pm

BlossomsGirl wrote:I am on my 2nd time through WHL with my 2nd ds.

I have pushed that this research paper should have a controversial thesis with an opinion supporting one side or the other. Is this the wrong approach? His thesis is supporting the idea that children should be allowed to play with toy guns. He is very into Lego guns. The problem is that his paper is only 3 1/2 pages long (I required 5) and he says he has no more to say about it. His writing seems quite opinionated (not supporting statements with documentation) with many generalizations. I don't want us to die on this paper, but I don't want to just let the idea of a research paper drop. I am considering walking him through the process again with a new topic using the IEW research paper program (which I would have to buy). Or maybe do another paper again next year with that approach and just focus on better writing this year.

I don't consider myself to be a great writer either which makes this even tougher for me.

Any suggestions for this year. I know the paper is supposed to be a large part of his grades and I want honest grades for his transcript, but more importantly, I want him to learn to write better.

Thanks,
Michelle
Hi Michelle,
I'm assuming by "research paper" you are referring to the assignment that goes from week 3 to week 10? The focus on that assignment is to do research and to use outside sources, documenting those sources on a "works cited" page using MLA style. Did your son do some research and cite his sources? That would help with the "all I have to say" part - he can look up what other people say :)

The actual topic in the week 3 notes was just something he'd like to research. Of course the parent can adapt that. My son's topic was medical careers and how there are more choices than just doctor or nurse, and his "sources" were mostly interviews. Interviews were not in the actual assignment, but I figured they can be cited similar to books.

If he didn't do research, then maybe he was writing for weeks 11-12, which involve defending an argument. (Or you could use his paper for that assignment?) When my son did those arguments, I ended up having him write two papers - one that he liked and one that mom would like. I really think a lot of high schoolers, especially boys, are not mature enough to anticipate the other side of an issue or to argue with the kind of winsomeness that might actually change anyone's mind. Donna and I shared about that here http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =25#p97366 My son is far more mature now at 19 and starting to absorb the bigger world out there; in 10th grade he was just a beginner.

So anyways, if the essay seems to be an argumentative essay like the assignments in weeks 11-12, I might give credit for those and, rather than doing a lot of edits, consider having him do a slightly altered "mom version" that tries to lovingly help someone see the other side a bit (almost the same paper, not a lot of extra work). If he really cannot "hear" the other side, you might have someone he looks up to give him feedback; sometimes that is more convincing than mom for our growing young men. Arguing well is a good thing to work on.

If he hasn't really done research for this essay -- no outside resources or works cited page -- then I'd encourage you to have him still do a research paper. It's a huge thing in college - choosing an appropriately-sized topic (if he only has enough to fill 3.5 pages, then he probably needs a slightly broader topic) and finding/using outside sources that are relevant and trustworthy. He doesn't have to master it this year, by any means, but it is helpful if he starts to get the idea. Another big paper is recommended in 12th grade, so hold onto this one and enjoy his improvement in two years :)

Let me know if I went way in the wrong direction there,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Research paper in WHL

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:16 am

RachelT wrote:
Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:34 pm
Hello! It is time for my son to begin his research paper in WHL, but we have jumped back into MFW after using some other materials for a few years. I feel like we both need more detailed instruction in how to organize and write the research paper. We have used IEW and Lost Tools of Writing in the past, so I may draw on those materials. Do any of you have helpful advice or your own experiences to share?
Hi Rachel,
When looking back, I realize it somewhat depends on the nature of your student's topic. One of the most important parts of the paper will be choosing the topic. It may require brainstorming, choosing a topic, beginning to research that topic, then finding there is too little or too much information written on the topic. At that point, you can change the topic or you can brainstorm other methods of research such as personal interviews or scholarly articles found at your library's database.

I also realize it depends the goals that you have for your student. I've had a high schooler who had zero creativity and basically tried to memorize the encyclopedia to get her research right, and I needed to push her towards loosening up and including more nontraditional things because today's college and career research will often have components such as PowerPoint and YouTube. I also had a way-youngest-lackadaisical boy who needed a push towards more specific facts (he needed no help in pulling in all kinds of creativity).

Once he gets going on his topic, you might chime in again for experiences on actually organizing and writing the paper, but to me, the initial topic choice and locating of materials is the first big hurdle.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

WHL Letter to the Editor assignments - Weeks 12, 15

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:25 pm

RachelT wrote:
Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:08 am
My son is using the World History & Lit. program for his sophomore year of high school. I'm looking ahead at the editorial writing assignment about Martin Luther in Week15. We did not do the editorial assignment in Week 12 because we had some other things going on that week, but I have looked over the assigned pages in Writer's INC that describe editorials and I'm still looking for more information.

Have you found any other resources out there? Is a "letter to the editor" pretty much another name for a persuasive essay or is there a difference? We did not do AHL last year, so I don't know if writing editorials was already covered that year, but we are very familiar with writing persuasive essays. If any of you have students who have already worked on this assignment, could you please share the main idea or thesis statement of this letter, too. Thanks!
I hope you get other replies, because I love hearing about student writing :) but I remember posting a bit about my son's difficulties seeing another point of view with that assignment. Thus, I felt it was an important assignment for him but not necessarily with the hoped-for results :~ You might have better results from your daughter.
Julie in MN wrote:I felt his was very opinionated and not so very persuasive. Therefore, I had him find different examples in newspapers, to see what I meant. Then, he didn't make as many changes as I had hoped, because he said he liked his paper. So, we compromised and I had him write two letters, one he liked and one where we would work on my goals of more graciously drawing his reader in and then persuading her -- not something a 10th grade young man might do intuitively LOL.
And then the very next thread on that archive is about the same assignment: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... =25#p97366

You probably realize this, but an editorial is typically written by the editor of the paper, or some other prominent spokesperson, with a well-supported argument on one side of an issue. A letter to the editor is typically by a reader and details are cut out so it is very brief.

I don't remember exactly what the assignment was, but I had my son do a letter to the editor, which I felt was something he might do in the future. I can see that an editorial might be better practice for a student who is ready for a challenge in argumentative essay-writing.

Julie
P.S. Maybe a local newspaper would have good examples to talk about.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: WHL Letter to the Editor assignments

Unread post by RachelT » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:03 am

Thanks for reminding me of the archived posts about this lesson and also for pointing out the difference between an editorial and a letter to the editor. I wish Writer's INC had more information about this one. I think we will draw from our background of argumentative essay writing to use a similar structure for this assignment.
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests