AHL - Writing, Tips for argumentative essays?

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scmlg
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:24 am

AHL - Writing, Tips for argumentative essays?

Unread post by scmlg »

AH&L Argumentative Paper?
Sweetpetunia wrote:Wow, it's been a while since I've been here. The board looks different :)

I have a question for anyone who can help me with AH&L. My DD is trying to come up with a topic for her Argumentative paper. She originally wanted to write it on whether or not monkeys know right from wrong, but couldn't find much in the way of resources for that topic. She decided that would be a bad topic so she wants to know if she can write on the topic of screaming in music and whether or not her favorite Christian band's lead singer should stop doing it. (There are some fellow fans that believe he's going to lose his voice if he doesn't stop screaming.)

What do you think? Is this an acceptable topic for a high school argumentative paper?

Julie
Not totally sure but we were at a concert and the lead singer of audio adrenaline was there. He talked for Compassion, but boy was his voice gone. A teen with us told us that the band had broken up because he'd ruined his vocal cords, but wow, I hadn't heard the result.

Definitely something she could look in to.
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scmlg
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by scmlg »

I like this very much. :-)

Think of it like this. We are God's temple. He gave us different gifts. He wants us to use those gifts as good stewards. What is we were doing something to harm the temple and the result was going to be that we couldn't use that gift any longer???

Lots to think about for sure!


Misty
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DS4home
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by DS4home »

This first paper is for diagnostic purposes, and they leave it wide open. Future papers will have a lot more direction on the topic to be written about. Basically you want her to be able to discuss her opinion in a positive and logical manner.
I am assuming that you are on day 1. On day 2 she will be taught how to write the thesis statement, then on day 3 they discuss the structure, etc. They will be looking for 3 supporting paragraphs in the body of the paper. Knowing this before hand you could give her some leading questions in that direction. Is the possibility of the singer loosing their voice the only reason she can give for not screaming? If so, that will probably not be enough for a paper. On the other hand, if she can state a couple more reasons to not scream in music, then she probably has a good topic.
Remember though, that this is a diagnostic paper, you aren't suppose to help them :-) [editor's note: see follow-up below]

Hoping some others will chime in, there are some ladies on the board who are much stronger in the subject of English than I.

I think she has a good start, now if only I could get my dd to pick a topic 8| I also have a freshman who is beginning her high school career this week !!

Dawn
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LA in Baltimore
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

Just a humble opinion here... :~
My son just finished week 1 of AHL.
My take from reading the manual was to work day by day with him as he developed his paper.
After Week 1, he will be more independent. This week with just us "doing school" (my three younger ones will start next week) gets us both up an running with the high school program format.
He had already taken a writing course online last year, so this wasn't new for him, but we still discussed his thesis statement, rough draft, etc. as he worked on it each day.
If the thesis statement is too broad or too narrow, they'll probably hit a wall and get frustrated.
It helps to bounce your thesis statement off of another person.
Hope that helps, too.
More specific to your question at hand:
If your DD can come up with 3 supporting topic sentences to support her thesis statement than it should work for her.
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LA in Baltimore
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DS4home
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by DS4home »

I'm sorry if my comments are outdated. I am working from the AHL that we piloted 3 years ago. I didn't purchase the manual that MFW now sells. So if they give instructions on how to work through this first paper with your child, by all means follow their advice !!
This is why I don't always like to talk about AHL, even though we've done it; because I don't know exactly what the new manual says. I really don't want to give wrong advice! &)
Again, the basic thought of having 3 supporting topic sentences to support the thesis will give you a nice paper to work with. Let us know how it turns out. My dd is now staying up to finish her "homework" ie: write her paper ;)

Dawn
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LA in Baltimore
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

Dawn (and any other piloters out there) -
PLEASE don't shy away from giving your input!
You are the pioneers and your input is invaluable.
If I read something different, I'll try and chime in - mostly to make sure I'm not on the wrong track!
Keep those posts coming!
4Truth
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by 4Truth »

Agreeing with the others, Dawn.... please continue to chime in on this! :) If you feel uncomfortable doing so, you could always add the disclaimer, "This is what we did in the pilot version, though it might be different now."

Anything is helpful!
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
DS4home
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by DS4home »

Thank you for the encouragement, you all are so nice. I'll try not to be too shy, although that is my nature even in person :)

I'm actually excited to be going through AHL a second time now with dd #2. So I'll be right there in the trenches with you other AHL users this year! The high school years are so fun, well... most of the time :-)

Dawn
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Sweetpetunia
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Re: AH&L Argumentative Paper?

Unread post by Sweetpetunia »

Thanks for all the help everyone. She's loving this writing assignment and is looking up information on how a vocalist should take care of their voice.

This is great, thanks!
Julie

Oops, meant to reply to this earlier but forgot.
scmlg wrote:Not totally sure but we were at a concert and the lead singer of audio adrenaline was there. He talked for Compassion, but boy was his voice gone. A teen with us told us that the band had broken up because he'd ruined his vocal cords, but wow, I hadn't heard the result.
Yes, I'd heard about his voice problems. That must be really heartbreaking for someone whose livelihood was music. My DD's is worried the lead singer in her favorite band will lose his voice. She's been researching more along the lines of how a vocalist should care for their voice. So far, she's learned that tea is good for vocalists and coffee is not. She was disappointed to hear that since she likes coffee.lol. Thanks!
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cbollin

Argumentative Essay in AHL

Unread post by cbollin »

Sue G in PA wrote:Help! Dd is writing her first argumentative essay in AHL. Does she need to do any research for this to find facts to support her assertion? It would make sense, but the guide doesn't say anything about that. Her topic is texting while driving and her thesis is that texting while driving should be illegal. Thanks.
When writing the supports for her opinion, it can be helpful to include references to something. So if she has any statistics to back up her point of view, she might have to look online for a little bit. But, it isn't supposed to be a research assignment. she can include other reasons that support why she believes what she believes. For example, maybe one of her friends was hit in a crash and the other driver was distracted while texting. But she will need specifics to back up her reasons. She has reasons that she think it should be illegal. Where and how did she form that opinion and on what reasons? If it came from personal experiences (watching other idiots on the road), or from reading something that influenced her, she should be able to reference that in some support.


My daughter went with the topic of "Should Christian High School Students Avoid Reading Harry Potter series?"
Then, she pulled specific examples from the book to support her opinion. But she didn't research what other people think on the matter. She used specifics from the book, talked about her just completed experience with the reading the entire series as a high schooler (she read with alongside her dad at age 14. MFW does not recommend the book. it was just something that my dh wanted to read at some point and then my dd wanted to read it with him. just wanted to make sure that was understood), and was writing the essay to let me know what she thought about the series after the fact and if I should or should not have let her read it with her dad.

But we didn't research anything about the topic.

If you look a few lessons later in the Lit/Comp supplement, you'll see that the sample essay is a book discussion and lessons learned from reading it.

So, pick something that is important to the student, don't over research to support an opinion.

just one way to do that assignment
-crystal
Missy OH
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Re: Argumentative Essay in AHL

Unread post by Missy OH »

My son did not do any research. I was very worried about his paper at first. It wasn't until the final copy did he actually narrow his focus down.
cbollin

9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by cbollin »

sandi wrote:Hi all,
Just curious if you have any great ideas on the topic for the argumentative paper? We kinda have a block. I guess cause we have never written one. I have some ideas but they are a bit deep. How deep were your topics and what were your resources?
Thanks
You mean the week 1 assignment?

My oldest picked a controversial book series among Christians and discussed ideas in favor of letting high school aged Christian students read the book with parents and have discussion.
Another friend of mine took the topic about making it illegal to text while driving.

-crystal
sixtimemom
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Re: 9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by sixtimemom »

I've had two daughters complete this and both times it was challenging coming up with a topic.

First daughter wrote about "the best frozen pizza"... :-) [not deep but definitely debatable] She focused on the price and taste and her personal preference.
Second daughter wrote about English being the official language in the United States [deeper and very controversial] She focused on specific areas where not speaking English can cause problems...like 911 calls, school and in the business workplace....again only using her knowledge and understanding about why not speaking English in a mainly English speaking country could cause problems.

My first daughter picked this herself...my second had trouble so we googled...topics for an argumentative paper....and it brought inspiration.
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mom2boys
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Re: 9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by mom2boys »

My son wrote about "Does too much screen (Tv, Computer, video games etc.) time effect your mood?". He has struggled with writing this year but did come up with this topic on his own.
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Julie in MN
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Re: 9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by Julie in MN »

This is fun to read!

My son chose WAY too big of a topic, but we're learning, right :~ His first essay was about whether it was worth it to join the Army vs. contribute in other ways with your life. His big brother had just finished an 8 year Army Reserves commitment in September, so it was probably on his mind ;)

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sandi
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Re: 9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by sandi »

Thanks guys! So will we have to document these sources, or will that come later?
Couldn't find this in the manual.
His Child,
Sandi
cbollin

Re: 9th grade argumentative paper

Unread post by cbollin »

sixtimemom wrote:I've had two daughters complete this and both times it was challenging coming up with a topic.

First daughter wrote about "the best frozen pizza"... :-) [not deep but definitely debatable] She focused on the price and taste and her personal preference.
My first daughter picked this herself..
I like that topic. it seems to really set up well for the 5 paragraph style. Definitely one where they draw from opinion and their thoughts. Works for me :)

(giggle giggle. it reminds me of a silly approach we did to an ILL lesson on debate with older. "the best homeschool curriculum".
sandi wrote:Thanks guys! So will we have to document these sources, or will that come later?
Couldn't find this in the manual.
There's nothing really to document in the week 1 paper. It is opinion piece.

In my dd's case, she was focused on her opinions about that book. She had specific examples and quotes from the book, but we didn't bother with footnotes or that kind of stuff. It was more like Character H showed blah blah blah when he said blah blah (p. 45)

So if you quote something in the paragraphs,it can be more informal. But 'research" style document will come later. Look over the grading notes in the lit/comp guide. The real focus in this first lesson is to stay in the format given. Have paragraphs with good topic sentences. An overall thesis statement. All of that is in the lessons during the week for what makes a good topic sentence. what a thesis statement is and isn't and all of that.

It's a first essay to get used to the format.
-crystal
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