Subject:
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Grade:
11
Provider:
Pearson
Tags:
Exhibits, Grade 11 ELA, Museums
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
Language:
English

Writing An Effective Conclusion

Writing An Effective Conclusion

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will learn about some of the principles of writing an effective conclusion. As they consider how bias works in an argument, they'll apply their new insights about bias to their essay.

Lesson Preparation

  • Read the lesson and student content.
  • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

Section 1: Essay Conclusions

In the conclusion of an essay, you emphasize your central argument. Your first attempt at writing a good conclusion is a great time to learn if your argument is truly interesting and persuasive.

If you can make strong, thoughtful claims in the conclusion, especially claims that a reader wouldn't understand or agree with without having read the rest of the paper, then you know your paper really made an argument.

If you find yourself with nothing to say in the conclusion, or only vague general statements that nobody could really disagree with, you need to go back and revise your analysis in your body paragraphs.

  • Look at the final paragraphs of the Sample Essay, “Social Networks: What Maslow Misses” and “Turn on, Log in, Wise up” with your teacher and discuss what each conclusion does or doesn't do well.
  • Begin drafting the conclusion to your own essay.
  • Discuss the principles of a strong conclusion, especially the idea that a conclusion represents intellectual progress from the beginning of an essay. A good essay does not end where it began. Rather, it develops an idea into a deeper, more challenging form.
  • You can use the conclusion from the Sample Essay as a model to analyze with your students. The final paragraphs of “Social Networks: What Maslow Misses” and “Turn On, Log In, Wise Up” also make good examples for looking at what a conclusion does or doesn't do well.
  • It can be particularly helpful to look at the thesis of an essay or article to see whether or not the conclusion was able to extend and deepen the initial ideas offered in the first paragraph.
    • ELL: One technique that can be helpful for ELL students who find writing challenging is to help them re-outline their essay, essentially making a map of what they’ve already written. This can help them more easily identify and evaluate their overall argument.

Opening

In the conclusion of an essay, you emphasize your central argument. Your first attempt at writing a good conclusion is a great time to learn if your argument is truly interesting and persuasive.

If you can make strong, thoughtful claims in the conclusion, especially claims that a reader wouldn’t understand or agree with without having read the rest of the paper, then you know your paper really made an argument.

If you find yourself with nothing to say in the conclusion, or only vague general statements that nobody could really disagree with, you need to go back and revise your analysis in your body paragraphs.

  • Look at the final paragraphs of the Sample Essay, “What Maslow Misses” and “Turn on, Log in, Wise up” with your teacher and discuss what each conclusion does or doesn’t do well.
  • Begin drafting the conclusion to your own essay.

Section 2: Identifying Bias

  • Briefly introduce the students to the idea of bias and help them look for it in “Social Networks: What Maslow Misses” and “Turn on, Log in, Wise up.”
    • SWD: This exercise is challenging and can be particularly difficult for students who struggle with complex interpretation. Take a moment to ensure that these students understand both this concept and what they will be looking for. Be ready to provide additional examples for those students who need them.
  • Bias occurs when an author pushes an agenda and ignores claims or evidence that opponents might make. Some element of bias is present in essentially any argument, since few arguments are written by giving a completely fair explanation of the opposition.

Work Time

The Independent Research Workflow asks you to find an author’s bias when you annotate the articles you research individually.

Bias occurs when an author pushes a particular point of view in a one-sided way. It can occur even if an author is essentially correct, but hasn’t carefully considered all sides. There is usually an element of bias in most argument writing because an author’s main goal is to persuade. So your job, as an astute reader, is to identify moments at which an author is exhibiting bias so you can consider the arguments with impartial logic.

  • Review “What Maslow Misses” and “Turn on, Log in, Wise up” and add at least two annotations to each that identify a moment in which the author seems to exhibit bias.
  • Identify what information or perspective the author has ignored or unfairly pushed aside in order to make a more persuasive argument.
  • If you have time, also write sample bias statements for these two articles according to the directions in No. 4 of the Independent Research Workflow.

Open Notebook

Section 3: Discussion of Bias Examples

  • With the time remaining, let students share examples of bias they found in the articles, along with their explanations for why they found it biased.
  • Use this conversation as an opportunity to deepen students' understanding of how bias works and also to guide them if they seem to struggle with identifying it.

Closing

Share your examples of bias with the rest of the class and discuss how the bias you see affects your perception of an article.

Use these questions to guide your discussion.

  • Does a biased argument make you distrust the author? Why or why not?
  • Obviously, an argument essay shouldn’t spend half its time explaining the merits of an opposing point of view. In your opinion, how much bias is too much?

Section 4: Argument Essay Draft

  • Remind students to annotate their article and to complete their essay.

Homework

  • Continue work on your essay, making sure you finish your conclusion. A full draft will be due in Lesson 14.