Current Issues Project, part 1

Issue: ________________________ Position: PRO Step 1: understand the project
The goal of this project is for you to really understand an issue so that you can argue your position well. This project will require you to work independently most of the time. It has a few different parts, so be sure you understand all of them before you begin. Some of the most important parts are: research, debate preparation, debate opening statement, essay preparation, and persuasive essay writing. By the end of this project, you will have researched a current issue, debated that issue, and written a persuasive paper on that issue. It is VERY important that you are interested in the issue you are in charge of, though you DO NOT have to agree with the position you are arguing. Keep this paper in your binder as a guide and check off each item as you complete it.

CON

Step 2: organization and research
FRAME your position (assignment #103): After you have thought about the issue you are in charge of and brainstormed some supporting arguments, you will need to complete a FRAME that includes at least 3 details for each of your key ideas (your arguments). Find at least one “fact” about your issue. This can be a statistic, quote, or any other type of fact that you will use both in your opening statement and in your essay. You may sign up to use the Internet, do your research by taking a survey, or by reading the newspaper. Your “fact” should support one of your arguments. Include the fact on your FRAME. Show your FRAME to Mr. J before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: debate preparation
Create notecards. (assignment #104): Use your FRAME to help you prepare notecards for your opening statement. You should get 5 notecards from Mr. Johnson and fill them out with keywords or short statements. Each notecard will represent one paragraph of the persuasive essay you will write in part 2 of the project. 1. Introduction: this card should include your thesis (your position on your issue) and an outline of the three main arguments you will use to support your thesis. 2. First Argument: this card should include your first argument to support your position as well as details/examples/facts about that argument. 3. Second Argument: same as above. 4. Third Argument: same as above. 5. Conclusion: this card should restate your thesis and review your arguments as well as leave the listener/reader with something to think about.
d. johnson, 2008 page 1

Practice your presentation. Remember that good presenters do the following: 1. engage the audience by making eye contact with people in all areas of the room. 2. show enthusiasm by gesturing and changing the position of their bodies. 3. prevent boredom by altering the pitch and tone of their voices. 4. impress the audience by showing strong knowledge of the subject and saying interesting things about it. Show your notecards to Mr. J before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: debate participation
Opening statement. (assignment #105): Use your notecards to help you deliver an opening statement during the class debate. Your opening statement will be scored by Mr. Johnson in the four area below. Make sure that each of the statements is true about your speech.: 1. Ideas and Content • • • • My speech has a clear purpose and main ideas stand out. I use clear details that support the main ideas. I am familiar with my topic. I have thought about my audience. I have tried to make my message clear. 3. Language • • • I choose words that are expressive and accurate. I use proper grammar. I use humor when appropriate or words to convey the seriousness of my topic when appropriate.

4. Delivery • • • • I make eye contact with the audience. I speak at an appropriate speed and volume and my voice is energetic. I speak fluently without unnecessary fillers like “um” or “like.” My body language matches the tone of the speech and does not distract the audience.

2. Organization • • • • • My presentation is easy to follow. I tell things in an order that makes sense. I have an effective beginning, middle and end. My conclusions are clear and valid. My transitions flow smoothly.

to be continued in part 2 . . .
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