Lorida lawmaker pushes bill to end FCAT

Writing Project 1: Blended Strong Response (3-5 pages) INSTRUCTIONS

The Essay

In response to a piece of persuasive journalism (newspaper or magazine article) of your choice that addresses the significant, complex and local problem you have chosen to explore throughout the semester, write a summary-based, thesis-driven essay that examines how the text tries to influence its readers on a rhetorical level, using the framework of the rhetorical triangle to develop your argument. Additionally, you should engage in a conversation with the piece of writing. What do I mean by this? Based on your own knowledge, personal experiences, thinking and values, I want you to a?responda? to your piece, talk back to it through your say, explaining if you agree or disagree with the authoras ideas once you analyzed how a?theya? (the author) presented those ideas. Has your piece expanded your thinking about your problem? Finally, I want to see you connect your reading to your own personal experiences in the introduction, body or conclusion of your paper. What is your identity position, and what communities do you feel like you belong to? (For example, FAU student, the LGBTQ community, the Jewish community, the Black community, the Cuban-American community, a car owner, an arts community member, North Miami resident, etc.) Given your identity or identities, and various communities, what personal memories, experiences or concerns relate to your problem, and how does your article invoke those memories? What beliefs does the text challenge or reinforce? Final drafts must be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 (or equivalent) with proper MLA formatting where required.

Breaking It Down

To summarize, you should write a a?blended responsea? essay in reaction to a newspaper editorial or piece of persuasive journalism with three major parts.

First, you must analyze the textas rhetorical strategies, asking and answering questions like who is the authoras intended audience? What is their purpose? How does the author deal with the genre they are writing in? What is their style? How do they appeal to the three points of the rhetorical triangle, ethos pathos and logos? How does the authoras cultural position affect their argument?

Second, you should wrestle with the ideas proposed by your article. Do you agree with the author? Has the author taught you anything about your given problem? If you disagree with the author, why is that the case? Where do you disagree with them? Are there any gaps in the authoras argument? What new questions has the text raised that you hadnat previously considered? Has the text left any major concerns out?

Finally, at some point in the essay, you must discuss if and how the text has affected you personally. Has it created any dilemmas relating to social or political issues that are important to you? Did you re-evaluate any previously held viewpoints?
Writing a Strong Thesis Statement

I laid out in this assignment sheet for homework and in class, you wonat be able to successfully a?tacklea? all of these rhetorical, conceptual and reflective issues in a 3-5 page essay. Your task, and what you will be graded on, is to find the a?hot spotsa? in the piece of writing you are analyzing, those areas that are most interesting to you and your potential audience. Your thesis should identity and map out two or three points that grow out of these a?hot spotsa? that you will develop in your essay.

For your first assignment, I have asked you to write a summary-based, thesis-driven essay that examines how a piece of journalism tries to influence its readers on a rhetorical level, using the framework of the rhetorical triangle to develop your argument. Additionally, you should engage in a conversation with the piece of writing, reacting to the text on a personal and/or socio-political level.

For your homework this week, first choose a piece of persuasive journalism that addresses your significant, complex and local problem. Read the article through without taking any notes. Then, read the article again, and take notes in the margins. With the help of your notes and in one paragraph, summarize the article using the section a?Understanding Summary Writinga? on pages 363 a 367 in the Allyn & Bacon as a guide. After you have written your summary, answer the following questions.

Rhetorical Devices

Who is the author? Who is their intended audience?
How does the author deal with the genre of journalism?
How does the author appeal to ethos, pathos and logos (the rhetorical triangle)?


Do you agree or disagree with the authoras position? Why?
Are there any gaps in the authoras argument (logos)?
What new questions does the text raise about the problem? Has the author left anything out?

Personal Response

Why is solving your chosen problem important to you?
Has the text created any personal or socio-political dilemmas relating to issues that are important to you?
Did you re-evaluate any previously held viewpoints?

*** Also, I selected my first suggestion from my local newspaper label as #1 so if possible I will like to use that article, and please keep in mind I will like to work with you during this English class because whichever topic is selecteda¦. It will require constant add on, research, etc. for a final paperthis is the starting point. If by any chance we canat use my first choice, or second, I am interested in perhaps talking about Racial Profiling, Immigration topics (we can agree on something), Dreadlocks within the community (stereotyping maybe), or Crime. I also asked if ALL notes, outlines, brainstorming, drafts, anything used for this paper get forward to me for open discussions amongst peers, professor, etc.. If you have any question , please contact me. Thanking you in advance****

Florida lawmaker pushes bill to end FCAT
A new state legislator has filed a bill to rid Floridas schools of the FCAT, saying they cause too much stress in students.
Saying the FCAT creates more harm than good, a freshman state legislator said Tuesday she is championing a bill in the House that would do away with the annual state exams.
But, kids, dont get your hopes up. Its not the first time a bill has been introduced in the state Legislature to end the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test -and each attempt has failed.
Still, Rep. Daphne Campbell is not deterred.
Theres too much pressure on parents, students and teachers, Campbell said outside North Miami Senior High School on Tuesday afternoon as she promoted her bill. The bottom line is the FCAT is not helping.
Campbell, a Democratic state representative for District 108, which includes North Miami, filed House Bill 71 in an effort to replace the FCATs with the High School Competency Test.
The HSCT was used from 1990 to 2000 in Florida as a requirement for graduation. It was given to 10th-graders to ensure they could perform at an eighth-grade level.
There was no pressure like there is for the FCAT, Campbell said.
But proponents say the FCAT has given teachers a way -if imperfect -to measure students year-to-year progress and to compare student achievement across the state.
Miami-Dade School Board member Wilbert Tee Holloway said he believes the state needs to take another look at an accountability exam, but does not agree with going back to the HSCT.
Children dont come in a one-size-fits-all model, he said. There needs to be a better way to hold the children accountable for what they learn.
Tom Butler, press secretary for the Florida Department of Education, said the FCAT has improved statewide standards.
Since the establishment of the current system, we have seen dramatic increases in our academic performance, especially among our minority and other underrepresented students, Butler wrote in an e-mail.
Campbell said she agrees there needs to be accountability, but says too many students