May 23

posted May 23, 2012, 5:10 AM by Peter Knowles
Today in class we'll continue working on  your next written assessment, a research assignment about a state, regional, or local issue.

Unit 4 Assessment:  Due Friday, May 25, 2011

Your unit handout begins with a quote from Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill that "All politics is local", and the unit has presented various levels of local government, from the actions and responsibilities at the state level, down to your very own town and county councils. Your unit assessment is based on your understanding and reactions to some aspect of local government.

Here's what you need to do:

1) Choose an action or decision of your local government (city, county, state) that has been in the news recently

2) Learn about the background of the decision or action -- What was the problem? What were the options? Who was impacted by the decision?

3) Explain your opinion on the government's action or decision -- Was it the right one? Will it address the problems as desired? Will it cause new ones?

To complete this assessment, you'll need to learn some new information, perhaps by looking at recent issues of The Enterprise, (or The Columbian, or TheOlympian orThe Seattle Times if you want to look at a state-level issues). You may want to talk to parents or others who have been following the issues. You may even want to call up a member of your local government involved in the decisions to learn more. Whatever you decide is fine, as long as you:

A) Understand and explain what the issue is about

B) Explain your opinion on the topic, including a critique of the government’s actions

C) Keep track of where your information comes from so you can cite it in your writing

Suggested outline

Introduction -- Write a full, inviting introduction that introduces your topic to your reader. 
Background -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain the context of the government's decision. Tell the story of what happened before the decision. What was the problem? Why did the particular government group take it up? How did they consider possible solutions to the problem? How did they manage the needs of those who would be impacted by the decision? Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Decision -- Write a well-organized, clear paragraph that explains the action taken by the government. Explain clearly what the actual decision was. Who made the final decision? How did they explain their actions? What was the reaction of those who were involved?  Include citations to show where all information came from. 
Your opinion -- Use a well-organized, clearly written paragraph to explain your own opinion about the government's decision and actions. Include reference material  / resources to support your opinion if possible, but at the very least, make sure you explain your position clearly as well as your reasons for that position.
Conclusion -- Write a clear, well-organized paragraph to close your essay, reviewing main points and making clear that the essay is coming to a close.
Reference list  -- Be sure to list all sources you used to learn about and write about your topic. Make sure that all sources listed are fully and correctly identified, and that each one is cited at least once in your essay. 

Unit 4 Essay Scoring Guide       

GRADED ELEMENTS

Excellent

Good

Avg

Fair

Poor

Missing

INTRODUCTION clearly identifies topic & gives sense of beginning for essay

5

4

3

2

1


0

BACKGROUND on chosen topic clearly identified; evidence that writer understands & can clearly explain problem, options, and current situation (step 2 above)

15

12

9

6

3

0

OPINION/ PERSUASIVE evidence, arguments, and language used to explain writer’s point of view (step 3)

10

8

6

4

2

0

BODY remains focused on main argument of essay; paragraphs/ideas logically presented

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONCLUSION wraps up essay with summary or restatement of thesis

5

4

3

2

1

0

CONVENTIONS applied correctly to support essay; Spelling, grammar, punctuation support message

5

4

3

2

1

0

RESEARCH documented with accurate citations and reference list

 5

4

3       

2     

1     

TOTAL

/ 50

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