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Cause And Effect Essay Rubrics

Focus Question: How can an essay be effectively revised?

Part 1

Give each student a copy of the Guidelines for Revising a Cause-and-Effect Essay (LW-8-2-3_Guidelines for Revising a Cause-and-Effect Essay.docx) and a set of highlighters. Place students in small groups and explain that they will be giving and receiving feedback on their cause-and-effect essays using these guidelines. Students should also have their completed Cause-and-Effect Outlines available for reference. Tell them they will use the feedback they receive from their group members to write a final draft of the essay.

Explain the purpose of the group evaluation/revision process: to point out weaknesses in the essay so that the writer can strengthen the essay before turning in a final draft. Tell students that they should also point out the strengths of the essay or what they liked most. Explain that their feedback should be specific, not general. For example, instead of saying, “I don’t like your support,” say, “You didn’t provide enough examples,” or “The examples are not specific or convincing.”

Students should first give an overall response to the essay. Then they should use the highlighters to point out specific parts of the essay that need work. A different color highlighter can be assigned to each section of the revision guidelines (e.g., yellow for organization, pink for focus and content, etc.). Make sure that students take plenty of time with this step. Monitor the groups to ensure that they make good progress.

Language Skills Mini-Lesson

When the groups have completed their evaluation/revision, show them how they might make use of the conditional mood in some of the sentences in their cause-and-effect essays.

“Before you begin revising your drafts, let’s look at a sentence structure that may be useful to you in crafting some of your sentences.” Give copies of the Conditional Mood sheet to students (LW-8-2-3_Conditional Mood.docx and LW-8-2-3_Conditional Mood KEY.docx).

Read through the first paragraph and two examples with the class. Provide additional examples or ask students to think of additional examples and write them for class viewing. Refer students to the essay they read in an earlier lesson, “The Effects of Being an Athlete,” and then read through the middle section of the worksheet together.

Have students complete the final section of the worksheet, turning sample sentences from the essay into if-clause conditional statements. Have volunteers share their versions, which may vary to some degree.

“You may want to use one or two if-clause conditional statements as you revise your cause-and-effect essay. Be careful not to overuse the conditional mood. Remember that sentence variety is important for keeping your reader interested.”

Part 2

Tell students that they are now ready to revise their drafts. “As you approach revising your drafts, be sure to make major changes first, such as changing the content or organization. After your content and organization is finalized, then you can correct errors in grammar and conventions. Why should we approach revision this way?” Allow students to respond. “This way, you save time. If you spend an hour fixing the punctuation and then realize you have to completely rewrite several paragraphs, all of your previous grammar and usage changes may be irrelevant. Always start with the big changes, and then work to the smaller ones. This is an effective revision strategy that you should always use.”

Give each student copies of the Cause-and-Effect Scoring Guideline (LW-8-2-3_Cause-and-Effect Scoring Guideline.docx) and the Informational Scoring Guidelines (LW-8-2_Informational Scoring Guidelines 6-8.docx). You may also use your own rubric if you have one. If this is the case, give students a copy. Explain that these rubrics are what you will use to evaluate the essay. Students should refer to the guidelines as they write their final drafts to make sure that they have included all aspects in their essays.

If time permits, allow students to revise their draft and turn it into you for additional feedback. Then give them one or two evenings to complete a final draft and turn it in.

Extension:

  • Encourage students to publish their essays, either in classroom display or online. (Class Chatter is a free Web site that will allow students to read and comment on each other’s stories. Only those with the teacher-created password will be allowed to read and comment on the posts.)
  • Students who need additional opportunities with revising will benefit from seeing an example of a revised/marked-up essay.
  • If students have difficulty putting suggested editing comments to work in their revision, schedule individual conferences.
  • Students who might require additional practice can read other brief cause-and-effect essays to examine their structure and use of transitions. See “Students’ Cause or Effect Essays—Models,” in AdvancedComposition for Non-Native Speakers of English, available at http://www.eslbee.com/cause_effect_essays_models.htm

Спереди на него быстро надвигалась стена. Такси все еще продолжало крутиться, и в ожидании столкновения он сжался в комок. Раздался оглушающий треск гофрированного металла.

Но Беккер не ощутил боли.

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