Thesis Quickfire Challenge
AP English Language and Composition, Rebekah Follmer
One of the most difficult aspects of the writing portion of the exam lies in time constraints. Students receive prompts and must not only formulate a concrete argument but also convey their thoughts with sophistication. I have found that some students jump to facile arguments rather than the complex claims that will earn them higher scores. Thus, throughout the year, I challenge students to respond quickly and articulately to argument prompts in a tournament format I call the "Thesis Quickfire Challenge." Here are the rules:
- Several times a week, Mrs. Follmer will post a statement, image, or prompt. Students are to write a claim in response to this posting.
- All claims may defend, challenge, or qualify the claim being made.
- Students will be paired in “face-offs” as they compete in the tournament. The bracket will be posted on the class website, and the google doc will clearly identify matches.
- Contestants should take five minutes to write their claims (self-timed). Students may choose to write introductory paragraphs as part of their claims, though length alone will not necessarily signal superiority.
- Claims must be posted by 5pm CST on the google drive. Claims will be judged by consensus between two contestants. The two contestants must agree on the winning claim by 6pm CST. The student with the best claim will advance to the next round. Students should use the comments cells on the google doc to discuss as necessary.
- Claims will also be checked daily by TA and Mrs. Follmer. Exemplary claims will be posted and discussed on the class website.
- Students who do not advance to the next round can jump back into tournament play by writing stellar claims in further matches. Thus, everyone will write claims throughout the tournament.
- The winning student may choose to receive extra credit or skip a short assignment (as agreed upon with Mrs. Follmer).
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