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:
- Throughout the semester, 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. The winners of face-offs will advance to the next round, but all students are required to participate each round as practice.
- 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.
- After receiving feedback from Mrs. Follmer and the class TA, students will vote on the best claim on the class and sometimes revise their work.
- Exemplary claims will be posted and discussed on the class website.
- Students who lose face-offs may still win the tournament by winning in the loser's bracket.
- The winning student may choose to receive extra credit or skip a short assignment (as agreed upon with Mrs. Follmer).
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