Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Combining Summary Synthesis and Critique

In the comments below, find two more sources (sources 3 and 4) and post your findings using the following format:


Your hypothesis:

Source 3:  Bibliography entry
    Summary --What am I being told?
    Synthesize -- How does this relate to other sources?
    Critique --Why should I believe this source's claims? Why not?
Source 4:  Bibliography entry
    Summary --What am I being told?
    Synthesize -- How does this relate to other sources?
    Critique --Why should I believe this source's claims? Why not?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Synthesis Activity

Use your wisdom quotes to synthesize a hypothesis for one of the questions below.


How can one attain true knowledge?
Is humankind sinful by nature?
To what extent is one's quality of life affected by self-interest or ambition?  And to what extent does one's quality of life benefit from fear?

Directions--In the comments below:
  1. List the question you're answering
  2. List the quotes you are referring to 
  3. Write your synthesized hypothesis which includes excerpts from quotations and elaboration on the relationship between the quotations.
  4. List your name
Sample Entry:

Question:  How does one attain success?

"At the working man's house Hunger looks in, but dares not enter."
"He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night."

Ben Franklin detested laziness and saw industry as the road to prosperity.  According to his maxims in Poor Richard's Almanac, hunger "dares not enter" an industrious man's house--perhaps because the busyness of the working man drives hunger away.  In a similar maxim, Franklin praises the value of rising early and implies that procrastination leads to needless stress and frustration.  The man who rises late he says "must trot all day" and barely gets his work done before evening.

~Student Name

Research Synthesis

In the comments below, synthesize a hypothesis to your research question based upon two sources you've read.


1.  Write your hypothesis
2.  Identify the relationship between the two sources that support your hypothesis.
3.  Write a bibliography entry for both sources.


Shortening summer vacation has allowed students to retain more learning.
The article by Dr. Idunno notes that student test scores were substantially higher when summer vacation was shorter.  Another study by John Doe exemplifies this claim in a study of Wisconson students.  Doe found that students actually enjoyed shorter summers because they suffered from less boredom during the last weeks of vacation.

Works Cited
Doe, John J. "Less Summer More Smarts." Adolescent Education 28 Oct. 1999: 23-25.
Dunno, I. "Summer Fun Short." Modern Minutae 2nd ser. 56 (2001): 45-70.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Big Question - Teens and the Internet

Begining research for our "big question"

For today's class you should have narrowed the "big question" -- Is the Internet a positive or negative influence on Teens, down to a smaller question of interest such as:

Are internet predators really a serious threat to most teens?
Is online learning better than classroom learning?
Does online communication hinder face to face communication skills?
How does internet addiction contribute to teen obesity?

  1. For your question, you should have found two sources which help you to answer your question.
  2. Write (or type out) one train of thought for each source (for a total of two). Do not post your train of thought online.
  3. Write a summary for each source (total of 2).
  4. Write a bibliography entry for each of your sources (total of 2).
  5. Post your summaries and bibliographies  below.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Believing and Doubting

The Believing and Doubting Game

When faced with a controversial or threatening idea, it is a human tendency to find a "camp", or an established ideology to align with. People will choose either a believing camp or doubting camp. The problem with this is, that in choosing only one perspective to align with, it's easy to forget there is an entirely different point of view on the subject.

Playing the Believing and Doubting game helps us to focus on alternate ways of thinking about a topic and not become blinded by our own prejudices and assumptions.

The main hindrance to the search for truth is an unwillingness to abandon a "cherished assumption" once it has been disproven. One reason may be that we dislike admitting we are wrong and having our pride deflated, or, even scarier, accepting change. There is a deep fear of being "infected" or "taken over" or controlled by a bad idea.

The Believing and Doubting Game stretches us to expand our minds by embracing new ideas and abandoning old, worn or ineffective ones. Ultimately, we become more open minded, more informed and hopefully, better writers.


  • Believe all the assertions--even if they contradict each other. Get inside the ideas and experience them as much as possible.
  • Settle for truth mixed with error.
  • Never argue. Believe everything. Walk in others' shoes. Make metaphorical transformations of assertions so you can enter them. Get other people to agree with you.
  • Make the idea work--find ways to make it happen.


  • Find truth by seeking error
  • Question overt and hidden assumptions/assertions
  • Be rigorous, rational, and tough minded
  • Discover all the problems and pitfalls


1. Read articles discussed in class about the effects of the internet on teens. (NYT   &  Internet Dangers)
For each article engage in the believing and doubting game by creating two columns. In the believing column, list all thoughts that support your belief in what the author is saying. In the doubting column list all ideas, thoughts and questions that create doubt about the author's ideas. You should have one doubting and one believing column for each article.

2. Summarize and consolidate your believing and/or doubting ideas about the articles in the comments below.

3. Respond to one of your classmates' comments by either expanding on what has already been stated or by "testing" the comment.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Welcome to the Write Right 10:30 Class Think Tank

Welcome to the Write Right 2009 Think Tank 

This is where we will collaborate on our "Big Question" of the Summer.  I'll post questions, and you post your observations, analysis, and insight in the comments section.  You'll also post your summary, synthesis, and critique here.

Your First Assignment:

Summarize your interpretation of "Red Wheelbarrow" in the comments:

"The Red Wheelbarrow"

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

Beside the white