In ELA: Survival & Society we were learning about how to write an argumentative paper about any topic we choose. The essential question for ELA: Survival & Society is ‘How can I use my literacy skills to communicate powerfully with others?‘ I answered this question by writing about a topic I was interested in and, therefore, making my paper more interesting because I actually cared about what was being written.
My argumentative paper was on the topic of pennies and nickels. It talked about different alternatives for pennies and nickels, how expensive pennies and nickels are, and why the government might not have changed what pennies and nickels are made of, squeezed into 5 paragraphs. I had four different people edit the first draft of the argumentative paper, Trinity Porter, Hayley Otto, Cayenne Shaver-Hee, and Maya Manaligod. They gave me good feedback that helped me edit my paper such as ‘I don't think you have a clear thesis in your introduction paragraph, you should probably add one to make your stance on this topic clearer and stronger’ and ‘I feel like you could make your body paragraphs longer by beginning with a claim, putting all the evidence/facts in the middle and finishing it off with an analysis of what you talked about, a smooth transition, or/and your personal opinion.'
The process I took to make my final draft was going to a website called Gale, a website that includes other trustworthy sources, and finding a website called Opposing Viewpoints. On that website I found 3 different articles that talked about the topic. Two supported my thesis, and one did not, so I had two different perspectives on the topic. After I found the articles, I paraphrased the pieces of evidence in documents labeled Source 1, Source 2, and Source 3. After I finished paraphrasing I put all my thoughts into the Outline Document. When I finished the outline I put everything in order in the first draft. Finally, I went into the final draft, polished everything and fixed everything the commenters suggested.
Reflection on Iteration and Personal Growth in Portfolio Item
I have grown through this essay by realizing that my point of view may not be the best or most knowledgeable and there are other sides to an argument. My first draft of the paper talked more about dollars than pennies and nickels and I iterated it to talk more about pennies and nickels because I feel like it would affect our economy less. If I could go back and change something, it would be to do more research and add more detail. I can continue writing all my evidence down in one document then putting it all in order in the future because it really helped me take a step back to organise my thoughts.
Explanation of How Portfolio Item Represents Sustainability Skill
Crow opening bottle
Much like how the New Caledonian crow uses different tools such as it's beak, twigs, stones, and fronds to solve different problems in it's everyday life, I used different tools in my portfolio item like Gale, CNN, and Weekend Edition to help write my informational essay. The New Caledonian crow and my essay both relate to Reasoning Analytically because we both use prior knowledge, mine from videos, podcasts, scientific papers, and articles, and theirs from life experiences, to break a difficult problem into parts in order to solve it, though, I feel like in my essay I talked about a little known, but very serious problem that is putting the United States in debt every year. In my argumentative paper, I bring up valid points from trustworthy evidence that help support my claim, and I organize the evidence in a way that makes sense by making sure the transition sentence fit nicely into the next topic I would talk about additionally. Though the SEEQS staff defines succeeding in Reasoning Analytically as "Breaking problems or phenomena into parts that can be named and explained; bases judgments on the review of data and/or the support of evidence" I think that, through the help of my this argumentative paper and the New Caledonian crow, I would define it as "SEEQers use prior knowledge and trustworthy but unique perspectives to create an educated way of explaining and arguing a topic effectively".