Embedding Quotations

Today, you will work on seamlessly embedding your quoted material (research) into your body paragraphs. Please see the links below to aid in your writing today:

Introducing Quotations, from Columbia College

Tips on Using Quotations, from Essay Reply — this source has a great list of strong verbs to introduce your writing, but pay attention to the differences in American and British formatting styles.


  1. Make sure ALL of your sources include a parenthetical citation. No citation = plagiarism, and no credit. Three different sources minimum throughout your speech.
  2. You may paraphrase your information, but any information taken from a source MUST be cited (even if it’s in your own words).
  3. Since this is a speech and not an essay, you may use first and second person pronouns, depending on context and topic.
  4. If your quoted material takes up 4 or more lines on your paper, it is too long. Refer to the embedding quotes handout to use “snippets” of quotes.
  5. All verbs introducing quoted material (“argues,” “asserts,” “claims,” etc.) must always be in the PRESENT tense.
  6. Use your class time wisely 🙂

Tomorrow, we will complete self- and peer-editing, so your final draft must be done before class starts. We will review MLA formatting and Works Cited as well, so make sure you have all of the URLs of your sourced materials in a safe place.

Draft Persuasive Speech

This week, you will be completing an outline and a rough draft for your persuasive speech. As you are writing, make sure to refer back to this post and all of its resources as well as the rubric here.

Thing to Do This Week #0.5: Consider Audience and Purpose

Before writing any persuasive piece, we must consider our intended audience and purpose. Think back to the SOAPSTone from a couple of weeks ago and consider what you want your audience and purpose to be. Who are you trying to convince? Why? What assumptions do you have about your audience? Which rhetorical appeals and strategies will be most effective for your topic and your intended audience?

Thing to Do This Week #1: Outline your speech

320px-joy_oil_gas_station_blueprintsPlease use the links below to aid in your writing of your outline. Think of this document as a “blueprint” for your essay – you are planning the organization, structure, and flow of your speech. This is the rough draft to your rough draft! Please write out and organize your ideas in bullet points, rather than full sentences. 

*Note: Please choose the ONE format that works for you, whether it’s a traditional or web outline.

Ms. Antonacci’s Sample Outline (Note: if you would like to use this as a template, you may. Just use File > Make a copy to copy it to your drive and edit on top.)

How to Write an Outline – Perdue OWL

How to Write an Outline – University of Richmond

A web outline is a graphic organizer that may look something like this:


You should already have a three-point thesis statement (make sure that’s submitted to me before starting on the outline!); the main details 1, 2, and 3 will be your three reasons referenced in your thesis statement. These will make up your three main body paragraphs.

reminder-fingerReminder! Remember that you must have a MINIMUM of three credible sources throughout your speech — one per body paragraph. Refer to my post from last week for resources on credible sources.

Resources: Introductions and Conclusions


The introduction to a research paper can be the most challenging part of the paper to write. The length of the introduction will vary depending on the type of research paper you are writing. An introduction should announce your topic, provide context and a rationale for your work, before stating your research questions and hypothesis. Well-written introductions set the tone for the paper, catch the reader’s interest, and communicate the thesis statement.

  1. Announce your research topic. You can start your introduction with a few sentences which announce the topic of your paper and give an indication of the kind of research questions you will be asking. This is a good way to introduce your readers to your topic and pique their interest. The first few sentences should act as an indication of a broader problem which you will then focus in on more closely in the rest of your introduction, leading to your specific research questions.
  2. Define any key terms or concepts. It may be necessary for you to clarify any key terms or concepts early on in your introduction. You need to express yourself clearly throughout your paper so if you leave an unfamiliar term or concept unexplained, you risk your readers not having a clear understanding of your argument.

(From WikiHow)

Some suggestions on how to start your speech…

  • Pose a rhetorical question
  • Use imagery to pull your reader in (set the scene; opportunity for pathos!)
  • Start with a surprising or unusual fact/statistic
  • Provide a relevant anecdote
  • Reveal a common misconception
  • More examples here!

Be sure to consider your audience and purpose when writing the introduction!


Conclusions wrap up what you have been discussing in your paper. After moving from general to specific information in the introduction and body paragraphs, your conclusion should begin pulling back into more general information that restates the main points of your argument. Conclusions may also call for action or overview future possible research. The following outline may help you conclude your paper:

In a general way,

  • Restate your topic and why it is important,
  • Restate your thesis/claim,
  • Address opposing viewpoints and explain why readers should align with your position,
  • Call for action or overview future research possibilities.

Remember that once you accomplish these tasks, unless otherwise directed by your instructor, you are finished. Done. Complete. Don’t try to bring in new points or end with a whiz bang (!) conclusion or try to solve world hunger in the final sentence of your conclusion. Simplicity is best for a clear, convincing message.

The preacher’s maxim is one of the most effective formulas to follow for argument papers:

  1. Tell what you’re going to tell them (introduction).
  2. Tell them (body).
  3. Tell them what you told them (conclusion).

(From Purdue OWL)

Thing to Do This Week #2: Write Your Rough Draft

Once you’re done with your outline, move on to your rough draft. Since you outlined and organized your ideas in the outlining stage of the writing process, all you have to do is put it all together! Basically, you are taking your organized bullet points and turning them into complete sentences and paragraphs. Make sure you are always considering audience and purpose, as this will dictate your choices in rhetorical appeals and strategies used.

Please use this template to type your speech (File > Make a Copy).


  • Please click here to submit your persuasive speech outline and rough draft! For your rough draft, please make sure to change the document title from “Persuasive Speech Template” to your first and last name.
    • Over the weekend, I will compile these into shared Google Drive folders separated by class period. We will peer edit from there!
  • Don’t forget about USA Test Prep – your assignment for next week is up
  • As always, reach out if you need anything! I am available 24/7 via Remind and email

Researching your Topic and Crafting Your Thesis

We will use Google Docs to organize our research and write our persuasive speeches. If you do not have a Google/GMail account, please create one now.

Please click the link below to access the research graphic organizer.

Sources Graphic Organizer

  1. Go to File (top toolbar)
  2. Save a copy
  3. Save it to your drive, then edit on top.


What is a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is a guide to your paper. It tells the reader the subject matter, your argument, and what to expect from the rest of the paper. Usually, the thesis statement will come towards the end of the first paragraph.

Think of your first thesis as a “working thesis,” or a statement that is likely to change. Often, once you get into the body of the paper, you may discover that your thesis needs to be changed a bit as you discover more information.

Writing a good thesis statement:
When you are working on your thesis statement, keep these three tips in mind:

1. Make sure your thesis fits the scope of the paper. The scope means how long and how in-depth the research should be. If you only have two pages, you need to keep the thesis narrow enough to cover the argument adequately.
2. Don’t simply give a fact or make a statement that is obvious. For example, “An eating disorder is a serious disease” is a statement most would readily agree with. This is sometimes called a “so what?” thesis.
3. You don’t need to start your thesis with “I believe…” or “In my opinion…” You are the author of the paper, so this is obvious to the reader. Using these types of phrases weakens the power of your statement.

Click here for Ms. Antonacci’s example!

Choosing a Topic and Crafting a Thesis

Please get out a sheet of notebook paper for today’s Writing Wednesday! 

Before delving into research, you will write an argument to support your claim. For today’s Writing Wednesday, please argue your point to someone who totally disagrees with you. Consider using ethos, pathos, and logos to prove your point, and make your reasons clear. If you have already chosen your topic or have one in mind, please use that topic. If you do not have a topic yet, please choose one of the three options below and choose a side: 

  1. Does social media negatively impact high school students’ mental health?
  2. Should high school start times be pushed to 10:30 am?
  3. Should college be free for all students?

Please make sure you provide multiple reasons to support your stance!  

Today, you will choose a topic for your persuasive speech. Make sure you choose a topic that you know a little about, as well as on a topic you are passionate about. If you’re bored writing your essay, I’ll be bored reading it! 

Today, you will complete the “K” and “W” columns of your KWL chart, write a three-point thesis, and submit your claim statement for approval (if you haven’t already).

Please click here to access directions on how to craft a three-point thesis statement. 

Click here to access the Google Form to submit your claim statement for approval.

Remember that we have an assessment tomorrow! From now until the break, please bring your laptops to school daily. 

Socratic Seminar #2: The Crucible

On Monday, we will conduct our second Socratic Seminar! Since you’ve done this before, this time should feel a bit more comfortable.

You may use all of the analysis questions you have answered for each act, but you must also answer two of the essential questions below (your choice).

Everyone must answer #10: Who has the right to determine morality? Is morality something entirely socially constructed?

Choose two from the list below to construct a response to — ensure your response points to direct text evidence!

  1. How do various characters manipulate language to achieve their purposes? What are these purposes? Think of rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos), but be specific about these appeals. For example, instead of stating, “The character uses ethos to…” write something more specific: “Edwards appeals to his audience’s desire for salvation to…” (This is a much more specific phrasing of “pathos.”)
  2. How do the events in the story connect to Miller’s larger criticism of and allegory on McCarthyism? Point to evidence from the text to support your view.
  3. How do gender, race, socioeconomic status and title factor into the actions and events of the play?
  4. A crucible is defined as “a vessel or melting pot” or “a test of the most decisive kind.” How are these definitions appropriate to this story and its events?
  5. Many characters rely on or are victim to logical fallacies (errors in logic). Examine some of the logical fallacies present. What do they assume? What could Miller’s purpose be in incorporating these errors in logic in his characters? Think about the possible purposes within the text and within Miller’s society.
  6. In an article from Psychology Today, Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., describes the psychological concept of confirmation bias: “When people would like a certain idea/concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views (prejudices) one would like to be true. Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices. Thus, we may become prisoners of our assumptions.” Review our readings of The Crucible. How does the concept of confirmation bias surface in this text? How does it motivate characters and shape their worldviews?
  7. What are the benefits and drawbacks of pride? What different types of pride are there?
  8. How does one’s reputation influence one’s actions and decision-making?
  9. How does groupthink and scapegoating still pervade our society? Point to examples in the text, and then connect these events to modern day examples or other examples in history.
  10. Who has the right to determine morality? Is morality something entirely socially constructed?

Like last time, your responses must be completed BEFORE CLASS in order to participate in the Socratic Seminar. Failure to do so will result in a grade penalty.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Good morning and thank you for being on your best behavior while I am out today! 🙂

Please assign yourselves reading roles and continue reading Act II; yesterday, we left off at the top of page 63.

  • Since I’m not there to be stage director, we will need someone to cover for me!
  • Steven has called Ezekiel Cheever, since we didn’t get to him on Thursday.

Please use your bookmark to mark where you leave off so we can discuss on Monday when we return. You have nothing to turn in today, but you and your classmates should read all class period, as you have been doing so wonderfully. Put on a show for your sub, Ms. Isaac-Spivey! 🙂

Reading note: When Reverend Hale is questioning John and Elizabeth in their home, this is called a catechism. The denotation of catechism Is “a series of fixed questions, answers, or precepts used for instruction in other situations.” In this case, he is questioning the Christian character of their home; in other words, judging just how “Puritan” they really are.


  • AP Classroom is due by Sunday at 11:45pm!
  • Please make sure your permission forms for the field trip are completed by a parent or guardian!

Have a WONDERFUL weekend and have a BLAST at Homecoming (and be safe)!

Persuasive Speech Claim Approval

I hope you had a great weekend! Since it’s Early Release today, class will go by very quickly, so we need to get to work!

Today, you will choose a topic for your persuasive speech. Make sure you choose a topic that you know a little about, as well as on a topic you are passionate about. If you’re bored writing your essay, I’ll be bored reading it! 

Today, you will submit your claim statement for approval.

Use the Google Form here: Persuasive Speech Claim Approval

I hope you had a great weekend! Since it’s Monday, we will start with M.U.G. Monday; please make sure to get the corrections if you were out today.

Today, you will choose a topic for your persuasive speech. Make sure you choose a topic that you know a little about, as well as on a topic you are passionate about. If you’re bored writing your essay, I’ll be bored reading it! 

Today, you will complete the “K” and “W” columns of your KWL chart, write a three-point thesis, and submit your claim statement for approval.

Due dates will be given out in class tomorrow!

Rhetorical Analysis Evaluation

Welcome back from Fall Break! I hope you had some time to unplug and unwind a bit. We will be moving on from rhetorical analysis to argument and synthesis during this unit, so let’s take some time to reflect and evaluate our RA practices so far.

Today, you will need your Rachel Carson FRQ from before the break (book excerpt about parathion).

  1. Read over your rhetorical analysis. Using the Scoring Guidelines sheet, assign yourself an honest grade 1-9. In two or three sentences, explain why you have yourself that grade.
  2. In your groups, read over each of the released FRQs from past students. Grade each one using the Scoring Guidelines — you must come to a consensus as a group! On one sheet of paper, please provide a few bullet points of what the writer did well.
  3. We will review the scores as a class.
  4. Evaluate: What makes a “good” rhetorical analysis “good”? In a bullet list, please provide what makes an effective RA essay effective on this Padlet: https://padlet.com/marikoantonacci1/7jiz180dtnvve7fu