HiSET Writer's Workshop Series Part 2 – Organizing your Argument



we're going to talk about how you can effectively organize your argument to make sure that you're set up for success whenever you actually begin writing your essay so as you know there's about one hundred and twenty minutes or two hours that you get in order to take the whole high set writing exam and you want to spend about 45 minutes on your actual essay well to break that down even further you want to spend about 10 minutes actually planning what you're going to write before you start writing think about it like this let's say that you are visiting a foreign country you and a friend are traveling around and let's say Russia I've never been to Russia so let's say that you are driving around in Russia and suddenly your friend becomes very sick so what do you do well you throw your friend in the car and you jump in the driver's seat and you just start driving you drive in and you're looking for a hospital you're driving around and an hour later you're probably still just driving around looking for a hospital and your friend is still sick and it's probably a little angry at you at this point so what should you have done well before you got in the car you probably should have opened up a map and planned out a route the quickest point from here to the hospital well your your hiset exam your essay is going to be the exact same way if you don't plan what you're going to say then you're probably just going to start writing and writing and writing and you're never really going to get where you're going you never get really going to say the things that you really wanted to say in the first place so the 10 minutes that you have planning your argument is arguably the most important part of your hiset essay exam so let's look at what you're actually need to plan in these first 10 minutes well if you remember from the first video these are the directions that you're probably going to see on the hiset essay these are the things that you actually need to plan need to figure out what your own position is on the issue whatever the issue is that they bring up on an exam you need to find some evidence from the text passages and plan exactly which evidence that you want to use that supports your argument you need to look at some examples from your own experience and finally you need to acknowledge alternate or opposing ideas or basically you need to figure out what other people would that is against your argument so those are the things that you need to plan in order to actually plan those things you have a couple of tools that you can use namely a piece of paper and a pencil so if you have a piece of paper and a pencil with you or you can go grab one pause the video and get that thing out and then follow along with me go ahead I'll wait okay so we have a piece of paper and a pencil and here's what I want you to do first turn that over on its side in landscape mode or horizontally and draw a line or right down the middle till a little over halfway down the page it's a vertical line all the way down and then draw a line right across the top horizontally right across the top on the left side write four and on the right side right against those are going to be where you're going to put the evidence for the passages that you're going to read that are in support or against the argument for whatever the hiset exam decides that you need to write that day draw one more line and here we're going to write whatever personal experience that we might have with the subject one more line and then we need to write our own view this is where you're actually going to write what the view is that you have on the subject whether you agree with it or disagree with it and this will make make it absolutely clear what your beliefs are about the subject so now that we have our roadmap we need to fill in this information here now just like we were talking about in the first video before you actually write your essay you're going to read through a text passage that supports a subject you're going to read through another text passage that is against a subject or does not support it let's look at an example taken from our friends over a new readers press and I want to give a shout out to new British press thank you all for letting us use this for our videos let's look at an example about whether or not people should be able to use music to study in the school library or whether it's too distracting so we'll read through the article that is against listening to music while studying in the library studying with music stops learning as a member of the Faculty Senate I am very concerned about our students and want them to receive the best education possible while here at our state university listening to music while studying is a bad habit that interferes with student's ability to learn to solve this problem the Faculty Senate recommends that studying while listening to music should be banned in the university library walk with me through our library on a recent Monday night there you will see hundreds of students supposedly studying a closer look shows that students are far more engaged with the music flowing through their earbuds than with their books they move their bodies and time to the music caught up in a world far away from the thoughts of learning the sound of music is everywhere students trying to hear their own music through all the noise cranked up their volume making it even louder with all this music the once quiet library has become a loud and distracting place speaking of distraction listening to music while studying contributes to the multitasking that is so harmful to students learning students think they can listen to music do homework text and use social media all at the same time research from Stanford University in 2009 and other studies since then all confirm people are terrible at multitasking since it is hard for the brain to determine what information is important and what is not multitasking makes each activity take twice as long and causes 50% more mistakes additionally the music itself is a problem University of Toronto psychologist Glen schellenberg found in a 2011 study the listening to fast and loud music interfered with reading comprehension asked most students about their favorite songs and most prefer the very kind of music that makes it hard to study as reading as a major part of studying listening to fast and loud music stops learning in its tracks so dr. Aaron Berg makes some pretty good points here and he actually cites a 2011 study that supports his own argument that's really strong evidence that really supports what he's trying to say so what we want to do is take his main points out and write them down over on our list and those are going to be the main bullet points that we use that are against the argument that that we're writing about now let's go and read argument for being able to listen to music while you study in the library music helps me learn the Faculty Senate at our state university is considering a ban on students listening to music while studying in the library claiming that studying while listening to music interferes with learning instead listening to music while studying helps students learn and must spell out to continue at the library studying stresses me out thoughts raced through my brain all about the week I have to do and all about the exams I have to take making it impossible for me to focus music is the only thing that calms me down once I plug into my music my stress melts my emotions calm and my brain gets ready for some serious learning many students I know are easily distracted while studying or find that studying makes them fall asleep for distracted students music keeps them on task they are less likely to look up and notice everyone who walks by their table for some students working a part-time job while juggling a full-time College schedule leaves them so tired they fall asleep after a few minutes of studying music keeps them awake so they can focus and learn finally a ban on music in the library will not solve the problem the Faculty Senate is trying to fix students who need their music will just study in other areas instead of our quiet library students will be forced to study in noisy dorm rooms or loud restaurants the 2011 study dr. Ehrenburg mentioned found that listening to music while studying was much better for learning than hearing loud background noise for the sake of all the students across campus who need music to study please do not ban music in our library so Shelley actually makes some really good points here as well and she actually uses the same exact study that dr. Aaron Berg used in the first example to strengthen her own art so let's take those two things out and write them down over on our paper so now we have a couple of points that are for being able to listen to music while you study in the library and against that as well now what we need to figure out is whether or not we have some sort of personal experience with matter and as a matter of fact the library that's in my neighborhood actually has quiet reading rooms where you can go in and study without getting distracted so I'm going to write that down here and then we'll figure out how to work it into the essay a little bit later the last thing that we want to write is one sentence that briefly sums up our own view on a subject and my personal view is that well as long as music is kept at a very low volume then the library at our State University should continue to allow students to listen to music to help them study I don't see anything wrong with that as long as it's not distracting anybody so that one view actually sums up my thoughts and this is actually what is called a thesis statement so this one sentence right here will work into probably the introduction paragraph of our essay that way the reader knows exactly what our view is on the subject so now that we have everything written down right here we have a really good roadmap to write our essay and we can refer back to this as we're writing to make sure that we say and hit all of the points that we need to hit whenever we're actually writing the essay

2 thoughts on “HiSET Writer's Workshop Series Part 2 – Organizing your Argument

  1. The time for the essay is somehow ok but they need to increase the for the reading section

  2. work is not week…
    Reading the passages, analyzing it while writing/organizing the argumentative points is going to be much more than 10 minutes. They should increase this time limit to at least 1 hour IMHO.

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