Peer/Self-Assessing the Brain Development Essay, Eng. 111/ENF3

So far you have written seven paragraphs related to brain development.  These will be the body paragraphs of a researched essay on how you can use current research about brain development during learning in order to achieve your successes academically.  You still need to add an introductory paragraph and, probably, a concluding paragraph. I say “probably” because, if your “application” paragraph feels like it brings closure to the whole paper, that MAY be your conclusion.  You be the judge, and help each other decide. We will peer review and start revision in class on Monday.

Title:  AFTER the whole thing is written, give it a GOOD, descriptive title.  “Brain Development” is  neither  of those things.

Read about introductory paragraphs in essays, provide background information that your readers will need to know in order to understand the context of the essay: what it is about, why it is important to know that the brain changes (that it physically grows a wee bit) during learning, how that growth happens.

Body paragraphs: Be sure each paragraph has a clear topic sentence. Present the body paragraphs in the order that we wrote them (i.e., as I have listed them below). When you transition from the NHLP paragraphs to the “neurons are like trees” paragraph, make sure that you state that we learn through the stages of the NHLP because as we are learning the brain is developing.  That it learning is a biological function, in other words.

Transitions: Throughout the essay, make sure that you are both moving smoothly from one paragraph topic to the next, and, at the same time, tying those paragraphs together with your transitions. Your paragraph transitions show the relationship between the idea developed in the previous paragraph and the idea developed in the current paragraph.

Conclusion:  In what way will you bring the essay to closure without simply repeating the introductory paragraph?

Final essay preparation outside of class: 1] Spell check the entire essay again using M.S. Word's spell checker. 2] Grammar check the document using M.S. Word, and 3] check for style and originality using PaperRater. 4] LISTEN to your entire essay using a text-to-speech program such as Natural Reader, OR have someone read it aloud to you exactly as it is written.

Final peer reviews: We will do the final peer review in class, including "aural editing," and you will turn in the researched paper at the end of class.

The source (works cited) for our information follows:

Smilkstein, Rita. We're Born to Learn: Using the Brain's Natural Learning Process to Create Today's Curriculum. 1st ed. Thousand Oaks, Cal.: Corwin. 1999.

Grading for the essay: Content, organization = 0-4 points; editing & citing = 0-2. Total points possible = 6. Follow the instruction, folks!

Video bonus: Dr. Smilkstein talks about the NHLP


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