Grade: Advanced
Subject: Language

#1666. Writing a critical essay

Language, level: Advanced
Posted Fri Apr 14 21:59:55 PDT 2000 by Gyseon Bae (
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Materials Required: sample essays/newspaper article/computer
Activity Time: 2 class session (75 minutes each)

Lesson Activity #1 (Introduction)
- The teacher introduces the lesson by reading aloud the newspaper article about "tighter gun laws."
- The teacher asks students' opinion on the "tighter gun laws."

Lesson Activity #2
- The teacher gives the students 3 different papers about racism.
- They are asked to read the papers and summarize their impression in one or two senstences.

Lesson Activity #3
- The students get into the groups of 3 or 4 and discuss about the papers in terms of whether they agree or disagree with the argument and whether the arguments are convincing.
- Each group is asked to summarize their findings in a paragraph.

Lesson Activity #4
- Each group in turn present the summary in the class
- It is followed by the 'question-answer session,' in which the students express their own opinions on racism and compare them with others.

Lesson Activity #5
- Based on the information gained from group and in-class discussion, each group is asked to write a critical essay about racism and to post it on the 'group writing' section in the course home page for feedback.
- Based on the feedback received from other groups, each group revises the draft and send it to the instructor.

Lesson Activity #6 (Wrap-up)
- The students will be in a large group and discuss about their understanding about critical essays and what they've learned from gruop work.
- As a homework assignment, the students are asked to read a nespaper article and write a critical essay assuming he or she is a newspaper columnist.