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Jeannine Stanko

P. Souris
ENG 555
7 December 2016
Unit Plan: Writing an Analysis of a Cause and Effect Essay
The purpose of this college-level English 101 course is to teach students how to effectively
compose essays applicable to their chosen majors.
Course Objectives
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to
Write academic essays that
o Develop a thesis
o Create an organizing structure appropriate to analysis principles
o Support ideas with relevant explanation and substantial evidence details
o Integrate and cite information from relevant print and/or electronic sources
o Provide a coherent introduction and conclusion
Revise drafts to develop or support ideas more clearly, address potential objections, ensure
effective transitions between paragraphs, and correct errors in logic
Edit and proofread, using standards for formal written English
This unit in particular will focus on analyzing the effectiveness of cause and effect essays.
Students will have already learned how to write introductions and conclusions as well as align
topic and concluding sentences. The class would have already reviewed MLA formatting, verb
passivity, prepositions, pronoun and antecedent agreement, shifts, sentence variety, run-ons,
fragments, capitalization, who/whom, which/that, apostrophes, semicolons, and colons. This unit

will focus on the application of cause and effect analysis principles to professionally published
essays. The purpose of this unit is for students to be able to write informative analysis essays an
audience consisting of their peers and their instructor.
Unit Objectives
Upon completion of the unit, students will be able to

Follow the writing process to produce a 3-4 page analysis assessing the effectiveness of a
cause and effect essay

adhere to MLA formatting guidelines

Write an introduction that uses a hook, provides background information, and ends in a
specific thesis statement.

Write body paragraphs that contain clearly aligned topic and concluding sentences

Apply the following analytical principles to a professional essay: purpose, patterns,

reasoning errors, ethics, thesis, and details

Write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay, revisits the
introductions hook, and leaves readers with a final thought

Adhere to rules of grammar and mechanics

Required Readings for the Unit (Readings are listed in MLA format because I expect
students to do the same)
Dobbs, David. Beautiful Brains. Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research
Guide, Reader, and Handbook. Edited by James Reinking and Robert Von Der Osten,
11th edition, Pearson, 2017, pp. 415-422
Knapp, Caroline. Why We Keep Stuff: If You Want to Understand People, Take a Look at
What They Hang On To. Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research

Guide, Reader, and Handbook. Edited by James Reinking and Robert Von Der Osten,
11th edition, Pearson, 2017, pp. 413-414.
Luscombe and Stinchfield. Why We Flirt. Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric,
Research Guide, Reader, and Handbook. Edited by James Reinking and Robert Von
Der Osten, 10th edition, Pearson, 2014, pp. 553-557.
Reinking, James and Robert Von Der Osten. Chapter 14, Cause and Effect: Explaining
Why. Strategies for Successful Writing: A Rhetoric, Research Guide, Reader, and
Handbook. 11th edition. Pearson, 2017, pp.236-250.

Lessons - Detailed presentations for lessons 1, 2, and 5 can all be found at

http://jeanninestankoenglish101.weebly.com/ or in the attached PowerPoint documents
Lesson 1 Lecture about Cause and Effect Techniques and comma use
Objective Students will be able to explain cause and effect writing principles, employ cause
and effect principles to gauge effectiveness of published essays, and produce a sentence for each
comma guideline.

Lesson 2 Small group discussion about applying cause and effect principles to Caroline
Knapps Why We Keep Stuff: If You Want to Understand People, Take a Look at What They
Hang On To, David Dobbs Beautiful Brains, or Luscombe & Stinchfields Why We Flirt.
Objective Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of cause and effect principles to
write an analysis essay.

Lesson 3 Student sample essay critique

Objective Students will be able to assess the application of cause and effect analysis principles
in sample student essays.
In this lesson, students will have read three cause and effect analysis essays written by
students. These essays are written about different readings than the ones currently assigned to
students. In small groups, students will use the cause and effect analysis rubric to grade each
sample cause and effect analysis essay. Scores for each essay will be put on the board. Groups
will justify their grades. Then the instructor will give the grades that sample cause and effect
analysis essay received and explain the grade.

Lesson 4 Conferences
Objective - Students will be able to plan/compose/edit cause and effect analysis essay.
In this lesson, students meet one-on-one with the instructor. The conference goal is
decided by the student. Students might come to conferences simply to ask questions about the
assignment. Students might bring outlines for review. Students might bring partial or full rough
drafts for a discussion. Students might want to discuss previous essay in order to prepare for

Lesson 5 Editing and Peer Review

Objective Students will be able to proofread essays for the use of semicolons, colons, and
commas and evaluate a peers essay for content in regards to accurately applying the cause and
effect principles to the reading. Students will also evaluate a peers essay for basic paragraph and
essay structures as well.

Part Two: Unit Applications

Backwards Design and Engaged Pedagogy are two pedagogical practices that guide my
curriculum development for the college composition course. Backwards Design ensures that all
activities fulfill the unit objectives, which meet the course objectives. One assumption of
engaged pedagogy is that every student has a valuable contribution to make to the learning
process (hooks 21). Some students are reluctant to share during whole group discussions. The
jigsaw and carousel techniques provide low-risk opportunities to solicit participation from even
the most reluctant student contributors. Additionally, think-pair-share and neighbor talks are
often used in order to help students gather and try out their thoughts before whole group
discussions occur. These small group discussions benefit learners of different demographics by
ensuring that their ideas and thoughts will be shared and heard by others without the added stress
of speaking in front of many people.
PowerPoints are shown during all lectures. According to R. Trebor Scholz, Teachers
need to consider how to engage learners with content by connecting to their current interests as
well as their technological habits and dependencies (IX). Although PowerPoints arent novel
ways to present information it is additional method for differentiating instruction. Many students
are visual learners: verbal lectures are inefficient teaching methods for these learners. Even
though the slides dont contain pictures, visual learners benefit simply from seeing words on a
screen. For example, deaf students are considered visual learners. Studies have shown that
visually based learning works well with deaf children and should be capitalized on (Kuntze,
Golos, and Enns 217). Additionally, students have access to these slides after class. This enables
students to focus on participating in class rather than scrambling to scribble notes. Handouts will
not be given to students due to copying restrictions resulting from budget cuts.

Student writing over different genres will be assessed in primarily the same manner as the
cause and effect analysis essay. The assigned essays that precede this assignment include a
narrative analysis and a comparison analysis. The assignment following the cause and effect
analysis essay is argument based. All of these essays will be assessed through the use of rubrics
because rubrics help with clarity of both content and outcomes (Brookhart). The primary
differences to the rubrics throughout the semester lies in the different principles analyzed for the
different essay genres.
Throughout the course, students will receive direct instruction about grammar and
mechanical rules. Therefore, the grading criteria increase in difficulty throughout the course. By
the semesters end, students are expected to be able to follow these rules in their writing.
Grammar and mechanics are just as important as content and organization. Poor grammar and
mechanics detract readers from understanding the writers message. Southwestern Pennsylvania
k-12 students have spent years focusing on content in their writing: they know how to write
about their interests. Writing about topics chosen for them is more challenging, but it mimics the
types of writings that students are expected to produce in their other classes. Students are more
invested in revising their essays when they ask their own questions about what concerns them
most about their essays. These questions are content-based. The tools for analysis and essay
structure have already been provided: this is where the instructor acts as a coach rather than
directly instructing. As students peer review essays, the instructor walks around and provides
individualized help and redirection as needed.
Students do not know how to edit their essays. According to the article Proofreading:
The Skill Weve Neglected to Teach, Jan Madraso discusses how college instructors tell
students to proofread their works. Students then read their essays and declare that they are error

free. This is because Proofreading is a necessary skill that is much talked about-but rarely
taught (32). Direct instruction is given on peer review days to show students how to proofread
for specific grammar errors, which is why this lesson focuses solely on semicolons, colons, and
commas. Students would have already learned about MLA formatting, quotation integration,
shifts, active verbs, pronoun and antecedent agreement, pronoun reference, run-ons, fragments,
sentence variety, capitalization, and apostrophes.
Constructive written feedback on the evaluation of student submission for each
assignment is employed by writing comments and suggestions directly on student essays. By the
instructor writing comments directly on students essays, students will be better equipped to
revise and resubmit their essays. These written comments will help counter the deficit identified
by David Martins regarding the rubrics [failure] to offer meaningful commentary about the
students writing, much less any instruction to the student about how to improve the writing
(129). The purpose of the rubric is to attempt to increase the objectivity of the grading process
whereas the comments explain the scores further and in constructive manners.

Works Cited
Brookhart, Susan M. What are Rubrics and Why are They Important? How to Create and Use
Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading.
http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/112001/chapters/What-Are-Rubrics-and-Why-AreThey-Important%C2%A2.aspx. Accessed on 21 Dec. 2016.
hooks, bell. Engaged Pedagogy. Teaching Critical Thinking. PDF File.
Madraso, Jan. Proofreading: The Skill Weve Neglected to Teach. The English Journal, vol.
82, no. 2, 1993, pp. 32-41.
Martins, David. Scoring Rubrics and the Material Conditions of Our Relations with Students.
Teaching English in the Two Year College, vol. 36, no. 2, 2008, pp. 123-137.
Orlando, John. To Improve Student Performance, Start Thinking Like a Coach. Faculty Focus
Higher Ed Teaching Learning, 7 July 2014,
http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/educational-assessment/improve-studentperformance-start-thinking-like-coach/. Accessed on 9 Nov. 2016.