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Thesis Grading Sheet

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    Thesis Grading Sheet

    Abigail Johnson, reference the Thesis Grading sheet attached... I am trying to use this as a way to objectively measure my son's essays, in addition to offering stylistic comments and corrections. Unless I am reading it incorrectly, it doesn't appear to match up to the student guide, so I'm wondering if I am missing something?

    First, the Counterpoints on the grading sheet show as worth 10 points. However the student guide requires them to list 6 counterpoints with corresponding heads of purpose, then pick the three best to include in the appropriate paragraphs. They do not list them at the beginning of the essay.

    Also in the paragraphs when checking for content, I was confused to see "3 Heads of Development" or "4 Heads of Development" Should this instead be something like Paragraph 3- Head of Development? Because it only asks for one Head of Development in the student guide. Are there to be multiple?

    Do you have a concrete number of figures of speech and description you are asking for at this stage?

    Thank you for your help!
    Attached Files
    MP since 2011
    DS, 16, MP 11th grade
    DS, 14, MP 9th grade


    Ok, this gets technical, with a lot of page flipping, but I will do my best to help clarify this.
    First of all GOOD FOR YOU for progressing all the way into Thesis/Law! I wish that every student who humbly took to the pages of Fable finished with Book IX. So, I am really thrilled to have this question to contemplate! What a GOOD problem to have.

    This seems to be just an editing discrepancy for paragraph 1 of the Thesis model, which asks for one identification in the Lesson, but in the grading sheet asks for two. The grading sheet should say one, because that is the what the model demonstrates, not two.

    (Wishing right now I could ask Jim Selby about the thought process in these directions, so we can apply the fullness of his intent. He rests in the peace of the Lord, but I am still trying to reckon with the immense loss his passing is to me both personally and as an educator. We keep recovering these ruins and showing our students how to make masterpieces out of them. He has the advantage over us now, of seeing all in perfect completion and glory, while we must toil here below a bit longer.)

    For the rest of the paragraphs, I see the direction as saying, " identify the heads of development used" in plural. Also, I am seeing in the teacher's manual, for example page 24 for paragraph 5, instruction Blogs on the teacher's sidebar says, "Identify the heads of development used (i.e., cause, paraphrase, cause)." So, I can see that in the teacher instruction the teacher is prompted to point to Three.
    Then, to go into Lesson 2, we see the direction to the student on page 30, in paragraph 5, Write the development and identify the "head(s) of development used. Keep in mind here that just head of development could be used multiple times, hence the (s). This (s) doesn't mean that one ONE HOD only once is required, but that it may be only one HOD, used several times. We see this example on page 22, in the instructions for Paragraph 3. The teacher's sidebar lists the only HOD as paraphrase, but it is utilized 3 times.
    We can probably clarify this for the student books in coming editions of Thesis law, indicating how many total uses (4,3,2,1 etc) are to be used, from one or a variety of HOD's. However, as my starting point mentioned, there are those that stray from the straight road before attaining Book 9, so we don't print edition updates quite as often as are needed for "The Ant and the Chrysalis." 😉 I will see about this though!

    As regards the 6 HOPs, part of the exercise is the creation of the WHOL gamut of HOPs, so that some HOP's do not become weakened by disuse. I sometimes ask my Refutation students to list the syllogism for impossibility part 2 above the section, just to prove to me they wrote it. :-)

    To your question about figures, Thesis and Law is not the place for happy, green trees rife with verdant foliage, if you know what I mean. I would not require as many FOD's here as I would in Description, for example. But, students have many opportunities to enrich with FOS, given that they are short embellishments of perspective in a twist of expression. JIm Selby does not require figures in the checklist. I am fairly certain that this is because they have become so innate to the CC writer at this point. If your student struggles with fresh, vivid writing, consider requiring some, but for the most part the student is naturally incorporating these. We are moving to the "higher fruit" if you will, of the HOPs and HODs working closely together in a densely argued and demanding essay. I personally would like to see students using FOS, but not spend my time calling them to attention. At this point, if it's a fight to get figurative language into a student's essay, we have missed a few jumps on the checkerboard! Consider using FOS as an enrichment opportunity in editing. Challenge the drafting portion to consider FOS if a section needs to be more punchy and alive, or just more engaging.

    In closing, please let me know how this goes for you, and please follow up if I've missed anything.


      Abigail Johnson Thank you for taking the time to answer my question in detail. I appreciate the insight and I think I'm putting it together.

      That's a great point about multiple HOD possible within one resolution. And also about not just sticking to one favorite HOP or HOD. I have already noticed my son likes to use Cause all the time, and put in two Cause narratives in one paragraph at the expense of any HOD at all in another. So we are noticing a few issues as I get better at inspecting the essays. I edited the grading sheet (and my thought process) to reflect Head(s) of Development and I think that should fit the bill in my attempt to quantify the grade.

      I see what you are saying about figures and I will quote your reply for him so he is on the same page. I want to encourage the figures of speech as an enrichment opportunity. That makes sense. He definitely needs some more of these, because while he has been through the progym at this point almost completely, he is falling into a habit of dashing off his arguments in a bland fashion without vivid explanation. We had trouble with Description phase.

      This gets us headed in a better direction, so thank you!

      Attached is another take on the grading sheet that I will use the rest of the year.

      Grading Sheet for Thesis.docx
      MP since 2011
      DS, 16, MP 11th grade
      DS, 14, MP 9th grade