The Sophomore Writing Project has grown considerably since it first began four years ago at Brother Martin. Sophomore students work on designing and composing a proficient persuasive essay beginning in the first quarter of the school year and culminating in the fourth quarter in a final assessment. The students practice all year on learning how to design the essay, how to illustrate graphically, and how to discuss the points of their argument adequately. The class examines sample model essays from years past to show what works and what does not. This year the class of 2021 was taught the importance of the counter-argument and how effective a properly orchestrated counter-argument can be.
Essays are still evaluated on a 4-point scale as students strive each quarter to reach a score of 3 proficiency in a 40-minute timed assessment. For the first time, the final assessment this year took place in the Tom & Gayle Benson Mall as all sophomores gathered together on April 25 to demonstrate their mastery of a persuasive essay. In that final assessment experience, several students were able to score a 4 which indicates an extremely proficient essay.
Of those essays, sophomore Mark Hastings had the most impressive composition as he discussed the idea of “Multitasking” as an effective learning experience. Next year, the writing program will be introduced to the freshman class at the beginning of the second semester with the hope that such early exposure can only enhance the program. Indeed, the Sophomore Writing Program has only grown stronger, more focused, and more tightly unified.