Global RBA Review

Global RBA Review

Overview of the activity: This activity helps students think through how the various components of their arguments (sub-arguments) work together to support their major claim. It also allows students to work in pairs and help their peers improve their argumentation by developing a critical eye toward how their peers construct their arguments. This activity encourages students to form a global overview of their RBA by mapping out their arguments and those of their peers.

Activity title: Global RBA Review

Author: Valerie Kinsey

Course: PWR 1 or PWR 2

Activity length and schedule This activity is to be scheduled after students finish their first drafts of the RBA. It can be used as a classroom activity; it can also serve as a peer review activity that students complete in pairs outside of class time.

Activity goals: This activity helps students grow in their ability to construct sophisticated arguments by examining both their own argumentation and that of their peers. It also invites students to reflect on the process of their argumentation by mapping out and journaling about what they learned in the process.

Activity details: This activity requires pair/peer review work.  Brief instructions for students (see the more detailed student-facing handout here):

Part 1. Read and Summarize your partner’s RBA ~ 25-30 Minutes

Part 2. Reconstruct the RBA -~ 25-30 Minutes

1-Return to the top of your partner’s RBA. Use the comment feature after each paragraph and write a 1-2 sentence synopsis of (1) information presented, like context/background or (2) sub-argument/evidence or (3) counter-argument/evidence.

2- Once you get to the end of the paper, look at your synopsis. At the end of your initial paragraph and using a different color text make a follow up note. What additions or changes would you make, having read the essay a second time, more slowly? Write a few sentences to add or revise your initial synopsis.

Part 3. Map the Argument ~ 20 minutes

1-Map your partner’s paper. (A map is a visual representation of relationships between things.) Now that you have taken a close look at their major claim, sub-arguments, reasoning and evidence, try to visually represent their argument. You may make an outline, make a bubble-drawing, or some other kind of map. You may hand draw or use a slide. Try different arrangements.

Part 4. Share & Reflect ~ 20-25 minutes

1- Share the map you drew with your partner via email or import it into their RBA draft (as an image). Explain your thinking. How/why does this visually represent their argument? Draw upon your comments in the final synopsis or your paragraph summaries. Take turns; you should have about 10 minutes/person. Ask questions or for clarification. Your partner is now a near-expert on your argument.

2-When you are done, please post the maps (the one you did and the one you received) to your PWR Journal.

3-What did you learn? Take some time to reflect on your insights in your journal.

For more information about this activity and detailed instructions for students, please see here.