TED Synthesis Example and Non-Example

CLAIM:  

  • In order to inspire students to meet their potential and prepare themselves for life after high school we must

REASONS:

  1. Build relationships (Pierson/Arredondo)
  2. Spark students curiosity and creativity (Musallam/Robinson)
  3. Treat students as individuals (Robinson)
  4. Create support systems for students (Arredondo)
  5. Provide teachers with feedback (Gates)
  6. Innovate/Adapt/Experiement (Canada)
  7. Motivate students and improve their grit (Duckworth)
  8. Integrate Classes (London)

*In order to write a high scoring essay, you must address the warrants that connect the eight reasons above to the central claim

Incomplete/Limited argument:

  • In order to inspire students to meet their potential and prepare themselves for life after high school we must encourage teachers to build relationships with students. Teachers who build relationships with students will make students more successful and more prepared for life after high school.
  • (This is a circular argument which repeats the claim & does not address the assumption of how relationships equal success.) 

Effective argument:

  • In order to inspire students to meet their potential and prepare themselves for life after high school we must encourage teachers to build relationships with students. Teachers who build relationships with students make students feel more comfortable taking risks and asking questions. Rita Pierson supports this notion with her anecdote about one of her students who failed a quiz, but who was encouraged to continue to work hard and improve. The outcome of this relationship was a student’s willingness to take a poor grade and continue to take risks and improve. After all, the very basis of learning is comparing new information to what has already been learned. This is a messy process and one which simply does not occur if a student is unwilling to take risks and enter conversations with teachers and other students. When put in unforgiving classrooms–with teachers who don’t take account of relationships–students are more likely to become defensive, not take risks and therefore not make the meaningful connections required to learn at a faster pace and become successful in the future. Put simply, when we are comfortable, we learn more, and we are comfortable when we have a productive working relationship with our teachers. Relationships are also an essential element of education because they are the means by which work gets done beyond high school. A student’s ability to collaborate with others in a productive manner has some resemblance to how successful they will be in their future careers. If a teacher is willing to forge a relationship with students, that teacher is also inherently modeling positive working relationships, which students will internalize, emulate, and eventually use to their great benefit in school and beyond. No man is successful entirely independent of others; he must be part of a social group that has his best interests in mind and is willing to give him feedback. We should treat students no differently. 
  • (This argument provides evidence and an explanation of HOW relationships lead to student success and does not rely on unstated assumptions.)
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