Seniors get creative with presentations in their critical thinking classes

“Express yourself.” A quote that is commonly used by teachers and hung up on classroom posters to promote students to be their own unique selves. Students in Elizabeth Elpers’ critical thinking and argumentation classes were given the ability to do just that. 

In Elpers’ 2nd and 4th period classes, students were assigned to conduct a research essay in APA format that discussed the topic of their choices. The essays were to contain at least five pages of research and to go along with the trend of uniqueness, Elpers’ granted her students the opportunity to create a slideshow that they could present to the class, giving seniors a visual aide as to what the students have been working on for nearly the past month. The topics were limitless, from the Salem Witch Trials, to pros and cons of plastic surgery, and discussing if college athletes should receive compensation, the topics were endless and creative to the students opinions and ideas. 

“We always do a major research assignment in a senior English class,” said Elpers. “The point of this is to utilize all of the writing skills students have learned over the years.  These skills include formatting (APA), research skills like finding credible sources, and knowing how to take information from something students have read or seen and incorporating those relevant facts into a well-constructed essay, and finally, in creating an appealing visual presentation.” 

She has never given students free reign as to what their topics would be for their research paper, but she enjoyed seeing what interested students, and I believe students enjoyed the process more. Senior Addison Brown is in Elpers’ fourth period class and had a great time with the research project, she discussed political parties in the United States. 

“I did this topic to educate my peers on the topic of United States Politics. My goal was to inspire them to get involved with what is going on in our country currently. Most seniors will be able to vote in the 2020 presidential election so it is very important to get involved and have your voice heard,” Addison Brown said. 

For Elpers, the ultimate goal was for students to get a taste of what a major research project might look like at the college level.  “Many of the assignments that students will see will be multifaceted and require several steps to complete. These projects will be difficult and require a great deal of time and commitment, but the results are well worth it.” Elpers said.