Challenge IV 2022

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Baily Lennon

Thesis

SOCIETY’S CURRENT BEAUTY STANDARDS HAVE AFFECTED WOMEN FOR THE WORSE

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Link to Thesis

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Saffron Splain

Thesis

THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS FAILED

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Laurel Brown

 

 

 

 

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Mental Abuse is Real and a Hindrance to Society

Zion Silva 

The Quality of Music Has Decreased Over Time

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Link to Thesis

Mental Abuse is Real and a Hindrance to Society

A Letter to the Judges

     Thank you for your willingness to serve on a panel for the Classical Conversations Challenge IV Senior Thesis presentation and defense. The Senior Thesis is a culminating rhetorical project that our students have been working on all semester. It is a persuasive research paper that provides students with the opportunity to present their ideas to others and defend their position.

     The event is on April 23rd at Covenant Bible Fellowship Church Located at 3845 Beck Blvd #806, Naples FL, 34114. There will be four presentations, each lasting 30-45 minutes. Your total time of service should be one hour. You will receive a copy of the presenter's thesis in print (and electronically, if you desire).

     Please read through the paper and focus your attention on the content, organization, and strength of the argumentation and evidence. Take notes as you read and write questions that you will ask during the student’s presentation. You do not need to comment on spelling, punctuation, grammar, and formatting, as those should have been reviewed before you received the final draft. You may return the thesis with your comments to the student at the end of the event if you desire.

     During the presentation, the students will present a summary, of their thesis to the audience. After each student presents, the judges will have time to share any positive observations and ask questions that lie within the scope of the thesis that the student will answer.

You may ask questions about the research: Which source best presented the argument? Which source best refuted the argument? You may also ask questions, or even attempt to refute, a particular argument the student made. 

      Keep in mind, though, that the purpose in questioning the presenter is not to embarrass him or her, but to train the student in defending his or her position cogently and articulately. The student needs to be prepared to withstand opposition, but judges should remember that this is likely the student’s first time doing so in a formal environment. I would recommend that a judge be prepared with 6-8 questions. Most likely the judge will only ask 3-4 questions.

 

Thank you for your time and investment into these students’ lives.

 

 

Here are some question ideas

 

The questions that are often asked but are not limited to three basic areas. These areas include the research, the argument, and areas of personal growth. Here are some sample questions

 

The research

    • Why did you choose this topic?

    • Did the topic become more difficult or easier as you pursued your research?

    • Tell us about the most compelling source you found for your argument.

    • What sources refuted your argument well?

    • What compelling idea did you need to put aside after researching your topic?

    • What was the most valuable thing you learned about your topic?

    • Did you change your mind about any aspect of your topic?

    • Were there any ideas that you wished you could have found more information about? (If you could have “created” a source, what would it have addressed?

The argument

You may wish to ask questions, or even attempt to refute, a particular argument the student made. Keep in mind, though, that the purpose in questioning the presenter is not to embarrass him or her, but to train the student in defending his or her position cogently and articulately. The student needs to be prepared to withstand opposition, but judges should remember that this is likely the student’s first time doing so in a formal environment.

  • Would you please read your thesis to me? (Sometimes the student’s thesis is not what we think it is.)

  • What research did you find that best supports your conclusion?

  • Which was your strongest proof or argument? Why?

  • Which of your proofs did you find best supported your conclusion?

  • What is the problem you are trying to solve or what are you trying to persuade us to believe? Why?

  • What is the best solution you discovered in your research?

  • What conclusions did you want the reader to draw after reading your paper?

  • What is your strongest argument against your thesis (refutation)?

  • What proof or argument was the most difficult to refute? Why?

  • “In your research, did you find . . . ?” (Point to the student’s research rather than his or her opinion.)

  • What did your sources say about . . . (quote from the paper) on page x?

  • Did any of your proofs or arguments change during your research process?

  • Did you find your opinion about this topic had shifted after doing the research?

  • What additional questions did this project raise in your mind?

  • What is your most compelling refutation point for the opposing argument?

Area of personal growth

  • What was something valuable that you learned through this process?

  • What appealed to you about this topic?

  • What would you have done differently if you were to choose this topic again?

  • How do you think that you could continue to learn about this topic?

  • How might you share your ideas with a wider audience after this defense?