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DIFFERENTIATION PAPER ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
This assignment is the course benchmark assignment. It is to expound on a topic related to P-12 student behavior and individual differences and synthesize research, course content, and biblical principles.
Compose your paper as if you are giving a motivational presentation to future or novice teachers. Present the information in a compelling way that would interest teachers not yet experienced in the field. The content of your paper should focus on the practical application of learning strategies designed for students’ individual needs and should be supported by research.
The body of your paper is to be 4-5 pages. All elements of your paper, including font type/size and line spacing, must be aligned with current APA formatting guidelines.
Cite and reference at least five sources throughout your paper. Three of the five sources are to be articles from scholarly academic journals. All journal articles referenced are to be five years old or newer. The remaining two sources required must be the course textbook and the Bible. You may include more than five sources; the additional sources may be books, professional websites, and other articles.
Use the Differentiation Paper Template when completing this assignment.
1. Title Page – The title should not be the name of the assignment (i.e., Differentiation Paper). Instead, it should be a phrase or clear concept from the introductory paragraph’s thesis statement. It should provide the reader a hint of the topic and the main idea supported throughout the paper and may be phrased in a clever, unique fashion.
2. Introduction: Do not use the word “Introduction” as a heading for this section.
• The purpose of this paragraph is to introduce the thesis statement in a compelling way. The introduction should draw the reader into the topic as it introduces the thesis statement, which is the main argument you are making. All other claims throughout the paper will serve to support the thesis statement.
• It is best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. It is typically one or two sentences that serve as a transition into the rest of the paper. Some writers choose to place it as the first sentence of the introduction. Either option is acceptable as long as the introduction is well written and has a logical progression of thought.
• Simple is better. Avoid cluttering the introductory paragraph with too many facts and supporting information. Save the support for your thesis statement for the body of the paper.
3. Background and Significance:
• Include transitions that build a logical progression from the thesis statement in the introductory paragraph into the problem or issue you are addressing.
• This section describes your chosen topic so the reader understands and cares about the issue. Usually, some kind of problem is presented so that the audience is led to address the issue. Part of motivating them is persuading them in this section that a problem exists. Audiences are moved to action usually by both facts and emotion.
• Lay the foundation before jumping into the practical application in the subsequent section.
4. Practical Application for Differentiation:
• Content: The content of this section must outline at least two differentiated learning strategies designed for students’ individual needs. This section should convey specific action points for educators to take in addressing the issue you researched.
• Structure: Plan a systematic approach to your points of action. You might designate a paragraph or so for each point. How many points will you make, and what will they be? Action points are often presented in terms of “ought” and “should” for educators, students, parents, policymakers, etc.
• Support Each Action Point: Expound on each action point to convince your audience of your action points’ value and clarify the intent for each point. You may rely on research citations, the textbook, or biblical principles. Anecdotal illustrations are acceptable but should be kept to a minimum. It would also be appropriate to discuss implications for values, ethics, or spiritual development.
5. Conclusion: Although your conclusion should reiterate concepts from the thesis statement and should have some alignment with the title of the paper, you should not simply restate the thesis statement. Wrap up the paper compellingly by emphasizing your main idea and drawing a clear conclusion. Typically, a good conclusion does not introduce new information. In this type of paper, the conclusion might be a call to action to motivate your audience.
• Double-space everything throughout your paper, including the references page. Do not insert additional extra lines or spaces.
• Use a hanging indent, meaning that the first line of every reference is left-justified with all other lines indented.
• Regarding APA format for citing the Bible, see Religious Work References on the APA website.
The style of the paper should be persuasive and targeted to future or novice teachers about key ideas related to your topic. To ensure you are following the correct style, read your paper out loud and ask yourself the questions below:
Interesting: Do I capture my audience’s attention and walk them through my topic with an interesting structure and memorable points?
Motivational: Is there a call to action, motivating others to apply the information in a meaningful way?
Memorable Structure: Have I structured the ideas in a new and fresh way so that my audience is more likely to remember my key points?
Illustrations & Examples: Am I using research to illustrate and support my own points and ideas? What else am I using to illustrate my points? Am I supporting my ideas both intellectually with factual research and emotionally with relatable examples?
First Person Pronouns: Per the APA manual, first-person pronouns are permitted. However, they should rarely be used and are intended only for conveying your actions, experiences, or descriptions of yourself. A good writer makes strong declarative statements in third-person plural (e.g., teachers, parents, leaders, etc.) in terms of “ought” and “should” rather than overusing redundant statements such as “I believe that,” “I think that,” “to me,” “for me,” etc. Almost always, sentences are strengthened by simply omitting references to self.
It is considered poor writing to refer to yourself in the third person (e.g., “this author”). It also may confuse the reader because multiple authors are typically discussed within a manuscript.
Academic Integrity: This paper will be screened by plagiarism-checking software, which reports to the professor the degree to which your paper is similar to other works. The following tips will help you avoid issues with plagiarism:
• Direct Quotes: No more than 10% of your paper should be made up of direct quotes. Therefore, do more summarizing and paraphrasing than quoting. Short quotes should be in quotation marks, and more extended quotes of 40-words or more should be indented. It is plagiarism if you do not set off direct quotes in this manner or do not cite them.
• Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact is not your own, you must cite its source. When not directly quoting, summarize or analyze the idea in your own words.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.
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