The Process

To accomplish the task, the learners should go through the following steps. Use the numbered list format in your web editor to automatically number the steps in the procedure.

Part 1 Researching

1. Provide general background information of the issue for all students to review.

2. Discuss in class their reactions and initial opinions; use this background information to develop a vocabulary for talking about this issue.

3. You may wish to have students work on the issue in groups—with each member looking at a different interpretation. If this is the plan, you must list the choices of views for the students and create a list of resources for each role to analyze. If students will be working individually, each student must research at least two-three different interpretations before deciding on a position to take.

4. Have students then go through the resources provided and begin their research. Scaffold this with a handout/table/chart of questions to answer and ideas to keep in mind while researching. Remind students to keep track of their sources for documentation later.

5. Students must choose the interpretation that seems the strongest to them. If students are working in groups on different roles, they must have an opportunity to regroup, share what they have found, and come to a consensus on the issue. It will be helpful if the students have filled out the scaffolding information (answers to the questions) so they can more easily compare/contrast the interpretations. Another common way to scaffold this process is through the use of Venn Diagrams or other such compare/contrast charts.

Part 2 Writing/Creating a Presentation

6. Assign students a specific audience to persuade—this should be linked to how students will be evaluated (examples: an activist club against the student(s)’ position; an expert on the issue; the class; the teacher; the principal; another class, etc.)

7. Students should come up with a specific, well-organized thesis at this time. Scaffold this process by using the online thesis builder (, which creates a workable persuasive thesis and outline. Students must be instructed to acknowledge (and refute) their opposition. Students must support their opinions and statements from the research. Research must be cited.

8. Explain in detail what the final product will look like (examples are a PowerPoint presentation to the class or other audience, a persuasive essay, a letter to the editor, a research paper, etc.). The final draft must be a professional-looking, properly formatted product. Scaffold this step with a template for the student to use.

9. Students turn in and/or present the final product.

Remember that this whole document is addressed to the student, however, so describe the steps using the second person.

  1. First you'll be assigned to a team of 3 students...
  2. Once you've picked a role to play....
  3. ... and so on.

Learners will access the on-line resources that you've identifed as they go through the Process. You may have a set of links that everyone looks at as a way of developing background information, or not. If you break learners into groups, embed the links that each group will look at within the description of that stage of the process. (Note, this is a change from the older WebQuest templates which included a separate Resources section. It's now clear that the resources belong in the Process section rather than alone.) 


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