P of IDP: Provide Evidence with Numbers
As you know, the organization for the Old Section, the New Section, and the Why Section will be the same: IDP.
Describe, define, and/or discuss
Review: The I and D of IDP
Introduce: You need to introduce each section with a Claim. It is a statement that can be argued. Notice the difference:
Not a Claim: There is a new playground on Chester Street.
Claim: The new playground on Chester Street is a kid-magnet after school.
Define, Describe, and/or Discuss: You need to make sure readers know exactly what you are talking about. Readers are not mind-readers. You need to instruct them.
In the D part of an essay about the Chester Street Park, for example, you could discuss what it looks like (how many swing sets, how many slides, and so on) and why it was built.
The P of IDP
Students often think that a variable is “proven” if they define it, describe it, and/or discuss it. But that isn’t enough, as we can see from this interchange between a professor and a college student.
Professor: Winston, stand up, will you please? (Winston does so but looks confused.) Winston, did you play sports in high school?
Winston: Yessir, certainly did!
Professor: Were you a good athlete?
Winston: You got that right, Professor! (Grins.)
Professor: What sports did you participate in?
Winston: Football, basketball, baseball. Soccer in the summers.
Professor: (To everyone). Okay, let’s state that as a What Statement.
Claim: Winston Bains was a good athlete in high school.
Now we will define, describe, and/or discuss what we just said.
Define, describe, and/or discuss: He participated in football, basketball, and baseball, and during summers he played soccer.
(To Winston.) So you said you were a good athlete, right?
Professor: Prove it!
Winston is startled, as is the rest of the class. Then students start answering:
What were his stats in baseball?
How many points did he make in basketball?
How many touchdowns in football? Goals in soccer?
Did he win any awards?
What were his teams’ records? How did he help?
What did his coaches have to say about him?
What did other athletes have to say about him?
Without evidence, we would never know if Winston can live up to his Claim of being a good athlete in high school.
Small-Group or Class Activity
Review the information about the playground. How could you collect information to prove the Claim for the Old Section?
Individual or Small-Group Activity
Complete the exercise: Northwest Territories