Writing Portfolio

The following excerpts are a small sampling from Christy Thomas’ full writing portfolio. For further work or questions, please contact Christy at: christygunnersonthomas @ yahoo. com (you will have to take out the spaces – trying to avoid spam).

Any collaborative work is credited before the sample.

Technical Writing Samples


Excerpt “Qwest Foundation for Education Grant”                       collaborative writing with Anna Lovelady              © 2010

Qwest Foundation for Education Sub-Grant Proposal



Kuna High School Language Arts Department [KHSLAD], as the center-point for educating all students at every grade-level in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and presenting is developing an online Literacy E-Book for use across district curriculums and grade levels. The Literacy E-Book will be used to help all subject-area teachers implement modern writing and reading across the curriculum. Our goal is to create an innovative online and living document complete with hyperlinks which will be used as a tool for all: students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members. Our other focus is on assisting students in understanding how to read hypertexts, navigate the vast amounts of information available electronically via the Internet and online publications, and write for online publications like blogs, discussion boards, and academic networking. It is our goal to demonstrate to students the importance and relevancy of reading and writing across all mediums in the 21st Century.

Currently, our district is willing to pilot this program with at least two language arts classrooms by matching funds received through the Qwest Foundation for Education Grant. This program will serve as a stepping-stone to further technologies and development of the Literacy E-Book on a grander scale.

The publication of an online Literacy E-Book will assist teachers throughout the district in regards to teaching and implementing writing across curriculum. Ceiling-mounted LCD projectors will be used in the Language Arts classroom to show students how to access and navigate the E-Book themselves so they may use the tool at home, in other classrooms, or any pursuits they undertake. This Literacy E-Book is a living text which will provide a core guideline for student successes and expectations in writing, grammar, and presentations. Student-samples of writing will be published in the E-Book, allowing many students to share their writing to a much larger audience and with purpose. Hyperlinked materials will not only aid in the understanding of reading and writing, but will also help students to learn how to use online forums and data to improve their own education. Sections in the Literacy E-Book will include, but are not limited to: Grammar, MLA and APA formatting, academic and plagiarism policies, the Six Traits of Writing, common rubrics, research and documentation, editing and revision tips, and basic writing methods. While also aligning with Common Core Standards, each section will also include teacher-written information, student samples, possible activities, and links to helpful websites or programs. Once established, other disciplines will add their own sections, such as math formula resources or scientific terminology.

The online availability of such a source of vast amounts of information lends itself to streamlined expectations in student work and clear expectations across grade levels as well as aligning with Common Core Standards. Not only will teachers and students have access to this document, but community members and parents will have it available as a resource to further their own understanding of writing. Furthermore, the amount of supply and paper waste (toner, overhead transparencies, and markers) that an online Literacy E-Book eliminates will benefit the district as a whole.

For this purpose, we are in need of classroom projectors to model writing methods, teach in-time web-browsing techniques, and allow students ample opportunities to practice communicating to a group setting by presenting their products (blogs, video presentations, etc.). This reading and evaluation of new mediums will be our primary focus of daily use of technology in the classroom. By allowing creativity with technological implements where appropriate, students will not only enjoy the use of the medium, but also learn how to use various software programs and hardware readily available in college and business settings.


“Argumentative Writing Rubric”                                   collaborative writing with KHS ELA Department                ©2014

Argumentative Essay Rubric – LA3/LA4

Writing-Specific Requirements

Requirement Level of Proficiency Not Proficient
A (100-90%) B (89-80%) C (79-70%) D/F (69-0%)
Main Claim (Thesis) Extremely clear, challenging, and debatable. Proposes a knowledgeable claim that provides a unique interpretation of the text or topic. Clear, reasonable and debatable. Proposes a valid claim that provides an interpretation of the text or topic. Mostly clear, reasonable or debatable. Proposes a claim that provides a justifiable interpretation of the text or topic. Unclear, unreasonable and/or non-debatable. Does not propose a knowledgeable claim that provides a unique interpretation of the text or topic.  Stated as a question.
Reasons (Topic Sentences) Reasons directly support the main claim. Reasons support the main claim. Most reasons support the main claim OR reasons support the main claim, although a bit of a stretch Does not support the main claim well or not related to main claim.
Evidence (Concrete Details) Relevant to and clearly supports reasons. Set up and incorporated smoothly. Selected from sources appropriate for the topic. Relevant to reasons. Set up and/or incorporation primarily developed and/or smooth. Selected from throughout the entire source and/or represent significant examples. Relevant to reasons. Either set up and/or incorporation is not fully developed or smooth. Selected from limited areas within the source and/or represent weak examples. Not relevant to main claim and reasons. Not set up and/or incorporated smoothly. Not documented correctly. NO examples.
Inferences & Interpretations(Commentary) Writer’s inferences of the evidence are clearly and thoroughly expressed and relevant to reasons. Directly discusses evidence. Writer’s inferences of the evidence are stated and related to reasons, though the overall expression is not as clear as it could be. Discusses evidence. Writer’s inferences of the evidence are stated and related to reasons; how ideas connect to body thesis and/or main thesis is not clear. Discusses evidence. Writer’s inferences of the evidence are not stated or not related to body thesis.
Counterclaim & Rebuttal Fairly and thoroughly addresses counterclaim(s).Points out strengths and limitations of all positions.

Refutes the counterclaim(s).

Fairly or thoroughly acknowledges counterclaim(s).Points out strengths and limitations of all positions.

Refutes the counterclaim(s).

Acknowledges counterclaims.  Does not clearly refute the strengths or express the limitations of the position. Does not address counterclaim; dismisses opposition without giving credence to oppositions’ viewpoints.  Does not point out strengths or limitations of all positions.
Title Creatively gives an indication of what the essay will be about Provides an indication of what the paper will be about Provides topic of essay, but lacks creativity No title, only title of a text, or assignment label (i.e. Argumentative Essay)
Format Complies with MLA format. Complies with almost all of the requirements for MLA format. Complies with some of the requirements for MLA format. Complies with only a few requirements for MLA format.
Teacher’s Specifics <ADD HERE> <ADD HERE> <ADD HERE> <ADD HERE>

 Creative Writing Sample

from Crazylegs, Cassiopeia, and Haddie James              YA novel excerpt                     ©2014

“No one likes a grumpy cripple.”

That’s what Grandpa told me on my tenth birthday as we sat in front of his house in lime green lawn chairs–the only things on this planet that could be more uncomfortable than the silence.

Luke had barely soared by, biking his latest loop-in-a-million around the gravel block. My cousin was a constant reminder of everything I was not. Luke was a Coppertone commercial. A golden cliché in camo shorts. He was a boy’s boy. Played flag football Thursday nights, shot whistle pigs with his dad every spring, and drove all of the neighborhood girls crazy with his long eyelashes and dimpled smile. I saw how they glanced at him, always hearing their suppressed giggles behind me.

At least it wasn’t directed at me. For once it wasn’t that kind of laughter.

“Watch this, Pops!” Luke said as he rode by again, not using his hands.


No one bought me a bike for my birthday.

No one buys a bike for a kid with CP who depends on forearm crutches to get around. Not when a hand bike costs two-grand.

Luke’s let me try out his bike, but sometimes my legs don’t cooperate.

Okay, they don’t do what I want a lot of the time, which is another reason why I don’t even bother trying to coordinate myself enough to ride a normal bike. The other reason? I don’t like to imagine what I look like when I try.

One time I made the mistake of watching some family home movies.

Who was that smiling kid captured in the frame, awkwardly trying to load into the Tilt-a-Whirl at the carnival?

It was a me I didn’t realize existed.

Watching myself was like an out-of-body experience–the kind seen on those late night cable channels where some chick swears that her heart stopped and she was looking down on her own body, watching the paramedics rush to bring her back to life. I don’t want to see that version of me again. So, I don’t look.

I can feel what my muscles are up to. If I think about it, I can imagine how it must appear, but I’m used to my ankle turning in. I’m used to the world bobbing as I walk.

When my ankles really act up, I have the joy of being stuck in a wheelchair until my body heals. Which it has a hard time doing.

There is a reason why they call it wheelchair-bound.

Coasting freely in a wheelchair is something for the movies. Navigating in real life is far from liberating. Especially when you live in a mountain town covered in dirt and gravel.


Links to Other Works

Teacher and Club Websites (updated regularly)




Choc-O-Lit Chick – Developed Initial Website and Graphics for Book Review Blog



Several self-produced book trailers, but here’s one. . .

Hidden Sidhe (Book 2) Book Trailer


One of the anthologies where my short story is featured. . .

Rooms: Writers in the Attic Anthology


©2014 – All works are copyright protected and held by the authors. Please don’t steal my stuff and the work of my co-editors… that’s not cool.

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