Argument writing activities for students

However, when students write, they cannot remain passive players in the learning game. Guide students through the process of generating an evidence-based argument of a text by using the Designing an Evidence-based Argument Handout.

What might a persuasive take on the character of Gertrude sound like?

Developing Evidence-Based Arguments from Texts

You may also wish to point out the absence of a counterargument in this example. See The Middle School Mouth blog for more on this strategy. If I wanted to make the unit even more student-centered, I would provide the mini-lessons in written or video format and let students work through them at their own pace, without me teaching them.

Contact Us Listen to this post as a podcast: Trying to convince your friend to see a particular movie with you is likely persuasion. One way to help students see this distinction is to offer a topic and two stances on it: Then they take turns explaining why they are standing in that position.

When students see how messy the process can be, it becomes less intimidating for them. I would encourage students to share their work with peers and give feedback at all stages of the writing process.

Look for texts or passages that are worth reading deeply read: Check out this Teachers Pay Teachers resource free for an explanation and graphic organizer to use with students. What are my assumptions, and are they valid? Testing the validity of our inferences, we can make: Taking our opinions, we use evidence and the principles of logic to develop: They may not understand that a thesis can point to conflicting claims or raise a question.

Teaching Argument

However, readings and class discussions by themselves do not insure that our students will improve their critical thinking skills.

This overview will be most helpful to those who are new to teaching writing, or teachers who have not gotten good results with the approach you have taken up to now. Students sometimes confuse argument with debate, taking a strong, oppositional position on a topic and then trying to "win" points.

Argument Writing Lesson Plans

Record these in the second space. In part, we accomplish this aim by presenting our students with challenging reading materials and engaging them in interesting class discussions.

Still others turn their evidence into examples, offering a series of illustrative passages or observations as a substitute for argument.

Critical Analysis through which we challenge the observations, facts, inferences, assumptions, and opinions in the arguments that we are analyzing. Students sometimes conceptualize an argument as a fight: I would ask students which author they feel did the best job of influencing the reader, and what suggestions they would make to improve the writing.

One way to facilitate this shift is to create writing assignments that require our students to move back and forth between observation and inference, fact and assumption—all the while marking where they are in the critical process.

Once students have a claim, they can use the patterns they detected to start formulating reasons and textual references for evidence. Work with the students to narrow the patterns to a manageable list and re-read the text, this time looking for more instances of the pattern that you may have missed before you were looking for it.

We want students to be able: How can I work with facts, observations, inferences, and so on, in order to convince others of what I think?

How did I arrive at what I think? Indeed, our students have several misconceptions about argument: Unlike the mentor texts we read on day 1, this sample would be something teacher-created or an excellent student model from a previous year to fit the parameters of the assignment.

Making a Claim: Teaching Students Argument Writing Through Close Reading

Want this unit ready-made? It builds responsibility and gives kids a chance to practice. Each of these problems requires specific teaching strategies.Students can mistake argument for opinion, writing papers that are subjective and self-gratifying rather than objective and reader-based.

Students sometimes construct a weakly supported or poorly reasoned argument because it is, after all, their opinion, and they have a right to it. Later, as students work on their own pieces, I would likely return to these pieces to show students how to execute certain writing moves.

Argument Writing Worksheets

Step 2: Informal Argument, Freestyle Although many students might need more practice in writing an effective argument, many of them are excellent at arguing in person. This lesson will help students map out their argument essay after they have identified a topic.

Students will learn the three basic components of constructing an argument: stating a claim, listing reasons, and providing evidence. Begin by helping students understand the differences between persuasive writing and evidence-based argumentation: persuasion and argument share the goal of asserting a claim and trying to convince a reader or audience of its validity, but persuasion relies on a broader range of possible support.

The Incredible Shrinking Argument: Help Students Synthesize Once students are writing, probably the biggest challenge becomes whittling an argument down to the essentials.

To help students do this, have them write their argument. In-Class Activities Rather than setting aside large blocks of time to talk about writing, most WR courses integrate writing and discussions of writing into the regular activities of the course.

Almost any attention you pay to writing during class time will do double duty: it will help students understand the material more deeply, and it will.

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Argument writing activities for students
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