Argument writing activities for students

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Argument writing activities for students

Please see links to longer reader-suggested activities after the submission form below

While argumentation tends to focus on logic supported by verifiable examples and facts, persuasion can use unverifiable personal anecdotes and a more apparent emotional appeal to make its case.

Additionally, in persuasion, the claim usually comes first; then the persuader builds a case to convince a particular audience to think or feel the same way. Evidence-based argument builds the case for its claim out of available evidence. Solid understanding of the material at hand, therefore, is necessary in order to argue effectively.

This printable resource provides further examples of the differences between persuasive and argumentative writing. One way to help students see this distinction is to offer a topic and two stances on it: Trying to convince your friend to see a particular movie with you is likely persuasion.

The claim that typically answers the question: Project, for example, this essay on Gertrude in Hamlet argument writing activities for students ask students to identify the claim, reasons, and evidence.

Ask students to clarify what makes this kind of text an argument as opposed to persuasion. What might a persuasive take on the character of Gertrude sound like? You may also wish to point out the absence of a counterargument in this example.

Each of these titles is available under a Creative Commons license (consult the individual text for the license specifics). Click on the title to view the chapter abstract and a downloadable PDF of the chapter. Using an Op-Doc Video to Teach Argumentative Writing Students learn how authors support an argument using different types of evidence. The class watches the Op-Doc "China's Web Junkies" (link included) and notes how the filmmakers build their argument. 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.

Challenge students to offer one. Point out that even though the claim comes first in the sample essay, the writer of the essay likely did not start there.

Rather, he or she arrived at the claim as a result of careful reading of and thinking about the text. Share with students that evidence-based writing about texts always begins with close reading.

argument writing activities for students

See Close Reading of Literary Texts strategy guide for additional information. Guide students through the process of generating an evidence-based argument of a text by using the Designing an Evidence-based Argument Handout. Decide on an area of focus such as the development of a particular character and using a short text, jot down details or phrases related to that focus in the first space on the chart.

After reading and some time for discussion of the character, have students look at the evidence and notice any patterns. Record these in the second space. 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.

Add these references to the list. Use the evidence and patterns to formulate a claim in the last box. Claims can also be more or less complex, such as an outright claim The character is X trait as opposed to a complex claim Although the character is X trait, he is also Y trait.

For examples of development of a claim a thesis is a type of claimsee the Developing a Thesis Handout for additional guidance on this point. Once students have a claim, they can use the patterns they detected to start formulating reasons and textual references for evidence. Use these ReadWriteThink resources to help students build their plans into a fully developed evidence based argument about text:The Incredible Shrinking Argument: Help Students Synthesize Once students are writing, probably the biggest challenge becomes whittling an argument down to the essentials.

Guide to Grammar and Writing

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.

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.

"In this book, George Hillocks teaches us not only what an argument is, but how to teach it and why we should. Essential reading for those preparing ALL students to think critically, write well, and succeed academically in both high school and college.".

argument writing activities for students

Report writing is common in a number of disciplines. A report is a specific form of writing, written concisely and clearly and typically organised around identifying and examining issues, events, or findings from a research investigation.

Using an Op-Doc Video to Teach Argumentative Writing Students learn how authors support an argument using different types of evidence. The class watches the Op-Doc "China's Web Junkies" (link included) and notes how the filmmakers build their argument.

Fun with Argumentative Writing | The Accidental English Teacher