This ultimately looks a little bit like a debate, as students from either side tend to defend their position to those on the other side. Once students have argued without the support of any kind of research or text, I would set up a second debate; this time with more structure and more time to research ahead of time. Here they are still doing verbal argument, but the experience should make them more likely to appreciate the value of evidence when trying to persuade.
Before leaving this step, I would have students transfer their thoughts from the discussion they just had into something that looks like the opening paragraph of a written argument: A statement of their point of view, plus three reasons to support that point of view.
Next I would show students their major assignment, the performance assessment that they will work on for the next few weeks. What does this look like? Anytime I give students a major writing assignment, I let them see these documents very early on. At this time, I also show them a model of a piece of writing that meets the requirements of the assignment. 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.
I would devote at least one more class period to having students consider their topic for the essay, drafting a thesis statement, and planning the main points of their essay in a graphic organizer. I would also begin writing my own essay on a different topic. This has been my number one strategy for teaching students how to become better writers.
Using a document camera or overhead projector, I start from scratch, thinking out loud and scribbling down my thoughts as they come. When students see how messy the process can be, it becomes less intimidating for them.
They begin to understand how to take the thoughts that are stirring around in your head and turn them into something that makes sense in writing.
I would rather spend more time getting it right at the pre-writing stage than have a student go off willy-nilly, draft a full essay, then realize they need to start over. Meanwhile, students who have their plans in order will be allowed to move on to the next step.
During this time, I would move around the room, helping students solve problems and offering feedback on whatever part of the piece they are working on. I would encourage students to share their work with peers and give feedback at all stages of the writing process.
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. To learn more about this approach, read my post on self-paced learning. As students begin to complete their essays, the mini-lessons would focus more on matters of style and usage.
Only then do we start fixing the smaller mistakes. Finally, the finished essays are handed in for a grade. Use the comments section below to share your techniques or ask questions about the most effective ways to teach argumentative writing. English language arts , Grades , Grades , teaching strategies.
This is useful information. It is a classic model that immediately gives a solid structure for students. Thanks for the recommendation, Bill. I will have to look into that! Great examples of resources that students would find interesting. I enjoyed reading your article. Students need to be writing all the time about a broad range of topics, but I love the focus here on argumentative writing because if you choose the model writing texts correctly, you can really get the kids engaged in the process and in how they can use this writing in real-world situations!
I think an occasional tight focus on one genre can help them grow leaps and bounds in the skills specific to that type of writing. Later, in less structured situations, they can then call on those skills when that kind of thinking is required. This is really helpful! Hi, Thank you very much for sharing your ideas. I have applied it many times and my students not only love it but also display a very clear pattern as the results in the activity are quite similar every time.
I hope you like it. I looked at the unit, and it looks and sounds great. She thinks that she might be able to convince her parents to extend her curfew if she makes a sound argument. To make her case, she's decided to write them a letter.
An argumentative essay is a writing piece meant to persuade someone to think the way you do. Though it's usually organized as an essay, Myrtle's letter to her parents is also a type of argumentative writing.
To help Myrtle write her essay, let's take a closer look at the elements and format of an argumentative essay.
Myrtle wants to convince her parents to give her a later curfew, and she's going to write an argumentative essay to do that. But where does she even start? What information does she need to include in her essay?
There are some specific elements that are needed in an argumentative essay. The first and most important element in a persuasive essay is the position , or what side the author is on. For example, Myrtle's position is that her curfew should be later. The position is not all that Myrtle needs to include in her essay.
In fact, if all she does is state her position, it won't be very convincing. All her letter would say is, 'I think you should let me stay out later. In order to convince her parents, then, Myrtle also needs to include reasons , or why the author believes the way he or she does. For example, Myrtle could support her position by offering reasons like the fact that she's responsible, she's older than she used to be, and that a later curfew will allow her to study at the library for longer.
By offering these reasons, Myrtle has made her letter more convincing. She can take this even further, however, by supporting her reasons with evidence , or facts and data that support reasons.
For example, remember that one of Myrtle's reasons is that a later curfew will allow her to study at the library for longer. She can support this reason with evidence. Maybe she has scientific articles that show that studying at the library is more effective than studying at home.
Or perhaps she has data showing that kids with later curfews spend more time in the library. Both of those pieces of evidence could support her reason. Of course, to be truly effective, Myrtle will want to include the source of her evidence. After all, if she just made it up, it's not really evidence. Further, the source of some evidence can be questionable. Imagine that she has an article about how kids with later curfews spend more time at the library, but it was written by someone who, like Myrtle, is trying to convince his parents to let him stay out later.
In this case, the article might not be completely accurate and true. If all Myrtle includes in her essay is her position, reasons, and evidence, she could make a pretty convincing case.
But the best essays also include counterarguments , sometimes shortened to counters , which are reasons why the other side's arguments are not correct. For example, let's say that one thing that Myrtle's parents say to her consistently is that teenagers need sleep.
She knows this is one reason why her parents don't want to extend her curfew. In her essay, she can address this and provide a counter. For example, she could write something like, 'You believe that extending my curfew will mean I get less sleep. But I stay up late already, and just because I'm home early doesn't mean that I'll go to bed early.
Myrtle's reasons and evidence support her side. By providing counters, too, Myrtle is defeating arguments from the other side, which makes her essay even more convincing. Okay, Myrtle understands the things that she needs to include in her letter to her parents. But how should she organize all that information? What's the format for an argumentative essay? Get access risk-free for 30 days, just create an account. Argumentative essays can be organized in many different ways, but one common format for persuasive writing is the five paragraph essay , which includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
In the introduction, which is the first paragraph of the essay, Myrtle will want to explain the issue and state her position. For example, she'll mention that staying out late is an issue that is important to many people.
She'll state that she believes that her curfew should be later. In some essays, the introduction should also include background information.
For example, in an essay about taxing sugary soda drinks, background information might include information on the growing number of people purchasing sodas, and the growing obesity epidemic. Essentially anything that needs to be understood before reading the rest of the essay is background information, and should be included in the introduction. After the introduction, Myrtle will want to write three paragraphs that, collectively, will make up the body of the essay.
In each paragraph, she'll want to focus on one reason or counter, and include evidence to support it. For example, she might want to write one paragraph on the idea that she could study at the library for longer, another paragraph on how she's older and more responsible than she used to be, and therefore deserves a later curfew, and another paragraph on the counter that an earlier curfew does not mean that she'll get more sleep.
Finally, Myrtle will end her essay with a conclusion, which will include a restatement of her position and a brief summary of her reasons and counters. An argumentative essay is a persuasive writing piece.
It includes several elements: Argumentative essays are organized in many different ways, but one popular format is the five paragraph essay , which includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction includes an explanation of the issue, background information, and the author's position.
Each body paragraph focuses on one reason or counter and provides evidence to support it. Finally, the conclusion includes a restatement of the position and a brief summary of the reasons and counters. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? The videos on Study. I have several different articles on persuasion that you might want to look at for ideas and examples. Sisila-I wish you all the best. I have about articles on Hubpages about writing.
I encourage you to keep on learning! English is my second language and struggling with essay writing and an argument essay, I find your advise but time is very short for my assessment test tomorrow. I will try my best to focus on your advise and see if I can pass on this level for my future study.
Many thanks for this very helpful article about argument essay. Miranda--I'm so glad this article has helped you. It really comes from my experience in teaching students to write rather than from a textbook. My students have taught me a lot! Much luck to you on your courses. Thank you for a really great hub! It's now officially on my 'favourites' bar.
I have to do a lot of argument essays at the moment for my course, and I sometimes have a tricky time working out how to structure them - this hub is going to help me so much with making my arguments clearer.
Honestly, Dragos--often the best way to get started is just to write down everything you know, then write down questions that occur to you. If you are doing a research paper, you can then start gathering information based on your questions.
I often just start by Googling some of the questions. Often you won't come up with research you can use in your paper, but it can jog you into having some good ideas. In an argument essay, what you really need is:. I pretty much know what has to go in an essay but I'm having a hard time planning my thoughts and writing down ideas on a topic.
I am so happy to see what you have brought to us! I hope everyone who is sittin' around doin' nothin' and complaining about everything will discover these HubPages and join in on what was started during the golden ages of America. Thanks so much for reading! I work hard to try to make the process as easy as possible.
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What is the cause? What are the effects? How to Write Your Thesis. Does divorce cause serious problems for the children? You can mix and match these ideas for your essay. In your paper, you will need to do the following Interest the reader in the situation and make them think it is worth learning more about.
Explain the controversy or problem clearly. Explain the sides of the debate. Tell them your side. Convince them that your side is the best one to take. Refute any objections they may be thinking about as they read. Urge the reader to adopt our point of view to do, think or believe something. Here are some tips: Use the title to present your point of view. Often the title can be a question. Think about your audience—what aspects of this issue would most interest or convince them?
Check out the introduction and conclusion chart for creative ways to introduce your paper. Make sure you have a clear thesis which answers the question. The thesis should tell your position and is usually the last sentence of your introduction. Reasons and support Usually, you will have three or more reasons why the reader should accept your position.
These will be your topic sentences. Anticipate opposing positions and objections What objections will your readers have? Answer them with argument or evidence. What other positions do people take on this subject? What is your reason for rejecting these positions? Why should the reader adopt your point of view? You might use the anticipating objections in the conclusion. Classical, Rogerian and Toulmin. You can choose one of these or combine them to create your own argument paper. Here is the basic outline of a classical argument paper: Summarizes arguments, suggests solution and ties into the introduction or background.
Qualities of this strategy: The author is Reasonable: Present your character as a person who understands and empathizes with the opposition.
Often this means you state opposing position fairly and sympathetically. Establish common ground in beliefs and values you share Example: As the dominant species, we do have responsibilities. Be willing to change views and show where your position could be modified.
An argument essay, as with all essays, should contain three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The length of paragraphs in these parts will vary depending on the length of your essay assignment.
Once you break it down, writing an argumentative essay outline isn’t that daunting. Download this skeleton Argumentative Essay Outline to get started. Before you go off into the sunset and use my outline template, make sure that you are following the guidelines specific to your course.
Sep 05, · Argument essays are fairly straightforward in their organization. In your paper, you will need to do the following. Interest the reader in the situation and make Reviews: Argument Essay #4. Click Here to View Essay "A Deadly Tradition" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #5. Click Here to View Essay "Society Begins at Home" (PDF Document) Sample Argument Essay #6.
You may also write something about your school, college or university policies that annoy you or make students argue with their teachers and principals. Skip topics that people tend to agree on. At the same time, it is better to pass by argumentative essay topics connected with religion, gender, race, and other sensitive episodes of human life. Argumentative writing is the process of writing an essay wherein you pick a stand about a certain issue, and discuss such stand as opposed to another stand on the same issue. Also known as persuasive writing, argumentative writing is a writing style which intends to persuade the readers to believe or consider a certain stand about a .