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Argument Writing: Claim, Reasons, and Evidence
- Students will be able to identify the three main parts of a written argument.
- Students will be able to outline an argument essay by stating a claim, listing reasons, and providing evidence.
- Ask students to think about the following statement and be prepared to state whether they agree or disagree, and list one reason: Dogs are better pets than cats.
- Call on students to respond to the statement and to list their reasons. When they give a reason (for example, “Dogs are more fun”), press them to provide evidence (such as, “Dogs can be trained" or "Dogs can fetch”).
- Do this several times, making up new statements that you think will inspire your students. (“Beyonce is the best performer,” or “Football is the best sport”).
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain that this is how you need to think when you construct an argument essay. You need to make a claim, give reasons, and then provide at least two pieces of evidence for each reasons.
- Go through one example as a class. Project the Argument Writing TemplateWorksheet for the class to see, and construct the outline together using ideas from students.
Guided practise(15 minutes)
- Have students work in partners or small groups to identify a claim, three reasons, and two pieces of evidence for their claim. This can be done on scratch paper or using the Argument writing template.
- Have each group share what they have written with the class. Discuss and clarify as necessary.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Provide a new template for each student. Explain that they are going to select a topic of their own and map out their argument using the template. This can be done as a stand-alone exercise, or you could use this as the start to a full argument essay project.
- Support:Provide struggling students with a claim and one reason with evidence pre-filled so they have an example to follow.
- Enrichment:Ask students to write an argument essay about a piece of literature they are reading. Have them use evidence from the text to support their reasons. Require them to use at least two direct quotes as evidence, with citations.
- Circulate the room while students are working to evaluate students’ templates to determine if they are able to complete the claim, reasons, and evidence correctly.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Have students share out their work in small groups or pairs. Ask a few students to nominate a peer’s work to be shared with the entire class.