Persuasive Essay Scaffold

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” What point are you trying to make by touching on this counterargument?

– zing them with a lasting thought And those are the acronyms for argumentative writing I created to help scaffold my students’ understanding.

Charge students to read both essays and highlight every sentence as either a claim helping the writer's argument (highlight those sentences in yellow) or a valid counterclaim from the opposition (highlight those sentences in pink).

Students will quickly see that argumentative writing is more balanced and offers facts on both sides, whereas persuasive is all me and what I want.

A second strategy to introduce argumentative writing is to reveal two essays on the same topic--one that's written persuasively and one that's written argumentatively.

Before writing arguments with two sides represented, they have to be able to identify them in anchor papers.

Consider showing clips of the closing arguments from various trial scenes.

Students have to perform a similar role in their writing; they have to be both the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

When introducing argumentative writing to students, describe it as a debate on paper--with both sides represented by facts, evidence, and relevant support.

It's similar to the closing arguments at the end of a episode.


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