11/08/2012 - Implementing Your LDC Module: Helping Students Organize and Argumentative Essay

Viewed by: Heather Szmerda and Ralph Heister

1. Introduce organizational structures for an argumentative essay
2. Deconstruct the organization of counterclaims in argumentative writing

Points to Consider:
1. Intro - hook, background information, claim - can be more than 1 paragraph
2. Body - reasons with evidence, counterclaims - several paragraphs in length
3. Conclusion - connect to hook, point to broader implication call to action - can be more than 1 paragraph
4. Essay will be 4-14 paragraphs in length


Introduction :
- Start with a hook (something to grab the reader's attention) - use phrases like "What worries me most..."
- Provide some background information
- Claim - writer's position, must be debatable - do not need to list 3 reasons in claim, but ok if they do (some students need that structure)

- Students must read about both sides of an argument in order to form their opinion.
- Students should not take notes initially when reading articles (maybe talk to the text to start?) - becomes too overwhelming
- After reading / talk to the text, have students pick what side of the argument they are going to support
- Have students re-read articles but now take notes about the information that supports their claim, and maybe a few that support the counterclaim (used later)
- Counterclaims
  • Have students use phrases like "Some might argue..." or "Those who oppose this say..." - otherwise the reader may be confused and start to think the writer is switching sides on the argument.
  • Hamburger Style - claim is stated in the middle of a paragraph
  • Set them up, Knock them down Style - claim is at the start of a paragraph and the rest of the essay is rebutting with evidence

- it is suggested to write these (DOs and DON'Ts) on the board or hang in classroom while students are focusing on their conclusions

  • leave with an interesting quote
  • end with a warning
  • express your hopes
  • calling for action from people
  • ask a "provocative" question
  • loop back to the anecdote in the intro
  • paint a strong image
  • answer the "so what?" question

  • restate claim or thesis statement
  • use phrases like "In conclusion..." "In closing..." "In summary... "

  • introduce a brand new idea
  • focus on minor points in the essay
  • add extra information that should have been in body

Problem - Solution Writing
  • Part 1 - Describe Problem
  • Part 2 - Propose Solution
  • Part 3 - Defend Proposal - why will these ideas work?
  • Part 4 - Conclude - why is it important?

Writing Process:
1. Controlling Idea - read articles, start forming claim, think about the evidence you read
2. Planning - re-read articles and define evidence and start using them in your essay outline
3. Development - initial draft
4. Revision - Seeing writing through new eyes
5. Editing - check for flow, grammar
6. Completion - Final paper

Additional Notes/Upcoming Dates:
11/29/12 - Implementing Your LDC Module: Writing – Providing Feedback