What is an Argument: A Foundation for ELA in the Common Core Era


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An academic language development and oral language development interactive presentation on developing arguments.

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What is an Argument: A Foundation for ELA in the Common Core Era

  2. 2. Argument is at the heart of critical thinking and academic discourse; it is the kind of writing students need to know for success in college and in life—the kind of writing that the Common Core State Standards puts first. (See National Governors‟ Association.)
  3. 3. Fact & Opinion • Fact – Information that is certain and can be proven. • Opinion-a statement based on what one thinks, feels, or believes.
  4. 4. Types of Evidence • Anecdotal Evidence- evidence based on personal observation and experience, often in the form of a brief story. Can come from the writer, friends, family, and acquaintances. • Factual Evidence- data, confirmed facts, and research performed by experts. Found by the writer performing research. • Textual Evidence-details from the text that can be read or inferred. Found by the reader in the text to support a claim.
  5. 5. Types of Text Evidence • A character‟s actions, thoughts, and words • Juicy Quotes-choosing specific parts of the text to support • • • • your claim Vivid images-figurative language or sensory details used by the author Angled retellings/mini-stories around the evidence Lists Summaries
  6. 6. Two Types of Arguments • In life –conflicts using language • Arguing with mom/dad • Arguing with sister/brother • At school in speaking and writing – opinions/claims that can be backed up with evidence.
  7. 7. Parts of an Argument • Claim – a statement of opinion about something, which is able to be argued for or argued against using the support of evidence and tied together by reasons. Stated another way: CLAIMS = Opinions That Can Be Supported • A reason is a statement that supports, or backs up, a claim. It answers the question “Why did you say that?” • Evidence- details, facts, text evidence, and reasons that support a claim. • Must be relevant, relate to the reason • Must be enough or sufficient to support the reason
  8. 8. What is an Argument? • An argument is a claim with reasons that are supported by evidence. • Think of it as a Formula: ARGUMENT = CLAIM + REASONS + SUPPORTING EVIDENCE • An argument is different than an opinion because it is always supported by evidence and not just reasons.
  9. 9. Argument Brace Map Claim Argument Reasons Supporting Evidence
  10. 10. Identifying Claims • Claim Signal Words • Therefore • Hence • So • Accordingly • In consequence • Proves that • As a result
  11. 11. Identifying Reasons • Reason Signal Words • Since • Because • For • Follows from • As shown from • The reason that
  12. 12. Identifying Evidence • Words/Phrases that signal evidence • For example • Another example • For instance • Another instance • In addition • Moreover • Furthermore
  13. 13. Examples of Arguments • Argument 1: Jose is a good forward because he scores a lot of goals. Last season he scored 40 goals. • Argument 2: Claim: The Civil War was caused by slavery. Reason: …because the Northern states rejected the Southern states dependence on slavery Supporting Evidence: The recorded debates in newspapers and state legislatures in the North focused on the South‟s dependence on slavery, not economics.
  14. 14. More examples • Argument 3: • Claim: Charlotte was a good friend to Wilbur in book Charlotte’s Web. • Reason 1: . . because she saved his life. • Supporting Text Evidence: She spelled words in her web including “Some Pig” which made him stand out as special. • Reason 2: . . because she taught Wilbur how to make and be a friend. • Supporting Text Evidence: Charlotte taught Wilbur to help others, like Templeton. The last word she spun for Wilbur was „humble‟ to remind him to be humble even though he won the prize at the fair.
  15. 15. More Examples Cont. • Argument 4: Claim: Some people think that “Fly Away Home” is about a homeless boy, Andrew, and his father trying not to be noticed so they can live in the airport, but I think it is a story about holding on to hope. • Reason: . . .because Andrew keeps hoping that his family will get an apartment of their own. • Supporting Text Evidence: He saves the money he earns on weekends to help his father get enough money to rent an apartment. Whenever he starts to feel hopeless he remembers the trapped bird in the terminal that eventually after several days of trying escaped through the open sliding door.
  16. 16. Counter-Argument • Counter-Argument-An argument that disagrees with or opposes another argument. Example of a counter-argument: Some people say that everyone should not wear seat belts because it saves lives such as when a car plunges into a river off a bridge and the person drowns.
  17. 17. Rebuttal • A rebuttal is evidence that negates or disagrees with the counter-argument. • Example of a rebuttal: Some people say that everyone should not wear seat belts because it saves lives such as when a car plunges into a river off a bridge and the person drowns, but statistics show that many more people die in crashes when they don’t wear seat belts.
  18. 18. Let‟s Argue . . . You know what I mean • Claim: People should not be allowed to text while driving. • Reason: • Evidence: • Counter-Argument: • Rebuttal:
  19. 19. Let‟s Argue . . . Now in Writing People should not be allowed to text while driving because _________________and ________________. For instance last month I was texting while driving and ________________. On the other hand others might say that it is perfectly alright to text and drive because_____________. However according to ___________
  20. 20. Let‟s Argue . . . You know what I mean • Claim: Louie is creative • Reason: . . . because he can • Evidence: For example one time he . . . Another example is when he . . . • Counter-Argument: • Rebuttal:
  21. 21. Let‟s Argue . . . Now in Writing • Louie is creative because he can __________and ___________. For example one time he _____________. Another example is when he ______________. Others might say that Louie is not creative because he __________. Nonetheless Louie has _______________ and ____________.
  22. 22. In Summary • Argument = Claims + Reasons + Supporting Evidence • Counter-Argument: An opposing argument • Rebuttal: Evidence that disagrees with the counter- argument