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Proficiency in the Theme Writing Strategy: Persuasive and Argumentative Writing

Author: Jean B. Schumaker

Publication Info: This product is published by Edge Enterprises, Inc.  Professional development is recommended, see the SIM Event list for sessions.


Should police wear body cameras or not? Should students be required to abide by a dress code? These topics require critical analysis and careful organization of reasons, but what about having to write a persuasive or argumentative paper about them? The task is difficult enough to make students grit their teeth or dig in their heels! Whether in history, science, or literature classes, students often have to choose a claim or position, take notes, organize their reasons, and write about them in a persuasive way. For argumentative papers, they need to present and document evidence derived from their research.

 

This instructional program builds on the Fundamentals in the Theme Writing Strategy instruction to help students do all those tasks. Students learn how to research a claim or opposing claims in subject-area resource materials or in literary texts. They also learn how to make digital or paper note cards and reference lists and to use in-text citations and quotations. By using a TOWER Diagram, they organize their information in a way that helps them write about it. Through the use of sophisticated transitions, they ensure that their paper flows throughout. The end product is either a short or long persuasive paper that meets the required criteria for high school and college courses. Teachers can access additional handouts and other materials through a digital link that accompanies the program. Teachers provide the instruction, and they score student practice attempts and provide important feedback to ensure students reach mastery.