The Heritage High School English Department has compiles a comprehensive list of writing rubrics, four of which are for the argument. The rubrics are Word files, so they are easy to print. The English Department also notes that the rubrics are compliant with Common Core. I like the idea of using these during the drafing process with students, too.
Students can learn the difference between ethos, logos, and pathos in this brief video about persuasive techniques in advertising. The very beginning of the video makes an important connection between political or retail billboards and persuasive writing. As it progresses, ethos, logos, and pathos each have examples with commercials or magazine ads. I like the real world application promoted in this video, because it shows how important the argument is outside of the classroom.
“Speed Dating Peer Review” is a fast but insightful editing activity that examines the quality of a paper’s argument. The page not only details how to execute the activity, but also provides a printable feedback form. Students even have the opportunity to schedule a “second date” to revisit peer evaluation questions. The feedback form is really great, because it designates four key areas upon which an evaluator can focus.
Ian Linton lists half a dozen careers that bank on exceptional persuasive writing skills. As a professional writer himself, he knows a serious writing skill set is necessary to be successful in these kinds of jobs—public relations consulting, fundraising, and copy writing. This article is especially valuable to share with students as they begin to dive into their argument paper. I found it could open the doors to students who begin to discover a real passion and talent for persuasive writing.
The talented Kevin Spacey portrays Clarence Darrow in Darrow, a film about the Leopold & Leob murder trial. Students can watch Darrow deliver closing arguments in court, which helps them to see persuasive speaking in a real-world setting. I found this video snippet to be a great example of writing an impactful closing paragraph in a paper, one that packs the final punch at the end of a solid argument.
Joseph M. Williams and Lawrence McEnerney from the University of Chicago discuss the crucial differences between high school and college writing. This is a great read for Senior English teachers, primarily to shed light on what level writing must be on before going to college. I think the most valuable part of this article is understanding that students will need to prepare for different levels of instruction given by professors regarding the final product.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debate format has a dedicated page at Education World, and rightfully so. Basic rules are outlined, and later, adapted to accommodate a small classroom format so more students can be included. There are additional strategies included, which can put an interesting spin on the debate, such as tag team. This activity is a must for students in the middle of formulating their papers, so that they can see their argument skills in action.
The Online Writing Lab at Purdue provides a fast overview of elements of the argument paper in this printable handout. It provides examples, diagrams, and key terms. The section on induction and deduction is invaluable and very well written. It also offers tips to anticipate rebuttals to the argument, so students can really solidify their papers. I love the thesis checklist, because the success of the paper really relies on a solid thesis statement.