o Phase 1 – Develop a “claim”
A “claim” is the term that the Common Core Standards use to refer to a “thesis.”
Students should be taught how to develop and practice developing claims by…
Reading and annotating the text(s)
o Each student should read the text‐set for his/her topic
Annotate as they go
Take notes centered on identifying point‐of‐view, bias, and argument in each text
Informally debating the topic with other students
o Works well with Limited Choice structure from Aspect 3)
o Student debate prompts
“I disagree because…”
“But what about…”
“What you are forgetting is…”
“What is your evidence for that…”
o Informal but structured debates push students to dig back into the texts for evidence and develop their counter‐arguments
Drafting and revising their Claims
o After drafting their claims, students should check to be sure that their claims are arguments
Templates to check for argument: Can your claim be rephrased to fit one of these starters?
It is right…
It is wrong…
It is fair…
It is unfair…
o When revising their claims, students should focus on
Word Choice: Students should strive to make their claim more exact by using more sophisticated language
Adding Qualifiers: Students should try to say when, where, or for whom their claims are true.
o Phase 2: Organize or Plan the Argumentative Essay
Use Boxes‐and‐Bullets to map out each main idea and its supporting details
Remember that these are not rigid or formulaic 5‐paragraph essays. Often, 5 paragraphs are not enough to support a claim.
Students should realize that argumentative essays are stronger when they include counter‐arguments
o Including counter‐arguments in an essay means that you recognize that your opinion on the topic is not the only one, but you make the case for why your opinion is “better” than the others.
o Parallel Boxes‐and‐Bullets can be helpful in planning counter‐arguments