Argumentative Writing

Educator Resources  •  Lesson Plans / Student Activities

"The ability to write logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the writing standards, with opinion writing - a basic form of argument - extending down into the earliest grades." (Source: Key Shifts in English Language Arts Common Core State Standards)

Here are some resources to help your students improve their argumentative writing skills.

Educator Resources

The Special Place of Argument (pdf)
The Common Core State Standards place special emphasis on writing logical arguments as a particularly important form of college- and career-ready writing.
Text-Dependent Argument Writing
Sample Student Performance Assessments for Secondary English Language Arts.
Student Writing Samples
Student samples of argumentative writing from the Common Core State Standards Appendix C. Kindergarten, Grade 2, Grade 4, Grade 7, Grade 9, Grade 10 and Grade 12.
Argument, Persuasion, or Propaganda? (pdf)
This handout from ReadWrite Think clarifies the goals, techniques, and methods used in the genres of argument, persuasion, and propaganda.
Opposing Viewpoints in Context
This Gale resource offers pro/con perspectives on hundreds of social issues. Use the "Gale Reference Collection - Grades 9-12" link on Utah's Online Library.
Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for an Argument Paper
A generally accepted structure for introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions in an academic argument paper.
Logic in Argumentative Writing
This resource covers using logic within writing - logical vocabulary, logical fallacies, and other types of logos-based reasoning.
Teaching Argument Writing, Grades 6-12 (Book)
Supporting Claims with Relevant Evidence and Clear Reasoning - This book teaches us not only what an argument is, but how to teach it and why we should.
Inquire: A Guide to 21st Century Learning
This handbook covers 21st century skills, the inquiry process, project-based instruction, argumentative writing, and more. (Correlations to ELA Core.)
The Toulmin Model of Argumentation
This is an explanation and model for argument writing, including descriptions of argument writing terms. This PDF has more info about the Toulmin Method.
The 7 C's of Argumentation
The 7 C's (Converse, Convey, Consider, Concentrate, Concretize, Convince, Conclude) may help your students write effective argumentative essays.
Video: Socratic Seminar: Supporting Claims and Counterclaims
This TeachingChannel video demonstrates how to use debate to help 9-12 students support claims and address counterclaims.
What is an Argumentative Essay?
A concise explanation of argumentative essays from the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Argumentative Writing Rubric (pdf)
This grading rubric will help you assess your students' argumentatative essays. Here is another rubric developed by Washington County educators:  PDF   -  Word
Writing an Argumentative Essay
Learn how the argumentative essay is similar, yet clearly different, than the persuasive essay.
Persuasive / Opinion Writing Resources
UEN gathered these resources to help students write effective persuasive essays.

Lesson Plans / Student Activites

Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments
Students will select a famous speech and write an essay that identifies and explains the rhetorical strategies that the author deliberately chose while crafting the text to make an effective argument. (Grades 9-12)
Argument, Persuasion, or Propaganda? Analyzing World War II Posters
Students analyze World War II posters, as a group and then independently, to explore how argument, persuasion and propaganda differ. (Grades 9-12)
Finding Common Ground: Hypothetical Scenario (pdf)
Use this scenario to prompt student writing about both sides of the argument. (Grades 9-12)
Finding Common Ground
Using Logical, Audience-Specific Arguments
Students generate arguments from opposing points of view, discover areas of commonality, and construct arguments to persuade their opponents. (Grades 9-12)
For and Against graphic organizer
This worksheet prompts students to create a list of arguments for and arguments against their selected issue.
Interactive Venn Diagram
Students can use this online tool to compare any two items, including varying positions on an argument.
So You Think You Can Argue
This lesson helps students discover there's a difference between "arguing" and making an argument in support of a position. (Grades 5-12)
Videos: How to Write an Argument Essay
Here are several videos on how to write an argument paper essay. (Note: many are YouTube videos.)