Though we had taken a few moments during last week’s lessons to briefly discuss argumentative writing and the characteristics of quality writing, today we delved headlong into it. First, the students had the opportunity to share what they remembered of the characteristics of quality writing from last week. Then, I shared with them the six general writing traits we tend to focus upon when writing:
- Word Choice
- Sentence Fluency
The students were then shown a couple more examples of argumentative writing in action. The students listened to the first two minutes of the most recent podcast from the Freakonomics blog entitled “Fitness Apartheid.” Should residents of an apartment building who pay a discounted rate be able to partake in more luxurious amenities? We took a moment to have a brief discussion on both sides of the issue presented within “FItness Apartheid.” Next, the students read a written example of argumentative writing at work (text can be found in the PowerPoint below).
We ended class today with the students choosing 3-5 of the topics they found the most interesting. They then narrowed those down to two with which they will create a Circle Map to brainstorm. These will become the foundation of the argumentative essays they will be writing in class this week.
Here are two more links to even more argumentative writing topics:
- New York Times: 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing
- Each topic is linked to resources to help formulate your arguments or even brainstorm.
- About.com Education: 50 Argumentative Essay Topics
- Some of the topics featured here have external links to more resources.
- Read for 30 minutes.
- Complete the Circle Map of two topics (except 3rd period)
- Study for Wednesday’s lesson 4 vocabulary quiz