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Developing Writers of Argument

  • Title:Developing Writers of Argument: Tools and Rules That Sharpen Student Reasoning
  • Author:Michael W. Smith, Jon-Philip Imbrenda, Foreword by Jim Burke
  • Publication Date:January 2018
  • Grade Level:6-12
  • ISBN:9781506354330
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

The ability to make effective arguments is not only necessary in students’ academic lives, it’s a transferable skill that’s essential to students’ future success as critical thinkers and contributing members of society.

But in the here and now, how do we engage students and ensure they understand argument writing’s fundamental components? How do we take them from “Here’s what I think” to “Here’s what I think. Here’s what makes me think that. And here’s why it matters”?

This stunning, full-color book shows the way, with ready-to-implement lessons that make argument writing topical and relevant. Students are first asked to form arguments about subjects that matter to them, and then to reflect on the structure of those arguments, a process that provides learners with valuable, reusable structural models.

Throughout the book, the authors provide helpful instructional tools, including:

  • Literary, nonfiction, and author-created simulated texts that inspire different points of view
  • Essential questions to create a context that rewards argumentation
  • Lessons introducing students to the three essential elements of an argument—claim, data, and warrant—and how to make each effective
  • Questioning probes, semantic differential scales, and other innovative instructional approaches
  • Samples of writing from the authors’ own students, and enlightening details on how this work informed the authors’ subsequent teaching approach

Complete with guidance on applying the lessons’ techniques in a broader, unit-wide context, Developing Writers of Argument offers a practical approach for instructing students in this crucial aspect of their lifelong development.

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Author Bio

Michael Smith is a professor in Temple University's College of Education. In his research he works to understand how experienced readers read and talk about literary texts, how adolescents read and talk about texts both in and out of school, and how teachers can help prepare students to have more meaningful transactions when they read, interests he developed during his eleven years of teaching high school English.

Jon-Philip Imbrenda, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Instruction and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, has taught reading and writing to high school and college students for over 15 years. He is a recipient of the Sigol Award from the International Society for Technology in Education and the Dr. Rita Wolotkiewicz award for outstanding professional achievement in education.

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