Argument Helping Students Understand What Essay Writing Is About

Argument Helping Students Understand What Essay Writing Is About-27
In the post, we quote a New Yorker article, “The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You,” that explains the strategies in a way that students may readily understand: In 350 B.C., Aristotle was already wondering what could make content — in his case, a speech — persuasive and memorable, so that its ideas would pass from person to person.In both, we first introduce readers to “mentor texts,” from The Times and elsewhere, that help them see how effective claims, evidence and counterclaims function in making a strong argument. We have heard from many teachers over the years that a favorite assignment is to have students each “adopt” a different newspaper columnist, and follow him or her over weeks or months, noting the issues they focus on and the rhetorical strategies they use to make their cases.

In the post, we quote a New Yorker article, “The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You,” that explains the strategies in a way that students may readily understand: In 350 B.

2017 Student Editorial Contest, “In Nothing We Trust.”" class="css-11cwn6f" src="https://static01com/images/2016/11/08/opinion/08heath Web-LN-2/08heath Web-article Inline.jpg?

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And to go even deeper, this lesson plan from 2010 focuses on a special section produced that year, “Op-Ed at 40: Four Decades of Argument and Illustration.” It helps students understand the role the Op-Ed page has played at The Times since 1970, and links to many classic pieces.__________2. In our lesson plan Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion, you’ll find activities students can use with any day’s Times to practice.

For instance, you might invite them to read an Op-Ed and underline the facts and circle the opinion statements they find, then compare their work in small groups.

Finally, if you’d like a recommendation for a specific Op-Ed that will richly reward student analysis of these elements, Kabby Hong, a teacher at Verona Area High School in Wisconsin, who will be our guest on our “Write to Change the World” webinar, recommends Nicholas Kristof’s column “If Americans Love Moms, Why Do We Let Them Die? Use the archives of Room for Debate, which featured succinct arguments on interesting topics from a number of points of view, to introduce students to perspectives on everything from complex geopolitical or theological topics to whether people are giving Too Much Information in today’s Facebook world.

We also have two comprehensive lesson plans — For the Sake of Argument: Writing Persuasively to Craft Short, Evidence-Based Editorials and I Don’t Think So: Writing Effective Counterarguments — that were written to support students in crafting their own editorials for our annual contest.

We use it in this lesson plan, in which students explore the use of these rhetorical devices via the Op-Ed “Rap Lyrics on Trial” and more.

The lesson also helps students try out their own use of rhetoric to make a persuasive argument.

It begins this way: Here at the Op-Ed page, there are certain questions that are as constant as the seasons. If you read the editorials, you know that they present a pretty consistent liberal point of view.

There are lots of other ways of looking at the world, to the left and right of that position, and we are particularly interested in presenting those points of view.


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