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Sufficiently Accurate Good Informational Essay

Argument: Definition

An argument is a reasoned, logical way of demonstrating the writer’s position, belief, or conclusion.  The writer makes a claim and then defends that claim with information from credible sources.  Students must clarify relationships between the claim and the evidence and address counter claims.  Argument takes the form of opinion in the elementary grades and evolves into argument in the middle and high school grades.

What are the characteristics of the argument text type?

Argument is an especially important text type since it requires the writer to provide reasoned, logical proof for a claim or assertion. The purpose of argument is to change the reader’s thinking, move the reader to action, or convince the reader to accept the writer’s explanation of a problem or concept. The complexities of this type of logical reasoning exceed the cognitive ability of most elementary students. Therefore, as a precursor to argument, elementary students are taught to express opinions that are well supported by facts and evidence.

“While all three text types are important, the Standards put particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical to college and career readiness.” (From Appendix A, page 24 of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.)

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard:  Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Argument is an especially important text type since it requires the writer to provide reasoned, logical proof for a claim or assertion. The purpose of argument is to change the reader’s thinking, move the reader to action, or convince the reader to accept the writer’s explanation of a problem or concept. The complexities of this type of logical reasoning exceed the cognitive ability of most elementary students. Therefore, as a precursor to argument, elementary students are taught to express opinions that are well supported by facts and evidence.

MAIN POINTS
Body Paragraphs

The main idea or a thesis statement is clearly defined. There may be more than one key point. Appropriate relevant information and details are shared from a variety of sources including personal experiences, observations, and prior knowledge. Supporting details are accurate, relevant, and helpful in clarifying the main idea(s).

The main idea can be identified. The writer shares relevant information, facts and experiences.  There is a clear distinction between general observations and specifics.  Supporting details are relevant and explain the main idea.

The main idea can be identified. The writer shares some information, facts and experiences, but may show problems going from general observations to specifics. Stronger support and greater attention to details would strengthen this paper.

More than one of the following problems may be evident: The main idea is not identifiable. The writer shares some information, but it is limited or unclear. Details are missing or repetitious.

 

STYLE 
Writer’s Voice, Audience Awareness,

The paper is honest and enthusiastic. The language is natural yet thought-provoking. It brings the topic to life. The reader feels a strong sense of interaction with the writer and senses the person behind the words.
Writing is smooth, skillful, and coherent.  Sentences are strong and expressive with varied structure

Writer's voice is  consistent and strong.  The writer is aware of an audience. The reader is informed and remains engaged. Sentences have varied structure.

 

Writer's voice may emerge strongly on occasion, then retreat behind general, vague, tentative, or abstract language. The writer is aware of an audience.  The reader is informed, but must work at remaining engaged. Sentence structure shows some variety.

Writing is confusing, hard to follow.  Language is vague.  No audience awareness.  No variety in sentence structure.

 

MECHANICS
Spelling, punctuation, capitalization

Punctuation, spelling, capitalization are correct.  No errors.

Punctuation, spelling, capitalization are generally correct, with few errors. (1-2)

A few errors in punctuation, spelling, capitalization. (3-4)

Distracting errors in punctuation, spelling, capitalization.

 

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