Short Argumentative Essay Example. Page 1 of 50 - About 500 Essays Narrative Essay On Boyfriend. Stayed like this for a couple of minutes, but then I realized what I. Suggestions for Developing Argumentative Essays 1. Select an arguable topic, preferably one which interests, puzzles, or appeals to you. Make sure your topic is neither too broad-something which warrants a dissertation-nor too limited. Team Patton 'Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.' -Helen Keller Students. Writing Word Work Science and Social Studies.
A person only has to spend 5 minutes in the company of a middle schooler to find out they LOVE to argue. And if someone is going to encourage them to argue and even teach them how to be good at it, they will form a line at the door to get in.
How to Make Argument Writing Meaningful
As with all writer’s workshop units (which you can read more about HERE), if we can help students find topics they are passionate about, teaching the art of argumentative writing becomes relevant. If we impress upon them the need they have right now for learning how to “argue” effectively, they will understand that argumentative writing is the single most important writing genre they will learn.
I like to start by introducing a real-life example that the kids can relate to. The example below clearly shows how the boy prepares his argument based on his audience. It also illustrates the difference between argument and persuasion and how to use specific evidence and counterarguments to one’s advantage.
Choosing an Argumentative Essay Topic
Weeks before we start our argumentative writing unit, we begin a topics page in our writer’s notebooks. Using the books and articles we’ve read in class, as well as current events from social studies, the kids begin generating a running list of issues that interest them.
“Every issue that interests them” means we end up with ideas like “Should the Government Prepare for the Zombie Apocolypse?” but this is the time when anything goes. We can weed out the flakes later.
This year we wrote two argumentative essays. The first one was a warm-up essay that didn’t require the kids to do research because I supplied the necessary information. I also didn’t require as many supporting details in the body. I found interesting short articles from Scholastic and NewsELA and had the kids use those text sets for evidence.
Writing a modified essay before starting our writer’s workshop argumentative essay worked beautifully. Students developed a good grasp the essay’s structure before we did our “heavy-duty industrial strength” version.
After the smaller essay came the BIG KAHUNA, an argumentative writing workshop. This time I wanted the kids to choose one they feel strongly about. We started with quick-writes, which are always a huge hit with the 7th-grade crowd.
To do this, I slowly read them a list of controversial topics, like the ones from the list below. During quick-writes, the kids write fast and furiously, jotting down everything they can think of about the topic before I read the next topic. They write and write and write.
Sometimes I accidentally smoosh the topics too closely together and read them really fast. This gets the kids all worked up because they don’t have enough time and they hoot and holler about it.
Of course, I don’t do this too often. And it’s always by accident. I swear.
Some teachers call this kind of writing “throwing up on the paper.” I don’t, because that gives me a bad visual, and we are dainty and cultured in my class. 😉 So I prefer the kinder, gentler term I call “spitting up” on the paper. 😉
The bottom line is that the kids write about different topics until their hands ache and their fingers are about ready to fall off right there into the aisle.
(I’m telling you, my kids LOVE quick-writes. Any time they can hoot and holler and spit up and there is at least a possibility that someone’s hand might fall off…they’re all in.)
Argument Writing is a Real-Life Skill
The result? The kids were proud that soon afterward, the laws in our state were improved. Maybe it wasn’t due to us. But just maybe it was. Which is pretty cool indeed.
On writing in Engineering (for use in syllabi)
Detailed, accurate, and persuasive writing is crucial in all engineering fields. In fact, Aaron Krawitz, who teaches mechanical and aerospace engineering courses at the University of Missouri, notes that 'because of the technical nature of engineering, and the financial and legal consequences, [engineers] might arguably be asked to present more ideas in writing (and verbally) than most graduates of our campus.' (Patton et al. 66). The writing required of engineers is not limited to formal design proposals or descriptive lab reports; they also compile and explore ideas, design sketches, and record observations in laboratory notebooks. Organizing ideas in these ways allows engineers to keep track of ideas and communicate them to others. The record of these ideas may be important not only to research in engineering, but also to the patent process.
Sample syllabi in Engineering
Civil Engineering 4101 Project Management and Economics
Informal writing, proposals, reflective memos, and contract grading
Mechanical Engineering 4054 Design Projects
Progress memos, design notebooks, team projects
Mechanical Engineering 4431 Energy Conversion Systems
Lab notebooks and reports, oral presntations
Sample assignments in Engineering
Mechanical Engineering 2001 Reflecting on your Index Card Platform
Etudents reflect on their own design solutions and those of their peers
Argumentative Writing 2 Team Patton Middle School
Electrical Engineering 3222 Course Project
Students design and build a prototype of a machine
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Mechanical Engineering 4054 Design Project Final Report
A broad range of writing considerations (objectives, audience, style, organization, data presentation, collaborative writing)
Civil Engineering / Geology 4301 Laboratory Assignment
Formal scientific writing (procedure, results, calculations, references), including a cover letter and appendices
Mechanical Engineering 4331 Informal Lab Report
writing guidelines, instructions, and conventions for informal lab reports
Mechanical Engineering 4331 Boiling Heat Transfer
specific assignment using informal lab report guidelines
Mechanical Engineering 4331 Formal Lab Report
writing and content guidelines for writing a formal lab report
Mechanical Engineering 4331 Natural Convective Heat Transfer from Fins
lab manual assignment that focuses on professional writing
Sample grading rubrics in Engineering
Civil Engineering 4101W Contract Grading Rubric
Contract rules for students' course grades
Civil Engineering 4101W Grading Rubrics
Grading rubrics to evaluate individual and collaborative writing
Research strategies in Engineering
Civil Engineering Database (American Society of Civil Engineers)
Argumentative Writing 2 Team Patton Jr
Resources for Authors (American Society of Civil Engineers)
Additional writing resources for instructors in Engineering
Argumentative Writing 2 Team Patton Oswalt
Engineers on Writing (Colorado State U.)
'Collaboration, English Composition, and the Engineering Student: Constructing Knowledge in the Integrated Engineering Program' (Arizona State University)
Library Support for Instructors
Additional writing resources for students in Engineering
Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students (Penn State)
Related research in Engineering
'Dealing with Resistance to WAC in the Natural and Applied Sciences' (University of Missouri - Columbia)
'Teaching Collaborative Writing and Peer Review Techniques to Engineering and Technology Undergraduates' (California State University)
Language and Learning Across the Disciplines (LLAD): Engineering Issue (Colorado State University)
Patton, Martha D., Aaron Krawitz, Kay Libbus, Mark Ryan, and Martha A. Townsend. 'Dealing with Resistance to WAC in the Natural and Applied Sciences.' Language and Learning Across the Disciplines. 3:1. University of Missouri. http://wac.colostate.edu/llad/v3n1/patton.pdf.