Monday, January 26, 2015

Understanding Argument: What Argument Is and What It Is not

What is the difference between argument and persuasion?

An Argumentative Essay

A Persuasive Essay

  • Makes claims based on factual evidence.
  • Makes counterarguments: The author takes opposing views into account.
  • Neutralizes or "defeats" serious opposing ideas.
  • Convinces audience through the merit and reasonableness of the claims and evidence offered.
  • Uses research for evidence.
  • Logic/reason based (Logos).

  • May make claims based on opinion.
  • Rarely will take opposing ideas into account.
  • Persuades by appealing to the audience’s emotion or by relying on the character or credentials of the writer – less on the merits of his or her reasons and evidence. 
  • Uses opinion, not evidence.
  • Emotion-based (Pathos).

What do the Indiana Career & College Readiness Standards say?
K-5 students write opinion pieces as a form of persuasive writing. Click here for the K-5 Persuasive Writing Standards.

Beginning in 6th grade, students are writing argument papers.

A great handout to use with students, via Mrs. E's Alright Page - Click here. Ask students to read the chart on their own. Then with a partner, students should note five key differences. Partners should highlight the most important key differences. Students should then share their most important key differences, arguing why their key difference is the most important.

Where do Ethos, Logos, & Pathos fit in? Click here for a quick visual from the Vermont Reads Institute.

Comparison of Opinion, Persuasive, and Argument writing from Smekens: Click here

How do Persuasion and Argument look differentClick here for a color-coded handout from the Smekens Institute that would be terrific to use with secondary students.

Get the kids moving. Agree/Disagree Corners get kids arguing! Click here for an explanation from Inter-Lakes School District in New Hampshire.

Transition Words & Phrases
Terrific, but too short, handout of transition words specifically for argument: Click here.
Transition Words in Argument Essays: Click here.
Awesome Organized Lists of Transition Words for Argument: Click here.