Developing students’ ability to write an argument has become a focus for preparing students for college and career readiness. Writing logical arguments based on substantive claims, sound reasoning, and relevant evidence is a cornerstone of the Common Core Writing Standards. Argument writing is also being viewed as a vehicle to generate and demonstrate students’ knowledge and understanding in all content areas.
In response to the anticipated need to provide teachers with effective approaches and strategies to teach argument writing, the Gateway Writing Project has developed a professional development opportunity that will help lay the foundation for teaching argument writing. The program stresses the positive implications of the word “argument” so that students learn and experience the qualities of civil discourse while examining and presenting issues that are complex and timely.
David Coleman, the co-author of the Common Core Literacy Standards, has asserted that we need to teach students to “read like a detective and write like an investigative reporter.” Taking this assertion to heart, the GWP focus is to demonstrate ways to learn how to read text carefully and then to write clearly about it.