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Standard 3: Critical Reading and Writing

Students will apply critical thinking skills to reading and writing.

 For more specific genre information, please refer to Genre Guidance (page 4 of the Support Documents).


WRITING: Students will write for varied purposes and audiences in all modes, using fully developed ideas, strong organization, well-chosen words, fluent sentences, and appropriate voice.
10.3.W.4 ARGUMENT - Grade Level Focus Students will introduce precise claims and distinguish them from counterclaims and provide sufficient evidence to develop balanced arguments, using credible sources.

Student Actions 

Teacher Actions 

  • Students will introduce precise claim(s). (Ideas)
  • Students will distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims. (Ideas) 
  • Students will consistently distinguish supporting evidence from repetition or extraneous details. (Organization) 
  • Students will consistently distinguish valid reasoning from a logical fallacy. (Ideas) 
  • Students will understand what comprises sufficient evidence based on the nature of argument or claim. (Ideas) 
  • Teachers explain what claims are.
  • Teachers model how to:
    • introduce a new claim
    • find other people’s claims within an argument
    • tell the difference between valid evidence and fallacies
    • address bias within an argument
    • properly cite sources
  • Teachers provide opportunities for students to practice each of the skills modeled.
  • Teachers ensure students receive feedback about the student’s ability to build an effective and supported argument.

Supporting Resource

Teacher Insights

OKELA Framework- Thesis Statements (webpage)

  • Argumentation is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish and defend a position on the topic in a concise manner (OSDE Glossary).

    • Argumentation explains what someone believes and wants an audience to recognize that that belief--or perspective--is a valid perspective; a writer making an argument will have a confident tone.

    • Persuasion actively campaigns for one perspective (the writer’s) to be “right” as he/she wants the audience to agree with him/her; a writer who is trying to persuade his/her audience will be more aggressive in his/her attempt to “sell” to that audience.

  • Students need to establish an arguable claim that expresses one opinion on a topic; other alternate or opposing claims should be recognized and addressed in a counterclaim, also known as a counterargument.

  • Students should be intentional in how they select and sequence their reasons and evidence to ensure the argument is logical and clear.

    • Though the standard five-paragraph essay may be a good place to start structuring or organizing an essay, in argumentation other structures can be experimented with-- Classical, Toulmin, and Rogerian.  

    • Claims are supported by multiple reasons, and then reasons are proven with thoroughly developed evidence.

    • Example:

      • Claim: Students should wear school uniforms.

      • Reason #1: Students will spend less time thinking about what they are wearing.

      • Evidence to prove Reason #1: Survey is conducted that shows how much time students spend getting dressed for school.

  • In arguments, writers will use different kinds of evidence (first-hand and second-hand evidence) because they make different appeals (ethos, pathos, or logos), and/or they have different effects on the audience and/or the argument.

    • For more information on these: Evidence should be from credible sources (a credible source is one written by authors respected in their fields of study). Responsible, credible authors will cite their sources to verify the accuracy of and support for what they’ve written.

  • Examples of Argumentation:

    • Literary Prompt: Students must argue whether or not a character is heroic.

    • Non-fiction: Take a stance on uniforms in school, and write your school board to argue your position.


  • Card Sort:

    • Provide students with a bag that has a claim, reasons and evidence that support the claim, and a counterclaim on index cards. Instruct students to arrange the cards in a logical order and then have them explain their organization.

      • As a scaffold, teachers may distinguish the roles of each card (claim, evidence, counterclaim, etc.).

Due to recursive nature of the standards, it is essential that teachers are aware of how all objectives within and between strands work together for optimal instruction.

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