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Argument Writing

Students in upper elementary grades should be able to write pieces that introduce a topic and state their opinion. 

Further, students at this level should have some ability to create an organizational structure within their writing so that related ideas are grouped together and support the writer’s opinion. Applying their new skills in writing five-paragraph essays, upper elementary writers’ argument writing should include an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion. For example, in an essay that argues the need for people shop locally, such a claim would be presented in the introduction.  The three body paragraphs could be split between evidence for shopping locally (pro position), and a counter argument against shopping locally (con position).  The author’s personal position could be stated in the conclusion.

These logically organized reasons should be supported with facts and details.  Students at this level should have an understanding of facts versus opinions. An introduction of opposing arguments and their weaknesses should be introduced late in the elementary years.

Argument writing in adolescent years requires skill in logic.  Parents working with students at home can establish a foundation in critical thinking through the use of Building Thinking Skills 2 Worktext by The Critical Thinking Company.