About This Course
Argument writing is a process of the writer seeking clarity on a position and reasonably defending it with valid reasons and evidence, always taking into account opposing positions. In The Aims of Argument by Timothy W. Crusius and Carolyn E. Channell, they identify four aims for writing four different types of arguments: inquiry, conviction, persuasion and mediation. As they point out, we argue in order to accomplish something. We may want to argue to inquire into a problem, question or issue in order to clarify our opinion. We may want to argue to convince, making a reasoned case to gain the assent of our audience. We may want to argue to persuade, moving others to believe as we do and to take action. Or we may argue to mediate, seeking agreement and cooperation. While the aims of arguments do have much in common, they also differ in terms of purpose, audience, situation and method.
In our argument writing course, we will argue to persuade. Like convincing, persuasion attempts to earn agreement, but the writer wants to influence not just thinking but also behavior. Persuasive arguments, like all types of arguments, use sound reasoning to defend a claim, but they don’t rely on reasoning alone. Persuasive argument writers write with voice and make stylistic choices to appeal to the audiences’ emotions.
In order to teach your students how to write persuasive arguments, you will be reading and analyzing argument essays and writing your own. You will take a stand on issues you care about, asking yourself, How can we make the world a better place?
Students, of all ages, are aware of unfairness around them that they want to take a stand on. In your classroom, you can support students to believe in the power of their ideas and the power of using writing to communicate their ideas to others. We are fortunate to live in a country founded on the principle that speaking up against injustices is a democratic right. Persuasive argument writing is courageous writing.
About Accelerated Literacy Learning
This course was developed by content experts from Accelerated Literacy Learning (A.L.L.). A.L.L. provides institutes, workshops, onsite and online professional development. If you and your colleagues would like more information about customized professional development with one of our many consultants including Brenda Wallace, please contact A.L.L. director, Susan Radley Brown at www.acceleratedliteracylearning.com.