Analyzing the Body of an Argument

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SWBAT analyze the body section of an argument piece to determine the effectiveness of the section.

Big Idea

In this case milk will not help - organized, relevant, specific evidence does a body good.

Warm Up

15 minutes

Today is Free Read Friday.  (The link here takes will take you to an earlier lesson with my reflection explaining Free Read Friday.) Students will read their personal library books for the first 15 minutes of class.


30 minutes

I'll open the lesson by asking students…"Now that we have an introduction, what is the next logical step in your argument piece?"  They'll know we need to move to the body section.  So, together we'll identify what the body section needs, and I'll list what we come up with on the SMART board.  

To goal is that an argument body needs -

1. Reasons to support the claim
2. Relevant Evidence to support each reason
3. An explanation of how the evidence supports each reason

Next I'll ask students to take a copy of "Homework Revolution"(from Teen Ink) from their caddy.  This piece is familiar because we used the opening of it to discuss leads in a previous class.

Today, I want students to focus on the body section, so while I'm giving them the entire piece, I have notated the copy (see resources) to show where the introduction, body and conclusion begin and end.

Using the ingredients of a good body section we've discussed, I want students to analyze and notate the piece to prepare for a discussion of the pros and cons of the body.

After students have had time to notate, we'll read the section together and discuss pros and cons.

One con my students came up with is that they got lost and it seemed like reasons overlapped and evidence was out of place, so we had an impromptu discussion about the need for organized thinking and transitions to help your audience.  This led to a number four being added to the list above.

4. Transitions (link provided to students in Edmodo) 

In addition to this, Homework Revolution provides a great discussion piece.  We looked at several issues.  Students felt that the author had too many unsupported generalized statements and seemed to ramble and "harp" on the situation instead of building an organized argument. 

Wrap Up

5 minutes

To wrap up class today, I'll ask students to share a their tables what they learned from this piece. Then we'll share one point from each group.  Then, I'll remind them to consider what they have learned as they will need to apply it tomorrow when we begin writing their body sections.