1st Edition

The Argument Writing Toolkit Using Mentor Texts in Grades 6-8

By Sean Ruday Copyright 2016
    174 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    174 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    174 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    In order for students to write effective arguments, they need to read good arguments. In this practical book, you’ll find out how to use mentor texts to make writing instruction more meaningful, authentic, and successful. Author Sean Ruday demonstrates how you can teach middle school students to analyze the qualities of effective arguments and then help them think of those qualities as tools to improve their own writing. You’ll learn how to:

      • Introduce high-interest topics to students to get them interested and engaged in argument writing.
      • Teach students to look at multiple sides of an issue and critically evaluate evidence to construct informed, defensible arguments.
      • Make argument writing an interactive, student-driven exercise in which students pursue their own writing projects.
      • Use mentor texts to help students learn the core concepts of argument writing and apply those skills across the curriculum.

    The book is filled with examples and templates you can bring back to the classroom immediately, as well as an annotated bibliography which links the concepts in this book to the corresponding Common Core State Standards. Blank templates are also available as printable eResources on our website (http://www.routledge.com/9781138924390).

    Meet the Author


    Introduction Presenting the Tools of Argument Writing to Middle School Students

    Section One: Argument Writing Strategies Aligned with the Common Core Standards for Grades 6-8

    Chapter 1 Introducing Claims

    Chapter 2 Acknowledging Alternate and Opposing Claims

    Chapter 3 Supporting Claims with Reasons and Evidence while Using Credible Sources

    Chapter 4 Organizing Reasons and Evidence Logically

    Chapter 5 Using Words, Phrases, and Clauses to Create Cohesion and Clarify Relationships

    Chapter 6 Establishing and Maintaining a Formal Style

    Chapter 7 Creating an Effective Concluding Section

    Section Two: Putting it Together

    Chapter 8 Assessment Strategies

    Chapter 9 Final Thoughts and Tips for Classroom Practice

    Section Three: Resources

    Appendix A Argument Essays Featured in this Book

    Appendix B Reproducible Charts and Forms You Can Use in Your Classroom

    Appendix C Thoughts on Selecting Argument Writing Topics

    Annotated Bibliography Excerpts from Argument Essays Featured in this Book, Aligned with Specific Common Core Standards



    Sean Ruday is Assistant Professor of English Education at Longwood University. He is also the author of The Informational Writing Toolkit, The Common Core Grammar Toolkit, Grades 6-8, and The Common Core Grammar Toolkit, Grades 3-5.

    "In readable, accessible language, Sean Ruday covers all the bases for teaching argument writing to middle school students. The Argument Writing Tookit is exactly what teachers need to help students think logically and express themselves cogently about important topics. This is a book that all middle school teachers will want to keep within arm's reach."

    --Amy Benjamin, Literacy Consultant and author of thirteen books, including Infusing Grammar Into the Writer’s Workshop

    "Untangling an inherently complex task, Ruday supports middle school teachers in creating authentic argument writing experiences for students. Teachers will appreciate the student-friendly analysis of the attributes of effective argument writing, the concrete strategies for integrating reading and writing using mentor texts, and the thoughtful discussion on assessment--and busy teachers will find a treasure trove in the annotated bibliography. I will be using this book with my pre-service English teachers as it provides easy access into a significant instructional area that can panic the inexperienced!"

    --Natasha A. Heny, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English Education, University of Virginia

    "Ruday provides relevant, practical strategies that teachers can use to improve students' argumentative writing pieces. With the Common Core era upon us, it is imperative that teachers are able to effectively guide students to improve their writing skills, and Ruday successfully weaves the Common Core standards with interesting, easy-to-implement strategies and lessons."

    --Kim Wagner, 6th Grade Honors English Language Arts Teacher, Traughber Junior High School, IL