Best-of-Smekens Writing Conference:
Writing Remix 2019

SECRET SITE

Modes & Genres

SESSION 1

Meet the Argumentative Writing Standard

Collect details for all perspectives

Identify details, facts, pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses, etc. for all sides.

Eventually, reveal multiple perspectives within informational texts. The Perspectives Flipbook series offers two major positions on historical events and hot topics.

Several websites offer excellent informative text that reveals hot topics, current trends, and kid-friendly issues.

Infer a commercial’s claim

Start with commercials where the claim is very clear.

Then move to less obvious arguments.

Choose a position in 4 steps

Teach students to first chart the perspectives before choosing a position.

List many good reasons

Collect details to infer reasons

Observe a 30-minute lesson and activity executed in a Concord Junior High science class.

Order reasons for maximum effect

Present both sides

A more sophisticated organization is the They say… I say… rhythm. This organization creates an interior debate where the writer juggles both perspectives throughout the body. (Taylor Swift’s letter to Apple demonstrates this organization.)

Clinch it with a clever statement

I look forward to seeing girls in the next catalog you send out.

Not everything about chocolate-covered marshmallows is sweet.

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us for free music.

The government whisks away clouds of smoke while legislating clouds of discrimination.

Download student writing samples with strong introductions and conclusions