Structure of Argumentation
Lesson objective(s): Understanding essay structure.
Total estimated time: 60 minutes.
Course work or assignment underway: Second or Third Essay.
Work and/or reading completed before class:
Students have read an essay which is complete (not an excerpt) and does not have titled or marked sections. Examples from the Writing the Planet readings include Cronon and McPhee. When assigning the reading, require students to identify and mark the specific point in the essay where the introduction ends and the first main point begins. Next they will mark the spot where the first main point ends and the second point begins. They should then do the same for the rest of the essay, dividing the essay into sections. The final mark will note the beginning of the conclusion.
Sequence of Classroom Activities
1. Break students into groups. Ask them to compare the markings they have made. When they do not agree, ask them to resolve their differences. (20-30 minutes)
2. When each group has resolved its differences, work through the main points with the class as a whole. Use differences between group markings to discuss how groups arrived at their decisions and how the essay constructs its arguments and apportions textual space. (20-30 minutes)
Download: Planet Pre-Draft-Structure of Argumentation (PDF)