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Warm-Ups

Learn to Argue / Persuade

Task 1-4

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Title: Warm-Ups
Below is a list of areas you might want to comment on in your assessment as well at updated levels and level descriptors
Good for having students see the features of argumentative writing in action.  Also lets them see a piece of writing as an examiner.

Task 1

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Harry Potter

Argumentative Writing –

Why Harry Potter is the most compelling book of its time.

 

Rewrite the following paragraph, but switch things around and restructure sentences in order to make it more argumentative.  Use rhetorical techniques.

 

Harry Potter is a solid series of books because it has good action sequences and interesting descriptions.  I like it tremendously.  It is a fascinating story of one boy who gets his world turned upside down when he discovers that he is a wizard.  Good writing must have intelligent characters and compelling plots.

A good book also has an interesting conflict and solid writing.  These books have a lot of pacing.  Pacing can be essential to making the difference between a good book and a poor book.  Good books move very quickly and never have a moment where I get bored. 

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Task 2

The Matrix

Argumentative Writing –

Why The Matrix is the best Science Fiction Film Ever.

 

Below is an example that uses no argumentative writing techniques.

 

The Matrix is a solid film because it has good action sequences and interesting visuals.  It is a fascinating story of one man who gets his world turned upside down and must learn to exist in an alternate reality.  I think science fiction films are fantastic because they give us something to think about while we enjoy action packed sequences. 

A good film has an interesting plot and solid acting.  Costumes add a lot to the atmosphere.  This film has pacing.  It moves very quickly and never has a moment where I was bored.  This film has excellent dialogue. 

Below is an example that uses argumentative writing techniques.

 

         Clearly, The Matrix is a solid film because it has good action sequences and interesting visuals.  It is a fascinating story of one man who gets his world turned upside down and must learn to exist in an alienating alternate reality.  We think science fiction films are fantastic because they give us something to think about while we enjoy action packed sequences. 

          What makes a good film?  A good film has an interesting plot and solid acting.  Costumes add a lot to the atmosphere.  What makes The Matrix particularly good?  Pacing.  Pacing.  Pacing.  It moves very quickly and never has a moment where we as the audience was bored.  Some people may say the film lacks a good dialogue between the characters, but they do not understand that dialogue is not what creates an excellent film.

 

Task 3

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Junk Food

Students can use the following two paragraphs as practice, picking out the features of argumentative writing
 

As a nation, we think junk food should be banned.  It creates a tremendous amount of health problems, especially for young children.  Do we want our youth becoming obsese? Absolutely not.

 

Moreover, another reason why junk food should be banned is that it is far too expensive where healthy foods are cheaper.  People are squandering their hard earned money.  Simply Squandering.  Some people would disagree and say the prices are reasonable but they would be wrong.  In conclusions, We feel that this is a major issue that does not get enough attention.

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Annotate the following.  Be sure to examine the entire piece of text.

 

_Rhetorical Questions              

_Occasional use of very short sentences

_Connectives & useful

_Facts and Opinions                

_Use of ‘we’ to involve the reader                   

_Repetition                              

_Counter-argument                                          

 

Task 4

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Chaucer

Students can use the following two paragraphs as practice, picking out the features of argumentative writing

Without a doubt Chaucer was a genius and an individual from the 1300s that we should remember today in our schools.  He is incredible.  He has tremendous value.  Though some people want to abandon him, I will argue that Chaucer still has purpose and relevance in today’s society. 

Furthermore, we need to really think about Chaucer as a literary figure and to value his great work, ‘The Canterbury Tales’.  How can this great writer – who allows us to teach about Middle English and British life in the 1300s – be abandoned for something modern?  In addition, what are the consequences for us as a culture if we ignore our past?

Some Headmasters and Governors think teaching Chaucer will not lead to improved SATs scores, but they are wrong.  Very wrong.  Appallingly wrong.  Chaucer can be taught to any student and it can be quite challenging depending on the focus.  Consequently, if students are challenged each lesson then they will do well in their SATs.

____________________________________________________________________________

Annotate the following.  Be sure to examine the entire piece of text.

 

_Rhetorical Questions              

_Occasional use of very short sentences

_Connectives & useful argumentative words

_Facts and Opinions                

_Use of ‘we’ to involve the reader                   

_Repetition                              

_Counter-argument                                          

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