Using Evidence in Writing
Argument writing involves synthesizing the ideas present in multiple texts and then arranging these ideas to form a claim that is backed by evidence. Evidence-based writing involves an examination of evidence and the construction of an interpretation in response to an essential question and in consideration of the evidence. There are multiple forms of argument writing (e.g., editorials, letters, written debates, etc.). But in classrooms, the emphasis is typically toward essay writing. When assignments have an authentic purpose and a real audience, they are more motivating and can encourage students to interact with the real world through their writing.
As with the reading strategies presented in the previous unit, writing is conducted and managed through a host of cognitive processes. It is vital that teachers attempt to make their own cognitive processes visible through explanation and documentation so that students are immersed in the necessary steps that writers go through when producing meaningful written products.
Explore: Read Rosa Parks: Student Work [PDF] to see examples of student argument writing in history in response to the essential question that frames the investigation of the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955–1956.