American Lit: American Dream Essay, Day 3


ELAGSE11-12W1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  1. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  2. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.
  3. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
  4. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

Learning Target: I can write an argument to synthesize several sources to defend my position about whether or not the American Dream is still accessible.

Opening Session: Today is all about the Counterargument, so we’re going to start off with a video that does a pretty good job of demonstrating the counterargument with the perennial question Is Water Wet?

Work Session: Today I want everyone focused on the counterargument of their essay. I like to use this sentence stem to start off the counterargument paragraph:

  • Some people think _______________________________________, but those people are wrong because _____________________________________________________. 

That’s a fairly simple opening sentence for a counterargument, but it gets the job done. You can use it if you like for your essay.

After you get a solid draft of a counterargument done, swap with a friend and give each other some constructive feedback.

Closing Session: Let’s share out a few of the best counterargument paragraphs! If your buddy had a really good one, share it!

Assessment: Formal (essays will be graded)

Differentiation: Process (scaffolded essay prompts), Product (varied essay requirements)

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