Knowledge and Skills Statement
A knowledge and skills statement is a broad statement of what students must know and be able to do. It generally begins with a learning strand and ends with the phrase “The student is expected to:” Knowledge and skills statements always include related student expectations.
Following explicit instruction with modeling, task students with writing a multi-paragraph argumentative text. Develop a rubric to assess students' multi-paragraph argumentative texts. Depending on the specific argumentative text, the rubric can include the following elements:
- Various types of evidence to support the argument
- Organizational structure supporting the purpose
- Print and graphic features
- Use of language to create mood, voice, and tone
- Appropriate point of view
- Use of appropriate rhetorical devices
Students should be able to compose effective, multi-paragraph argumentative papers. Students’ writing must have a clear central argument or claim supported by evidence. Their writing is expected to be organized and coherent and include an introduction and a conclusion. Students at this grade level should understand how to develop a single idea over multiple paragraphs. Students should also be able to develop more than one related idea over multiple paragraphs, showing the relationships between the ideas.
Glossary Support for ELA.8.11.C
1. Klein, P. D., & Rose, M. A. (2010). Teaching argument and explanation to prepare junior students for writing to learn. Reading Research Quarterly, 45(4), 433–461. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1598/RRQ.45.4.4
Summary: In this study, Klein and Rose examine how students respond to various writing tasks and assignments. The teachers used the process writing approach, which included creating an outline, drafts, and a final paper. The revision and edit process lends itself to implementing teacher and peer oral and written feedback. The study reveals that there are specific as well as varied means to teach the writing process to students. Students must use prior knowledge and have access to relevant external sources (i.e. internet).
2. Wagemans, J. H. M. (2011). The assessment of argumentation from expert opinion. Argumentation, 25, 329-330. doi:10.1007/s10503-011-9225-8
Summary: Wagemans discusses the impact of presenting an argument from a position of expertise and experience. This article includes Walton's comprehensive tool that can be used for the reconstruction as well as the evaluation of an argument from an expert opinion. The tool provides a template for analyzing opposing opinions and suggestions for posing critical questions of the expert. The tool can be used as a framework to teach writing skills or reading comprehension.
3. Hillocks, G. (2010). Teaching argument for critical thinking and writing: An introduction. The English Journal, 99(6), 24–32. Retrieved from
Summary: In this article, Hillocks places an emphasis on the use of culturally related topics to teach the genre characteristics and craft of writing an argumentative essay or commentary. The article addresses the claim, evidence and warrant, backing, qualifications, and rebuttals. Using background knowledge, students are asked to write an argumentative essay that includes supporting evidence, counterarguments, and an analysis of the weaknesses and gaps in the counterarguments. The articles includes graphs and examples.