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Knowledge and Skills Statement

Composition: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student uses genre characteristics and craft to compose multiple texts that are meaningful.

Task students with composing an argumentative text in response to an issue of interest in the local community, school, or class. Have students prepare the argumentative text to be delivered as a speech or video presentation. Student responses must reflect an understanding of their audience and include a clear claim, relevant evidence in support of the argument, and genre characteristics and craft. 

Further Explanation

This assessment requires students to develop an argument in response to an issue of local interest. Students should develop a clear claim, or stance, on the issue and support that claim with relevant and specific facts and evidence. Students should apply each of the components in the writing process as they move from a first draft to a final piece of writing. Student speeches should be organized, have a logical progression of ideas, and effectively use grade-appropriate language and conventions of writing.

a text written to demonstrate to an audience that a certain position or idea is valid and that others are not The writer appeals to reason, develops, defends, or debates the topic, connecting a series of statements in an orderly way so they lead to a logical conclusion.
the intentional and deliberate use of organizational patterns, text and graphic features, sentence structures, devices, and language to create an effective written work Author’s craft may vary by genre.
Students are expected to compose effective, multi-paragraph argumentative papers. They should understand that an argumentative text demonstrates to an audience that a certain position on a topic is logical/correct while other positions are not. Student argumentative writing must have a clear central argument, or claim, that is 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 by exploring the nuances of the idea. Students should also be able to develop more than one idea related to the claim over multiple paragraphs, showing the relationships between the ideas through effective transitions.
the form, format, elements, and techniques typically used within a particular genre


1. Mora-Gonzalez, C. A., Anderson, C. E., & Cuesta-Media, L. (2018). Graphic Organizers Support Young L2 Writers' Argumentative Skills. GIST Education and Learning Research Journal, 17, 6–33. Retrieved from

Summary: This is a study of a group of grade 6 Colombian English learners. The learners are asked to present arguments in their second language. Graphic organizers were used to support students' brainstorming and to assist students in structuring information in order to support a successful argument.

2. Hillocks, G. (2010). Teaching argument for critical thinking and writing: An introduction. The English Journal, 99(6), 24–32. Retrieved from

Summary: This article advocates that English education should be more aligned with critical thinking and writing. The opportunity to be an agent of change as a citizen is often overlooked when the development of such skills as writing, reading comprehension, critical thinking and literary are not used to create an equitable society. The author demonstrates how teaching argumentative writing is a platform for change.