Solo Living

Argument Unit 2: “Solo Living” 

Unit Descriptions | Formative Assessment |Final Assessment | Day 1-2 Lessons | Day 3-4 Lessons | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 |

Pacing Calendar


Mo Tu We Th Fr
Introduce the Claim

Foramtive Assessment


Foramtive Assessment

Mo Tu We Th Fr

1.Introduce the Position/Point of View & Thesis Statement 
2. Dissecting Text #2

  • Claim
  • Point of View
  • Evidence

  • Introduce Counter Claim
  • Find opposing evidence

  • Annotating texts
  • Sorting out Pros & Cons evidence

  • Review the structure of the intro.
  • Students practice making a claim based on their reading and write an introductory paragraph
1. Introduce the structure, pattern and transitional words.
2.Review the structure of a sample body paragraph. Students begin constructing 1st body paragraph. Peer-edit using the checklist.

Construct the body para.
Use the feedback from the checklist to teach what has not been understood concerning the body paragraph. Construct the 2nd body paragraph. Share in small groups.


  • Introduce the Rubric. Students use the rubric to revise.
  • Students use the first draft for peer-review using the rubric.

Final Draft due March 12, 2012.


Enduring Understanding(s) 
Students will understand that…

  • writing is a process, not an outcome.
  • writing is a means of self-exploration.
  • writing an argument paper is a way the academic world shares and evolves ideas.
  • Being able to read, synthesize, analyze, and evaluate informational texts can lead to a greater, more accurate understanding of a complex topic.
  • The effectiveness of argumentative writing relies on the strength of the claims and the supporting details and how effectively the author explains the evidence and establishes a link between the claim and the evidence.
  • Writers develop and present arguments and support their claims using evidence and explanation drawn from reliable sources.
  • Living alone does not mean feeling lonely but a personal choice of life.

Essential Questions:  
To understand, students will need to consider such questions as….

  • What impact does being able to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate informational texts have on person’s understanding of a complex topic?
  • How do writers of informational texts use examples and evidence effectively to convince a reader of their claim?
  • How can I evaluate claims made in informational texts and reconcile competing claims from multiple sources?
  • How is living alone different from being lonely?
  • How do people live alone but do not feel lonely?

Reading Informational Texts

  1. Strategies for reading and comprehending expository argumentative texts
  2. Strength of an author’s claim and the evidence and reasoning the author uses to support that claim
  3. Argument Writing
  4. Components of Academic Argument
  5. Evidence & Reasoning
  6. Analysis
  7. Conclusion
  8. Adhering to the conventions of standard written English
  9. Terms and relationship between claims and counterclaims


  1. Determine the central idea of an informational text.
  2. Formulate the claims that support a position.
  3. Summarize an author’s argument clearly and coherently.
  4. Evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of an author’s argument in a nonfiction text.
  5. Identify and explain how the author has linked evidence directly to the claims
  6. Identify limitations of evidence provided by the author to support the claims made.
  7. Read complex text independently.

  1. RI.9- 10.1: Cite strong and through evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  2. RI.9-10.10: By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 9-10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  3. W.9-10.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an argument.
  4. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  5. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  6. Use words, phrases, and clauses 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)











After reviewing the components of a written argument, as well as domain specific vocabulary, students will be asked to read a text in the sequence independently and write a 2-3 paragraph summary of the text including: the overall topic and why it is relevant, the author’s position, the type of evidence that the author used to support his/her claim, students may also be asked to respond to the text  and whether they agree or disagree with the claim either in writing or as a discussion using evidence from the text.



Students will write an argumentative essay, using evidence from the readings, to take a position on ” Being single is who we are at heart”.

Directions for writing the argument essay on “Solo Living”
You have read information from several sources, heard from other people including your family members about “living alone”. When you consider what all these different sources say about the virtue or vice of living alone:

  • What are the positive aspects of solo living?
  • What are the negative aspects of solo living?

Write an essay in which you-

  • Explain what’s at stake: why does this issue matter?
  • Develop and state your own position on the issue.
  • Use counter claims to make clear the oppositional position on the issue
  • Use rebuttal to strengthen your claims
  • Defend your position with a range of different types of evidence ( from various  sources)
  • Draw your own conclusions about the effects of solo living.

Alone Again, Naturally (See the articles in the packet)
One’s a Crowd (See the articles in the packet )

Day 1-Day 2Introducing Argument

Objectives: Students will be introduced and understand the important concept of an argument-A position on an important issue, backed up by evidence and careful reasoning.

Aim: What are the building blocks of argument?

Do Now: Describe a situation where you have witnessed or participated in arguments where people have different positions and use evidence to convince one another about an issue.


Part. I  Terminology

In order to avoid confusion in discussing argumentation, the following terms will be used throughout this workshop:

1.Claim: A statement that focuses on an issue within a broad topic. It is general belief or assertion about this issue and is expressed without support, warrants, or proof of its validity.

Topic: baseball
Claim: Good pitching is essential for winning the pennant.
Topic: Baseball
Claim: Athletes’ use of steroids adversely affects Baseball.

Make your own claim-


Topic: Education
Claim: Homework is a crucial part of students’ education.
Topic: Education
Claim: Good teachers don’t give much homework.

Make your own claim-


2. Point of view/ stance/position: An argumentative opinion within a document. It reflects the complex personal background of the author and expresses where the speaker stands on a topic at a given time.

Point of view: the Yankees will win the pennant this year.
Point of view: Players who use steroids should be banned for baseball.

Your point of view :


Point of view: Students should not take after- school jobs.
Point of view: Mr. X is a really poor teacher.

Your point of view :


Thesis statement: A premise that an author hopes to prove. It is a proposition to be developed and defend in the presentation of the argument.

Thesis statement: The Yankee will win the pennant this year because they have the best starting pitching staff in baseball.
Thesis statement: Players who use steroids should be banned from baseball because these drugs damage the players’ health and give them an advantage over those who do not use steroids.
Thesis statement: After- school jobs reduce the amount of time students can spend on homework, thereby reducing the quality of their academic performance.
Thesis statement: Mr. X is really poor teacher because he gives so much homework that students get discouraged.

Supporting evidence: information that leads the reader to accept the author’s thesis. This information is gathering from a variety of sources and, along with its sources, is provides within the text.

  1.  Rebuttal evidence. Information that challenges the author’s thesis. This information offers an opposing view on the premise and should be addressed in the argument because of its contradictory.
  2. Analytical argument:  An examination and critique of other texts. This type of argument is most common in academic examinations, such as AP, where students have to illustrate their skills in using texts as a basis for response to prompt.
  3. Persuasive argument: An argument designed to move an audience. This type of argument reflects most “real life” presentations, where the author wants an audience to respond in some manner.
  4. Conclusion: A summary of the author’s point of view. After the evidence has been weighed and evaluated. This is the author’s final statement on the claim.

Meaning Making

Introduce the context for the argument the class will be working on by reading and discussing this passage:

2. Using this introductory passage, introduce students to the key terms they will be using:

  • Context: This is information that would help a reader or a listener to understand why an issue matters or what is at stake.
  • Position
  • Claim and counterclaim
  • Sources of evidence (primary sources like personal experience, interviews, research data; secondary sources; like summary article, textbooks, etc.)
  • Understanding the Building Blocks of Argument

Transfer: Based on your reading, discuss how each element adds to the larger argument. Why is each “building block” important?

Homework #1: Complete the worksheet “PART II: Identifying the Elements of an Argument in a Text”

Day 3

Objectives: Students will understand the Strengths and Limits of Different Types of Sources.

Aim: How do we determine the strengths and limits of different sources?

Do Now: Respond-Why or why not do you believe every source you may come across in the internet is authentic?Explain.


  1. What claim (assertion) does the author make?
  2. What point of view (argumentative opinions) does the author adopt about this claim?
  3. What is the author’s thesis?
  4. Give two or three examples of evidence from the text that support the thesis?
  5.  Is it possible to cite evidence from the text that challenges the author’s position?
  6. At whom is the argument directed, and what does this choice of audience suggest about its purpose?
  7. What conclusion does the author establish?

Meaning Making Activities: Divide students into small groups.

Each group will view a different kind of source:

Day 4 Writing the Introduction( see the Argument Essay Guidelines)

HW#5 Complete the introductory paragraph.

Day 5Dissecting a Text-Comparing and Contrasting Two Sources

Objectives: Students will be able to distinguish the difference between the supporting evidence and evidence for rebuttal; they will use the relevant information to write the body paragraph for their argument essay.

Aim: How do we identify the appropriate information from the articles for and use it accordingly for the argument essay?

Sources: Living Alone

Do Now: Find information for the articles to respond to the topic : Why does it matter( living alone)? Post in the forum to share.

Acqusition: Review concepts of

  • claim
  • point of view/author’s position
  • thesis statement
  • supporting evidence
  • counter claim & opposing evidence

Meaning Making

Work with your group members to complete the worksheet

1.What is the general topics of the two articles you read?

2. What claim (assertion) does each author make about the topic?

       Article  1 “Alone Again, Naturally” by Dominique Browning

                     Article 2 “One’s a Crowd” by Eric Klinenberg

3.What Point of view (argumentative opinion) is expressed in each article?

           Article  1 “Alone Again, Naturally” by Dominique Browning

                          Article 2 “One’s a Crowd” by Eric Klinenberg

4. What evidence is cited to support each author’s point of view?

           Article  1 “Alone Again, Naturally” by Dominique Browning                      Article 2 “One’s a Crowd” by Eric Klinenberg

5. Is there opposing evidence cited in the texts? If so, give some examples.

      Article  1 “Alone Again, Naturally” by Dominique Browning                      Article 2 “One’s a Crowd” by Eric Klinenberg


Transfer: How does the author of each article address the issue of “Living Alone”

HW#6 Complete the worksheet.

Day 6 Writing the Body Paragraphs 1-2

Objectives: Students will learn the structure of the body paragraphs that state & support the claim of the argument essay.

Aim: How do we organize the information that has been collected to make a strong and persuasive claim?

Do Now: Write a claim statement and share it in the forum. The claim statement could be your own or one you have identified in the articles.


  1. What is the connection between a topic-sentence claim statement and claim in the introduction?
  2. Supporting evidence: information that leads the reader to accept the author’s thesis.
  3. Structure of the body paragraphs 1 & 2 – in support of the claim
    • Begin with a statement or reason which supports the claim mentioned in the intro ( topic sentence)
    • Give specific evidence from the text to support the claim
    • Explain ends with the transition/concluding sentence that brings the reader smoothly to the next paragraph

Meaning Making

Join your group members to write a paragraph together. Group leader types the paragraph in the forum and the rest of the group completes the graphic organizer for Para 1on paper.

Body Para 1- Reason abd Evidence

1. Topic sentence

2. Reason


  • example 1
  • example 2


Transfer: Is there logic in the ways the information is organized in the body paragraph?

HW#7 Complete at least one body paragrpah that supports the claim.

Day 7 Writing the “Counter Claim” paragraph

Objectives: Students will be able to state a counter claim on the topic and use the evidence to support the rebuttal; students will be able to use the sample structure to organize the information for the 3rd body paragraph of the argument essay.

Aim: How to use counter claim, rebuttal and evidence to strengthen your argument essay?

Do Now: Find or write a counter claim on ” living alone”. Share in the forum.


Review concepts of –

  • counter claim- positions (arguments) that dispute your thesis ( position)
  • rebuttal: criticism of the opposing arguments
  • Why rebuttal?
    • It is important to consider other positions because in most cases, your audience will be fence-sitters. Fence-sitters are people who have not decided which side of the argument to support.You need to persuade this particular group.
  • Rebuttal evidence. Information that challenges the author’s thesis. This information offers an opposing view on the premise and should be addressed in the argument because of its contradictory.
  • Structure of Body Para 4
      1. State counter claim as a topic sentence- use language that indicates the claim lacks strength ( For example, “Some people may argue that…”
      2. Give the evidence that supports the counter claim .
      3. Make a rebuttal that refutes the counter claim and its evidence( However I believe…)
      4. Provide rebuttal evidence
      5. Ends with a transitional sentence that moves the reader to the conclusion

Meaning Making

In a small group, use the graphic orgonizer to write the paragraph together. The group leader is responsible to post the group work in the forum for the class to share.

Transfer: How does the “counter-claim” paragraph add more persuasion to your argument?

HW#7 Put al the parts together, write your final argument essay. Due Monday 3/12/2012.

Part IV: Working the Dialectical Notebook (Annotate the Text)
Topic: _____________________________________________________________________________
Title:  ______________________________________________________________________________

In this column, record important information or ideas as they appear in the text.

  1. Relevant info in support  of the argument
  2. Summary of material
  3. Key points  of reading

In the column, record your thoughts about or reactions to any of the material in the Text column (question, thoughts, themes, connections, idea).


Should Parents Control What Kids Learn at School?

Can people live alone without being lonely? Given that more people are choosing to live solo, are our needs changing?