Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Details that Convince: Opinions, Persuasion, and Arguments

I'm reading an exciting new resource, The Big Book of Details by Rozlyn Linder.  This book is all about teaching students the "moves" authors use to elaborate in their writing.  Once again, an amazing educator has done the heavy lifting for us.  Linder researched, studied, sorted, analyzed great texts and authors.  She focused on three common ways that teachers can use the ideas in her book.

  1. Troubleshooting during writing conferences~pull out a lesson that will benefit a student right then and there
  2. Use the book as a go-to manual.  When planning mini-lessons you can use the book as a resource for teaching points.
  3. Pull a particular section to enhance your own or a scripted writing unit of study you use.
The organization of the book is terrific!  Each chapter addresses a particular type of detail and genre. Within each chapter, specific teaching and writing "moves" are addressed.  I really can't read this book fast enough, but I also wanted to get right to the work we're currently focusing on, namely opinion/argument writing.  I rushed right to Chapter 4~Details That Convince.  Following are the "moves" that Rozlyn identifies in this chapter that can help students elaborate.  This chart is a summary of the "moves"shared in p. 96-135.



The Move:  If...Then...
Description:The writer suggests a relationship between two events, ideas, or concepts. There is no proof that If...Then... sentences are true.  Writers use this move to get into a reader’s head, causing the reader to think about how two things go together.
Samples:
If kids keep getting homework assignments, then...
If we donate compost to the local pig farm then
If you drive too fast, then...
The Move:  Opposite Side
Description:The writer acknowledges or states a counterclaim.  The move does not focus on developing the counterclaim, it just recognizes that another point of view exists
Samples:
Some people think...
Many people believe that…
Some argue…
It is often believed…
One viewpoint is…
On one hand...
The Move: Good Question
Description:The writer asks the reader a question or series of questions.  This move is a great way for writers to add their own voice, style or point of view.
Samples:
Have you ever considered…
Why do so many people…
What is…
Who says…
Did you ever consider...
The Move: Imagine This
Description:The writer plays on the emotions of the reader.  It is mostly used in argument writing.
Samples:
Picture this…
Imagine this…
Picture a world where…
Visualize...
The Move: Very Complicated
Description:The writer clearly announces that a topic is hard.  Short sentences are used to let the reader know what the text is about without giving the author’s viewpoint right away.
Samples:
This is complicated!
____ can be very complex.
____ is multifaceted.
Explaining _____ can be challenging.
Analyzing _____is not as simple as it may seem.
The Move: Numbers Game
Description:The writer uses numerical data to support arguments and claims.
Samples:
⅔ of all people polled…
50% of voters…
From 1975-2015...
The Move: Now and Then
Description:The writer points out how beliefs, ideas, or practices that used to be accepted, are now not the case.
This is done in explanatory and argument writing often at the beginning to show how things have changed from the past OR to criticize a current belief with an argument for a return to a past way of thinking.
Samples:
For many years…
You might find this hard to believe…
Once upon a time in…
Several years ago…
In the past...
The Move: We the People
Description:The writer deliberately uses first-person pronouns-we, us, our, and second-person pronoun you in argument writing.  This move makes the reader feel that both the reader and writer share the same experiences and thinking
Samples:
We look and we know…
You are one of…
Our problem...
The Move: Call to Action
Description:The writer directly asks or tells the reader to take action.  Writers often use this move for strong conclusions to restate or explain the benefit of taking action.
Samples:
Make a promise to yourself…
So the next time…
Always…
You need to...




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