Culture of Argument

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In this election year, the title of this post might warn you off reading it. But no: it’s actually a good thing, and students at my school are learning that “argument” means better things than mainstream culture, and some politicians, would appear to believe.

As part of the National Writing Project’s College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP), I’m expanding my quest to get my students to see “argument” as “informed civil discourse.” I’ve been doing this for a while, but in not nearly as organized and smart a way as the CRWP initiative I’m grateful to be a part of. As a new teacher just four years ago, I happened on Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide and took the “article of the week” idea from his book, which has allowed me to implement weekly argument writing for all grades (I’m the sole English teacher here for 8th-12th grade). The CRWP project is much more fully developed, and will increase the skill level and sophistication of my students’ academic writing. I’m very excited, although a bit daunted, to be involved in this project. Stay tuned for more…

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