At Teachers College in January, Mary Ehrenworth’s Argumentative Writing workshops focused on engaging students in oral debate as a springboard to powerful argumentative writing. When students can verbally articulate their position, and provide reasons to support a claim, they begin to own their position with passion and conviction. Having equal balance of knowledge and understanding of the counterclaim is equally as important to the debater. Ways to frame your oral debate can be accomplished a few ways.
When reading argumentative work, having evidenced based information will help the debater to develop a compelling case for his claim.
Oral speaking techniques that will lead to a convincing argument include: supporting the ideas with evidence, deepening the logic of the ideas, using technical language from the text, acknowledging the counter arguments and constructing and defending the position with fluency and grace.
More specifically, the oral debater should:
- Link the claim or reason to evidence
- Give background information or context to the position
- Say something about the sources and their validity
- Quote or paraphrase directly from the sources
- Analyze and comment on the writer’s language and tone
- Explain how it is relevant, significant and convincing
When these strategies are used in developing a position, the oral debater can speak with confidence, knowledge and factual information.
To learn more on how to engage students in an oral debate using meaningful and relevant texts, visit Elevate Educators for workshop information. The content of this work has been developed from the Teachers College Argumentative Writing Institute January 2017.