Location: United States |  Change Location
Male flipping through Corwin book

Hands-on, Practical Guidance for Educators

From math, literacy, equity, multilingual learners, and SEL, to assessment, school counseling, and education leadership, our books are research-based and authored by experts on topics most relevant to what educators are facing today.


Developing Writers of Argument

Tools and Rules That Sharpen Student Reasoning
By: Michael W. Smith, Jon-Philip Imbrenda

Foreword by Jim Burke

Forming effective arguments is essential to students’ success in academics and life. This book’s engaging lessons offer an innovative approach to teaching this critical transferable skill.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781506354330
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Corwin Literacy
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 184
  • Publication date: January 16, 2018

Price: $39.95

Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.



The ability to make effective arguments is not only necessary in students’ academic lives, it’s a transferable skill that’s essential to students’ future success as critical thinkers and contributing members of society.

But in the here and now, how do we engage students and ensure they understand argument writing’s fundamental components? How do we take them from “Here’s what I think” to “Here’s what I think. Here’s what makes me think that. And here’s why it matters”?

This stunning, full-color book by Michael Smith and Jon-Philip Imbrenda shows the way, with ready-to-implement lessons that make argument writing topical and relevant. Students are first asked to form arguments about subjects that matter to them, and then to reflect on the structure of those arguments, a process that provides learners with valuable, reusable structural models.

  • Throughout the book, the authors provide helpful instructional tools, including
  • Literary, nonfiction, and author-created simulated texts that inspire different points of view
  • Essential questions to create a context that rewards argumentation
  • Lessons introducing students to the three essential elements of an argument—claim, data, and warrant—and how to make each effective
  • Questioning probes, semantic differential scales, and other innovative instructional approaches
  • Samples of writing from the authors’ own students, and enlightening details on how this work informed the authors’ subsequent teaching approach

Complete with guidance on applying the lessons’ techniques in a broader, unit-wide context, Developing Writers of Argument offers a practical approach for instructing students in this crucial aspect of their lifelong development.



Michael W. Smith photo

Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith, a professor in Temple University's College of Education, joined the ranks of college teachers after eleven years of teaching high school English. His research focuses on understanding both how adolescents and adults engage with texts outside school and how teachers can use those understandings to devise more motivating and effective instruction inside schools.
Jon-Philip Imbrenda photo

Jon-Philip Imbrenda

Jon-Philip Imbrenda, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Instruction and Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, has taught reading and writing to high school and college students for over 15 years. He is a recipient of the Sigol Award from the International Society for Technology in Education and the Dr. Rita Wolotkiewicz award for outstanding professional achievement in education. His scholarly work has appeared in Written Communication and Research in the Teaching of English.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jim Burke



Chapter 1. Introduction

Argument Cultivates Critical Thinking

Argument Fosters Collaborative Reasoning

Argument Promotes a Sense of Social Responsibility

What This Book Can Offer

Chapter 2. A Classroom Culture of Argumentation

Revisiting the Three R’s

Conversation as a Metaphor for Learning

Staging Conversations in Your Classroom

So What, Exactly, Is an Argument, Anyway?

Chapter 3. Our Instructional Approach

Transferable Classroom Tools

So Do They Work?


Chapter 4. Everyday Arguments

Introducing the Elements of Argument

Lesson 1: Apple Music vs. Spotify

Lesson 2: Taco Bell vs. Chipotle

Lesson 3: Who Is the Better Superhero?

Lesson 4: Which Video Streaming Service Is the Best?

Lesson 5: Heinz’s Dilemma

Lesson 6: To What Extent Am I Responsible to Others?

Chapter 5. Practicing Three Elements of Argument

Lesson 7: Crafting Controversial Claims

Lesson 8: What Makes an Effective Claim?

Lesson 9: What Makes Effective Data? Part 1

Lesson 10: What Makes Effective Data? Part 2

Lesson 11: How Do Warrants Relate to Claims and Data?

Lesson 12: Practice Writing Warrants

Chapter 6. Applying What They’ve Learned About Argument to Texts

Lesson 13: Who Is Going to Bounce Back?

Lesson 14: Using Three Key Questions to Understand a Poem

Lesson 15: Applying What We’ve Learned to a Literary Argument

Lesson 16: Learning the Reader’s Rule of Rupture

Lesson 17: Applying Argumentative Strategies to Respond to a Well-Known Theory

Lesson 18: Bringing Together All of the Elements of Argument: The Minnesota Twins Study

Chapter 7. Putting It All Together: Applying Argument to Life Choices

Lesson 19: Should I Choose a 2-Year or 4-Year College?

Lesson 20: What Career Has the Best Potential for Me?

Chapter 8. How to Use This Book

Using the Lessons Directly

Using the Tools

Using Our Lessons as Templates





Price: $39.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

Related Resources