Students learn that including different types of evidence such as facts, quotations, statistics and examples helps make an editorial more persuasive. Students then identify potential sources of evidence for their editorials.
(1) Students who are skilled at Internet research may be ready to begin note-taking during this
lesson. Initiate this process with a midworkshop interruption. If you anticipate introducing notetaking during the lesson, refer to Lesson 2.3 and have copies of Record Your Notes (Handout 2.3a) available.
(2) If the technology in your school is adequate, have students collect the names and URLs of sites they are researching in a word processing document which can be uploaded to the Online Classroom, saved locally or printed and attached to their notebooks. By eliminating the errors that commonly come with handwriting web addresses, research can be more efficient.
Technology: LCD projector, laptop, Internet access or Writing Editorials CD, student computers with Internet access
Differentiated Instruction Handout: 2.2a: Evidence Plan
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, chart paper, possible Internet sources for researching your topic
If there is no access to the technology needed for this lesson, try the following options:
Students will identify types and potential sources of evidence that best support the opinions they planto express in their editorials.
How and where can you find evidence to make your editorials more persuasive?
Show lesson visuals, Search for Persuasive Evidence.
Explain that in today’s lesson, students will learn the types of evidence that editorial writers use to support their opinions and where to find them. Remind students of the persuasive nature of editorial writing. Describe the types of evidence writers typically include, such as expert quotations and opinions, facts, laws, statistics, examples, stories, and anecdotes. Make a list of these on a Types of Evidence class chart. Explain that not all editorials include all types of evidence. Authors of editorials choose evidence that is appropriate for their piece and that will be most persuasive to their audience.
Model how to plan research for evidence by considering the types of evidence your editorial might
have. Refer to the Types of Evidence chart to guide your selection. Discuss the importance of
developing a few keywords to facilitate a successful online search for evidence to support your opinion. Then demonstrate how you search for one piece of evidence.
Have students turn and talk briefly to a classmate about the types of evidence they are seeking and possible keywords that will yield this information. The outcome of this discussion should be one or two terms that are likely to uncover specific types of evidence. Students then add/jot down a list of keywords in their notebooks. They then search independently for evidence to support their opinions.
My editorial topic is subway overcrowding. The question I’m asking is: Should NYC Transit run moretrains so that the subway is not so overcrowded? My opinion is: Yes, NYC Transit should run moretrains.
To begin my research, I need to identify what search terms will lead to the most helpful websites. I am going to list the different types of evidence I am seeking and think about where I can find them.
Facts and Statistics-
I am going to need some facts and statistics about just how overcrowded the subway is. How many people fit comfortably on a subway car? How many are actually on the average subway car? How many people take the subway every day?
I can get some of this information by doing some Internet searches using terms like “subway
overcrowding,” “average number of riders,” ”subway capacity,” etc.
Quotations and Personal Stories-
I want to get the perspectives of people who ride crowded subways all the time. How does it feel to be a “straphanger?” Why do you take the subway anyway?
Lots of people I know have subway horror stories, plus I’ve got my own personal stories I can tell. I also want some expert opinions, maybe someone from NYC Transit or someone who works for subway rider’s rights. I could use the term, “subway rider opinions.” I really want to persuade my audience that my opinion is correct. The more evidence I find, the more persuasive my editorial will be.
Ask students to plan their research by:
With a classmate, students brainstorm possible keywords that relate to both their topics and the kinds of evidence they plan to include in their editorials. They then perform online research to find facts, statistics, personal stories, etc that will be persuasive to their audience. Students either write the URLs in their notebooks or copy and paste URLs from useful sites into a word processing document. Circulate, prompting students to use search terms that most closely match the evidence they would like to gather. Look for students who have creative ideas about the types of evidence that will be helpful and how to find that evidence.
Individual conferences: Talk to students about the kinds of evidence that will support their opinions. Provide them with general keywords to help with locating different points of view such as “perspective” or “response.” In addition, point out specific phrases that appear on useful sites so that they can reuse those terms in their next search.
Reconvene the class. Ask students to share what types of evidence were relatively easy to find, and what types were more of a challenge. If students have been collecting their URLs in a word processing document, have them save them for future use by submitting them in Step 2 of the Online Classroom to the activity called, Submit Your Editorial Sources.
Review students’ lists of potential sources. Provide feedback to students about whether they have a sufficiently varied range of types of evidence for a persuasive editorial on their chosen topic.