Scope Magazine Argument Essay



  - Argument Essay Guide




Steps to writing a strong ARGUMENT ESSAY: 


1. Decide What You Think - Claim/Thesis


2. Find Your Support - Which elements support your opinion? What other points support your opinion? Do you have supporting details?


3. Acknowledge the other side (Counter Argument) - Summarize the strongest arguments of those who disagree with you.


4. Craft Your Thesis (Central Claim) - The THESIS is where you tell readers what your essay is going to be about. The THESIS should be a clear, strong statement of the opinion you stated in Step 1. The rest of your essay should support your THESIS.


5. Write Your Hook - The very beginning of your essay is called the HOOK because it "HOOKS" your readers' attention. The HOOK should relate to the topic of your essay, but it can take many forms. It can be an ANECDOTE (a very short story), a FACT, a QUOTE, or a RHETORICAL QUESTION (a question to which you don't expect an answer).


6. Summarize the Issue - Let readers know a little about the issue you will be writing about. THIS IS NOT YOUR POINT OF VIEW! It's a brief summary of the issue.


7. Start Writing!



CLAIM - In academic writing, an argument is usually a main idea, often called a “claim” or “thesis statement,” backed up with evidence that supports the idea. 



Argument, Persuasive, Opinion Writing - Teaching the Argument Standard - Argument Writing Video



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Step 1: Decide what you think

Step 2: Craft Your THESIS (What is your essay about? The THESIS should be a clear, strong statement of your opinion. DO NOT USE "I think", "I believe", "I'm going to tell you")

Step 3: Write your HOOK (Hook should relate to the topic of your essay, but it can take many forms. It can be an ANECDOTE (a very short story), a FACT, a QUOTE, or a RHETORICAL QUESTION (a question to which you don't expect an answer).

Step 4: Summarize the Issue - Let readers know a little about the issue you will be writing about. This in NOT your point of view; it's a very brief summary of the issue.


Does the FIRST SENTENCE grab reader's attention?

Does the FIRST PARAGRAPH provide a general overview of the essay's topic?

Does the FIRST PARAGRAPH include a THESIS STATEMENT that strongly & clearly states your point of view? 
Does the THESIS clue readers in as to what the essay is going to be about? 



Step 1: Find Your Support

Step 2: Acknowledge the Other Side (Counter Argument/Opposing View Point)

Do they contain a total of at least 3 points that support the thesis?

Do they provide details to further explain each of the supporting points?

Are the supporting points presented in order from the weakest to the strongest?

Do you acknowledge an opposing point of view & then explain why you think it isn't strong enough to change your point of view?





Does the last paragraph remind readers of the main points of the essay, without going into too much detail & repeating everything readers just read?

Is the conclusion free of new information (such as another supporting point)?

Finish with a strong sentence. Does the last sentence leave readers with a strong final impression? Looking for an idea? Try referring to your hook, finding a quote, or inspiring your readers.




Does one idea flow smoothly into the next?

Do the sentence structures & lengths vary?

Does every sentence relate to the thesis?

Does everything make sense?

Is the essay convincing?

Are the grammar, punctuation, & spelling correct?



Use "Argument-Essay Checklist" to evaluate & edit what you have written.
Make any necessary changes & write a second draft.



Claims written for Argument -




If you are adding information or showing similarity between ideas:

additionally                    besides                    so too                    first of all/secondly/thirdly

in addition                     also                          likewise                  to begin with

as well as                        another                   furthermore           finally


If you are showing that one idea is different from another:

 however                         even though           in contrast              on the one hand/on the other hand

yet                                   despite                    still                         some people say/other people say

but                                   although                in spite of               regardless


If you are showing that something is an example of what you just stated:

for example                    to illustrate            this can be seen

for instance                     namely                   specifically       


If you want to show cause & effect:

as a result                        consequently         so

it follows that                 therefore                eventually


If you want to add emphasis:

in fact                              of course               truly                    even                    indeed
 - What to Consider When Choosing a Pet - Outline - Color Coded - Argument Essay Rubric Example



Should Bugs Be On Restaurant Menus? 


Argument Essay – Should insects be on restaurant menus?

Paragraph 1:


Anecdote: Describe your personal experience with eating bugs. Have you ever eaten any? Do you know people who eat them?

I have learned to ride my bike with my mouth shut because swallowing that no-see-em will stay with me until I die! It wiggled and shook all the way down my throat until I thought I was going to vomit.


Surprising Fact: Find a fact that will raise your readers’ eyebrows. Use a fact from the article or research one.

There are over 1,900 insects considered safe for humans to eat.


Rhetorical Question: Ask your readers a question that reflects your point of view about eating bugs.

If we eat cows, why shouldn’t we eat scorpions?


At least 3 mid-paragraph sentences so your reader knows what your essay is about.


Thesis/Claim Statement - The last sentence of paragraph 1



Paragraphs 2,3,4 - The Body Paragraphs

Each paragraph should contain:

-a reason to support your thesis/claim

-transition words - one to begin your paragraph, one to begin your counter argument


Paragraph 5 - Conclusion Paragraph 


- Begin with a transition word or phrase (In conclusion, All in all, To sum it up, etc)

- Briefly restate your 3 reasons

- Restate your thesis/claim

- Call to Action - Tell your readers EXACTLY what you want them to do



Key Terms for Argumentation


Claim – Your basic belief about a particular topic, issue, event, or idea


Counterclaim – A solid and reasonable argument that opposes or disagrees with your claim


Rebuttal – A written or verbal response to a counterclaim. The object of the rebuttal is to take into account the ideas presented in the counterclaim and explain why they aren’t persuasive enough, valid enough, or important enough to outweigh your own claim.


Support – Your specific facts or specific evidence used to support why your claim is true


Refute – Argue against a position or prove it to be wrong


Qualify – A “partly-agree” stance in which you agree (in part) with another person’s argument or position but also disagree with part of it. - Interactive Persuasive Map - Writing an Argument Essay - Schmoop - Argument Essay -Argument Writing - Hamburger - Claims & Counterclaims - Powtoon - Manhattan Beach Pier - Paragraph 1



Read "The Stripes Will Survive" & "The Zoos Go Wild," the watch Behind the Scenes with the National Zoo's Lions Cubs." - National Zoo Lion Cubs


Write an argument essay based on the necessity for, or an argument against, zoos. - Thesis Writing



Debate - Should Balloons Be Banned? - SCOPE - March 2017*~hmac=a262dc406469cc224595932606d16cd5231fb88b078c514109cb5e91633e3926




Persuasive writers are emotional strategists.
They are the cheerleaders, the advertisers, and the motivational speakers of the world. 
Successful persuasive writers move people to action in order to sell ideas and products. 
Their goal? To make readers or listeners follow them, buy from them, or support them.


Argument writers are research specialists. 
They are the expert witnesses, the investigative journalists, and the medical diagnosticians of the world. 
Successful argument writers compare viewpoints, analyze claims, and provide evidence. 
Their goal? To make readers or listeners understand issues, trust their intentions, or make informed decisions.







Scope debates are a fantastic way for students to practice evaluating an argument, identifying supporting evidence, and writing a well-crafted argument essay. Students complete a text-marking activity, engage in a spirited debate, then use our Essay Kit to write their own argument essay.


Here’s our guide to using any Scope Debate/Essay Kit in your classroom.


What you’ll need:

Key skills:
identifying central ideas and details, speaking and listening, argument-essay writing 

two 50-minute class periods


1. Prepare to Read

  • Project the list of vocabulary words and definitions for students to refer to as they read. The practice activity can be completed after reading or it can be assigned as homework.
  • Give students a few minutes to preview the text features in the article—the headline, illustrations, cartoons, or photos, any charts or graphs, etc. Ask students what they think the article is going to be about.



2. Read and Text-Mark

  • Project the article. Read the article once through as a class.

A) Complete the following as a class, modeling text marking on your whiteboard while students mark their magazines: Using a red colored pencil, underline details that support the "Yes" side of the debate.


B) Divide students into groups and have them use a blue colored pencil to underline the details that support the "No" side of the debate.


3. Discuss the Author's Bias

  • Ask students to discuss the following in their groups: Do you think the writer shows bias—that is, a preference for one side of the debate or the other? Explain and support your answer with text evidence.


4. Choose the Strongest Details

  • Have students fill in the “Yes/No” chart in their magazines using the three strongest details that they underlined in the text for each side of the debate.



5. Hold the Debate

  • Have students divide themselves into two groups according to which side of the debate they agree with more. Have the groups stand on opposite sides of the room. Students can then debate the issue: One student offers a reason (support) for his or her opinion; a student from the other group then offers a counterargument.
  • Students may walk to the other side of the room if at any point during the debate they change their position on the issue. (Be sure to ask any student who does this why he or she did so.)
  • Encourage students to use text evidence to support their opinions.


6. Prepare to Write

  • Have students work individually to complete the Write an Argument Essay activity sheet and write their essays. (Optional: Have students research the topic further and include at least one additional source in their essays.)  
  • Students should revise their essay using the Argument-Essay Checklist and the Great Transitions handout.



Download a PDF of this lesson plan here. 


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