Grades 9-12: For the Sake of Argument: Writing Persuasively to Craft Short, Evidence-Based Editorials


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College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.


CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.



This Grades 9-12 ELA/Literacy lesson set titled “For the Sake of Argument: Writing Persuasively to Craft Short, Evidence-Based Editorials” is from The Learning Network at the New York Times.  The instructional activities guide students through the editorial writing process.  Several suggested culminating assessment options are described—from students sharing their editorials to the class or in groups to publishing their work in the school newspaper or online forums.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the duration of this lesson set is unclear. Teachers are cautioned that the materials (including the live links) will require familiarity to be used effectively—to determine both the pacing and how to best meet the instructional needs of all students. Discrete writing and language skill instruction may be necessary. Computers with internet access are required for each student.


This lesson set is an exemplary example of how to cultivate interest and engagement in reading and writing to draw evidence from a variety of sources to develop a point of view on a timely social issue.  Instruction provides authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student-directed inquiry, analysis, evaluation and/or reflection as students develop editorials.  Technology and media are used to deepen learning and draw attention to evidence and texts as appropriate.  An aligned rubric and assessment guidelines provide evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the targeted College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards.