Civically-Engaged Teaching Writing Writing Assessment

For the Sake of Argument: Teaching Evidence-Based Writing


The instructional resources contained in this article are designed to develop specific argument skills and include text sets that represent multiple perspectives on a topic. The resources also emphasize iterative reading and writing practices, the recursive development of claims, organizing and structuring writing, and embedding formative assessment opportunities. The formative assessment tools help teachers assess students' written arguments and provide specific feedback.

“To the detriment of education, we live in what author Deborah Tannen calls the ‘argument culture,’ where ‘winning’ is more valued than ‘understanding.’ The NWP’s approach to argument writing starts with having students understand multiple points of view that go beyond pros and cons and are based on multiple pieces of evidence, which ultimately enables students to take responsible civic action.”


A product of the National Writing Project’s College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP), which aims to improve students’ ability to write evidence-based arguments. The program consists of professional development, instructional resources, and formative assessment tools. The professional development is provided by local Writing Project sites and focuses on teaching argument writing.