Leveling the Field: The Need for Explicit Instruction of Argumentative Form for 'Struggling' Secondary Students
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In this essay, a method for explicit teaching of argumentative form is purported, based on the methods of classical rhetoric. Throughout, it argues that the secondary student labeled "struggling" is often one who is a cultural minority and who experiences a cultural mismatch between implicit standards in argumentative writing and that of his own culture. In order to provide culturally responsive instruction for such students, the essay suggests that teachers must make these standards for what constitutes a "well-organized" explicit and teach students methods to self-regulate their thinking during the composing process. In this way, students are granted an opportunity to succeed academically in terms of writing ability.