Argumentative Writing and The SEE Method

The common core places an emphasis on argumentative writing. In NYC high school students take a city-wide exam every year called the MOSL (measure of student learning) exam and that test has an argumentative essay on it. The NY state exam (The Regents) that students need to pass in order to graduate high school also has an argumentative essay on it.

My students struggled with their writing no matter how many times we practiced this style of essay in class. I tried picking topics that were relevant to them:

Should cellphones be allowed in school?
Should students have to wear uniforms?
Should minimum wage be increased?

Finally another teacher and I came up with a mnemonic device that was easy to remember and it worked every time. We called this The SEE Method.

What is the SEE Method?

  • The SEE Method is just a way for us to remember what we need to include in each body paragraph that we write.
  • One reason why this method is so great is that it is easy to remember, plus it's short and to the point.
I keep this up on chart paper in my classroom: 

State Your Claim
Provide Evidence
Explain Your Evidence
We use the SEE method to help us craft arguments. 





 I hope that you can use this method to help your students with their argumentative writing.



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