Kialo Edu discussions can help scaffold the writing process for your students. Using a discussion allows them to see how an argument is developed in an organized and concise manner. Students can also navigate through the main arguments and counter-arguments that they will address in their essay.
This is an example of a Kialo Edu discussion that can be used to scaffold essay writing on a civics topic.
- Construct and defend a clear thesis.
- Organize supporting material into a coherent structure.
- Consider and address counter-arguments and conflicting evidence.
- Consolidate understanding of materials covered in recent classes.
- Explore logical connections between ideas to develop cogent arguments.
How do I get started?
- Choose an appropriate thesis.
- Add pros and cons reflecting the main arguments for and against the thesis.
- Add the student instructions to the Background information. See an example here.
- Invite your students to the discussion.
Sample student instructions
Here are the instructions for your assignment:
Write an essay (1200-1800 words) defending your position of choice in the topic _______.
The purpose of this Kialo Edu discussion is to provide you with an argumentative structure that you can use to develop your essay.
While the "top level" of this discussion has multiple claims on each side, each claim is mainly supported by 'pro' claims, with fewer 'con' claims to oppose. It has been developed in this way to represent how your reasoning process should be structured in the essay: you make a claim and then support it with a series of relevant reasons and evidence.
Initial steps and recommendations
- Choose which stance you want to take in your essay (for or against the main thesis _____).
- Plan the structure that your essay will follow according to the claims on the top level. These are the main arguments for and against the thesis.
- A convincing essay not only presents the arguments to support their stance but also addresses the opposing arguments with convincing reasons. Use the "con" claims to help you oppose these arguments effectively.
- When necessary, use the sources embedded in the claims to expand your knowledge on a particular subject, and also as guidance with technical or complex terms.
To open this sample discussion in a new tab, click here.