Students write to communicate with others and to clarify their own thinking. They need to write frequently in a variety of forms and for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students learn to write well when they are taught strategies for organizing a first draft, writing successive versions, revising, and editing. But students must also learn to write successfully in instances where they are required to write quickly, clearly, and succinctly. Writing can be an effective learning tool for students in all content areas, as they use informal reflective writing to record their observations, experiences, classroom discussions, or to record comments on their writing.

 NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing, May 2004.

The Iowa Core identifies three text types: argument, informative/explanatory, and narrative. Special emphasis is placed on informative/explanatory and argument writing. It is important for teachers and students to fully understand how the intent of argument is different than the intent of informative/explanatory writing. It is also key to understand that argument writing is not the same as “persuasive” writing and that the end goal is not to “win” the argument, but for a group or society that is arguing an issue to jointly reach the best possible decision.

Appendix A of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in Hisory/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, page 23 – 25, 2010.

Common Core State Standards: A New Foundation for Students

Emphasis on Writing to Inform and Make Arguments