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Outline and Draft_Debate


How do I plan for participation in a debate?
You will write your opening and closing arguments as well as rebuttal points in preparation for participation in a debate.  

Time To Complete 

2+ Days

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.1
  • CCRA.W.4

I Can Statements 

  • I can
    • produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (6-8.WHST.4)
    • with some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (6-8.WHST.5)
  • I will know my draft is of high quality when it:
    • approaches the requirements for the assignment in terms of content, format, and length
    • it considers the needs of purpose and audience
    • is clear and coherent (a complete draft)
    • provides a logical progression of ideas


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, reviewing their drafts first for ideas, details, and organization to ensure they meet the requirements of the assignment, purpose, and audience.
  • Ask students to use rubrics/checklists to self-assess their work and develop a plan for revision.
Possible Activities 
  1. Offer students a chance to watch debates or read exemplar speeches or arguments, this time with the purpose of identifying evidence (warrants, claims, appeals) and rhetorical features that make the position clear and the presentation engaging and persuasive.  Students may code the text or record observations to highlight these features and use a rubric to give feedback, or design a checklist of features for their draft.

  2. Model planning the outline for a draft through think-alouds revealing how you organize your notes, then begin to create your draft. You might want to try multiple organizations. Ask students to evaluate what they find most effective and why.

  3. Have students fill out planning graphic organizers, including questions like:

    • Which evidence is essential to include? Which isn’t?
    • Which rhetorical devices will I use in which parts of the presentation for what desired outcome?
    • What will be the order of my arguments in order to build a strong position?
  4. Centers with specific supports or lessons based on student need (writing strong introductions, maintaining professional language and tone, or closing with power) allow students to work in different partnerships or peer edits.

  5. In writer’s workshop style, have students create their drafts. Through teacher and peer conferencing, students can get individualized support.

Downloadable Resources 
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