Student Writing: Making Claims and Using Evidence Effectively

Writing skill can be a predictor of academic success and is a high stakes assessment for acceptance into college and career. With entry being so competitive, students must be able to write effectively to argue their points. In my time as an instructor at Alternatives in Action High School, I noticed that students struggled with and responded negatively to writing. The school did not have a set writing curriculum or strategy on how to teach writing. This action research project sought to improve student’s attitudes towards writing, improve their skills in writing a clear thesis statement, and use strong evidence to support their claims through a four week long unit focused on pre-writing time, thesis statements, evidence based writing, and organization. Data collection included pre and post student surveys, student learning logs, teacher observation journal and writing samples. Students expressed a higher level of interest in writing about topics they were invested in, and felt supported when given time to brainstorm, share their ideas and time to write. Student writings were organized with a thesis statement, and included evidence to support their claims.

Download PDF