Argumentation: An Introduction

Learning Outcomes
Student will understand:

  • the basic concept of argumentation and its implications for society.
  • key terms related to argumentation in preparation for the rest of the unit.
  • how to create and analyze effective argumentation

NC Standard Course of Study Competency Goal 3.0 – The learner will examine argumentation and develop informed opinions.

3. 02: Select an issue or theme and take a stance.
3. 03: Use argumentation by establishing a point of view

Anticipatory Set
Class will begin by playing the
“Anything You Can Do” Gatorade commercial.

  • What is happening in the video?
  • How do they prove their points?
  • Who was the winner of this “argument”?
  • What was the point of this commercial?

Statement of Objective and Purpose

Teacher will introduce the various methods of argumentation in society and the professions which require them while students learn the importance of understanding argument in everyday life.

  • A well-developed argument will have research and information to demonstrate their stance.
  • Argumentation has various means to reach the ultimate goal of a sound defense of their argument.
  • Argumentation is done on a daily basis and in a variety of forms, therefore making it a necessary skill.
  • “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Students will discuss why this is important to understand – in order to stand up for yourself, to sell a product, to win a court case, etc.

Instructional Input

The teacher will present a brief lecture with examples of different styles of argumentation (visual, auditory, etc).
Materials needed: magazine articles,  commercials, newspaper articles, advertisements, etc.

  • What is an argument? What does it look like?
  • What are some various forms of argument in society?
  • What makes something worth “arguing about”?
  • Which professions rely on argumentation for their success?
  • Have you ever had to defend yourself against someone’s accusations?
  • What are some hot topics today in society in which you think citizens must take a stand for/against?


Provide examples of print ads and commercials and ask students to assess their effectiveness, meanwhile pointing out the various methods of argumentation presented in the ads. This will be a teacher led class discussion.

Checking for Understanding

Students will be placed in small groups. They will be asked to draw an object from a bag (such as a book, hair coloring, a shirt, etc). Each group will develop a “campaign” and be asked to model their understanding of effective argumentation through the use of “selling” their product. Teacher will monitor progress by listening in on conversations and assessing the presentations.

Guided Practice

Students will respond to the following prompt:

  • Write about a modern issue in society which you feel strongly about, giving both sides to the argument, then finally presenting your own and why.

Independent Practice

Students will search and find an example of bad or unsuccessful argumentation (print or commercial) for homework and will bring it in and tell why this ad was not successful, identifying the methods used.

Artful Ending

We will view the Snuggie commercial and discuss how it affected us as viewers. Was it effective?


Teacher will look at class participation, group work, and individual work to check the depth of understanding of each student. A solid understanding will include examples of knowledge and application of material.