When Does Evidence Constitute a Claim?

Can an author make an argument without ever making explicit claims? In the world of journalism it is accepted as a truism that journalists report the news, but should stay neutral when covering a controversial topic.

But do they? Can reporting and the use of evidence be structured so as to infer an argument? This lesson makes use of LiteracyTA's Investigative Reading strategy to explore this question.

By Mr. Donaldson
November 6, 2016
11th Grade English
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Writing Prompt

Can an author make an argument without ever making explicit claims? In the world of journalism it is accepted as a truism that journalists report the news but should stay neutral when covering a controversial topic. But do they? Can reporting and the use of evidence be structured so as to infer an argument?

Trace (map) the structure of the text and analyze how the claim of the article may be created through the use of evidence. After analyzing the text, write a source summary that also evaluates whether the author is making an inferred claim through his use of evidence and structure of the the text.

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11th Grade English Language Arts Standards

This lesson teaches the following grade level appropriate state literacy standards. The cubes provide an abbreviation of the standard name and reference number. Click Add to My Lesson Plans to make a copy of the lesson. Making a copy will allow you to update any information including the literacy standards.

RI1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
RI2
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
RI6
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. 
W1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
W9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
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