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60-90 minutes
  • Current Events
  • Journalism
  • 9-12

  1. Tell students that they are going to see techniques authors use to create a persuasive argument, and tools that sharp readers use to evaluate them.
  2. If desired, review the definitions of the six tools in the poster.
  3. Have students read “theSkimm’s Guide to Equal Pay.” As a group, summarize the article to ensure students have a basic understanding of the gender pay gap debate.
  4. Distribute worksheets and have students use E.S.C.A.P.E. to closely analyze two provided arguments about the pay gap.
  5. As homework, have students write a one-page essay making their own argument for or against the pay gap, citing at least two additional sources (prompt at bottom of worksheet).
  6. Discuss students’ conclusions using the questions below.

  1. Of the two sources you analyzed, which one do you think is more convincing? Why? Which one is more reliable? Why? (Note: Answers to these two questions may or may not be the same; the first is about how persuasive the source is, and the second is about how well-supported it is.)
  2. What conclusion did you reach on the gender pay gap, and why?
  3. What did you need to research in order to make your own argument about this issue?
  4. How confident are you in your conclusion? Explain.
  5. What other issues are currently in the news that are similarly complex, making it difficult to fully understand the facts and data?

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