Disciplinary Literacy Tools Structure a Process for Inquiry and Argument Writing
Weigh & Corroborate Evidence
Use the “Weigh the Evidence” tool to sort sources and construct evidence-based arguments.
The Weigh the Evidence tool supports thinking across sources and developing evidence-based conclusions about historical and social issues through discussion. Weigh the Evidence discussions support students in thinking through and gaining a deeper understanding of what they’ve read, identifying connections between sources and plausible arguments, and figuring out what they will write. Weigh the Evidence discussions are an essential bridge between reading and writing. First, students review their annotations of the sources, then they sort sources by concept or theme to make connections, then they discuss how the sources support different responses to the central question, and finally they map out plausible arguments in an anchor chart. Students talk through possible claims that the evidence supports and reason about how the evidence supports the claims. This talk is the basis for developing a strong argument, as students corroborate evidence and process ideas together through discussion.