Using Diagrams to Structure an Argument


Student Publication Organization
NC State University, College of Design

For the Student Publication course, students needed to understand and manage a great deal of written materials, including articles and essays. I facilitated a workshop in which I explained how to use diagrams to construct and deconstruct an argument. Using a branching structure, students learned to identify the main idea, supporting reasons, and facts that support the reasons. Students also identified assumptions and posed contradictions, which guided their rebuttals. Learning to diagram an essay enabled students to critically evaluate written materials; they were able to develop criteria for assessing and comparing essays within the submission collection and write well composed essays to introduce and summarize each section of the publication.

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