Your Argument is Invalid

After spending a few too many hours fine-tuning my new Common Core-aligned argument writing materials, my brain cells entered that slap-happy place where the dumbest things are the funniest. (Cue the “Your Argument is Invalid” meme parade.)

When my freshmen submit the final drafts of their upcoming argument essays, I’m going to explain that there are a few rare occasions when one doesn’t need a strong claim, reasons, evidence, and counterclaim to win a debate. In some cases, all you need to win over your audience are these things:







Feel free to grab these memes or use the Meme Generator at to make some of your own.

Teach on, everyone!

8 thoughts on “Your Argument is Invalid

  1. Christina DeBoard says:

    Love these!!!

  2. I need the Morgan Freeman one for tardies! Talk about substantiating an argument!

  3. Hey Laura! Do you have tips for when students in their essays don’t sound like they’re arguing but they just sound like they’re explaining? When they have claims and counterclaims, but they just sound like they’re explaining each side? And what would/do you do if/when this happens on a final draft? Thanks! 🙂

  4. Hi Kelsi,
    I don’t have any specific examples of this happening that are coming to mind, but I’m thinking I’d want to work with the kid during a quiet time (maybe during an SSR Friday) to show him how a few minor changes could increase the power of his argument. Word choice matters. Also, just a sentence or two could make a huge difference in that kind of paragraph. If you find one of these in the future, definitely send it along and we can do a pick-apart of it! 🙂

  5. Hey Laura! Have you read They Say/I Say? It’s a book about argumentative writing, and I think you should check it out. Although it’s a book typically assigned in college classes, there are some concepts in the book that can be used in the high school classroom. There even is a dedicated High School edition of the book.

  6. Sweet, Robert! Thanks for the book suggestion. I haven’t read that one yet, but I’ll put in a request with my library. Appreciate it. 🙂

  7. Hey Laura! How many sources do you require your freshman to cite in their Argument Essays? Also, do you require them to use any sources other than online sources? Just wondering what is reasonable for 9th graders. As always, thanks for all that you do!

  8. Great questions, BJ! I don’t have a set required number, though I can tell you that the two sample/exemplar essays that I have them deconstruct before they begin writing their own each have six sources. Also, I don’t require a certain number of digital vs. print sources. I hate to say it, but the school library is pretty thin on non-fiction publications; most students use e-sources from online publications and district-funded academic databases. I figure that’s just the way of the world now. Depending on the length of the essay and the complexity of the topic, I’d probably assign a minimum of four sources and allow students to use any reputable source material that supports their argument. Hope this helps!

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