Purpose of Reading Arguments in Science
It is important for students to feel confident and competent in analyzing science texts, especially those that are conceived of as arguments. An analytical, critical stance is important both as a strategy for unpacking and understanding a given argument, but also because being critical of texts in science is a fundamental practice of science. Even for students who will never become scientists themselves, providing them with the tools needed to analyze science texts will allow them to become critical consumers of science as they read science texts throughout their lives. Because the ability to read science texts as arguments is a vital skill in the classroom and beyond, it is important to provide students with experience where they can practice working through and analyzing these kinds of texts. Formative assessments provided periodically throughout the year can help to pinpoint and then address deficiencies in students' abilities in order to improve their skills at reading science texts.