Try It

Use what you learned about the parts of a well-written explanation to write one of your own based on the claim, evidence and reasoning you identified in the Newsela article “California tries one solution to water problems – treating seawater”opens in new window from Writing Explanation Iopens in new window.

Reread the “Environmental Risks To Consider” section from the article, and recall the claim, evidence and reasoning from this section.

flowchart; claim at top: Claim: Desalination is expensive and causes many environmental risks. Arrow pointing to evidence and reasoning; Evidence: “Many conservation groups are critical of desalination. It comes not only with unjustifiably high costs, but with a lot of environmental risks as well.” “Desalination plants operate by drawing in seawater. Unless that intake is carefully designed, it can harm marine life. “80 percent of tiny organisms will be sucked into the desalination plant and killed. Many small lifeforms that fish depend on for food would be destroyed.” Reasoning: Desalination plants could harm the environment by killing small fish and the small organisms that smaller fish feed on. The process is very expensive. Killing the marine life may harm the population of different species. This will be bad for the environment

Use information from the “Environmental Risks To Consider” section of the article and the claim, evidence and reasoning above to write an explanation about why desalination is expensive and bad for the environment. Be sure to refer to the article for additional information that may be used to support the claim and strengthen your explanation. You must paraphrase and/or reword statements from the text as you organize ideas for an explanation written in your own words.

Refer to the Writing Explanation Checklist below before and after you write your explanation. You may also wish to use the Writing Explanation Graphic Organizeropens in new window to help guide your writing.

Writing Explanation Checklist

  • Claim is clearly stated in the introduction.
  • Evidence and reasoning are included in the body to support the claim.
  • Transition words are used to connect ideas.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary is used when appropriate.
  • A formal writing style is applied with an objective tone.
  • The conclusion restates the claim.