Argument Pre-Writing Chart
Name: ___PERIOD 4____________________
Activity: _____SLIP OR TRIP?______________________________________
THESIS STATEMENT:_Margaret murdered her husband Charles.____________

REASONS (What do you need to prove to make your thesis "true?")

___First, Margaret had both motive and opportunity to commit the crime. Second, all the hard evidence points to her guilt. Finally, we believe the murder weapon was found at the scene and is tied to Margaret.____________________________


EXPLANATIONS (including context of evidence, interpretation of evidence with warrants as needed, and SO WHAT’s)


The glass Charles was carrying is still in his hand and unbroken.

Margaret said Charles fell while "coming down for another drink."

When you fall while carrying something downstairs, you will drop what you're carrying to stop your fall. Due to the facts, we believe that Margaret is lying about what happened because there is no way Charles could still be holding that unbroken glass if he fell. Therefore, she is a prime suspect.
Margaret and Charles had a fight earlier that night. This establishes that Margaret had a motive to kill Charles.
Margaret arrived home ten minutes before her guests. This shows that Margaret had ample opportunity to do away with her husband.
Charles was found lying on his back with his feet on the stairs. When you fall while coming downstairs, you fall flat on your front, fall back and slide down on your back, or fall and roll landing on your back with your head on the stairs. Once again, the facts don't match Margaret's story. Furthermore, if this really was an accident, Margaret would lie. Therefore, Margaret must be guilty of foul play.

All of the decorations on the stairway wall haven't been moved.

Charles' right hand isn't holding anything.

This is even more evidence to suggest Margaret is a wicked murderess. If you fall while coming downstairs, you will reach out to try to stop your fall. Yet, Charles, for some strange reason, seems not to have used his free right hand to stop his fall because nothing on the wall has been disturbed.

Charles died of a "wound to the head."

There was a skillet cooking on the stove at 1 a.m. when the "accident" was discovered.

Our question is why was someone cooking at such a late hour? Could it be that someone was trying to destroy evidence? We strongly believe that skillet was used to kill Charles, and while further testing will be needed to establish this fact, we know the lying Margaret is the only one who could have inflicted Charles' fatal head wound.