In seventh grade, students demonstrate their ability to read challenging complex texts closely and cite multiple examples of specific evidence to support their claims. They are able to recognize the interplay between setting, plot, and characters and provide an objective summary of a text apart from their own reaction to it. They are adept at stepping back to comparing and contrasting different interpretations of a topic, identifying how authors shape their presentation of key information and choose to highlight certain facts over others. Seventh grade students trace how an argument develops within a text and assess the validity of the evidence. They make their reasoning clear to their listeners and readers and constructively evaluate others’ use of evidence while offering several sources to back up their own claims. The use of vocabulary has developed to the point where they distinguish between denotative and connotative meaning and analyze the effect of specific word choice on tone. As growing writers, students cite several sources of specific, relevant evidence when supporting their own point of view about texts and topics. Their writing is more structured, with clear introductions and conclusions as well as useful transitions to create cohesion and clarify relationships among ideas. In their writing, they acknowledge the other side of a debate or an alternative perspective while avoiding any trace of plagiarism.