Claim, Evidence, Reasoning

Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) is a science writing strategy that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. It’s a formulaic method that works with most academic forms of writing, but works especially well for argumentative or persuasive writing.

Using CER in science helps students connect their conclusions to their observations. It also helps them develop argumentative skills by requiring them to use inquiry, evidence, and logic.


The claim is the main statement that answers the question. It can be short and simple, or it can be longer and more detailed.

The evidence is the data that supports the claim. It can be quantitative using numbers, or qualitative using observations.

Students must use a mixture of both when presenting their CER responses. They should also include a rationale for why they chose the data they did, and explain how or why this data is relevant to their claim.

Using the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning framework is a great way to get students thinking about the scientific process and writing like scientists. Introducing it into your classroom will help students develop the skills they need to succeed in science class! It is best to model a sample response with the class in the beginning, but then have students write their own CER responses from labs they have been doing in class. This will help them to understand what a successful CER response should look like.


CER is a great way to engage students in a meaningful scientific process. It allows them to think critically about a given question or problem and provides a concrete framework for making explanations and analyzing data.

One of the best parts about this strategy is that it works for both big and small classrooms! You can start with a simple task like recording a primary source image and use the same strategy to analyze its meaning.

In the science department, CER is a must have for any teacher who is looking to elevate their students’ understanding of scientific concepts. This three-step process entails making a claim, providing evidence to support that claim, and explaining your reasoning in the most palatable manner possible! The best part is that this streamlined process saves valuable time and sets students up for success! To get the most out of your CER strategy, grab a set of ready to use resources from the CER Store.


CER is a way for students to explain their scientific knowledge using evidence from data, graphs, and diagrams. This structure helps them break down the process and build a strong argument.

Many science teachers use CER in their classrooms, and it can also be helpful for curious kids who like to wonder about what they are learning. However, students may need some guidance on how to write a well-constructed CER paragraph.

CER can be difficult for some students to write, and it is often a skill that they need to practice over time. Teaching this skill doesn’t have to be complicated, and it can begin with simple examples that your students are already familiar with.


CER (claim, evidence, reasoning) is an inquiry-based framework that pushes students to explore ideas and evaluate claims’ authenticity using data and reasoning skills. The CER framework is one of the many ways that teachers are teaching the deeper, higher-order thinking skills that students need to be successful in science and in other content areas as well.

Often, students are able to respond to CER questions quite quickly with the right answer because they already have a foundational understanding of how data works. When you are teaching CER, however, it is important to provide more concrete examples of how to respond to this question in order for students to build their understanding of how to explain the meaning of data.

Often, Erin will have her students write what they see in the data on the whiteboard first. This allows them to identify the data piece and then match it with the corresponding explanation. This is a great strategy for teaching students how to write CER paragraphs.

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