The purpose of persuasive writing is to convince someone to think the way you do. This term, as part of our inquiry, students in Room 5 have been learning how to write a persuasive argument. We started small with students learning to state their opinion and providing reasons for their thinking.
Opinions vs Facts - A fact is a statement that can be verified. An opinion is an expression of belief about something
Pro’s vs Cons - The pros are its advantages and cons of something are its disadvantages, which you consider carefully so that you can make a sensible decision
How to write a persuasive argument
Introduction - state your preference or opinion
Give reasons for why you think that way - elaborate or expand these reasons to give more detail to support what you think
Conclusion - restate your opinions and give a summary of your main reasons. Finish with a statement that reinforces your opinion.
Emotive language - attempts to persuade the audience to agree with someone's point of view by creating an emotional reaction. Specific words are used to evoke an emotional response from someone like anger, joy or sadness.
As the students became more confident and developed the skills in this area we looked at more complex situations where they had to elaborate or expand these reasons to provide more details to support these opinions. We considered pro’s and cons (advantages and disadvantages) of the situation and possible outcomes.
Some Room 5 students found the most challenging part of writing persuasively was grouping their ideas and focusing on giving evidence for one reason at a time. They also found challenging crafting their conclusion by ending on a positive note that leaves a lasting impression on the reader and encourages a call for action. Which in simple terms, make someone act in the way you want them to.
We were lucky enough to have Josh, our paramedic come along to visit on our celebration day to read some of the amazing persuasive writing that the students had crafted. He was impressed to learn that had voted him their favourite community hero. Expect to see a few of the current Room 5 students driving around in an ambulance in a few years time.
A final goal to extend their learning and allow them to apply the skills they have developed this term is to create an advertisement to encourage people to come and visit our great town of Taupō. While it will provide a challenge in applying these skills when interviewing, visual techniques and adding emotive language I am certain the students are ready to accept the challenge.
Keywords: facts, opinions, pro, cons, prefer, reasons, elaboration, evidence, introduction, conclusion, emotive language, convince