- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
Time4Writing Teaches Persuasive Essay Writing
Time4Writing essay writing courses offer a highly effective way to learn how to write the types of essays required for school, standardized tests, and college applications. These online writing classes for elementary, middle school, and high school students, break down the writing process into manageable chunks, easily digested by young writers. Students steadily build writing skills and confidence with each online writing course, guided by one-on-one instruction with a dedicated, certified teacher. We first introduce essay writing to students at the elementary level, with our Beginning Essay Writing course, where they will have an opportunity to write their first five-paragraph essay. Our middle school online writing courses, Welcome to the Essay and Advanced Essay, teach students the fundamentals of writing essays, including the persuasive essay. The high school online writing class, Exciting Essay Writing, focuses in depth on the essay writing process with preparation for college as the goal. Time4Writing’s online writing classes for kids also cover how to interpret writing prompts in testing situations. Read what parents are saying about their children’s progress with Time4Writing’s online writing courses.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Can You Convince Me? Developing Persuasive Writing
Through a classroom game and resource handouts, students learn about the techniques used in persuasive oral arguments and apply them to independent persuasive writing activities.
Grades K – 2 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Persuasive Writing: What Can Writing in Family Message Journals Do for Students?
This lesson engages children in using writing to their families as a persuasive tool to get what they want and need.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Dear Librarian: Writing a Persuasive Letter
Students write persuasive letters to their librarian requesting that specific texts be added to the school library. As they work, students plan their arguments and outline their reasons and examples.
Grades 4 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Vote for Me! Developing, Writing, and Evaluating Persuasive Speeches
This lesson encourages students in grades 4 and 5 to think critically and write persuasively by focusing on preparing, presenting, and evaluating mock campaign speeches.
Grades 4 – 8 | Lesson Plan
The Magic of Three: Techniques for the Writer's Craft
Students learn to use tricolonsa writer's technique of putting words and phrases into groups of threesto add rhythm and power to their writing.
Grades 5 – 6 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Introducing Basic Media Literacy Education Skills with Greeting Cards
In this lesson, students examine and create holiday/event cards, analyze holiday elements, and create their own. The activities help students focus on the reasons for composing messages as they do.
Grades 6 – 12 | Lesson Plan
Persuade Me in Five Slides! Creating Persuasive Digital Stories
After students write persuasive essays, use this lesson to challenge them to summarize their essays concisely by creating five-slide presentations.
Grades 7 – 10 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Picture This: Combining Infographics and Argumentative Writing
After researching topics that the students have chosen, students write argumentative essays. Then, using Piktochart, students create their own infographics to illustrate their research.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Developing Citizenship Through Rhetorical Analysis
Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.