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How to Write a Persuasive Essay

written by: Margie • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 9/11/2012

Continue reading for teaching tips that will help your students learn how to write an effective persuasive essay.

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    How To Write a Persuasive Essay

    When teaching students how to write a persuasive essay, the first step you should take is to explain the purpose of the assigned writing. The purpose of persuasive writing is to convince readers to agree with the writer’s opinion.

    You must make sure your students know how to get their readers to agree them.

    So, just how do your students persuade their readers to see it their way?

    Choose a Side

    Before they do anything else, students must decide which side they are on. For example, one topic that always grabs students’ attention is the subject of school uniforms. If students need to convince their readers to either require students to wear uniforms or not to require students wear uniforms, they must first choose which side of the issue they support. They then must be careful to remain on the side they chose. Middle schoolers are notorious for waffling back and forth. They must understand they can only choose one side when writing a persuasive essay.

    They should open their essay by stating the side they are on. The reader should be certain about which side of the issue the writer supports.

    Support Their Position with Solid Arguments

    After students have chosen their sides, they must support their position with solid evidence. Middle school students tend to get emotional when they are asked to support their opinion and many end up writing arguments that are weak and ineffective. Give them some examples of solid arguments that will lend credibility to their essays.

    What a Solid Argument Looks Like: In a recent survey conducted at Jones Middle School, 86% of students interviewed said they were unhappy wearing uniforms to school.

    What a Solid Argument Does Not Look Like: I am against school uniforms because it is unfair to make students wear clothes they dislike to school.

    Elaborate on Their Arguments After they have decided on the arguments they will use to support their positions, they must elaborate on them. It is not enough to simply state a fact or give a percentage. They must explain why and how that fact relates to their position. Teaching students to provide strong support of their arguments is vital when teaching them how to write a persuasive essay. End With a Strong Conclusion Conclusions are always important, but they have particular importance in a persuasive essay because it is the last chance the writer has to convince the reader to support his opinion. It is a good idea to conclude by restating their arguments in a very succinct, clear fashion and boldly restating their opinion.

    End With a Strong Conclusion

    Conclusions are always important, but they have particular importance in a persuasive essay because it is the last chance the writer has to convince the reader to support his opinion. It is a good idea to conclude by restating their arguments in a very succinct, clear fashion and boldly restating their opinion.

    Use the Writing Process

    Be sure to have your students follow the five steps of the writing process. By going through the pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing stages your students will have the best possible end product.