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News articles may cover topics from sports, careers, war, education, crime, fashion, and many other topics so students may easily find an article of interest if you have them work in groups and put a few newspapers of the day on each table.
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Find the Facts
Begin the group work by having each group pick out 10 facts from articles. Then ask the group to pick a volunteer to stand and share their facts with the class. This helps students truly understand what a fact is and also get a bit of practice in public speaking to the class.
Explain to the class that facts are very important in writing and that in persuasive writing one must pick an opinion about a topic and stick with it. The typical persuasive essay does not allow space to fully argue both sides of an issue. So students must stay on topic and write only to the opinion they have picked.
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Use Facts to Support Opinion
They must then use facts to support their opinion. A key aspect of any persuasive writing is the use of facts. Facts to back up the opinion presented in the first sentence of the persuasive essay are crucial to make the essay strong and logical. At least 10 facts should be used in a persuasive essay. Students should find facts that are memorable and will cause the reader of the essay to think over the points being presented.
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Tell students to summarize their opinion on the topic in the final paragraph of the persuasive essay. Strong writing makes the opinion very clear in the body of the essay and repeats it in a summary in the final paragraph.