Lesson at a Glance

Students learn how hyperlinks can make their editorials more informative and persuasive by giving readers access to additional evidence. Students add the relevant URLs to appropriate places in their drafts.

Prep & Tech

Technology: LCD projector, laptop, Internet access, student computers with Internet access, Writing Editorials CD
Other Materials: Student folders, writers’ notebooks, an example of a hyperlink for the Teacher Model

Limited Tech Options

This supplemental lesson requires student computers. It is not appropriate for a limited tech


Students will add at least two hyperlinks to the text of their editorials to make them more informative and persuasive.

Focusing Question

How do you insert hyperlinks to make your editorial more persuasive and informative?

Mini Lesson (10 min)

Show lesson visuals, Use Hyperlinks.

Tell students that the purpose of today’s lesson is to help them identify places in their editorials where they can insert hyperlinks in order to provide their readers with additional evidence on their issues.

Remind students that the goal for editorial writers is to persuade their readers to change their thinking or their actions through the presentation of evidence. Writers who publish online can make their editorials more informative and persuasive by linking their readers to additional information that did not fit into the written piece. Students will learn to provide links to sources of evidence used and additional evidence they did not include. They can also point to information on related issues and resources for taking action.

Show students examples of hyperlinks in the online version of “New Yorkers Deserve More Trains” in Prof P’s Office. Guide the class in examining how hyperlinks are used within the context of the editorial. Link to one of the hyperlinked resources and explain that the editorial is made more persuasive because it provides additional background information from a reputable source.

Explain that writers can hyperlink using one of two methods. Indicate that you will demonstrate both of them. Model referring to your list of URLs and selecting one website to include as a hyperlink in your editorial. Copy and paste (or type) the full web address in the text of your writing. Put the web address in parentheses. For example, you could link to the NYC Department of Education website (http://schools.nyc.gov/default.aspx). Point out how Microsoft Word automatically makes the URL into a hyperlink when you add a space after the URL. Explain how this method allows readers to read the web address without following the hyperlink.

Demonstrate another approach by attaching a hyperlink to a word, phrase or image without displaying the web address. For example, a link could be: NYC Department of Education. First, select the text to which you want to link from your editorial, then click the Insert Hyperlink icon on the Microsoft Word Toolbar, and type or paste the URL in the Address field on the Insert Hyperlink pop-up window. This method has the advantage of hiding long URLs that might distract the reader.

Teacher Model

  1. Using a computer and LCD projector, show your editorial. Review the content of the editorial, referring to your research notes as necessary.
  2. Think aloud about the different ways you might use hyperlinks in your editorial by linking to one or two of the following:
    1. An online source that you cite
    2. The website of an organization or person you mention in your editorial
    3. A website where readers can begin to take action.
  3. Select two places to add hyperlinks to your editorial. Be explicit about why you chose your links.
  4. Model how to add the full text of a web address to your text by:
    1. Typing the URL into your document
    2. Pointing out how Microsoft Word automatically makes the URL into a hyperlink when you add a space after the URL.
  5. Model how to add a hyperlink to a name or phrase in your text by:
    1. Selecting the text
    2. Clicking the Insert Hyperlink icon on the MSWord Toolbar
    3. Typing the URL in the Address field on the Insert Hyperlink pop-up window.
  6. Click your new hyperlinks to make sure that they link correctly.

Note: If your students are using Microsoft Word to word process their writing, they will be able to paste their text directly into the online magazine with intact hyperlinks. If you are using another word processing program, you may wish to test to see if this works. If not, hyperlinks can be added when their writing is being posted on Writing Matters ezine.


I want to add some hyperlinks to my editorial so that my readers can go to some of the web resources I found. The New York Times article I mention in the second paragraph was very convincing to me. I think my readers will be convinced too if they read it for themselves.

I’ve highlighted the text “New York Times,” because that is the phrase I want to hyperlink. Now I click the Insert Hyperlink button on the Microsoft Word toolbar.

IMG 1 from step 5

That opens up the Insert Hyperlink dialog box. I just need to paste in the web address of that article in the Address box and click OK. Now my readers will go directly to the article if they click “New York Times.”

IMG2 of step 5

Preparing for Writer’s Work Time

Distribute computers. Ask students to:

  1. Open their document and save it with a new date.
  2. Review their editorial drafts and notes from their research.
  3. Identify appropriate places to add hyperlinks to their text:
    1. An online source they cited
    2. The website of an organization or person mentioned in their editorial
    3. A website where readers can begin to take action.
  4. Select at least two places to add hyperlinks to their editorials and decide if they want to have the URL displayed or hidden.
  5. Insert the hyperlinks into the text of the editorial.
  6. Test the new hyperlinks to make sure that they link correctly.
  7. Resave their documents and submit them to Step 5 of the Online Classroom assignment Submit Your Revised Editorial.

Writer’s Work Time (25 min)

Students look for appropriate places to add hyperlinks to their text. Students then create links to the relevant web pages by adding URLs to their documents. Circulate among students, encouraging them to think about how hyperlinks will inform their readers.

Individual conferences: Review students’ choices for hyperlinks and guide them to think about the specific purpose of the links they have selected. Ask them to consider whether or not an addition will make their editorial more informative and persuasive.

Differentiated Instruction Strategies

  1. Difficulty selecting a hyperlink? Encourage these students to think about what kind of information will be meaningful and persuasive to readers. Will they be wondering where you got your evidence? Do they need more evidence? Will they need more information if they decide to follow your call to action? Use the answers to these questions to select your hyperlinks.
  2. Struggling with other revisions? For students who have had difficulty completing the earlier revisions, give them time to complete those higher priority revisions.
  3. Ready for more? Instruct students to help a classmate determine what section of his/her piece requires more evidence and find an appropriate source to hyperlink. Students can also visit the Study Center for additional activities such as the Editorial Feedback Forum, Opinion Space, or one of the Analyze This! exercises.

Sharing and Lesson Summary (10 min)

Reconvene the class. Ask students to share their hyperlinks with a classmate. Students should discuss how the websites relate to the editorials and whether the chosen links help to persuade and inform the reader. Give students a few minutes to think about how they might want to revise their hyperlinks based on the peer feedback they receive.


Review students’ hyperlinks, looking to see that they make sense in the context of the writing and link to an informative or persuasive website.

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