Creative Approaches to Persuasive Writing


Ideas to Try:

1) To introduce the topic, ask students this question:

How good are you at persuading or winning arguments with others? When did you persuade someone to do something they wouldn’t normally do? Have you ever talked someone into doing something they never would have done without you? Have you ever argued your way out of a sticky situation? (Freewrite for 9 minutes about a time we persuaded somebody. If you run out of ideas, try writing your thoughts or just list moments.)

2) In groups, come up with a list of RULES For PERSUADING in your groups. What makes a good argument? How can you get your little brother to eat mud? What arguments might work to get him to eat mud?

3) Come up with a c;lass list of outrageous things that you would like somebody to do for you. (Student ideas include: How to persuade a puppy to fight a pit bull, How to make someone kiss a pig, how to get your little sister to do your homework, How to make someone eat fried worms, etc.)

Sample Poster: The Facts Are In! Make up 5 fake “facts” that will get your sister to clean your room.
1) Hones Organizational Skills
2) Is good exercise and burns calories
3) Improves manual dexterity
4) Enhances self-esteem.

4) Taking a Stand.

Take a stand! (Explain that you students are practicing how to defend their opinions, etc.) (wherever you stand, you need to be prepared to answer with one reason or story to back up your opinion.) Have four signs posted around the room: “Strongly Disagree,” Somewhat Disagree,” Somewhat Agree,” and “Strongly Disagree.”

  1. I agree with school uniforms.
-some students may not be able to afford a new outfit every day and would feel embarrassed and left out for not
-students would spend a lot of time focusing on what to wear to school and less time on their studies, leading to lower grades
-a student from another school came on campus, was not identified as an intruder, and opened fire on another student or jumped one of the students
-a student concealed a weapon under their clothes

2. The death penalty is an acceptable means of punishment for a convicted murderer
a) the person on death row was severely abused as a child and is mentally ill
b) the person on death row killed three children
c) person on death row is a woman with three children
d) mentally handicapped
e) is your father
f) killed your father

3) a democratic government ensures freedom and equality for all its citizens
a) in America, 1 in 4 children is living in poverty
b) many people are homeless; many are veterans and the elderly
c) majority of congress is made up of white men
d) women still are not paid the same wages as men

Other ideas:
Procrastination is not harmful.
I disagree with one test that determines if a student graduates or doesn’t graduate from high school.
I believe that there is life on other planets.
I think high school students should be allowed to leave campus for lunch.
-some students may not be able to afford eating out every day and would feel left out and embarrassed.
-a student is accosted by a drunk while off campus for lunch
-students are constantly late for class after lunch and their grades are cropping
I agree with charter schools.
Video games should be censored.
Smoking in public places should be outlawed.
I agree with affirmative action.

Name:_____________________Date:_______________Period:____________
Vocabulary: Discussing the Art of Persuasion

  1. opinion (n) something you believe but can’t prove
2. fact (n): the opposite of an opinion; something provable that is accepted as true.
3. multifaceted (adj) Having many sides
4. compromise (n) A settlement of differences in which each side gives a little
5. subjective (adj) Based on a person’s personal experience (subject=person), specific to an individual
6. objective (adj) Not influenced by emotion or personal experience
7. values (n) A standard or principle thought of as worthwhile, an ideal
8. misconception (n) A misunderstanding or mistaken belief about something
9. assumption (n) Statements accepted as true without proof; statements that are assumed to be true
10. bias (n) Prejudice; having negative stereotypes before thinking them through

    1. empathy (n) Understanding of another’s situation, thought, and motives
12. advocate (v;n) To stand up for a cause; a person who stands up for a cause
13. counterargument (n) The other side of the argument
14. rebuttal (n) The answer to the counterargument
15. elaborate (v) To develop or expand by giving details and information

Part I: Vocabulary Activities

  1. Example: the judge tried not to let his opinion of the accused murderer determine his ruling.
Name 2 opinions about New Orleans:
2. Name 2 facts about plants:
3. The girl with the multifaceted personality sometimes like ______________, and other times she acted like __________________.
If you have a multifaceted argument, you have ________________________ to the argument.
What is one issue that is multifaceted?
4. Discuss a time when you have had to compromise with somebody.


5. Why are opinions usually subjective?
6. Is there a particular subject you would have trouble being objective about? Why?
7. What are your values concerning friendship, family, and education?
8. Create a mini-conversation between two children who have misconceptions about life on other planets. Include dialogue.


9. What assumptions did you make about 10th grade? What made them assumptions?
10. The manager’s bias against females lead him to hire __________________ over the ______________, even though ______________was more qualified.

    1. How might a roach empathize with a flea?
12. What is something you feel so strongly about that you could be an advocate for it?
13. Give one counterargument to this statement: Procrastination is good for you because you have more fun.
14. Give one rebuttal to your counterargument in #13:
15. Elaborate on the opinion that T. Ray is a bad father:
Part II: Meaningful Sentences
a. On a separate sheet of paper or on the back of this sheet, write meaningful sentences for words #1-8.
b. On a separate sheet of paper, write meaningful sentences for words #9-15.

Part III: Parts of Speech

  1. Turn the following NOUNS into ADJECTIVES:
a) opinion ____________________
b) empathy ___________________
c) fact ____________________
2. Turn the following VERB into a NOUN:
a) elaborate ________________
3. Turn the following NOUNS into VERBS:
a) misconception ______________________
b) assumption _______________________
c) empathy __________________________

Part III: Academic Challenge

  1. Give 3 pieces of elaboration (details) to this statement: Procrastination is good for me.




2. Identify 5 personal biases that you hold yourself.



3. Develop a counterargument and rebuttal to this statement: Smoking should not be allowed in public places.




4. Draw a picture that symbolically represents objective and subjective

Name:_____________________Period:_________________Date:_________________

Where Do You Stand?

After having heard people’s opinions, reasons, counterarguments, and rebuttals, you will reflect and think of some on your own. We are practicing how to defend our opinion with elaboration and reasons and defending our opinion against what others say.

List of Controversial Statements:

? I agree with school uniforms.
? The death penalty is an acceptable means of punishment for a convicted murderer.
? A democratic government ensures freedom and equality for all of its citizesn.
? Procrastination is not harmful.
? I disagree with one test that determines if a student graduates or doesn’t graduate from high school.
? I believe that there is life on other planets.
? I think NOCSMHS students should be allowed to leave campus for lunch.
? I agree with charter schools.
? Video games should be censored.
? Smoking in public places should be outlawed.
? I agree with affirmative action.
? _______________________________________(your own)
? _______________________________________(your own)
? _______________________________________(your own)

Your Assignment
Directions: Choose 3 statements you feel most strongly about. Come up with 3 reasons for why you believe in each. Then, come up with any personal experiences, stories, or facts to back up your opinion.

Controversial Statement #1:
_____________________________________________________________________________

3 Reasons Why:

1)

2)

3)


Facts, Personal Experiences, Details, or Stories to back up your reasons (if you have to, you can make these up):



Academic Challenge: What does the other side say? How can you defend against them?
Controversial Statement #2:


3 Reasons Why:

1)

2)

3)


Facts, Personal Experiences, Details, or Stories to back up your reasons (if you have to, you can make these up):




Academic Challenge: What does the other side say? How can you defend against them?






Controversial Statement #3:


3 Reasons Why:

1)

2)

3)


Facts, Personal Experiences, Details, or Stories to back up your reasons (if you have to, you can make these up):



Academic Challenge: What does the other side say? How can you defend against them?





Name:_______________________________Date:____________________Period:____________________
DRAPES: Building Details and Elaboration in Your Persuasive or Research Papers

Ms. Chen’s ridiculous claim: The Science and Math cafeteria should serve nutria rats for lunch.
3 Reasons;
#1: They’re delicious! Who wouldn’t want to eat ‘em?
#2: They are incredibly healthy!
#3: Eating them is good for the economy and for our environment because nutria rats destroy swamp vegetation, and selling them provides income to those who live in the swamp and whose livelihoods were destroyed after Katrina.

Acronym What it stands for: Explanation: My Example:
D

A quotation, usually from an expert or a person with authority According to Professor Ludacris, “Nutria rats are high in essential vitamins D, A, B, and E. They are a low-fat, heart-healthy source of protein.”
R


A question that doesn’t expect an answer. Who in this day and age can argue with health, flavor, and environmental friendliness?
A


Comparing one situation to another A fat roasted nutria rat tastes just like rotisserie chicken. Mmm…rotisserie chicken for lunch.
Because nutria rats are so rare, having them for lunch is a real treat, like having filet mignon or frog legs.
P


A personal experience that you have had I have tasted them myself at my uncle’s Fourth of July barbeque, and I can vouch for their smoky flavor and tender meat. Also, I have a friend who grew up in the bayou and paid his way through college with the profits made from harvesting nutrias.
E


An example or a story At Lusher High School, they serve nutria rats every Friday, and the lunch line is always out the door because Lusher students all love nutria rats so much. NOCSMHS kids will probably like them, too.
S


Numbers, percentages, etc. Studies have shown that people who regularly incorporate nutria rats into their diets have a 10% longer life expectancy.


Your Turn!
Your ridiculous topic:_________________________________________________________________________
Your 3 Reasons:
#1:

#2:

#3:
Acronym Your Example:
D


R


A


P


E


S




Name:___________________Date:___________________Period:___________________________
“War on Schools” by Bob Hebert
Directions: People use DRAPES all over the place in real world writing and persuasion! After having written your own persuasive pieces, it will be much easier to spot other people’s reasons, details, and arguments.

DRAPES Review (this will be on Friday’s test)

D=Dialogue/Quotation from someone of authority
R=Rhetorical question
A=Analogy (comparison)
P=Personal Experience
E=Examples and Stories
S=Statistics (numbers)

Outlining the Author’s Main Points

I. Thesis/Main Argument/Point: (What is Mr. Hebert’s main opinion?)


What evidence/details/points does he make to support what he says?

1)




2)


DRAPES/Evidence/Supporting Details:

1) Statistic:

2) D=Dialogue/Quotation from someone in Authority:


3) A=Analogy/Comparison:


4) E=Example/Story #1:


5) E=Example/Story #2:




Persuasive Essay Topics

Step 1: Select a topic (from the list) that you would feel enthusiastic writing about.
Step 2: Come up with 3 reasons (on the back) counterargument, and rebuttal.
Step 3: Outline your essay
Step 4: Write your rough draft.
Step 5: Write your final draft (neatly written, in ink or typed, completely edited, skipped lines)

Persuasive Essay Topics

  1. Come up with your own opinion on something you feel passionate about. Write a letter to someone appropriate convincing him/her of your opinion. (You won’t be able to make up evidence for this one.)
2. Come up with your own outrageous and ridiculous claim. Write a letter to someone appropriate convincing him/her of your opinion. . (You will be able to make up evidence for this one.)
3. Your school principal is considering getting rid of the uniform policy. Write a letter to the school board stating your opinion and persuading your audience to agree with you.
4. Your school is trying to make people in the community aware of the need to conserve the earth’s resources. Select an earth’s resource and write an article for the newspaper in which you try to convince people in the community to conserve this valuable resource.
5. Cliques exist in most areas of society. Sometimes students find it difficult to fit in if they don’t belong to a certain group in their school. It is very helpful, however for the students to have a place where they belong. Consider this issue and decide if it is better to have these groups at school or not. Choose a position on this issue and give support to it.
6. You have been asked to nominate your favorite teacher for the “teacher of the year” award. Write an essay convincing your principal of your choice.
7. Animals are sometimes used for instructional purposes in science class. There is both support and opposition for this practice. Consider both sides of the issue, choose one and support it with convincing reasons.
8. Your best friend is not doing very well in school and has earned many F’s. Write a letter to your friend to convince him/her why he/she should do better.
9. You want to have a pet. Your parents will let you have one if you can prove that you will be responsible for it. Write a letter to your parents to convince them that you should be allowed to have a pet.
10. Students must attend school approximately 90 days each semester. Your district is considering implementing an absentee policy that requires students with more than five days of absences to appear before the school board in order to get credit for the semester. Do you agree or disagree with this policy? State your position in a letter to the school board. Include adequate support for your reasons.

    1. Technology has had a huge impact on our world in the past 50 years. What, in your opinion, was one of the most important technological inventions? Choose an invention and convince someone of why this invention has been so important to human society.
12. Do you agree or disagree with the death penalty for convicted murderers? Consider arguments for and against, then choose a side to support.
13. Our democracy claims to provide equal opportunity and freedom for all its citizens. Consider your position on this statement and provide reasons for whether you disagree or agree.


Your Opinion:


3 Reasons:

Reason #1:


Reason #2:


Reason #3


Know Your Enemy (and anticipate what they might say before they even say it!—what does the other side say?):


Your Rebuttal:




DRAPES, stories, facts, examples, etc that help support your point of view:
1)



2)


3)









Name:________________Date:_____________Period:_______________
Persuasive Essay Outline

g) Intro
Hook (start off with something interesting—a story, a quote, a statistic, a rhetorical question):



Background (tell us the situation):



Thesis (your opinion and your 3 reasons):





Body Paragraph #1

Topic Sentence (Your first reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:




Detail (DRAPES) #2:




(optional) Detail (DRAPES) #3:



Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):


Body Paragraph #2

Topic Sentence (Your second reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:


Detail (DRAPES) #2:




(optional) Detail (DRAPES) #3:



Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):



Body Paragraph #3

Topic Sentence (Your third reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:




Detail (DRAPES) #2:




(optional) Detail (DRAPES) #3:



Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):












Body #4
Counterargument (what your enemy/opponent will say to you):





Rebuttal (what you will say back to your enemy/opponent):








I. Conclusion

Summarize your thesis and main arguments:



Ending with an insight:









Name:__________________________Date:_______________Period:___________________

Persuasion Test

Part I: Grammar
Directions: Please correct each sentence by writing ONLY the incorrect words on the line below. Most sentences have more than one mistake. If there are no errors, just write “C” for correct.

  1. I loves to take tests’ for English class.


2. Sheila and Michael can’t go to there two cousins’s house this weekend.


3. Cause it rained all weekend, the puddles’ is really full.


4. There not ready to feed the kitten’s.


5. The Coke bottle explode when you shakes it.


6. The teacher and her students creates a presentation for the schools assembly.


7. My sister and I likes to ride bikes to drop off the book’s.


8. Ms. Porea class and Ms. Kelly class is conducting a math research project.


9. Why’s we not going to Chris party. It be so fun!


10. The girl who takes care of the bunnies are going to school.


Part II: DRAPES
Argue for or against this statement: Your teachers at NOCSMHS are aliens.
Give three reasons to support your opinion:
1)

2)

3)

What does each letter stand for? Give an example of each:
D=


R=


A=


P=


E=


S=



III. Outlining
If you were to actually write an essay, what would each paragraph be about? (conclusion, introduction? First reason?)
Paragraph 1:____________
Paragraph 2:____________
Paragraph 3:____________
Paragraph 4:____________
Paragraph 5:____________
Paragraph 6:____________

Directions: Now, you will be filling out an outline for an actual GEE topic. (Remember, it may feel most natural to start with your three reasons first. If the outline format feels unnatural to you, you may do a brainstorm or a rough draft, provided that all the outline components are there.)

TOPIC: Your friend is running for class president. Write a letter to to the school newspaper supporting that person and convincing students to vote for your candidate in the upcoming election.

Before you begin to write, think about your friend who wants to be class president. What does this person do that makes him or her the best student to be president? Why do you think the way you do?

Express your position so clearly so that the students of yoru school will know exactly what you think. Be sure to include specific reasons why this person should be class president, and support those reasons with clear examples and evidence. PERSUADE students to vote for your candidate.


Persuasive Essay Outline

h) Intro
Hook (extra credit/optional):


Background (extra credit/optional):



Thesis (your opinion and your 3 reasons):





II. Body Paragraph #1

Topic Sentence (Your first reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:




Detail (DRAPES) #2:



Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):


III. Body Paragraph #2

Topic Sentence (Your second reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:


Detail (DRAPES) #2:



Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):



IV. Body Paragraph #3

Topic Sentence (Your third reason):

Detail (DRAPES) #1:




Detail (DRAPES) #2:




Concluding Sentence (restate your topic sentence):




V. Body #4
Counterargument (what your enemy/opponent will say to you):





Rebuttal (what you will say back to your enemy/opponent):







VI. Conclusion

Summarize your thesis and main arguments:









Author’s Name________________________________________date______________
Persuasive Essay Rubric (How I am going to grade this assignment)

Introductory paragraph w/ good “hook” 10 pts _______
and clear, strong thesis statement

Four supporting details/body 1 4 pts _______
Four supporting details/body 2 4 pts _______
Four supporting details/body 3 4 pts _______

Strong Topic Sentences 8 pts _______

Strong concluding sentences 8 pts _______

Sticks to Topic 5 pts _______
Examples are clear, accurate, and specific 5 pts _______
Points are clearly, fully explained but not repetetive5 pts _______

Concluding Paragraph 8 pts ________
Style
Sentence variety (out of 3)
Transition words (First, second, third, furthermore, in addition, in conclusion, to conclude, however, also, as well as, for example…) (out of 3)
Sentence flow (out of 3)
Voice (author’s voice shows clearly) (out of 3)
Appropriate tone (no excessive use of slang or too conversational) (out of 3)
15 pts ________
Editing/Spelling and grammar
Are there any misspelled words? (out of 3)
Are there any fragments or run-ons? (out of 3)
Does the author misuse any confusing words like their, there and they’re? (out of 3)
Are there any misplaced or missing commas? (our of 3)
Are there problems in verb tense? (out of 3)
15 pts ________
Format
Typed?
Double-spaced? 12-point, Times New Roman?
Title centered? Main words capitalized?
Is each paragraph indented?
Spell Check? 5 pts ________
Evidence of effort/best work
5 pts ________

TOTAL ______/100

Outline (completely filled out) 20 pts ________

Rough draft + Evidence of editing + Questionnare
20 pts ________

Grand Total _____/140


Name:____________________Period:________________Date:________________
GEE 21 Writing Rubric (120-point scale)

Dimension/Scale Comments Points Possible
Composing
? Central Idea (sharp focus, clear purpose, clear road map, strategy
? Elaboration (specific details, thorough elaboration, necessary information, goo examples)
? Organization and Unity (all reasons relate to thesis, intro, body, and conclusion, transitions, logical order) Central Idea _______/10

Elaboration ________/20

Organization and Unity ________/20
Style/Audience Awareness
? Selected Vocabulary (powerful verbs, description comes to life, word choice is appropriate, imagery, similes)
? Selected Information (vivid examples and stories, appropriate audience, manipulates audience (humor), selected for relevance and impact)
? Sentence Diversity (some variety in sentence beginnings, endings, complexity, and length)
? Tone and Voice (your personality comes out, makes someone want to keep on reading, clear, enthusiastic voice and tone) Selected Vocabulary _____/10
Selected Information _____/10
Sentence Diversity _______/10
Tone and Voice _______/10
Sentence Formation (no run-n sentences, no fragments, a variety of sentence patterns) Sentence Formation _____/10
Usage (subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, adjective and adverbs used correctly) Usage _______/10
Mechanics (punctuation and caplitazation) Mechanics __________/10
Spelling Spelling _________/10
Total Points
___________/120
Extra Credit: really incredible descriptive language. Details! Details!
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