This writing genre can be particularly motivating to young adolescents as they wake up to their surroundings and the associated challenges and frustrations. As teachers, we can capitalize on our students’ emerging passion and their attraction to the controversial by providing them with ways to thoughtfully express themselves on the issues that matter.
When studying this genre in the classroom, middle schoolers have the opportunity to write persuasively in a more compelling way than they have in the past. First, they clearly express their opinions on controversial topics about which they feel passionate. They are challenged not only to support their opinions with arguments backed by evidence found through research, but also to consider an opposing point of view and counter the “other side’s” opinion. Students persuade their audience of the importance of their topic by issuing a call to action. In doing so, middle school editorial writers become empowered to create change in their communities.