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.

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A stand-alone, playable version of the Writing Editorials Content
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Unit Overview

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Resources and information related to planning and the Writing Editorials Genre
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Unit Resources

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Professor P's Office and student notebooks
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This beginning step supports students in developing ideas for their own writing. After exploring the persuasive nature of editorials, students brainstorm ideas for their own writing. By the end of this step, students commit to editorial topics that they believe are controversial and about which they feel passionately.
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While students are writing about topics with which they are familiar, editorials are only persuasive if they include solid evidence supporting the writer’s opinion. With this in mind, students begin to develop strong arguments by gathering facts, quotations, statistics and examples related to their topics. Students use web searches, books and other print materials to gather material that will ultimately be incorporated into their written pieces.
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During Step 3, students organize the information they gathered to make it meaningful and persuasive to readers. After selecting their most powerful evidence to deepen their arguments, they identify the “other side” of the argument and best approach to countering it. By the end of this step, students should have outlined the body of a convincing editorial.
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Students draw on both the research they completed and the outlines constructed earlier in order to draft their editorials. Students are encouraged to stay focused on their arguments and counterarguments while crafting paragraphs that convince their readers of their opinions on their topic. At the end of the step, all students should have complete drafts of their editorials.
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Step Five: Revise

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During the fifth step of the Writing Editorials unit, students add details and revise their texts for persuasiveness, clarity of meaning and point of view. They collaborate with peers to ensure that their written work conveys meaningful ideas and inspires readers to take action and/or agree with the author’s opinion.
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Step Six: Edit and Publish

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During this final step of the unit, students edit their written work for grammar and spelling errors. After evaluating their editorials with the rubric, they celebrate their accomplishments by publishing their completed editorials online. At the end of the step, students respond to each other’s editorials by writing thoughtful reactions to their classmates’ work.
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