Prompt: Due to a shortage of teachers, the state legislature is considering a bill that would significantly raise teachers’ salaries. Write a letter (essay) to the legislature in support of or against this bill.
Available to use during a test: Examples Anecdotes Comparisons Vivid Descriptions and Imagery Questions Hypothetical Words and Situations
Persuasive Writing Techniques:How to convince your reader • Examples/Anecdotes • Give us a real-world situation that helps to prove your point • “For example, last week my friends and I started playing football at the beginning of recess. We didn’t have time to finish by the time the bell rang. I couldn’t concentrate in class after that because all I could think of was finishing the game.”
Persuasive Writing Techniques How to convince your reader • Comparisons • To show us that unlike things can be the same • To prove a point • “Not having enough time for recess is a lot like not having enough time to eat. When you don’t have enough time to eat you don’t enjoy your food and it’s not as healthy. When we don’t have enough time for recess we don’t enjoy it and we don’t get as much healthy exercise.”
Persuasive Writing Techniques How to convince your reader • Vivid Descriptions/Imagery • To prove a point or create a mood by “showing” the reader • “If kids got more time for recess you would hear more laughter and shouts of joy. You would see balls flying through the air and kids getting exercise in the bright sunlight.”
Persuasive Writing Techniques How to convince your reader • Questions • As if to say, “It’s just common sense.” • Humor device • “Wouldn’t you like the kids to wear themselves out outside, so that we can sit down and concentrate when we’re inside?”
Persuasive Writing Techniques How to convince your reader • Hypothetical Words/Situations • To help the reader envision • “Imagine if you had to spend hours in school working, and then had to go home to spend even longer hours doing chores and homework. I bet you would want to have more time for recess too!”
Available when you have time to research: Facts Statistics Expert Opinions
Persuasive Writing Techniques: How to convince your reader • Facts • A statement that can be proven true • Concrete evidence helps substantiate your position • “It takes less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to produce it from raw material.”
Persuasive Writing Techniques How to convince your reader • Statistics • A statistic is a fact in number form • Numbers are persuasive to readers • “When surveyed, 64% of our town’s residents said they preferred a tax on gasoline to a toll as a means to pay for the new road’s construction.”
Persuasive Writing Techniques: How to convince your reader • Expert Opinions • the opinion of an authority on the subject • According to Dr. EsrohErunam of the University of Utah School of Medicine, a small tax on carbonated beverages would not only generate revenue for the state, but would also dissuade many people from drinking them in the first place.
The Key to Persuasion:Know Your Audience! Questions to ask as you plan, write, and revise: • What type of people make up my audience? • How does this group feel about the issue? • What objections might they have to my opinion? Consider your audience when making decisions about your Content Word Choice Organization
Presenting a Counter-Argument:Showing you’ve thought about both sides • How to introduce the counter-argument: • It might seem that… • Some might think… • Of course… • But why… • But how about… • But what about… • How to tell why the counter-argument is wrong: • But… • Yet… • However… • Still though…
Leads for Persuasive WritingIn Other Words: How to hook your reader • Ask a thought-provoking question • Is your school providing the best educational experience possible? • Give a vivid description of a real or hypothetical situation • It’s Monday morning and my sister is getting ready for school. However, I don’t hear any whining or complaining from her room about her clothes. Why? The magic words: school uniform. • Give an interesting fact or statistic (if you have time to research) • The National Center for Educational Statistics, a branch of the US Department of Education, reports that in 1998, 38 percent of the nation’s fourth graders were below basic, the lowest of reading ability.
Transitional Words and Phrases:The glue that holds your paper together • Words and phrases that indicate similarity: • also • in the same way • the same is true with • that’s like Try this: Read your writing and find a place where you show how something is similar to something else. Is there a place where you might compare one thing to another? Would that make your writing stronger? What transitions would you use?
Transitional Words and Phrases:The glue that holds your paper together • Words and phrases that introduce examples: • for example • for instance • specifically Try this: Read your writing aloud leaving out the phrases for example and for instance and listen to how it sounds. Sometimes it sounds better. Other times examples need transitional words. What about your writing?
Transitional Words and Phrases:The glue that holds your paper together • Words and phrases that call attention to your point: • again • indeed • in fact • on the positive/negative side • let’s not forget • surprisingly Try this: Find your strongest point and emphasize it by using words that call attention to your point.
Transitional Words and Phrases:The glue that holds your paper together • Words and phrases that introduce additional information: • also • furthermore • likewise • in addition • besides • again • together with • on top of that Try this: Count how many times you used the word and in your writing. Can any of them be replace by these words? Would the sentence sound better as two separate sentences without the word and?
Call to Action:End Strong! • I would like you to consider… • So please, rethink your opinion on… • Be a role model and… • Our concern is loud and needs to be heard. We must act immediately to… • If we pull together we can change… • We demand that the Utah State Legislature acts now to change… • Here is a challenge to you:… • Stand together now to…