How to Teach Persuasive Writing

Students are ready to learn about persuasive writing beginning in middle school (junior high). You need to know how to teach persuasive writing, which includes several elements to enable young writers to form good arguments.


  1. Image titled Teach Persuasive Writing Step 1
    Teach your students that they already know how to persuade other people.
    • Ask your students how many times they have tried to get their parents to allow them to do something.
    • Tell them they have already learned how to speak or negotiate persuasively, so all they need to do is use similar skills for persuasive writing.
    • Teach the class that, to write persuasively, they need to present facts and not their own opinions.
    • List examples of persuasive essays and writing. These can include campaign speeches, advertising pitches or news and magazine articles.
  2. Image titled Teach Persuasive Writing Step 2
    Present the goal of persuasive writing--to win acceptance of your position or ideas.
    • Show your class how to use facts, judge evidence, fact-check, state their ideas clearly and listen to others closely and critically.
  3. Image titled Teach Persuasive Writing Step 3
    Teach your class about position statements, argumentative propositions and thesis statements.
    • Demonstrate how to state an opinion clearly in 1 or 2 sentences in the first paragraph.
    • Show your students how to define the boundaries, or scope of their argument. This is the situation specific to the argument.
    • Lead your students to make a debatable statement, such as, "The school administration should allow students to choose between wearing uniforms or wearing street clothes."
    • Remind your students to include some uncertainty, which should be proved to the reader.
  4. Image titled Teach Persuasive Writing Step 4
    Present the Three Argumentative Appeals--Logos, Ethos and Pathos.
    • Explain to the class that, to write a persuasive argument, they need to support their general claims using concrete and specific data.
    • Talk about inductive reasoning, starting with specifics and branching out toward a generalization.
    • Discuss deductive reasoning, which begins with a general observation and moves toward specifics.
    • Follow up your instruction by teaching your class to use 2 or 3 different reasons to support their arguments.
    • Teach your students to make the connection between their ethics--ethos--and their arguments. They need to convince readers they are honest, well-informed and fair, which makes it easier for their readers to trust their values and intentions.
    • Instruct your class that, to provide a more convincing persuasive essay, they should strengthen their appeals with an emotional appeal--pathos.
    • Show the class how to use pathos with a narrative description that comes from personal experience. Using personal experience helps the reader understand point of view from a different perspective.
  5. Image titled Teach Persuasive Writing Step 5
    Teach the class about the organization of their persuasive essays.
    • Explain that persuasive writing can be organized with the introduction, statement of the case, proposition statement, refutation, confirmation, digression and conclusion.
    • Continue your instruction by teaching the class that the organization of a persuasive essay can be changed as needed for specific assignments or arguments.
    • Present the different types of persuasive writing, which includes brochures, advertising, bumper stickers, editorials, consumer reports, contest entries, debate notes, dialogues, "how to" directions, graffiti, persuasive letters, news stories, orations, proposals, requests, sermons, telephone dialogues, proposals and undercover reports.

Things You'll Need

  • Examples of persuasive writing
  • Persuasive writing assignments

Article Info

Categories: Creating Lesson Plans