How to Pack Persuasive Writing with Punch

When teachers mention the term "persuasive writing" some students already fall down for the count. But we are here to teach you how to pack persuasive writing with a P.U.N.C.H.

Pick a topic that matters.
The most effective persuasive essay will be the one in which you allow your students to choose the topic that matters most to them. Do not tell your students that they need to pick from a list of your teacher-selected topics. That immediately takes away ownership and investment of the students in their self-selected topics. Instead help them brainstorm topics that are important to them. It may be bullying in school, picking up trash in the neighborhood, or as complex as finding ways to stop animal abuse. The point is to allow them to select a topic that they truly care about.

Unpack the evidence.
In order to have an effective persuasive essay, there has to be evidence to back up students' claims. You will need to provide students with the resources that they need. A trip to the school or public library to find non-fiction books on the topic would be a great start. You also will want to help students navigate through the internet. It would be a great idea to have a lesson, or two, on trusted websites and how to know if the information is accurate. You want to make sure your students are finding factual evidence to support their claims. This is where the teaching of how to do a bibliography would come in handy as well.

Note the objections to your position.
All effective writers of persuasive essays look at opposing views and then make counterclaims to their objections. It is important to look at the objections that others may have about your students' topics. It is a hard concept for students to understand why they would want to include objections to their topics, but the power is in the responses. Students' positions will become more powerful if they are able to refute the objections.

Convince your readers.
Persuasive essays are like storytelling. You want your students' personal stories to come alive and convince the reader of their positions on the topic. If they are writing about how to stop bullying in school, they should use a personal story of why bullying is so harmful to prove their point. If their topic is on recycling, they should use hard evidence to support the fact that pollution is harming our natural resources. The students need to use emotion to help convince the reader of their stance.

Have a plan of publication.
How do your students intend to get their points across? Are they going to share them with the class, or the principal in your building if it is a school-wide issue? Or is a wider audience needed like the opinion section of the local newspaper? Maybe even getting published in a magazine? Think about the audience and how it would be best to deliver their essays.

We have created a persuasive writing bundle that will help guide you through the process of having your students write effect persuasive essays in class. We have included daily lesson plans, teacher tips for implementation, sample business and friendly letters, planning pages, rubrics and so much more. This has everything you need to get your writers engaged! You can find the persuasive writing bundle by clicking here or on the image below.

Below is an anchor chart that you could show in your classroom to pack a little P.U.N.C.H. with your persuasive writing unit.