Writing a persuasive text is actually quite hard.
Indeed it is.
It’s hard because you have to work out what you want to say and then arrange it so that it is the most persuasive.
Not only do you have to blend style and structure, high school students also have to think about the implications for society and come up with solutions! You also have to acknowledge and rebut counter-arguments as well.
Has anyone done that lately?
I remember my daughter, in Year 9, had to write an opinion piece on the refugee crisis in Europe and she slaved over it. She got a decent mark but when she asked why she didn’t get a top mark, her teacher said, “You didn’t come up with solutions”. Um. Did anyone come up with a solution to that crisis?
1. Think and plan
Obvious yes – but totally necessary. You have to take a position and then make a case – drawing on evidence. Include solutions and in the final body paragraph address counter-arguments. Finish with a bang.
2. Think about solutions
Again – this is a challenge. Start reading, watching and listening. One of the reasons why the War on Waste show was so effective was that Craig Reucassel used humour to disarm, he showed the scale of problems of waste and then presented solutions.
We have useful scaffolds in our book: Persuasive Writing.
3. Rebut counter arguments – the power of however
Think about what people who disagree with your position would say. What would you say then? Start your final body paragraph with: Now it has been argued…..However…
However is the most wonderful word – as soon as you use it – your argument instantly becomes more sophisticated.