Persuasive paragraph perfection can be achieved. Just teach in four chunks: structure, ideas, sentences, and words. For best results, model the process. Don’t be afraid to write in front of your students!
Here’s an example. We’ll use this prompt.
Would you like to watch this lesson as a video? You’ll find it for free here. (Writing templates are also included.)
Whenever you write for your students, write like they would. Modeling should begin where they are. Then, as you continue the process, take them to new heights. Include whatever you think the best writer in your room could handle. That way, your teaching is reaching every student in the class.
Persuasive Paragraph Structure
Begin with this strong but simple structure. Write the opinion first. Follow it up with three strong reasons. Finish with a call to action.
You’ll notice that we’re writing in second person. For persuasive writing, speak directly to the audience. Use the word “you” and give commands (especially in the call to action).
Persuasive Paragraph Ideas
Elaborate to give more information. Fill in the gaps. Instead of adding what interests you, consider what the audience needs to know.
Persuasive Paragraph Sentences
Shake up your sentences! This really makes writing shine.
- Add a hook to the beginning. Maybe ask a question. Or make a surprise statement. Or even onomatopoeia. Just pull the audience in.
- Vary sentence types. For lively writing, sprinkle in commands, exclamations, or questions.
- Use long sentences to explain. Put the reader in the flow. To achieve this, add clauses or combine sentences.
- Punctuate with short sentences. Call the audience to attention with a short sentence or two. Or use an interjection, like “What?”
- Begin every sentence in a different way. Every writer can do this. You’ll be surprised how much it improves writing.
Persuasive Paragraph Words
As always, use wow words. This is a no-brainer.
Take a look at the difference between these two drafts. The draft on the left uses only the structure. The draft on the right includes ideas, sentences, and words. (If you want to see the writing process in action, watch the free video.)
In reality, no paragraph is perfect. Kids – and adults – always have room for improvement. But using these four steps helps. And writing together encourages your little writers.
This prompt is part of Opinion & Persuasive Paragraphs Featuring Characters from Myths. It includes two prompts, organizers, and rubrics.