Persuasive writing structure is strong and straightforward. Begin with an opinion. Add three strong, supportive reasons. End with a call to action. When third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students use this organizational scheme, they’re bound to succeed.
Establishing the Purpose
The purpose of persuasive writing is to persuade, or convince. It’s not just stating an opinion. Instead, kids present a case. Unlike other forms of writing, they address the audience directly by writing in second person. For example, they may say “you” and should use at least one command (at the end in the call to action). It’s easier if you establish this before any writing occurs.
Developing an Opinion
When kids write persuasive pieces, they must take a stand. At the beginning of the paragraph, they tell what they think. This topic sentence tells their opinion. It can be written as a statement or command. At the end, they write a call to action, which tells the audience what to do. This is always written as a command.
Considering and Choosing Reasons
When students brainstorm lots and lots of reasons, writing improves. Ask them to consider ten supporting points. Then they can cross out weaker points and hone in on three top reasons. As they become more proficient, students should look for reasons that go together in some way. This establishes cohesion, and makes their argument much stronger.
Organizing Persuasive Writing Structure
Organizing is a no-brainer. Just write the opinion, three reasons, and call to action. Encourage kids to write the reasons in an order that makes sense.
Sentences in the organizer may look primary, as shown below. Don’t worry about it. As kids learn to strengthen word choice and sentences, paragraphs will improve.
Persuasive Writing Structure
Structure is the cornerstone of a persuasive paragraph. Before they consider style or slant, kids need to develop a simple organization plan. First state an opinion. Support it with three strong, related reasons. And finally, call the audience to action.
In my upcoming posts, I’ll write more about perfecting persuasive paragraphs. Join me for these strategies:
Looking for related instructional materials? Check out the circus-themed video, anchor charts, modeling, and student sheets in my Teachers pay Teachers store.
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