Structure Organizes Persuasive Writing

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.

Persuasive Writing Structure

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.

This circus-themed poster shows third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students how to use introductions and conclusions in their persuasive paragraphs.

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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.

This circus-themed poster models the process for selecting reasons. This is key to third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade persuasive writing.

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.

This circus-themed poster shows third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students how to organize a persuasive paragraph.

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.

Strengthening

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.

Circus clip art was created by Kate Hadfield.

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