Persuasive Essay Tutorial

Next, we’d have a Philosophical Chairs debate (learn about this in my discussion strategies post), which is very similar to “This or That,” except students use textual evidence to back up their points, and there are a few more rules.

Persuasive Essay Tutorial-24Persuasive Essay Tutorial-17

Before letting students loose to start working on their essays, I make sure they have a solid plan for writing.But over the next year or so, I plan to also share more of what I know about teaching students to write.Although I know many of the people who visit here are not strictly English language arts teachers, my hope is that these posts will provide tons of value to those who are, and to those who teach subjects, including writing.Once students have argued without the support of any kind of research or text, I would set up a second debate; this time with more structure and more time to research ahead of time.I would pose a different question, supply students with a few articles that would provide ammunition for either side, then give them time to read the articles and find the evidence they need.Since I want the writing to be high quality and the subject matter to be high interest, I might choose pieces like Jessica Lahey’s Students Who Lose Recess Are the Ones Who Need it Most and David Bulley’s School Suspensions Don’t Work.I would have students read these texts, compare them, and find places where the authors used evidence to back up their assertions.In my experience, I’ve found that students appreciate having a clear picture of what’s expected of them when beginning a writing assignment.At this time, I also show them a model of a piece of writing that meets the requirements of the assignment.It’s not exactly the 5-paragraph essay, but it definitely builds on that model.I strongly believe students should be shown how to move past those kinds of structures into a style of writing that’s more natural and fitting to the task and audience, but I also think they should start with something that’s pretty clearly organized. One of the most effective ways to improve student writing is to show them mentor texts, examples of excellent writing within the genre students are about to attempt themselves.

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  1. I was homeschooled (that's not the confession part), and in 8th grade my algebra textbook had the answers to half the problems in the back. That seems to be the premise behind app called Socratic. The app lets you take a picture of a problem (you can also type it in, but that's a little laborious), and it'll not only give you an answer, but the steps necessary to to arrive at that answer — and even detailed explanations of the steps and concepts if you need them.