Persuasive Essay Writing
Introducing the Lesson
Writing persuasive essays can be both fun and challenging for students. I usually begin my persuasive essay unit with brainstorming ways people are persuaded. This almost always leads to advertising. I usually select half a dozen or so current commercials to show in class. These encourage students to think creatively. Students especially enjoy Super Bowl commercials.
These links take you to a series of four blog posts going over different persuasive techniques. Each post provides a definition. Some contain a list of “Questions to Think About.” Embedded in each post, you will find a series of commercials that illustrate the device.
Loaded Words Hook Activity
I encourage students to focus on loaded words. Loaded words are terms that influence an audience by appealing to emotions or stereotypes. Loaded words may be positive words such as love, peace, luxury, paradise, beautiful, or economical. They may also be words with a negative connotation such as cheat or war.
For practice using loaded words, I have students create a comic strip similar to the ones found in the Sunday newspaper. The comic strip may be on any topic as long as it is full of loaded words. Here is a student example:
Students have a great time creating comic strips. I have found their persuasive essays are rich in descriptive words after the additional practice.
If you are interested in detailed lesson plans on writing persuasive essays, you may wish to take a look at these two products on Teachers Pay Teachers.