Some people say courtesy is contagious. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Jot down some of your thoughts.
Write 2-4 paragraphs stating your point of view and sharing supporting arguments. Your objective? To convince your readers to agree with you.
When done read back over what you wrote. Consider the following:
How convincing is it?
What kind of supporting evidence for your arguments did you use?
Did you use enough detail for your evidence to be convincing?
Did you use active verbs and specific nouns?
Did you use wishy-washy words, like maybe or sometimes, that weakened your argument?
Revise your paragraphs to make them more convincing.
When you are done, share you work with your writing partners. Together consider the questions for revision for each piece.
And please, share your writing here as a comment. Is courtesy contagious? I’d love to read your thoughts on the issue.
Consider the following quote:
“The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
What do you think Holmes meant when he wrote this?
Do you agree with him or disagree?
Make a “T” chart labeling one side agree and the other disagree.
Jot down ideas supporting each viewpoint in the appropriate column.
Look over your notes and decide which position you want to take.
Highlight the key points you wish to use in your essay and number them in the order in which you wish to use them.
Write an essay explaining whether or not you agree or disagree with Holmes’ quote, and explain why. When finished read it over and edit or revise as necessary.
Read what you’ve written with your writing partners or share as a comment here on the blog. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s arguments. As a group, brainstorm ways to make each person’s essay stronger.
I received the following epigram in the wrapping of a chocolate bar:
“Expect the best, and you may get it.”
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Prepare to write about it.
On a piece of scratch paper, draw a “t” chart. Label the top left section of the chart, “Agree,” and the top right, “Disagree.” Brainstorms the reasons you might agree or disagree with the epigram in the columns under the appropriate headings.
Now, look over what you have written and decide which perspective for which you would like to craft an argument.
Open your persuasive essay with an introductory paragraph that includes the epigram and your thesis (theory) describing in simple terms your agreement or disagreement with it.
In the body paragraphs of your essay use ideas from your “t” chart to support your point-of-view.
For an even stronger essay, state ideas from the other side of the “t” chart and demonstrate how they are not true.
When done, wrap it up with a snappy concluding paragraph that ties all your ideas together.
(If you are pressed for time, just write the introductory or concluding paragraphs and list the ideas you would use in the body of your essay to support your argument.
When done, read what you’ve written with your writing partners or share it as a comment here on the blog. Compliment one another on the strengths of your arguments, the clarity of your examples, and the vividness of your descriptions. In the end, will any of you change someone in your group’s mind?
If you could write several new rules, policies or procedures for home, work or school, what would they be?
Write them out, including your arguments for their implementation. Explain the value of your new rules, how they are fair, and why they should be adopted.
When done, read what you’ve written with your writing partners or share it as a comment. Compliment one another on the strength of your arguments and persuasiveness of your writing.
Ask your preschooler what he or she thinks should be done differently at school or at home. Write it down. Then ask why he or she would like to see this change made. Put down their reasons in the form of a bulleted list.
When you are done, read back what your preschooler has said, pointing to the words as you say them to reinforce the one to one correspondence between written and spoke word. Consider implementing the proposed change.
What is the best movie you have seen this year?
Jot down a list of what you think made it so good.
Now, think of someone you know, and write this person a letter telling him or her to go see this movie and explaining why.
Remember, in addition to explaining why one should do something, powerful persuasion takes into account the weakness or drawbacks of what is being advocated. Turn these negatives into positives, or explain how to mitigate the negative effect. In addition, different arguments will work better for different people. Consider the tastes and preferences of your audience and explain why that person would enjoy the film
When you are done, share your letter with your writing group. Point out to each other the parts of each persons letter you found most convincing. Explain one weak area that could be improved.
Share your letter as comment.
We can all enjoy each others recommended faves.