Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Persuasive Writing Unit

After the Writing Process Unit, the next unit I created for the Freshman Writing Seminar was a Persuasive Writing Unit.

The PowerPoint below includes the slides for all of the unit's lessons.
Persuasive Writing Unit PowerPoint
Persuasive Essay Rubric

Lesson 1: Introducing Persuasive Writing

As this was a new unit, I started off the class with a review of class expectations for student participation, preparation, Do Now's, and homework. Then I introduced persuasive writing by explaining its purpose, the definition of the word "persuade," and introducing a formula for writing an effective argument. Next, we looked at an example of persuasive writing as a class and discussed some of the characteristics of the writing piece that we noticed. For homework, students were asked to make a list of five things that make them really mad and five things that they feel strongly about in order to begin collecting some possible persuasive writing topics.

Example of Persuasive Writing

Lesson 2: More Persuasive Writing Examples - Editorials

In this lesson, students learned about editorials and read two student-written pieces discussing whether or not healthcare is a right. For homework, students were asked to find an example of persuasive writing/media and bring it to class with answers to the following questions: What is the subject/topic being addressed? What is the author’s opinion? What is he/she trying to convince you to do or think? What is the reason(s) provided to support the argument? What evidence, if any, is provided?

Healthcare Editorials

Lesson 3: Sharing Examples of Persuasion

In this class, students shared the examples of persuasive writing/media that they had found for homework. Students also began narrowing down their topic choices/choosing a topic.

Lesson 4: Gathering Details - Research

In this lesson, students were introduced to the basics of how to conduct research using both databases and the internet, to evaluate information, and take notes.

Student Research Notes Handout 

Lesson 5: Stating an Opinion

Students learn how to form opinion or thesis statements for a persuasive piece of writing. They practice in pairs by completing the "Stating Your Position" Worksheet.

"Stating Your Position" Worksheet

Lesson 6: Time to Start Writing

Students are introduced to the basic requirements of MLA Style and Formatting. Then, students are put into assigned pairs to revise their thesis statements.

Lesson 7-8: Intro, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion

As a class, we review the persuasive writing rubric. Then we review the components of introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions. Students are given time to create outlines for each part using their research notes. Students write a draft for homework.

Lesson 9-11: Let's Get Revising

Students experience a multi-step revision process, in which they look to strengthen organization, transitions, sentence structure, word choice, and delete or add information.

Student Revision Packet
Student PEER Revision Packet


Other Resources/References:

Planning a Persuasive Essay
My Opinion Worksheet
Convince Me!
Writing the Persuasive Essay

Unfortunately, my first placement ended just as students finished the revision process, so I was unable to see the final products.

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