Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Gain critical communication skills.

This Harvard online course introduces learners to the art of persuasive writing and speaking and teaches how to construct and defend compelling arguments.

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

What You'll Learn

We are living in a contentious time in history. Fundamental disagreements on critical political issues make it essential to learn how to make an argument and analyze the arguments of others. This ability will help you engage in civil discourse and make effective changes in society. Even outside the political sphere, conveying a convincing message can benefit you throughout your personal, public, and professional lives.

We will be using selected addresses from prominent twentieth-century Americans—including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, Ronald Reagan, and more—to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style. Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view.

Built around Harvard Professor James Engell’s on-campus course, “Elements of Rhetoric,” this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you. You will be inspired to share your viewpoint and discover the most powerful ways to convince others to champion your cause. Join us to find your voice!

The course will be delivered via  edX  and connect learners around the world. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • When and how to employ a variety of rhetorical devices in writing and speaking
  • How to differentiate between argument and rhetorical technique
  • How to write a persuasive opinion editorial and short speech
  • How to evaluate the strength of an argument
  • How to identify logical fallacies in arguments

Course Outline

  • Define the term "rhetoric."
  • Articulate the importance of effective communication
  • Summarize the history of rhetorical study, from the ancient Greeks to the modern-day
  • Identify the parts of discourse
  • Define the three modes of appeal
  • Identify tropes and schemes, and explain their use in composition
  • Compose an opinion editorial on a topic of your choice
  • Analyze Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream…” speech
  • Define inductive reasoning and some of its associated topics
  • Identify instances of inductive reasoning in writing and speech
  • Define deductive reasoning and some of its associated topics
  • Identify instances of deductive reasoning in writing and speech
  • Recognize and evaluate the strength of an argument's refutation
  • Apply the elements of rhetoric you have learned so far into the final draft of your op-ed
  • Analyze Sarah Brady’s Democratic National Convention Keynote Speech
  • Analyze Charlton Heston’s speech on the Second Amendment
  • Define “inductive reasoning” and some of its associated topics
  • Define “deductive reasoning” and some of its associated topics
  • Recognize and evaluate the strength of an argument’s refutation
  • Apply the elements of rhetoric you have learned so far in the final draft of your op-ed
  • Describe the origins of the practice of oratory
  • Recognize ways in which orators tailor their writing for the spoken word
  • Describe techniques for effective public speaking, both prepared and extemporaneous
  • Brainstorm ideas for your own short speech
  • Analyze Joseph McCarthy’s “Enemies Within” speech
  • Analyze Margaret Chase Smith’s "A Declaration of Conscience" speech
  • Identify the modes of appeal and the logical reasoning of the featured speeches
  • Identify both common and special topics used in these speeches, like cause and effect, testimony, justice and injustice, and comparison, and begin to recognize their use in other speeches
  • Identify examples from these speeches of logical fallacies including the either/or fallacy, the fallacy of affirming the consequent, the argument ad hominem, the argument ad populum, begging the question, the complex question, and the use of imprecise language
  • Discuss the importance of winning and keeping an audience’s trust and the pros and cons of attempting to tear down their confidence in an opponent
  • Define for yourself the definition of "extremist rhetoric," debate its use as a political tool
  • Consider the moral responsibilities of those who would seek to persuade others through language
  • Discuss how the audience and the desired tone for a speech can influence diction (word choice)
  • Compare the effects of using passive vs. active voice, and first-person vs. other tenses in a speech
  • Discuss the effectiveness of the use of symbolism in writing and speech
  • Define hyperbole, antimetabole, and polysyndeton, and identify when these devices might be appropriate and useful in terms of persuasion
  • Describe techniques for connecting with your audience, including storytelling and drawing on shared experience

Your Instructor

James Engell  is Gurney Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, also a member of the Committee on the Study of Religion, and a faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.  He has also directed dissertations in American Studies, as well as Romance Languages & Literatures (French).

Education:   B.A. 1973, Ph.D. 1978 Harvard

Interests:  Romantic, Eighteenth-Century, and Restoration British Literature; Comparative Romanticism; Criticism and Critical Theory; Rhetoric; Environmental Studies; History and Economics of Higher Education

Selected Works:   The Call of Classical Literature in the Romantic Age  (2017, ed. with K. P. Van Anglen) and contributor, "The Other Classic: Hebrew Shapes British and American Literature and Culture."  William Wordsworth's  Prelude  (1805), edited from the manuscripts and fully illustrated in color (2016, ed. with Michael D. Raymond).   Environment: An Interdisciplinary Anthology  (2008, ed. with Adelson, Ranalli, and Van Anglen).   Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money  (2005, with Anthony Dangerfield).   The Committed Word: Literature and Public Values  (1999).   Coleridge: The Early Family Letters  (1994, ed.).   Forming the Critical Mind  (1989).   Johnson and His Age  (1984, ed. and contributor).   Biographia Literaria  for the  Collected Coleridge  (1983, ed. with W. Jackson Bate).   The Creative Imagination:  Enlightenment to Romanticism  (1981).

Ways to take this course

When you enroll in this course, you will have the option of pursuing a Verified Certificate or Auditing the Course.

A Verified Certificate costs $209 and provides unlimited access to full course materials, activities, tests, and forums. At the end of the course, learners who earn a passing grade can receive a certificate. 

Alternatively, learners can Audit the course for free and have access to select course material, activities, tests, and forums.  Please note that this track does not offer a certificate for learners who earn a passing grade.

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Persuasive Writing: Persuasive Writing


What is Persuasive Writing?

' Persuasive writing ' is a form of writing in which the writer uses words to convince the reader that the writer's opinion is correct in regards to an issue.

Persuasive Words

persuasive writing youtube

  • OWL Purdue University Online Writing Lab Offers students a comprehensive guide to writing argumentative essays.


Opinion vs. Persuasion

persuasive writing youtube

A great range of video's via Youtube on creating a persuasive speech.

persuasive writing youtube

Tips and Hints

  • Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either “for” or “against”—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

Thinking Tools

  • Persuasive Thinking Tool (Map) A thinking tool to encourage the student to think compartmentally when constructing a persuasive essay or presentation.

persuasive writing youtube

  • Last Updated: Nov 19, 2020 8:56 AM
  • URL: https://materchristi.libguides.com/persuasive_writing

Writing Beginner

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Complete Answer With Examples)

No matter what you do in life, you will probably find yourself needing to master persuasive writing.

What is persuasive writing?

Persuasive writing is a type of writing that is used to convince or persuade someone of something. It is often used in business and marketing contexts but can be used in any type of writing. Persuasive writing uses logical, emotional, and structural techniques to seek agreement and initiate change.

In this article, I will answer the most common questions related to “What is persuasive writing?”

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Detailed Answer)

Table of Contents

A more complete explanation of persuasive writing is that it is a type of writing that is used to try to change or influence the opinion of the reader.

It can be used in many different contexts, such as in business, politics, or marketing, but it can also be used in other types of writing, such as essays or articles.

These are the common characteristics of persuasive writing:

  • Evidentiary support (facts, statistics, case studies, etc)
  • Easy reading experience (transitions, word choice, etc)

In order to be persuasive, your writing must be well thought out, purposeful, and bookended with a strong introduction and conclusion.

Persuasive writing can be formal, informal, or even colloquial in style and tone.

As far as the point of view, you can use first-person, second-person, or third-person. No matter what point of view you use, keep the focus on the reader.

What Is the Purpose of Persuasive Writing?

The purpose of persuasive writing is to grab attention, compel readers to think differently, arouse emotions, challenge assumptions, facilitate agreement, change minds, and—ultimately—convince the reader to take a specific action.

For example, you can convince:

  • Website visitors to sign up to your email newsletter
  • Blog post readers to click on an affiliate link
  • Your manager to allow you to work remotely
  • Clients to buy your product or service
  • A politician to fix a broken streetlight
  • An artist to hire you as a ghostwriter for rappers
  • A literary agent to represent your novel or book
  • Your favorite writer to respond to your letter to an author
  • Dissertation reviewers to give you higher marks
  • Readers to positively comment on your Power Rangers Fan Fiction

3 Types of Persuasive Writing

The three major types of persuasive writing are ethos, pathos, and logos. In my opinion, the best persuasive writing includes all three.

Here are definitions and examples of all three types.

Ethos is the writer’s character or credibility.

In order to be persuasive, a writer must establish trust with the reader. One way to do this is by being transparent and honest about who you are and your credentials.

You can also build ethos by using credible sources, such as statistics, case studies, and expert opinions.

An example of ethos in persuasive writing is:

“As a lifelong resident of this community, I know the importance of keeping our streets clean. I urge you to vote in favor of the cleanup proposal.”

Pathos is the emotional appeal to the reader.

The persuasive writer must connect with the reader on an emotional level in order to convince others to agree with them.

You can use word choice, stories, and “emotional” language to trigger a guttural feeling response in readers.

Here is an example of pathos in persuasive writing:

“Please fix this streetlight. It’s been broken for weeks and it’s very unsafe. Our children play in this neighborhood and I’m worried about their safety.”

Logos is the logical appeal to the reader.

The persuasive writer must make a rational argument in order to be persuasive. You can use facts, statistics, and expert opinions to make your argument.

Here is an example of logos in persuasive writing:

“The national evidence shows that working remotely can increase productivity by up to 43%. My productivity is even higher at 47%. Please consider allowing me to work from home.”

13 Forms of Persuasive Writing

There are many forms of persuasive writing.

Here are 13 forms:

  • Editorials —Opinion pieces that argue for or against a position.
  • Letters to the Editor —Written responses to articles or editorials, often voicing an opinion.
  • Print advertisements —Adversiting materials that try to sell a product or service.
  • Sales letters —Written materials used to sell a product or service.
  • Pamphlets —Flyers or brochures that promote a product, service, or cause.
  • Songs —Emotional music-based lyrics to inspire unity and action.
  • Social media postings —Tweets, posts, and pins that try to create agreement.
  • Speeches —Presentations given before an audience in order to persuade them of an idea or course of action.
  • Treatments —Proposals made to individuals or groups in order to influence them.
  • Websites —Pages or sites that attempt to persuade the reader to take a desired action.
  • Poems —Verses that try to convince the reader to believe in a certain idea or course of action.
  • Email marketing —Messages that try to convince the recipient to buy a product or service.
  • Personal essays —Narratives that argue for or against a position.

Related: Best AI Essay Writer (Tested & Solved)

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Examples)

One of the best ways to learn persuasive writing is to read actual examples.

Here are 5 persuasive writing examples to answer that question.

Example 1: Editorial on Car Accidents at an Intersection

It’s time for the city to take action and stop car accidents from happening at an intersection. There have been too many accidents at this intersection, and it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed.

The city needs to install a traffic light or stop sign to help control the flow of traffic.

This will help to prevent accidents from happening, and it will also make the intersection safer for pedestrians.

Example #2: Essay on Changing the School Mascot

The school should consider changing its mascot. There are many reasons why this is a good idea.

One reason is that the current mascot is offensive to some people.

Another reason is that the mascot doesn’t reflect the diversity of the school’s student body.

Changing the mascot would be a symbolic gesture that shows that the school values all of its students.

Example 3: Letter to the Editor about Gun Control

I am writing in support of gun control. I believe that we need stricter gun laws to prevent mass shootings from happening.

The current laws are not working, and we need to take action to make our schools and public places safer.

I urge you to join me in supporting gun control. It’s time for us to take a stand and make our voices heard.

Example 4: Advertisement for a Credit Card

Looking for a credit card that offers low-interest rates and no annual fees? Look no further!

Our credit card has everything you need and more. It offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and no annual fees.

Apply today and get started on your path to financial freedom!

Example 5: Email to Teacher to Allow Extra Credit for Class Participation

Hi Mrs. Jones,

I was wondering if I could get some extra credit for class participation. I have been trying to participate more in class, and I think it has improved my grades and helped the entire class feel more motivated.

Is there any way that I could get an extra point or two for my participation grade?

Thank you for your time and consideration!

What Is Persuasive Writing? (Famous Examples)

Here are a few famous examples of persuasive writing:

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Tilbury Speech by Queen Elizabeth I
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  • Ain’t I A Woman by Sojourner Truth
  • Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States by Susan B. Anthony

What Is Persuasive Writing? (The Parts)

Persuasive writing is made up of several parts. To truly answer the question, “What is persuasive writing?” it’s helpful to understand these various parts.

Let’s explore the following four persuasive writing terms:

  • Counterargument
  • Call to action

What Is a Hook in Persuasive Writing?

A hook in persuasive writing is a technique that writers use to capture the reader’s attention. It’s a way to get the reader interested in what you have to say.

There are many different types of hooks, but some of the most common include:

Here is a good example of a hook in persuasive writing:

“Birth control is not about birth, it’s about control.”—Anonymous

This quotation is a good hook because it is provocative and makes the reader think. It gets them interested in the topic of birth control and makes them want to read more.

What Is a Claim in Persuasive Writing?

A claim in persuasive writing is a statement that you make to support your argument. It is your position on the topic that you are discussing.

Your claim should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. You should also be able to back it up with evidence.

Here is an example of a claim:

“Donating to Clean Water International will save thousands of innocent lives.”

What Is a Counterargument in Persuasive Writing?

A counterargument in persuasive writing is a statement that opposes your position.

It is an argument that the other person could make against you.

You should be prepared to address any counterarguments that the other person might raise. This will help you to strengthen your argument and convince the other person of your position.

Here is an example of a counterargument:

“Donating to Clean Water International is not a sustainable solution.”

What Is a Call to Action in Persuasive Writing?

A call to action is a request that the reader takes some specific action. It is a plea for the reader to help you achieve your goal.

Your call to action should be clear, specific, and actionable. You should also make it easy for the reader to take action.

Here is an example of a call to action:

“Please donate to Clean Water International today to help save thousands of lives tomorrow.”

Persuasive Writing Techniques & Tips

When writing to change hearts and minds, there are techniques and tips you can use to maximize your results.

Apply these proven persuasive writing techniques:

  • Reframing —Presenting the issue in a different light.
  • Framing —Using specific language to create a particular impression.
  • Bandwagoning —Emphasizing that many people support your position.
  • Pathos, Logos, & Ethos —Appealing to the reader’s emotions, logic, and association with authority.
  • Figurative language —using creative language to make your argument more impactful (stories, analogies, similies, etc).
  • Repetition —Using the same words or phrases to convince the reader. Repeating your claim.
  • Language patterns —The artful use of phrases to subtely shift a reader’s thinking.
  • Rhetorical questions —Asking the reader a question that forces them to think about the issue.
  • Speak directly to the reader —Making a direct appeal to the reader.

When using these techniques, it’s important to be aware of your readers and their interests.

Tailor your message to match their needs, hopes, fears, and belief systems.

What Is a Persuassive Writing Map?

A persuasive writing map is a way to structure and organize your argument.

Here is a persuasive writing map that works well for me:

  • Start with a strong and clear claim.
  • State your reasons for supporting that claim.
  • Include supportive evidence.
  • Sprinkle in persuassive techniques.
  • Address any counterarguments that the other person might raise.
  • Finish with a short and simple call to action.

Using a persuasive writing map can help you stay on track and make sure that your argument is clear and easy to follow.

It can also help you to be more persuasive by addressing the other person’s interests and concerns in the most compelling way.

A persuasive writing map is also known as a persuasive writing outline.

How Is Persuasive Writing Different than Other Forms of Writing?

Persuasive writing is easy to confuse with different types of writing.

Many people ask me how persuasive writing is different from:

  • Argumentative writing
  • Expository writing
  • Informational writing

Persuasive Writing vs. Argumentative Writing

Argumentative writing is a type of persuasive writing. It is a more formal type of writing that mainly uses evidence to support your position.

The big difference is that argumentative writing is based more on logic and reason.

Persuasive writing usually relies heavily on emotion-laden opinions.

Expository Writing vs. Persuasive Writing

Expository writing is a type of informative writing.

It is a less formal type of writing that explains a topic or idea.

The main difference between expository writing and persuasive writing is that persuasive writing attempts to convince the reader to take a specific action.

Informational Writing vs. Persuasive Writing

Informational writing is a type of non-fiction writing. It is a formal type of writing that provides information about a topic or idea.

Persuasive writing might inform but its main goal is to change thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Persuasive Writing vs. Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is a type of creative writing.

It tells a story and uses the writer’s own experiences to support the story.

The main difference between persuasive writing and narrative writing is that persuasive writing is non-fiction and uses evidence to support the argument, while narrative writing is fiction and does not have to be true.

However, narrative writing can include elements of persuasive writing.

Persuasive Writing vs. Technical Writing

Technical writing is a type of informative writing. It is a formal type of writing that provides information about a technical topic or idea.

Both types of writing are nonfiction.

One major difference is that technical writing is usually written for people who are already familiar with the general topic, while persuasive writing might be written for people who are not as familiar with the topic.

Technical writing also includes step-by-step guides on how to perform a specific task.

What Is Persuasive Writing for Kids?

Many kids start to learn persuasive writing in first or second grade.

As kids get older, their teachers give them more challenging persuasive writing assignments.

In high school and college, students often write persuasive essays, speeches, and arguments.

Here is a short video that goes over persuasive writing for kids:

What Is a Persuasive Writing Anchor Chart?

A persuasive writing anchor chart is a visual tool that helps younger students learn and remember the key elements of persuasive writing.

It typically includes:

  • The 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why)
  • The 3 C’s (claim, clear evidence, clever reasoning)
  • How to Appeal to Emotions
  • How to Appeal to Logic
  • How to use Persuassive Devices

A persuasive writing anchor chart might also give students sentence starters to help jog their creativity.

It serves as a kind of “Mad Lib” or “fill in the blank” template for students.

Why Is Persuasive Writing Important?

Persuasive writing is important because it can be used in so many different contexts.

It’s a great way to get your point of view across or to convince someone to do something. Additionally, persuasive writing is an essential skill for business and marketing.

If you know how to write persuasively, you can write better resumes and cover letters.

That can get you a better job— with more pay.

If you sell anything (and, let’s be honest, we ALL sell something), you can attract more clients. You can also convert more clients into customers.

In school, you can get better grades. As an employee, you can foster better teamwork and move people to action.

Persuasive writing can also convince funders to give money to worthwhile causes, such as feeding children or bringing clean water to people in need.

In short, persuasive writing can make the world a better place for all of us to live.

Can You Use Persuasive Writing in Any Type of Writing?

Yes, persuasive writing can be used in any type of writing. However, it is often most effective when it is used in business or marketing contexts, where the goal is to change or influence the opinion of the reader.

You can apply persuasive writing tips and techniques to:

  • School assignments (reports, essays)
  • Nonfiction books
  • Grant proposals
  • Reviews (movies, books, products, etc)
  • Blog posts and articles
  • Love letters
  • Writing a Dungeons and Dragons book
  • Internal newsletter
  • Affiliate marketing
  • And much more!

What Are Some Tips for Writing Persuasively?

Here are some good tips for writing persuasively:

  • Know your audience : In order to be persuasive, you must understand who you are trying to persuade.
  • Start with a strong claim: In order to be persuasive, you must make a strong argument that is not easily deconstructed or debunked.
  • Support your claim with evidence : This is where the rubber meets the road. You must back up your argument with facts, data, and expert testimony (if applicable).
  • Use deep reasoning to explain the evidence: Once you have presented your evidence, you must then explain why it supports your argument.
  • Make an emotional appeal: People are often persuaded more by emotion than logic. You can use powerful words and images to create an emotional response in your reader.
  • Be succinct: Don’t ramble on and on. Get to the point and make your argument understandable by everyone.

Persuasive Writing Topics

There are an almost unlimited number of persuasive writing topics. Below you’ll find a few ideas to spark your own creativity.

Here is a list of possible persuasive writing topics to consider:

  • Education: Should college be free?
  • Dating: Is it bad to give up on dating and relationship?
  • Prosperity: How to achieve financial prosperity
  • Politics: Is it time for a new political party?
  • Lifestyle: Veganism – pros and cons
  • Environment: Should we all become vegetarians?
  • Morality: Abortion – is it right or wrong?
  • Art: Books are better than TV
  • Texting: Do guys like good morning texts?
  • Science: Is cloning moral?
  • Technology: AI will one day take over the world
  • Food: Is our food killing us?
  • Energy: Should we all live off grid?
  • Health: Is organic food better for you?
  • Pets: Should exotic animals be kept as pets?
  • Transport: The rise of the electric car
  • Religion: Is there a God?
  • Parenting: Raising a child in the internet age
  • Gaming: Can a DM cheat at D&D?

Best Persuassive Writing Tools and Resources

I’ve been writing persuasively for over 20 years.

Here are my favorite persuasive writing tools and resources:

If you only try one tool, I highly recommend Jasper AI (formally known as Jarvis and Conversion.ai).

I use Jasper every day to automatically generate thousands of original words for persuasive writing, blog posts, contracts, and more.

Final Thoughts: What Is Persuasive Writing?

The next step in learning persuasive writing is lots of practice. You’ll get better the more you do it.

There are a ton of helpful articles on this site about how to write better.

Here are a few related posts hand-selected for you:

  • How To Write An Editorial (Your Expert Cheat Sheet)
  • How to Write an Ode (Step-by-Step with Examples)
  • Time Skips in Writing: 27 Answers You Need To Know

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40 Strong Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, Ads, and More)

Learn from the experts.

The American Crisis historical article, as an instance of persuasive essay examples

The more we read, the better writers we become. Teaching students to write strong persuasive essays should always start with reading some top-notch models. This round-up of persuasive writing examples includes famous speeches, influential ad campaigns, contemporary reviews of famous books, and more. Use them to inspire your students to write their own essays. (Need persuasive essay topics? Check out our list of interesting persuasive essay ideas here! )

  • Persuasive Essays
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • Advertising Campaigns

Persuasive Essay Writing Examples

First paragraph of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis

From the earliest days of print, authors have used persuasive essays to try to sway others to their own point of view. Check out these top persuasive essay writing examples.

Professions for Women by Virginia Woolf

Sample lines: “Outwardly, what is simpler than to write books? Outwardly, what obstacles are there for a woman rather than for a man? Inwardly, I think, the case is very different; she has still many ghosts to fight, many prejudices to overcome. Indeed it will be a long time still, I think, before a woman can sit down to write a book without finding a phantom to be slain, a rock to be dashed against. And if this is so in literature, the freest of all professions for women, how is it in the new professions which you are now for the first time entering?”

The Crisis by Thomas Paine

Sample lines: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell

Sample lines: “As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug.”

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was ‘well timed’ in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Sample lines: “Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”

Go Gentle Into That Good Night by Roger Ebert

Sample lines: “‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime.”

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin

Sample lines: “Methinks I hear some of you say, must a man afford himself no leisure? I will tell thee, my friend, what Poor Richard says, employ thy time well if thou meanest to gain leisure; and, since thou art not sure of a minute, throw not away an hour. Leisure is time for doing something useful; this leisure the diligent man will obtain, but the lazy man never; so that, as Poor Richard says, a life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things.”

The Crack-Up by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sample lines: “Of course all life is a process of breaking down, but the blows that do the dramatic side of the work—the big sudden blows that come, or seem to come, from outside—the ones you remember and blame things on and, in moments of weakness, tell your friends about, don’t show their effect all at once.”

Open Letter to the Kansas School Board by Bobby Henderson

Sample lines: “I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. … Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. … We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing towards evolutionary processes is nothing but a coincidence, put in place by Him. It is for this reason that I’m writing you today, to formally request that this alternative theory be taught in your schools, along with the other two theories.”

Open Letter to the United Nations by Niels Bohr

Sample lines: “Humanity will, therefore, be confronted with dangers of unprecedented character unless, in due time, measures can be taken to forestall a disastrous competition in such formidable armaments and to establish an international control of the manufacture and use of the powerful materials.”

Persuasive Speech Writing Examples

Many persuasive speeches are political in nature, often addressing subjects like human rights. Here are some of history’s most well-known persuasive writing examples in the form of speeches.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sample lines: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Woodrow Wilson’s War Message to Congress, 1917

Sample lines: “There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts—for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.”

Chief Seattle’s 1854 Oration

Sample lines: “I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.”

Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sample lines: “What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well. … If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”

I Am Prepared to Die, Nelson Mandela

Sample lines: “Above all, My Lord, we want equal political rights, because without them our disabilities will be permanent. I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites in this country, because the majority of voters will be Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy. But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in the way of the only solution which will guarantee racial harmony and freedom for all. It is not true that the enfranchisement of all will result in racial domination. Political division, based on color, is entirely artificial and, when it disappears, so will the domination of one color group by another. … This then is what the ANC is fighting. Our struggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle of the African people, inspired by our own suffering and our own experience. It is a struggle for the right to live.”

The Struggle for Human Rights by Eleanor Roosevelt

Sample lines: “It is my belief, and I am sure it is also yours, that the struggle for democracy and freedom is a critical struggle, for their preservation is essential to the great objective of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security. Among free men the end cannot justify the means. We know the patterns of totalitarianism—the single political party, the control of schools, press, radio, the arts, the sciences, and the church to support autocratic authority; these are the age-old patterns against which men have struggled for 3,000 years. These are the signs of reaction, retreat, and retrogression. The United Nations must hold fast to the heritage of freedom won by the struggle of its people; it must help us to pass it on to generations to come.”

Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Sample lines: “Saints, it has been said, are the sinners who go on trying. So free men are the oppressed who go on trying and who in the process make themselves fit to bear the responsibilities and to uphold the disciplines which will maintain a free society. Among the basic freedoms to which men aspire that their lives might be full and uncramped, freedom from fear stands out as both a means and an end. A people who would build a nation in which strong, democratic institutions are firmly established as a guarantee against state-induced power must first learn to liberate their own minds from apathy and fear.”

Harvey Milk’s “The Hope” Speech

Sample lines: “Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide. We’ve been tarred and we’ve been brushed with the picture of pornography. In Dade County, we were accused of child molestation. It is not enough anymore just to have friends represent us, no matter how good that friend may be.”

The Union and the Strike, Cesar Chavez

Sample lines: “We are showing our unity in our strike. Our strike is stopping the work in the fields; our strike is stopping ships that would carry grapes; our strike is stopping the trucks that would carry the grapes. Our strike will stop every way the grower makes money until we have a union contract that guarantees us a fair share of the money he makes from our work! We are a union and we are strong and we are striking to force the growers to respect our strength!”

Nobel Lecture by Malala Yousafzai

Sample lines: “The world can no longer accept that basic education is enough. Why do leaders accept that for children in developing countries, only basic literacy is sufficient, when their own children do homework in algebra, mathematics, science, and physics? Leaders must seize this opportunity to guarantee a free, quality, primary and secondary education for every child. Some will say this is impractical, or too expensive, or too hard. Or maybe even impossible. But it is time the world thinks bigger.”   

Persuasive Writing Examples in Advertising Campaigns

Ads are prime persuasive writing examples. You can flip open any magazine or watch TV for an hour or two to see sample after sample of persuasive language. Here are some of the most popular ad campaigns of all time, with links to articles explaining why they were so successful.

Nike: Just Do It


The iconic swoosh with the simple tagline has persuaded millions to buy their kicks from Nike and Nike alone. Teamed with pro sports-star endorsements, this campaign is one for the ages. Blinkist offers an opinion on what made it work.

Dove: Real Beauty

Beauty brand Dove changed the game by choosing “real” women to tell their stories instead of models. They used relatable images and language to make connections, and inspired other brands to try the same concept. Learn why Global Brands considers this one a true success story.

Wendy’s: Where’s the Beef?

Today’s kids are too young to remember the cranky old woman demanding to know where the beef was on her fast-food hamburger. But in the 1980s, it was a catchphrase that sold millions of Wendy’s burgers. Learn from Better Marketing how this ad campaign even found its way into the 1984 presidential debate.

De Beers: A Diamond Is Forever

Diamond engagement ring on black velvet. Text reads "How do you make two months' salary last forever? The Diamond Engagement Ring."

A diamond engagement ring has become a standard these days, but the tradition isn’t as old as you might think. In fact, it was De Beers jewelry company’s 1948 campaign that created the modern engagement ring trend. The Drum has the whole story of this sparkling campaign.

Volkswagen: Think Small

Americans have always loved big cars. So in the 1960s, when Volkswagen wanted to introduce their small cars to a bigger market, they had a problem. The clever “Think Small” campaign gave buyers clever reasons to consider these models, like “If you run out of gas, it’s easy to push.” Learn how advertisers interested American buyers in little cars at Visual Rhetoric.

American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It

AmEx was once better known for traveler’s checks than credit cards, and the original slogan was “Don’t leave home without them.” A simple word change convinced travelers that American Express was the credit card they needed when they headed out on adventures. Discover more about this persuasive campaign from Medium.

Skittles: Taste the Rainbow

Bag of Skittles candy against a blue background. Text reads

These candy ads are weird and intriguing and probably not for everyone. But they definitely get you thinking, and that often leads to buying. Learn more about why these wacky ads are successful from The Drum.

Maybelline: Maybe She’s Born With It

Smart wordplay made this ad campaign slogan an instant hit. The ads teased, “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.” (So many literary devices all in one phrase!) Fashionista has more on this beauty campaign.

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke

Seeing their own name on a bottle made teens more likely to want to buy a Coke. What can that teach us about persuasive writing in general? It’s an interesting question to consider. Learn more about the “Share a Coke” campaign from Digital Vidya.

Always: #LikeaGirl

Always ad showing a young girl holding a softball. Text reads

Talk about the power of words! This Always campaign turned the derogatory phrase “like a girl” on its head, and the world embraced it. Storytelling is an important part of persuasive writing, and these ads really do it well. Medium has more on this stereotype-bashing campaign.   

Editorial Persuasive Writing Examples

Original newspaper editorial

Newspaper editors or publishers use editorials to share their personal opinions. Noted politicians, experts, or pundits may also offer their opinions on behalf of the editors or publishers. Here are a couple of older well-known editorials, along with a selection from current newspapers.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1897)

Sample lines: “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”

What’s the Matter With Kansas? (1896)

Sample lines: “Oh, this IS a state to be proud of! We are a people who can hold up our heads! What we need is not more money, but less capital, fewer white shirts and brains, fewer men with business judgment, and more of those fellows who boast that they are ‘just ordinary clodhoppers, but they know more in a minute about finance than John Sherman,’ we need more men … who hate prosperity, and who think, because a man believes in national honor, he is a tool of Wall Street.”

America Can Have Democracy or Political Violence. Not Both. (The New York Times)

Sample lines: “The nation is not powerless to stop a slide toward deadly chaos. If institutions and individuals do more to make it unacceptable in American public life, organized violence in the service of political objectives can still be pushed to the fringes. When a faction of one of the country’s two main political parties embraces extremism, that makes thwarting it both more difficult and more necessary. A well-functioning democracy demands it.”

The Booster Isn’t Perfect, But Still Can Help Against COVID (The Washington Post)

Sample lines: “The booster shots are still free, readily available and work better than the previous boosters even as the virus evolves. Much still needs to be done to build better vaccines that protect longer and against more variants, including those that might emerge in the future. But it is worth grabbing the booster that exists today, the jab being a small price for any measure that can help keep COVID at bay.”

If We Want Wildlife To Thrive in L.A., We Have To Share Our Neighborhoods With Them (Los Angeles Times)

Sample lines: “If there are no corridors for wildlife movement and if excessive excavation of dirt to build bigger, taller houses erodes the slope of a hillside, then we are slowly destroying wildlife habitat. For those people fretting about what this will do to their property values—isn’t open space, trees, and wildlife an amenity in these communities?”   

Persuasive Review Writing Examples

Image of first published New York Times Book Review

Book or movie reviews are more great persuasive writing examples. Look for those written by professionals for the strongest arguments and writing styles. Here are reviews of some popular books and movies by well-known critics to use as samples.

The Great Gatsby (The Chicago Tribune, 1925)

Sample lines: “What ails it, fundamentally, is the plain fact that it is simply a story—that Fitzgerald seems to be far more interested in maintaining its suspense than in getting under the skins of its people. It is not that they are false: It is that they are taken too much for granted. Only Gatsby himself genuinely lives and breathes. The rest are mere marionettes—often astonishingly lifelike, but nevertheless not quite alive.”

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Washington Post, 1999)

Sample lines: “Obviously, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should make any modern 11-year-old a very happy reader. The novel moves quickly, packs in everything from a boa constrictor that winks to a melancholy Zen-spouting centaur to an owl postal system, and ends with a scary surprise. Yet it is, essentially, a light-hearted thriller, interrupted by occasional seriousness (the implications of Harry’s miserable childhood, a moral about the power of love).”

Twilight (The Telegraph, 2009)

Sample lines: “No secret, of course, at whom this book is aimed, and no doubt, either, that it has hit its mark. The four Twilight novels are not so much enjoyed, as devoured, by legions of young female fans worldwide. That’s not to say boys can’t enjoy these books; it’s just that the pages of heart-searching dialogue between Edward and Bella may prove too long on chat and too short on action for the average male reader.”

To Kill a Mockingbird (Time, 1960)

Sample lines: “Author Lee, 34, an Alabaman, has written her first novel with all of the tactile brilliance and none of the preciosity generally supposed to be standard swamp-warfare issue for Southern writers. The novel is an account of an awakening to good and evil, and a faint catechistic flavor may have been inevitable. But it is faint indeed; novelist Lee’s prose has an edge that cuts through cant, and she teaches the reader an astonishing number of useful truths about little girls and about Southern life.”

The Diary of Anne Frank (The New York Times, 1952)

Sample lines: “And this quality brings it home to any family in the world today. Just as the Franks lived in momentary fear of the Gestapo’s knock on their hidden door, so every family today lives in fear of the knock of war. Anne’s diary is a great affirmative answer to the life-question of today, for she shows how ordinary people, within this ordeal, consistently hold to the greater human values.”   

What are your favorite persuasive writing examples to use with students? Come share your ideas in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, the big list of essay topics for high school (120+ ideas) ..

Find strong persuasive writing examples to use for inspiration, including essays, speeches, advertisements, reviews, and more.

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Persuasive Writing

Persuasive Writing

About this Strategy Guide

This strategy guide focuses on persuasive writing and offers specific methods on how you can help your students use it to improve their critical writing and thinking skills.

Research Basis

Strategy in practice, related resources.

Students often score poorly on persuasive writing assessments because they have no authentic audience or purpose; thus their counterarguments and rebuttals are weak. However, if they see writing as personally meaningful and a useful way to express their needs and desires, they will want to improve their skills in writing style, content, spelling, and other mechanics. Research shows that young children are capable of anticipating their readers’ beliefs and expectations when writing for familiar readers to get something they want and when prompted to think about their audience’s perspective while writing. 1 Teachers can also guide students to analyze examples of persuasive writing and understand the author’s purpose. Before writing a persuasive piece, students should understand how persuasion is used orally in everyday life by practicing making short, convincing speeches about something that’s important to them. 2 1 Wollman-Bonilla, J. (2000). Family message journals: Teaching writing through family involvement. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

2 Wollman-Bonilla, J. (2000). Family message journals: Teaching writing through family involvement. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Here are some ways you can help your students master persuasive writing:

  • Have students listen to and analyze various persuasive speeches and writings in the media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television, and the Internet), looking for words, phrases, and techniques (e.g., reasons, repetition, counterarguments, comparisons) that are designed to persuade. This improves critical reading and thinking skills. The Persuasive Strategies PowerPoint offers some of the more common techniques.
  • Break down the elements of a persuasive speech or piece of writing: an introduction that states the position clearly, at least three pieces of evidence to support the position, and a conclusion that restates the topic and summarizes the main points. The interactive Persuasion Map provides a framework to help students organize their ideas before writing.
  • Challenge students to address what people currently believe about the issue so that they can convince them to change through counterarguments. Have them interview 5–10 people (with varying perspectives) about their current beliefs on an issue and create a graph to see patterns in people’s arguments. Students can mention these different beliefs toward the beginning of their writing piece before they make their own argument.
  • Find authentic opportunities for students to write persuasive letters to family or community, speeches, classified advertisements, and other persuasive pieces. After a unit on recycling, for example, students could write a persuasive letter to their families to convince them to recycle more. Or students might write to their school librarian and try to convince him or her to purchase something in particular for the library. The Speechwriting Website offers a student tutorial, tips from the pros, and audio samples of other students’ writing.
  • Incorporate peer review techniques so students analyze and improve each other’s persuasive arguments (oral or written). See Teaching Writing: Peer Review for further guidance. Use the Peer Review Guidelines for Persuasive Letters to guide students’ review of persuasive letters.
  • Challenge students to differentiate fact and opinion from an article. Start by discussing short examples to see if students understand the difference. Use the Fact vs. Opinion handout from Education Oasis to reinforce this concept.
  • Show students examples of how community discussion on an issue can lead to alternative positions that take different people’s needs into account, perhaps by looking in the editorial section of the local newspaper. Issues such as adding bike paths or improving parks might be interesting for the students to follow. You might encourage them to participate by having them write a letter to the editor.
  • Encourage students to participate in online role-play, respond to YouTube videos or blogs, or create their own websites as ways for students to debate a real issue with a broader audience.

Vary the types of assignments you give to meet the different learning needs, styles, and interests of your students. If students sense that voicing their opinions may lead to change, it can motivate them to formulate effective arguments for their positions and propose possible solutions.

  • Lesson Plans
  • Student Interactives
  • Calendar Activities
  • Strategy Guides

Through a classroom game and resource handouts, students learn about the techniques used in persuasive oral arguments and apply them to independent persuasive writing activities.

Students analyze rhetorical strategies in online editorials, building knowledge of strategies and awareness of local and national issues. This lesson teaches students connections between subject, writer, and audience and how rhetorical strategies are used in everyday writing.

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

Students examine the different ways that they write and think about the role writing plays in life.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

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What is a persuasive essay?

A persuasive text presents a point of view around a topic or theme that is backed by evidence to support it.

The purpose of a persuasive text can be varied.  Maybe you intend to influence someone’s opinion on a specific topic, or you might aim to sell a product or service through an advertisement.

The challenge in writing a good persuasive text is to use a mix of emotive language and, in some cases, images that are supported by hard evidence or other people’s opinions.

In a persuasive essay or argument essay, the student strives to convince the reader of the merits of their opinion or stance on a particular issue. The student must utilise several persuasive techniques to form a coherent and logical argument to convince the reader of a point of view or to take a specific action.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com


Persuasive texts are simple in structure.  You must clearly state your opinion around a specific topic and then repeatedly reinforce your opinions with external facts or evidence.  A robust concluding summary should leave little doubt in the reader’s mind.  ( Please view our planning tool below for a detailed explanation. )


We cover the broad topic of writing a general persuasive essay in this guide, there are several sub-genres of persuasive texts students will encounter as they progress through school. We have complete guides on these text types, so be sure to click the links and read these in detail if required.

  • Argumentative Essays – These are your structured “Dogs are better pets than Cats” opinion-type essays where your role is to upsell the positive elements of your opinions to your audience whilst also highlighting the negative aspects of any opposing views using a range of persuasive language and techniques.
  • Advertising – Uses persuasive techniques to sell a good or service to potential customers with a call to action.
  • Debating Speeches – A debate is a structured discussion between two teams on a specific topic that a moderator judges and scores. Your role is to state your case, sell your opinions to the audience, and counteract your opposition’s opinions.
  • Opinion Articles, Newspaper Editorials. – Editorials often use more subtle persuasive techniques that blur the lines of factual news reporting and opinions that tell a story with bias. Sometimes they may even have a call to action at the end.
  • Reviews – Reviews exist to inform others about almost any service or product, such as a film, restaurant, or product. Depending on your experiences, you may have firm opinions or not even care that much about recommending it to others. Either way, you will employ various persuasive techniques to communicate your recommendations to your audience.
  • Please note a DISCUSSION essay is not a traditional persuasive text, as even though you are comparing and contrasting elements, the role of the author is to present an unbiased account of both sides so that the reader can make a decision that works best for them. Discussions are often confused as a form of persuasive writing.


Persuasive essay | opinion writing unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to produce writing that  PERSUADES  and  INFLUENCES  thinking with this  HUGE  writing guide bundle covering: ⭐ Persuasive Texts / Essays ⭐ Expository Essays⭐ Argumentative Essays⭐ Discussions.

A complete 140 PAGE unit of work on persuasive texts for teachers and students. No preparation is required.


Persuasive essay | persuasive essay template | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

1. Introduction

In the introduction, the student will naturally introduce the topic. Controversial issues make for great topics in this writing genre. It’s a cliche in polite society to discourage discussions involving politics, sex, or religion because they can often be very divisive. While these subjects may not be the best topics of conversation for the dinner table at Thanksgiving, they can be perfect when deciding on a topic for persuasive writing. Obviously, the student’s age and abilities should be considered, as well as cultural taboos, when selecting a topic for the essay. But the point holds, the more controversial, the better.

Let’s take a look at some of the critical elements of the introduction when writing a persuasive essay:

Title: Tell your audience what they are reading.

This will often be posed as a question; for example, if the essay is on the merits of a vegetarian lifestyle, it may be called something like: To Eat Meat or Not?

Hook : Provide your audience with a reason to continue reading.

As with any genre of writing, capturing the reader’s interest from the outset is crucial. There are several methods of doing this, known as hooks. Students may open their essays with anecdotes, jokes, quotations, or relevant statistics related to the topic under discussion.

Background: Provide some context to your audience.

In this introductory section, students will provide the reader with some background on the topic. This will place the issue in context and briefly weigh some opinions on the subject.

Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance.

After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay.

2. Body Paragraphs

The number of paragraphs forming this essay section will depend on the number of points the writer chooses to make to support their opinion. Usually three main points will be sufficient for beginning writers to coordinate. More advanced students can increase the number of paragraphs based on the complexity of their arguments, but the overall structure will largely remain intact.

Be sure to check out our complete guide to writing perfect paragraphs here .

The TEEL acronym is valuable for students to remember how to structure their paragraphs.  Read below for a deeper understanding.

Topic Sentence:

The topic sentence states the central point of the paragraph. This will be one of the reasons supporting the thesis statement made in the introduction.

These sentences will build on the topic sentence by illustrating the point further, often by making it more specific.

These sentences’ purpose is to support the paragraph’s central point by providing supporting evidence and examples. This evidence may be statistics, quotations, or anecdotal evidence.

The final part of the paragraph links back to the initial statement of the topic sentence while also forming a bridge to the next point to be made. This part of the paragraph provides some personal analysis and interpretation of how the student arrived at their conclusions and connects the essay as a cohesive whole.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion weaves together the main points of the persuasive essay. It does not usually introduce new arguments or evidence but instead reviews the arguments made already and restates them by summing them up uniquely. It is important at this stage to tie everything back to the initial thesis statement. This is the writer’s last opportunity to drive home their point, to achieve the essay’s goal, to begin with – persuade the reader of their point of view.

Persuasive essay | 7 top 5 essay writing tips | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Ending an essay well can be challenging, but it is essential to end strongly, especially for persuasive essays. As with the hooks of the essay’s opening, there are many tried and tested methods of leaving the reader with a strong impression. Encourage students to experiment with different endings, for example, concluding the essay with a quotation that amplifies the thesis statement.

Another method is to have the student rework their ending in simple monosyllabic words, as simple language often has the effect of being more decisive in impact. The effect they are striving for in the final sentence is the closing of the circle.

Several persuasive writing techniques can be used in the conclusion and throughout the essay to amp up the persuasive power of the writing. Let’s take a look at a few.


Persuasive essay | RHETORIC | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com


Persuasive writing template and graphic organizer


In this article, we have outlined a basic structure that will be helpful to students in approaching the organization of their persuasive writing. It will also be helpful for the students to be introduced to a few literary techniques that will help your students to present their ideas convincingly. Here are a few of the more common ones:

Repetition: There is a reason why advertisements and commercials are so repetitive – repetition works! Students can use this knowledge to their advantage in their persuasive writing. It is challenging to get the reader to fully agree with the writer’s opinion if they don’t fully understand it. Saying the same thing in various ways ensures the reader gets many bites at the ‘understanding’ cherry.

Repetition Example: “The use of plastic bags is not only bad for the environment, but it is also bad for our economy. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, meaning they will not decompose and will continue to take up space in landfills. Plastic bags are also not recyclable, meaning they will not be reused and will instead end up in landfills. Plastic bags are not only bad for the environment, but they are also bad for our economy as they are costly to dispose of and take up valuable space in landfills.”

In this example, the phrase “not only bad for the environment but also bad for our economy” is repeated multiple times to reinforce the idea that plastic bags are not just a problem for the environment but also the economy. The repetition of the phrase emphasizes the point and makes it more persuasive.

It is also important to note that repetition could be used differently, such as repeating a word or phrase to create rhythm or emphasis.

Storytelling: Humans tend to understand things better through stories. Think of how we teach kids important values through time-tested fables like Peter and the Wolf . Whether through personal anecdotes or references to third-person experiences, stories help climb down the ladder of abstraction and reach the reader on a human level.

Storytelling Example: “Imagine you are walking down the street, and you come across a stray dog clearly in need of food and water. The dog looks up at you with big, sad eyes, and you cannot help but feel a twinge of compassion. Now, imagine that same scenario, but instead of a stray dog, it’s a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk. The person is clearly in need of food and shelter, and their eyes also look up at her with a sense of hopelessness.

The point of this story is to show that just as we feel compelled to help a stray animal in need, we should also feel compelled to help a homeless person. We should not turn a blind eye to the suffering of our fellow human beings, and we should take action to address homelessness in our community. It is important to remember that everyone deserves a roof over their head and a warm meal to eat. The story is designed to elicit an emotional response in the reader and make the argument more relatable and impactful.

By using storytelling, this passage creates an image in the reader’s mind and creates an emotional connection that can be more persuasive than just stating facts and figures.

Persuasive essay | Images play an integral part in persuading an audience in advertisements | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Dissent: We live in a cynical age, so leaving out the opposing opinion will smack of avoidance to the reader. Encourage your students to turn to that opposing viewpoint and deal with those arguments in their essays .

Dissent Example: “Many people argue that students should not have to wear uniforms in school. They argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality and that students should be able to express themselves through their clothing choices. While these are valid concerns, I strongly disagree.

In fact, uniforms can actually promote individuality by levelling the playing field and removing the pressure to dress in a certain way. Furthermore, uniforms can promote a sense of community and belonging within a school. They can also provide a sense of discipline and structure, which can help to create a more focused and productive learning environment. Additionally, uniforms can save families money and eliminate the stress of deciding what to wear daily .

While some may argue that uniforms stifle creativity and individuality, the benefits of uniforms far outweigh the potential drawbacks. It is important to consider the impact of uniforms on the school as a whole, rather than focusing solely on individual expression.”

In this example, the writer presents the opposing viewpoint (uniforms stifle creativity and individuality) and then provides counterarguments to refute it. By doing so, the writer can strengthen their own argument and present a more convincing case for why uniforms should be worn in school.

A Call to Action: A staple of advertising, a call to action can also be used in persuasive writing. When employed, it usually forms part of the conclusion section of the essay and asks the reader to do something, such as recycle, donate to charity, sign a petition etc.

A quick look around reveals to us the power of persuasion, whether in product advertisements, newspaper editorials, or political electioneering; persuasion is an ever-present element in our daily lives. Logic and reason are essential in persuasion, but they are not the only techniques. The dark arts of persuasion can prey on emotion, greed, and bias. Learning to write persuasively can help our students recognize well-made arguments and help to inoculate them against the more sinister manifestations of persuasion.

Call to Action Example: “Climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all, and it’s important that we take action now to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for future generations. As a society, we have the power to make a difference and it starts with small changes that we can make in our own lives.

I urge you to take the following steps to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Reduce your use of single-use plastics
  • Use public transportation, carpool, bike or walk instead of driving alone.
  • Support clean energy sources such as solar and wind power
  • Plant trees and support conservation efforts

It’s easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference, but the truth is that every little bit helps. Together, we can create a more sustainable future for ourselves and for the planet.

So, let’s take action today and make a difference for a better future, it starts with minor changes, but it all adds up and can make a significant impact. We need to take responsibility for our actions and do our part to protect the planet.”

In this example, the writer gives a clear and specific call to action and encourages the reader to take action to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet. By doing this, the writer empowers the reader to take action and enables them to change.

Now, go persuade your students of the importance of perfecting the art of persuasive writing!


Persuasive essay | fact and opinion unit 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

This  HUGE 120 PAGE  resource combines four different fact and opinion activities you can undertake as a  WHOLE GROUP  or as  INDEPENDENT READING GROUP TASKS  in either  DIGITAL  or  PRINTABLE TASKS.


Writing an effective persuasive essay demonstrates a range of skills that will be of great use in nearly all aspects of life after school.

Persuasive essay | persuasive essays | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

In essence, if you can influence a person to change their ideas or thoughts on a given topic through how you structure your words and thoughts, you possess a very powerful skill.

Be careful not to rant wildly.  Use facts and other people’s ideas who think similarly to you in your essay to strengthen your concepts.

Your biggest challenge in getting started may be choosing a suitable persuasive essay topic.  These 20 topics for a persuasive essay should make this process a little easier.



If your students need a little more direction and guidance, here are some journal prompts that include aspects to consider.

  • Convince us that students would be better off having a three-day weekend .  There are many angles you could take with this, such as letting children maximize their childhood or trying to convince your audience that a four-day school week might actually be more productive.
  • Which is the best season?  And why?   You will really need to draw on the benefits of your preferred season and sell them to your audience.  Where possible, highlight the negatives of the competing seasons.  Use lots of figurative language and sensory and emotional connections for this topic.
  • Aliens do / or don’t exist?  We can see millions of stars surrounding us just by gazing into the night sky, suggesting alien life should exist, right? Many would argue that if there were aliens we would have seen tangible evidence of them by now.  The only fact is that we just don’t know the answer to this question.  It is your task to try and convince your audience through some research and logic what your point of view is and why.
  • Should school uniforms be mandatory? Do your research on this popular and divisive topic and make your position clear on where you stand and why.  Use plenty of real-world examples to support your thoughts and points of view.  
  • Should Smartphones be banned in schools?   Whilst this would be a complete nightmare for most students’ social lives, maybe it might make schools more productive places for students to focus and learn.  Pick a position, have at least three solid arguments to support your point of view, and sell them to your audience.


Try these engaging, persuasive prompts with your students to ignite the writing process . Scroll through them.

Persuasive writing prompts

Persuasive Essay Examples (Student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of persuasive essay samples.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read the persuasive texts in detail and the teacher and student guides highlight some of the critical elements of writing a persuasion.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of persuasive text writing.

We recommend reading the example either a year above or below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

Persuasive essay | year 4 persuasive text example 1536x1536 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com


Persuasive essay | persuasive writing tutorial video | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com


Persuasive essay | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.


persuasive writing unit

We pride ourselves on being the web’s best resource for teaching students and teachers how to write a persuasive text. We value the fact you have taken the time to read our comprehensive guides to understand the fundamentals of writing skills.

We also understand some of you just don’t have the luxury of time or the resources to create engaging resources exactly when you need them.

If you are time-poor and looking for an in-depth solution that encompasses all of the concepts outlined in this article, I strongly recommend looking at the “ Writing to Persuade and Influence Unit. ”

Working in partnership with Innovative Teaching Ideas , we confidently recommend this resource as an all-in-one solution to teach how to write persuasively.

This unit will find over 140 pages of engaging and innovative teaching ideas.


writing checklists

The Ultimate Guide to Opinion Writing for Students and Teachers

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Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

Persuasive essay | persuasiveWriting | 5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

5 Top Persuasive Writing Lesson Plans for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | persuasive writing prompts | 23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students | literacyideas.com

23 Persuasive writing Topics for High School students

Persuasive essay | 1 reading and writing persuasive advertisements | How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers | literacyideas.com

How to Write an Advertisement: A Complete Guide for Students and Teachers

Persuasive essay | how to start an essay 1 | How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads | literacyideas.com

How to Start an Essay with Strong Hooks and Leads

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In a world brimming with information, persuasion is a valuable skill. Whether you’re a marketer aiming to sway consumers, a politician seeking votes, or a writer hoping to engage and inform, persuasive writing is your secret weapon. It’s the art of crafting words and arguments that convince, influence, and inspire action, presenting many persuasive writing examples to underscore your viewpoint.

Have you ever wondered what sets persuasive writing apart from the rest? How does it work, and why is it so powerful? In this blog, we’ll delve deep into the world of writing persuasive essays, exploring its techniques, psychology, and real-world applications, including persuasive writing examples. When you finish reading, you’ll understand the fundamentals and have the tools to apply persuasive writing in your endeavors.

So, let’s embark on a journey into the realm of words and ideas, where the power of persuasion awaits. Join us as we uncover the strategies and secrets behind compelling narratives and convincing arguments and learn how to master the art of persuasive writing.

Understanding Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing is an art that shapes our decisions, beliefs, and actions daily. Whether convincing a friend to try a new restaurant, supporting a political candidate, or buying a product, persuasive elements are ever-present. To master persuasive writing, it’s crucial to comprehend the underlying psychology that drives it.

writers must understand how people think and make choices. One of the key foundations of writing persuasive essays is Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos. These principles are the building blocks of effective communication. Understanding and utilizing persuasive writing examples that incorporate ethos (ethical appeal), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logical appeal) can significantly enhance the impact of persuasive writing by appealing to the audience’s emotions, ethics, and reasoning.

Ethos involves establishing the credibility and authority of the speaker or writer. It’s about showcasing your expertise, trustworthiness, and authority on the subject matter. An audience is more likely to be persuaded by someone they perceive as a credible source. Exploring persuasive writing examples that effectively utilize ethos can provide a deeper understanding of how credibility and authority are established to influence an audience.

Pathos taps into emotions. It’s about crafting your writing to resonate with your audience’s feelings, values, and desires. Emotional appeal can be a potent tool in persuasion to convince the reader, as it forges a connection with readers on a personal level.

Logos employs logic and reasoning. It involves using evidence, data, and well-structured arguments to support your claims. A logically sound argument can bolster your persuasive efforts, especially when dealing with a rational or analytical audience.

In addition to these three principles, it’s important to recognize the role of cognitive biases in persuasion. Human brains often take cognitive shortcuts, resulting in biases that influence decision-making. By understanding these biases, such as confirmation bias, anchoring, and the bandwagon effect, writers can strategically shape their persuasive content to convince the reader to work with, rather than against, these cognitive tendencies.

Furthermore, the power of storytelling should not be underestimated. People are naturally drawn to write narratives. A well-told story can captivate, resonate, and persuade better than a dry recitation of facts. By weaving persuasive elements into a compelling narrative, writers can engage their audience on a deep, emotional level.

Persuasive Writing in Professional Life

Effective writing to write persuasive content is a versatile and significant tool in numerous professional scenarios. Whether in a corporate setting or freelancing, knowing how to wield the power of words can greatly enhance your career prospects and bring about desired outcomes. Here are five situations where persuasive writing is particularly effective:

1. Marketing and Advertising Campaigns

Marketing And Advertising Campaigns 1

To write persuasive essays lies at the core of marketing and advertising efforts. Crafting compelling and engaging copy that resonates with the target audience can persuade consumers to purchase products, subscribe to services, or take specific actions. Successful marketers use persuasive language, storytelling, and emotion-evoking content to connect strongly with potential customers.

2. Business Proposals and Reports

When presenting business proposals, reports, or recommendations, a persuasive essay can make a substantial difference. Convincing stakeholders or decision-makers to endorse your ideas, allocate resources, or support your strategies often hinges on how effectively you can articulate the benefits and potential returns on investment.

3. Sales Emails and Correspondence

Sales Emails And Correspondence 1

Sales professionals and account managers frequently employ persuasive writing techniques in their emails and client communication. Skillful use of persuasive language, personalized content, and the presentation of unique selling points can win over potential clients, retain existing customers, and close deals.

4. Job Applications and Resumes

Job Applications And Resumes 1

In the competitive job market, a persuasive essay is vital for crafting attention-grabbing resumes and compelling cover letters. The ability to present your skills, experiences, and qualifications persuasively can help you stand out among a sea of applicants, ultimately securing interviews and job offers.

5. Public Relations and Crisis Management

Persuasive writing plays a crucial role in managing public relations and handling crises. Communicating effectively during challenging situations requires language that can restore trust, mitigate damage, and convey a sense of responsibility and accountability.

As we’ve explored the power of persuasive writing in professional life, let’s now delve into crafting a persuasive message for specific scenarios.

Crafting A Persuasive Message

Creating a persuasive message is an art that combines the mastery of language, psychology, and strategy. To write a great persuasive message, you need to consider various elements and techniques that can captivate and influence your audience effectively. Here are some techniques how:

Crafting A Persuasive Message 2

Establish Compelling Statement

Your persuasive message should begin with a concise and powerful thesis statement. This statement serves as the core idea you want to convey to your audience. It should be clear, specific, and easily understood. For example, suppose you’re writing a persuasive essay on the importance of recycling. In that case, your thesis statement might be: “Recycling reduces waste and conserves resources, making it an essential practice for a sustainable future.”

Structure Your Arguments

The structure of your message plays a crucial role in how persuasive it is. Arrange your arguments logically, beginning with the strongest points and gradually leading to the supporting details. This structure not only reinforces your main thesis but also ensures your audience remains engaged. An effective structure guides the reader from their initial skepticism to a point of agreement or action.

Use Persuasive Language

Employ persuasive language and rhetorical devices to make your message more convincing. These include metaphors, analogies, vivid imagery, and emotionally charged words. For example, in a persuasive speech advocating for better healthcare access, you could use the metaphor, “Healthcare is the cornerstone of a strong, healthy society,” to evoke a powerful image.

Address Counterarguments

Acknowledging and addressing potential counterarguments in your message demonstrates that you’ve thoroughly considered the issue. Anticipating and refuting opposing viewpoints adds credibility to your argument and reassures your audience. For instance, if you’re advocating for a particular environmental policy, address common objections and provide compelling counterarguments to debunk them.

Engage Reader’s Emotions

One of the most powerful tools in persuasive writing is emotional appeal. Engage your audience’s emotions by telling relatable stories, sharing personal anecdotes, or using emotional language. Suppose you’re writing a persuasive message to encourage donations to a charitable cause. In that case, a heartwarming story about a beneficiary can resonate deeply with your readers and inspire them to take action.

Having discussed the art of crafting a persuasive message, let’s now shift our focus to the broader skill of developing persuasive writing for various professional contexts.

Developing Persuasive Writing

Mastering the art of persuasive writing requires practice, dedication, and a deep understanding of the key principles and techniques. Here are some essential steps to help you develop persuasive writing skills:

Developing Persuasive Writing 1

Understanding Your Audience

Start by researching your target audience. Understand their demographics, interests, and the concerns. Engage with your readers or listeners to gain insights into what motivates them and what matters most to them. Use surveys, social media, and other feedback mechanisms to gather information. Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, tailor your writing to address their specific needs and the desires. Speak directly to their concerns, values, and goals. Use language and examples of persuasive essays and writing that resonate with them, demonstrating empathy and a deep connection.

Compelling Storytelling

Study the art of storytelling. Read books and articles and listen to speakers known for their storytelling skills. Practice storytelling in various contexts, from personal anecdotes to fictional narratives. Weave stories into your writing to illustrate key points and connect with your readers emotionally. Craft narratives that evoke feelings and provide relatable examples of persuasive storytelling. A well-told story enhances the impact of your message.

Call To Action

Study successful examples of persuasive calls to action in various contexts, from marketing campaigns to political speeches. Understand the elements that make a call to action compelling and actionable. Practice creating calls to action in different scenarios. Conclude your piece with a strong and specific call to action. Clearly state what you want your readers to do, believe, or think after reading your content. Make it actionable and inspiring, motivating your audience to engage or take the desired steps.

Impact Of Persuasive Writing: Examples

The impact of persuasive essays extends far beyond the written words on a page or screen. It can potentially effect significant change, influence decisions, and shape opinions in various domains. Here’s a closer look at the profound impact of persuasive writing:

Impact Of Persuasive Speech 1

Shaping Public Opinion

Persuasive writing is a formidable force in shaping public opinion and influencing policy. Op-eds, research papers, and advocacy campaigns can sway lawmakers, prompting them to adopt new laws or regulations in alignment with the writer’s perspective. Additionally, a persuasive essay has a significant impact on how the public perceives issues, organizations, or individuals. Media outlets, public relations campaigns, and persuasive speeches play a vital role in generating both positive and negative public perceptions, which, in turn, can affect public behavior, from supporting a cause to boycotting a product.

Greta Thunberg’s Climate Change Speech (2019)

Greta Thunberg’s speeches on climate change have ignited a global movement. Her speeches are characterized by their passionate and urgent pleas for environmental action (pathos). Thunberg’s use of moral and ethical arguments, reinforced by her ethos as a young environmental activist, has spurred climate strikes and rallies worldwide, leading to increased awareness and calls for policy changes.

Effective Leadership

Persuasive writing is an indispensable tool for effective leadership. Leaders across various domains use persuasive communication to motivate their teams. Whether through an inspirational email, a compelling speech, or a well-structured persuasive essay, compelling writing fosters a shared sense of purpose, drives high performance, and encourages team members to embrace a common vision. Additionally, leadership’s persuasive writing plays a fundamental role in shaping an organization’s culture. By communicating core values, vision, and expectations through written messages, leaders contribute to a cohesive and thriving workplace culture, positively impacting team dynamics and overall success.

Barack Obama’s 2008 Inaugural Address

In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama used eloquent language and a message of hope and unity to inspire the nation. He appealed to the audience’s emotions (pathos) by emphasizing common values and dreams, fostering a sense of national purpose and unity (ethos).

Motivating Action

Persuasive writing is a catalyst for motivating action on multiple fronts. It is a driving force behind social change, as activists, NGOs, and grassroots organizations use persuasive content to mobilize individuals to take action, whether signing petitions, participating in rallies, or donating to causes they believe in. Additionally, persuasive essays are instrumental in personal growth and development. Self-help books, motivational articles, and life coaching resources harness persuasive language to inspire people to adopt positive behaviors, set and achieve goals, and lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Emma Gonzalez’s “We Call B.S.” Speech (2018)

Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, delivered a passionate speech advocating for gun control. Her speech combined personal anecdotes and data-driven arguments (logos) to emphasize the need for policy changes. The emotional impact of her speech (pathos) resonated with many and fueled the gun control movement, contributing to legislative reforms and activism.

Empower Yourself With Persuasion

In an era of information overload and constant communication, the ability to wield persuasive communication is a powerful tool that can transform your personal and professional life, so empower yourself with persuasion. Acquire the skills to express your ideas effectively, build authentic connections, and drive positive change. With the art of persuasion in your toolkit, you hold the key to leaving a lasting mark on the world and shaping your unique history.

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How to Teach Persuasive Writing in K-2

Susan Jones January 10, 2021 2 Comments

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If you are wondering how to teach persuasive writing in kindergarten, first grade, or second grade, then this blog post is for you! I have three easy tips I am going to share with you that will help you and your students.

Before I dive in, I want to clarify two little things. First, when I teach students how to write persuasive pieces, I have already taught them how to write an opinion and provide some reasons. I like to teach students what an opinion is, how to share it, and provide reasons for it using a unit like this one: opinion writing unit , before asking them to persuade someone! Second, when teaching persuasive writing to my youngest students, I like to do this through letters. I find that when we can identify a real audience and write them a letter, students can think of better ways to persuade them. Okay, let’s dive into the three tips.

If you want to watch/listen to this content, feel free to press play on my YouTube video below where I share all the same information! While you are there, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to see all my teaching videos:

To read the three tips, just keep scrolling!

Tip 1: Use Mentor Texts

Need some mentor texts for writing persuasive letters in your classroom?! I love using this books for teaching persuasive writing in first grade and second grade! Head on over to the blog post to read more and grab a free persuasive writing activity!

These books are specifically for persuasive writing and one of my absolute favorites is Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings. In this book, a little dog named Arfy writes letters to different people to try and get them to adopt him. I particularly like this book because based on his audience, he uses different reasons to persuade. This is something we talk about in one of the later tips as well!

persuasive writing youtube

Another text I love to use to showcase persuasive letters is I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff. This is a popular one! In this book, a little boy named Alex writes letters to his mom trying to persuade her to let him have a pet iguana. The entire book is written back and forth with letters between Alex and his mother and each letter provides reasons why he should or shouldn’t be allowed to own a pet iguana. This one is also fun because in the end, (spoiler alert) Alex ends up getting the iguana he wanted! This shows students the power of persuasion and lets the dream of something they really want and come up with ways to get it.

persuasive writing youtube

The last mentor text I want to share is a different one. This is one I use at the end of our unit. It is called, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf and it is written by an 11-year old girl named Oliva Bouler. When I teach persuasive writing in a K-2 classroom, our letters tend to be pretty self-serving. This isn’t a bad thing at all! In fact, that’s why writing the letters can be so much fun – to try and get what we want. This text, however, lets students see how powerful our words can be and how we can try to persuade people to make the world a better place.

In  Olivia’s Birds , the author shares all sorts of interesting facts about different birds with her illustrations and how some human acts are destroying the birds’ habitats. In the end, she writes a persuasive letter to the Audubon Society and ends up single-handedly raising over $150,000 to help her cause! I love this book because it is inspiring and gets students thinking of ways they can change the world with their voices!

persuasive writing youtube

Please note: all books shown above are Amazon affiliate links

After we read Olivia’s Birds, we can use her ideas as an extension to write our own class book. Here are some of the ideas we use to brainstorm our own class persuasive letter:

persuasive writing youtube

Tip 2: Have your students Identify Persuasion in a Mentor Text

When using mentor texts, not only do I like to have students see persuasive writing in action, but I like to have them identify the persuasion in the texts. We do this using a think-aloud sheet like shown below.

persuasive writing youtube

As we read one of the mentor texts, we identify what the character wants, who the audience is, and then some of the reasons the character uses to persuade their audience. When doing this, I model this think-aloud with the class first and I use some student input as we gather reasons to persuade. I like having students walk through this process before we actually write our letters because it gets them used to brainstorming what they want, their audience, and some reasons to persuade. I also like this sheet because we can use it over and over again with different mentor texts!

You can grab this think-aloud sheet FREE here >> Persuasive Writing Activity and try it out in your own classroom!

Tip 3: Connect Reasons to their Audience

Unlike when we write opinions and share our reasons for them, persuasive writing has us making our reasons more personal. If we are trying to persuade someone, we need to think more in-depth about our audience! When doing this, I love to use a think-aloud and the mentor text, Can I Be Your Dog? which was shown above. Using a chart like shown below, we think about the different reasons Arfy uses to persuade his different audiences.

persuasive writing youtube

As we re-read the mentor text, we talk about how Arfy uses different reasons to persuade the people in the yellow house than the reasons he uses to persuade the fire station. This gets students not just thinking about what THEY want, but also how THEIR AUDIENCE could be persuaded!

I re-emphasize this as I model planning out my own persuasive letter to my principal! I like to use a fun example. I explain that when I speak to my son, I might use “baby voice” but I wouldn’t use that same baby voice with my boss! We need to speak differently and think of reasons that connect with each of our own audiences in order to effectively persuade them.

Those are the 3 tips I have to help you teach your students write persuasive letters! If you have other mentor texts or ideas that you love using with your kindergarten, first grade, or second-grade students, please drop them in the comments!

If you want to see more videos with ideas for teaching writing in a K-2 classroom, just click my writing workshop playlist below:

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Are you first grade students learning how to write persuasive letters? This blog post shares 3 easy tips for teaching persuasive writing and includes a FREE think aloud sheet! Head over to the post to grab see more!

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I just finished watching your first writing video and found it very educational. I have recently started to homeschool my fourth-grade son. I am noticing he finds it very difficult to think of information to write when he is writing from a prompt or a book. I am thinking about starting at a lower level of writing perhaps maybe first grade or kindergarten in order to build his writing confidence. I am open to any suggestions, please.

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Hello friends.

Welcome to Susan Jones Teaching. When it comes to the primary grades, learning *All Things* in the K-2 world has been my passion for many years! I just finished my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction and love sharing all the latest and greatest strategies I learn with you through this blog and my YouTube channel! I hope you'll enjoy learning along with me :)

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Column: Jack Smith’s latest push to get Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 trial moving before the election

Special counsel Jack Smith at a news conference.

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Special counsel Jack Smith’s latest brief to the Supreme Court on Donald Trump’s immunity claim strives to ensure that the justices’ decision puts the Jan. 6 trial back on track, ending the detour the former president has extracted from a weak argument.

The bulk of the brief Smith filed Monday is a methodical rejection of Trump’s far-fetched claims to immunity from prosecution for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Smith and his Supreme Court specialist, Michael Dreeben, closely follow the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ persuasive, bipartisan opinion contradicting Trump on all points.

In the last few pages, however, Smith argues for the particular exigency of this case, noting that “even if a former president has some immunity from federal criminal prosecution for official acts, this prosecution should proceed.”

FILE - Special counsel Jack Smith arrives to speak about an indictment of former President Donald Trump, Aug. 1, 2023, at a Department of Justice office in Washington. The indictment of Donald Trump for attempting to overturn his election defeat is a new front in what Joe Biden has described as the battle for American democracy. It's the issue that Biden has described as the most consequential struggle of his presidency. The criminal charges are a reminder of the stakes of next year's campaign, when Trump is hoping for a rematch with Biden. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Litman: How Jack Smith just called out Judge Aileen Cannon in the Trump classified records case

The special counsel suggested he could seek the 11th Circuit’s intervention if the judge continues to prevent the trial from taking place before the election.

April 3, 2024

Smith contends that Trump’s attempt to thwart the peaceful transfer of power is a paradigmatic example of conduct that can’t be immunized. He describes what’s alleged against the former president as “a private scheme with private actors to achieve a private end” — namely, staying in power by fraud.

In what may be the brief’s most consequential phrase, the special counsel insists that the case “should be remanded for trial” on the ground that whatever immunity the Constitution might provide a president, it can’t shield Trump from this prosecution.

That would be dramatically different from the order that typically concludes a Supreme Court opinion. The justices normally set out governing principles of law and leave it to the lower courts to apply them to the facts, ordering a case “remanded for proceeding consistent with this opinion.”

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. The arrest of a Venezuelan man who entered the U.S. illegally for the murder of a 22-year-old nursing student in Georgia has triggered fiery reactions from Donald Trump and his allies. Trump blamed President Joe Biden and his immigration policies for the fatal beating of 22-year-old Laken Riley while on her morning run. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Litman: Without even ruling on Trump’s immunity claim, the Supreme Court handed him a huge victory

The justices will hear arguments in the federal Jan. 6 case, delaying the ex-president’s prosecution for months as his campaign to return to the White House proceeds.

Feb. 28, 2024

The practical difference between such a standard remand and Smith’s far more unusual proposed remand for trial may sound subtle. But it’s pivotal, as Smith and dozens of friend-of-the-court briefs recognize.

Smith’s suggestion is a preemptive strike against an opinion that would leave room for yet another trip up and down the federal court system before a trial can begin, an opening Trump would surely exploit for further delay.

The all but certain ultimate answer to Trump’s immunity claim is no: Under no plausible analysis will any court find that his conduct can’t be prosecuted. But if it takes even a relatively quick series of further appellate reviews to nail that point down, it will probably squander any remaining possibility that this crucial trial will occur before the election.

The reason that the nature of the remand is a distinct risk in the case has to do with the question the court crafted for argument during the 13 days it took to act on Trump’s petition for review. That extended period gave rise to speculation that some justice was writing a dissent. But it seems the justices were instead engaged in negotiating and formulating the question to be considered.

They settled on a somewhat convoluted construction asking “ whether and if so to what extent ” a former president enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution for potentially official acts. That strongly suggests that at least some of the justices are concerned that however weak Trump’s claim to immunity might be, presidential immunity might be required in some cases. They may have in mind an attempted prosecution of a president for, say, bombing an adversary during a war or refusing to crack down on unlawful immigration. And they may want to cover that ground in the court’s first ever consideration of criminal immunity even if it doesn’t apply to Trump.

Whatever room the justices leave for theoretical presidential immunity, you can be sure that Trump will aver in the trial court that it precisely describes his case. Presumably U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan and the D.C. Circuit would make quick work of it, but in the federal courts, quick work can take a couple of months.

Given the importance of the trial schedule, the key practical question is whether the court focuses solely on Trump’s case or endorses immunity in other instances. Smith’s gambit is a fallback that would let the court order the trial to proceed even if its opinion extends to broader principles of immunity.

The oral argument could also expose a fundamental divide among the justices about potential immunity unrelated to Trump’s conduct.That would suggest that the court will issue multiple opinions after engaging in a back-and-forth that would itself likely eat up several weeks.

The amicus briefs in the case divide along similar lines. The most prominent ones in Smith’s favor advise the court to simply affirm the D.C. Circuit’s rejection of Trump’s claim without venturing into possible instances of immunity that are not remotely presented here. The briefs on Trump’s side tend to argue for some immunity in some cases, a result that would likely give rise to a more complicated remand.

To date, the court has not seemed very sensitive to the political imperative of a verdict that gives voters a piece of critical information before the November election: whether one of the candidates is guilty of a scheme to subvert the last one. That is in stark contrast to the court’s obvious speed in deciding Trump’s eligibility for the Colorado ballot before the state’s primary. And the court has shown similar haste in politically supercharged cases before, among them Bush vs. Gore.

The justices’ apparent indifference to the need for speed and clarity in this case is a shame. If they continue merely proclaiming the law as usual, letting the political chips fall where — and, more importantly, when — they may, it will be an unnecessary boon to Trump and a loss for the country.

Harry Litman is the host of the “Talking Feds” podcast and the Talking San Diego speaker series. @harrylitman

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Former President Donald Trump speaks after hearing at New York Criminal Court, Monday, March 25, 2024, in New York. New York Judge Juan M. Merchan has scheduled an April 15 trial date in Trump's hush money case. (Brendan McDermid/Pool Photo via AP)

Judge rejects Trump’s request to delay hush-money trial until Supreme Court rules on immunity

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump arrive to vote in the Florida primary election in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Trump asks Supreme Court to dismiss case charging him with plotting to overturn 2020 election

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Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Rome Ga. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

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Harry Litman, the senior legal affairs columnist for the Opinion page, is a former U.S. attorney and deputy assistant attorney general. He is the creator and host of the “Talking Feds” podcast ( @talkingfedspod ). Litman teaches constitutional and national security law at UCLA and UC San Diego and is a regular commentator on MSNBC, CNN and CBS News.

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  1. Persuasive writing- Episode 1

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  2. Persuasive Writing Made Easy--ESL English Persuasive Writing

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  3. Paragraphing for Persuasive Writing

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  4. Practice Writing a Persuasive Opinion Paragraph

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  5. Persuasive Techniques used in Persuasive Writing

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  6. ULTIMATE Parent Guide to Persuasive Writing

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  1. Academic Writing Tips : How to Write a Persuasive Essay

  2. Quick Tips for Persuasive Writing by Judge Richard Gabriel

  3. How to Write a Persuasive Essay

  4. Writing a Persuasive Paragraph (A Level)

  5. The Art of Persuasive Writing: A Few Pointers

  6. Use some persuasive language


  1. Persuasive Writing for Kids

    In this video, you will learn: What is persuasive writing? What does it mean to persuade or convince someone of my opinion? Who can I persuade? How can I do ...

  2. Persuasive Writing, Part 1

    Persuading others is one of the most important -- and common -- functions of writing. In this presentation, we'll look at the steps involved in writing a per...

  3. Persuasive writing- Episode 1

    What is Persuasive Writing? It is a type of opinion writing where you will convince your audience to do something, change their mind or believe in something....

  4. Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

    Through this analysis, you will learn how speakers and writers persuade an audience to adopt their point of view. Built around Harvard Professor James Engell's on-campus course, "Elements of Rhetoric," this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your ...

  5. 8 Tips and Strategies for Better Persuasive Writing

    Not all people are persuasive. Fortunately, it's a skill that can be learned and improved on. Here are a few tips and tricks to writing more persuasively. 1. Focus on the Best Possible Audience. Writers often make the mistake of generalizing their audience in the hopes of persuading as many people as they can.

  6. 8 Persuasive Writing Tips and Techniques

    Persuasive writing is utilized by writers to take a stance on an issue, convincing readers to agree with a certain opinion or idea. Persuasive writing appears across media in many different forms, such as op-eds, reviews, and advertisements. A good persuasive argument uses a combination of thorough research and careful word choice in order to present the writer's opinion strongly and get the ...

  7. Persuasive Writing

    A great range of video's via Youtube on creating a persuasive speech. Tips and Hints. Tips on Writing a Persuasive Essay. Writing a persuasive essay is like being a lawyer arguing a case before a jury. The writer takes a stand on an issue—either "for" or "against"—and builds the strongest possible argument to win over the reader.

  8. Persuasive Writing

    Persuasive writing is a form of writing where the writer attempts to convince or persuade the audience to adopt a particular point of view or take a specific action through the development of logical arguments and a cohesive summary. Young children can be guided through a series of simple steps in an effort to develop their persuasive writing skills.

  9. What Is Persuasive Writing? (Complete Answer With Examples)

    Table of Contents. A more complete explanation of persuasive writing is that it is a type of writing that is used to try to change or influence the opinion of the reader. It can be used in many different contexts, such as in business, politics, or marketing, but it can also be used in other types of writing, such as essays or articles.

  10. 40 Persuasive Writing Examples (Essays, Speeches, and More)

    Harvey Milk's "The Hope" Speech. Sample lines: "Some people are satisfied. And some people are not. You see there is a major difference—and it remains a vital difference—between a friend and a gay person, a friend in office and a gay person in office. Gay people have been slandered nationwide.

  11. Persuasive Language Part 1

    In Part 1 of this series, four common persuasive language devices are explained: emotive language, modal verbs, involving the reader and asking rhetorical qu...

  12. Persuasive Writing

    Here are some ways you can help your students master persuasive writing: Have students listen to and analyze various persuasive speeches and writings in the media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television, and the Internet), looking for words, phrases, and techniques (e.g., reasons, repetition, counterarguments, comparisons) that are designed to persuade.

  13. Effective Persuasive Writing Techniques for Students

    The Top 5 Persuasive Writing Techniques. 1. Understand the Audience/Build Rapport. One of the most important aspects of persuasive writing begins long before the student even puts their pen to paper. Before students begin writing, they will need to determine who it is they are writing for.

  14. How to Write Perfect Persuasive Essays in 5 Simple Steps

    Thesis statement: Let the audience know your stance. After surveying the topic in the first part of the introduction, it is now time for the student writer to express their opinion and briefly preview the points they will make later in the essay. 2. Body Paragraphs.

  15. What Is Persuasive Writing: Examples, Format And Style

    Understanding Persuasive Writing. Persuasive writing is an art that shapes our decisions, beliefs, and actions daily. Whether convincing a friend to try a new restaurant, supporting a political candidate, or buying a product, persuasive elements are ever-present. To master persuasive writing, it's crucial to comprehend the underlying ...

  16. YouTube Made Me Do It

    Presentation View. Read the Debate. This hilarious play is based on the classic short story by Hans Christian Andersen. An informational text about finding the courage to speak up follows the play. Two texts explore the history and science of smell. : 970L (combined) A beautiful story by Jane Yolen about new beginnings is paired with a short ...

  17. Persuasive Language Part 2

    In Part 2 of this series, four more common persuasive language devices are explained: using evidence, repetition, adjectives & adverbs and alliteration.Part ...

  18. How to Teach Persuasive Writing in K-2

    Tip 2: Have your students Identify Persuasion in a Mentor Text. When using mentor texts, not only do I like to have students see persuasive writing in action, but I like to have them identify the persuasion in the texts. We do this using a think-aloud sheet like shown below.

  19. 18 Simple and Fabulous Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas for Teachers

    Fun Persuasive Writing Mini Lesson Ideas. Analyzing advertising, creating ads, and debates are fun parts of teaching persuasive writing. Students quickly become engaged in learning about persuasive writing because it brings writing to life in a new way. Persuasive writing sparks creativity and interest from students in a way that the other ...

  20. How to protect an endangered language

    Scholars and activists would sit down together to work out exactly what the group needed for the language to thrive. The final step has proved to be the hardest: work by the language community ...

  21. Persuasive Writing

    Intro for persuasive writing unit.

  22. How Jack Smith is trying to get Trump's Jan. 6 trial moving

    April 10, 2024 1:39 PM PT. Special counsel Jack Smith's latest brief to the Supreme Court on Donald Trump's immunity claim strives to ensure that the justices' decision puts the Jan. 6 trial ...

  23. Persuasive Writing

    Introduce OREO strategy for persuasive writing to my 2nd graders using the text, I Wanna Iguanna

  24. Persuasive writing task, writing to the government

    This video is a segment of my lesson plan for my English yr 7 class. A writing task to the government, urging for a change to take place regarding our endang...