Graphic organizers are a powerful writing tool when we teach our students how to use them correctly. But for us to teach our students to use them effectively, we must pick the best graphic organizer for their writing task. With an overload of graphic organizers out there it can be difficult to find one that works for the assignment or to even know what to look for.
Which Graphic Organizer for Persuasive Essays Should We Use?
When I started picking writing assignments, I didn’t know what graphic organizer to give my students. A lot of the teachers in my school didn’t use graphic organizers. If teachers used them, they would often just put out several choices for their students and leave it up to them. They didn’t give their students directions on how to use them well or any directions at all.
Too Many Options for Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Writing Essays
Why do so many teachers give their students graphic organizers without teaching them how to use them? I think there are so many graphic organizers out there that it’s hard for teachers to know which ones to use for which assignments. Unless you have a great mentor teacher or research it on your own it can be hard to get started. This article is meant to help bridge the gap between knowing that we should use graphic organizers and knowing which ones to use.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays and the Three Types of Persuasive Writing
There are three types of persuasive writing that our students will practice over their academic careers, but they probably don’t realize that there are three different types. As our students learn, get older, and grow as writers we teach them opinion writing, then persuasive, then argumentative.
It’s a natural progression of difficulty because opinion is when they share their ideas and opinions, but aren’t concerned with what the reader thinks. Persuasive writing is when a writer is talking to a specific person or group to try to get them to agree with them. The writer uses extreme passion and emotion to try to get the reader to agree with them. Argumentative writing is more logical. It presents an argument for both sides using logic, counterarguments, and some passion. It lets the reader decide after presenting a clear stance and logic.
If you want to read about the differences, you can look at my article Discover this Powerful 3 Part Detailed and Simple Guide to Persuasive Writing Essays.
Graphic organizers are a tool used by teachers to organize research, information, and ideas. It can be helpful to have students research on one graphic organizer or notes page and then use a second one to organize it. It’s a visual version of the information that students have gathered. Graphic organizers are important in persuasive writing just like they are in narratives and expository writing.
Another Article About Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays
Why are Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays Important
Graphic organizers are one of the most popular teaching tools for writing teachers. Writing teachers use graphic organizers all the time to help students organize their thoughts in an accessible way, even if the students moan and groan through the whole process. Students write better with the support of graphic organizers because it takes away the intimidating blank page. It will be easier for them to get started writing when they have the appropriate graphic for the task.
What teachers need to know is what to look for in good graphic organizers for persuasive essays. There are just so many options out there that it’s hard to know which ones will help our students write better and learn about writing structure. Let’s look at some of the key features that you should search for in a great graphic organizer.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays With Introductions
It’s so important that a graphic organizer helps your students develop their introductions. There is more to an introduction than starting the essay. Here are the key components of an introduction.
A hook is how the writer captures the attention of the reader. It’s the way they get the reader to read past the first sentence. There are a few ways that are commonly used to gain the reader’s attention.
A rhetorical question that causes the reader to think and imagine the topic can entice them to keep reading. Once they’ve started putting their thoughts into the topic they have started to invest.
A statement or declaration about what the writer believes can catch the reader’s attention because they may strongly agree or disagree with the writer. Often a controversial statement is a great way to get the reader to keep reading.
· Statistic or Fact
If the audience is logical then a statistic or fact might be a great way to open a persuasive essay. A statistic or fact can automatically make a persuasive essay more creditable.
An anecdote or story is a method that lets the persuasive argument become real to the reader right away. The reader can see the impact of the topic by connecting to a story that brings it to life quickly.
Fully describing a topic can provide background information for the reader that they might be missing or visualization of what the topic looks like from the writer’s perspective. A description can also make the problem come to life for the reader because they can visualize and understand it.
Using a quotation from a credible and well-known source can make a persuasive argument more powerful. People love advice and information from famous or well-known trustworthy people.
2. Background Information on Topic
If there is important background information on the topic the introduction is a good time to fill the reader in. You aren’t going to tell them everything in the introduction, but helping the reader find a starting point for the knowledge and information you are going to share can happen in the introduction.
3. Reason the Reader Should Care
The reader also needs to know why they should care about the topic. There are times the reader is fully invested in the topic, but there are times the reader is not. The writer’s job is to let the reader know why they should care and often it is because it will impact them in some way. How does this topic impact their life or why is it morally the right thing to believe?
4. Clearly State Their Opinion in the Thesis
Finally, the writer needs to clearly state their opinion on the topic in their thesis. The thesis statement should be straightforward and clear so the reader can’t mistake the writer’s stance.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays With Reasons
When a writer is writing a persuasive essay, they state their opinion or argument of what is right or what they want, but they must support their idea. Usually, in a persuasive essay, a writer supports their idea with three reasons why that idea is right. It can be more or fewer reasons, but the standard most teachers ask for is three because it provides enough support without making their essays too long.
Each reason must be fully explained. There are various ways a writer can explain their reasoning, but here are a few ideas to start your students off.
Facts should come from reliable sources that students found during the research phase of persuasive writing. They can’t use any random fact to prove their point, it must be sound information from a reliable source.
Data or Statistics
Data, statistics, and numbers are a powerful way to prove a point and support their reason. However, it’s not uncommon for writers to take numbers out of context and manipulate them to prove their point. As you teach students about using numbers and statistics be sure to teach them how to use the numbers they find in context and honestly. Nothing will kill their credibility faster and cause them to lose the support of their reader than using numbers incorrectly. And in contrast, nothing can support their reasoning and gain credibility faster than using statistics and data in context to support their idea.
An anecdote is a short story about a real person or instance related to the topic. These stories should be true, interesting, and support the writer’s idea. Anecdotes are powerful tools to develop a writer’s reasons because it helps the reader connect to the topic differently. Anecdotes are usually most effective if the writer is using statics and facts somewhere for the same reason for their argument.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays With Counterarguments
For every argument, there is a counterargument or reason that the reader should do or believe something else. When do students need to know how to counterargue? Let’s look at the common core standards for 4th grade through 6th grade.
|CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.1Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.||CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.||CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.|
Students jump from writing opinion pieces to argumentative pieces. When you look at each type of writing more closely opinion pieces don’t need to include counterarguments. Argumentative essays appeal to logic more than anything else. The reasons to agree with the writer are logical and are supported by facts, data, expert quotes, and evidence. The writer will often use several counterarguments to present information from both sides. It’s a big jump from 4th and 5th grade to 6th grade.
I think we should teach counterarguments as soon as our students can handle them in fourth or fifth grade. When students learn about counterarguments it makes their writing stronger, with clear evidence and information for the reader. It also helps them slowly progress from opinion to persuasive to argumentative writing.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays With Conclusions
Every essay needs to have a conclusion, or the end is like jumping off a cliff. The reader needs some closure and direction on what to do next. Imagine that the reader was convinced and agreed with the writer. Then the paper ends leaving the reader feeling lost. Conclusions should do four things.
- Restate the Idea
People need to hear ideas, names, and information more than once to remember them. Your reader may have gotten lost in anecdotes or reasons and forgotten the whole reason the writer wrote the paper. They need to be reminded of the main idea of the paper very clearly.
- Summarize the Reasons
The writer has gone into detail about their reasons for the whole paper. The writer should still remind the writer about their reasons at the end. It reminds the reader of the reasons at the beginning and helps to bring all the pieces together. The writer should keep in mind that this is a quick summary. When I listen to podcasts, I notice a huge difference in my ability to remember information when it’s summarized again at the end.
- Remind People Why They Should Care
Now that the reader has all the information, they need to be reminded why they should care about the topic at all. How does this issue impact them and their world? The reader was told at the beginning, but once they have the information and their mind has started to change, they need to be reminded again.
- Concluding Statement
Finally, the conclusion should have a statement that wraps everything up. A reader should never be left in confusion. This statement should be a strong, powerful, and clear ending to the whole persuasive essay.
Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays With a Call to Action
The call to action is often included in the conclusion, but the writer might also sprinkle it throughout the paper. The call to action is what the writer wants the readers to do. Once the readers have been convinced to agree with the writer, what’s next? What should the readers do with their new information and beliefs? The writer usually calls the readers to do something next. That’s the point of a persuasive essay – to cause action and change in the world.
Cute Graphic Organizers for Persuasive Essays
There are a lot of cute graphic organizers for persuasive essays out there. There are sandwiches, hamburgers, cookies, and other ideas. Cute is great, but the most important thing is that it helps students write more effectively.
After spending months researching persuasive writing and looking at as many ideas of graphic organizers as I could I have found these are the key components that will help your students write persuasive essays more successfully. As you choose your graphic organizer keep these ideas in mind.
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