Discover this Powerful 3 Part Detailed and Simple Guide to Persuasive Writing Essays

What is a persuasive writing essay?  It’s when you try to get someone to do what you want.  The goal of a persuasive writing essay is to convince the reader to agree with the writer and do what the writer wants.  How the writer gets them to do it depends on how well the writer understands the three types of persuasive writing.

My First Experience Teaching Persuasive Writing Essays

When I was working in a fourth-grade classroom as a paraprofessional our students were getting ready to learn about persuasive writing.  The teacher I was working with pulled two books to talk about with the students, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and Hey, Little Ant by Hannah Hoose and Philip Hoose. She read the books to the students, talked about counterarguments, and set them off to work on their own papers.  

Is That All There is to Teaching Persuasive Writing Essays?

The lesson seemed simple enough.  The kids had fun and were enjoying the concept behind persuasive writing.  It was a good starting point but there is so much more to persuasive writing than this.  As teachers, we must be prepared to bring the lessons to further so our students understanding of persuasive writing essays can grow.

What are Persuasive Writing Essays?

I have heard persuasive writing called persuasive, argumentative, and opinion writing.  They are used interchangeably depending on the school, district, and state.  However, these are three different types of writing.  I would say they all fall into the persuasive genre, but they are different.  

Normally I wouldn’t care that these words are all used to mean the same thing except that the common core makes a distinction between them.  As I check the writing standards for my lessons across 4th, 5th, and 6th grade I noticed something that we probably should be more aware of.

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.

The common core changes from opinion to arguments in 6th grade.

Clearly, our standards care about the differences between these three types of writing.  Be sure to check your own state standards to see what they say.  Let me know what you find in the comments.

More Ideas About Persuasive Writing Essays

Opinion, Persuasive, or Argumentative Writing?

Argumentative Vs. Persuasive Writing

What You Need to Know About the Types of Persuasive Writing Essays

Knowing the three types of persuasive writing essays could help you clarify what you plan on teaching your students.  You will be able to write your lesson plans easier when you know what your students need to learn.  We are going to discuss each type, its unique purposes, and the basic outlines to follow.

Opinion Persuasive Writing Essays 

Opinion Essays are when the writer wants to share their opinion and preference.  The writer will share what they think and why they think that.  It is a way for the writer’s ideas and opinions to be heard. Their opinion is one-sided.  They are not expecting to get anything, but a listener.

The writer is usually excited about sharing their opinion and ideas with whoever will listen.  They tend to use the first person in their writing because it is their opinion so informal is fine.  The writer also doesn’t need to support their opinion with facts or information, it is all about what they think and feel.

Opinion writing essays usually follow this basic outline.

  1. Pick a topic.
  2. Decide what you think about it.
  3. Write, draw, or talk about your opinion.

Persuasive Writing Essays

Persuasive writing essays are when the writer is trying to convince the reader to agree with them.  The writer wants to be right and to prove that they blend facts and opinions.  

The writer is looking for an audience who could agree with him with some convincing.  The writer is usually talking to a specific person, group, or organization so they can write informally by using the first or second person.  This specific audience can give him the satisfaction of being right if he is convincing.  

Persuasive writers need to be passionate, personal, and emotional. They use emotion to convince their audience through motivation, inspiration, or manipulation.  Persuasive writing can come across as aggressive, through arguments and by talking to the reader, because the writer is trying hard to convince the reader to agree.  Their goal of getting the reader to agree causes them to present one side of the argument.  It’s single-minded writing.  

The persuasive writer uses mostly opinions and feelings.  The writer connects to the readers’ emotions to get them to agree and do what the writer wants.  It’s the strong emotional influences and appeals that make the audience agree with the writer.

Persuasive writing essays usually follow this basic outline.

  1. Pick a topic of interest to the writer.  The topic should be something about which the writer can declare what he/she wants.
  2. Choose a side to fight for.
  3. Start writing using lots of emotional influence.

Argumentative Persuasive Writing Essays

The writer wants the reader to accept his ideas, perspective, or side of the argument as the truth.  In order to do this, the writer uses relevant reasons and credible data to get the reader to accept their idea as truth.  Logic is the main force behind an argumentative essay.

The writer doesn’t need a specific audience to write for because the writer simply wants to tell the truth and get the truth out into the world.  Since there is no specific audience the writer usually uses a more formal third-person point of view.  Using the third person can help the writer stay more objective.  The tone of the paper is fair and reasonable.  The writer remains respectful, tactful, and formal in their writing.  

An argumentative essay looks at multiple perspectives and opposing views on the topic.  The writer will talk about the pros and cons of the topic as they develop key points and counterpoints.  The logical reasoning and proof in an argumentative essay are fair and balanced allowing for some consideration of the multiple perspectives.

Argumentative essays appeal to logic more than anything else.  The reasons to agree with the writer are logical and supported by facts, data, expert quotes, and evidence.  Ultimately it’s the logical argument and consideration of the other perspectives that convinces the audience to agree with the writer.

Argumentative persuasive writing essays usually follow this basic outline.

  1. Pick a topic of interest to the writer.  The topic should be something about which the writer can declare what he/she wants.
  2. Choose a side to fight for.
  3. Start writing using facts and information to present the ideas of both sides (counterarguments) to the reader, and let the reader decide what they think is right.

Persuasive Writing Essays in Real-Life

We are surrounded by persuasive ideas all the time.  There are constant ads trying to convince us of what we need.  There are influencers, news reporters, and doctors who tell us what we should do.  Now that you know about the three types of persuasive writing, can you identify the different types when you see them?

Students can write many forms of persuasive writing, such as letters, signs, reviews, blog posts, essays, and lists. You can even have your students write fake social media posts and advertisements to practice their persuasive skills. These are just a few of the ways you can have your students practice persuasive writing.  

Why are Persuasive Writing Essays Important?

Students benefit from persuasive writing in several ways.  First, I often see students have fun when they are working on persuasive writing.  We know students learn better if they think it is fun and are engaged in the activity.  

Second, Students are constantly surrounded by ads, influences, and peers telling them what to do.  Persuasive writing could help them identify the persuasion and make their own choice. 

Third, persuasive writing helps writers learn to present their ideas in clear, structured, and convincing ways.  The structure of persuasive writing helps students learn what an essay is. 

Fourth, students learn how to research and use facts in an expressive way.  Research can be more than research when paired with a clear opinion.  Persuasive writing allows students to learn to communicate their main idea in a clear argument.  

Persuasion can be a good or bad thing.  It can entice us to spend extra money we don’t have or follow the crowd.  Persuasion can be a good thing that helps us make good or kind choices, like donating to charity or helping a friend.  No matter what your students are writing they will learn from the practice.

Here is Your FREE Prompt for Writing Poetry

I know that you needed a prompt to help kickstart your students’ writing.  Here is an entire lesson for FREE.  My Our School Poem guides students through using sensory language to describe their school. The step-by-step directions guide your class through the writing process with all the necessary worksheets making this the perfect lesson for your classroom.

Leave a Reply